Baby fever

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

I've got baby fever. But not the kind you're thinking. Meet Dancer and Lunar, two of the new foals at Fossil Creek Farm where my Charlie Brown lives. Talk about cute!


Wednesday, 29 October 2008

So I haven’t ranted on about my horse here lately. The reason for my silence: (1) I haven’t had time to rant on about anything (far too busy working, how dull) and (2) I haven’t had anything particularly positive to say about him.

In the nearly 3 years we’ve been together, Charlie Brown and I have always had a tumultuous relationship …with me definitely doing most of the tumbling. Both my pride and body are hurt on what feels like an all too regular basis. In fact, I’ve only recently regained about 90% movement in my back after a nasty fall and a month long stint with the osteopath.

I know what you’re all thinking, and believe me I’ve asked this question of myself on numerous occasions - “Why do I continue to put myself through it?” Ignoring for a minute the fact that I may be mentally retarded, it’s simply that I hate giving up on something that I really want. I’m also certain that, despite our difficulties, we’re meant to do great things together (in a Lone Ranger/Hi-Ho Silver kind of way). If only the little bugger would come round to my way of thinking!

Although the dangers are physical and very real, the battle between us is clearly a mental one. The state of our relationship is generally based on where my mojo is at the time – whether fully paid up or terribly in arrears. Ofcourse knowing this is one thing, but finding mojo when your horse has turned into a dangerous monster intent only on destroying your confidence and your ability to walk, can admittedly be a little harder.

It’s not part of my natural character to try and dominate others, believing people should do things of their own free will. This has been my most fundamental mistake I think; Charlie is not a person, he’s a young and bolshy horse who requires a definite and consistent leader. However, Charlie also tends to make the same fundamental mistake time and time again; letting his ego go to his head and underestimating me. This is the tipping point that generally sees my mojo return. When my fear turns into anger at having the piss well and truly taken. When my deep-rooted stubborness and determination of character turns the tables (quietly, patiently and often discretely) to get the last laugh.

After many tears of fear and frustration, and many weeks searching despairingly for my mojo (again), I feel it filling up in my veins again now. The war isn’t quite over (he wouldn’t be my Charlie if stopped trying altogether), but the tipping point has been recognised and there’s a definite change in the waters. Yesterday, during mid-buck-rear-mad-dangerous-horse-mentalness I quietly pulled out my new secret weapon… the small circle using his head as the pivot… and stayed on. He tried a few times and each time I was the winner. The score is evening up and he will eventually stop trying when it doesn’t evoke the response he's looking for.

On Saturday we have our first real riding lesson together, which I have no doubt will be the beginning of a whole new chapter in our relationship.

I never let bullies win.

Only dead fish swim with the stream

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

It never ceases to amaze me how much a little ray of sunshine brightens the mind and the soul. Like everyone in NZ right now, I’m soooo over the rain. Even sunny Nelson has been horrendously foul over the past months and our storms have even been up to Welly standard (hard to believe I know, but true).

You don’t realise how much it takes a toll on your general demenour until a day like today arrives; a day when the sun shines brightly from dawn till dusk. When it’s warm enough to wear a dress without jeans underneath, elevenses consists of a 20 minute cat nap on your bean bag in the sun (isn’t self-employment great!), the doors and windows are wide open all day and you take lunch on the patio in the sunshine.

It puts a spring in your step and makes the worries and doubts that seemed so much bigger yesterday seem like mere minor concerns, and not worth stressing over. It reminds me that I can do anything, limited only by my imagination; only dead fish swim with the stream. Bring on spring!

Out of my tree

Monday, 11 August 2008

Popular legend says you’re not a horserider until you fall off at least 100 times. I’m thinking I can’t have many more to go now. But I do think it’s really important to bring your own unique style to things, as with my last ‘creative dismount’.

Amongst the other horsey folk where I keep Charlie Brown, I have the reputation of being a bit of a bush basher; if you want to come riding with me – beware! I do a lot of riding in a nearby forest and am always on the lookout for new trails (or potential new trails) so often end up going a little off-piste. I wear gloves so I can push the prickly gorse away from my body easily, my helmet protects my noggin and a good deal of faith is also required.

In such a situation over the weekend, I decided I couldn’t be arsed getting off my horse and had faith we could get through a particular tight and tricky spot. Going under some extremely low and prickly foliage I leaned down over my horse’s neck. Needless to say I couldn’t see much and the next minute I found myself off my horse, hanging rather precariously in a tree with my arms hooked over some branches. Meanwhile, my horse has continued through to the other side and is taking the opportunity to snatch some food while he waits for me to disengage myself.

The bruises are starting to come out now (and they’re big and very sore) but I really had to laugh at how amusing it must have looked to any nearby wood nymphs :P

No more Mr Nice Guy

Sunday, 3 August 2008

I am not a man eater, but sometimes I feel like one. My friends, and even my landlady, are ever more frequently pointing blokes in my direction that they think I should date. The last one was a bloke in a pub that asked my friend to introduce us, so she brings him up to the dance floor and leaves him there with me. I know they mean well, but what am I supposed to do with that?

I’m a polite person (ie. I hadn’t had much to drink) so I talk to him a bit before I go back to the dance floor. He is ‘nice’ enough but doesn’t really pique my interest in any way other than a passing conversation. But when he asks for my number I stupidly give it to him. Why? For no better reason than because I’m pathetic and I feel really rude saying “No, I just can’t be bothered”.

He texts me the next day (and a mental note to any prospective future suitors, I’d be much more impressed if you fronted up and actually phoned me rather than sending a cop-out text). Even when I tell him I actually preferred the singer in the band the night before, he still wants to take me out on a date. So (like a stark raving mad lunatic) I agree to go. I don’t know why I agree to go. Except that I feel like sometimes maybe I’m too judgemental when it comes to blokes and I should give it a chance to get to know him.

The result of the date is that he’s a nice guy. A nice guy like all the other nice guys I’ve dated over the last 2 or so years. A nice guy in that he’s perfectly ok (for someone else) but he doesn’t make me laugh, or think overly hard, or anything else in particular. He’s just, well… nice. (No offence intended to any exes that might be reading this!)

I realise this sounds harsh and where do I get off even complaining about it. But blokes always tell me that they know within 30 seconds of meeting a girl whether there’s potential there or not - based on looks alone. I don’t even care about looks, I honestly couldn’t give a rats. But there has to be a little inkling of something (anything) and simply being nice just doesn’t cut it for me. Even if I dated an axe wielding maniac at least it would be memorable.

So I’m officially over dating. Over it. Maybe this is the beginning of the road to being one of those eccentric ladies with many cats, but I don’t care. Maybe I will become one of those bitter and twisted witches through lack of good meaningful shagging. So be it. Maybe I deserve everything I get, given my ridiculous attitude. But please, no more Mr Nice Guy or I WILL SCREAM!

Or am I just a B****? I'm coming around to accepting this possibility should the hat fit.

(PS. Nice AND interesting will do just fine though!)

How young is too young?

Monday, 16 June 2008

So does age matter?
And does it matter more whose older than whom?
I'm interested to hear your opinions.. and if you call me cougar I'll smack you in the gob!

Alpine back country adventure

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Yesterday I returned from probably the most enjoyable business trip I’ve ever been on. Asked to go to a back country station near the beautiful Hanmer Springs to gather firsthand information about an alternative power system installation… well really, how could I possibly refuse. In fact, I decided to make the most of the opportunity and bravely took my horse with me on the 5 hour journey south.

Hossack Station is a 25,000 acre high country sheep and cattle station, which also has a safari hunting park and breeds beautiful horses. Dating back to 1852, the scenery, atmosphere and buildings are like an amazing trip back in time. I had to pull my horse through no less than 10 rivers inside his tin box just to get up the 10km ...err... driveway. Thank goodness for Buck!

On the second day we got a heavy snowfall; at least 15cm. I've never seen snow like that outside a ski field and it was simply breathtaking - check out my photos for yourself. The snowball fights at nearby Hanmer Springs hot pools while it was snowing was also awesome childish fun!

Needless to say, my horse Charlie Brown was glad to finally get home to the balmy climes of Nelson last night. I could tell this because as soon as he got back in his paddock he stuck his dick out and ran away looking extremely happy :)

So big ups to Genkit and The Hossack for the opportunity and your generosity. And cheers to the guys for the good company; it was very amusing from beginning to end.

Te Mahoerangi

Thursday, 5 June 2008

I spent Queen's Birthday weekend with the Synapsys crew at Nydia Bay in the Marlborough Sounds. It was a great weekend, good people and fine fare.

We stayed at at Te Mahoerangi Ecolodge which is a fantastic place run by people doing awesome things. If you're ever in the area I can highly recommend it. It's reachable by water taxi or by tramping a couple of hours on foot.

Check out my photos.


Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Most mornings I get up and spend a couple of blissful hours riding my horse before my work day begins. Wrapped up warm like a toastie pie in many many layers, I don’t care that it’s baltic cold, but just enjoy soaking up the outdoor environment from between the ears of my horse.

The theme for my life at the moment is simplicity and I’m loving every minute of it. Not for me are drama, consumerism or even party party party. Nature, exercise, good company, wholesome food and keeping cosy are my friends. Maybe it’s a winter thing or am I truly becoming a small town girl?

Making progress

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Sure, problems are frustrating, but I'm happy as long as I can see progress being made. I think these famous Norman Thelwell cartoons pretty accurately portray my own equine challenges of the recent past, the present and maybe the future...

Many tell me to get something with a motor. I say where's the challenge in that?

That warm fuzzy feeling

Thursday, 17 April 2008

It has been wet and wild this week. Yes, I’m talking about the weather. Winter is on its way and I embrace it with enthusiasm. Not that Nelson really has a winter per se; most Nelsonians wouldn’t know a storm if it hit them hard on the noggin eh. They run and hide in what I would class as a fresh breeze :P

Like everything, I grasp the change of season with two warm hands and get into the spirit of it. I find a certain romance in wearing gumboots, thick woolly layers and a warm beanie out in the cold and damp to feed or talk to my horse and spend time outdoors. There’s just something about getting muddy and dirty which can’t be beaten. Except perhaps the feeling of getting warm and clean again afterwards.

This week has been hard work and pretty exhausting but so far the highlight, which has made me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside the most, was jumping on my horse bareback and navigating him in just a halter and lead rope through a very flooded stream (so I didn’t get my feet wet!) to be able to get him out of the paddock. I’m telling you this because it’s proof that goal #1 in my last post has totally and utterly been conquered!

Creatively visualising my backside

Thursday, 20 March 2008

I’ve been playing around with a bit of creative visualisation lately and today I put a picture of the very expensive saddle I’d like to buy up in my office. It looks like this:

I’ve decided I will buy this saddle once I’ve achieved two things:

  1. When my nag Charlie Brown is once again safe to ride. We are currently undergoing THEApy with Jo Ragg at Serendipity Equine here in Nelson. We’re making progress on the ground. I'm curious to see how things go next week once we actually start getting on his back!

  2. I can afford it without sacrificing rent, food or other essentials! What can I say, the freelance life has it's ups and downs. Definitely moving in the right direction but not quite there yet.

I’m from the school of thought that pretty much anything can be achieved with the right attitude, flexibility of mind and hard work, but ideally I want my backside to be warming this saddle by April or May.

I was tempted to put a picture of Johnny Depp on my wall beside the saddle, but that’s just silly…


They call me mellow velo

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

So my brother made it into the Dominion Post yesterday morning. If you live in Wellington you may well have seen him around town. Being laid back is a family trait you see, it's just the application of it that's different.

You can find out more about Neville and his Velomobile at

Continuing on the family theme, today I also created my very first Wikipedia entry!

Help save the Cable Bay Rifle Range

Thursday, 21 February 2008

You may have heard that the Cable Bay Rifle Range & Shooting Adventures here in the Nelson district is trying to be closed down by some new neighbours that are moving into the area.

Please help us save the rifle range by signing the online petition to be presented to the Environmental Court. It should never have even got this far!

Read the full story and please sign the petition at

Relativity and diversity

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

You're busy going about your business, maybe even patting yourself on the back for being so brave, or possibly thinking the sky is falling on your head. Then something small happens to make your own existence seem so relative. We are a diverse bunch, huh.

I got an email this week from someone I knew back as a teenager (when I frequented bogan keg parties and sported a mullet). He's now either a para trooper for the French army or a bullshitter. Regardless, it got me thinking about it. What sort of person joins the foreign legion? Is it really such the enigma of the urban legend? Are they mercenaries in the common sense of the word? I thought from the horse's mouth made really interesting reading.

On the same day I read a fellow student’s post on my Open Poly online forum. Now in his sixties, he was born with only 3% and 1% vision in his right and left eyes respectively. He told a few funny as stories about amusing and embarassing situations in his life that his severe short sightedness had brought about. These days he can only see vague shapes through a white fog, but he nevertheless works a desk job. He uses a closed circuit TV which magnifies printed material onto a computer screen and other software that magnifies and speaks various application’s information. Definitely an interesting guy with loads of interests, including photography and movie film production. He posted up a really large photograph, which I thought was a nice touch. It has a really clear and graphic picture on the tv behind where he is sitting. It’s pretty gory, of someone with blood all over them collapsing in pain. I’m not sure whether he has no idea because he's never seen it, or it’s his black sense of humour. But it made me smile. In a nice way. Regardless.

Then the bogan in me thumped my touchy-feely self for being too out there. Diversity is everywhere.

Impress your lass

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

A lot of guys aren’t so good at romance eh. They have no idea. In fact I think I’ve only ever had one boyfriend who surprised me with gifts and stuff that I really really liked. That’s because he had the nouse to get his sister to help him come up with ideas!

So it’s Valentine’s Day this week and obviously couldn’t go without a mention. I don’t have any crushes worth getting up the energy to do anything about, so this year I’ve decided to help you blokes out a bit instead. Be your big sister if you like.

Being of discerning taste, but a woman nonetheless - all of whom have a soft spot for romance and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise - here is my quick guide to IMPRESSING YOUR LASS ON VALENTINE'S DAY. It’s easy, it’s cheap and comes with a 95% satisfaction guarantee. My disclaimer is that there’s always bitches out there who are never happy or realise what a great guy you really are, in which case - move on.

Above all guys, THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER is that all girls want is to feel special. The amount of expenditure is totally irrelevant. She will be totally turned on purely by knowing that you were thinking about her and wanted to do something special, and then actually did.

So here’s my starter for ten to give you some ideas:

  1. Take her for a drive and stop to snog in a rest area
  2. Leave her an unexpected love note where you know she’ll find it
  3. Make her a homemade card
  4. Take her to a bookshop and secretively read the magazines and giggle together (instead of buying them; it’s more fun that way)
  5. Go to the beach, bury her in the sand (preferably with her head sticking out) and etch sweet nothings into the sand in front of her
  6. Wash her hair and take your sweet time about it
  7. Cut out paper letters that say “I love you”, “how hot are you?” or similar and string them up as a surprise
  8. Take her to the library and make out in a quiet secluded section, like reference or biographies
  9. Maker her a breakfast smoothie with love and make funny shapes out of the toast
  10. Sing to her (ok yes, now I’m clutching at straws!)

Good luck!

Find a farmer a wife

Friday, 1 February 2008

The Australian Women’s Weekly is running a ‘Find a Farmer a Wife’ campaign here in NZ at the moment, so naturally I felt obliged to scan what was on offer. It was worth the fiver outlay for the entertainment value (I laughed a lot!) and as AWW put it, with 22 men of the land looking for love, what was I waiting for?

Carsten, 44, of King Country has centrefold status. He sounds relatively sane, likes horses and isn't too hard on the eye. But no, he lives too far away.

Michael, 44, Christchurch, is slightly closer to home and has horses too. Let me see… errr, perhaps not… Michael is looking for someone with “homemaking skills” (not really my strong point) and thinks the one thing a woman can do better than a man is “bringing up children”.

Move over Michael, enter David, 33, Southland. At least it’s still the same island and we’re much closer in ages. Hmmm, actually I don’t think so... David still lives with his mother and says the most romatic thing he’s ever done is “taken someone out for a nice dinner”.

Oh! A moment of excitement when I saw a local bloke pictured on his 4 wheeler motorbike alongside his faithful black & white hound. Neil, 43, lives practically just up the road in Takaka (a very nice spot). Only I think he might be related to Michael because Neil too thinks women are good for looking after children. Buying flowers is the most romantic thing he’s ever done. For FU*K’s sake guys, are we still living in the 70s, or is it a case of too much effluent in your water supply?

Scott, 27, Bay of Plenty is the pick of the bunch. He loves rural life but also likes to venture into town. He has energy, makes the most of every opportunity and there’s lots of laughter in his life. Oh yeah, and he’s hot! He reckons women can do most things better than men (if you actually want to get things finished) and has plenty of ideas when it comes to romance. You’re a winner in my book Scott – and even your dog is cute.

So I don’t think I’ll be writing to any of them, but good on them for having the guts to put themselves out there (and be open to my ridicule & scrutiny – sorry guys!)

Definition of insanity

Monday, 7 January 2008

I read somewhere recently that the definition of insanity is repetition of the same while expecting a different outcome. From one demented person to a group of others with potentially varying degrees of derangement, I’m telling you there’s definitely a ring of truth in that. Something for consideration if you’re making any tacky new year resolutions anyway.

This also somehow relates to how I would like to feel about Christmas in future years. Right now it’s over for another year and personally I’m glad. The holiday from work and associated summer sunshine are fantastic, but the big family focus always manages to irritate some strange emotions I keep firmly locked away in the deep dark depths of my being the rest of the year. I say this because I’ve noticed even my horse has taken on my own indifferent mood over the last few weeks. Hmmm… note to self: Get over yourself!

What was cool though was that I caught up with many friends over the break including people I don’t get to see very often or in fact haven’t seen for many months/years. Good company, good stimulants, good times! I made the most of the natural beauty of the Nelson Marlborough region and got in lots of swimming, walking and eating. I tried to abide by the 30 minute swimming rule too …something about for every swim I must eat for 30 minutes or something like that…

Anyway, you can find photos of some of my relaxed summer holiday activities HERE.