Happiness is… a Girl Guide biscuit (or two)

Ok, so they don’t look exactly the same.

They don’t  taste exactly the same.

AND the new fancy logo is way harder to eat around than the old ones.

But still… Girl Guide biscuits are Girl Guide biscuits, and I finally found some to buy today. Yay!

For whatever reason, Guides and Brownies don’t come door-knocking to sell them anymore, so it’s a bit more of a mission to get hold of them than in the good old days. I just about tripped over a sign for them today, so it was obviously meant to be. Would have been rude not to.

My oh my, they taste good, so the next step is to get Kent to hide them from me, so they last longer than this weekend!


Noise control

One of the many reasons I love Taranaki is how vibrant it is here – there’s pretty much always something going on.

Last weekend was no exception – WOMAD was on in the park across the road. Normally our proximity to such an amazing venue is great, but it was a bit of a challenge this time round, especially as we had other plans and no tickets, as well as a battle for our usual carpark and the noise, oh the noise! Sunday night sounded like they were playing on the front lawn.

Mostly the volume just served to make me wish we’d forked out for tickets – it sounded  AMAZING and there I was, tucked up in bed, while what sounded like every other person in the North Island was having a fabulous time… boo. So there’s nothing else for it – next time, we’ll go.

No doubt we’ll be joined by the kind of people who drive this – can’t work out why some write it off as a hippy-fest?!


E xx

Fresh Eyes

I’ve just put a friend who we’ve had staying here for the last few days on a plane to the next stop on her NZ holiday and I’m both happy and sad. Happy because Dawn was someone I worked with in UK, who I’d got along well with, but never really got to know and the last few days have been a great chance to change that. We’ve had plenty of laughs, some great chats and far too much food… although she showed far more restraint than I. Sad because there’s something holiday-ish about having someone to stay – even if it’s their holiday –  and once they’re gone, it’s back to normality (including doing my own dishes – ugh).

What is great about visitors is the chance to look at things through someone else’s eyes…  I find it pretty easy to see something every day and take it for granted, so when Dawn asked if the amazing scenery here still made us think, “Wow!”, I did have to think about it. But only for a second. How could this not be “Wow”?



E xx


Today is our first wedding anniversary – a time for romance and all that mushy stuff.

To mark the occasion, Kent bought me an advanced Italian language DVD. I’ve been learning slowly for years, but I have been thinking I need to keep it up and get a bit better, so he gets top marks for present buying – something he’s not overly consistent with (red overalls for our first Christmas, a toolbelt for the most recent, anyone?).

As a small nod to tradition, he wrapped it in newspaper. He looked pretty chuffed with himself for knowing the first anniversary gift was paper. He was so pleased, in fact, that I didn’t have the heart to tell him that actual wrapping paper would have counted as paper… also because I was frantically trying to think of a way to put a positive spin on the nothing I bought him. That’s right. Nothing.

I did try to get him a gift, something I thought was quietly awesome, which I was so organised for, I ordered it at the end of last year, thinking, “Ha ha, I am the Master of anniversary gifts!”. Apparently I am still very much an apprentice as it hasn’t arrived… almost 3 months later. Sounds like an awfully convenient excuse? Sadly, it’s completely true… but the day is young and redemption may still be possible.


Happy Anniversary… perhaps I could print this and it will count as ‘paper’?

E xx

The Other White (W)rapper

I spend far too much time (and probably money) on gift wrapping. I suppose the thinking is that I love it when I’m given something that is so beautifully wrapped that I almost don’t want to break the magic and prettiness to get inside and see what someone is spoiling me with… that almost lasts until my curiousity overwhelms me – about 4 seconds, then.

Not surprisingly, it’s been pretty exciting to be able to legitimise my wrapping fixation when sending out my wedding DVDs, like this one:

It’s made it all the way to Malawi, via Germany, containing images taken in Argentina and processed in NZ… am loving how international that makes me sound!

E xx


It feels wrong to be starting a blog today of all days. Beginning something when so much has ended in the last week.

At 12.51pm I found myself in a church I have often driven past and thought was almost as pretty as the Christchurch Cathedral. Or almost as pretty as the Cathedral was – today it is a symbol of the destruction that has hit Christchurch and broken the people of Canterbury and the hearts of so many of the rest of us. It was incredibly moving to see so many fall silent to pay respects and show support for those in Christchurch… not for the first time in the last few days I found myself welling up during the national anthem.

Like so many far away from the rubble, it has felt wrong to go about my ordinary life every day for the last week, the only unusual thing being a daily call south to check in on my family, making sure we are still some of the lucky ones who remain largely untouched by the earthquake.

But while it feels so uncomfortable, it also feels important to go on going on – because it’s only by luck and location that it’s not me without a house or my life. Ultimately, it’s the best reminder that everything can change in an instant and the life you’re living should be one you’re making the most of. I’m disappointed that it’s taken such a devastating event to wake me up and remind me of the importance of, well, everything, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who had forgotten.  Nor will I be the only one thinking about how to make the most of this opportunity; because amid the heartbreak and horror, that’s what those of us unaffected have: an opportunity.

While my opportunity centres around (amongst other things) this new venture and how hard I will work for it to grow, today isn’t about that as much as it is about remembering those who have lost and been lost and a reminder to value what we still have.

E x