Saturday, November 26, 2011

46: Growing stuff

As I may have mentioned before, I am the opposite of green-fingered, and between me and the harsh Central Otago climate, most plants in my possession end up dead.

However, we have had periods of sun and rain that are apparenlty conducive to good growth spurts, so here are some things in my garden I have managed not to kill. And, yes, most of them are weeds; so what?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

45: Afternoon tea and school sports

For my belated birthday party (of course I've got to still have one!) I decided to have an afternoon tea party followed by school sports' day. Many of the girls came in summer frocks and hats, fascinators or, in the case of the Mischievous Minx, cats' ears - no I didn't draw them on later as someone asked me. Most of the boys went straight for the sporting attire.

As you can see it was all terribly sophisticated with little sandwiches, squares of sweet stuff (one friend did send a text to ask, 'what's a dainty cake?' - she is a musterer so has probably never seen one), and even a tablecloth - thanks Aunty Jo!

We had Pimms in the teapot so could serve it in an assortment of mis-matched cups and saucers, and gin and tonic in the water jug. In case you're about to condemn our irresponsible hosting, there was plenty of un-alcoholic water in the tap. 

And so to the school sports. Him Outdoors was the master of ceremonies, while I was the scorer and the administrator. There was much to do so I am extremely grateful to the Dairy Queen for all the photography.

We divided the guests into 'houses' all named after local (South Island) beer: Classy Red; Wobbly Boot; Clydesdale; Dark Horse. The first event was to sprint, for which boys stripped off, girls tucked their dresses into their knickers, and they were off!

All the races had heats with the top two going through to the final, amid much cheering and yelling (and a little cheating and interference) from the sidelines.

Photo-finish final
Next up was the egg and spoon - there were clear rules (i.e. you must have one hand behind your back and you must not touch your egg with anything except the spoon) which were explained with much seriousness. I joined in this event and won my heat! I was a Dark Horse - no further comment.

The serious business of the egg-and-spoon final
Following on, we had the skipping races, and here the Dairy Queen excelled herself with video footage. Listen and marvel at the screaming of the crowd; watch and laugh at the appalling technique - as the tallest competitor, CJD picked the shortest rope (but stole a kiss and a subsequent bonus point at the turn-around); Spik trialled a one-handed skipping 'style' and was subsequently disqualified; I pulled a calf muscle and subsequently learned that sport is dangerous (more of which later...)

After three events (of the total nine), the Clydesdales were in the lead which is where they stayed (although hotly pursued by the Wobbly Boots), and the Dark Horses had three points, which is where they stayed (hotly pursuing no one at all).

At the Standing Long Jump, the Naki Boy took out the honours for the Classy Reds. I don't know who was more pleased with the achievement; he for winning it, or The Dairy Queen with a smug smile as it was confirmed that he was seventeen centimetres longer than anyone else.

The wheelbarrow race caused much entertainement as the Dark Horses discovered that you can't get a grip on shiny tights. The things we learn...

The three-legged race really was a game of two halves, tortoises and hares, not over until you cross the finish line and all manner of sporting cliches.

The sack race caused much controversy with interference, line changes and underhand tactics - the girls previously agreed on the shuffle technique, which some of them rapidly abandoned out of necessity. There were appeals to the judges (does the whole body have to cross the line?) and vociferous protests as the competition got serious.

The Great Galah is jubilant to be crowned best in the sack
Of course, all good sporting events finish with relays and ours was no exception (although the term 'good' may be subjective). We had the sprint relay followed by the medley relay involving three-legged, wheelbarrow, skipping and sack. Marvellous fun and many hidden talents... remained hidden, really.
The oh-so-high-tech scoreboard at the close of competition
As an exhibition event, Him Outdoors somehow persuaded Squirt to have a go at flipper racing. She was extremely game (even going so far as to limber up) but collapsed at the final hurdle - beer drinking while still wearing the facemask - so Him Outdoors was triumphant. He hadn't been able to join in any of the games previously so was thrilled with the chance to participate (and win), bless him.

The evening ended, as it so often does, with music and dancing - The Naki Boy, Him Outdoors, Spik and CJD try their hand (or rather, feet) at Cossack dancing - they are crap but entertaining, a winning combination.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

44: WWWBC 10th Anniversary Outing

Our book-club tenth anniversary was celebrated with wine and petanque.

The Wakatipu Wild Women's Book Club
We all went to Brennan Wines where we wine-tasted. It tasted good, so we had some more.

And then we played petanque for Lupin, our gnomic mascot who is hotly fought over each year in a variety of challenges (we have previously 'won' him in mini golf and snooker competitions). It began with the heats...

As the Dairy Queen prepares to bowl, the Mischievous Minx pulls her supportive face
As oposed to this one...
It didn't work for Jonny Wilkinson this time round either
And so to the semi-finals.

Petanque technique or Eric Morecambe impression?
And then the serious business of the final when the crows went wild.

The Dairy Queen makes the grand presentation to Crazy Legs Crane
And this is the miniature object of intense rivalry!