Monday, October 31, 2005

Hey hooooo

The best blogging is pissssssed.

So HI!!! I'm Martha. I don't know you, but it is my sister's birthday.

Yeah, no, I don't really work.

Umm yeah, I guess the term is homemaker, oh okay, that is oldskool. I'm a family executive. Yeah, that far more covers being the one who gets to deal with the shit and the puke.

Oh yeah, I used to be a researcher in Treaty Issues.

Okay, that means more than the shit and the puke.

So, how do you feel?

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The problem is

The problem with flickr is that as soon as you start to look at other people's pictures, you get a bit depressed. They're so damn good.
In the sea

I took this today. I haven't used any tricks to make it so blue. It just was.

Does anyone know of some good, free photo-editing stuff? This computer only has MS Paint, and I ain't going to even try doing that. All I end up doing is doodling with it.

Without trying to influence anyones voting behaviour...

Vote for me!


They've been gardening over at Reasonable Estate and I'm jealous.

So far this summer I have killed my tomato, basil and parsley seedlings. I'm told radishes are foolproof, so I'm out to prove them wrong. I have also planted beetroot.

My garden is about 1 x 6 foot, and if you know of a good chemical that will kill cats before they crap in it, I'm all ears.

I killed a whole lot of snails with bait, and Finn asked about them. I told him they were having a nap. My mother piped up that people in France eat snails. Finn eyed them with interest.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Shoe gazing - or something

Today I decided to try and be a little more creative with the camera. I was prompted by an invite to a Flickr group, which I'm way too frightened to submit anything for.

Anyhow, I thought I'd have a browse through the net (search: how to take photographs). I read a bit, and then they suggested trying some self portraits. Ohmigod.

I was frankly very surprised. I look much different than I think I do. I look older, I look angrier, and I look tireder (which doesn't look like a real word. But since I'm tireder than you, I don't care).

I worked out that half the reason I look so odd is I didn't have my glasses on, and the other half is that I don't think I look at myself much.

After a few shots I actually began to quite enjoy it. Simple things like not looking straight at the camera, and combing ones hair seem to make the world of difference.

I present you with the result of my experiment. Probably not the most honest picture, but I think that is because god knows how other people see me. I'm quite happy to remain ignorant.

Martha Self Portrait

It looks best small, and black and white. Of course.

Is he Jude Law?

Check out this picture of Jeffrey Dahmer. Jude Law should definitely play him in a movie. Uncanny.

Thanks Mike for the link. Very cool.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Please hold

The more observant amongst you may have noticed a drop off in blogging at Wanda Harland. The reason is simple. Malo is 13 months now. He isn't walking, but he seems to be able to scale vertical surfaces effortlessly. This means our house is a total hazard zone, and there is a lot of bumped head action going on.

Once I get him addicted to telly it'll be all on again. Until then blogging may be a little sporadic.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Jacuzzi and a pool boy please

I'm trying to book our accomodation for our christmas holiday. Booking 10 nights away seemed exciting and liberating and all that. However now I am faced with the challenge of booking a sketchy trip which looks a little like:

24th - catch the ferry. Drive as far as we can before the kids drive us insane and we give up for the night (probably about Blenheim). Maybe drug them and get the whole way to Christchurch, otherwise Christmas may be shared with the whales.

25/26/27 ? - Christchurch? Somewhere sunny and more or less free?

26/27? - Greymouth. We're visiting relatives there. How come motels cost $130 in GREYMOUTH.

Hmmm 28ish til 3rd - Vaguely meeting friends and family in the Catlins... Have to drive with kids... May need to stop at Moeraki, Oamaru and Dunedin on the way to cope (like our campervan trip). Leaves half a day to say hello to the Catlins before starting the trip home.

Clear as mud eh?

And I like a housesitter too. So if you're nice and not into the upside down b, how about a house swap?

Jacuzzi and a pool boy please

I'm trying to book our accomodation for our christmas holiday. Booking 10 nights away seemed exciting and liberating and all that. However now I am faced with the challenge of booking a sketchy trip which looks a little like:

24th - catch the ferry. Drive as far as we can before the kids drive us insane and we give up for the night (probably about Blenheim). Maybe drug them and get the whole way to Christchurch, otherwise Christmas may be shared with the whales.

25/26/27 ? - Christchurch? Somewhere sunny and more or less free?

26/27? - Greymouth. We're visiting relatives there. How come motels cost $130 in GREYMOUTH.

Hmmm 28ish til 3rd - Vaguely meeting friends and family in the Catlins... Have to drive with kids... May need to stop at Moeraki, Oamaru and Dunedin on the way to cope (like our campervan trip). Leaves half a day to say hello to the Catlins before starting the trip home.

Clear as mud eh?

And I like a housesitter too. So if you're nice and not into the upside down b, how about a house swap?

These are a few of my favourite things

Petone has got better and better over the 3 1/2 years we've lived here. Initially I pretty much hated it, and missed living in Mt Vic. It was convenient for Glen's work though, and our 1 bedroom apartment would have been pretty claustrophobic with 3 people crammed in. We rented for the first year, a lovely house just off Jackson St, with a beautiful garden and gorgeously decorated. Our neighbour in Mt Vic bought the apartment off us, and we really needed to buy ourselves a house. The one problem with buying in Petone was the lack of good bread. Fortunately, in the nick of time, Brezelmania opened their first store. So we bought an old shit hole house at the desirable eastern end of Petone (although not quite as far as the lovely Exide factory).

Well how times have changed. Our house is now a palace, and we've discovered no end of fabulous parks, shops and entertainment.

So here are a couple of favourites:

Davis Trading - Every time I nip into Davis Trading for a little something, I come out with 3 bags bulging with treats. It is primarily an Asian supermarket, but also has a fantastic range of Mediterranean goodies. Their spices are cheap as chips and packaged in very handy jars. They have mortar and pestles for about $25. If I'm feeling particularly extravagant I buy some steamed coconut buns and have a mini yum char. I also never leave the store without a sesame treat. Mmm. Sesame treat. It is on Te Puni St, just near Kathmandu and the Warehouse.

The South African Shop - This place is such a blast. You're given a very warm welcome, and an offer of a cup of coffee. Take them up on this offer, the coffee is strong and tasty. They import lots of goodies, primarily from South Africa, but they have other things too. They are the local distributors of Whitestone Cheeses, and always give you a taste. They have an amazing selection of olives and all of them are available to taste. They also import and stock local wine. Last night we had the most delicious South African Syrah (which I bought because the owner told me Logan Brown and arbitrager are stocking it, and since I'm not going there anytime soon I thought I'd treat myself ). If you're after some parmigiano reggiano you may find it hard to go past the wheel they have behind the counter - a snip at $2395. I highly recommend a visit, it is a treasure trove of gourmet delights. On Fitzherbert St, off Jackson or the Esplanade.

That is enough Petone secrets shared for one day. I hate long posts, and this is well beyond my limit.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Save the jellyfish!

If you go down to the beach today, be sure of a big surprise...

There are massive jellyfish all over Petone beach. I didn't see anyone with wet towels and buckets of water trying to save them, but then it was 6.10am on a Sunday (curse you damn insomnia).

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Oh so dammit WHATever

Much as I love the fact everyone is going out and having cocktails and marvellous times and torturing us poor souls at home (Stephen, Jo, Tom, Kate), I do find it somewhat depressing. I want a frickin apple mojito thingamy bob! I want a seedy pub toilet! I want pizza pomodoro!

So in a new series entitled Dining at Home, a shall reveal the excitement of the 'hood.

First up - our new table
October 2005 101

And the menu?

We started with hummus etc, dolmades, chargrilled eggplant, pita toasts.

Mains we had a mesclun and roasted kumara and pumpkin salad with zhoug dressing and spicy walnut encrusted gurnard. The kids had tomato risotto.

Pudding? A delectable icecream of vanilla creme, chocolate shards and a rich raspberry gellee (otherwise known as jellytip icecream).

We sunk the lot with some Saint Clair Vicar's Choice 2004 Chardonnay (nice, light, simple) and some Villa Maria Gewurztraminer (quite spicy and rich).

And the company? An appreciative audience of my mother-in-law, brother-in-law, nephew, husband and kids.

Sounds? The Green Room,

and then some Only Living Boy in New York by Simon and Garfunkel! I've been a bit obsessed with the song since Garden State.

Thats right peeps, life in the fridge exists.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

One for the ladies again


My earlier post reported on my exciting Origins bargain find on eBay, well today the stuff arrived.

I thought it might take a couple of goes with the Modern Friction to see any result, but I can report that my skin is feeling deliciously young and fresh and healthy. I can't actually believe it.

So a thoroughly successful experiment in international cosmetics trading. It only took 7 days from ordering to receive the goodies, postage was only US$10.

Yippee. I want to get more. The problem is, while cheap, it still costs something.

Oh, on a completely different note, our old formica table sold on trademe for $305!! I know!! Amazing enough for me to use exclamation marks even.

Monday, October 17, 2005


This story is inspired by Alan's recent recount of a digger story.

One day, when I was young and footloose and fancy free, I was walking down Wadestown hill on the way to university.

I chap in a digger called out "hello!" to which I replied "kiarrrggg".

I was very very embarassed. The reason I came out with such an unusual salutation? At the time I usually greeted people with a friendly "kia ora", but mid-word I realised that in fact I was only going to appear like a silly, middle-class, white girl from Wadestown. So I tried to say "gidday" instead.

I still feel quite a severe cringe when I remember that day.


You are Snoopy!

Which Peanuts Character are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Cheers Llew.


Here is our garden pre-lawn
Building a garden

and here it is with new lawn as of Saturday
Lovely grass

Please note:

Expensive and addictive coffee toy that we may never give up. Yes, it really does live in our backyard.

Poor diver at the front of the picture, who is that dude from the legend who was diving when the helicopter with the monsoon bucket picked him up - and deposited him in Petone. He is shrinking by the day.

Please don't note:

Collection of motley plants.

Chock full recycling bin (although at least we recycle our empties).

Assorted crap.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

So, like totally ohmigod!

After spending quite a few years being scathing of reality tv, I seem to have caught the bug. First with INXs Rockstar, and now with Project Runway (TV 3, Sunday 7.30pm).

I LOVED it. There were 12 designers, and all the men had that like TOTALLY OHMIGOD voice, and all the women were hard-nosed, hard working schemers. I love them all, and hate them, and so, like, the show is going to be totally unmissable.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Martha needs

Martha needs to rebuild her self-confidence

Martha needs a butch bitch for protection

Martha needs a quick nip

Martha needs to re-earn everyones respect

Martha is NOT the housewife next door

Martha's apprentice needs an edge

A woman like Martha needs careful handling.

Martha needs a BIG attitude adjustment if for no other reason
than the way she treats peopl e

This is so great. It is better than a horoscope.

Type "[your name] needs" into google, and have a bloody good time reading the results.

Cheers Jessie for the idea. Honestly, I thought Jessie was letting the world know it was over rover.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Tagged - again!

Make Tea Not War has tagged me. Here are 20 random things about me.

1. I didn't finish 6th Form as I was overseas, but they let me through anyway.
2. I have worked as a caterer, florist, pharmacy assistant and babysitter. You could say I have the makings of a good wife.
3. My eyes are a funny colour.
4. I never learned how to use apostrophes, so basically I wing it.
5. Green lollies make me want to hurl.
6. I can crochet, but I don't.
7. I like people who are older than me.
8. My family live close, and I like it that way.
9. I can only wear high heels for about 23 minutes.
10. The first time I got drunk I was 14, on 6 Steinlagers.
11. I can't remember what a First 5/8 is.
12. I played hockey for 7 years and never knew the rules.
13. I once read a lot of books. Now I read a lot of magazines.
14. I found $7 on the road when I was 8. I bought a butterfly net.
15. I wear glasses almost always now.
16. I wish I was Madonna.
17. I was Head Boy.
18. If I didn't have children, I'd sell the car and buy a Reuben Patterson painting.
19. A woman has just pulled up outside to buy a copper I sold on trade me.
20. I wish I had done architecture. Instead I enrolled and got frightened off by the maths and physics lectures.

I tag

Pornalike quiz

Ahhhh, funny.

Try this, it has a good soundtrack too. It says it is work friendly. I think you may have to have a fairly liberal workplace.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Leonard Rossi-Dodds

A long time ago, there was a New Zealand soap opera I watched called Shortland St. Martin Csokas was on it as Dr Leonard Rossi-Dodds (before he became a Russian terrorist, or an Elf with bad hair). His speciality dish was a volcano of potato, flowing lava formed with tomato sauce, and legions of fleeing villagers represented by sausages. I give to you my interpretation.


Finn looks really really impressed. Or not.

The Bats

I'm reminding everyone that the Bats are playing soooooon. So please tell everyone you know to go to Bodega on the 5th November.



I'm quite weary. Every night but Monday, for the last week, I have consumed quite a lot of wine and beer. Last night we had a bit of a family gathering for my sister's 30th. It is a little bit of a shock to the system when your young sister turns 30. That probably is the reason that I had to dull the ache with the grog. Mmmm. It was yummy. We had whitebait too. Mmmm.

I have also hauled up a lot of concrete pavers (which are selling like hotcakes on trademe - go figure. We thought they were rubbish). We have bought a dining table, and more than half the cost has been covered by the sale of what can best be described as junk.

We are getting some roll-out grass delivered tomorrow. Yippee. When we moved to our house there was only a 2 x 3m area of grass in the backyard. The rest was concrete. Very sensible too. You can't rollerskate on grass.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Alan Macdougall - sex on legs

Alan Macdougall has a nemesis. Not only am I going to help him up his google rankings, but (sexy feets) I (tile mosaics) may (Murray Wiggle) just (jessica simpson NAKED) up (Britney's baby) my (hooters) own (tight shorts) in (boobies) the (cheap cocaine) process.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

From the Jackass school of humour

I got sent a concerned chain email today about the terrible art of Bonsai Kitty. Upon independent research, I found that the business, and consequently the chain letter, have been in circulation for a few years, which means you have probably all heard about it. If not check out the website here. I particularly like the Alessi shoehorn.

Warning - this one is for the ladies

And before you guys get excited, it is not about boobs, smear tests or jelly wrestling.

The other day my sister-in-law, who is very gorgeous, told me about some Origins product which gives you a natural version of micro-dermobrasion. It is called Modern Friction. So I dutifully went off to Kirks (ever hopeful that by using the same product I will end up gorgeous too). The nice Origins lady spent a goodly amount of time massaging this stuff into my hand while I made appropriate appreciative noises. I was pretty sold on the stuff. My left hand looked young and un-nappy-ruined. The price for this miracle? $94. Well, I may be able to spend ridiculous amounts of money on paint and timber, but the price was a little too rich for my palate.

So I checked eBay. For the exact same product, brand new, $18.99. I may never go into a normal shop again.

Monday, October 10, 2005


Ben has tagged me.

The instructions for this tag.

1. Go into your archive & find your 23rd post.
2. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to & share the text of the sentence with these instructions.
3. Tag five to do the same.

My result:
I want to go and spend $1750 on a painting, or some nice shoes, or a coat.

Actually I had to go to my 24th post, the previous was only 2 sentences. It is pretty crap too. I guess it is just evidence that I'm no towering intellectual giant, and I like shopping.

So I tag

1. Rosie
2. Emily
3. Mr Reasonable
4. David in Darwin
5. Brena

Knock yourselves out.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Going with the theory that the best blogging is done drunk

It is fair to say that in the world of Wanda Harland, it has been a big weekend.

Starting with "afternoon tea" on Friday (which - oh uh, big reveal - isn't really tea, but an excuse to start drinking). Obviously there was some of the upside down b, some wine, some pizza, some spin the bottle.

Saturday we had the big surprise party - which I couldn't previously blog about in case he read it - (fat chance, I'm not that popular yet). A grand night involving eating out and babysitting (thanks Jannene), and balti, and saying "penis" too loud in a quiet restaurant.

Sunday should have been the day of rest. However it was a gorgeous day, and I thought it prudent to dig up the paving tiles. These proved to be VERY GODDAMN HEAVY. So after 4 loads I retired. At this point I'm thinking 10 a day will do.

And the night ended with booze. The best thing about meeting more people around the 'hood, is the increased socialising opportunities. I can recommend Petone for increased drinking ops. Go Petone.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Bats

Come one come all.

The Bats are playing at Bodega on the 5th November. This is ample time for everyone to organise babysitters.

I recommend an early dinner (why not make the most of one of those cheap pre-theatre menus - Logan Brown - unless you're llew who can't ever show his face there again), followed by a leisurely stroll to the waterfront for the fireworks, then a rousing gig from the foremost talent in New Zealand music.
The Bats
Show up and I'll shout y'all a sip of my beer. Generous!

I'm hoping my parents will be doing their first overnight-looking-after-two-boys gig - Pamela, Terry? Whaddaya reckon?

Fire engine

The fun that can be had with a pile of cardboard.

taking orders for Finn's shirt. Need to sell about 400 to pay for my dream table. Cheers.



So what does a girl have to do to get an invite to the Tuis?

I've had some wines tonight, which means I'm feeling quite rock and roll, and just wondering why the hell I haven't been invited to the NZ Music Awards. I can get tarted up, drink, schmooze, heckle, you know.

Perhaps I could go as a date of someone. Perhaps someone still in the closet needs a plausible wife. Go on, give me a call.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

This is me

Me and the boys
I thought it might be time for a picture of myself, as everyone surely wants to see who they're reading about? Well I do, and hardly anyone obliges.

And this is what evenings are like in the house of mayhem. Running and wriggling and devilish red eyes.

I'm going out (so we'd better get this party started)

I am very very excited. While I have a super hot social life in Petone, Glen and I haven't been into town at the same time together of an evening for ... oh .... about 5 months? And then I was breastfeeding, so still kind of unable to have a riotous time.

And this weekend - we're going out! With friends! And beer! And curry! And it will be spiffing.

Our lovely new neighbours are doing the honours with the babysitting, and I'm optimistic that we can come to a mutually agreable arrangement which will see them enjoying a rampant social life, and us too.

I feel like 10 years have been lifted from my shoulders.

The Machinist

Latest watch was The Machinist.

I don't really know if I liked it. It was pretty messy. It was certainly interesting to see what Christian Bale looked like after losing 60 lbs (not pretty).

I was very frightened and grossed out by the first gross out bit, and under the impression they were set to continue, I snuck into the bedroom and looked for a synopsis on the internet. I was reassured by what I read, and returned to watch the rest. I think someone wanting a horror would be disappointed that the "horror" only lasted about 3 minutes, and anyone not wanting a horror would be upset that there was 3 minutes of YUCK.

I watched some of the bonus material on the DVD, and wasn't surprised to see it had been filmed in Spain. It didn't feel like an American film.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Trade me

In case you were all dying of curiosity, I thought I'd let you know how my Trademe auctions are going.

The baby monitor has been in high demand and is up to $61. I feel nervous, which often happens when I'm running auctions and feel like people are paying too much. We got the thing free with flybuys, so I'm pretty stunned by the bidding.

The old armchairs are up to $31.

The oak table sold to a woman down the road for $50.

The baby bouncer is $1 from reserve.

I'm pretty pleased really. We're almost 1/6 of the way to the new table, and all for stuff we didn't want. Now I just have to work out what else to sell. I'm thinking of sacrificing some of the Crown Lynn.

Oh and ps. we've fixed iTunes. The podcast had created a double directory. Losers.

The Control Room

This was our latest DVD rental, and I enjoyed it heaps. It was about Al Jazeera, and their coverage of the war in Iraq. Now I don't necessarily think things through that much, but I'd always assumed that Al Jazeera was located in the cave next to Osama bin Laden. It isn't. It is a real building, with real journalists, and a fairly good grasp on the world as far as I could tell.

I really recommend the film.

iTunes anyone?

Okay, usual plea for help.

Having downloaded a great deal of music onto iTunes, it is now refusing to play anything.

It comes up with a box that says:

"The song "Mybrotherswillkillyou" could not be used because the original file could not be found. Would you like to locate it? Yes Cancel"

And when you try to locate it the file is empty. What has happened? Has all our tireless music storing been lost?

Music that makes my eyes leak

Some songs just take you there. You know. Back there, to when you were young and came home drunk and played music really loudly because you were pretty sure the neighbours might initially be a bit upset, but once they heard what you were playing, well, then they'd be grateful.

Be warned, these are a pretty middle of the road selection. That is the nature of the beast I fear.

1. It All Makes Sense - The Lightning Seeds. This song was used recently on a child cancer ad - to great effect I might ad. It is lovely, and when I think about it I get a bit leaky, so imagine what happens when I listen. I get the feeling that Alan might feel the same way.

2. Back for Good - Take That. I saw Gary Barlow from Take That play this at a record company schmooze thingy in Auckland, and have been a bit obsessed with the song since. As many people who live on Austin St in Mt Vic will attest (sorry).

3. If I Had Words - The Vard Sisters. This is the song that the mice sing in Babe. It is repetitive and annoying, but still has the weepy factor "If I had words, I'd make a day for you, give you a morning golden and new, I would make this day last for all time, and give you a night dipped in moonshine". Actually it is a crap song.

4. Fire and Rain - James Taylor. This song was in Running on Empty, which starred River Phoenix, who is dead. Quite often leaky eye songs are related to dead celebrities. Also, I recently heard that James Taylor was singing about his wife. And he was on the Simpsons recently, with his particular brand of "middle of the road folk/pop". I love anyone on the Simpsons.

5. Stand - REM. Because I was 16 when this came out, and at that age you're very hormonal. So I remember it passionately. Not that any of that makes sense, but it just takes me back, you know?

I think that may be enough public humiliation for the time being.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Freaks and geeks

We have had a very interesting outing today. We went to the model railway show at the Kennel Club in Porirua.

It was all good. It started well with the sign at the entrance which said "No fouling in the building". I was reassured by this, knowing how overexcited people can become by model railway.

The exhibition was huge. There were two large rooms, and 10s of model railways. Some were pretty boring, realistic representations of American rail. Yawn. Desert with train. We saw one display of a railway in Germany we have travelled on (between Freiburg and Basel if you're really interested).

There were a couple of pretty cool displays. One had a working gondola, flashing fire-engines, a merry-go-round and lots of bright pretty colours.

Thomas the Tank Engine appeared a few times. Given that we were there for Finn, this was great.

The crowds were - ahem- a varied and fascinating crew. I think there were probably quite a lot of people there who work in mail-rooms. I myself have some experience in a mail room, so I feel well qualified to comment.

Entrance for the family was $10. Total bargain. I'm planning to return there to see a dog show one of these days too. The whole place was fascinating.