Saturday, January 19, 2008

Larping, today.

Almost made my going to bed deadline of midnight, and will now try not to go too far over. All packed and ready for tomorrow. Phew. [crosses fingers]

Monday, January 14, 2008

Here's to Anonymous Gifts.

Gosh. Someone has sent me a copy of The Highwayman with the lovely (and spooky) Charles Keeping illustrations, and I have no idea who, because the package came straight from Amazon with no gift note. Thank you whoever you are!

In other news, I am busy with Larp stuff, mostly sending out character sheets and panicking slightly that a couple of characters haven't been cast yet. I'm sure it will turn out OK (fingers crossed).

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Wandering Up To The Fish and Chip Shop in Pyjamas and Slippers.

I think this is a new low in casual attire.

Sometimes, y'see, you get home and shower and there doesn't seem much point in getting back into real clothes. I went to frisbee practice this morning, then cycled with Repton the long way home, from Northland to Karori and back, then down to the waterfront, around the coastline, and turning inland at Island Bay to stagger back home. My fatigue is punishment, I expect, for not getting enough exercise while travelling. Somewhere in the bike ride, I agreed to signing up to the Round the Bays fun run - people with advice on training programs are welcome to stick in their oar, because running is not something I'm particularly good at.

Sorry, burbling a bit, probably dehydrated, enjoyed the ride a lot.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Home, James, And Don't Spare The Horses.

Actually, we took our time.

I got back yesterday from Repton's and my womble up the North Island. Officially, we were off to have Christmas at my mother's house and attend Repton's cousins wedding in Auckland just before New Year's and we decided to be touristy and take our time getting there. Christmas was, well, anyone reading this will have read the earlier updates about Mum being in hospital, which rather damped any making merry activities. The last I talked to her, she was feeling a lot better, although not 100% well yet. We did do things like visiting her in hospital and singing her one carol very quietly, the one that starts "All praise to thee my God this night" which Mum says was always at Evensong when she was a wee young lass and meant a lot to her. Apart from that, Christmas Day was pretty quiet, with the big meal put off from luch to dinner but worked out OK for all of that.

The wedding itself was lovely. I've never been to a Catholic wedding before (excuse me, nuptial mass) so it was interesting seeing how things compare to the Anglican and secular affairs I've been to before. It was a lot more formal than the last wedding I attended (that was a Pirate Do, and at all the important moments everyone said "Arrgh!"), and while it was easy to work out when to stand and sit, there were an awful lot of responses that most of the attendees had pat that I was muttering along to and pretending that I knew what was going on. Also, meeting Repton's family turned out well - they're friendly and nice and easy to talk to, which is all good. I found it interesting, though. Repton is tall and a bloke, is very quiet in most conversations, and is the least visual person I know. Most of his siblings and cousins are tall, but conversely tend to be female, active conversationalists, and study art history and have hobbies like painting and photography. It's like someone set up the genes in the Fouhy family with a divider switch.

Touristy things we did in the meantime:
Shannon: Owlcatraz. If you can stand the awful puns (they just get worse when you go in) it's quite interesting. It started off as a privately owned reserve for studying morporks built by a farmer who had an interest. People started bouncing up asking for tours and it grew from there. Now, it has morporks, German owls (although our guide said that in Europe they're called Little Owls), weka, ostriches, and a selection of unusual livestock - small, large, interesting breeds, that kind of thing.
Taupo: The A. C. Baths. A. C. I found out, stands for Armed Constabulary, the military outpost that was the first Pakeha settlement in the area. There was no such thing as indoor plumbing or an electricity supply to heat bath water at the time, so the soldiers made alternative arrangements with a local hot spring.
Ernest Kemp. A replica of a steam ship that takes people out on the lake to see some interesting carvings in the stone. The carvings are the moko of one of (or the) earliest Maori chief in the region whose name I've forgotten. Alas, we didn't get to go on the Barbary, a sailing ship reportedly once owned by Errol Flynn.
Auckland: Takapuna Beach. A nice long, rather crowded beach where we went with ElvenAlchemist.
Castor Bay. A smaller beach with rocks, a climbing tree and a green sward where we caught up with Yvonne and family.
The Golden Compass. Well, I went to see it, anyway. Repton went for a walk up Mt Albert.
Starfire and Gryphon. Not touristy at all, but our very kind hosts. Although Gryphon started me watching the Sharpe series of movies, damn his eyes, and it's annoying because I've seen the first two and would like to see the rest, and can't, because his collection is still up in Auckland. Grr.
New Year's Eve. Again, not very touristy, we went along to a Hoarde party at which we played board games, chatted, and I was plyed with alcoholic beverages.
Waitomo: St Benedict's Cavern. We went caving of course. St Benedict's is one of the 'adventure' options available. The guides give you a quick lesson on abseiling, you lower yourself into a crevasse in the ground and go to. The worst part was the flies, which were attracted to the light in our helmets and liked to dive bomb our faces, the best bit was the flying fox near the end through St Benedict's Cathedral, the highest point in the cave and truly glorious. Also we stayed on a farm and I bought a very beautiful picture which is hanging on the wall as I speak.
Wanganui: I think Wanganui has to count as our 'nice place, we should spend more time here some other trip' stop. (We were getting tired.) We meant to go out on the river, but weren't very organised about arranging it, so after wandering around for a bit, we ended up in the centre of town where I went to the Sarjent Gallery and Repton explored the area. The exhibit I thought was coolest was an artist who'd decided to work in gorse wood. I expect it's a pig of a thing to work, but the result is a beautiful yellow colour with a dark grain running through it.

And then we came home.

Repton said something interesting on our second to last day: that we'd been travelling together for 10 days straight and hadn't had any arguments. When I think about it, actually there were rather a lot of stress attractors in the mix - driving, sitting in bad traffic, meeting each other's friends/family en masse, a Christmas Day full of worry and drama, and simply being in each other's company continuously for longer than we ever have before. I think we did pretty well, actually.

Happy New Year, all.