I don't even like curtains.

It took twelve weeks for the new curtains to arrive. And then, another (gruelling) three hours for our landlords to hang them up.

I was away during our landlords' latest foray into DIY. Poor Adam was on landlord duty, and I am in his debt.

But I was with the child, at a children's birthday party. So I think we are even.

And magic, magic. Our new curtains are up. On three windows.

The curtains are from the very trendy (in NZ and Australia) Spotlight store. And just so you know, there really is no such thing as too neutral.

I love them. Believe me, it could be worse.


My computer was born again. Hurray!

After nearly killing my computer, I’m still feeling quite tender about it. I want to give it big cuddles and lots of kisses. I’m so glad you’re okay, baby! I love you!

I really don’t know what I did. It might have had something to do with the router. Which stopped seeing my IP address. When my ISP (hi TelstraClear) was having, um, some issues.

Side note, if you are on Twitter. You can get a quick response from a large company, if you just tweet a rant at them.

Oops. Sorry, Comms Chris (the guy behind @telstraclearnz). But you probably get this a lot. If only Twitter had never been invented.

Besides, the problem was probably a Microsoft update. I thought I had been shutting down my computer. With the (stupid) Vista Shutdown button. It looks like a shutdown button.

But it's not. Hopefully, if you use Vista, you are smarter than me, and you have changed the setting. Otherwise, if you click on this, you are just putting your computer to sleep.

And, while I am on the subject of stupid, um, Microsoft? Why does System Restore never work for me?

Maybe I should just tweet this. Never mind.

For the moment, I am tethered to my desk. I am weary after updates and installations. But I am grateful and relieved that my computer is up and running. And I still have my personal files. It’s even kind of nice my computer has been wiped clean.

I don’t feel brave enough to sort out the router just yet, but I do miss being wireless. I hope, in time, I will find the courage to try again. Fingers crossed.


Is it all right if I call you a Kiwi?

I used to think a kiwi was a fruit.

In NZ, it is called a kiwifruit (this is a golden kiwifruit).

I learnt that a kiwi is a . . . small, flightless bird.

It is usually nocturnal.


Enough of the soapbox already.

It’s time for another edition of Funny Things Kiwis Say.

Chur. I think this means cheers, as in thank you. It's grunted by men only. It’s a way of acknowledging that you heard what someone said and that you agree.

Bro. You might hear someone say Chur, bro or that was choice, eh, bro. Again, it’s a guy thing.

Youse. You plural, as in thank youse very much. If you get annoyed when you hear this, you are probably a tall poppy.

Sweet as. An iconic phrase. It’s sort of the Kiwi version of No worries. It means awesome.

Far out. Doesn’t mean hip or cool. You say this if someone is being an idiot.

Wicked. The East Coast slang from back in the 80s. It’s still around. Awesome.


On being (sort of) green.

The village is full of hardcore greens. I’m more of a moderate. Or lazy. I will do what is green if it is not too inconvenient.

At Wellington Road, we recycle. We compost. We use energy-saving light bulbs. I try to think about packaging before I buy. I use cloth bags. I almost always buy local and what is in season. When I can, I buy organic, free-range. We try to grow some of our own vegetables.

And for the last two school terms, we have scaled back to just one car. My husband drives the car to work, and the child and I walk or carpool or take the train.

At first, I missed doing errands whenever I felt like it. I balked at having to do three or more errands at once if I had the car. And it is a pain to ask for rides when the weather (or the child) craps out.

But I have started feeling like we could save the expense of having a second car, that we really don’t need it.

Then again, a 2km walk to the train, the dairy or the playcentre, and back again can seem like a long, long, long way. Even on a good day.

There are no major hills in the village. Hallelujah.


Dairy-free, egg-free pancakes.

These pancakes are often on the weekend menu at Wellington Road. Maple syrup is my favourite topping, but in NZ, it is incredibly expensive.

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 ¼ cups rice milk
1 tsp salt
1-2 bananas, mashed
2 Tbsp dairy-free margarine, melted
½ cup frozen blueberries, optional

Mix all the ingredients together, except the margarine and the blueberries. Then add the margarine and then the blueberries. Grease your favourite skillet and cook a ladle of batter at a time over medium heat. Flip when cooked on one side. Makes four large pancakes, or lots of small pancakes for the child.

The child eats the blueberries first.