Thursday, 28 June 2012

50! Oh no!

Not me of course, been there done that! I've just got home from celebrating a friends 50th birthday. Celebrating with a few glasses of the bubbly stuff. Jill's not sure she's ready to be 50, she hasn't said or applied the word to herself as yet. It seems a bridge too far for now. Even after a few more glasses than I had. The funny thing was that the guests were mostly over 50s, people enjoying the freedom of their age. Her husband and I are born in the same year, a good year I can assure you. It was a lovely evening of chat and stories.

Actually as Brian is Irish, I've asked him to introduce me to Liam Neeson. It's a task I ask of most Irish people I meet out and about. He just smiled and said he would. Of course everyone who is Irish knows Liam, sigh. But I digress, I'm sure Jill will eventually be fine about the 50 thing and be able to admit to her great age. We spent the evening convincing her that it really was okay. Comments from sons don't help, comments like "you've got old lady hands now". Comments from husbands don't either, "my mother was your age when you first met her". Not helpful.

Jill and Brian and I have quite a lot in common. They have lived and taught in Oman and traveled in many of the places I have so we have lots of shared topics of conversation. Add to the mix the lovely Roger and Sue, fellow New Zealanders and former residents of Abu Dhabi and time flies. So now it's time to sleep. The Peru trip is shaping up nicely, via Panama and Colombia. I can't wait, so ready for a break! I really need some new photos, we talked a lot about Jordan this evening so here a two from there.
The citadel in Amman, Jordan

The treasury, Petra

Saturday, 23 June 2012

This time of year...

In my world it feels like Christmas. Summer is coming, the spring is blustery and wet and school is out next week for the summer hols. There are tasty fresh cherries, strawberries and summer fruit in the supermarket. People are stressed and busy getting last minute, end of school year things done. All this spells Christmas to me.

Even though I've had a few northern hemisphere, end of school years and topsy turvy seasons, it still feels a little odd. I have to keep reminding myself that it's not christmas and that this year I hope to get two bites of the cherries. I'm planning to be home for Christmas, the real southern hemisphere Christmas. Home to enjoy Central Otago cherries and stone fruit, home to enjoy some family time.

As others are getting into holiday mode, my work is not quite done. There is a long weekend next weekend and I'm planning to make the most of it. This weekend is sailing, cruiser racing on Sunday so that should be ton of fun. I really must buy a waterproof camera so I can add pics here. For now, my book is waiting and a nice red. So pleased it's the weekend!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Queens birthday weekend

Happy birthday Queen Liz! I'm sitting on my deck overlooking the pool with a nice breeze carrying away the stickiness of the day. It's rainy season, hurricane season and we've had a few very short blows and a weekend of heavy rain. It's a bit like living on the west coast of New Zealand in September, heavy warm rain for long periods, only the rain is heavier and much warmer! It also sticks around with extensive surface flooding.

When I go to a new place, I tend to listen to those who have lived there a while so when Jo said to buy a 4 wheel drive, I did. When Kiva said get a place with storm shutters, I didn't the first time as I'd already signed the lease when she said this. I have this time. Despite all the teething troubles with my new place, I'm enjoying living here. It's close to town yet coming home feels like going on holiday. I have to walk past the pool, through the lush gardens to get to my place.

My little Pajero has been great. I can go splashing through the puddles, the road quite rutted after all the rain. Today I have some down time, yesterday we raced. An exciting afternoon on the water. I've got a few new bruises and know where some of my regular ones come from. We got caught by a squall, big black clouds rolled in with strong, fickle winds, thunder and lightening and stinging rain. It soon passed, the race abandoned.

Yahoo and Mayhem decided to have a practice sail. The winds were perfect when the squall passed. My long hours at work, the stress of the projects I'm managing at the moment, melted away. I'm on foredeck so had plenty to do as we raced up and jibbed back down the North Sound. Sailing keeps me sane, my stress release valve for my work life. I have momentarily lost my work life balance, it's mostly work for now. I do love my job, new challenges everyday, and there will be some travel time in the summer. I'm using the extra weekend day to catch up on those jobs that need concentration. Then I'll get some pool time, it's not a bad life really.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Sunday evening

Sunday evening has rolled around again, where do the weekends go! After moving last weekend, I'm feeling a little jaded. I think I'm finally unpacked. I may not be able to find everything I've unpacked but at least things are out of their bags and boxes. 

Work is taking up so much time at the moment, a pressure point where all sorts of projects are coming to fruition. There are so many things to consider, people to consider as well as logistics for most projects. The next few weeks will be hectic, lots of evening work and long days then it should settle. Tomorrow there's a press conference, big announcements and I'm in the front row so need to look tidy. It will be a long day so I will need yoga at the end of it.   

I'm planning some much needed time off. Panama should be my first stop. I did get some good time out on the water on Saturday afternoon. Pete and Marie have just bought a J30, a bigger and more comfortable version of my boat. Pete took Amanda and I out for a play in lively winds. It was fun. I think I need a J30, more versatile than mine with sleeping berths, ablutions, cooking and cooling facilities. 

The thought of sailing off into the Caribbean sunset and cruising around the islands is one that makes me sigh. Especially because of my work life balance. Pete, Marie and others are looking at cruising to Cuba, count me in as crew. It should be fun. 

Kieran and Sasi had the best news this weekend. Their house sold and they bought another, both things were meant to be. They are excited, I wish I could go and help them with the move. Eve may prove a handful! I'm heading home for Christmas and might just have to call in to see their place, no more sleeping on the couch for me. 

The weather here is heating up just as it is snowing in New Zealand. It seems early, Tim tells me it was the same last year. I really don't miss the cold, although I am using the aircon at my new place at the moment. It's set at almost 27C but it's a little cold for me. Must read the instruction so I can heat it up a bit. 

Thursday, 7 June 2012

You should see me now...

Hanging over the edge of my balcony getting a little glimmer of Internet, someone else's. But that's okay for now. It's just a few bars, enough to let me check everything I need to check. I'm trying not to swat the mozzies that are biting me so I don't drop my computer. Now that would be a disaster.

Apparently the man is coming to set up my connection tomorrow, he called me today and I was on the Brac. I fly there every now and again for work and today was one of those days. It's a nice place, I tend to get into Brac mode, slow down a bit and relax although today's jobs were far from relaxing.

I'm home now, gin in hand so best I cook some toast for dinner. Toast can be a good dinner depending on the topping. Tonight it's the tomato I've needed to eat for a while. It's on the edge of okay, I hope. I can't believe how this week has flown. It's been a short one and on Tuesday I was on TV again. Not a good look so I won't include here. Dinner, toast, calls.