Thursday, December 25, 2008

Kiwi Christmas

The southern hemisphere Christmas can go one of 2 ways - either its a traditional meal with its roots in northern hemisphere culture - typically the lamb roast option - or its more suited to the summer Christmas - in which case the BBQ is a great option. In our family we alternate depending on who is the most influential in the Christmas planning (usually you win if its at your place).

This year, all were agreed so here's the menu:

Sirloin steak
Chicken kebabs (marinated in red plum, garlic, soy and olive oil) with onion, red pepper, pineapple (fresh) and cherry tomatoes
Chicken and herb sausages
Cold ham on the bone

New potatoes
Lettuce salad with avocado, pear, orange and pineapple with sesame based dressing
Kumara (sweet potato) salad with orange and pineapple dressing
Green bean casserole (bringing the US flavas!)

Boysenberry Flan

All great and not too much - restraint somewhat apparent!

So what was your menu?

Oh and merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rhysent Rhysisms

We had our ultrasound yesterday and baby looks strong and healthy and there is only one! It was very cute we have a picture of the baby's hand and it is open like it is waving at us. Both Rhys and Raegan had their fists all clenced up, but you can really see the little fingers. We didn't find out the gender, but we both think it's a boy. The baby's face wasn't as delicate looking as Raegan's was. We showed Kristen's parents the pictures on skype . Mom said to Rhys,"Rhys, the baby looks just like you." Rhys, "Yes, she does."

Post Nov elections here in NZ there was a news show TV talking about the new cabinet ministers. Rhys was eating breakfast, when he pipes up with, "I've never heard of a minister before....(small pause dead serious out of the corner of his mouth), but I have heard of octopuses."

Talking about a little boy named Paul at kindy. "Paul has monkey ears (said as he pulls his ears out away from his head)." Brett, "Oh, do you tell Paul he has monkey ears?" Rhys, as if were stupid, "Yeah". Brett, "Does Paul like being called monkey ears?" Rhys, "No". Kristen, "Well, maybe you shouldn't tell Paul he has monkey ears." Rhys(again pulling ears away from his head), "If Jesus takes away my ears, will he give me monkey ears instead?"

And then in the Ultrasound place he tells these sweet old people who say Goodbye to him (in front of the entire ultrasound waiting room), "Bye, poopy babies!" The grandmother rolled on the floor out of control laughing when told this on SKYPE (she was on the floor because she was tryting not to let him see her laughing). It seems like the facination with poop has passed down from Marcia to Kristen and now to Rhys!

Kristen is most proud of her saying "poo" and then holding her nose. She usually does this when we go in to get her from a nap. Now, you can smell it as soon as you open the door, but she'll look up and say, "oh, poo" and then grab her nose.

Won't be long before she gets ger own posts on funny things said!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Family Xmas Snap

So at a recent cessioncommunity event "A Town Called Christmas" there was a photobooth - and we managed to grab a photo!

Note the .3 child hiding behind the 1 year old...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dodgy Santa

I think the thing that hacks me off most about New Zealand is our double standards. That and that we don't actually have any.

So I'm not sure why Heart of the City lobby group is asking Aucklanders whether the ex Farmers Santa now on the Whitcoulls building is just a "dodgy old man" who should be retired.
Didn't we endorse dodgy men running rampant in Queen St when the police, the Courts and finally in a stunning act of democratic prurience, 100K mindless perverts, said its OK to advertise porn from the back of motorbikes?

Has anyone ever seen the Farmers Santa and Boobs on Bikes Promotor Steve Crowe in the same room?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Traces of Me

I went looking for myself on the weekend. Didn't know what I would find. Desperate to find even a trace of me.

On Sunday afternoon, I went to an Open Home. Not just any Open Home however. This was the home of my youth - from age 7 - 21. This was where I lived through so many experiences and events that shaped me.

It was the venue for hundreds of backyard cricket matches, On the Mat bouts and endless re enactments of stirring epics like Robin Hood or the Fighting Prince of Donegal. It marked my transition to Intermediate school, College and University, each new learning opportunity signalled by a new route to travel and a new form of transport - from my green Raleigh Cruiser, to my second hand blue 12 speed, to the redoubtable Suzuki FA50 (cos that was its top speed). It was the scene of disappointments and triumphs - photos that I still have capture these - the death of pets (not the actual death) to winning the top award at my primary school. And it was where my Dad came home to die, except he didn't make it even that far. I moved out soon after.

The house had been substantially renovated and repainted. In some rooms I could have been anywhere surrounded by monochromatic acceptability. In other places I could still make out the dark cedar brown paint around the edges of windows - I grew very familiar with that paint over the years.

It was a surprisingly emotional experience. Memories flooded in. So much to remember. I smiled at little things that remained - the ugly bathroom benchtop, somehow surviving the ethnic cleansing of renovation. Little things like taps and toilet window glass, pavers and washing lines. A vivid memory from the smallest room of a challenge to a God I didn't yet believe in. But so little of me.

I began to search. Surely something remained beyond memories. My room had become faceless and while the window so often used as a means of egress might still have accomodated me, it didn't seem like it was my place to do it any longer.

In vain I searched under the deck for something of me - this had been the setting for many a clubhouse - I wondered if I dug up the floor whether the keepsakes I had buried would still be there. It didn't seem like a great idea for an Open Home. Surely I had scraped my initials somewhere under there - nagging memories of tagging the space tugged at my recollection but I couldn't find anything. No trace. Of me.

And then it came to me. I knew somewhere where the frequency of my passing had worn a memory into the structure of the house. No one would know. It must still be there.

The house in typical 70's style had a flat iron roof. Which made it great for climbing and hiding and exploring (and jumping off). I had looked for evidence of my descent from the roof - pock-marks in a piece of lawn where the slope of the section and the position of the roof made the jump to the ground acceptably dangerous. If you could time it just right, the ground would be soft enough to absorb great heel prints, nearly up to your ankle! But nothing remained.

But what about the access point? Where years of climbing onto the roof had begun the inevitable pulling away of the roofing material from the main structure. Round the back of the garage, the retained slope was just close enough for a young boy to jump up and grab the lip of the roof. Over the years it had become easier, more of a vault than a mad scramble! I ran my hand along the edge of the roof (funny how low it had become...) starting at the far end where I had never been until I found me. Traces of me. Of my passing remained.

Memories I have aplenty. But somehow it mattered that the house remembered me. That some trace of my passing remained. That it was so small didn't seem to matter.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Yeah Right

I just thought this was mean.