Sunday, June 26, 2011

I can't believe Robin went to Maccas

Apparently it was after having been out to a bar with some friends, where it was cheaper to buy VB by the half dozen. So they had 24. And I was told that the Chicken Mac Maharaja burger was highly unappetising - what a surprise! Of course they don't have beef because Hindu persons don't eat it but they do have a range of chicken and vege stuff - not that I'd touch it with a barge pole. I can't remember the last time I ate Maccas - and I don't care if their toilets are clean.
So today I had Neal round trying to help me replace a bulb on the outdoor light - which was way more difficult than it should have been as we had no idea how to get the blown bulb out. So I took a photo and then had to go to - gulp - Bunnings to locate a little man to assist. Surprisingly he did and for only $4.40 I got what I needed and now have a back yard light again just in time for garbage night.
Robin went to the monastery in Leh this morning and saw the Oracle in action. She was busy donging a young fellow with a sword - don't know why but I expect he won't do it again. He was going to hit a few more monasteries this afternoon and he still has tomorrow to occupy himself - I know not with what.
I am now going to admit that I'm watching Dancing with the Stars - such tragic viewing but good for a laugh. Some people just don't have it! I love the outfits and the muscly guys. I'm going for Manu - devilishly charming!
Hey I forgot to tell you that during the week TIA (Tribhuvan Un-Intentional Airport, Kathmandu) was closed for a morning because the runway collapsed. How that country manages to run is anybody's guess. I'm so looking forward to landing there in monsoon.
And last but not least, here's a lovely review of Robin's guide book in the latest edition of the Nepali Times. Have you bought your copy yet?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

We lost :(

But at least we made it into the finals....but not for long.
Anyway, there's been heaps of things happening this week. Robin should just be stepping off the Kingfisher flight from Delhi to Leh. Lucky sod. I'm sure he'll be very relieved to be out of the heat and dust of Delhi, although every time I spoke to him he had just been out having a fun time with a couple of friends, going to a bar or a restaurant. So he'll now spend a couple of weeks trekking around Leh, and luckily for him there a couple of festivals (the Hemis Festival and another one I can't remember). He's never been to Leh before, and is hoping to run into the friends he caught up with in Manali a few weeks ago.
Robin also decided to buy an iPad during the week as he was struggling to download his pics onto the computer in Hauz Khas. Good one...
And he lined up a deal with a big map making firm in Delhi to produce topographical maps of the Indian Himalaya for trekkers. Yet another bunch of stupid maps to take up room in my luggage no doubt.
And thank goodness the sun is out and shining bright today - there's been a few days this week when I just couldn't warm up at all.
Only 4 more Fridays at work then I'm off. Wow it seems to have come around really quickly and am I organised? No.
So I'd better go start now!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

We won!

That was a cracker game at what used to be called the Olympic Stadium. I forget what it's called now - and I don't really care. The car park was chockers - we had to park on level 8 (the top) and yet the place wasn't even half full. How weird. Luckily for us we were at the end where the Tahs scored 4 tries. Pity my distance eyesight is failing fast thanks to my cataract, so I struggled to see a lot of it, but I did enjoy jumping up and down and yelling "Go. Run. YAAAAAAY" a lot. And I only spilled my drink a little bit. Steve brought some New Zealand Water (Sauv Blanc) and some Red Drink (Shiraz) as well as Portuguese Custard tarts, chocolate brownie and caramel slices. Neal and Rhonda made roast chicken bread rolls. It was very gourmet - and cheaper than the options available on site. I made sure I was warm in several layers of polar fleece and goretex that I managed to dig out from the cupboard. Next week the Tahs have to play the Auckland Blues in Auckland - that's gonna be a tough one.
Yesterday at lunch time Mads and Clare dropped in for a barbie. I can now categorically state that jetlag does not help man's ability to barbecue - in fact Mads bailed on his bloke duties and left it to us chicks to barbie the bangers, and they were pretty damn good even if I do say so myself. We all had a chat to Robin on Skype  which was a treat for sir, except the bit where he found out the girls had used his barbie, AND that I had dared to scrub a portion of it before use....Oops.
On Friday night Robin went to a 40th birthday party for a friend of the business partner of the chap who stiffed him for money in the trek logistics. The Money Squirrel was there and apparently horrified to see Robin. Too funny. I would have enjoyed seeing that. Yesterday they met in an attempt to resolve things but it seems the MS is intractable.
Just got a call from Robin to tell me that he and a young Spanish friend of his absent host Raj, Perico, just arrived in Delhi so they tooled off to the fabulous Imperial Hotel on Janpath for Sunday Buffet. Robin wanted to let me know they shared s side of salmon. deep fried prawns, Foie Gras, NZ lamb, beef, pork, salad (which made 4 plates of entree and 3 of main) and they were contemplating dessert. Meanwhile I am reheating 1 chicken sausage left over from the barbie, heating up a bread roll and frying half an onion from last week sometime. Yum. AT least the wine is good!
Cheers! Enjoy your week and stay tuned for international money news.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Crazy busy mayhem!

All donations gratefully accepted
That was a week that I would not care to repeat in a hurry. Where were we up to - ah yes Robin was in Manali having kittens about money and tents. And waiting to meet up with some friends for Joel's puja. Well the tents with all their broken poles could not be solved, but the puja went well according to all reports.
And as for the money problem... I think I have about 10 ulcers now. Robin probably has more. After much soul searching (and looking behind the cushions for spare change) Robin decided to leave the India GHT at Manali and get to Delhi as he had run out of money and the stress of trying to sort everything out without my fabulous assistance was just too much. So he is now in Hauz Khas, where I was last year, with Hydra the wonder cat and Captain Ashram. Before Robin decided to stop trekking, he had bought supplies for the final 3 weeks. So he took these down to Delhi where apparently Captain Ashram's eyes lit up and he told Robin that the food would be very welcome at the ashram, and Robin told him that was very interesting but not likely to happen any time soon. So now Brave Sir Robin is trying to find things to do that will get him out of Delhi where it is 40 something - I would love to be there and be warm. The stress this week of trying to sort out the money issues, and still having to go to work and listen to people's excuses for not paying their loans was an interesting exercise, especially in this awful cold windy weather which makes me sneeze constantly. For my part, I don't think Robin will be allowed (Management Directive here) to go trekking UNLESS Yours Truly has her hands firmly on the purse strings. Money is a wonderful thing, and everybody wants some of it. More of it. All of it. But now I don't have any of it.
So enough moaning. It is a wonderful sunny day and my friend Mads is arriving from Nepal any minute now. His partner Clare (my Yo Sis) is collecting him from the airport and we're having a barbecue lunch - snags all round. Then I've gotta dig out all the warm clothes I own as I'm off to the Super 15 Rugby tonight - Tahs v Brumbies. If we (the Tahs) win then we might just squeeze into the finals. I'm really looking forward to it.
And my Nepali niece and her hubby arrived on Thursday night - they are moving to Adelaide for study in a few weeks. Silly duffers left lots of messages on my voicemail yesterday 'Aunty we are here please call' but they didn't leave their phone number. Not very useful.
Our friend Andrew Lock got an OAM in the Queen's birthday honours list last week - well done him. I hope I don't have to call him Sir.
I also had a hot chocolate disaster the other night - I made up some hot chocolate with just a nip of brandy and as I lifted the mug the handle parted company with the mug, and I ended up with hot chocolate all over the kitchen floor. And not just hot chocolate, but the chopped up Neapolitan marshmallows too. What a horrible sticky mess. What do you mean you've never heard of Neapolitan marshmallows?
I have also been busy getting quotes for my neighbour Neal and his paramour Rhonda to go trekking in Nepal in November. Seems as soon as one thing stops another starts right now!
My hands are cold so I'm off to sit in the sun and await my guests.
I'll let you know how the Rugby goes if I don't get frostbite - at least the rain has stopped!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Did I tell you I hate the cold weather

Which is pretty unfortunate considering how vile the last week has been. And of course most of my warm stuff is in Kathmandu in a storeroom. Handy. I've managed to dig up all manner of things in my attempts to make do and I have managed to get through without frostbite. An array of coats, hats, scarves and gloves has been employed and I even resorted to tights under my work trousers one day. On one particularly cold day I was sitting on the train with 2 spare seats next to me. The carriage was filling up and I wondered why people were standing when there was room next to me. Then I sensed someone was about to jump into the seat from behind me, when I heard them say 'Arab' and whoever it was didn't sit down. How odd I thought; then I realised that I was wearing a long black coat and had my pashmina shawl wrapped around my head and neck. Obviously I was doing an impeccable impersonation of a woman who may have hailed from Iran or something. How strange. And how rude! Makes you wonder about people sometimes. But hey, I got the seat to myself, the xenophobe stood up all the way and I was lovely and warm. Who lost that one?
Brave Sir Robin has finally made it to Manali (not without drama) and is enjoying being in a 2 room apartment for a few days. He has had a major difference of opinion with the chief of the organising committee in Delhi, and called me in a right tizzy just as I was getting home from work on Friday telling me to get this and that arranged and with a list of emails to send. I was back to being Mrs Logistics, from afar. Friday night was therefore somewhat disjointed - but I still managed to enjoy drinkies and home made pizza next door.
Yesterday had me doing more organising, and I was hosting the rugby barbecue across the road as the homeowners were away for the weekend and I was babysitting the cat and the Foxtel. How onerous.
Robin hosted a dinner party last night for some friends who had arrived in Manali to attend the memorial service for our friend Joel which is on tomorrow. Can't believe it's already 12 months since he died up there. After that he'll get his route sorted for the trek to Kashmir. Apart from the weather and passes he also has the security issues to contend with.
I just saw on the news that 180 flights have been cancelled today because of volcanic ash from another unpronounceable volcano, this time in Chile. That would be annoying. Not as annoying as the awful driving I saw today. It was absolutely bucketing down this morning as I pootled on the M4 to see mum. The speed limit is 90, I was doing less than that due to the heavy rain, and I was being overtaken by people doing at least 100 kph and changing lanes as though their butt was on fire. When I was coming back, I was right behind a stack where a P plater (of course) dropped the clutch at the lights and immediately lost control, skidding wildly and taking out the car in front of me. So of course I stopped to offer my advice on their motoring skills. And my details for the insurance claim.
OK I think it's time to turn the heater up and fix myself an aperitif. Because I am worth it.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Me Cold

And not enjoying it. Even though I have about 8 shops worth of polartec in the house. How many more cups of tea can a person drink in one day trying to warm up?
I may also be cold because I have spent several hours in the frigid front room (I refuse to put the blow heater on) setting up a SPOT Adventures page for Brave Sir Robin. It has taken several weeks to make it behave, and at first it would only take about half the waypoints but I've got it working now. Just not sure what I'll do with the next lot of them when they come in as there doesn't seem to be a facility to add more to an adventure. This may become a series!
So check it out

Thursday, June 2, 2011

More mailbox freebies

Last week it was incontinence pads, this week Intensive Repair Mask! Sheesh I thought this was a young and groovy street (well it was in 84 when I moved here) but it seems we are now firmly part of the old fart demographic. Maybe next week it will be denture cleaner or lavender soap. Yuck.
I finally heard from Robin yesterday. He'd made it to Chitkul and then ended up somewhere else Kanf (or something like that) and was getting ready to head off into the wilds again. But excitingly he saw a Himalayan bear mother and cub the other day. He's back to sending me SPOT again so check out the page in your spare time.
Bob sent me a pic of Audens Col - hope you enjoy it. That's Robin heading off into the sunset.

Looking forward to the weekend. Hope you have a good one.