Thursday 27 September 2012

Roll on the Holidays

Due to the fact I should now be leaving for school and my last post was such a mission I'm keeping this really short.

It has been an exhausting term with all the changes and turmoil in my life recently and I'm really looking forward to a break.

As you may have seen in my last post there has been some good times with celebrating Lea's birthday last weekend and having a fun time with her girls. I'm excited for the times ahead starting with the holidays in 2 more days.

Lea and I are travelling down to the South Island where I will catch up with 2 brothers, sister and my dad. I am excited about my family meeting Lea as I feel proud to have her in my life and I know my family will love her. No pressure Lea!

That's all for now! Will be in touch soon! I think this is a new record for a post completion.

Tuesday 25 September 2012

Lea's Birthday

Due to Lea's birthday falling on a Friday and both of us working we extended the celebrations through the weekend.

Lea has already reported on her actual birthday but the weekend is when we got to spend time together and it was really special.

Saturday I had a club race in Wellington and Lea, Bianca and Caitlyn came in to support me.

On the way we stopped at Aotea Lagoon where we did some exercise and played at the playground. Bianca showed off her dare devil skills!

They did a great job supporting me as I was second fastest only beaten by an under 20 runner. Considering I have been injured and unable to train properly for several months I am really pleased with my effort. I ran 6 km [almost 4 miles] in 22:09.

After the race we went back to the club rooms where we played some pool. There was some fierce competition between me and Bianca.

We had dinner at the One Red Dog. It was a pleasant walk on a sunny evening along Oriental Parade and the wharf.

The meal was yummy! We all had pizza!

I attempted my first cake which didn't come out as well as I had hoped but Lea and the girls generously said it was nice.

It was awesome to spend the day with a special lady and her girls!

Friday 21 September 2012

What a special day today was!

Today was my birthday.  I think it was probably the most special birthday I had in a very long time!  Due to circumstances I've not always been very excited around my birthday time, but today was really special. 

It started with Paul singing happy birthday to me around 5am when we had to wake up.  What a nice way to wake up!  Okay he actually did say happy birthday around 3 when we both for some reason woke up and thought it was about time to get up just to realise it was too early.   

He got me some really cool presents which he gave to me before I had to leave - a book (fifty shades of grey) and a cycling top as well as a really special card with some lovely words. 

When I got to work I put the card on my desk and when Trudy, the one girl in my team arrived, she gave me some yummy cupcakes with a message written on the box "happy birthday Lea, love working with you!

Tonight when I got home Bianca and Caitlyn gave me some presents and cards that they made and we had some very nice pizza that Paul made for us. 

It was such a special day today.  And I feel so lucky to be loved and cared for as I am!  What a lovely way to start my 36th year! :-)

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Rocky Road Bites

As promised I am back with the wonderful dessert that accompanied the Meatloaf. Strictly speaking it was more a sweet treat and I can't take a lot of credit for the Rocky Road Bites as it was taken directly from one of Lea's cooking books. They were however really tasty and I've now made several versions of them. They don't last long as they are extremely yummy and irresistible.

The ingredients are:-

125g / 4oz milk chocolate
50g / 2oz mini multi coloured marshmallows
25g / 1oz almonds
25g / 1oz apricots

Cut up all ingredients and combine with melted chocolate. Place heaped teaspoons of mixture onto tray and put in refrigerator.

Here are photos of the process

They taste better than they look so do try them!

Monday 17 September 2012

Let Loose in the Kitchen

I'm enjoying my renewed passion for cooking!

Lea works in Wellington, leaving on a 6:00 train and doesn't get back until 6:00 in the evening. Since I am a sensitive new age guy I have taken over the mantle of chief cook as I can get home earlier!

One of my favourite meals I cooked over the weekend. My Meatloaf has been given glowing accolades since I first discovered it in my student flatting days 30 years ago. It is a great recipe and easy to prepare as ingredients are thrown in generously and inventively as the mood takes.

The following ingredients are in my version of the original

Flat's Favourite Meatloaf:-

500g Mincemeat
1 Onion
1 Carrot
1 cup of rolled oats
Dates [optional]
Cup of breadcrumbs
Tin of whole peeled tomatoes
Tin of pineapple [optional]
Grated cheese
Peas optional
Tomato sauce to bind
Put all ingredients in a rectangular oven proof dish and cook at 200 degrees celsius for 45 minutes. I enjoy baked potatoes with my meatloaf but mashed potato is also nice.




Be sure to tune in next time for the yummy dessert that followed!

Sunday 16 September 2012

Biking and a lesson in playing pool

As I sit here ready to do the blog entry I was instructed to do, with Paul looking right over my shoulder making sure I just get on with it, I'm contemplating what I might share with you today...

The day started rather down for me as it is the anniversary of my dad's death.  He committed suicide in 1985 and I still remember that night when my mum came home quite late.  I remember her sitting on the bed telling us that there was an accident.  It was about a week before my 9th birthday.  Okay, 5 days to be exact with my birthday this coming Friday.  My dad and I weren't all that close I don't think (or at least I don't remember much) and I don't have all that many memories of him (I do remember us going fishing once), but I do feel sad that he chose to do what he did and he will never get to be a grandfather to my kids.

Gerhard Opperman - my dad
So for a large part of the day I felt fairly quiet.  I watched a bit of Flight of the Conchords while Paul was desperately trying to fix some bike wheel punctures.  Rather frustrating for him as it didn't work so well for most of the time he spent slaving away at it.

Almost ready to just give up, he finally managed to get one tube fixed and we were ready to go for a bike ride.  To be honest I wasn't really in the right frame of mind, but went out anyway.  Wasn't an easy ride as we had some rain for part of our journey (and that is never a good thing with wearing glasses as I could hardly see where I was going).  We did a hilly ride and of course Paul would sprint away while I could barely get to the top of some of these hills and then he'd turn around to race back to me asking me how I was going.  He must have thought I was rather grumpy as I wasn't all that good with a conversation and could barely get the words "fine" out between my heavy breathing.

Halfway through our bike ride we stopped off at the Waikanae Pub where Paul tried his best to teach me some pool.  I think he was determined not to be beaten by a girl, but he didn't have to worry because I wasn't much competition for him.  Was great fun anyway and I think future strategies of mine should be just to try and get my balls as close as possible to his to make it as hard as possible for him instead of aiming for the pockets ;-).

Very determined not to be beaten by a girl
Ready to put on quite the fight...
 It was getting dark by the time we left and I felt pleased when Paul indicated we were going about 36 km / hour (I think that is about 22 miles per hour, but don't take my word for it as I'm rather useless with math).

I did manage to beat Paul on the last stretch home which I felt really proud about considering he is such a great cyclist.  Okay, it helped that he didn't realise it was a race at the time.  Somehow I don't think I'll have it as easy next time...

It was good to get out for the bike ride even though I didn't find it particularly easy today (well actually I have yet to find it easy), but it is a great feeling knowing we went out and I managed.

How was your weekend, what did you get up to?

Thursday 13 September 2012


Apologies to my followers in advance as even I am somewhat bored with this post as I haven't got much to share today. I thought I'd make a start and see where it ends up.

Have been getting in to cooking lately and will at a later date share some of my culinary expertise. Lea has graciously given me full reign in the kitchen for my betterment.

Last night I cooked spaghetti bolognaise which received raving reviews.

As mentioned in my last post I am also an excellent dish washer (Lea says we have a far better looking dish washer than those typical white ones you get) and was ably assisted by Lea after a hard day's work.

Lea promises that some day soon she will be back with renewed vigour. Alright they weren't quite the words she used but I am confident she will entertain you once again with her 'ramblings' as she frequently refers to them as.

Settled In

Lea and i are enjoying being in our new home. Obviously a lot of sorting out to do but we are beginning to get into routines.

With Lea working and internet now on we are finally starting to get back to a normal existence.

I am so glad Lea talked me in to moving the piano to our new home as music plays a big part of my life and I am enjoying being able to play in the evenings and weekends.

We have bought some appliances such as TV and Microwave but no dishwasher yet just me.

Bianca had a show in town last night so was late home and slept in. We are all behind schedule so a short post today.

Hope all is well with my friends in blogging land!

Wednesday 12 September 2012

Ten Pin Bowling

Alice and I had pizza last night before embarking on a Ten Pin Bowling rivalry. We both talked up our game on the way to the bowling alley but were in for some disappointment on arrival.

As seems to be customary recently my timing often seems to be out. A few weeks ago Alice and I had gone out for dinner mid week only to find the restaurant booked out. Murphy's Law, once again we found ourselves up the creek without a paddle.

More to the point we had come on Bowling League night and all but one lane was already in action. Now Alice and I who had come full of bravado felt somewhat intimidated by these professional bowlers when we were put along side of them.

Nevertheless we tried to block out all the STRIKES that were happening around us and had a really enjoyable night.

There can only be one winner and on the night it was the Bowling. Scores were somewhat irrelevant but I was happy to break 100...a very modest total at that!

Here are some photos taken prior to our game as I felt the other bowlers might frown upon being snapped and distracted during their serious and intense competition.

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Today is a very important day

I know Paul did an entry this morning and that technically I should wait until tomorrow before I do my entry, but today is an important day in my world and a day I would like to share.

Today 3 years ago Bianca finally finished her 830 days of treatment for her leukemia.  (Click here to read the blog entry I did in 2009).  Today is a reminder that despite the challenges we sometimes have to face, we can get through.  It is a reminder that no matter how hard the road, we are strong enough to keep going.  I look at my little girl (well not so little anymore) and I am reminded of her amazing spirit, her courage and how, despite all she's been through, she taught us how to live just for this moment.  Just for today.  And not once did she complain.  She never asked "why me?"  I also look at Caitlyn and think what an amazing girl she is too.  Her first 2 years were rather chaotic and filled with stress and yet, she comfortably slipped into whatever routines we were able to manage at the time.  She just fitted in and she created a normality that we desperately needed at the time.

Today is a day that I feel truly blessed.  How different things could have been, but we've been granted a wonderful miracle!  And for that I will always be thankful!

I've shared this before and some of you may have seen this, but I would like to share this again: