Sunday, September 30, 2007

WOW - the world of wearable art

The winner of the South Pacific Section, First Time Entrant and Supreme WOW award.
Rattle Your Dags, Paula Coulthard & Ursula Dixon, Auckland

I was treated to a kiwi cultural extravaganza this week - tickets to the World of Wearable Arts. Started about 20 years ago in Nelson, this fashion, art, dance and music event now happens in Wellington.

Set in Wellington's largest indoor venue it was a veritable audio visual feast. Check out the winners of the show - some amazing creativity I've not seen on this scale anywhere else in the world. Another kiwi icon I think!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Jog squad blog: no gain without pain

There is no point being brave about this. I've been in agony this week!

I'm just not as young, flexible or fit as I used to be and pounding the pavements takes its toil like swimming and my cross trainer never did. But, I'm persevering.

Two sessions this week along the waterfront in Wellington. Luckily the first on Monday was in the dark and it hid a multitude of sins. Today, it was broad daylight with a northerly wind on the home stretch which was much less attractive to passers by.

People keep telling me it will get easier and I know from experience that this will be the case. The question I keep asking myself - when will it feel better?!

My training buddy Amanda has legs about 6 inches longer than mine so her jog a run to me and a run to her is a sprint to me. Fortuantly she's having the same pain as me so we're hanging in there together.

Monday is back with the jog squad for what I am told will be our first hill run (well we are in training for the Incline event). Not looking forward to that at all.

Must write to Ron and ask him for some advice on keeping going.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Countdown @ zero

After blogging about this for a year the time has actually arrived and I am now officially a domestic executive again. Well, part time anyway!

I've trundled my desk drawers to a pod down the office to free up the desk for the incoming Acting GM. Written up the desk file and signed over authority on budgets. A few celebratory drinks tonight to mark the transition.

Now I have to get to business sorting out the house move and getting myself some coaching clients. This coming week is pretty busy with a training course for two days so no rest for the wicked.

All in all it feels mighty wierd but it does feel good.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Big Bird Shuffles!

In a moment of weakness in the office I agreed to join a jog squad for an eight week training programme leading to completing a a run along (or rather up as the name suggests) the Rimutaka Incline Rail Trail.

It was lunch time and the conversation was more about nice picnics so I thought a day out with a picnic so close to home (the trail is about 5 minutes drive away from our house in Kaitoke) that it might be a nice thing to do. It was only later I realised that I was actually committing myself to train 3 times a week with a pack of women with a personal trainer kicking out butts if we got too slow.

But hey, my hero is training for the 2012 Marathon so I thought I'd take inspiration and give it a go.

First challenge was buying the right equipment - running shoes. This was an embarressing episode in the Shoe Clinic where they had you jogging in the shop and capturing pictures on a computer system to tell them what sort of shoes I'd need. After a few blushes I bought my new shoes.

I stood out like a sore thumb tonight - shoes all shiny like they were screaming to the world "here's a big bird that's kidding herself that she's going to run!". But run I did - 20 minutes without stopping along the harbour in Wellington. I wouldn't say I was the back marker but I certainly wasn't in the breakaway pack. Sorry, Ron, will try harder to get to the elite bunch next time!

Still, I survived and so did my mate Amanda - we were two big birds (she's about 6 foot tall) lumbered along. Seems however I'm not quite the big bird I used to be so my running shorts look faintly ridiculous but it was dark and I'm hoping that my shining new shoes is what caught the eye most!

So wish me luck, I'm going to need it.
My shining new shoes

No rude comments please, underneath all these layers is an olympic athlete bursting to come out!

You too can be a Ronette - see

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Houseblogging: coming together

At last things feel like they are starting to come together. It's been a glorious week on site weather wise so the painters have been cracking on with the outside painting that was left to do - base boards, steps and the final fiddly bits.

Inside the joinery fittings are going in with the picture rails, feature archway, fireplace, wardrobe doors and at long last the front door is in - although the lock didn't work so that's been sent back to be replaced.

Next week the ceilings are being spray painted and the tiler will be laying the bathroom and floor tiles. Then it will be two weeks of intensive painting indoors before the plumbing and electrics get finalised and the kitchen goes in.

At last we've got a handover date - 1 November - so we're all systems go to get things organised for a move on Friday 2 November. That's of course as long as there are no delays on anything. If you can cross your fingers for us that might be helpful!

Look for the matching colour base boards!

At last a door to welcome people
View through the archway into the hall - it's call indoor-outdoor flow!

Fire surround in situ, waiting for the last bits of the fire and tiling!

Picture rails and finishing touches in the dining room

There is a very long story behind these wardrobes - suffice to say that guests will at least have somewhere to put their clothes when they stay!

The matching cupboard!

View of back of house - more painting touches to note!

View looking up to side of bedroom

View from bottom of paddock - it won't be looking like this for much longer!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Becks is coming to town

There's nothing the kiwis love more is an event. It doesn't matter too much what the event is and whether they are truly interested in it but if it's an event, then a ticket must be bought and a social extravaganza organised around it (usually involving getting dressed up in strange clothes and having your faced painted).

Can you imagine what's going to happen to the box office now that Becks and possible Posh are coming to town. Galaxy FC are to play Pheonix (our new footie team) here in Wellington and I'm pretty sure that there aren't going to be many tickets bought by football fans.

I for one will be queuing up to see Golden Boots in action. Hope his new football strip is more attractive than the Man U one used to be!

This will be a true Wellington occasion - just to prove it, the Council chipped in to pay the appearance fees to get the players to come over to Wellington. Big events such as these swamp the economy with lots of dosh as people stay, eat, party and shop in town.

Wellington does big occasions well and it brings a real sense of excitement to have big names in town - whether its sport, art, culture or music you can be sure that the Wellingtonians will go out and have a ball. And who can blame them - any excuse to get away from NZ TV!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Lame duck GM

It feels really wierd at work. I think I am now officially a lame duck General Manager.

With only 8 more working days in this role my email traffic has almost ground to a halt, the phone only rings to recruitment consultants or advertising sales people and my staff look at me with that knowing look that they don't need to listen to me any more. But hey, life could be worse.

I'm certainly ready to move on to other things. I'm looking forward to clearing my desk and swopping it with one of my team that's taking on the Acting GM role until they make a firm appointment. I'll only be in the office two days a week aiming to complete a couple of projects for the CE. That's of course if the senior management get around to making a decision!

Away from work it's all go on the home furnishing front. I've almost cracked the curtain selection - just need a rethink on one of the colour chosen for our bedroom painting. Although MT likes it, it's just not a fashionable colour and it's proving impossible to find the furnishings to match. Funny how I keep being directed to a certain football club for their ready made curtain line which seems to match the colour he's chosen!

Let there be light - we've about finished choosing light fittings which in itself is a marathon affair. I've also order my new home office furniture which is going to be very pretty rather than heading off to officemax for the standard laminate affair. Well, this domestic executive has got to have something to enjoy as I run my micro empire from the country.

Well, I think I will anyway. Turns out that the great information superhighway doesn't quite stretch to Kaitoke. It's more like a country lane. I joke not! How can it be that in that part of the world there is a gap in provision which seems to sit slap bang where we have bought our land. MT has been making enquiries and seems that there are a list of technical issues as long as your arm whilst getting broadband at home will be an engineering challenge. But, fingers crossed that with a southerly breeze and none of the other 38 users that will be linked to our BB exchange we might be able to read the Archers synopsis on-line. Whether we'll still be able to listen again will on-line is a whole different matter.

Readers, you need to wish me luck on this because if we can't get the Archers, we won't get any of the other household popular listening, the Guardian, Telegraph, Spectator and Economist on-line. Not to mention the CCFC on-line TV, BBC sport and other manly pursuits. Me thinks the technology might be fixed quicker than you think and it won't be because Domestic Executive enterprises needs it to earn a living!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Houseblogging: it's all in the finer detail

It's the finer points of detail that will be the delight in our house. I was starting to see them for the first time today - the finishing touches that will make it all really special. The scrolls under the windows, the feature coving, the architraves and oversize doors for the wardrobes.

The tiles being delivered in readiness for the tilers was also very reassuring. Most of all, the curtain lady, smart, savy and also called Julie (!) brought loads of samples for us to look to the soft furnishings finishing touches.

But it was back from site with an ever growing list of follow ups. The actual address for the house (long story there with Upper Hutt Council), landscaping before the sewage treatment filter field, whether there will be broadband (not looking promising!), quotes for my desk. Oh the list goes on..but with house building and house moving, the devil is in the detail.

At least the view is stunning, even when it's raining and the clouds are rolling in over the hills.

Note the new window scrolls

Specially designed coving for the living and dining room

Your standard gib-cove for the laundry and pantry area (no it's not a silver monster in the roof, it's the heating ducting)

View through the living room window, complete with new scotia (that's kiwi for coving)
And finally, the mist rolling over the hills (view through the bedroom window)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Spam, spam, spam spam

I wonder whether Monty Python wrote their Spam Song how much of an intrusion into people's lives Spam would become.

Just recently, our wonderful ISP decided to change it's email system and lo and behold my usual menu of email is accompanied by a liberal dose of Spam. And you know what, I hate spam!

Nasty instrusive stuff that overpowers all the nice friendly emails.

Not only does it infect your computer, the new Spam filters syphon off most of your good email into a spam net that means that long awaited reply from a treasured friend sits in the nasty world of spam helpless whilst I sit seething and not receiving a response.

Sorry to anyone who has sent me email and suffered this fate.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Let the games begin!

Thank goodness the ABs did their stuff and kicked off their World Cup challenge with a positive start. Not sure I could have stood a bad start and the immediate malais that would have brought to the country.

Instead, headlines this morning read "All Blacks rampant as Italy hammered"
New Zealand 76-14 Italy.

Go all blacks..........

Friday, September 07, 2007

Houseblogging: small steps.....

I wish I were able to report excitedly about progress on the house. Once again it's been a slow week - well as far as I'm concerned. Seems that the Gib-stoppers (plasterers) have only been there two days and apart from making a heck of a mess don't seem to be much closer to being finished for the painters to get in. Grrr.....

But hey, there has been stuff happening. The heating people have installed more ducting and we now have some serious worm like things protruding through the ceiling. The window seat and bookshelves have been installed ready for the finishing touches (skirtings and painting) and we've had the fireplace delivered, tiles for the cloakroom and kitchen and I've picked up my gold plated wallpaper.

We are informed that the Gibstoppers will be finished next week - and the front door put in, fireplace installed, finishing joinery such as architraves, skirtings and bedroom wardrobe doors. Then, and only then will the scotias (that's coving to you brits) will be put up and the painting started. Then the tilers can also get going too.

We're off light fitting shopping this weekend - well we'll look through the catalogues - so every small steps counts to the finish in site.

Window seat ready for a couple of bassets to bask in the sun (that's if they can kick off MT and I)

Gib-stopping in progress (but note, not a plasterer in sight!)

Hope they remember to fit the shelves!

A glimpse of the fireplace primed ready for painting

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

It's not OK

Back working from home today catching up on the launch of the big campaign which I missed yesterday. I've been advising on this since the campaign started planning earlier in the year.

New Zealand has an appalling and shameful record for family violence, especial child abuse. I've blogged about this before. This campaign is the first in three years and the first phases of TVCs (ads) are about establishing what family violence is - and that it's OK to ask for help.

The ads don't start running till the weekend here but here's the preview. I would say enjoy but don't think this is viewing anyone is really proud of.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Spring cold

It's an official excuse for not blogging for a few days - I've been struck down with a lurgy. I think it's just a bad cold but as you get older you get less resilient to even the common cold. Having been as grumpy as a girl can be I became officially ill on Monday and have been off work ever since.

Weekend was productive, if not that much fun.

We went furniture shopping to Masterton (on other side of hill about 1.5 hours drive) and found exactly what we wanted without much fuss. Beats trogging up and down Thorndon Quay, the lifestyle quarter of Wellington. Looks like we can afford two set of sofas for the price of one we looked at in Wellington. The best thing is that they do curtains and stuff too so we're getting a price for them to get them made up and fitted too. Since we don't have close neighbours these are less of a priority but nevertheless I am sure that even the sheep want some privacy from us parading around the bathroom!

Sunday was birthday treat for Naomi. We're so over buying useless presents for each other I treated us both to seeing the NZ ballet instead. It was a smashing performance of Cinderella - a real crowd pleaser! I was finding it hard to breathe by this point and even turned down ice cream in the interval (that's how rotten I felt). The last time I saw ballet it was £5 tickets during Paul Hamlyn Week at the Royal Opera House - Giselle I think. We had stall tickets about 4 rows back so it was real close up. At the St James Theatre New Zealand we were up in the god seats that gave you vertigo to look down (or maybe that was the cold kicking in). Still, good night was had by all.

Am sure I'll be back on the mend and may break myself gently tomorrow by working from home. Let's see if I can improve blogging performance again!