Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Trips away

We have just come back from a whirlwind trip to Christchurch. Well, it was for a week, but we fitted so much in and saw so many people, that it felt like a whirlwind. Great fun - that is the way to break up the school holidays! I'm already planning my next school holiday trip, which I think may be a hybrid of back to Christchurch and down to Queenstown for a bit of snow.

I love being able to get on a plane and go somewhere. Maybe because I didn't board my first plane until I was in my early 20's I have never lost the feeling that flying is a bit of a novelty, a bit of a decadent treat, no matter how many flights I take. It doesn't matter that the flight is all of an hour, or that it is back to my hometown. I love all of it - the airport, the takeoff (my favourite bit) and trundling my trolley around purposefully with that smug feeling of "I'm going somewhere!".

We did have a minor hiccup on the way back to Auckland this time. The flight my daughter and I were on was fully booked and for some bizarre reason we hadn't been assigned priority when it came to sitting together. I know people can choose their own seats but I have always assumed that a child and their parent would automatically be prioritised to sit together. But apparently not, as our seats came out four rows apart, and I was unable to change it on the automated check in as the flight was so full.

Upon realising this, my daughter immediately started crying, and I swung into purposeful mummy mode and trotted up to the Air New Zealand counter and very nicely asked the lady there if she could shuffle some other people around so we could sit together. She took one look at my daughter's distressed little face, and said, "Of course! We have to have you sitting next to mum!" Then she pressed some buttons and was also unable to reassign our seats, so she took our boarding passes up to the boarding gate, where they were able to move some other people around so we got to sit together. So thank you Air New Zealand, and especially to the lovely lady who helped us out. Four rows doesn't sound like much to an adult, but it would be a LOT to a six year old surrounded by strangers and completely unable to see mum over the high seats.

Speaking of trips away, I caught up with cesca on my trip down south, and after a couple of coffees we concocted the idea to take a road trip up to the Bay of Islands one school holidays with our kids and Tiki and her kids and rent a bach somewhere and drink lots of wine. (Minor detail: Tiki doesn't actually know anything about this idea yet, she was volunteered to take part without her knowledge).

I have a few other plans for trips soon as well. Moving to the North Island has brought out the adventurer in me again. I love the South Island and think it is spectacular, but I know it so well that going somewhere there for a weekend or week away wasn't really much of an adventure when I lived there. In contrast, the North Island is a bit like an almost unread book to me - I know the first chapters – Auckland and Wellington – and that is about it, so I'm looking forward to finding out more. It's so cool that if I drive out of the city for half an hour I'll be somewhere completely unfamiliar to me.

Barring a lotto win, big overseas trips are likely to be off the agenda for a few more years anyway but it doesn't matter – it's a lot of fun to explore our own country and a lot less expensive. Although I have been telling my daughter since she was two that when she gets old enough I'll take her to Antarctica. I definitely want to do that trip while it is still there to go to.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Bits and pieces

Hmmm. It's been three weeks since I wrote in this blog. Somehow I don't think this is going to turn into one of those blogs that is updated regularly and read avidly by the masses. Particularly since I have spectacularly neglected to point anyone I know in the direction of said blog, so I think I have about three readers (which is still nice).

Busy busy busy lately. All in a good way though. Last weekend my daughter and I did the shore to shore fun run/walk which was fun. Well I enjoyed it. Daughter started complaining about wanting to have a rest about three hundred metres into it and I got her through it by putting on my pushy parent hat and bossily chivvying her along, alternating that tactic with doing the supportive encouragement thing. A bit of good cop/bad cop, but it got us to the end of the five kilometre course.

At least I think we did that last weekend. Maybe it was the weekend before. So much has been happening I've sort of lost track of the weekends a bit. We've had school fairs, get-togethers, an outing to the zoo which was great fun, and various other activities including a sleepover for my daughter at a new friend's house.

I bought a sewing machine last week and am now addicted to finding cool material to make things from. Once I learn to drive the sewing machine that is. I haven't actually got that far yet, but I'm sure it will be easy. Hopefully.

We got a trampoline last week and I surprised myself by managing to assemble it without any help. The instructions said that two adults in good health were required which sounded ominous, so I was going to wait until someone could pop round and give me a hand, but me being me just had to open the box and start pulling bits out and laying them on the ground and seeing if I could do the first few steps. Predictably, before I knew it I was in too deep and had to finish putting the bloody thing up. The best thing is my daughter thinks I'm a bit of a superwoman and thinks girls can do anything. The worst thing is I was a bit sore for a few days afterwards, but no biggie.

I've had a bit of a jump on it as well. I don't know how kids can jump around for hours like they do. The first time I did it I felt like my insides were going to fall out until I figured out the secret was to - ahem - clench while jumping.

I went out on another date with the chap I mentioned in my last blog, decided that I wasn't interested enough to take it further and nicely told him I didn't think we had chemistry. So that was the end of that. I think that was about three weeks ago, give or take. No more men on the horizon at present. No interesting ones anyway.

Also, we are going back to Christchurch for a visit in a few days for a week in the school holidays so that will be fun. Really looking forward to it, and catching up with friends and family. I'll need to work a bit while I'm there, but I still think it is pretty awesome that I can just take my laptop and work anywhere I want in the country as long as I have an internet connection. I always had that vision of a mobile business when I first set up on my own five years ago, but now it has become a reality, and my hours are so flexible, I still haven't got over how cool that is. Cool for me anyway, as I have a low boredom threshold and need to get out of town every once in a while, while still being able to keep my income flowing.

And that's about it. A pretty boring blog post, which is ironic, considering right now I feel my life is anything BUT boring. I think I am happier than I have been for a very, very long time, maybe ever. Yay! I've had enough dark days and tough times to be able to fully appreciate when life is going well and just flowing along nicely. Long may it last.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The happy spinster

Ok, time for a quick update on what has been happening in the life of Chia.

Men....well after going online I was struck by a bout of can't-be-arsed-itis as I surveyed the lacklustre options out there. I think I might just embrace spinsterhood with enthusiasm, although not sure if I can technically be called a spinster when I've already had a sprog. But I have a cat and lots of cat hair about the place so in my opinion that's a cracking start in the spinster stakes.

How can't be arsed am I? Well someone saw my photos and said, "You really need to put better photos up, those ones don't do you justice." Instead of feeling insulted I cheerfully said, "Yes I know, and if I could be bothered I would. But this is great! I don't get as many messages so I don't have to be bothered responding much."

Yes, it hardly sounds like a woman gagging for a date, for the very good reason that I'm just not gagging for a date.

The thing is, I really like being single. OK I know there are great things about being in a couple. It would be nice to have someone to snuggle up to at night, and it would be nice to have another paycheck coming in, and it would be nice to have someone to deal to the spiders. Although just about every guy I've dated is wimpier than me in that department - serves me right for not being attracted to blokey blokes I suppose.

But then there are things I love about being single. I don't have to deal with anyone else trying to mold me into their image of what they think I should be. I don't have to watch their crappy shows on TV. I get the remote to myself and get to watch MY crappy shows instead. I don't have to bother about someone getting in a strop because the house is not tidy enough for them. I get my space. I don't have to worry about what stupid thing they are going to spend our money on. On the other hand I also don't have to deal with someone having an apoplectic fit because I spent $50 on something I like. I don't have to deal with moods or infidelity or power struggles.

And by the way, not all of those things have happened to me in previous relationships, just in case anyone thinks I am the most relationship-challenged woman alive. Some of them have, and the rest have happened (often on a regular basis) to other people I know in their relationships.

Although I do have a date this Saturday with a guy I met last weekend. So I'll let you know how that goes.

I'm kinda lukewarm as the last one I met seemed semi-ok until I discovered he had only just moved out of his parents place, to a house down the road from mummy and daddy. He is 45. Not a turn on.

This one seems a bit more of a grown up but only time will tell whether he is a miasma of weirdness wrapped in a paper thin veneer of normality. I'm a sceptic but we'll see.

But while my dating life may not be firing at the moment, things in general are whirring along nicely. Between my daughter and myself and the school, our calendar is a mad social whirl right now. Barely a weekend until the holidays remains unspoken for. My daughter is being all helpful and gorgeous right now (long may that last). I have a nice tan. I even followed Cesca's example and bought a cleavage dress to show said tan off. And then we are off to Christchurch for a week in the school holidays which we are both looking forward to.

Awesome! I'll make sure I pack all my spinster cardies for the colder weather, cat hair and all. They haven't had much of an airing up here lately.

Oh – and the spider didn't come back and terrorise me again, so that is a bonus. I've no idea where it went (possibly to menace the neighbours) but it isn't on my driveway any more so I don't care. Maybe it's off being a happy spinster as well.

Friday, February 19, 2010

I can't leave my house!!

There is the biggest, gnarliest, ugliest spider in my driveway right now!

It is holding me hostage.

I HATE spiders. Apart from those cute little jumpy ones and daddy-long-legs.

I don't know if it is dead or alive and there is no way I'm poking it with a stick to find out in case it runs up the stick at me. I may go out there and throw rocks at it shortly. From a safe distance.

And no it isn't a huntsman. I don't think anyway. It is about a quarter to a third of the size of a huntsman. Which is plenty big enough!!! Maybe it's a baby huntsman?


I think if a fully grown huntsman came up my drive I would have a heart attack.

I am not scared of snakes, mice, rats, bugs, wetas, beetles, moths or ANYTHING else creepy crawly. In fact I think all of the above are pretty cool and some make good pets. But spiders do my head in. Big ones anyway.

I am not going to be able to sleep well tonight. It is going to be out there, menacing me. There is NO WAY any of my windows will be open tonight, I don't care how hot it gets.

I'm too wimpy to even kill it. Although I'm considering backing the car up and down the driveway for a bit. But right now I'm really not keen to go into the garage which is probably crawling with all its extended family and hangers on.

If it sets one vile hairy leg in my house I'll have a spider man out tomorrow. It will be a pity for the 50 or so pet daddy-long-legs I have round the house, but if they are smart they would kill and eat it for me and earn their keep. And dispose of all evidence. I hate big dead spiders almost as much as I hate big alive ones.

I don't even want to go and look at it again. Because what if it is NO LONGER THERE???

And yes I'm aware that I'm about 32,000 times bigger than it is. I'm aware that it most likely is not poisonous. I'm aware it is probably just as scared of me as I am of it. (Well actually I doubt that last point, quite frankly). But even if it is true, any spider hater knows that is SO not the point.


Ah, the thorny subject of men.

I've been single for about a year and thought maybe I'd stick my toe back into the dating pool to see what's out there.

Despite what the movies might have you believe, oddly enough there aren't a plethora of attractive single dads at the school just gagging for it, although there are plenty of yummy mummies, it being a bit of a 'posh' area. They probably wouldn't appreciate me trying to nab their meal ticket, I mean husband, and his SUV. I don't have the requisite blond highlights, designer sunnies and spray on tan so I probably wouldn't stand much of a chance anyway.

Anyway it's been a bit of a dating wasteland, so I thought I'd give online dating another try. The response has underwhelmed me to say the least.

Bear in mind I'm 38, and I've been on there a week. So far some of my winners include:

A 59 year old who describes himself as 'cuddly' and has bigger pics of his dogs than of himself.

A 62 year old who is looking for women aged 18 to 50.

A guy who describes himself as a pirate (whatever THAT means)

Oh - and a guy who describes himself as 'not vanilla' and has an extremely explicit description of what he considered 'intimacy' that included a lot of tongue action. He is also partial to a bit of 'E' and prefers that to alcohol.

And several who couldn't spring for the membership fee so they have a note on their profile asking women to message them first as only paying members can make the first move. Yep. A 40 year old man who can't or won't pay a $30 membership fee is soooooo attractive.

So many quality men, how is a girl to choose from all these hot prospects?

I actually haven't been contacted by many in my age range at all. I suspect they are chasing up the 25 year olds. Who are probably blogging and sniggering about this ancient old dude of 40 who has been emailing them.

I have no idea where all the normal men in their late thirties to late forties are! Probably at home with their wives and families.

It's gone from a wasteland to a swamp. Considering the quality of men out there, I find it really funny that MEN are the ones who supposedly don't want to commit.

I just have to laugh at the absurdity of it all.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

So bloody over it

How is it that I can drive from one end of the country to the other and never get a scratch on the car, but every time I go into a bloody carpark I scrape the bumper or plow into a concrete pillar?

I just took part of my front bumper off in a supermarket carpart. Again. Which means I can't drive the car this weekend - at least not any distance.

So friggen over my useless spacial skills.

So grumpy right now.

The diet's off tonight. I'm diving into takeaways and a bottle of vino. I might be some time.

"Pick me! Pick me!"

As a new arrival to town, I am now finding I need to find a place to fit in. To be more precise I need friends as currently I am Nigella-no-mates-in-this-town.

Not that it bothers me, yet. I think in time it would though so I've been getting rather proactive in getting out there and meeting people. My main hunting ground at present is the before-and-after-school mum scene.

I hate going in and being faced with a huge crowd of mums who all appear to know one another, and trying to initiate contact. You don't want to be so standoffish that everyone thinks you're a bore or a snob, and you don't want to be so over-eager that people start to edge away from you. It's a fine line to appear friendly without looking a bit desperate. It's also kind of competitive, trying to get in there socially. Coming in as an outsider is intimidating.

Luckily the school has a policy of mixing up the classes each year so kids learn to socialise in different groups. Plus there are quite a few people in my daughter's class who are new arrivals to the area like me. So there were a few of us standing around like lemmings hoping someone would talk to us, and we ended up gravitating to each other. I can see some potential friendships forming here, and I don't feel like so much of an outsider now.

There seems to be quite an active school social scene here - already the entire class have been invited to a BBQ on the beach soon at which I'm hoping alcohol will feature. And the best thing is I won't have to drive home since I only live five minutes away. I can meander drunkenly back up the hill without guilt.

But I've gotta say, it really makes me appreciate the friends I do have at home, and family too. People who I may rarely see, but who I just know are friends, I don't have to wonder about what our 'status' is, and I know I can be myself and not have to watch what I say. I wuv you, people I have known for a long time!

The only other thing I have to say right now is gawd it's hot and humid. Every day and every night. Now I am going to go to bed and attempt to sleep without spontaneously combusting.