Napier/Hastings … part 1

We had a lovely drive to Napier/Hastings in the Hawkes Bay.  It normally takes 5-6 hours driving time from Auckland (not including stops along the way), and the weather was great for driving.  We drove via Matamata to Taupo, where we had a wee break and a wee wander – and just a general “wee” at Taupo’s “Super Loo” ;P

Lake TaupoView from the shores of Lake Taupo

After we had a cake and coffee at a Robert Harris Cafe, we called up my good pal Katrina to let her know we were on our way to visit … I’ve been very lucky in that every blogger I’ve met to date has been truly lovely, and Katrina is no exception – she’s one of the loveliest ladies you could meet!  When I was flying over to NZ I’d already decided it would be nice to get away for a couple of nights to have a mini-break, and Mum agreed it was a good idea – I’d already decided where I wanted to go … Napier to visit the gannet colony again, and double bonus because Katrina is just a short hop further south, and I really wanted to catch up with her again (you may remember we met for the first time in Melbourne a while ago now) 🙂

As we were driving into Napier, we came across Whitebay Lavender Farm on the main road into Napier, and I just had to stop and take a photo or two … I just loved all the rows of lavender growing – just beautiful 🙂

Lavender farmWhitebay Lavender Farm

Unfortunately it took us a while to find a motel in Hastings, but once we found a nice one (Omahu Motor Lodge – we can definitely recommend it) we grabbed the keys and high-tailed it back into the car without unpacking so we could not waste any more time before visiting Katrina.  We also had a lovely treat in store, as we had an additional guest visitor of Kath!  What a lovely surprise … and yet another lovely blogger!  Hopefully we’ll see Kath gracing our shores across the ditch for an Aussie get-together … the sofa bed’s always free for you, Kath and Katrina – you’re welcome any time! 

Katrina Anne Kath and baby HannahKatrina, me, Kath and Hannah

As well as catching up with my stitching pals, we did of course get to meet in person the lovely Glenn, and the adorable Hannah … who was immediately monopolised by the Dragon haha.  We also got to see some of Katrina’s beautiful stitching in real life, and Kath’s latest Christmas tree creation which is gorgeous (check out her blog to see a photo).  Thanks again ladies for a lovely visit – I’m just sorry I wasn’t as lively and chatty as normal due to a bit of over-tiredness … let’s just say we didn’t take any rocking to sleep when we got back to the motel – a quick bite to eat and we were both out like a light!

While I was visiting Katrina I gave her a Christmas ornie that I’d managed to finish just in time before travelling, as well as a very belated birthday present (I’m just dreadful at meeting my commitments of late hmmm).  Katrina’s photos are much better than mine, so feel free to wander over and have a gander.

Ornie for Katrina

Pinkeep for Katrina

I was also spoilt by receiving an ornie made by Katrina – I’d drooled over these when I saw them on her blog recently, not knowing I was going to be one of the recipients.  As with all my hand-made gifts, I’ll treasure this one dearly, and may even leave this one out year-round – thanks so much Katrina, I love it! Unfortunately, though, I just realised I haven’t taken a photo yet – I’ll remedy that as soon as I finish my unpacking and will add to a later post! 😀

No stitching … again (updated with photos)

I sat down in bed for an hour’s stitching on Monday to commence a new routine for me … putting at least one strand of thread into my stitching on a daily basis … only to find my ‘knob’ dropped to bits on me!  I am loving sitting up in bed and watching TV and stitching away to my heart’s content instead of sitting up in the freezing cold in the lounge, and was mortified to find my lapframe in pieces in front of my very eyes.  Unfortunately the wooden part has come away from the screw part, but this part of the screw is actually the ‘top’ and doesn’t have a normal thread to it so I can’t just get away with whacking a lugnut or anything on the end.  This is NOT what the knob should look like!!!

lapframe

So for now, there is no stitching … zip … nada … I get cramp in my hand when I hold a Q-snap etc for more than a few minutes at a time hmmm.  But the good news is that I contacted Artisan Designs straightaway, and it’s only going to cost me US$5 plus postage (I think), and they take PayPal, so hopefully it will only be a few weeks before I get a replacement in my hot little hands (once they finally give me a payment amount and place the order!).

Even though I have no stitching to share, I DID have some stitchy-related fun … on Sunday Alison kindly picked me up in her car along with her daughter, and chauffeured me to Amanda’s place where we had a hoot of a day drooling and fondling charts, kits, and threads … and “literally” rolling around in her stash of fabrics!  I have never seen such a fabric collection in all my born days – she should charge admission fees to come and visit it 😉

Anyway, Alison kindly took a whole host of photos from the day, so I hope to be able to share with you the great time we had after pilfering some photos.  Updated:  Here are a couple of my favourites (thanks for the copies, Alison!!):

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You have to imagine the Gollum voice impression, while playing in the “precious” – see what I mean about that fabric stash? LOL – You’re the QUEEN, Amanda, I tell ya! 😉

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Probably my favourite photo of all – the looks on our faces just sums up the day – hilarious fun!
From left to right:  Alison, Amanda, Anne (AAA packed full of fun)

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And finally a “nice” shot of the three of us!  Apart from the fact my Weight Watchers obviously isn’t working ‘cos I can’t fit in the photo haha

I haven’t laughed that much in ages … those two are the BEST company and an absolute riot!  I’m looking forward to the next catch-up already, and we haven’t even planned anything yet!  In fact after the weekend visit Amanda finally got coerced into starting her own blog (Confessions of a Fabric Floosy), so make sure you go pay her a visit … she does some beautiful stitching (as do both these two ladies)!

On the work front, today we had a ‘burning issues’ meeting, which is basically a get-together of the “team” without the boss being present … and we got to chatting about the secondments coming up to finishing deadline etc.  It turns out that one of the ladies is thinking of giving up the whole job at the end of her secondment in January, which means it’s likely they’ll have to readvertise again later … but one of the reasons this lady put her had up to the boss officially today to tell her is so that it might make a difference to them extending the secondment for me (and Lisa if she’s interested).  I only have about 8 weeks left to go but still have had no indication whether they will allow me to stay longer or whether I have to start thinking of uprooting myself again to go back to Melbourne … which is a bit stressful in the back of my mind all the time (especially after the debacle of moving up here with Dodgy Brothers R Us etc – I really don’t want to have to go through all that again).  So if you can all stitch with your fingers crossed over the next couple of weeks, that’d be great!  I’m hoping now that this lady has raised the issue with management they might finally start to discuss their options in earnest, and fingers crossed it goes in my favour (although there are never any guarantees!).

Rightio, time to go hit the hay and forget about work for the night … and pout at my Evening Star project … hmmm, maybe I should drag in my floorstand from the the lounge for tomorrow night … LOL.  If not, I guess you won’t see any stitching again until after the weekend has been and gone, ‘cos I don’t want to sit out in the lounge all on my own in the cold … I must prefer my cozy beautiful bed! 😉