Sunday, August 31, 2008

Feel the fear...

I did, and did it anyway! For Rupes' birthday a group of us went out to Woodhill Forest to Tree Adventures. Safety harnesses, clips and pulleys, and a helmet. A short training session and off we went. It was fun. And it was a beautiful day which helped - each of the courses had a variety of challenges, from the ladder up, to the various ways of getting from tree to tree. And then finishing with a flying fox (how did I manage to land on my backside four times in a row?) A few moments of frozen panic and one where I needed Rupes to rescue me (I got stuck and couldn't stretch far enough to grab the next rope). So, good fun and a few tired folks.

In other news, this has been our first fine weekend in months. It was just wonderful to see the sunshine, and I had a few quiet hours in the garden this morning. Much in need of some work and a lot of weeding ahead of me, but it was lovely to be out there and warm.

Aside from that, nothing much else to report. We are off to Queenstown in two weeks for a wee holiday, five days down there, and Rupes' cousin arrives next weekend to stay with us for a while. Should be fun - I hope she likes dogs!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I need some sun...

Am finally getting better, still an annoying cough, but mostly feeling ok. Get a little tired if I overdo it, so am still trying to take it easy. I am heartily sick of the weather though - this weekend coming will be the 8th in a row where it has rained on a Saturday. The annoying thing is that today is fine with showers, so it would be nice to be out there, rather than at work!

In good news we have had some great nights with the dogs in the garage - Sunday and Monday nights they slept right through. This morning there was a couple of barks at 3.30 am and Rupes went out and brought them inside - but we think that we should have left them as he thought that Toby might just have been dreaming!

Had a lovely night on Saturday for my Dad's 70th birthday - limo ride via my stepsisters house to a really nice restaurant (mmm my dinner was divine) then back in the limo to Dad's place for the surprise desserts and champagne party with their friends. Good fun - happy birthday Dad, you don't look a day over 65! Always fun as I got to hang out with my stepsister's twin girls - 8 years old and an absolute delight. They took great pleasure working off their chocolate rush by beating up Rupert with a few balloons!

Rupes and I are off to Queenstown in September - am very excited as neither of us have been there before. September is our 10 year anniversary, as well as our 8 year wedding anniversary, so we've been looking at lots of websites to decide what to do down there. I'm leaning towards the Shotover Jet, a day in Arrowtown, and perhaps a sightseer day pass on Coronet Peak to play in the snow. Five days away - it's going to be fabulous! We got cheap flights ages ago, and are using our credit card points for accomodation, so I think a couple of treats are in order - maybe a really nice dinner? Lots of wine? Our first holiday in 2 years, which is a very scary thought.

Hope all are well out there in internetland! In the spirit of the Olympics (8 medals so far for New Zealand, go the Kiwis) I thought you might enjoy this video

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

On The Mend...

Ugh, I have been so sick. Thank goodness for the Olympics - at least it gave me something to watch while curled up on the couch feeling sorry for myself. Rupes has been a star, walking the dogs and making me boiled eggs with toast, and generally keeping the house running. I think I am on the mend now though - first day in a week with no headache.

I'm kind of bummed that the only fine day we have had in ages was Sunday - when I was too tired and sick to do anything outside. We have a few busy weekends coming up so hopefully I'll manage to fit in a day or so out in the garden which is in that terrible end of winter state. What a mess.

We've had the dogs sleeping in the garage - they have their own couch out there, and it's pretty nice. Except Katie will bark for anything from 10 minutes to half an hour when she is put out there. It's been a long week - I hate dogs barking, but we really had to tough it out. She is very stubborn - whereas Toby is pretty laid back. The only thing that really upsets Toby is if we take Katie away from him - he hates that! Anyway, last night was the first night where Rupert put them in the garage...and peace! No barking. In fact, one solitary bark at 5am which I think was Toby needing the bathroom. So...progress.

Rupes' cousin Anna is moving in with us in early September, so I was really wanting to get the house into some kind of routine before she comes. And the dogs are a bit demanding and noisy at times. Not to mention the cats. Oh well, she will understand that our house is sometimes just a little chaotic!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Singing The Blues

I have the flu. I think I might have had the start of it at the Taupo Half Marathon, which might explain my extreme weariness before, during and after the race. I'm headachy, tired, grumpy, snotty and nauseous. And work is really busy, so time off is not really an option.

Auckland has another child - four months old this time - in hospital with non accidental head injuries. Apparently the teenage parents (18 and 19) if I remember correctly, also have older child. And their house is known as a party house, with people coming and going at all hours of the day and night. I'm not going to pre judge them, because frankly I don't know who hurt this baby. But the fact is that our society allows children to be hurt in this way. And at the same time, we support folks who have children who possibly shouldn't be having children. State housing, benefits, unemployment. This country spends a hell of a lot of money on those things.

I'm not advocating that we cut off support for families who need it. What I do think though, is instead of our Child Protection Service being an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, that EVERY family with young children receiving a benefit must be visited at least monthly. It may not help - it's a worry with the number of children injured or killed where it comes out later that CYFS was already involved. But we have to do something.

And in a personal note - how can our Government then decide that women (like me) who cannot conceive without help do not get that help unless they meet incredibly strict criteria? I sound like a droning old woman, but I've worked since I was 16 years old. Apart from a 2 month stint on ACC after a car accident, I've never received a benefit. Yet, when I did need help to try IVF to possibly have a child - a child we wanted desperately, a child we had planned for and were ready for, that help was not there. All because I had conceived (and lost) a pregnancy (in Nov 04) and under the Government rules I would have to wait three years before qualifying for IVF. But by the time the three years were past, I would be over 40 so excluded on that basis.

Even if I had qualified, I would only be allowed two IVF attempts. And should the first be successful, there is no second attempt. Apparently infertile women in New Zealand are only allowed one child - at least with Government assistance anyway. And with the infertility market in New Zealand being so small - it's a damn expensive process to do privately.

I know I am being grouchy. But I have the flu and I am allowed to be an old bitter grump today. I promise to be back to Miss Perky (or at least Miss Marginally Happier) very shortly. Promise.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Taupo Half Marathon

It was a merry band of runners, walkers, and supporters down in Taupo over the weekend. We rented a great house (lovely fireplace, big screen tv, slept 10 plus Muzz who had the floor in front of the fireplace). A relaxing Saturday, a lovely dinner and watching the All Blacks thrash Aussie, then an early night.

Sunday. Well, the half marathon started at 9. It rained. It was really really windy. In fact, for folks as slow as me, the last ten kms on the way back to the finish were all against a very cold headwind. At about the 16km point I was so tired I wanted to give up. I had a wee cry and trudged on. Crossed the line in 3hrs 10mins with nothing at all left in me - I even had trouble walking with Rupert back to the car. I spent the afternoon comatose on the bed hehe. But, in fantastic news, Murray beat Rupert and they both beat Lee! So, bragging rights to Murray for the next six months.

We drove back today (Rupes, Murray and I) - stopped off at Huka falls which was beautiful and in full torrent. The power of the water is just amazing.

And, despite being a little sad about what today could have brought, I managed ok. I had a few teary moments, but on the whole I coped. I thought about our baby a little, but then I do that most days. One neat thing about our weekend away was friends brought their six month old - and he is so cute. I had lots of cuddles!

Off to our neighbours for a much needed spa, before an early night. If you hear me mentioning doing a half marathon again, please email and remind me how much I hurt right now!

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