Walkabout

 

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I went for a walk! I took the camera! I took some pictures! These are them!

IMG_5231Some bamboo growing beside the driveway.

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A messy red clay slip waiting to happen.

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Some misty sheeps.

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Some water tanks that looked kind of pretty.

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This jumble of green is actually one of my favourite trees but I took a really crap picture of it. Its very very very tall and gnarly, with ropes of moss dangling off of it and palms are starting to grow in the crooks of it’s branches. Its just pretty.

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Some weird mail box for angels.

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A really fluffy cloud.

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This is a bend in the road that is slowly falling away, its fun to whip around it at high speeds! If we were staying in the country I would totally steal that exclamation mark sign for the living room wall.

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Trees and hills and sun and leaves and clouds and sky.

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I found a cool bug! It was a huge beetle the size of my thumb and I had to stand in the middle of the road like an idiot lunatic to take a picture of it! I did not die. It maybe did..

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This is the butt end of a flying fox in some AWESOME persons backyard. So at the top of the hill is a platform about 10 feet off the ground, and you sit on this little toggle thing and let go and you zoom at approximately 10 million miles an hour down the line until you get to the tires at the end which stops you extremely abruptly and ruins your pants. Its pretty fun..

And that was the end of my walk, because I saw CB coming up the road and flagged him down for a ride back home on the back of his motorcycle. I was really happy to see him because well, I hadnt seen him all day, and it was mostly up hill all the way home. It didnt hurt that he also had a back pack full of fried chicken and french fries. YEEEEAH!!

Back at home we sat out on the porch and ate our dinner in the last golden moments of the day. I mixed the juice from a can of tinned strawberries with gin for a “fancy” cocktail and we watched Pawn Stars. It was a lovely evening.

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16 Bit Wolf Pack

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We had a really nice day yesterday. In the morning we got up with the sun to tidy the house for our landlord to come over and inspect. So we had to furiously scrub all the lipstick pentagrams off the walls and spray the curry stains with carpet stain spray. CB scooted out on his motorcycle to the mechanics for a going over and to grab us ALL of the breakfast. He came back with bags of pies and sausages stuffed with mashed potatoes. Glorious, GLORIOUS! The inspection went well. For some reason here whenever you are being nice and honest everyone thinks youre trying to pull one over on them.. maybe its just our accents, make us seem like devious foreigners.

And then we had the rest of the day to ourselves. So I made a pot of tea, set out two chocolate bars, took off our pants and CB set up a LAN connection so we could play Minecraft together! I hadnt done that since playing the first Diablo with my Cousin and his friend Ryan so we could kill the Butcher boss together cause it was too scary to do it alone and I kept screaming and unplugging the computer.

First off, I spawn underwater with a pack of wolves. Very disorientating. But then the wolves wont leave me alone. And there are so many of them. Like, dozens of wolves, like they are attracted to me from miles away. I thought it was wonderful and jumped around through fields of roses with my adoring pet wolves but CB was all annoyed and confused and telling me thats not supposed to happen. But I knew it was a video game miracle just for me. And I loved them. They werent exactly tame though, and if you hit them, which I did a LOT because I dont know how to operate the computer Ive had for 6 years, they ate me. Really fast. Without remorse. It was realistic.

So the novelty wore off after a while. Especially as they were a serious hindrance to doing what a wanted to do most in the game, which was ride around on CB’s elaborate rail systems! It was like an awesome roller coaster under mountains, through caverns up into the sky and town to town. But imagine trying to be on a roller coaster, with a pack of wolves. It just doesn’t work. CB was all like “ARGH I HATE THESE STUPID WOLVES” and proceeded to slaughter them all. And I was sad. And lonely. Until he gave me a really big sword! And golden armor! Until recently I was using a little  grey square that the game said was “wool” as a weapon, so this was a major step up for me.

And we adventured! Like mighty square warriors, oh we adventured! I had a rucksack full of potatoes, pork chops and bits of rotten zombie flesh leftover from our first blood pumping skirmish with ZOMBIES so we were good to go. Pretty much my only concern when having adventures is that I have picnic supplies at the ready. Oh, and my wolves came back! And CB killed them. And they came back again! And he killed them again, it went on like that.

We adventured far and wide! Well okay mostly CB just taught me how to operate doors and then followed me around when I fell down holes and into caverns. I fell into some MIGHTY caverns. But we made the most of it, and I did some quality mining. So in addition to some snacks I had a variety of ores and some nice gems! Everything was going well. I should mention at this point I have mastered moving forward while looking forward and CB is a hovering zombie faced pirate looking character with godlike powers. I fumble around like a retard getting distracted by sheep and gems while he lights the way with torches and kills bad guys for me. It was just like real life. And just like real life, I’m terrible at it and CB has to fix all my problems, ha ha ha ha

Anyway I can only play games for about 30 minutes until either my attention span runs out or I get a thundering headache from the amount of learning my brain is having to do to operate simple controls. In this case it was the latter, because the game is actually super fun. Its like Lego, only a 3D world, where I can kill things and have wolf buddies.

After that, we had a nice warm afternoon nap until it was time for dinner. We took the Abel family out for Indian food at one of our old haunts on Henderson Valley Road called Tandoori Flame. They brought a couple bottles of wine and I was the brave soul to loudly request 8 orders of naan bread without shame so we had a great old time. Yvonne is halfway through nursing school and Rosie is working at a dental office so we heard all kinds of amazingly gross stories! Blopd and guts and poop and a catheters and receding jaw bones, all the good stuff. Many fart jokes were told and we feasted on a mighty feast. It was a proper days end for a proper wolf mother warrior queen and her supernatural protector zombie butler.

Weiner Stomp

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Hello, I’m Kara. One day while CB was doing awesome things with his motorcycle, with oil changes and signal lights and stuff, I just wandered off right in the middle of some super awesome facts about motorcycle stuff. I wandered down into the woods for, like, and hour and didn’t even respond when CB yelled because he didn’t know where I was. Then I came back and was all like “IFOUND SOME PIGS MAYBE! I’M WHIMSICAL!” Meanwhile, CB had to be all by himself fixing motorbike stuff and listening to movies. He even cut himself and NO ONE GOT HIM A BAND AID! But I did get him a pie earlier and it was a Mrs. Mac’s Big Cheese and Mince pie and he’d never even had one of those before, so that was okay.

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Here is the sky. It had some clouds in it that I pointed out 30 times until CB acknowledged that, yes, there are clouds.

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This is a post that a fence wire lives on.

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This is some kind of leaf. It’s having a sunshine dinner.

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These are some gross old Quinces that I left on the window sill forever even though CB told me they were gross and growing some fuzz. I just told him “They’re naturally hairy” then made a joke about his hairy face and cooked them up any way. Gross.

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I put some honey on them. That’ll fix it.

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But then I made something good which was red cabbage which is the ultimate combination of poor Irish food and Poor German food. It was great and CB ate all of it with out remorse. Then spent the entire night not even mentioning once that his stomache was sore.

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This is a dwarf’s leggs I found in a feild. The possums had scampered off with the rest of him already.

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Some fat bird. Workout, or something, man. Jeez. Chub.

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Check it, some field.

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Some flower that CB has no feelings about. No one questions his sexuality.

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Don’t you hate it when people say foilage. And then they think it’s right. There’s a really angry Morepork in the woods right now and I think this was his house. He’s pissed that I invaded his space.

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Here I smelled some pig spore in the gorse. Gorse spore. Maybe we have some pigs! CB thinks I’m going to get gored. Spore gorse gored by some poor boar.

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This is a Nasturtium that’s growing in the gorse. Probably in the spore. I ate it. I have Swine Flu now and have to sleep on the couch.

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BORING.

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This is a dinner that I didnt make enough of and then I tried to stop Cb from eating as much as he wanted and he was like NO WAY and totally didnt get sick from eating too much cabbage and sour cream and spicy German mustard like a little baby man. CB totally showed restraint by saving himself a half eaten frankfurter (out of 7) and some cold potatoes in the fridge.

Lawn Gnomes

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This is our house! Its a cute wee thing in the middle of the woods and I’m so damn happy to be calling it home. To find it you have to go careening up curvy mountainous roads, make a sharp turn into what appears to be a solid wall of palm trees and bamboo and then go rumbling down a steep, pebbly, homocidal driveway and try not to disappear off either side and go rolling in a fiery inferno onto the fields below. Fun, every time.

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But as the reward, you get this. Nice eh? Not a house or car in sight. Just grass and trees and birds. Tuis, spectacled finches that look like they have googly eyes glued to their heads, wax-eyes, fan tails, hawks, birds that look remarkably like Eugene Levy, little brown ones, little black ones, and one giant fat pigeon named Greg who is seriously exactly like a basketball covered in feathers. He takes immense pleasure in pooping on me when I walk under him. We are enemies. Damn you, Greg!

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Come, walk with me around the gardennssssss…

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Today was the day we Took Back The Yard! It involved a giant bloody pair of shears and a beauty of a lawnmower that’s leftover from some war time era. Did they have any wars in the Victorian times? I also spent the bulk of the morning picking off leaves and stems of every plant, eating them and declaring what they were before pruning or pulling them out of the ground without mercy. Everything turned out to be some kind of lettuce.

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There she is! I can feel everyone in the entire world laughing at how impractical and stupid this is, but holy smokes.. its so fun. Its such a cool, simple, practical machine and it does its job really damn well. As my parents can both attest to, I detest mowing the lawn, but this was actually really fun. And an incredible work out. I didnt realize I had muscles under my arms and in the backs of my knees… ee…

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Here is our glorious pile of clippings that I was very proud of! This is also a picture of our new gym.. I was sore after this.

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A pretty flower. I can’t remember what these are called. Bird of Paradise? Anyway, very pretty and we have a wall of them around the front of the house.

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Doing the laundry. Also the old fashioned way because we are too poor for a washing machine right now.  We do it by hand in the sink.. it takes about a week to get it all done. Thats not an exaggeration.. Anybody in the Auckland area want to donate a washing machine to a couple of broke ass but loveably dimwitted Canadians who seemingly insist on doing absolutely everything the hardest way possible??

Also for the record CB is way better at all of these things than me. Somehow when I do a load, all my tshirts come out smelling like my socks and when he does it it’s like we’re both wearing clothes washed in springtime rainbows.  Argh..

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A tamarillo tree. I can’t tell but I think they are ripe— anybody in the Auckland area want to swap a washing machine for 20kg of tamarillos? Mmmm tamarillos, for when you cant decide whether you want to eat a tomato or a .. grape?

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A little tiny grasshopper thing! I was going to say Weta but I’m not sure. We definitely have wetas here though, they look like prehistoric grasshoppers and are more amazing than they are scary. Greg likes to eat them.

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Nasturtiums looking for the light. Future plans to turn this little shed into a chicken coop until the landlords notice… CHOOKS!

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Looking up into the tamarillo tree.

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This tree is growing beside the tamarillos and I don’t know what it is. It is some kind of fruit for sure. Feijoa??

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The insides taste nice but have that bitter pectin-y taste.. hm..

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An armload of the worlds most beautiful beets!

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The back of the lot, not much going on back here. Just grass and some .. even bigger grass.

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A nice fern that shades our garden.

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This beautiful tree covered in purple flowers is my favourite. They look ultra violet against the green background of New Zealand bush and are so mesmerizing.

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The healthiest silver beet in the universe. We will be eating this everyday forever.

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A look out into our valley.

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Celery! Growing out of the ground! I didnt know it did that!

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Little pink rosebuds.

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These are two of the strangest flowers in the garden. No idea what they are, and they do not taste good.

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Prettiness.

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Mowing down the foot of thick, wet grass.

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A monarch sipping the sweet nectar of this lovely tree. Some kind of rata? I really need to get a book on this stuff..

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Squishing a tamarillo and eating its GUTS!

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All the while, a tui sits and watches me, whistling like a little old man.

Lantern Festival & Otara Goodtimes

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This weekend in Auckland, Albert Park was the hip happenin’est place in the land. This was due to the influence of the Lantern Festival, celebrating Asian cultures and lanterns in the shape of the most obscure Pokemon of the last decade!

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Is that a chokobo??

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We were there, as usual, for the food. Regretfully I did not bring CB’s nice camera, and only have a handful of dark and blurry cellphone pictures but you get the jist. The evening was warm and there were throngs of people coursing through the park. Hundreds of happy faces under conical bamboo hats, beautifully lit up like rainbows from the cast of the thousands of lanterns. It was beautiful, and a really nice way to spend a Friday night in the city. But once our nose caught the scent of 5 spice bbq pork we only had one thing on our mind; find food stalls.

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We found them! Every part of Asia was representin’ here, and we had a hard time choosing. We had only a small amount of cash in our pockets so we had to be choosey. We picked Malaysian coconut rice with stir fried peanuts, cucumber, sambal oelek and tasty tiny dried fishes. Yum. We stood in line at the Filipino food stall hoping to get some pork adobo and some taro ice cream.  I got greedy and had to have this amazing thing called Halo Halo. Purple taro ice cream, condensed milk, shaved ice and in the bottom you had red beans, pandan jelly, strips of jackfruit and young coconut and.. other things I could not identify but loved. Buuut it cost $10, which meant we were broke, and it started to rain so we skee-daddled.

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Saturday mornings CB and I like to worship at Otara Market. It is home to our #1 favourite breakfast in NZ– Frabrabrafra. Fried Bread Breakfast! Flat whites and hot fried bread covered in butter and golden syrup ummnnngggggg.. yeeeahhhhh.. the best.

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Next time I’m totalling ordering that “Tweedle DeeDee = Dozen”.. sounds intriguing. Donuts? I should have asked.Now normally we have our fry bread, and wander the market stalls looking for our next tasty morsel but this time we went right back to the same food truck to get.. more fried bread.. but THIS time, with BBQ steak, fried onions and an egg. Oh lordy…

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We paid a visit to our favourite Rarotongans for a $5 bag of Hot Donuts and a container of banana poke. We then proceeded to dip the donuts IN the poke.. because we are godamn badass mother fuckers and that is how we ROLL. RAAAAAAA! PO-KAYYY!

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Our donuts, ever so much wrinkly after the drive home. But still soft and chewy and delicious.

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Our grapes are ready! Time for me to look up how I can make wine in the garage using only a bucket. They do it in toilets in prison, it must be possible!

After all that greasy goodness we had to have a nap for about 3 hours… which was so nice. And then we spent the entirety of our evening at the beach, being pumelled by waves and yelling at dogs back on the beach not to pee on the pile of our clothes we left there. I tried body surfing, which I thought I would be really good at due to the amount of body I own, but not so much. It was a whole lot of fun, just farting around in the waves with Cb for hours. I love the ocean, it makes me feel so salty fresh. And tired.. so tired..