Anyone seen any munchkins?

Spring may not have sprung, but it’s definitely in the process of sproinging. Suddenly the days are getting longer (I’m actually getting home before dark in the evening!), daffodils are popping up everywhere, and blossom’s beginning to appear on the trees. Plus there’s just that indescribable smell in the air that tells you winter’s almost over.

The weather’s been wonderful for the last few days, too. Thanks to nor’westers that in a few months we’ll be cursing, but for now they’re bringing a lovely touch of warmth to the days.

Lytteltonwitch left for her big OE yesterday. And though she hasn’t changed her location on her bookshelf yet, that makes her no longer a NZ bookcrosser. So guess what that makes me?

I’m #1!!! πŸ˜‰

(I feel like I should be singing “Ding dong the witch is…um, in another country”)

Busy busy busy

I seem to have way too much of a social life at the moment – it was another week of being out almost every night. Tuesday was Chick Flicks night: Le fils de l’Γ©picier (The Grocer’s Son) – a very French film (slow, philosophical, not much happening, but incredibly atmospheric). We saw it at the Metro, which is always fun – the cinemas are so tiny that it’s more like watching a movie in someone’s lounge. There were lots of jokes of the “where’s the remote” sort flying around. No ads before the movie, too, which is always nice.

Then on Wednesday we took lytteltonwitch out for dinner to say thank you for all the driving lessons. We’d originally been going to go to Alva Rados, but when we missed Justin at Cafe Bleu last week we thought she should have one last meal there instead. Lytteltonwitch of course took full advantage of her last chance to tease poor Justin πŸ™‚

Oh, and I seem to be inheriting lytteltonwitch’s propensity to attract weird things along with her books: while we were sitting on the bus on our way into town to meet her, we spotted a couple of Teletubbies standing outside Riccarton mall.

I actually made it to my lace class on Thursday, and I think I’m finally getting the hang of Bedfordshire. It’s a lot trickier than Torchon – not quite as mechanical, so requires a lot more attention to get it looking right.

Friday was a stink of a day work-wise. I won’t go into details, but suffice it to say I am really really really not happy with one of my bosses at the moment. Poor lytteltonwitch got to listen to me going on about it for a couple of hours on Friday night – she’d only come round for tea and to drop off her DVD player (a handy replacement for ours, which died a few days ago), but got more than she bargained for.

I’ve spent the weekend trying not to think about work stuff, which I’ve mostly achieved by being too busy to think about anything. Lytteltonwitch’s son dropped the bookcases round on Saturday morning, so we’ve spent a fair chunk of the weekend moving them around to find the best places for them (and chopping one up a bit – don’t worry though, lytteltonwitch, I didn’t follow through your son’s threat to turn it into firewood, just trimmed off a wee bit at the bottom to account for the fact that our house has skirting boards and yours obviously doesn’t). A quick trip into town to pick up a few bits and pieces and check on the OBCZ, and finally registering and labelling the rest of the books from lytteltonwitch, plus a couple of mindless DVDs, have kept me suitably occupied for the rest of the weekend, so hopefully by tomorrow I’ll have achieved enough distance from Friday to be able to think about it rationally and decide how best to deal with the situation.


I just spent an hour writing a long and involved entry about all what I’ve been up to this week. And I managed to hit whatever that key combination is that Firefox interprets as “go back one page, and while you’re at it, don’t bother to cache anything that was in that textbox”. So it’s all gone.

I can’t be bothered recreating it in detail, so here’s the condensed version:

Monday: Class with ESOL student. Went well.

Tuesday: Lytteltonwitch’s final meetup. Also went well. Stayed up way too late talking to lytteltonwitch and otakuu.

Wednesday: Saw Stone of Destiny. Fun. Cafe Bleu closed so went to KFC for dinner.

Thursday: Skipped lace class so I could catch up on some sleep.

Friday: Went for dinner with Dad etc. Left Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant on the table, and the others got chased by the waiter and had to explain bookcrossing (I wasn’t there because I’d popped into the toilet as we were leaving).

Saturday: Damp and miserable day, so had a lazy day at home.

Today: Still damp and miserable, but went into town anyway. Took some books to the new OBCZ lytteltonwitch has started, then ended up walking home. Managed not to get rained on until about half way home then it started drizzling, but not really heavy enough to have to catch a bus – just enough to make me seriously damp by the time I got home.

Recent catches:
Skull Session by Daniel Hecht
Winter by Simon Brown
The Gothic Line by Douglas Orgill
The Paternity Affair by Robyn Donald
The Return of Gunner Asch by Hans Hellmut Kirst
Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks (a second-generation catch)

Currently reading: Death by Water by Kerry Greenwood
Currently listening to: Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

It’s never a question of need

A morning that started off frustrating ended quite pleasantly. I’d arranged to meet Jenny for lunch, so as MrPloppy and I had a couple of bits and pieces we wanted to get done in town before that, we decided to try and catch an earlier bus than we usually would. Of course given that, it was pretty much guaranteed that the outlaws would ring and want to spend hours telling us they really had nothing to tell us…

So it was quite a bit later than planned that we finally made it into town, but we’d still have time to do everything we wanted. Except the universe was once again conspiring to stop us actually achieving anything. First stop was… actually, I can’t tell you about the first stop, because it involves a secret mission, but suffice to say that several shops later we’d confirmed that yet again I’ve been struck by the evil discontinuing genie that seems to have been dogging me lately.

Anyway, after that wild goose chase we went to Alice’s, where MrPloppy wanted to rent a particular video. Something suitably obscure, that according to their catalogue they only had on VHS, not DVD. But when we got there, what did we find but that they’ve got rid of all the VHS tapes, and there’s only DVDs on the shelves. So we couldn’t get the video he’d been looking for (though we did find a box set of the wonderfully incomprehensible Lexx, so it wasn’t all bad news).

We’d been planning to hit a few second hand bookshops while in town, but I was running out of time, and given our luck so far we weren’t hopeful for any great finds anyway, so MrPloppy headed for the bus exchange and home, and I headed for the library where I was meeting Jenny.

I was a few minutes early, so I browsed the shelves for a while (and continued my run of bad shopping luck by not finding any of the books I had been vaguely looking out for), and then when I went to go upstairs for a quick toilet break not only was the escalator not working (and surrounded by large barriers – heaven forbid anyone should actually *walk* up it!) so that the only way up or down was by the one tiny lift (I assume there’s a staircase somewhere, at least as a fire exit, but if there is it isn’t anywhere the public can get at it), but I got accosted in the lift by the type of weird person I usually only meet when lytteltonwitch is around πŸ˜‰

But thankfully that was the last of the annoyances of the day, because as I stepped out of the lift, I ran into Jenny on her way into it. We escaped from the library unaccosted by any more mad people (ok, so the alarm did go off when we walked through the door, but that was a minor problem), and headed for the Belgian Beer Cafe, a place I’ve only ever been to for drinks for work-type functions, not for food.

I can now report that the food is excellent (though of infeasibly large portions – and we were only ordering from the “light lunch” menu – I’d hate to see what their full meals look like!). We spent a very pleasant couple of hours sitting in the sun discussing work gossip, America, poetry, educational changes in the 17th century (!), and other worthy and not so worthy topics.

After lunch I wanted to keep enjoying the sunshine (which, along with good food and good conversation, had improved my mood greatly), so I declined Jenny’s offer of a lift home, and walked through the gardens and park to Riccarton Road, releasing the odd book as I went.

Reaching Riccarton Road, I knew my shopping luck had definitely changed, for what did I see outside St Christopher’s but the elusive “Fill a bag for $5” sign. Well, I couldn’t ignore that, could I? The tables were pretty well picked over already, but I still managed to get a respectable haul of children’s books that will be good for releasing.

What do you mean I don’t need any more books? Yes, I know I’ve still got all those boxes of books from lytteltonwitch taking up half the spare room. But it was a fill a bag for $5 sale! Do you know how infrequently St Christopher’s does them? And anyway, what’s need got to do with it? When it comes to books, it’s never a question of need… πŸ™‚