I bike for short neighbourhood trips in ordinary street clothes. I don't own any special cycling gear except for a helmet (which I'd prefer not to have to use, but until we have better cycling infrastructure and driver attitudes, I'm afraid to do without it. Besides, I make my kids wear theirs and don't want to be a hypocrite). I wear woollen gloves in winter for warmth and ordinary jackets etc.
I have a slow town bike. This year I've got good lights that I'll be using during the day as well as night when the days grow duller over winter but don't bother with fluro gear. Have a basket (not that effective for groceries and heavy stuff) and panniers and mud guards are on the wish list.
Wonderful! As a parent of an almost twelve year old who is bursting with (often oddball) creativity, I really appreciate what you're doing. Hoping urs will become hers in years to come. Wishing you much success with a worthwhile venture.
A great story of what is obviously a beautiful house. All the best for its new life (and your, and your family's, new life in it, of course). Congratulations. And thanks.
I heart Colin. I have a cat here doing the same thing, though not quite so flamboyantly. It's the weather for it. Also heart the audio clip. Cheers.
Example of support for those of you in Christchurch (small but whole-hearted): my daughter's primary school (central Auckland) is having three days of fundraising for the relief fund (lower-case as I can't remember the official name) - disco, cake stall, dvd watching. The kids pay gold coins to participate in each activity this week.
Small amounts, I know, but I hope it shows that we haven't forgotten. It's difficult to know what to do to help, but I do think most non-Christchurch people haven't forgotten what's happening to you there. Kia kaha, all.
I'm not ready for that chill in the morning yet.
My summer has been spent entirely in Auckland - friends and family visiting here kept us in the city. I love Auckland at Christmas/New Year when the whole place seems to empty out and there's room to breath. And we have so many beautiful places to escape to for restorative day trips. Walking up Rangitoto with husband, our two young kids and a dear friend on New Year's morning was a highlight. Especially when the three year old has been going through his 'volcano-nut' phase. Sliding down the long dry grass on the (outer) side of the Mt Eden crater on a scorching afternoon was equally satisfying. I felt like we'd escaped the city up there even though we were right in the middle of it.
Beaches nearby are great at high tide - especially early(ish) in the morning when no one else is around.
Barbecues in the backyard have been fabulous - this year we've come close to the perfect marinade and I've really enjoyed the occasional sausage-less barbecue (everyone should try a sausage-less bbq - it's radical!).
The Laneway Festival made me feel optimistic, half my age, and delighted to hear such great music. The XX were the stand out for me. And Chris Knox and friends are indelibly etched on my brain. Roll on Wilco in April.
Personally, I love the heat of summer, love the humidity, love the balmy nights. Long may the warmth linger through autumn.
1) ...I'd sell it, too.
2) The bottle. But only if I can claim it against some rent I pay to my family trust or something.
3) A pile of rubble.
4) "I don't want to go to Copenhagen." [My edit - I just reread the question. Duh.]
5) Surprisingly, Paula's place, out west - always good for a beer and a laugh and she makes a bloody awesome fish pie. West is best, after all.
Badly Behaved Old Biddy: Another Example
At New World (yep, central Auckland again). A woman with two kids in the trolley seat was doing a magnificent job of holding onto her temper and sanity as she tried to ignore the youngest one's outright tantrum. The child was screaming and crying. The older child had her hands over her ears. Personally, I've been there more times than I care to dwell on and was mentally (mentally!) sending good vibes of solidarity to this valiant mother. Then, a little old lady, like, really old, started shouting at the mother. She pointed her finger and yelled "That behaviour is not helpful!" over and over. The mother of two fought back (raised voice, but not screeching like the old duck). I was in shock and ready to rush over there and tell the craggy, red-lipsticked, octogenarian to f**k off and pick on someone her own age, but the younger woman had it in hand and, I have to admit, my nerve failed me.
Sure, no one likes to have to listen to a misbehaving two year old when they're choosing between the Weet-bix and the Cornies, but I thought people pretty much understood that the parents - who have to grit their teeth, get their shopping done, and leave as quickly as possible without dumping their children next to the frozen goods and running for the hills - are bearing the brunt of it.
P.S. Biggest ups ever to the older woman who once came up to my daughter and I, winked at me first, then told my very naughty pixie that she (the woman) was in charge of taking all naughty children in the supermarket into the (underground) carpark so their parents could shop in peace. Shut my daughter up straight away - I think she thought the old lady was a witch.
And then there was the older woman who kindly offered to return my trolley as I struggled with kids at the car. So they're not all old bags.
As for littering, my two are thoroughly brain washed and we pick up other people's crud all the time. Luckily the kids love doing it... civic pride, I guess.
May I grow that old, but never that intolerant.
Ah, the supermarket guilt. Know it well. Everytime I buy the family sausages at New World, I feel the loss for the West Lynn Organic Butchers (across the road from the excellent Wine Vault) and remind myself that I'll get there next time.
Righto, make that this weekend. I'd hate to see those local stalwart businesses disappear - they're some of the best things about living where I do and put the capital C in 'My Community'.
Yes, it's a fine line, but I'm pleased it's one you, Russell, and other PA bloggers dare to risk crossing. When I log on, I want PA's insightful, well-researched analysis of the themes of the day, but it's the tender, from-the-heart, sometimes humorous, sometimes heart-wrenching personal stuff that has me riveted. I've read some great blogs here that leave me either laughing out loud or with a lump in my throat. And often the personal experiences blogged about point up wider issues that need to be aired.
So, thanks (and, indirectly, to your family, too).