Sunday, 30 September 2012

Feeling a little clever

I've just set up a blog for my team at work, one where we can communicate and share information with families. I've done this a couple of times before for friends to begin them blogging, this time it's a forum for us to manage so I set up much more than I normally would. While it's not live yet and it's a simple set up, I'm really excited to get this up and running. I'll include the link here as soon as I have it cleared to go live.

I also have a free day today, nothing planned. That's a bit of a luxury for me. Sunday promises to be busy with sailing and/or cricket depending on timing. My book and the couch are calling, or maybe the lounger down by the pool. The sun's out after a couple of wet days this week so I may as well go and enjoy it. Happy Saturday!
Stair to my roof terrace, Panama

Monday, 24 September 2012

Another thing off the bucket list.....

When I left the UAE I wanted to get a T shirt that said:

UAE: I survived the drive!

I think these would sell like hot cakes to the expats who negotiate the highways and byways, taking their lives in their hands, on a daily basis. Today I had another T shirt moment:

I scored in the West Indies: Ana played cricket mun!

Ana, that is I, played cricket today. Apart from backyard cricket with my boys, I haven't played since high school. It's been a while. It was hot, we got to bat first thankfully. The line up didn't get down to me, it was 20/20. I managed to do some useful fielding. I thought about how much my kids would laugh seeing me out there in a uniform about 3 sizes too big for me, saving boundaries. I didn't usually get to bat in those backyard days either. We came second, almost got there but not quite. It was fun, and they've asked this fill in pretender back. Best I brush up on my bowling and batting this week! 

It's been a busy weekend, so much for a quiet one with no sailing. Mayhem is shinier, well one side is. I had some fantastic Skype time with the kids and friends, it's what I do on Saturday evenings. There was some amazing thunder and lightening lighting up the sky. Thunder so loud it was impossible to sleep through. The rain that follows is torrential, the sun immediately after intensely burning. I like this unpredictable place, enjoy the extremes. 

Another Antwerp Zoo photo, I could have watched the hippos for hours. 

Here's looking at you kid

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Slow Saturday

Some days are just a delicious luxury. A sleep in, finishing an excellent book over breakfast on the balcony over looking the pool.......sigh.

Much later I write after a hectic day of getting stuff done. Not exactly what I had planned this morning on a day when I knew I had nothing pressing to do. Cayman shuts on a Sunday, no supermarket, no shops, no services, so Saturdays are the day to get things done. So I go the boat polish, did the groceries, had a beauty treatment, walked the dogs with Didge, had lunch with Jo, got my vitamins and chatted to friends.

This evening is peaceful. Noah was in bed so talked to Tim on Skype. I'm just waiting for the others to come online for a chat. Writing while I'm waiting. Last week was one I don't fancy repeating. Long hours at work, poor eating and feeling totally exhausted after the sailing on the weekend. Slightly battered and bruised. The chiropractor put the bits that were not quite right back in place, the bruises meant long sleeves and trousers for the week.

Mayhem caused some mayhem on the water on Sunday, two collisions and lots of shouting. The racing was fierce and unfortunately a couple of errors cost us places. All was well at the after match function, tales were told and the order established over a few rums. We have a couple of weeks off, time to polish the boat and get some much needed practice in. I may even get a social sail.

I've been culling out my photos to make room for more and came across a series from Antwerp Zoo. This is one of my favorites, I must return one day soon so I can see my lovely Belgian family.


Sunday, 16 September 2012

Stuff

Stuff is a website with New Zealand stuff. There are links to all the major newspapers so I can read The Press online, the latest national and international news, horoscopes and quizzes and a travel section. A week or so ago I was browsing the travel section and spotted a request for photos from favourite places. How could I resist.

Today I got a link from them and here was my latest favourite place  for everyone to see. You may have to scroll down, it's the one about Peru. I would love to do more travel writing. My time writing for Oasis Living was fantastic. I had time then to write and travel was easier. Dubai is a great place to get anywhere from. Now I'm a little more challenged at work so don't seem to have the brain space. I know it soon come, as we say here in the Caymans!

Yesterday was a day out of the bag, light winds became slightly more than light and we had a fantastic day out on the water. Racing was fierce and there were some close calls, how the boats don't touch is a miracle. There is a lot of skill involved as well of course. We are a new team with the newest member having her first races with us today. Luckily she's a little more experienced than me. Our results showed the importance of set up and practice. We had had some things changed over the summer and things like the new pole lift worked a treat.

So fourth, third, third and a third overall with 1 point off second was an excellent result. There was plenty of the fleet out, eight or nine boats so the results were even more sweet for us. The postmortems over rum, BBQ in hand took us well into the evening. Another day of racing to come today, more dodging each other to get the best wind and fastest lines. And there's a whole season of racing to come. Can't wait!

Mayhem in the sunset

Final polishing, red keels do go faster!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The winning team

Well some of us! We won on Sunday, the Blue Runner team. Celebration was required of course. Here we are relaxing on a social evening sail, not heeled over with the spinnaker close to the water. From the left, Sue, me, Jo and Bruce. Thanks for the picture Ann!


Monday, 10 September 2012

Watery weekend

A weekend well spent out and about on the water. I must be getting fit with all this exercise. There is of course lots of sitting down as well, today it got exciting as we heeled over spinnaker almost touching the water. We had to to win this to get the series lead, and win we did. There was celebrating, food and drink had by all. Teri cooked me my own special vege lasagna, I tend to miss out when there's a BBQ, and I got to take the left overs for lunch tomorrow.

The J22 season starts next weekend so I'm going to be busy for a while. I hope to sail to Jamaica to race at the beginning of December, an adventure that happens most years. For now it's bed time, a big day tomorrow at work.



Wandering people, Machu Picchu 





Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Christmas

Oh dear, I suspect I've left it a bit late to book my Christmas holiday. It's only just September, who would have thought that. I've booked to Brisbane, it was expensive but that's life. Try getting from Brisbane to Christchurch return, the flights are limited and the cost extortionate. I've never paid $1200NZD to get across the Tasman before and the flights have a stop somewhere so they take nine plus hours instead of three and a half.

Tonight I thought I'd talk to someone in Air NZ and see if they could help me. I've just had nearly 20 minutes on the phone to a very helpful lady in their Brisbane office. She listened and helped me sort out my flights, she had me laughing at the processes and gave sound advice. It's fantastic to have someone who cares enough to take the time and give some real options.

I have now booked my return flight so I can make the LA connection, I just have to get to Christchurch. I'm getting really excited about going home and seeing my lovely family, especially the two small ones. It's all on, two weeks of holiday with four days of travel, eight flights and endless time in airports. It will most definitely be worth it for flat grandma. And from my last trip,

The Andes from San Pedro Church, Chinchero



Monday, 3 September 2012

Mayhem

Mayhem was in action yesterday and today, our boat is back with it's shiny red keel and underside. The water beads off the bottom as we skip across the water at top speed. Yesterday was a short practice with a new crew member and the wind was lively. Lots of fun and the kite went up and came down without mishap. A nice couple of hours on the water.

Today the winds were lighter, it was fine when we went out at 10.30, not so when we got back many hours later. My dragon boating skills came onto play as I paddled us towards the wind we we could see it on the water, think Ancient Mariner! We got the kite flying as soon as we could, just to make us go forward.

We sailed over to Kaibo and, although we had no money between us, thought that we would know at least one person willing to share their riches with us so we could buy a bowl of chips. Alas no, we shared the crackers and cheese I'd brought. then we spotted Dean, another member of our crew, arriving with his family. We chatted for a while as we watched the storm we were dodging run the length of the island, complete with thunder and impressive lightening.

We finally made it back to the club only to find some lovely friends there with a rum and BBQ ready for us. Jo had called ahead to let them know we may need a tow so they decided to wait for us, a nice social end to the afternoon.

My week last week was extremely long and stressful with days of dawn to dark work and eating poorly. I was totally exhausted by Friday. My house guest moved out on Saturday morning, just before I went sailing. Getting out on the water revived me, my relaxation and relief from work. Sailing takes my mind off everything else. Hard to believe I'm picking up one of the new teachers at 7.20 then heading in for another long day, oh well there's always next weekend's cruiser race to look forward to.

Baby Cakes in action