Sunday, December 24, 2006

christmas cooking

after having tasty christmassy fruit cake at church this morning, I decided to do a little christmas baking of my own, so my mum's recipe light fuity spice cake is in the oven and my afghans are lined up on the tray ready to go next. afghans are one of the staple kiwi biccies you're guarenteed to find in cafes, along with yo-yos (2 shortbread cookies with fruity butter icing between), anzac cookies (made for Aussie-and-New-Zealand-Allied-Corps in WWII) and traybakes like tan slice. afghans are dreamy chocolatey cookies topped with chocolate icing and a walnut... here's the recipe from my favorite cafe in methven if you'd like to try them - they're really quick & easy:

afghan cookies - makes 16 approx.

  • 200g butter/margerine
  • 1/2 cup /100g white sugar
  • 1/4 cup/4tbsp cocoa
  • 1+1/2 cups/225g plain flour
  • 2 cups/50g cornflakes
  • icing sugar, cocoa & walnut pieces/halves for the topping

cream butter and sugar, add cocoa, then flour then fold in cornflakes. makes a pretty stiff mixture. roll into golf sized balls, flatten to 2cm thick approx (they don't really spread) and bake at 180C for 15mins. top with chocolate icing and a half walnut. eat. mmmm.

tonight we're off to wild camp (I'm hoping fran gets sent home early!) up the lake and have some BBQ sausages for breakfast, pop home for some presents, then jimmy & lizzy are having us round for traditional roast turkey dinner - a real wild turkey given to them by some friends!

have a great christmas y'all! xxx

Friday, December 22, 2006


well, a little lonely to be honest. we've made some lovely friends here, but I still have a gap. it's mainly having someone who shares my faith that I can talk to about more personal stuff. people here feel pretty busy and like they don't have time or need a new friend, which may or may not be true but puts me off the pursuit a little. people often seem to first encounter me as a very confident and assured person, but I have to say it's a pretty good act as that's not how I normally feel at the time! I'm also feeling a bit like the longer we're away from our older friends the less I can call or rely on them - I should be getting on with things here... I was quite comforted to read natalie's blog about feeling homesick at christmas - this will be their 3rd(?) christmas in new zealand and makes me feel better about my miffiness. it's not all doom and gloom, but sometimes jetting off to the other side of the world isn't quite as glamorous as it seems from the comfort of 'home'.

and to change the subject completey, last week I read 100 things we didn't know this time last year on the bbc news website. the highlights which stuck with me:

  1. there are more CCTV cameras in Croydon than New York (sorry stoneys!)
  2. you are 176 times more likely to be murdered than win the national lottery
  3. 1 in 18 people has a 3rd nipple...

strange, but apparently true.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

freckle fobia

a birdy drying itself on one of the many flooded jetties

I'm really glad lake wakatipu is starting to go back down. it was quite exciting to have a lake on the verge of flooding and my first stop in town was always the lake front to check the water level (we got about 50cm away from floating shops), but there are definate benefits to the water receding. yesterday I walked back from town along the lake track and for the first time in ages the rocky shoreline was exposed. even though it's only a couple of metres from the track in places, stepping off onto the shore is like entering a different world. not many people do it, and I love turning over stones and exploring the secret little places down there. in the winter you could walk all the way from our place into town right next to the lake (if you don't mind going through a few trees!) so here's to more wanderings and the lake going down further.

fran and I stopped for coffee today and I read an article in australian vogue that quite literally had me holding my head in my hands to stop it exploding... freckles again! this one was an article about light treatment to get rid of your freckles. I quote: 'there's nothing more depressing than a plunging neckline when your cleavage is as speckled as a wren's egg'. WHAT??? words literally fail me. in the dove campaign for real beauty, with ads like a photo of a woman in her 40's and a caption saying '40 and hot or 40 and not?', there's a freckley one with a really freckley young woman and the options are 'freckled or flawless?' - that's right, freckled apparently is a derogatory term here! CRAZY CRAZY WORLD!!

what's wrong with this picture?

and finally, we had a little faux christmas today as we got snow on the mountains. so we stuck on the amelie CD (the best festive music we could manage) and opened a present each... very nice. monday's meant to be fine and sunny so I'm glad we got one chilly faux-white-christmas present each!

Monday, December 18, 2006

a real weekend off

fran actually had saturday and sunday off this weekend, and made great use of it by finalising the sale of rose on saturday when our buyer flew down from auckland. on sunday I went to church while fran had some time to himself, then we met for celebratory rose selling/it's christmas brunch at our favorite place - vudu. this was the view from our table, not quite capturing the funkiness and chilled vibe of the teeny outdoor courtyard. we had a really nice time together followed by a sit by the stream in the gardens and then some bouldering out by the remarkables with some people from church - which was fun for fran and frustrating for me as I didn't want to chance hurting my knee, so I was spectating :(

I have a few paintings on the go at the moment, the latest is up on my art site... other than that there's not much news, we're just pootling along doing our thing and working out what it is we need to be doing now to be the people in the places we want to be in the future!

Monday, December 11, 2006


I love this picture I found on the web yesterday. gorgeous.

so we've sold rose, one way or another, we think. we've taken a retaining deposit from some aucklanders, one of whom is flying down on friday to make 100% sure it's the van they want. if they change their minds, we had a phone call from the netherlands this morning from a couple who're emigrating in april and also want to buy it. so that's good news.

I've had a helicopter buzzing around on the other side of the lake for a couple of hours now, looking like he's doing monsoon bucket practice over farmland. I'm quite glad I'm going out & getting away from the choppy noise now.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

finished at last

at last I've finished my quilt, and with it the lose ends of previous art projects. I can now embark upon the journey of discovering my art and style with a clean slate. wonder what it's going to look like...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

where'd everyone go?
I'm lonely today. for the past 6 weeks I've had the fun of adventures and seeing my 'new' (but close) friends from methven, old university friends, friends who've walked in key parts of my journey and me growing into myself, friends who inspire me and challenge me and close family members. then last week, after mum & dad went to the north island, it rained and rained so fran was home, driving me a little potty. but now it's sunny, fran's at work and I'm back on my own again, realising that I still have deeper & closer friendships to make here, and feeling a little alone. we have some lovely friends here, it's just the difference of having been with people who know you intimately and you can be completely yourself with. I still need to get to that level of friendship here. ho hum.

Friday, December 01, 2006

environmental impact?

it's the first day of summer and we have fresh snow on the mountains and Lake Wakitipu is 30cm away from flooding Queenstown. oh yes, and there's the icebergs floating along the coast of the South Island. now I'm not an avid global warming believer, it's hard to know what's just natural variation and what's human caused effects, but combining the above events with watching 'the day after tomorrow' and the publicity Al Gore's making have made me consider how fran and I are living and what impact we have on our world a little more seriously. I figure if we could actually see the impact we'd have on future generations right now we'd change our ways sooner. this is my little effort:

  • I already recycle (NZ is generally good for this as recycling is free but you have to pay about $1.30 for each official council rubbish bags - so who wouldn't want to recycle?) ...though I could put more effort in to recycling all bathroom and bedroom waste.
  • once we've sold rose we'll have 1 car and I'll mainly cycle - if fran fulfills his motorbike dream that will cut our fuel consumption a lot.
  • I figure change my bulbs to energy saving ones - costly in the short term but great for electric bills.
  • try harder to remember my cloth shopping bags not bring home lots of plastic ones.
  • I have no idea if it's better to put veggie waste in the landfill or through the waste disposal in the sink?
  • can't insulate my house better 'til I get one, or install a solar panel or wind turbine, but the one we're in is pretty good and we have a storage heater for winter.

any more ideas?

I'd quite like to write to Mr Bush and suggest instead of following oil around the globe they put some of that war money into alternative energy research so that they can lead the world in excellent technology when the oil does run out/become economically unviable. and I found out recently australia won't sign CO2 emissions agreements - in a country with so much 'desert' and sunshine hours why on earth aren't they using solar power like you see in mediterranean countries where every roof has a solar panel? by 'eck, I know I have no idea about the world of politics and country running, but surely some of these things are obvious to the powers that be?