Tuesday, November 20, 2012

On The Move

On Monday, we moved house. The men from Coolmoves turned up at 8:15 and loaded up the truck – a process which took a couple of hours – then drove it a mile down the road to our new house, and started unloading there. We’ve now got loads of stuff, because we bought loads of furniture to move into Calabar Road, and the new place is a bit smaller, so we’ve had to be a bit creative about what goes where. I think we’ve managed to squeeze it all in though – although there may be some rearranging to do.

The new place is still in Miramar, only a bit further away from the city. In driving terms this is negligible – the main advantage is that we’re a couple of stops further on the bus route, so our chances of getting a seat in the morning have increased somewhat! We are fortunate to be on an express bus route, and previously had boarded at the last stop before the CBD, so getting a seat wasn’t always guaranteed. Ah, the small things around which our lives revolve!

We had a minor trauma on the day of the move: the man from Telstraclear came round to sort out the transfer of our telephone number and internet in the afternoon. Our new house has a driveway which is quite steep, and is also at an acute angle to the road: 

New house

He’d tried to make the turn in his van, and failed to get round the corner, so decided to reverse back and do a 3-point turn to get round the angle; he reversed too quickly and managed to dig the tow bar into the road, lifting the van off its rear wheels. He was now unable to go forward or backwards. Unfortunately we were parked on our driveway, so our car was trapped and we were unable to get back to the old house to clear up a few bits and pieces that were left behind originally. Eventually a tow truck arrived and was able to get the van back onto the road. 

We're working our way through the boxes trying to unpack everything and find a place for it. I'm also sorting out the technology so that we can skype from the living room again...once we've got the place tidied up a bit.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Partial Eclipse

As you may be aware, there was an eclipse of the sun visible in the Southern Hemisphere on the morning of Wednesday, 14th November. Totality would be visible in Northern Australia, and partial in New Zealand. Whilst the weather forecast at the beginning of the week was not promising, by Tuesday evening the Met Service was promising sunshine for Wellington and Northland. Wellington would be able to see a 76% partial eclipse.

We went outside from work at around 10am, and stood around in Post Office Square to drink coffee from French Kiss and look at the eclipse through a pair of sun-watching glasses that I'd acquired earlier in the year to watch the Transit of Venus - an event that was a washout for us, obscured by cloud.

I pointed my mobile phone camera over my shoulder, more in hope than in expectation of getting a picture (I also tried taking a picture through the sun glasses, but that didn't work). Whilst it's not possible to see the eclipse in the picture, it is captured in the lens flare under the sun.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


As you may be aware, the month of Movember is upon us. I, along with some like-minded individuals in the office, have decided to participate in Movember this year.

Just in case you don’t know, Movember is an annual fundraising event for charities connected to men’s health – notably prostate cancer, and depression. The event is marked by growing a moustache, and raising sponsorship via the Movember website.

You can keep track of my progress, and that of our team, by clicking on the link:  My Mo space

And of course we would all appreciate a donation to the charity! 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

We Are Amused

We headed  out on a Friday night for some dinner and entertainment. Our first stop was a new restaurant, Muse, opened by a former chef at The White House – one of Wellington’s premier fine dining establishments (although our previous experience there left something to be desired). It’s located on Allen Street which is one of the side streets off Wellington’s main entertainment street, Courtenay Place. We were there early and at first the place was distinctly empty, but it soon filled up. I had scallops followed by tarakihi fillets, and Nicola had pork belly followed by porcini risotto. All was very well executed and we had plenty of time in the end.

Afterwards, we went round the corner to the Downstage Theatre to see the Weekend Comedy Cocktail. This consists of two separate performances: the first half is Vance Fontaine and his band, the Peculiar Sensations. Vance gives a command performance incorporating songs from his extensive back catalogue. He invites audience participation as he demonstrates that it was in fact he who invented all the musical genres we know today (presumably with the aid of a tardis or similar device). He apologised for inflicting dubstep on us, then gave us his rendition of a dubstep/John Cage mash-up. He also played songs in the styles of mariarchi, opera, bubblegum pop, and Duran Duran – one of his early influences. All the songs are (allegedly) made up on the spot and improvised by the band in the styles suggested by the audience.

After the break, a musical comedy of a slightly different flavour: Miss Fletcher Sings The Blues. Miss Fletcher arrives on stage as a substitute Geography teacher, ready to teach her class. Unfortunately, as she immediately admits, she knows nothing of geography, so decides to give us a music lesson instead. She regales us with stories about her life, and the frustrations that we encounter every day. She finished up with “Key Changes For Africa” an inspirational song to help people in Africa, for which she recruits several members of the audience. Unfortunately she was called away halfway through the song for an interview about “appropriateness” with the head teacher.

All very funny, and we enjoyed it all immensely.