Monday, December 10, 2007

Roast lamb

I was talking on the phone with my mum tonight, very proud of my recent achievement.

Me: Miss Q has a new boyfriend, and last night he was over for dinner to meet us. I made a lamb roast. It was beautiful, the best roast I have ever made. The meat was brown and crispy on the outside, and pink and juicy on the inside. I poked garlic and rosemary into the meat before I cooked it, so it was really tasty. I made baked potatoes too. I boiled them first, then shook them around when I put them in the tray with lots of oil, whole garlic cloves, sea salt and rosemary, so they were crunchy on the outside and fluffy in the middle. Yum! It wasn't as good as your roast though.

Mum: Yes, that sounds delicious. It couldn't have been as good as mine though.

Me: No way, mum. You make the best lamb roast ever. Plus, I think that roast always tastes a little better when someone else makes it.

Mum: That's true. Even your grandmother's roast tasted better to me. And that's saying something, because normally she wasn't the best cook. Even Robin tasted pretty good.

Me: Who's Robin?

Mum: That was your father's pet lamb. I was around for dinner one night, and halfway through the meal I said, "Reta, this is a lovely roast." "Yes," she said, "it's Robin."

Monday, December 3, 2007

Carry on blogging

Thank you readers (Ann), I will be continuing on with this blog. But first I have to get some new material.


I'm off to phone the Kiwi.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Scavenger hunt

November 30, and I have reached 30 items on my Scavenger Hunt list. It has been a joy, an education, and an eye-opener hunting through new blogs in search of interesting items. I orginally got (stole) the idea from Radioactive Jam. RaJ started with a list of suggested items, then created the posts to fit (to great effect). I went the other way, and created the list as I went along.

I've discovered some gems during the hunt, because I have gone out of my comfort zone, and concentrated on finding a point of interest in blogs I would normally skip. Calfkeeper for example, from Dairy Daze . The beautifully written entries about her life on a dairy farm are so fascinating, I've added her to my blogroll.

Looking back over the list, I am delighted with the range of items. Funny words, places, names, recipes, animals, events, pictures, and music. And it shows a novice blogger like me what a rich and broad spectrum of topics there are being written about.

So this is it for this year's PoMo. November 30 is the perfect day for a warm, fuzzy and sentimental post about what a wonderful blog-world we enjoy. Cue Louis Armstrong.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Where's the romance?

Tonight I hosted an open home buyers preview evening for a new property I have listed. It is by invitation only, with a couple of bottles of wine and a cheese platter.

This event has a number of benefits. It makes our buyers feel special. It cuts down on the intrusion on the sellers. And most importantly, it brings emotion into the process. The idea is if the buyers have a glass of wine and a relaxed, social atmosphere, they might start to imagine what it would be like when they are entertaining their family and friends. It turns the house into a home.

At least, that is the idea. It seems the buyers of Hobart have lost the romance.

When I go into a house, I immediately start imagining myself living there. How does the house suit my lifestyle? What are the features that would make my life better? How does it make me feel? Can I picture this being my home? Where would my furniture fit?

The house I was showing is a wonderful house for imagination and emotion. It is open, sunny, warm, big windows, wonderful view, massive kitchen, well designed, with 1940's aesthetics. Walking through the front door, you immediately sense the possibilities for a range of buyers. An older couple could love it, a family with young kids, a family with teenagers, or a professional couple who love entertaining. It's a blank slate. I love it, and if I had $450,000, I'd make it mine.

So I was surprised and saddened when the people who came through only noticed the minor faults and not the potential. They saw a crack in the wall, not the family together around the tv. They saw dated tiles in the bathroom, not a barbeque on the deck. They saw peeling paint on the window sills, not the view through the window. They saw a messy yard, not a secret garden for a child's swing. They saw trees that needed pruning, not a shady spot for a hammock in summer.

Where is the romance?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I wouldn't refer to myself as a tramp, and yet I am not without a certain amount of experience when it comes to holiday flings. I've travelled around the world a lot, and it seems that travelling is a great time to get lucky. I think it's because I don't behave the same way when I am in another country where I don't know anyone. Something to do with inhibitions. I won't reveal how many different nationalities I have under my belt, but my friends are impressed by my research.

So, in my opinion, here are the top 3 nationalities for bedroom skills.

1. New Zealand. Fun, adventurous, skillful and enthusiastic.
2. Australian. Fun, adventurous, skillful and enthusiastic.
3. Scottish. Fun, skillful and enthusiastic.

Special mention: Dutch. Adventurous and skillful.

Bottom 3 nationalities.

1. German. Just...bad. Could use a few pointers from their Dutch neighbours.
2. Moroccan. Bit my bottom lip so much that it puffed up like a balloon, and I had to take a day off work the next day because I was too embarrassed to go out in public.
3. South African. Have a tendency to fall asleep at inappropriate moments (in my limited experience)

These are broad and sweeping cultural generalisations, and my personal opinion only. The Checklist always trumps nationality.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What happened next?

So, in the previous post, I was just about to kiss the Kiwi for the first time, and was rudely interrupted by loud cheering. After I blushed, I laughed. Then I explained to the bewildered Kiwi exactly why the entire crowd at the bar was cheering me on. The perfect moment was lost on the dance floor. We didn't kiss, and retreated to a dark corner.

What happened next was I broke one of my cardinal rules, and decided to take the Kiwi back to my hotel room before I had kissed him. If I am going to have a holiday fling, there are certain boxes I like to tick, which help somewhat to know beforehand if a man is going to be any good in bed. I've learned the hard way that it is barely worth taking your clothes off if the sex is going to be bad, so there are a couple of things I like to check first.

1. Eye contact. A man must be confident enough to look me in the eye and hold my gaze.
2. Conversation. If a man can't hold a conversation, forget it.
3. Mirroring. Very promising body language. Shows he's interested and paying attention.
4. Dancing. Good moves on the dance floor = good moves in the bedroom.
5. Kissing. I won't sleep with a man who can't kiss. This is usually an important check point for me, because I believe that kissing tells so much.

I should stick to this list a lot more rigidly than I sometimes do, as I have found it reasonably successful in the past. It's a fair indication only though, not a guarantee.

The Kiwi ticked four out of my five, which I thought was enough. So I took him home with me, whereupon he ticked the fifth. And sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth.

The next morning I got back on the bus with about a minute to spare before we left to go to the airport. And I smiled all the way home.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Kiwi story

For the sake of this story, I have to reveal my name. You'll find out why at the end. It's Nerida.

I was in New Zealand for a free Contiki Tour with a bunch of travel agents. Contiki Tours are reknowned for being a wild ride, and travel agents are renowned for always being up for a party. Put the two together, and it was non-stop madness.

We toured the North Island of New Zealand. Some of the highlights were going through an underground river in an inner-tube and seeing glow worms on the ceiling of the cave, jet boating on Lake Taupo, riding a cable-car up a mountain and a luge back down, and the thermal springs in Rotorua.

While we were in Rotorua, we went to a Maori hangi feast. A hangi is cooking food in a pit underground, covered with hot rocks for several hours. Along with the feast was a demonstration of all the Maori cultural activities, including the Haka, and the poi.

There was also a warrior contest, where they split the crowd and each half had a warrior to cheer for. Twenty drunk travel agents, all chanting the name of our warrior.

"An-na-ru! An-na-ru! An-na-ru!" Late that night, we went to the thermal baths to relax and unwind. The baths are outdoors, carved from the volcanic rocks. The night air was cool, and the water was warm. We lay back and watched the steam rise into the darkness.

The following night was our final night in New Zealand, and we spent it in Auckland. And this is where I met the Kiwi for the first time. In a crowded backpackers bar. At the bar. He looked at me, I smiled, and that was it. We hit it off instantly, and there were sparks flying. And apparently it was not only obvious to me, but also obvious to everyone else there, including my travel companions.

The Kiwi and I talked and flirted, and eventually moved away from the bar and onto the dance floor. Things were hotting up as we danced closer and closer. We were at that precious moment when our faces were getting closer and closer together and I knew we were about to kiss for the first time....

Then, I heard the crowd. The travel agents had recruited the rest of the patrons at the bar, who started chanting,
"Ne-ri-da! Ne-ri-da! Ne-ri-da!"

Lucky I'm adorable when I blush.