Monthly Archives: January 2013

Travel kms by car

I’ve been doing a bit of driving around recently and I’ve decided that it fairly easy to travel in style. (Not in fashion, but in style.) It’s the little things that make the difference. Here are my recommendations:
Edibles: sweet (lollies or chocolate or biscuits or power bar) + savoury (chips or cheese). Nothing with a wrapper if possible and preferably no flaky pastry. If travelling a fair way from the burbs take a packed lunch.
Drinks: water (unflavoured so it can double duty to remove particularly sticky windscreen bugs) + other (I prefer coke for the screwtop and caffeine but have been know to substitute V or a flavoured milk. (Watch out for milk in the heat though – bleuch!) For the back of beyond I recommend a thermos of tea or coffee, premade to your specification.
Tissues + babywipes + toilet paper. You may not need them but best to be prepared ay?
Apart from making sure your vehicle is roadworthy, gassed and oiled up, and the windows are clean, and your mobile is fully charged, that’s it! Depending on the weather and where you’re going you can also add: music, blankets or cotton throws, sunscreen, driving shoes, hairties, membership in a roadside assistance scheme, etc.

Ongoing to the gym – 101

I've been to the gym 101 times. (Actually, it's 102 now but when I started this it was 101 and I'm not going to ruin a perfectly good title just to be accurate.) I think I've been pretty consistent although the visits are heavily weighted towards when I first joined the gym. Back then, my aim was to go 6 days a week for a total of 9 classes. I got pretty tired though, then I got sick (every 6-8 weeks which was annoying), then I went away, so the number of visits per week has dropped right back. It will probably go back up once I've stopped flitting around the country. (It's the festive season innit? Visiting whanau and all that.)

My goals when I started were 1. Get stronger; 2. Improve stamina and fitness. So, yay me! *tick* *tick* I am stronger – the fact that the weight on the bar is going up is a good indication. I have improved my fitness and stamina – instead of just going through the motions I can actually put a bit of effort in. e.g. twisting with a punch in Body Combat doesn't make me want to hack my lungs up anymore. (Exercise induced asthma is a funny thing. I'm never quite sure if my breathlessness is due to going too hard, being unfit, or asthma. I'm using a preventer now and it's made a big difference as to what I can do in the mornings (in combination with the reliever.) Previously I would never have been able to do something with a high cardiovascular load.) I can also hold the technical aspects of Combat through to the end of (most) tracks. It's not just flicking a foot out at someone's head you know.)

The thing I'm finding most difficult (apart from getting my washing dry) is holding to my values.

  • I'm not at the gym to lose weight. I like being this weight. There's some comfort in knowing that I can walk around any corner in Wellington and not be blown off my feet. But oh god it's HARD when I look at the scales at the fitness test and the numbers have gone UP.
  • I'm not in competition with anyone. But it's HARD not to get mopey when I know there are couch potatoes who could walk in and be fitter than me because of their genes.
  • I'm not out to get thinner. If I do, it'll be a welcome side-effect of what I'm doing. But it's HARD to look in the mirror and wonder if it's making any difference. Which it is because clothes fit differently. (One advantage of being different sizes over the years and keeping all the clothes is that old clothes are suddenly useful again.)
  • I'm not at the gym for my "health". (*rant redacted*)
  • I AM at the gym to enjoy myself. I love the technicality in weights, Balance, and Combat. I love the camaraderie in the early morning classes. I love grinning with the instructors. I love picking up the next barbell. I love feeling tight muscles release on an exhaled breath.
  • I AM at the gym to push myself. And to be pushed by the instructors. It's amazing how much more attractive extending one's reach is when the instructor's face is 5cm from the end of one's fist. #LoveThemReally

Who’s the one that’s not Gerard Butler?

Today's whimsical search…

1. Tell work colleague about James Bond's abandoned pregnant Japanese girlfriend in "You only live twice". Wonder if the Japanese assassin character in another book is maybe his son which would be great because I love cross book connections. (The book and movie do not have the same story.)

2. Google "Japanese assassin Brazil" which is pretty much all I can remember of the essentials of the story (plus he liked jazz, and the book included the startling 'fact' that there is a large Japanese community in Brazil. I don't know if this is true.)

3. Find Wikipedia entry for John Rain, son of a Japanese father and an American mother.?? Not Bond's son then. (Wiki search "Japanese in Brazil" and discover that "Brazil is home to the largest Japanese population outside of Japan." Fancy that!)

4. Start musing on who might be the next actor to play Bond after Daniel Craig. He made Layer Cake in 2004, which is a fun preview to his style of Bond in Casino Royale (2006).

5. Don't Google "Who might be the next Bond?". Instead start thinking of actors who might be suitable, and movies in which they may have shown that suitability.

6. Get sidetracked by a vaguely remembered British movie about gambling…or hustling…or something. Surprisingly, Google doesn't help.

7. Think "I'm pretty sure it stars that guy that X can't stand. Maybe I should tweet and ask? Nah, there's probably quite a few and the answer will be "Which one?" Mmm, I think that he's in that movie with that woman… what's her name…Roswell…Katherine…Heigl!"

8. IMDB Heigl. Scroll the list of movies. The movie I was thinking of is not the movie they are in together.

9. Find Gerard Butler. The movie that I'm thinking of is not in his list.

10. Wonder – who's the one that's not Gerard Butler?

11. Eventually give up, Google "Next James Bond." Find the Esquire article which leads me to Clive Owen, which leads me to Croupier which I think is the movie I was trying to remember (It only feels half right. The 'C' in the tltle feels right, the gambling feels right but…it feels like it should be a buddy movie.)

So there you go. Clive Owen is almost certainly the one that's not Gerard Butler.


I have been on holiday for the last month. It has been glorious. I have been looked after, spent some time with the kids, read a lot of spy novels, seen some movies, watched an outdoor pageant, gone to the gym, lazed around, and drunk many, many cocktails. (My current favourite is 1 measure Cointreau, 1/2 measure vodka, shaken, topped up with soda water, add a twist of lemon, then served in a cocktail glass. Delicious.) I've tweeted a bit and resurrected my Flickr account. Most of the time I've been on the couch with all the doors open. From the couch I can faintly hear people down at the beach, the chainsaw across the valley, and the birds larking it up in the native bush. Honestly, I think I could live like this for the rest of my life. However, I go back to work in a couple of days. So it's back to ironing and schedules and planning.