Not much is happening here in Auckland this month, making me at a bit of a loose end. I’m hoping that I’m through the worst of the illnesses going around at the moment – including the virus which laid out me last week. I do think I’ll go down to Wellington next month – both to go to Te Papa and because one of my friends has just bought a new house in Wellington, which admittedly I’d really like to sticky beak and go and check it out 🙂 Though, I’m planning on asking her when she’s having her house warming party and planning the trip around her party, but as she’s only just bought her new house in the last couple of weeks she’s going to need time to settle in.

The only really big thing happen here at the moment is my brother and SiL are having their house completely (and I do mean completely) redone. They’re having the roof replaced, which is a serious undertaking as they have an old (1920s/1930s?) house which has asbestos in it, which of course means it has to be removed and replaced with safer modern insulation. They’re also having the kitchen completely redone, with walls being taken out the kitchen itself made larger, a new breakfast area, and they’re also having a covered deck area built at the same time – I think the deck is the one of the reasons the roof is being redone?

Anyway, their house is being worked on for over 12 weeks. They’re certainly out of the house in a rental for 12 weeks as the bulk of the work is done. They did have the roof of their garage replaced while they were still in the house – the garage is a lot newer and wasn’t insulated with asbestos so they didn’t have to move for that part. They also had gas lines put into the house last month – for that gas water heater that’s supposed to provide limitless amounts of hot water….

My SiL and her best friend have decided to spend the long weekend having another Australian shopping trip, though this time they’re only going to Sidney while they went to Melbourne last time. (Which was what 2-3 months ago? Short of actually going and checking I’m not certain – but it was certainly within the last 6 moths at the most). Her mother is looking after my nieces and nephews until she gets back on Sunday, though they do have a new au pair by now.

We had a family dinner at a restaurant on Monday night – which I’m actually really pleased my SiL insisted we go to this restaurant I hadn’t been to in years, as the last time I’d gone there the food had been very very average at best, but it was great on Monday so I’m sort of assuming that they’ve got a new chief/owner since the last time went there! Anyway, on Monday my SiL was telling all of us that it had occurred to her that she’s never been to Sidney before, despite having gone to Australia a number of times before and she had decided to “correct” that!

Though given the horrible weather Australia’s been having in that area my SiL might have been better off putting off the shopping trip and not going like OMG NOW!!! And actually waited until their spring or something. I’m also not entirely how many shops are going to open there tomorrow morning – tomorrow’s Anzac Day – as if Australia is anything like New Zealand, then a lot of/all shops are going to be closed for part of tomorrow… Which would put a serious dampener on her little shopping trip. Mind you they did leave yesterday afternoon, so they’re going to have 3 full days there and I assume they’ll be be able to find something to do if shops are closed tomorrow!

Yesterday I found out that my SiL is actively trying to find a job. She hasn’t had a job since she left the sole full-time job she got straight out of University, which lasted somewhere in the 6-8 month range! (She meet and started dating my brother while they were both at University and she left her job when they moved in together). All of the money came from my brother of course so she could afford to not work. I have no idea why she’s suddenly decided to start a job hunt now after so long.

She knows someone who works at one of the Universities based in Auckland and went out to see them yesterday afternoon, apparently dressed in jeans, some sort of bright top and a very long trench coat type coat – which I’ve heard all about from my mother who ended up babysitting my nieces and nephew yesterday so my SiL could go do this… I don’t think it went well, as I ended up seeing my SiL earlier on today and she looked really unhappy or depressed which is incredibly unlike her.

I’m half assuming, knowing her personality and the way she thinks from the things she constantly talks about, that she expected to wander in to the University, see her friend, be introduced to a few people and instantly have a few jobs that she could pick and choose from. The idea that they might not have any jobs available right now, or have any jobs they’d be willing to give to her, or that she’d actually have to apply for these jobs properly just like everyone else, or that she might not be viewed as being that hireable for any type of job, properly never occurred to her! So the fact that she wasn’t offered at least one job on the spot, would have been unthinkable to her… 🙁


The dinner out I was talking about in yesterday’s post actually went a lot better than I expected it to given that everyone actually turned up! (In other words my two and a half year old nephew didn’t threw enough of a fit that meant he and my SiL had to stay at home instead).

He looked incredibly unhappy the whole meal, which was made worse by the fact that we didn’t order until about 6.30ppm and he didn’t get his meal until just before 7pm when he’s usually eaten his dinner 6pm and is going to bed at 7pm! 🙁  While he and my youngest nieces had their dinners when the rest of us had our entrees, they both had to sit through the rest of us having a three course meal and we didn’t leave until about 9pm!

I do think it was mean to take my nephew to the restaurant – he would have been so much happier at home with a babysitter than being stuck sitting a restaurant having to behave himself.

Taking children everywhere is not appropriate and I’ve always wondered why some people do thing it is. Kim Kardashian with her unhappy, screaming daughter on her lap in the front row of a fashion show is a prime example. Unfortunately, my SiL is another prime example 🙁

My parents have been arranging a family meal out, (at a nice Italian restaurant), over the last couple of weeks. My youngest niece and my  two and a half year nephew WERE NOT INVITED. My youngest niece is old enough she could have coped if my parents had made a point of having an early booking – when she is invited they usually make the booking for something like 5.30pm so that’d we’d get there before the majority of the other dinners and she’d have have her dinner in front of her by 6pmish or so at the latest.

Unfortunately my mother found out that my SiL rung up the restaurant and changed my parents booking to include my youngest niece and nephew without talking to anyone about it first 🙁 Apparently my SiL is in one of of her “OMG I have to take ALL of my children with me EVERYWHERE at ALL times” things at the moment. (She does do this – once she took my nieces to one of my cousin’s weddings, despite the fact that they weren’t invited, there NO children invited at all, and there weren’t even any children in the wedding party!) My youngest niece could probably cope with it just, especially if she was taken home early. BUT my nephew is only two and a half years and is going through the prime terrible twos along with the most awful temper tantrums imaginable.

He’s already going to be tired and grumpy when we’re due to be at the restaurant as it’s near his bedtime and as he’ll be hungry too there isn’t going to end well 🙁 My father is NOT happy about this either, especially as my SiL just up and decided this on her own, as well as thinking that this kind of behavior on her part is OK. This has happened a couple of times before, the first time they ran around the restaurant as my brother and SiL refused to make them behave combined with the fact that both of them were far too young going out to a restaurant. The second time my nephew started throwing one of his  massive tantrums just as they were trying to get ready to leave so my SiL ended up staying at home with him instead – which is what I’m hoping will happen again tonight.

I went out for lunch with my parents today, just to one of the nicer local cafes that does good food and my father likes the coffee they make – my father isn’t that keen on coffee and can be incredibly picky, the cafe we went to is one of the few places that makes coffee my father likes AND makes decent food. (There is another place that does great coffee according to my father, but it’s tiny and they have odd ideas of what makes great food as well as purposely putting too little filling into their sandwiches – the  kinds that looks like they have lots of filling from the side they have on view but the filling stops completely about half way into the sandwich itself 🙁 ).

Anyway, apparently my brother has been on a kit boarding trip to South America at least once before but it was years ago. According to my mother he’s been to the same beach he and his friends are planning on going to again in August. Which goes to show how little I can pay attention to some of the things my family get up to! 🙂 That said my brother does seem to be going away a lot, usually within New Zealand and often just for long weekends or a week away with his friends, rather than them going all the way to South America of course!

My brother is in the middle of planning a 3-4 week trip to Peru so he and his friends can go kite boarding on what he says is one of the best kit boarding beaches in the world. It’s one of the main things he’s been talking about recently – admittedly it doesn’t help that various people always ask him about it 🙂 According to him there’s this one long beach in the coast where you can be picked up by the wind and go flying down the beach for so long long you’re arms are at the point of giving up on you! (OK so that’s very second hand and I only heard him describe this once, so my version of it is properly off).

He and his two friends are going in August, when my two nieces will be in school so that my SiL, my nieces and my nephew will be staying at home rather than going with him to Peru. I had sort of been assuming that they would be going with my brother, as they often go with him when he goes on his kit boarding trips to Australia – for part of the trip if nothing else, especially as my SiL has friends who currently live in various parts of South America and she & the kids could have always gone to visit them too. She’s also pulled my eldest niece out of school for various of their overseas trips, though going for 3 or 4 weeks would be a bit much.

This is going to be one of his longest kit boarding trips, though if they’re going all the way to South America they might as well go for a decent length of time! My brother and his friends usually go to various parts of New Zealand for a long weekend to 5/7 days and to Australia for 1-2 weeks for their kit boarding holidays and this is the first time I can remember them going further afield.

I’m actually mildly jealous, as I’ve never been to Peru – I really haven’t been anywhere in South America at all. Personally, I’d love to go and see all of the historical parts of Peru.

I’ve been talked into going to a number of the different events for the Auckland Anniversary Weekend in the central city -which starts tomorrow. My mother is keen to go to the seafood cooking event one of the days it’s on and I’ve agreed to go with her. At the rate everything is going it’ll be on Sunday so we can stay in the city and watch the fireworks that night! At least we don’t have to hang around to midnight to see it.Given that it’s Auckland’s 175th Anniversary, there are quite a few Auckland Anniversary Weekend events on this year compared to normal, where the only I can really remember happening most years are the regattas on the gulf. (I’m sure there’s usually tons of other things on but I never go to them so…)

The weather is great here, so we shouldn’t have any problems on that end for the whole weekend 🙂 It’s also getting slightly cooler and a lot less humid, making it physically pleasant to go outside now.

I’ve also started watching the first season of “The Killing”, which is actually rather good and I’m pleased I’ve started it. I am pleased I went to check the series online as I’ve found out that it pulls a “Twin peaks” and takes the first two seasons to solve the case introduced in the first episode, which would have annoyed me no end if I had gotten to the end of the first season only to find this out!

I am actually rather relieved that the weather is good today, as the weather report for today last week was for rain and thunder & lightening! 🙂 So the Franklin Road Lights are on tonight, dinner as well but we were always going to be going out for dinner tonight no matter what the weather was like.

My mother is worried about the rain traveling down the South Island this week though, as she’s going away for 5 days/4 nights later on this week and doesn’t particularly want it raining while she’s down there.

It’s safe to say that I’m going to be incredibly busy over the next 3-4 weeks, meaning I’m not going to have much time to post here 🙁 (For those who know me in rl, I’ll have my cell phone with me at all times, so will be available via that and things like my facebook at least – will properly need to see if I can get an app of some sort so I can easily post to this blog while I’m out…)

Anyway, the family dinner on Saturday night went a lot better than the previous one – we didn’t have any angst or people starting to cry at this one which was a plus for everyone involved, especially when there’s absolutely nothing anyone can do about the problems! (As much as I hate to say I’m incredibly pleased that it’s not my direct family that’s falling to pieces and it’s all related to my uncle’s wife’s side rather my blood relations). One good thing is that came across a rather good French Champagne, (ie a real  Champagne and not just a sparkling wine), which everyone seemed to like or love, so my parents have been stocking up on that.

There is going to be a trip away on someone’s boat at least once between now and Christmas, it’s just a matter of working when, where and who. My mother is going to be a bit of a problem she’s going away for 4(?) days during the 7 days before Christmas day and is only back in Auckland 2 days before Christmas itself, and my aunt & uncle are going away on their yacht to have Christmas & New Year’s away on that – my cousins are going with them for part of that time too of course. And, and, and…..

I also haven’t done any of my Christmas shopping yet. I know what I’m going to get for my parents, my brother (mostly), my eldest niece, and my nephew – everyone else is going to be a problem of some sort. And I’m knee deep in parties and dinners with friends until the new year too.