Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Potential brewing and wedding frivolities

Two weekends ago a kind friend and I missioned up to a farmhouse inland from Warkworth to pick up some home brew gear.  The request of two cars was a little overkill (sorry Fraser) but it was a nice drive there and back.

The gear looks like it hasn't been used in many a year but it is a complete kit.  The guy kindly offered a few wee hints to get us started.  Mr. Fox is keen to make a start next weekend though it will certainly need a good scrubbing and sterilising before we begin.  A little research into the art of brewing wouldn't go astray either.  All going to plan, cheap beers should be the mainstay of Friday nights.

Little bit dusty but aren't the boxes cool?!
Poor Mr. Fox's back was still very painful and stiff over the last couple of weeks so we went for a gentle stroll up to the end of the street and back one evening.  The street may not be picturesque but the clouds were striking and the vineyard equipment interesting.  I am keen to taste the wine from there so will have to pop in and ask if they sell locally.
Vineyard at end of the street

A little follower

A view from our driveway
Friend's weddings are such a wonderful celebration and last weekend was the wedding of a very dear friend.  It was a busy few days and meant that we had to fly south to Christchurch then drive to Geraldine.  We had fantastic road trip buddies and laughed til my side hurts. Su-lin and Greg you rock.

 The Hens and Bucks day started with white water rafting.  After Mr. Fox hurt his back we both thought we might sit it out but on the day the numbers needed to be boosted...so off I went.  The Rangitata Rafts company was really nice.  The safety brief and signing a waiver made me feel more than a little hesitant to jump on in but it was too late. There was 14 of us that were also attending the wedding  (including the lovely bride and her groom).

Lunch was served, we were kitted out and on our way. The first 30 minutes or so on the river was pretty calm and involved lots of safety drills/practice. We then got to try out a few grade 3 rapids ( Grade 1 being calm water and Grade 5 being the biggest white water).  The first grade 5 rapid was short and intense.......our boat did not make it through upright. All of us fell into the water and the next few minutes were so terrifying.

 Much of the river was swallowed by me as I was pulled through/under the rapids. I was so relieved to make it to another boat, thoroughly exhausted and waterlogged. My darn foot was caught in some rocks when my legs were pushed under the boat by the current. Greg was trying to tug me in but the boat kept trying to go over me, my foot stayed stuck and the water kept going over my face. Finally I spun round (not sure how) and he pulled me in. Lol I must have been a sorry sight.....and not in the least graceful or dignified. It was exhilarating to be safe.

The second grade 5 rapid is much longer but the guides were confident we had done everything right when the two boats were emptied. Most of us were shaken but keen to continue. So off we went. There were a few hairy moments but our boat staying the right way up while some others didn't. The rescuees became the rescuers...not sure what was worse really. Seeing people in the water desperate to be in a boat was not nice. Especially when two went missing for a few minutes. Everyone was located and some of us leapt off a 4m cliff for fun (a few jumped 9m but I didn't)  The trip was soo much fun and a real bonding experience. It provided much to talk about over the weekend as we compared our adventure.

The excited team (I'm on the far left with the light blue helmet)

Oooh grade 3 that was fun

Coming at you grade 5


Nailed it......

.......or maybe not! Oh dear!

At least the guide stayed on!

Being rescued
Stay left...crikey

Made it through the second grade 5, the boat behind us didn't!
 After recovering from the excitement, the rest of the weekend involved old friends and new too meeting up at various places for a chinwag.  The batches out at Ti Moana Gorge that belong to the brides family, the Geraldine pub,  cafes and of course the wedding. The ceremony was lovely and held at Castle Claremont which had beautiful grounds to match the loveliness of the house.  Hannah was a beautiful and radiant bride and Pat a handsome groom. The vows were sweet. The reception was fun and we danced up a storm.

claremont castle
Photo source

Seeing our friend so happy to be married was wonderful.  As was catching up with our friends of 10 years. It  all went very quickly. Now I can't wait to plan my wedding and hopefully have those same friends come to celebrate our marriage.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

January 2013...ENGAGED!!!

Well kinda the best January ever!  Mr. Fox proposed....so romantic and just perfect to be proposed to in our first home.  So very happy to becoming one step closer to being officially Mrs. Fox. Gosh I love that man.

The surprise stocking

It was a total surprise and I am still riding the high. What a treat to wear a gorgeous ring that symbolises an upcoming wedding.  We had such fun telling our family and friends...oh my goodness it is marvellous to share good news isn't it?!  The next we spent at the Piha with Raj and Fraser......sunshine, swimming, Fish and Chips and BBQ dinner was the perfect first day as an engaged couple.  We hope to get hitched at the end of 2013 or the start of 2014 and already have a million ideas for the celebration. Spoilt too with delicious heart shaped brownie and a visit with Chris and Claire. Wish I had taken photo of that lovely handmade baking.

Last weekend we headed to Weezer on Friday night. It was sooo much fun. The stadium was just buzzing. Weezer had the crowd involved and it was a fun nostalgic night. Epic good times. Fun date to have with Mr. Foxy. A drink at Cassette, Japanese for dinner and then a concert. Perfect.

Saturday morning we got up early, loaded up the car, filled up the cat bowls and headed to Goat Island Camping ground. What a beautiful place.  Had never snorkeled before and after a few false starts got into it. Raj was a patient teacher to say the least....initially I was useless (thanks hun).  So fantastic to see the masses of fish in the Marine Reserve. The little ray that popped it's face outta the water when we sat on the rocks was a highlight.  Poor Mr. Fox had a very sore back but was such a trooper. We were both pretty tired after a weeks work and the concert the night before but grateful we had made the effort to go north. Soo good to relax in idyllic surroundings with friends.
Camping lighting

The Silly Season 2012

December is such a funny month...always goes so fast and drags at the same time.  It was certainly crazy this year but isn't it always.  Thinking up gifts, wrapping, socialising. It's the best and the worst for this sometimes rather introverted Fox.

 Fraser celebrated his birthday with Japanese. Eyes bigger than my belly I ordered far too much...it was glorious. And the cabbage plate with mayo was insanely good. Like seriously amazing. It was a fun night. Missed little Raj something wicked that night.

We got a table....so stoked.  Expect no chairs! All in good time. These arrive this week. Watched a lot of Girls. So funny, so weird. Love it but like hardly any of those spoilt brats. The lawns grew to great heights and we started referring to it was the meadow. Outdoor cooking came with the purchase of a BBQ.  Really fantastic to have a BBQ crank up every now and then. Lily the cat finally became more chilled out and settled....once more Queen of the Manor ( think she has been watching too much Girls!!). Got out to Piha for that first Summer swim.

uh oh becoming the blogger that posts cat pictures...teehee
Before heading home for Christmas we saw Die Die Die and Caroles at the Kings Arms. Caroles stole the show. Total chaos and teenage angst. Lol made me grateful not to be a teenager and jealous at the same time.

Christmas Curry 2013
Christmas Curry is a tradition that kicks off Christmas week. It's always at 28b Evans st, always takeaway curry and one of the most cherished nights of the year. It is awesome to have a constant year after year. Each year it is always different folks there and a different vibe but Jeremy, Chris, Mr. Fox and I started it off and I think have made it to each once since. 2013 Christmas Curry was really chill.....lots of yawns but was perfect nevertheless.

Southland had fantastic weather again for the week of celebrations. Blisteringly hot and still.  Ate far too much and was thoroughly spoilt.  Just love giving out gifts and seeing people rip into them.  It was lovely to have Mr. Fox's Mum and partner over on Christmas eve.....becoming another tradition. Christmas day was very chilled out with us all feeling a bit wilted from the heat. Sister Fox and I took a bit of respite in the outdoor bath...bliss to feel a little less hot.

Ma Fox's lovely garden

Ma Fox has a lovely post on Christmas post with cute photos too.  Boxing day was spent with Mr. Fox's family.  What a great time we had.  Headed up to Piano Flat which is incredibly beautiful and has an awesome playground!  The river has a big grassy bank and native forest, there were a few families camping but certainly not crowded.  It's on the list for future camping trips.

The backyard meadow went crazy much to the delight of Lily, the birds and insects. It is rather lovely and although I am looking forward to the lawn being mown someday I must say I kinda like it so ramshackle.  Feels like the house has been plopped down in a country meadow not in suburbia.

Rambling geraniums by the back fence


Hello cutie tootie

Spot the kitty

Bloggy Catch....again. October and November 2012


Well that was another long break but today I got the motivation back to sneak back into this space and catch up.  The weeks seem to fly past and it doesn't seem to take long to be out of the habit of picking up the camera or putting fingers to the keyboard.  It frustrates me that this space has been so neglected.
October and November last year went very quickly. Work, Friday nights, housework it all takes up time and energy and I felt rather flustered in the lead up to Christmas.......unsettled and swept along in the busyness.

I flew home to visit Ma and Pa Fox.  It was a wonderful trip and so lovely to see them, I took Mum up to a Chemo session and was overwhelmed by the situation.  The nurse was lovely and got me take a few breaths and get myself in check.  I have never been so grateful to know the wonderful hands that are taking care of such a special lady.  All tests so far are positive and Mum is such a brave warrior.  We will beat this damn thing.  We had a cheeky visitor outside our window the morning of treatment.  He was so funny and darn cute.
Good morning Mr.
We laid low most of the week just Mum, Dad and I.  Resting, chatting, a wee bit of crafting.  Dad hooked up the caravan and we spent a lovely afternoon at Fortrose Estuary despite the blustery winds.  The thermette was put to good use and inside the caravan was super cosy.  It was a wrench to leave home. Leaving always feels like I am leaving part of me behind.

My very special friends and Mr. Fox had been working hard all weekend on the most wonderful cheering surprise while I was away.  No words can express how touched, surprised I was when I got home to a fantastic raised vegetable garden. I still feel overwhelmed by their kindness and feel all gooey inside when I see it in the yard.  Brylee, Tony, Toby, Chris and Claire; Thank you a million times over.

A perfect surprise
Die Die Die played on Halloween weekend and we went along.  Fun of course...crazy definitely. Can't remember what else we got up too (another reminder of why I need to blog more..oh rats).


This was such a fun month filled with music and friends. First up was the The Black Keys....not so fun second time around.  Mr. Fox and I felt quite underwhelmed and deflated post this concert.  A combination of high expectations and the bands sounds evolving into a less grungy/raw quality that left us bit cold.  Ahh well it was nice to get out and do something...lol something to add to the memory bank. 

Radiohead was the polar opposite and I am still buzzing months later.  The sound enveloped and inspired.  It was the number 1 band on the 'must see' list.  The experience was made sweeter by having an old friend Jeremy come to stay. Boy it was great to hang out with this gentleman again. It was a great night out and if Radiohead returns I'll be heading along again. Oh it was amazing. Sigh.

Sulin celebrated her birthday on a lovely sunny afternoon on their deck. It is such a great place to while away the afternoon.  Art in the Dark was on in Ponsonby again.  Was a balmy evening for wandering around admiring the light installations.  So very crowded this year.  Fraser's photos are so much better than the ones I took. 

Had plans to craft for Christmas and made a start but never did finish them.  It was starting to stress me out and then I thought the better of forcing something that is meant to be fun and put them aside.  Of course there is always Christmas 2013.  Lol now I can pretend I am super organised!