I never thought that I would be living in a place where the culturally redeeming activities were things like a yearly back hoe digger contest held in Feilding (yes, that's spelled correctly). In case you care, Brett Hollyman has won the digger contest for two years running. Even I couldn't make that up. Click here for proof!

Or how about local  sheep shearing contests? They take that pretty seriously over here. Would I lie? Click here if you don't believe me. The Stratford contest was on Sunday, the 28th of March. That's all preparation for the World championships that take place ever 2 or 3 years around the world.

Sadly I have missed out of both of these events. *smirk* Sorry, I'm a city girl and don't get enthused about things like that.

However......I did manage to get to the first annual Eltham Cheese Rolling Contest. It makes sense that Eltham has an annual Cheese Day, since it is the home of 2 large cheese factories. And they had the perfect place to host the contest. I was surprised at the amount of folk that showed up to watch and to participate. There was also a contest for 'best dressed' racer.

So, now I can say I've been to a cheese rolling contest. Say 'cheese'!


My first giveaway!

When I first began blogging, I thought I'd alway be a tiny speck in cyberspace with nobody to read my posts except a few friends. Things have certainly changed since then!

My 200th post will be coming up soon and I wanted to do something special and something Kiwi to celebrate. I decided to do a giveaway for this paua (abalone) necklace.

This is a traditional Maori carving called 'Koru' which represents the fern frond as it opens, symbolizing peace and new birth.

The necklace comes with an adjustable string, as you can see in the photos.

Any published comment on this blog from now until the 200th post (this post is #195) will have an entry into the drawing. If you comment on each post, you will have 6 entries!

Good luck!


Postcard from Canada

I received this postcard in the mail and couldn't wait to share it! It's hand painted from Jennifer over at Just Add Water, Silly. I think it's fabulous and I shall treasure it always!


The Boat that Rocked

So, now I'm in a country that was prominently settled by the English and who are the antithesis to American culture. A lot of our TV shows are straight from England and some lead to some very interesting conversations between the Murcan Wife and Pommy Hubby--mostly beginning with 'that wouldn't have happened in America!'...

I've never been this close to English culture before and find it quite an eye-opener. I finally realize why the Pilgrims left. No, really. Not just because of impulsive rebellion. They had their reasons.

We recently saw the movie The Boat that Rocked. Despite the title sounding like it should be some sort of oceanic porn, it's actually a based-on-fact account of Rock and Roll Radio in England in the 1960's. The government owned and operated the air waves but wouldn't play what the people wanted. So, pirate radio stations started anchoring offshore to play the good stuff.

That wouldn't have happened in America!

Now you know why the Beatles had to go to the US to be heard.


St Barnabas Church

Not sure where this was, but thought it was cute.


Thoughts...probably TMI

In 1977, the NZ law for turning across oncoming traffic became ridiculous. It called for those creeping around the corner to yield give way to those crossing traffic. (I will pause and let you run through that scenario in your mind. Yes, in the US, right turns have to let those turning left into the same direction go first.) They are now considering changing it back to coincide with the rest of the world. Hoo-ray.

This metric thing still messes with my head. Not that I can't do any of the conversions--Puh-lease! I don't even try. I just ask hubby! No, it's the fact that it's not used for everything. I mean, if you're going to be metric, then BE METRIC! Don't be 'metric, except for the following things':
  • a dozen eggs
  • computer/tv screen size in inches
  • large amounts of liquid are termed in gallons
  • photo prints/picture frames sold in inches
  • recipes use cups and tea/tablespoons
Of course, NZ can't help but be a bit confused if the motherland of England buys litres of gas to travel in miles!!

Reporting here still sucks. 'They' expect you to know what you're reading about before you read their article. Does anyone besides me see the flaw in that logic?

I'm pretty sure I will never order a prawn pizza from Pizza Hut. (I don't think anybody should ever eat bottom-feeders.) And I still can't find any Italian sausage to make a 'real' pizza.

Hearing 'McDonalds' and 'Weight Watchers' in the same sentence without it being a full-swing comparison was something I never imagined I'd ever hear. I was wrong.

It's hard to believe that a phone service could bomb as badly as Telecom's XT phone service did. Click for news item. I'm glad we left them a while back.

I thought some things only happened in America, but even here a nuisance neighbor called the cops because he thought the neighborhood was harassing him by calling the noise control office--even though he was playing his music loud enough to be heard several blocks away! It seems that after the police did their 'courtesy calls' and gathered all the evidence that he was found listening to his music in the back garden again, but this time only he could hear it!

Now and then,I would love to be a fly on the wall of some advertising agencies. Maybe then I could figure out why the same Fujifilm cameras don't have the same number all around the world. Maybe Americans just like smaller numbers.


'Here' and 'there'

I grew up was raised in the city. Just about everyone had a house with two identical apartments (one upstairs, one down) that sat a few feet from the sidewalk footpath on a lot that was probably 25 or 30 feet wide--you could barely walk between the houses on one side. This is what I knew as life for many years. So, you can understand how breath-taking I think the scenery here is.

You don't get wild horses roaming the countryside in Chicago. It just doesn't happen.

I only saw sights like these clouds when passing through the Smoky Mountains. Here, I can drive for a couple of hours and see it daily, if I choose.

But, of course, there is a down side. This is not a 'side road'. This is the main road in the National Park area (that's a city, not a park...).

Life wouldn't be so interesting if there weren't so many differences between 'here' and 'there'.