28 August 2009

Into the wild green yonder



So, the main reason I wanted to come back from Asia was because I missed the wide-open spaces of Aotearoa. I also missed seeing green and having enough room in my flat to swing a cat. Here comes the irony. I‘ve only recently moved out of a small, city apartment that was surrounded by concrete and noisy neighbours. I’ve also been made to think about the last time I went out of the city because a friend, who visited from England, 1 year ago, sent an email entitled “Has it really been a whole year?”.

It seems that the only time we make it out of the city is if we have guests to entertain. Why? Isn’t this why we came back to New Zealand…to be in New Zealand? Apr├Ęs epiphany, Mr. P and I decided that, since he’s being forced to take the holiday he’s been saving up, that we’d take off and do a bit of a road trip.

We’re headed south. Our original plan was to spend the week in the Tongariro National park skiing on the volcanoes, but when we found out how much they add on to accommodation prices for the ski season have thought again. We still plan to go skiing mid-week when we can get a cheap pass that includes a free lesson. I need it, he doesn’t. But first, we’re going to set off Saturday morning and try to get all the way to Napier. We’ve never been there and we were joking that it’s going to be a bit of a busman’s holiday since it’s the most art deco-ed town in NZ. But that’s not why we’re going. We’re going because we need a road trip. We need to get out of the city. We need to get far away from work, looking for work, and all the other stresses of everyday life. Most of all, we need to go to New Zealand. Don’t get me wrong, I L.O.V.E. love Auckland. It’s, in my opinion one of the best places to live in the world, but we need to get out and frolic in the rolling hills, so to speak.

I reckon we should pretend to be backpackers. We can shove all the needed accoutrements into our long-neglected packs, fill the station wagon with pasta, teabags, low temperature sleeping bags, and tramping gear, and take off. Zip off trouser/shorts and English optional.

25 August 2009

Procrastibaking once again



I should be unpacking boxes so our upcoming guests have a place to sleep...I should be getting materials ready for my students tomorrow...I should be on my new treadmill...but no, I'm procrastibaking again.

These little biscuits are pretty amazing. Apart from the chocolate chips they are vegan and sugarfree. They also have no flour and must be as "low-carb" as you can get as far as junk food is concerned...although a hate to label these "junk".

I got this from Heidi Swanson's 101 Cookbooks website which seems to have an awful lot of things on it that I want to eat. She got the recipe from a friend. Check out her story and recipe here...and I highly recommend the recipe, especially if you are meant to be doing other things.

08 August 2009

And the moral of the story is...


And the moral of the story is...
Originally uploaded by Shanti, shanti

…always shoot in RAW. Dammit!
I was contacted through Flickr by someone who wanted to buy one of my photos. It took me ages to work out how much to charge for it and then draw up a contract. The buyer was a group of art students who were contracted to do the art in a cruise ship owned by Norwegian Cruise Lines. So, she told me that my photo would be enlarged and hung in a tryptich with one from another photographer, and one from a photo library. The bad part is coming…look away now if you are squeamish.

I finally located the external hard drive that had the photo in question and found that it was a Jpeg. WTF!? It was a photo I’d taken quite early on and I had no idea about these things then…in fact I don’t know enough now, but I’m learning quickly. So, to make a long story longer, there was no way a Jpeg could be enlarged to the size they needed so I lost the sale. Bugger.

I’m trying to be Zen about it all. I really did learn something here. It’s pretty impractical to take photos in RAW all the time since I haven’t got the capacity to save all of that stuff, but the next time I’m travelling, or at least “in the zone” as far as taking photos, I’ll be sure to switch over. You never know what could happen.