Thursday, December 25, 2008

Out and about.

It's not exactly Haleakala, but here's a lovely sunrise from my room with a view at #5!

Christmas Eve found me and Mum having lunch on the lake at Roundhay Park. Mr.Whippy was in the parking lot and I was a bit miffed to find a ‘coffee’ sign in the window of and ice cream van and had to investigate.

Blimey, I thought, these two big lads must be stealing the profits ("or at the Tetleys" my Mum said) “What’s with the coffee” I asked trying to equalize one of my childhood memories with the updated reality. The lads laughed and looked at me like I was gormless “No one wants ice cream in winter luv, coffee pays fut bills"...."and lord knows you must have them  with an ice cream van that's a Mercedes” I said walking off laughing.

Roundhay Park holds fond memories of helter-skelter slides, the fair and sledging in winter on Hill 99, all big fun for a little kid. I went for a run there before Christmas lunch to enjoy the gardens, lakes and trees, it has a magical way of rejuvenating me even in Winter as a grown up.

Today (Boxing Day) found all things bright and beautiful with the sun shining. Grabbing my shades Mum and I went for a tootle out in the car and found ourselves in Skipton. The Leeds-Liverpool Canal runs through here and we stopped to look at the swans and ducks. Don't be fooled by the sun's gentle glow delicately caressing my face, it was 'kin freezing!

Swan Lake it's not......but it's lovely to my eyes non the less.

And finally, he really is a Tulsa Gentleman! One of my loyal fans Bill Miller sent a lovely and thoughtful gift to Mater and we had fun putting him and his granddaughters back together in his jigsaw puzzle present. Many thanks and festive felicitations to you and your family this holiday season.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

So much to do, so little time.

Bugger....which little silver Matchbox toy car is Mater's?

I'm sure it's just me but I look at this and think the baker was having a laugh and making politically correct penguins! (Encrypted inner joke for a friend, you know who you are!). 

Thank goodness the gardeners plant pansy's everywhere to add a bit of color to the winter flora and forna......dear god I'm doing it again, losing the will to live from the boredom of my own post!

Crikey it's no wonder the Brit's have a good sense of humor, you have to when there's nothing to do but comment on the weather, the garden and the delicate scroll work on the lovely park benches!

Now , now, I'm only joking.....there's tons to do....really!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Pubs and grub.

I’ve been sampling some cracking pubs (and Guinness) lately and in my considerable research have decided it’s the building that is the main stay for the perfect drinking establishment (which probably explains why you can’t find a good one in the US)! There’s just such a cozy feel when you walk into an old house with lots of small rooms, many with fireplaces, brass on the window sills, low beams and a quick witted barman. It's pathetic, I all but swooned at the sight of a pint being pulled and a brass slop tray!

Another reason to step out and have a pint when the weathers crap is the characters. Talking of which, here’s my cousin Sue who even got Christmas cards at both her locals 'The Star and Garter' and 'The Harewood Arms'. Lush!

John Smiths 'Pure silk in a glass', "well that's bollocksy marketing" I thought, just for the record........I was wrong!

To soak up all the pints one needs some good food and 'beans on toast' are the perfect breakfast, lunch and dinner (of champions). Who says the food in the UK is naff?!

Talking of food, there are some great names for nosh over here, any one for some Toad in the Hole? For example I just got back from the pub (again) and if I'd have asked "what's for pud?" there's a high probability Id have got the answer "well -we've a lovely spotted dick"! Yes-yes-yes it's juvenile and that's what makes me laugh every time.

Coal buckets, wellies and brollys........what a welcome.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Thoughts from the home land.

Murphy's law, I paid more money to get on an earlier flight but it was delayed by fog....still, it looks like it's clearing!

As one does, I went to the loo at Heathrow and came across the most convenient dispenser any jet setting girl would ever need; namely; tampons, pain killers, mints and Durex! Brilliantly convenient (I thought) if you'd run out of toothpaste, are on your period, have cramps but fancy a shag with the tasty bloke sitting opposite you on the next flight! Genius in a vending machine.

Plus there was great solice at the Newsagents as ALL the chocolate was Cadburys and the man sitting behind the counter was wearing a turban which,(forgive me) amused me no end and oddly let me know I was home. Alas I didn’t have the balls to take his photo!

Anyway, once to my Mum's I slept like the dead as I was so happy to be horizontal and finally out of seats 33A, 35F and 16A respectively. Here I am this morning in my own glorious yawning version of 'The Scream'!
To fully climb back in my body I went for a swim, steam and sauna at the local health club. There were three blokes in the sauna and one of them had such a big chest I wondered if he’d had implants... but I digress. One bloke was yabbering away to his mate who clearly couldn't give a toss about the topic until it changed.
Bloke one: “so that Mel, she’s ready for ya”
Bloke two: “really why do ya say that”
Bloke one: “well she’s alright her…..she’s single, has a job and even owns her own pad in Roundhay. Easy peasy lemon squeasy that one”

I thought “Christ-how easy is it to pick up men from Leeds”?! You just tell them you've got a job, are unattached, own a pad (did I mention my Mum's flat is in Roundhay)and easy peasy lemon squeasy and you're in! In a wise move on the managements part at the David Lloyd Heath Center they decided not to install the genius vending machine in the locker room! Spoil sports.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Boots and coats.

I've driven past these boots for a least a month and finally stopped for a snap. It's normally tennies that you see dangling, so boots were a step up (no pun intended)! What intrigued me was how they're tired to the line, I figured you get your buddies fave shoes, you have a beer, then chuck them skyward (multiple times) until they finally land in the desired place. However, this photo reveals a more dastardly plot, tell me if I'm wrong but aren't those boots tied by one lace on the wire?!

Meanwhile, after reading an e-mail from a friend in England which was signed "last but not least, bring me sunshine" this morning I was motivated to go and enjoy that which he was missing.

Now I can't actually say I went 'surfing' as once I paddled out I only caught a few extremely short rides and guess what I DIDN'T CARE! The thought of my impending trip made me more grateful than ever to be in the beautiful blue ocean on Dec 10th with nothing better to do than count my blessings. Coincidentally as I came off the water I ran into a friend who'd just got back from Japan and then another who just returned from Germany and they both were sooooooooo happy to be back on Maui.

Talking of my trip, as I've lived in Hawaii for nearly 20 years I no longer own a coat. This is posing a slight problem as I'm heading to the UK on Sunday and it's farking freezing there! I'm not a midget, but finding someone my size with winter wear is proving tougher than I thought. Still, thanks to Meesh, my toes and hands will be protected, but it's the rest of me I'm worried about!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanks for Thursday off.

It was windy with small surf yesterday for the 4th annual Paia Bay Invitational surf contest. No one cared, as coolers, boards, dogs and chairs headed to the beach for some cheap entertainment. Hat’s off to Ian, Danny, Scotty and the rest of the crew who put their humor and good mana into what has become their Thanksgiving Day ritual.

Everyone loves a pretty girl and Danielle was making the lads especially thankful she showed up to surf yesterday!

I’m sure GP fiddled with the heats to create this exact moment!

Surf a heat, drink a heat, surf a heat, drink a heat (it was in the rules)!

Here’s Scotty coming in for his next round of brewskies. Blimey I think his neck is thicker than my thigh, I’ll whip out my tape measure next time I see him and get back to you on this mind numbing statistic.

And the winning wahine is ............MICHELLE! Sure she flashed her boobs in an excellent attempt to sway the judges, but as they were already half pissed she actually won on skill alone! Her prize was $1,000 of Danny and Scotty money (ie; nothing) and a bottle of marbles, just in case she loses a few of her own. Nice one Cyril!!

Post contest and head down a few beaches, those with big enough boards headed out for a sunset sail.

Where was I when all this activity was going on? Well being the hard core athlete I am, I deftly got sun tan lotion in my eye and it watered excessively for an hour (cue violins) so I left early. Still (being the trooper I am) I prepped myself for the next Turkey event, but thanks to my exhausted eye muscles got a headache, which took me out of all social activity and to bed by 8:30pm sober and pouty!

Luckily it's another beautiful day in paradise so this morning I'm clear eyed, not tired and heading to the beach on a Friday - score!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Stacks of friends.

Look at us, like a pair of lab rats! Without getting technical these are some of treatments I’ve been receiving for my headaches for the last four months. As well as chiropractic adjustments here I’ve got a cold lazer on my liver while my feet are in a detox foot bath. Meanwhile the loop on Renata’s shoulder is providing a healthy dose of pulsing magnets that penetrate deep into the tissue and cells. Of course clearly, laughter is always the best medicine.

And talking of laughter, there was a lot of that at Chelsea’s birthday party last night. It was a poetry/performance party that always brings out hidden talents. Here’s Anna reading to us and if you were so moved you took your turn. I read a couple of Spike Milligan classics, one being;

Said Hamlet to Ophelia,
I'll draw a sketch of thee,
What kind of pencil shall I use?
2B or not 2B?

Friends who are musicians supply great perks at a soiree such as this, Nathan and Gail (among others) provided some great entertainment and sweet moments with the guitar. Original creations and well known classics kept us entertained until I looked at the clock and it showed 11:58pm. I fled like Cinderella not because my 1993 Ford would turn into a pumpkin, but because I’m 47 3/4 and staying up any later costs me too much energetically the next day!

On another note entirely I commute to work past one of the last few working sugar mills in Hawaii. When this mill eventually shuts down, we'll lose one of the great guages of wind direction and strength! So may that day be long off ,coz today I'm heading Kanaha and will look toward the smoke with great anticipation.

Oddly I was behind the truck of a Chimney Sweep the other day and thought, "chim chimmery chim chimmery chim chim chiroo, where's the demand over here to clean chimneys & floo"? AND the driver didn't look anything like Dick Van Dyke or have big chimney sweep sticks loaded on his van which was very dissapointing and made me question his credibility. Blame Disney.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

What age do you act?

There was a lot of imagination at play yesterday as I watched these three little girls entertain themselves.

Their favorite topics seemed to be fish and models, as they vacillated between posing for Vogue on the reef and diving porpoise like into the water. They stuck stones in their bikini tops giggling uncontrollably and maturing pebble by pebble, until it all became too much. Then they threw away the offending rocks instantly reverting back in years, swimming off effortlessly and back to their own age group.

Portrait of a young man searching for breast enhancing rocks (dude behind you)!

Of course it's all fun and games until someone gets an urchin in their foot.

It bugs me when I see 4 and 5 year olds tramping around as 'mini me' versions of their mothers, hand bags, heals and halter tops included. It sucks that people actually buy this garbage which blurs the line between adult and child. I can almost stomach it in teenagers but WTF, kids need to be kids. I was in Indo about 5 years ago and it was so refreshing to see and feel the energetic age appropriateness of all youngsters. God, can some one put my teeth in, grab my senior buss pass and tell me where the hell I left my cardie?

Ok having said all that once you reach a certain age, for god's sake don't act it!

That's more like it...but no crying like a girl when you get the urchin in your foot (there's no pleasing me)!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Innocent as charged.

I once had a psychic tell me that my fear of losing data stems back to a previous life as a scribe. Ill fortune fell upon me when mead (or what ever swill I was drinking back then) spilled on to the important documents I was working on, ruining them forever and costing me my life!

Crikey it’s no wonder I’m a bit twitchy this lifetime about losing data. Just ask my business partner Nancy, she’s had to endure many a head scratching hour wondering WTF is wrong with me as I’ve paced and lost sleep over a problem that has not yet occurred! So I do what any obsessive person would do, I back up three times a day at work, a forth to a memory stick as I walk out the door and we have an IT God who shows up weekly to check our systems. This overkill is what it takes to sooth my worried brow.

So when the hard drive crashed on my laptop at home this weekend, it was progress indeed for me to only lose my head for half a day to feelings of anxiety and impending doom. Still given that I lost it completely the last time, I’m feeling exonerated from all past wrong doing. Plus for the record it was the cat that knocked the mead, that spilled on the parchment, that ruined the data, that put me in jail, that hung me dead.

I shoulda quilled an extra copy......have you?

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Random shots from last Wednesday.

When I look at this photo I feel tranquil.....when I looked at the waves she was going to surf, not so tranquil.

Looking at so many denim crotches remains me that good ol' Leeds United has been suffering not only from double groin injuries, but double entendres as well!

I've driven by Kanaha Pond a thousand times and finally stopped by to see what wildlife was actually there....hmmmmm it was a bit disappointing, mostly for the fish.

Nice day at the office. It's hard to know which I'd have more fun with, taking the pictures or having my picture taken.

Da fence.