Friday, July 30, 2010

Last full day, one more sleep

There really hasn't been anything to report, other than the regular swim among the usual suspects, snoozing, reading, and eating. The usual suspects include triggerfish, eels, parrotfish, moorish idols, and a largeish squid who hangs out most of the time under the furthest buoy. Occasional visitors are the turtles. And once I saw an exquisite fish I have been unable to identify, with long long feathery fins.

There was one exciting shopping experience. Nine days ago I bought a pair of red shoes at Nordstrom, and I liked them so much I bought a black pair as well. Except they weren't in stock. Would I like them shipped to me at the apartment? Yes, I would, provided they arrive in time. No problem, they said - five to eight days by UPS. OK, I said. They sent me an email giving me the UPS tracking number, and this has been more exciting than most of the television. I log in to find that the shoes left Baltimore, they arrived in Vernon, California, they left there and arrived at Ontario, California. Days later (maybe they liked California) they leave for Honolulu. They arrive in Honolulu, but not in my hands yet. This is my last day here - we leave early tomorrow morning!! It is 3 pm. I call Nordstrom. Nordstrom call UPS who assure me that they will arrive. The front desk calls, and they have finally arrived, at the eleventh hour. Phew!

What of all the great plans for knitting? I had one ball of sock wool, (black Patonyle) and a sock pattern. Some tatting for the aeroplane. Some lovely baby alpaca lace yarn (thank you Lien!) which I planned to turn into the Leaf and Nupp Shawl from Nancy Bush's Knitted Lace of Estonia. I have the needles (from my trip to Isle Knits) and the yarn I ordered from Stitch Diva arrived (silk, Galactic Blue), plus the pattern for the Endless Cardi-Shawl. Quite a list, huh?

How did I go? Not too badly. I finished the sock. I wanted some black socks, and thought if I knitted them in a lacy pattern they wouldn't get nicked by someone who thinks all black socks are his. Never have I been so cavalier about a pattern. In the words of my daughter, 'it is just a sock', so I spurned the instructions on how many stitches needed to be on each needle (I like twin circulars for socks) and did what suited me. The Great Sock Maker (Julie) also talks about making a longer heel flap, so I tried a few extras to see how that worked. (Beautifully). I have wide feet, so didn't decrease back to the original 66 stitches, preferring 72 for the foot. The sock turned out really well. I made it quite long, not expecting to have enough yarn to finish it, but there was JUST enough. And I did the kitchener grafting from memory with no problem.

From Hawaii2010

There is a cardigan on the needles at home (too bulky to bring with me), so while I was sorely tempted to cast on the nearly 500 stitches for the Endless Cardi-Shawl, I forebore, confining my lust for the yarn to winding one skein into a ball. Step away from the yarn now... you have to finish a couple of projects first... Ooh that is hard. Sometimes I have to be very stern with myself.

The lace shawl became a saga, and I have learned a LOT. I did the border with a lot of difficulty. The lessons I have learned are:

1. I was using my Boye needles, and the joins made it very difficult to slide the very fine stitches. Isle Knits came to the rescue with a very nice Addi Turbo Lace circular needle. MUCH better.

2. I can read knitting charts OK, especially with the lovely magnetic board that Lien gave me for Christmas. Yes, I brought that with me. It helps enormously. However, it also helps enormously to know that when knitting in the round you read the chart from right to left, every row. BUT when knitting back and forth, you read the chart back and forth!!!! This realisation made a huge difference to the accuracy of my knitting, and reduced the frustration enormously. I feel embarrassed at confessing this. It involved ripping out the entire 25 rows of border and re-knitting them. Yes, Julie, I did. It was worth it.

3. When knitting pattern repeats it helps to have markers. I'd bought some nice little markers at Morris & Sons a while ago, and I thought I would give them a go. The wonderful thing is that you can see immediately whether you have made a mistake (like missed a yarnover) and fix it without any hassle. Lace is very difficult to unpick. I know. Markers are a great leap forward for me.

So, after learning these lessons, and doing the border again, I am much more confident now about continuing.

From Hawaii2010

Seeing as how we are now thinking homeward thoughts, our housesitter and I have been exchanging confirmation emails of return times, and status reports about The Pug. He's been having a great time going out with Iain the dog walker every day, plus playdates with housesitter's Mum's dog Emma. He's just fine, and here's the proof..

From Hawaii2010

Yes, I am looking forward to seeing him soon. I'm also looking forward to seeing my Mum. I am not, however, looking forward to rugging up in lots of clothes, and not having my daily swim.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday

Yes, yes, I know. I am falling behind on the daily schedule, sliding further into sloth and torpor, into Hawaiian time. The days begin to merge into a slow blur of eat, shop, sleep, swim. Pretty good, huh?

Julie and Martin left on Thursday, leaving their excess food with us. We scored the most excellent cherry vanilla icecream (mmmmm), blue corn chips, cheese, eggs, bacon, limonata, and much more.

Every time I go for a swim I see the man from Parrot-dise with his collection of colourful parrots, taking over-the-top tourist pictures. Today was the day, so I took Michael down to show him, and to get some info. The man took our photos with our camera, and here is one of them:

From Hawaii2010

OTT? Absolutely. As we returned to the apartment we were notified that my parcel had arrived from Earl & Lois Stokes. My string figure kit!
From Hawaii2010

The rainbow strings are fused together by melting the ends:
From Hawaii2010

I spent a happy few hours reading the booklets and the philosophy associated with this art, and playing with the strings. I can do the turtle now - quite an easy figure, and the bracelet.

From Hawaii2010

The turtle is appropriate, because for the first time in my visits here, and all those hours snorkelling, I have seen turtles at Ft. de Russy beach. One large one on Sunday, and a small one today. Such a thrill.

My bin diving career has expanded. As I lie on the grass or on the sand I see men diving into the bins to retrieve anything that has a deposit on it - cans and bottles. The deposit is 5cents. Instead of putting all our returnables into the dumpster in our building, which is secure, we are now taking them to the public bins and making them available to the people who can use them. I put a whole lot into one bin, and had a conversation with a man who was retrieving them. He didn't want to take the Pellegrino bottle, saying that wine bottles were not accepted. I said this was a water bottle, not wine. I pointed to the return label with the HI (for Hawaii) on it. He seemed convinced. There isn't much recycling that I can see, apart from this. There is a bin for plastic bags outside the Safeway store, and I do see that being used.

On Friday we did what we should have done earlier - visited Waikele Premium Outlets. The variety was terrific, and the prices sensational.

After a reconnoitre and a slow start, we warmed up. Michael did particularly well at Brooks Bros with the two-for-the-price-of-one deals. Two suits, two sweaters. Also from Saks 5th Ave a pair of leather slides, for which he has been searching for some time.

I did well too. Two tank tops and a purple jumper from Anne Klein (less than $20 each, and nothing in black!). Three t-shirts from Bass (two blue, one red, no black.) To redeem myself I bought a black shirt from Brooks Bros. Perfect. I was tempted by some shoes, but I have enough shoes. Enough? Yes, enough.

Today is Saturday, and despite the food infusions from the departing daughter, we were out of vegetables and other necessaries. Michael was having Saturday morning shopping spasms, so off we went to Safeway again. W got out with relatively little damage - fruit, veg, meat, fish. Returned for the final of the Tour de France, some serious snoozing, then a swim for me. Swimming a fairly deep section I saw that what looked like a rock or large piece of coral had flippers. A turtle, below me.

I have booked to go on a catamaran snorkelling trip tomorrow morning at 8 am. I am so looking forward to it.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wednesday: Shopping at Ala Moana

Alas, it was a no-swim day. It was a no-pics day too. It was a shopping day. We had several things on our list of must-see at Ala Moana Mall.

First stop was Long's Drugstore, for some good aeroplane earplugs. Done.

Next stop for me was Sephora. I am after some Lancome lippy, 08 Rose, having scraped out the very last of the last tube. Also some cream blusher. No luck with the lippy, but did OK with the blusher. Perhaps it is a bit too light, and maybe I need the next darker shade. I'll think about that. Some dark red nail polish (for toes) leapt into my basket too.

Shanghai Tang is always worth looking at. I love the styles, but somehow never manage to find anything that suits me, or that fits right, or that I can afford. I did sample the perfume though, and being in a ginger phase, it appealed to me. Maybe I'll have to go back for some of that, despite being in an "I will use up all the perfume I have before buying any more" mode. For a long time I have not worn perfume, finding it unsuitable for work, prohibited by choir, and just not appealing. Maybe it is time to revisit that.

We reviewed the Walking Shoe company for slides for Michael, without success.

Then we went to Nordstrom, our favourite store. Even better, Nordstrom is having its anniversary sale. About two years ago for Michael's birthday I bought him an up-market track suit designed by Hugo Boss. These are the ultimate soft clothes. He lives in fear and trepidation of its wearing out, and we have tried everywhere to find another. No luck. I asked Dennis, the shop assistant in Nordstrom, for advice. Men can't ask for advice, so they probably miss a lot if they don't take their wives with them. We found a good pair of soft pants. I left him to look around a bit longer, and went in search of shoes. Despite being unable to try shoes on effectively (I'd banged my little to on the door jamb and it is bruised and hurts) I managed to find a pair I liked. I liked them so much I bought a red and a black pair of the same style. The red will match my new nailpolish!

Michael found me in the shoe department and told me he'd found a new suit at a great price. He was going to go to the fitting section and organise the tailoring Nordstrom does so well. I was free to continue my hunt in the clothing section, and was very happy to find two very nice tops.

After emerging with bulging shopping bags and empty wallets, we had a lazy afternoon.

We'd organised to have dinner out with Julie and Martin at Chilli's just behind the International Market. Off we went. Virgin Margaritas are pretty darned good, not so sickly sweet as the Pina Coladas. Being off the grog doesn't mean you can't have frou frou cocktails! Deep fried onion strips are pretty good too!

Michael and I walked home through the International Market, but were not tempted by anything. Too much tat!

Tuesday - a three-swim day

Everyone else went to the Pacific Aviation Museum but me, and I will let them tell their stories in their respective blogs (Julie and Michael).

For me, it was a beach day. As the days go by I wear less. Where once I would put on togs, a sarong, shoes, a towel over my shoulder and a hat, I now put on togs and carry the towel. No shoes, no sarong. For today's expedition I did take the straw mat for lying on, and my specs and sunnies, and my book. The Leopard is my choice of reading for Waikiki. It is so perfectly languid and reflective. I'm enjoying my reacquaintance with Don Fabrizio, House of Salina, Maria Stella, Tancredi, Concetta and Angelica, as well as all the other characters not forgetting the dogs. Also perfect is the climate, Sicily in the unremitting unrelenting implacable summer.

It was a two swim episode. First the swim (mask and snorkel), then a read, another swim, another read, and back to the apartment.

The gang returned full of enthusiasm about the Museum, but I was not sorry to have missed it. They were particularly fulsome about their guide, Grant. A young man in his twenties, with a good grasp of the events and a talent for story-telling.

Lunch, then another visit to Safeway. We were running perilously low on staples (icecream), and bought some tuna for Michael to cook for us. While he was doing preparations I thought it was time for another swim.

We watched the sunset...
From Hawaii2010

From Hawaii2010

...and watched some more TV. As previously noted I do enjoy Squeal TV, but also its variation, Squalor TV. This includes Clean House (where people reveal their terribly cluttered and disorganised lives) and Animal Hoarders, where houses and their owners are taken over by hordes of dogs and/or cats. All very sad. Thus far I have resisted Fat TV (Too Fat for Fifteen, Dance your Ass Off, etc). Michael gets revenge with hours of Tour de France or baseball. There is no basketball, thank you god for small mercies.

We ate the tuna which was wonderful (stuffed with pineapple and pomegranate seeds, plus brussels sprouts, snowpeas, broccoli, and our first ever encounter with a rice-cooker.)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday at the Foster Botanic Gardens

We are all finding that the best schedule is getting going at about 9 am, returning for lunch, then relaxing all afternoon. We are also finding that there are plenty of things we haven't already done in Hawaii. This morning's adventure (with a different designated driver) took us to the Foster Botanic Gardens. It was grey and raining, which gave us an opportunity to fiddle with camera settings and see things in a misty light. It also made the gardens very fragrant... or stinky, depending on the plant in question. The cannonball tree was very stinky.
From Hawaii2010

It wasn't far out of town, in fact it is right in town. It is a gem. There was a fabuous display of bromeliads, and orchids.

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Some of the trees were exceptionally large, and some exceptionally weird. There was a terrific display of spices, including a pepper vine, vanilla vine, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg trees, plus a herb garden.

From Hawaii2010

From Hawaii2010

Pitcher plant:
From Hawaii2010

From Hawaii2010

From Hawaii2010

From Hawaii2010

From Hawaii2010

The orchids were spectacular.

There has just been a Hawaiian special occasion - the Lahaina Noon, where the sun is directly overhead. This was celebrated in the garden by the construction of some witty sculptures.

From Hawaii2010

From Hawaii2010

We returned for lunch, and a snooze. Michael and I then went shopping to the Ward Centers, the Marukai Market, and the Nordstrom Rack store. We failed dismally at the Ward Center. Nothing at Brookstones, nothing at the wonderful kitchen shop that has everything (alas, we now seem to have everything too). Nordstrom was great, I made some great buys. Then to the market, which is a Japanese/Hawaiian market. We got some steaks which will be BBQed on the balcony upstairs, some fruit and veg, and some much-needed chocolate.

Today is the first day, and I hope the ONLY day, that I didn't swim. Sigh.

Sunday means the Bishop

The Bishop Museum, that is. The last time we went the big hall was closed for renovations, and we were looking forward to seeing it again. We set forth at about 9 am, and let our TomTom direct us. This led to much conversation about the GPS choice of route ("I wouldn't have done that!") and kibbitzing. Nonetheless, we got there in good time and in a direct fashion.

The big hall was beautifully restored, and the exhibitions very beautifully done. The feather capes were magnificent, the human hair/whale tooth necklaces as spectacular as ever. There was much more information, much of it in Hawaiian. There were perhaps fewer items on show, but more information about them. The weaving, netting, tapa cloth design and feather capes were of great interest to me.

We also saw an exhibition of surfing. Some of those boards are HUGE! We didn't do the Planetarium this time, although it was tempting.

I drove us home in the Impala, receiving advice from all three passengers plus TomTom. Eventually I boiled over with cognitive overload and told everyone except TomTom to be quiet. They knew what was good for them, and complied.

Although it was only just 12 noon, we were starving. Michael and I went to the Starbucks next door for an iced frappacino, a sandwich, and the New York Times. Funny how lunchtime comes early! Funny how you get snoozy after lunch! We ate, we snoozed. Then I went for a swim, which of course I enjoyed.

I've also been enjoying flipping around squeal TV. This is a specific form of reality TV involving people (usually young women) squealing, crying, and hugging each other. My picks include How do I look? What not to Wear, House Hunt, Clean House. I am saving Bridezilla for later. There is only so much squealing you can cope with in one day.

Michael is enjoying the coverage of the Tour de France.

We had a date with Julie and Martin at the Shore Bird grill-your-own restaurant next door. We all remember the 2006 earthquake when I made everyone leave the tenth floor and go there for breakfast.

I had ribs, Michael had ahi tuna kebabs, Martin had steak, Julie had chicken teriyaki. It was all very good. Julie had Mai Tais, Martin had beer, we had virgin pina coladas which were waaaaaaaay too sweet. At least they had chunks of pineapple and a paper parasol.

Sorry, no photos today. Well, perhaps I'll put one in from today (Monday) just so you have something to look at.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Pancakes for breakfast, Isle Knits, Ala Moana shopping, and a soroban

We used Balcomms (leaning over the balconies to discuss matters of great import) to liaise for our proposed breakfast adventure. IHOP is a frequent answer in puzzles, and it stands for International House of Pancakes. Julie and Martin had waxed lyrical about the offerings there, so we left quite early, and quite ravenous. It is dangerous to get between me and breakfast, and I am not the only one.

We had a short wait, and then were shown to our table and introduced to Anthea, our server. I am always tempted to introduce ourselves too, by name, and let them know that we will be their diners. So far I have resisted that temptation....

We had pancakes and syrup (butter pecan is really good) and eggs and bacon and coffee and juice. All good. Mmmm. We waddled back to the Waikiki Shore, and parted company with Martin. Julie and I were headed for Isle Knits, and we dropped Michael off at Ala Moana Mall so he could cross a couple of items off his list.

On my Isle Knits list were Addi Turbo circular knitting needles, a lace circular (also Addi Turbo), and some Maizy sock wool for corn socks. We took about an hour, then back to Ala Moana to liaise with Michael, who had achieved his shoe objectives. We looked at the books in Barnes & Noble. We went to the Japanese department store looking for a new robe for my mother, kitchen gadgets, the food floor, and the beginnings of the hunt for a new standard size soroban for me (Japanese abacus), plus a bento box for Julie. See her blog for further descriptions of her purchases. I did not find the soroban, but the very kind assistant called another shop for me, and they had one, so I scheduled a visit there for later.

On my list was a new pair of Ann Taylor black pants. The old pair is getting increasingly shabby, but they are perfect. If I could find some more I would be happy. I found some more - not exactly the same, but close enough. And for only $40 on sale!! So I bought a grey pair as well. Julie and I tried on some soft clothes - trackie pants that looked OK, for only $8, but they were truly daggy and did not justify even that paltry amount.

We had two goes at the shopping, dropping some purchases in the car before returning for more. Julie must take after me - she bought some cast iron Le Creuset. Once upon a time in Utah I spent up big on cast iron frypans, which I carried home and still use almost every day. Souvenirs? Pah! Who wants souvenirs when you can buy cast iron?

We returned to the apartment for snacks (who needs lunch after an IHOP breakfast?) and a rest. Then I decided to walk the mile or so to the shop with the soroban. Hakubon Do is on Kapiolani, in the Pan Am building. I found it no trouble, and made my purchase. I got the Tomoe 23-rod one.

I have three or four resolutions to keep on this holiday:

* Get up when I feel like it
* Eschew the hairdryer
* Swim every day

After my long walk it was definitely time for the third of these resolutions. I swam. It was perfect.

Dinner was more spag bol (we are indulging in a lot of wheat while not catering to my mother's gluten intolerance), a sunset, and some TV. We were enthralled by the programme on dog obedience, including surf dogs. Dozer the bulldog won this event. There are plans for Majic on our return. He will LOVE it. We don't propose the surfing aspect for him, as it helps if they can swim. Pugs are not built for swimming.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 3: Rainbows, Shangri-La, and fireworks

I opened the curtains at 6.45 am to this rainbow.

After some fruit for breakfast, and some Illy blue coffee, I went for a swim. I might be in a rut, but I did my usual circuit of the three big white buoys out there. Back for a shower, to find another rainbow. This one was a full arch, over the ocean. As it faded it looked like there was a rainbow fire on the horizon, quite spectacular.

Today we planned on visiting Shangri-La. This is the estate built by the heiress Doris Duke, whose will stipulated that it be opened to the public after her death. Her passion was Islamic Art. That's a pretty big sweep, and she bought what she liked. It was very eclectic, and very beautiful. Persian, Syrian, Indian, a wonderful array of pieces in a spectacular setting on the 'other side' of Diamond Head.

Our trip started from the Honolulu Academy of Fine Arts, and we were bussed there and back.

We were all starving afterwards, so returned to our rooms for salady things for lunch, and snoozing. Julie and I went out later for 'girl shopping'. The boys are good, but there are subtle signals and special breathing that we recognise as impatience with looking at racks of clothes, shoes, arty things. I bought some leaf-shaped place mats, Julie bought another pair of shorts.

Back in our room, I prepared the dinner. I'd made some bolognaise sauce during the day, so cooked some spaghetti for a delicious bowlful. We had the benefit of some fireworks, so had fun twiddling with the camera again.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Diving, swimming, and snorkelling

I've done all three today. We woke with the daylight, just before seven. We ate pineapple, peach, pomegranate, then Canadian bacon and scrambled egg. Stoking up for rigorous activity.

Swimming time. I got into my new Sue Rice togs (Abigail, black, tribal), gathered my goggles for a swim (not the mask and snorkel this morning), plus towel etc. I gathered up the rubbish to take downstairs to the dumpster in the basement. Dumped it. Set off for the beach.... where are my goggles? Yes, I had dumped them. Thus ensued my first experience of dumpster diving, a time honoured sport. It was quite empty, so I had to climb up using one of the handy footholds, then jump in. Fortunately there was nobody watching (I hope.) Also fortunately there was a layer of nice clean cardboard on the bottom, to land on. I landed gracefully, retrieved the goggles, climbed out, and on my way. That took care of the diving for the day.

The swim was good - a real swim out to the first buoy, across to the second and third, then mooching back with the current to my starting point. As I lay resting on the sand with my book (The Leopard, by Lampedusa) couple about ten feet away renewed their wedding vows. An army chaplain did the honours. She wore a simple white dress with a floral lei. After the ceremony I applauded, and so did a mother and child nearby. Aaaah.

I returned to my book, becoming reacquainted with the prince Fabrizio (who now appears in my imagination as Burt Lancaster, having seen the movie since the last time I read the book, which was the last time I was here), his family, his dog, his friends, his enemies.
Up for a shower and to tame the straw hair. Had some lunch including a lot of salady things, then out for an excursion. Number one on the list is a Hugo Boss tracksuit for Michael. A while ago I bought him one for his birthday, and he is now anxious about wearing it out. There is a Hugo Boss shop nearby. Alas, it is not to be. They had nothing remotely similar. While out we looked at Chanel, Gucci, Max Mara, Tiffany, and a couple of other high names. Bought nothing (yet). Back through the Royal Hawaiian shopping centre, now open. Where is the ukelele shop? I had my hopes.....

A little reading, a little diarising, a little knitting, a little play with my camera based on the great big manual Martin has lent me (what is white balance? what does a histogram tell you? what is bracketing?).

Suddenly the call came. More swimming required. The afternoon swim called for the pink Gottex togs, plus mask and snorkel. And what a treat - for the first time ever here at the very familiar Fort de Russy beach, I swam within touching distance of a very big turtle.

Julie and Martin were back from their jaunt to the North Shore and the Dole Plantation. They bought a fabulous pineapple, some dried pineapple, and some taro chips (my favourite.) Mmmmm.

We plan to eat out tonight, at PD Chang. 8.30 is the earliest we can book for. Will we still be awake then?

Day 1: Arrival

We ate our Hawaiian Airlines breakfast after a bit of sleep.

No flat bed seat, so not much sleep. We landed, got our bags, and cleared immigration with no fuss. My fingerprints gave themselves up without the struggle that has characterised previous entries to the US. Emerging into the warm sunshine, we found our way to the rental car kiosk where we had ordered a standard car.

"Would you like to upgrade to something sportier - a convertible?" No.

"Would you like an SUV insteade?" No.

"What about a Jeep Wranger?" No.

We are not the sporty funky quirky types, and don't want sunburnt heads. We are boring old farts.

We got our silver Impala with a sunroof, and drove away very happily down H1 to Kalia Road, Waikiki. Our room wasn't quite ready so we contacted Julie and Martin who have been here for a week, and we went to their room to catch up. Sittting on the balcony overlooking the water finally got to me - I had to swim. I went down to the lobby to start rummaging around in my bag for my togs and snorkel/mask, to find that our room was ready! Yay! The view was as we remembered it.

We got organised, and I went for my swim. Hi guys! I greeted all the fish, all the coral, everything. Like being home again.

Phew, got that out of my system. I aim to swim every day.

Next on the agenda is shopping. We need to lay in stores for the next two weeks, as we are self-catering. Julie and Martin had reconnoitred, and we set forth for Safeways. A couple of hours later, after wheeling our trolley up and down all the aisles, we had enough to go on with. Said trolley came equipped with a cup holder, and just as you enter there is a shop for purchasing coffee or soda to put into the holder. We didn't indulge. I can do the shopping without coffee or other fuel.

We have enough food, enough cleaning supplies for the moment.

Michael offered to cook the dinner, so bought some swordfish, some maui and vidalia onions, and some tomatilloes for tonight.

Returning, we put it all away, and Michael began cooking. Julie and Martin came down to our apartment, we ate. It was delicious. A crescent moon and a diamond-bright Venus over the water lit our dinner. We played with our cameras and talked about the programme for the next week, while Julie and Martin are still here.

I ate one of the marshmallows Julie and Martin had both rejected, and rejected them. There is something not nice at all about them - they certainly aren't the Pascal ones Martin and I both favour. I ate some Cheetos, and accepted them! We had found Orangina, but it is not the version we so enjoyed in Noumea, it is full of high fructose corn syrup with is the latest food baddie. I drank it, but won't be buying another bottle. It isn't bitter enough - to sweet and soft.

Michael was asleep by 8 pm, and I flipped around the reality TV for a while. Buying houses is the new reality craze, and it has a certain voyeuristic fascination.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


All went according to plan. The taxi came, we said our goodbyes to Majic, and fronted up to the checkin counter at Hawaiian Airlines in good time. presented our frequent flyer cards for Hawaiian. Would you like to upgrade to Business for $585 each? I wrestled with my inner miser for a millisecond. Michael deferred to me, no doubt with considerable trepidation. We would, I said, to tangible relief. This is a very good deal on an overnight flight and means we might get some sleep. Here we sit in the lounge as happy as can be.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Preparing for Hawai'i

We are ready. Ready to get on an aeroplane bound for Honolulu. Ready to escape the winter chills. Ready to leave behind the coats, gloves, scarves, boots, heavy socks, and hot water bottles.

We've been many times before but it doesn't ever lose its gloss. The warm soft air, the swimming, shopping, relaxing. Ahhh.

I have several projects.

  • One ball of black sock wool, and a sock pattern. I will make lacy black socks that will not be stolen by he-who-thinks-all-black-socks-are-his. Perhaps he will draw the line at lacy cables.
  • One ball of baby alpaca in a fuschia colour, ready to be made into the Estonian Leaf & Nupp shawl. Am I mad to take on nupps? They are worth perfecting, I think.
  • Some small aeroplane tatting, in Mary Konior's Masquerade pattern. Started it when we went to Auckland, and it is now my Travel Tatting.
  • I have the set of Boye knitting needles so I can be flexible if I find something at Isle Knits.
  • I have the StitchDiva Endless CardiShawl pattern in case I find some nice yarn at Isle Knits.
  • Coloured pencils and sketch book.
  • Plans to buy some strings and instructions from a Hawaiian supplier for string figures (now that I am a member of the International String Figure Association.)
  • Perhaps a trip to the Soroban (abacus) School for a new large Japanese abacus.
I have my camera, the Kindle (with some books), we have the iPhones and a Netbook and our GPS (TomTom). We have some printed books. I have my diving mask and snorkel, and plan to buy a new beach towel. Two sarongs, two pairs of togs.

Is that enough? I didn't forget the sunscreen, sunnies, and a hat.

The plane leaves tonight. The housesitter arrives after work to get reacquainted with The Pug. I am ready.

(Note: I have turned off comments because I am sick of rejecting all those spammie things. )