Thursday, 24 February 2011


What a horrible week it has been for Christchurch in New Zealand.  The photos show much devastation and huge damage.

I have a dear friend there who had already been severely rattled by the literally thousands of aftershocks from the September quake.  Up till the time of this new quake, it was somewhere around 5,000 aftershocks ranging from slight to quite severe.  Her cat had taken to sleeping in the linen cupboard for protection.   She was terrified of a new big quake, but what do you do?  She has a home there and little money to move elsewhere.

When I heard the news of this quake I worried for her. It was about thirty hours till she was able to get in touch with another friend on the North Island saying she was unhurt but devastated.  Said friend then let others know.  However, we've heard nothing more- not surprising really, given that there is very little power and just plain living must be very difficult.

Support from other countries has been gratefully received and I know someone in the police contingent leaving today from Australia to join other specialised teams rom here already over there.

I've done little knitting at all.  Last weekend was so hot and sticky here that my undyed wool would have been filthy if I had attempted to knit.  I've been caught up with bits and pieces of stuff here, a migraine one day, the first I've had for years.

I took a bank cheque for the stamp duty out to the solicitor onTuesday and while I was out there, I had my signature on a new will witnessed.  So that's a good thing done.  Also signed power of attorney and enduring power of guardianship .  I've done what I can do to make things easier for my sons, although I sincerely hope the last two are never needed.

So the photo?  New Teva sandals.  I usually have a pair of slides around but had to throw out one pair which was very old at Christmas.  That left me with a lovely red pair with adjustable parts which were good for arthritis swelling.  However, the soles on that pair which were about five years old began to prish and cause blisters on my feet.

I decided to get some Birkenstocks or possibly some Diana Ferrari adjustable slides.  It's the wrong end of the season for much choice.  When I finally found some Birkenstocks in my size (37) I was disappointed.  The right was fantastic.  Just right, no pun intended.  The left was totally uncomfortable with a piece of bone from the fallen arch being badly squashed by the shape of the shoe.  I looked for Naturaliser or Planet shoes but there was nothing around.

After two days searching,  I found these.  Pretty colour, fully adjustable and oh so comfortable.  Not so pretty a price.  I would have preferred slides but perhaps next year now.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

the last of the mohicans

When I heard that Ailsa at Knitabulous was having all her 50/50 reduced, I decided that I just had to be in at the end of this wonderful yarn.  I had decided that with moving and all that entailed, that I would knit from stash for at least a while longer.  It wasn't the money it was just extra stuff to move. However, I love this blend and couldn't miss out on it as it's being discontinued from her supplier.

DIL brought home the bag from the PO box and here's my haul.

  • pine/lime splice, 125 gm, 500m
  • salsa verde, 118gm 472m
  • fuchsia kiss, 127 gm, 508m
  • iron red,123gm, 492 m.  Slightly more ferrous oxide colour than shown here.  Lovely.
  • miss magenta, two balls, total weight 331g actually 231 gm, total length 928m.  My brain is too tired to add properly.  Ooops.
But that's not all, as the salesman used to say.  An email came a week or so after the news of the demise of the 50/50.  Ailsa had secured another 50 skeins and would hand dye them to order in groups of colours. We could choose between two and up to five skeins.  Well, that was a no- brainer, no choice for me at all. I ordered another five skeins in jewel colours and they will come later in the year in a few weeks time.

Just look at my list above.  See how generous her 100gm skeins are?  Lots of extra to go into scarves or shawls.  And a final surprise of a housewarming present was tucked in too.  Is it any wonder that I buy from her?  Great service, amazing colours, beautiful yarns and a generous spirit.

I haven't done much knitting for a few days and picked up the shawl again this afternoon.  I kept making stupid mistakes.  I'm tired.  I ended the week with a mammoth effort of babysitting and was very late to bed on Friday night.  From Saturday till this morning I have been shepherding a Canadian visitor around town and up to the Blue Mountains and other touristy destinations.  He's in a wheelchair and hasn't walked for thirty years after a nasty car accident.  I'm tired and my arms ache too.  I've arranged meals with other friends, car trips etc.  I'm  looking forward to a good sleep tonight although the days have been good meeting up with others.

Exchange went through last Thursday and settlement is theoretically six weeks away.  However, tenants moved out today and there are a few things to be done.  I'm guessing it might be the end of next week or so.  I'll move gradually as I want things like a fridge delivered before I move in properly.

Thursday, 10 February 2011


I had word a few minutes ago that the exchange of contracts on the unit I want went ahead today.  That means settlement in no more than six weeks, possibly sooner.  After all, it's not a huge place.  Tenants are moving out sometime next week.  A wardrobe will be installed in second bedroom, the whole place painted, walls and ceilings.  Then a professional clean and the carpets are steam cleaned.  These tenants have been there 5-7 years and the place has been immaculate when I've been there.

I'd give you a link to the real estate page and you could see more photos than I've saved, but that would put my new address up there for all to see and I'm not doing that.

This is the loungeroom looking onto balcony.  A new vertical blind will go on the window.  I don't really like them but it's practical as this is also a door and doorway can have blind opened.  The closed door leads to the second bedroom and the kitchen is out of sight to the right.

Turn around and here's the kitchen.  I'll live with it for a few months but think I will end up doing something here.  I'll update the cupboards although that may mean just new doors as the cupboards are fine.  Down the left may get some open shelving.  The closed door there opens into a storeroom as deep as the kitchen is long and probably twice as wide as the door itself.

One of my ideals was to have a polished floor and this falls down here.  Again it's something I'll live with for a while before deciding what to do.

The units are built facing outward from around a central atrium.  Not a true atrium but that's an easy description.  The small kitchen windows open onto that.  There are a lot of plants there and it''s well kept and the plants are healthy.  There are stairs and a lift and I have a parking space on the title in a secured underground car park.

On the roof is a large L-shaped roof garden with tables and BBQs.  Apparently the agent "sort of" organised a Christmas party there.  80 people from the place arrived with lots of food, wine and sangria, and one woman had even organised a band playing Spanish music.  They repeated the performance on New Years Eve and the Harbour Bridge can be seen from this garden quite easily.

Transport is easily accessible and I can walk to another shopping centre which caters to a large Italian population so there are wonderful meats and cheeses.

So instead of building castles in the air, I now have to start making some firm decisions.  Washing machines?  Fridges?  Accent colours?  Lounge suites?  The place will be painted white all through.  I like some splashes of colour but again, I'll observe for a while before doing anything drastic.

When I received confirmation that exchange had gone through I bought myself a tiny silver house for my Pandora bracelet as a celebration.