the ablution block

31 December 2005

2005 - The Year of the Bump

2005, the year that Frankie was conceived.
Stu turned 30, got divorced and brewed/tasted plenty of beer.
Fritha painted, travelled to New York and Tokyo, and started growing a baby.
Wendy matured. She can handle being in the same room as running children but still isn't a great fan of visitors arriving.
A few good albums graced, and played endlessly on, our stereo - A Ghost is Born by Wilco (on now, as I write), Pegasus by Phoenix Foundation, B-Sides and Rarities and Abbatoir Blues by NicK Cave and the Bad Seeds... to name a few.
Many a good meal was enjoyed - at home, the Boulcott Street Bistro, Logan Brown, Francois, Salute.
We brought our second piece of art - far more extravagant than our first.

We've just come back from the sea. I swam while Wendy and Fritha frolicked. It's nice to live here. We both love the coast, the sea, the view of the mountains, the fact that the sun is gone early in the afternoon (something everyone else would hate, I guess). We have friendly
neighbours. A great place for a boy, a girl a dog and a baby to live...

2006 will bring us a baby boy and other joys, I'm sure. We'll move down the road and, I think, we'll be in less of a hurry to get wherever it is we think we're going. We're a family now.

From 2005, it's goodbye from him and goodbye from her.


30 December 2005

"Eighth Layer of the Heart"

Our christmas present, to each other... Eighth Layer of the Heart by Maryrose Crook.

22 December 2005

Mistletoe and wine?

It's more likely to be sand and beer, around our house this christmas. The famous Wellington wind is blowing up a sandstorm and Christmas always involves a few ales, for me.

Today is my last day of work before a whole 17 days off. My longest break in a few years. Boy am I looking forward to it. Got some great little presents for the family. Fritha and I splashed out and bought Maryrose Crook's 'Eighth Layer of the Heart', for ourselves.

Tomorrow is Fritha's last day of "work"... ever? She's well and truly experiencing the third trimester now. This period, through until a month or two after birth, will be the make-or-break period as to whether she'll ever want another baby (or whether I will for that matter).

And, back to the subject of Wellington's wind, some good news from the back-blocks... it's all go for the windfarm. I think it's time that the nimby residents of Makara get back to what they do best, which is anything other than complaining on my morning radio show. These guys would rather we burn coal, anywhere else, than harness the wind in their little gully. I wonder if there were ever any discussions on agreements about noise and free power?


18 December 2005

Rising Son

Mushy mushy.

Fritha is back from the Land of the Rising Sun, with a rapidly expanding waitline - courtesy of our own little rising son.

Wendy and I are delighted to have everyone back together. The weather has been magnificent, too hot in fact, and the whole family have had a few days off work together. Frankie's moving around aout as much as us, which isn't actually a whole lot thanks to the hot weather. We've spent a lot of time lounging around on the bed, getting reacquainted. And as always, we're eating plenty of good, fresh, food.

Frankie's juju lips, button nose and cute little hands, were the highlight of Friday at Doctor Sangalli's office. Not sure where the lips have come from - perhaps it's a baby thing!? He often holds his hands up in front of his face, I wonder if he's shy or if he just hasn't got enough room in there to stretch out?

Insurance have called to say that they'll pay up in-full. That means a new, carbon-framed, road bike should be coming for christmas. Lovely stuff.

Back to work, tomorrow, for the usual 4-day week... and then it's three relaxing weeks off. Fritha's got 5 days to go and then she's "retiring". She' ll become my "woman in the house", as the japanese say (though that surely beats "idiot wife", which is their other option).


13 December 2005

Oh Baby, I'm Dreaming of Wednesday...

Fritha's somewhere between Tokyo and Wellington. Let's hope the fog steers clear tomorrow and she can bring herself and my baby home. And a nice bottle of single malt.

This last week, we've been lucky enough to have a bunch of calm humid days with misty mornings and clar afternoons. All this perfect weather and Fritha has not been here to enjoy it with me. Wendy and I have made the most of it though; plenty of walks and a bit of time in the sea for Wendy (it's too cold for me, even though I was in earlier than this the last couple of years). When we arrived back from the shop today, the water was oily smooth and the moon was just a slither short of full.

Today I wished that I had the camera. I saw a japanese couple, with their cute little baby, paddling in the sea. Their shoes were lined up in a way that suggested a hint of obsessive compulsive disorder - it was picture perfect. And then there was the glassy harbour and the rising dark mist out in the Cook Strait - more pics.

No pictures today though... it's all going on in my mind, and Fritha's there too.


12 December 2005

Mushy Mushy

Fritha's home in two days, with Frankie on-board. Hooray. I reckon the view she will wake up to on Thursday, from our little Seatoun bach, will be even better than the views she's been enjoying the last few weeks - Mandarin Oiental, NYC and Park Hyatt, Tokyo. Mountains and the sea beat cityscapes, anyday.

Unfortunately, she won't be getting papaya for breakfast every morning.

And I won't be the only one patiently waiting for her when she steps off the plane...


09 December 2005

Goodbye Miro, Hello Hornsby

Today we closed the gates on an era - the Miro Street McKinlay's. Mary and Dave moved there, with 5 kids, in early 1979. It's seen a fair few changes since, as have we. The gilrfriends and boyfriends, the mates, the parties, the strippers, the fights, the make-ups, the happy times, and the sad... Dad chasing a prowler around the house with a sword, while Reg Murphy chose the less conspicuous baseball bat... we've seen it all. It's been a great house but it's really only a shelter, without those that made it a part of my life. The memories live within us, rather than the wooden walls of the house.

Dad and I packed up the last of the major items and I closed iron gates on 4 Miro Street. It felt, a little, like I was closing the door on my childhood. No more test cricket at the Woburn Oval, for me. My child - Frankie Padraig McKinlay - will arrive into this world without ever known the house that is the castle around which all my memories revolve. I think he'll like Carterton better.

Mum and Dad's new neighbours are much friendlier than the old ones. Tastier too, I'd imagine.

07 December 2005

Beer of the Week: Green Man Organic Lager

500ml recycled "Euro" bottle.
Pours a very pale gold, almost green-hued. Lacey, pure-white, head is very tight and holds well. Only the tiniest amount of carbonation is visible. Subtle malt sweetness, on the nose, underlies the noble hop aroma of fresh lemon zest and dank forest floor. Again, the malt flavour is subtle, with maybe a touch of wheat in there. Lemon, woody, hop flavour with just a touch of citrus oil. Soft mouthfeel. Very smooth. Fresh, organic and tasty. A great effort from Steve Nally and Tom Jones.

Available from Real Earth Cafe in Wellington. Unfortunately it is quite dificult to get outside of Dunedin but email Tom "the pom", via the website, and he may be able to point you in the right direction.


06 December 2005

Die! Die! Die!

Die Die Die's recent debut is a minimalistic offering, in many ways, and is a perfect aggression-fest for "unwinding" to after dealing with your fuck-wit insurance company (assuming your insurance company meets this bill).

Definitely one for cycnical days, or just when you want to pogo... Angry lyrics, driving guitars, hammering drums and fast beefy basslines. Dramatic pauses are used to good effect. A band enjoying themselves.

Good good, double good.


04 December 2005

We miss her...

We miss you Fritha. The flowers don't seem so lambent, when you're not around. Posted by Picasa


We are family

Posted by Picasa
Fun times, before Fritha and Frankie left for New York. Wendy and I are getting by. Work helps for me, Daisy and Mum help for Wendy. We'll head into the Tararua, next week, to while away the time...