Saturday, April 29, 2006

Southside Sunday - Happy Birthday Russell!!

When we went to pick up the Madcow Mother this morning she was still in her dressing gown - the gall of the woman! The Madcow of course never lounges around all day in HER jamies! While we waited we thought we may as well cross the road and go to the Sunday Market - one of our favourite places. It's always crowded & always has the best veges in town. I must go back when I have more time and get more shots (especially for Russell!) but today here is a little taste.

Today I got a big bag of mandarins, a bag of fresh onions & five avacados for the huge sum of $5. Can't beat that! We were very restrained and didn't dawdle over the clothing stalls or the bone carvings but just enjoyed all the music and savoured the smell of all the food cooking. I am sorry though that I didn't stop at the flower man and buy some of those gorgeous lillies, irises & stocks ... next weekend.

Instead we took the Madcow Mother to have a look at Selwyn Oaks, a nearby resthome. Just in case. Nothing like facing the enemy head on and I did manage to get a "Well if I had to ... it is very nice" out of her afterwards. Something for her to think about, there's no hurry, but I'm just glad she now knows that it doesn't have to be (as Dame Edna would say) a "High Security Home for the Terminally Bewildered". Instead it is a warm, welcoming place with staff who seem more interested in sharing a laugh than patronising, and after seeing the dinner menu I may just shift in there myself.

As a reward for being a good girl we went for coffee at the local hardware store (sounds silly but it works - hardware, garden centre & a very good cafe!). Not bad really for a couple of hours on a Sunday morning!

Now though, to find He Who Shall Not Be Named, who went to a party on Friday night and hasn't been heard of since, and to chant some mantra's about how I love my job and can't wait to get back to work tomorrow. Yeah, right.

PS. The Madcow Mother is wearing one her new jackets from our trip to Pokeno - I love her in that colour!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Good Moo-ning

I am so terrified that Kip will put me on the Bad-Blogger List that I had to find something for you all. Don't you just adore Partycow! I believe she may be Madcows alter ego. And yes that is a purple fluffy tiara!

Monday, April 24, 2006


Col. Malone's last letter to his wife - 5th August 1915. He died on Chunuk Bair 8 August 1915.

"My SweetheartIn less than two hours we move off to a valley, where we will be up all night and tomorrow in readiness for a big attack which will start from tomorrow night. Everything promises well and victory should rest with us. God grant it so and that our casualties will not be too heavy. I expect to go through all right but my dear wife if anything untoward happens to me there are our dear children to be brought up. You know how I love and have loved you, and we have had many years of great happiness together. If at anytime in the past I seemed absorbed in "affairs", it was that I might make proper provision for you and the children.
That was due from me. It is true perhaps that I overdid it somewhat. I believe now that I did, but did not see it at the time. I regret very much now that it was so and that I lost more happiness that I need have done. You must forgive me; forgive also anything unkindly or hard that I may have said or done in the past. I have made a will and it is in the office in Stratford. I think it was justly drawn. Anyway I intended it to so to be. I hope and think that the provision for you and the children will keep you and them in ease and comfort.
"I know you will never forget or let the dear children do so. I am prepared for death and hope that God will have forgiven me all my sins. My desire for life - so that I may see and be with you again - could not be greater but I have only done what every man was bound to do in our country's need. It has been a great consolation to me that you approved my action; the sacrifice was really yours. May you be consoled and rewarded by our dear Lord." Your loving husband, Wm G Malone."


Oh dear, we did it again. The list said "Do the Laundry!" but like two naughty school girls we made a break for it while "The List" had its back turned and took another little drive out of town.

You see we'd heard that there was a toyboy living in Patamahoe that other women we knew were raving about. We like toyboys. We like toyboys who give the best cuddles & kisses and this toyboy was by all accounts the BEST! Who could resist?

So meet Anthony. He was rather obliging on the cuddle & kiss front I must say, and as a further sign of affection even showed us his bottom. We like Anthony.

And yes, we were two very happy aunties!

Sunday, April 23, 2006


This is just the crappiest photo I know's about the best we could get tonight and it does afterall prove I met Austin!

Leonie & I were on door sales for the Billy Fury Fan Club fundraiser tonight for "Starjam" which you can find out more about at
Such a great organisation and such fantastic young people who we were lucky enough to meet tonight.

Austin & his friends (Neil Diamond, Tina Turner, Abba, Freddy Mercury) all gave their time for free and it was one of the best shows I've seen in a long time. Hopefully lots of money raised ... of course feel free to make a donation yourselves! Trust me, you would be in awe of these young people.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Our options today were (a) clean the bathrooms in our respective homes or (b) go to Devonport. Being the Domestic Diva's we are it was a painful decision - the smell of bleach vs the sea air? In the end we decided we owed it to you all to go afterall there are not that many mood shots you can get of a toilet bowl. Just remember though, if anyone in our homes develops any kind of foot fungus or slime it's all down to you and your wanting ways!
To save all the motorway & parking hassles we caught the train into the city. The Britomart transport centre is right at the bottom of Queen Street & you just have to walk straight across the road to the ferry terminal. The only obstacles in our path were all the Poppy Sellers - Tuesday is ANZAC day & the volunteers are out in droves. Cute though that these days kids are so eager to buy their poppy & wear it with pride. Quite a change from the 70's when it was all a little out of fashion and more an occasion for protest than anything else. Different times.
We couldn't have picked a better day - just when I think autumn is finally here we get another day out of the bag. Just sun & more sun and hardly a breath of wind. It takes about 15 minutes to get across the harbour and what with school holidays the ferry was crowded so this was the best view I could get of the ferry buildings although there are better ones on the other camera.
We wandered up one side of the village & back down the other in search of a sandwhich or roll but it's all cafe's, a single lettuce leaf on a 16inch white plate that they call a salad, flat whites & white wine. Not for these Southside girls - we want real food! You don't make cellulite by just thinking about it ya know! And wine at midday? Yeah right, we'd still be asleep under some tree by the beach waiting for someone to come collect us! We know our limits.
Instead after discovering the joys of the patchwork shop, the wool shop, ferreting contentedly through the secondhand bookstores and lusting after all the DIVINE shoes we took our peasant food (ok, Subway) to the waterfront and communed with the seagulls. A really popular little park & just the best fun people watching & harbour gazing.
Home again on the ferry & train and now shoes kicked off & wine poured ... bliss. The things I'm prepared to do for all of you!
PS. Don't forget you can click on the pic's to see 'em bigger


There's not a lot to show you in Pokeno. There's the cafe. The petrol station. The butcher. The dress shop. The antique shop. The icecream shop and that's pretty much it! Oops. I forgot the vege shop around the corner. Still, there's a lot to be said for small and a lot to be said for Pokeno. It's like they've decided on a few things and they do those things well whether it's the Pokeno Bacon, the gigantic icecreams, the old fashioned burgers or the clothes.
The little dress shop "Country Fashions" caters for a lady of a certain age and they know their market well. In the hour or so we were in the settlement we must have counted about 20 or 30 women of mums age going through the doors, and remember this is a tiny place way off the beaten track and for most it would have been a days outing to get there. The Madcow Mother is not a shopper and yet within 15 minutes she'd picked out two jackets & two blouses (and is muttering still that she might ring and order some trousers). The women who own the shop are just delightful going out of their way to find the right fit etc. They make the clothes on the premises and so when we couldn't find the jacket in the right size they soon found a near completed one on their rack and finished it while we went to the cafe next door for lunch. Now there are some good saleswomen!
Lunch out is a bit of a treat for her too - cheese & onion toasted sandwhiches with a long black were the order of the day and good old fashioned sandwhiches they were too. Then of course you can't go to Pokeno and not buy an icecream. We settled on the "kids size" which was 2 scoops - I think the 6 scoop cone might even be beyond himself!
All in all, a good day out - the sun shone & the paddocks out that way are just lush at the moment. Even a few trees in the distance showing their autumn colours which is something I really miss up north here. Tomorrow perhaps another girls day out but this time just Leonie & I. Or perhaps a bit of scrapping & dribbling on the couch. I could be convinced either way!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Walked up to the shops this morning & took my camera thinking I'd get some shots of "my town" while I did some errands for mum. Well these two are all I got before the heavens opened and down came the rain. No pleasant little autumn shower either. Torrential rain - drain covers in the middle of the footpath "popped" and spewed like geysers, the gutters on the verandahs flowed like waterfalls & as I waded through the puddles I had to wonder where all the good karma had disappeared to. Afterall, there am I being the dutiful daughter & what do I get - wet to the bone. And what do I get from her as I turn up at her door like a drowned rat? "Seeing as you're wet already could you check the letterbox & don't sit on the couch until you put a towel down." She's a charmer!!
Still, with this view out the window & SKY giving the perpetual "rain fade" message, it was a good excuse to stay in for the afternoon & scrap. I've been playing with the BG Blitzen papers & experimenting with my stamps & embossing powders. Mostly just making a mess but still preferable to actually using the kitchen to cook in!

Tomorrow will be a better day, tomorrow will be a better day ... hopefully a ladies day out down to Pokeno to take mum shopping ... if the road hasn't washed out!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter Egg!

Did I tell you I was on holiday?? Seventeen glorious days ... what a shame that I'm up to Day 4 already. So far lots of scrapping, lots of laundry and lots of Hot Cross Buns. All just as it should be.
I had considered going down to the farm but faced with Easter & School Holidays airfares I thought better of that idea. Instead I've decided to be a tourist in Auckland and go visit all the places that we usually just drive by on our way to somewhere else. So far the list includes the museum which I don't think I've been to since I was five, the Wintergardens, Highwic House. Perhaps catch the ferry to Devonport for breakfast and a fish around the second-hand bookshops. Too, theres the luxery of time to go meet with friends working in the city for lunch. The shops in High Street, the art galleries ... watch this space!
Todays picture is of the little flax crosses that mums friend (and our special aunty) Kath sends every Easter.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Cos I said I would ...

pics of the De La Salle Gala.
The best gala day I've been to in years - food to die for, fresh vegetables at rock bottom prices
and all our favourites like the raffles
& sausage sizzles.
If He Who Shall Not Be Named hadn't got the scholarship to Dilworth he would have gone to De La Salle and it was kind of comforting today to realise that he would have gone to a really great community. We met lots of friends there and I was pleasantly surprised how many people I know have connections to DLS.
(Note to self: never wear those jeans until I've lost the next 10kgs!!!)

Of course one of the highlights was to have Nana & Aunty time with Maia - it's hard to believe the battles this little princess has already been through.

We spent the rest of the day on a little "tiki tour" heading down to Pokeno, Mercer & Ramarama, and yes Tony, there is only one road in NZ!

The only thing to slightly, and it is only slightly, annoy me is excema. The past few months have not been good and finally I had to admit defeat and visit the chemist. Bless his heart, he gave me hydrocortisone, aqueous cream & Evening Primrose (nobody ever told me that was good for excema!). But then today I talked with Lynnie and she told me how by stopping colouring in her hair relieved hers. Mmm...makes me think. I only started colouring my hair last October - could it be the toxins from the dyes that are causing this latest outbreak? I hadn't dyed my hair for well over a year before that and I am starting to wonder if it's a build up. I would be really interested to hear if anyone else has had similar problems. Perhaps the Madcow is destined to a life of grey & dull!

Hello Lisa & Tony!!

Just for you, a pic of Khyler-Che, Joolz & Blaires first grandbaby (and the most beautiful baby IN THE WORLD!), just so you can say "awwwww".
And Tony, I believe we may have done you (and your phone discount) proud - I checked the time before I rang and it was about 12.15pm your time & just now it was 1.12!! We managed the one hour!! LOL
PS. Cat! Mum made the little baby beanie & if you'd like the pattern let me know - too cute!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


I went home sick from work yesterday - a bad case of malingering I feel - and stayed home again today. One of those days where you don't feel great so you may as well waste an hour of your life finally downloading some (or should I say "a") layouts onto the Madcow Scrapbooking blog. Dial up internet is starting to get real old, real fast. Anyway, the link is over to the left I you want to looky-see.
Back to work tomorrow I suppose. A lot I could say about that but I don't need to be "Dooced" right now. Let's just say it is little wonder I have excema, insomnia and keep picking up every little virus that visits the AC at work. Ho hum. I think I may have been down this road before.
One highlight of my day on the couch was watching "Funny Bones" on SKY this morning. I've seen it before but it never fails to stun me. The cast includes Oliver Platt, Jerry Lewis, Lee Evans, Leslie Caron, Richard Griffiths, Oliver Reed, Freddie Davies ....
There's a review here
Seriously, run as fast as you can and find a copy of this. You won't regret it. And if you do, well, you can just blame me. (Did I mention the soundtrack is magnificent?)

Monday, April 03, 2006

It's raining ...

and I'm just loving the sound of that wet stuff on the roof. I like rain. I like the feel of it, the sound of it on the roof. I like puddles. I don't even mind being out in it. (Have you ever noticed that funny little time inbetween being slightly uncomfortable getting wet and being soaked & cold ... that brief little time when the rain actually warms you? Or is that just me?)

Tonight it's been bucketing down with a bit of thunder & lightening thrown in for good measure, and the annoying little "rain fade" message from SKY TV as reception gives up just on the last minute or so of the drama I've been watching for the past hour. Oh well, no doubt it will be repeated within the next day or so and I will finally be able to rest easy in my bed knowing Judge John Deed is safe to fight another battle and live another day! (Gail - the pic is of the man himself - Martin Shaw - who plays the lead role. If someone could arrange for him to be in my Christmas stocking I would be grateful! Click on the underlined link and it takes you to the show site. I keep forgetting we are not all getting the same tv shows!! )

Instead I went for a little expedition into the back of the wardrobe to
recover my new gumboots, a birthday present from Leonie. Aren't they just the most gorgeous things! And won't Blaire be so impressed with them when I wear them down on the farm. I bet he'll be wishing he had a pair just like them. In fact I think I'll go see if I can get him a pair to take to England with him. Now won't the other boys in the shearing gang be jealous!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Born to Shop

To my shame it's true. Money can go through my hands like water, no matter how many stern lectures I give myself. When I'm in a forgiving mood I tell myself it's just a reaction to all the years of budgeting when He Who Shall Not Be Named was small and seemingly unwilling to get himself a job. Some fool told him about child labour laws at a very early age and he seemed to think it was his given right to go to school and play with Lego in his spare time. You'd think a five year old would have had more ambition.
Now of course he can fund his own lager lifestyle and I, for the first time in 21 years, find curious little bits of paper in my purse that retailers seem keen to relieve me of. They in turn give me little packages of "important and necessary things" and I'm so grateful to them. Heaven forbid those little bits of paper should gather dust and interest!

Shoes of course are necessary & extremely important. I love these cute little "flatties" for work (although so far they haven't enjoyed being on my feet too much, leaving little blisters and ouchy parts. Seems a summer of wearing jandals & slip-ons will do that!)

Then of course there was the near fatal attack of the "girly-girls" when these two pink tops followed me home. Yes Gail. PINK! I feel like I'm channelling Barbie. What next? A skirt??

Yesterday of course was the Stitch & Craft Expo at Greenlane and yet another shopping opportunity. There was one little package which I'm dying to show you but as it's a special little something for Patty I guess I should maintain the element of surprise for her sake ... but its divine!! What I can show you is this wallhanging pattern which Robyn & I are going to attempt. The stall had one already made hanging and it was gorgeous and the pattern does say its for Beginners. Mmm, having read the instructions I feel there may be "beginners" and "beginners". Oh well, we're nothing if not daring and if all else fails there can never be enough dusters in the world!
The rest of the purchases were from the stamping stands - more inkpads and these cute little wooden flowers. There were some wooden maori-ish design alphabets too but I really couldn't decide whether they were elegant or kitch. Sometimes its a fine line isn't it! In the meantime they remain on the shelf.
We met up with our old friend Shelley too - she has started
her own business selling hand dyed fabrics here and had a couple of quilts up that were staggeringly beautiful. It's beyond me where she finds the time to do it all but then, when we all worked together, she was like a whirling dervish in the office. Faster than a speeding bullet - that was our Shel!
As we were leaving we met Mr Concrete the busker & I was left explaining to Robyn why he amused me so much. I'd been watching Merrick & Rosso (The B Team) the other night as they did their rant on the buskers the hated the most. To prove their point that the "statue buskers" were the biggest waste of space & energy they covered a store mannequin in concrete, propped it up on the street with a collection box in front and then filmed. Several hours later they collected their own Concrete Man & took him the pub to drink the $20 or so dollars he'd made proving their point that you didn't even have to be there to busk. I wonder if my particular Concrete Man considered he could have been at home watching tv & drinking a beer and still have made as much money? Too, he wouldn't have had to look like such a complete & utter prat. Well, it amused me.
Have a good one! I'm off to find the chardy.


This months calendar courtesy of Kiwiscaps NZ & Christina Buckley. Mmm...not sure about this one, but perhaps one of you will like it. Lets face it, I have enough of a struggle putting photos on the page let alone decorating the garden!