Labour Weekend 2016

At last the long weekend is here, and this year I’ve added two days of annual leave, giving me a lovely long 5 day holiday, starting with Friday and ending on Tuesday.

To celebrate the big weekend I cracked open a bottle of my favourite wine, bought a book on tidying up which I intend to read and act upon this weekend and a very large box of Ferris Wheel Lego to build when I’m not drinking wine or reading my new book.

There will be quite a lot of Lego featuring in my long weekend, as it’s the Auckland Brick Show starting on Saturday which I’m really looking forward to.  Happy Labour Weekend everybody.


Update: Monday – Labour Day 24 October 2016.

What a fab weekend it’s been, I finished the Ferris Wheel, drunk all the wine, read most of the book (which I’m really enjoying) and went to the Auckland Brick Show with a friend to see all the amazing Lego.  I wasn’t going to buy any more Lego from the show, but I couldn’t resist a Wall-E and a motor for the Ferris Wheel – both on special for the show.

Here’s the finished product – I think it’s my new favourite, check out the two little videos:

1,000 Origami Cranes

A couple of weeks ago we were asked at work to share something we enjoyed with the people we worked with as part of Adult Learning Week.  I decided to do some Origami and talk a little bit about the cultural significance of the Japanese Crane.

While doing a bit of research to make sure I got my facts straight I learnt some amazing things that changed the way I thought about the symbolism behind the origami crane.  I’ve always known that the Tsuru (crane) in Japanese mythology symbolises good fortune and long life because of it’s fabled life span of a thousand years, and that an old legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane.

But what I didn’t know was that after World War II the crane came to symbolize peace and the innocent victims of war thanks to a story about a schoolgirl Sadako Sasaki and her thousand cranes.  Suffering from leukaemia as a result of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, knowing that she was dying she tried to make a thousand cranes before her death at the age of 12.  After her death she became internationally recognised as a symbol of innocent victims of war.  There is a monument to her near where the bomb dropped in Hiroshima which I saw when I was there in 1986 – but I had no idea of the symbolism.  Near there is the peace flame which is a monument to the victims of the bomb which has burned continuously since 1964 and will continue to burn until all the nuclear bombs on the planet are destroyed and the world is free from the threat of nuclear annihilation.

The fictional story of Sadako Sasaki tells of how at the age of 12 after being diagnosed she spent her days in hospital folding the cranes so her wish to live would be granted.  But she only made it to 644 cranes before she became too weak to fold any more, so her friends and family helped finish her dream by folding the rest of the cranes which were buried with her.

However… according to her surviving family members that’s not actually true.  She managed to fold about 1400 cranes before she died and the family have donated some of her cranes to places of importance around the world including the 9-11 memorial in New York and Pearl Harbour in Hawaii.

After learning all of this I decided maybe I should make a thousand cranes and thanks to a photo of a huge bowl of cranes on a coffee table I saw in Google while researching the topic, I have started my quest.

crane1 crane2

However after folding only one, I think I’ll just make a bowl of origami.  Anybody who knows me well, will know I’ve been folding origami birds forever and if you count up all the cranes I’ve ever made I don’t think it would even come close to 1,000.


Xmas Holidays 2015 Day Twenty Eight

Friday 15 January 2016

My very last day of holidays – sad.  As it was my last day I decided I needed to buy something fabulous and exciting and fun to cheer me up – so I set off in search of a brand new Sodastream machine.  I’d seen a cool one that lit up blue and did everything automatically.

As I had a Mitre 10 gift card I went there first, but they didn’t stock that model – hmmm very strange, why not?  Next I went to Noel Leeming but the only one they had left came in a rather damaged looking box.  Next I went to Harvey Norman and they didn’t have that model either, so I ended up at JB HiFi where I found one and bought it.  But they didn’t have any of the accessories so I ended up going to Farmers for spare bottles and gas cylinder.  I should’ve gone there first coz they were having a big sale and it was a lot cheaper.  Oh well never mind.

I love it – it makes awesome sparkly water and it glows blue (the machine, not the water).



Xmas Holidays 2015 Day Twenty Seven

Thursday 14 January 2016

I spent today with my lovely friend Barb.  She came over to my place and we went up to one of my favourite cafes for brunch – Bungalo Café in Birkenhead.  As I type this I’m wondering why they have left the w off the end of their name.  I’d always assumed it was named after the fact that it is a renovated bungalow type house – but maybe not.


After brunch we drove down the road to see the old Chelsea Sugar Refinery as it has a lovely park for strolling around and great sea views.



After that we drove round the waterfront to check out the Birkenhead wharf before heading home for a wine or two.


Xmas Holidays 2015 Day Twenty Six

Wednesday 13 January 2016

Today I thought I might treat myself to a new toilet seat.  So off I toddled to Mitre 10 in search of a brand new fabulous seat for my toilet.  I was hoping those flash ones with the lovely soft close action wouldn’t be too expensive, coz that’s what I really wanted.

Well… to my surprise there was a huge selection and buying the right seat wasn’t as easy as I’d imagined.  Who knew there were so many different options and sizes.


So… turns out I didn’t actually buy a toilet seat after all – that will have to wait till I can be bothered writing down all the precise measurements associated with such an item.



Xmas Holidays 2015 Day Twenty Five

Tuesday 12 January 2016

I’m really feeling like I’m on a massive holiday now, I’m into my 4th week of holidays and most people have gone back to work and the sun is shining and life is good.

Today’s only task was to get a service and warrant for my car which meant driving to Albany, getting a loan car and then hanging out at the mall while I wait for my car to be thoroughly serviced.

While at the Albany Mall I noticed for the first time a really clever idea.  The ANZ Bank have set up a special branch for dealing with home loan customers and it looks just like a house.


Xmas Holidays 2015 Day Twenty Two

Saturday 9 January 2016

Today started out with brunch at a garden centre in Albany, catching up with a friend.  As the temperature was already sneaking up I decided to have something refreshing rather than cooked so I ordered the Muesli with yoghurt.  A very unusual order for me but it seemed healthy and the right thing to do.  Turned out to be totally awesome and I’ll be having that next time I go back there.


After that I went on a couch hunting mission.  Yes it was a mission – nothing was as cheap as I thought it would be and because it was a really hot day I realised many of the fabrics I initially liked made me sweat!!!

Finally after driving round all over the North Shore I found one I liked – it’s versatile, comfy and has a really similar layout to the one I have right now – plus it was on special.


But then there was the problem of choosing the right colour!!!


So I got a quote and delivery date and headed off to do some last minute window shopping to be sure I’d found the right one.  And then I found this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I could not believe my eyes – it looked like something out of the movie Frozen – seriously it was for sale and NOT cheap.

Eventually I ended up at the cleanest, nicest, flashest Carl’s Jr for some late lunch.


Xmas Holidays 2015 Day Twenty

Thursday 7 January 2016

This morning while out in the courtyard I noticed the marvellous almost dead looking hibiscus plant had all of a sudden come back to life was looking all leafy and had flowered.  For some reason this got me all motivated to get busy and this turned out to be the busiest most productive day of my whole holiday


First stop would be to the amazing hardware store that still sold parts to my toilet.  Luckily they actually stocked the part I needed and it wasn’t very expensive at all, and the dude who served me was very helpful and didn’t treat me like an idiot at all, this calls for a celebration and almost gave me another lease on life!


Across the road from the fantastic hardware store is the old Corbans Vineyard.  It’s now a public park with no wine making happening there anymore, but there are still some cool old buildings and lovely gardens to photograph.

After that with all my new found wealth (not needing a plumber or a whole new toilet) I figured I could splash out and buy a new couch. So I headed back to the North Shore to check out some new couches. Turns out the decent ones are a lot more expensive than I thought, so a new couch would have to wait and I went to the garden centre instead to buy some new plants and a pot big enough to repot the maple a good friend gave me as a birthday present last year.


After all my hard work and shopping I decided I needed a beer and it was such a beautiful evening I could light my fireball and enjoy the garden and Xmas lights.