Friday, December 30, 2005

Santa sure has a big Sack...

Miss R in mid air
Originally uploaded by Mr Reasonable.

Damn it is nice to get something right and full credit, once again, goes to Mrs R. A few months back she suggested we get a trampoline for Christmas for the girls and I nodded and moved on. Little did I know she had this baby in mind and she is a beaut.

It arrived in three boxes and was delivered by two big dudes who had muscles on their muscles. It took some serious work to move the boxes to their hiding place under the house until Christmas Eve. One box in particular was almost impossible to move and we resorted to dragging it down the steps, puny little white guy that I am.

Once the kids were in bed on the night before Christmas, I sneaked down to the workshop under the house and, piece by piece, emptied the contents of the boxes and took them individually up to the garden. I expected this construction to be a bastard to be honest but was pleasantly surprised as not only were there enough bolts to rebuild the F69, there were easy to follow instructions with, get this, clear diagrams and step by step stages which were in order. Big kudos to those clever people at Supertramps who had obviously written the instructions having actually tried to build their own product.

I won’t pretend it was easy as it did require some serious stamina and some strength to put each little carbon rod into each of the several thousand (so it felt) holes. But in the end, every single piece fitted, every part was the right shape and size and went into a hole of the same shape and size. I didn’t even have to get out my hammer, which usually appears whenever I am making anything – just a little stroke with “Old Smacker” gently teases even the most difficult bolt into place! But not this time; the whole thing took less than 1 ½ hrs by which time it was almost full dark. We were tired by triumphant and very excited for the next day.

At about 10:30am after Santa’s pressies had been opened and half destroyed, we announced that there was one more present outside and the kids ran for the back door at a pace. The bruises and scratches (when the instructions say “wear gloves” they do mean it!) were worth it as both girls’ faces lit up and they leapt into the air. Miss R was amazed at the behemoth sitting on the lawn having definitely not been there when she went to bed: “How did it get here, Daddy?”, she asked gobsmacked. I could have told the truth and told of the heroic battle of mind over matter with each little devilish rod but, hey, this is Christmas and that’s all part of the magic. Santa sure has a big sack….

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Did the earth move for you, Darling?

Did the earth move for you, Darling?
Originally uploaded by Mr Reasonable.

I have lived here for over 3 years now and I will never, NEVER, get used to my house shaking. About 5 minutes ago [Tuesday, December 13 2005 at 9:09 pm NZ Time], whilst eating a very late dinner (having decided to put the kids to bed first and try and have a quiet meal for a change), a little shudder moved through our place, followed by a wee shunt and a grumble. Now Mrs R, who for many years lived and worked in Napier, does not even blink but carries on talking/eating/watching TV.

She once told me that unless something fell on her she didn't even bother getting out of bed in Napier. I am the opposite. I am not happy with the earth shaking. It isn't natural. Well it is, but you know what I mean. The earth is meant to be solid and people shouldn't live in places that aren't.

Welly is such a fine city but why did you have to build it on a fault line? I am told "it'll never happen" but we have a nice disaster kit with water and food just in case. It is safely stored in water tight boxes under the house.....hey, it just occurred to me that putting the emergency supplies underneath the thing that will fall on them should an emergency occur, isn't very smart - in fact about as smart as building a city on a fault line really. Still, it'll never happen, right? And the coffee here is too good to leave. She'll be alright. Right?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Merry Berry

November 2005 057
Originally uploaded by Mr Reasonable.

Mrs R and I have murdered many plants over the years. Whenever we moved house, someone would usually give us a plant as a new home present. After a few such moves, we arranged for a priest to be available to administer the last rights whenever anyone handed over a poor innocent shrub. We took some relief in the fact that they usually died a quick death; they didn't suffer the weeks of just hanging on in dry soil to then be drowned. They just gave up on entry to the kitchen window sill where so many had gone before then.

This has all changed now. I am at one with nature as I have a garden with veggies in it. This has been topped off by having a planter with some Strawberries ripening. Up until last week there were some lovely juicy red ones, just waiting to be picked. Alas they are gone, a very brave Blackbird had a feast and they were rather nice I assume from looking at the evidence.
I now have a net, but the little fella just wanders up to it and pecks through the holes. His bravery is witnessed by our two cats who can oversee the entire operation and offer advice from their comfy spot in the sun on the roof. It would take a small explosion to move them and they probably enjoy the live entertainment of me running across the room to shout and flap my arms about to scare the little bugger away.

There are plenty more berries just ripening so I need to find a solution. Any ideas?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Shave Your Lid for a Kid

Today was a fabulous day in Wellington. The sun was out and many, many people from all over this fine town turned up in Midland Park, next to the excellent coffee house of Astoria. Over 40 people had their bonces shaved by the rather attractive crew from Weltec and all for the Child Cancer Foundation and they stood in line, in the hot sun, patiently waiting their turn to do their bit for the kids and the families of kids suffering from cancer.

First in line was Ron Mark, the NZ First list MP. He doesn't have a lot of hair but his sacred tash is no more. There were many others, both men and women, who came for the chop and all went away shiny headed and proud.

I was lucky enough to spend some time with four really nice blokes who had come along to support the day and two of whom got scalped by their colleagues. They were good natured and relaxed and great fun to chat to. They were Ross Kennedy, John Schwalger, Tamati Ellison and Shannon Paku and they posed with kids, signed autographs and just sat around enjoying the sun. 2006 will be the year of the Hurricanes, no doubt.

2 1/2 hours later and it was all over. The last head was polished, the hair swept up, and scissors put away. I had a great coffee from Astoria and departed full of pride for the cool people of Wellington who had come together to support the community in which they live. Similar events were taking place in Christchurch, Nelson, Auckland and the NZ base in Antarctica. I'm sure they were all fantastic, but I know that Welly put on the greatest show.