Friday, 28 September 2012

Random chats, IKEA traps and faceplanting a tub of Cherry Garcia

Random things seem to happen to me, which can be annoying sometimes but mostly I love it because I get to  go or experience little adventures all the time and life is never boring.

As soon as I got my new mobile number I see this message coming up on my Whats App app. Thinking it is my cousin Jarred I start typing away. It takes a while to figure out that I have no idea who this person is.

So I say, er I think you may have the wrong person. To whit he replies yes I think I must do. I wish him good luck in finding the right person.

The next day I get another message from him and a picture. Here it is. Faces have been changed to protect identity.

Not the lawyer. This is Shredder. If you don't
know which show he is from shame
on you. SHAME!!!
So turns out he is in the next suburb over, is a second year law student working in a law firm who has already offered me his services should I wish to apply for residency. I tell ya!! I'm also assuming he is really young. Like 20s.

Now, yes, he could very well be a stalker, but I've had stalkers before and I've coped and I am intrigued by a person who continues to randomly message me.

Also now we have moved onto talking about cricket.

However if something should happen to me I trust you all know at least one of my tattoos in which you should be able to identify me.

Now on a different topic, I am moving into a room in a house around the corner from my aunt's place - because I love my aunt and I want us to stay friends so we are not going to live together hee hee.

Anyway I am staying with a lovely lady named Bonnie who I hear loves to dress up for Halloween and so I am going to , and hand out candy, etc. FUN!!!

In order to prep my room, because we all know how much I love to decorate, I headed to IKEA. For under $150 I bought myself a new queen duvet set, new queen duvet sheet set, a full set of towels, some holders for my bathroom products, a frame for my prints that I got in Sweden and some coathangers. AWESOME AYE!!!! I joined the club and I will go back when I have more of an idea what I need.

New duvet set - queen with two pillow cases only $24.99!

These are the beautiful prints I got in Northern Sweden and I'm so glad I found a cool frame for them - total cost of prints and frame comes to about $30

All my bootie!!! (And my stolen blue IKEA bag)

I will post a photo of my room before and after but I can't do this until next Monday when I move in. I am only paying $750 a month including all utilities, internet and dinners. Such a good deal!

Although I have to say, even with a map, in IKEA Aunty T and I felt a bit like this:

Thankfully, like a medieval town, IKEA has a set layout so we made it out in one piece. Although at the checkouts I didn't realise you had to pay for the bags and so now I am technically a thief of a $1 big blue IKEA bag. Whoops.

We also went north and visited the town of Stouffville where my uncle lived before he met my aunty. It was such a beautiful drive with the fall colours in the trees. Honestly, NZ is one of the most beautiful countries in the world no arguments but the countryside here in fall is just divine. I also really want to buy some gumboots and go kick some leaves. Just because I can.

I've been speaking to a friend of mine from NZ Jess who is now living in Canada so the weekend after Thanksgiving (Mon 8 Oct) I am heading two hours north west and going to visit her in her small town. It should be interesting, and fun. I will try to have photos!!

I have managed to get all my papers and documents sorted. I've even joined the library, which I didn't even do in Auckland. So now job hunting really starts in earnest. Let's just hope an employer recognises the awesomeness of me and snaps me up!!

Words, words,but they keep me pumped up and motivated a little like this: 

Oh right , how could I almost forget. I am soooo happy to be back in a land of Ben and Jerry's. I finally got a hold of my favourite ice cream (apart from boysenberry ripple by Tip Top which always reminds me of my Nana Wilson) - Cherry Garcia, cherry icecream with cherry pieces in it. The goodness of taste on my tongue is indescribable. Nomminess would be the closest I could come to it.

Final thought, I've once had someone put me down for making up random words. I wish I had known this little factoid at the time - the word 'serendipity' was coined by Horace Walpole in the late 1700s. He was in British politics. Now it is an accepted word and in the dictionary. So you never know when made up words will become actual words. Schooled!

LOL should never actually be said though. That's just wrong.

Right, I am off to try and find work, then I am going to be a good girl and go exercise (can you see my newly polished halo?). Take care everyone and have a super super weekend. I'll be back soon - you can check out my other sections for blogging - head to the home page and just click.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Changes to blog

Hey all,

There are a few changes to my blog as I am faffing around with it and trying out a few things. It's also driving me insane as I can't get the links straight so please bear with me.

It's fall here now and in honour of the beautiful weather I have changed my theme!

I've changed around the laugh and quotes pages and I've added in handy hints and will add a top ten page. But these aren't working at the moment - links. Grrr. Anyway hopefully I will be up and running by tomorrow as its 10.30pm here now and I've run out of patience.

If you would like to see anything added or have any suggestions email me at


xxx AMP

PS you should also be able to subscribe to the pages individually as they have been set up as different blogs linking through with this one there will be a tab on the side just saying follow by email - click on that and she'll be right.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Hoser how d'ya do

After a rough start to flight morning I hopped aboard my Lufthansa flight and started on my voyage to Toronto, stopping off in Frankfurt, which may I mention is the hugest damn airport and is a pain in the arse when you have to book it from one side of it to the other.

I was on a flight that travelled through to the USA so was blessed with the dulcet tones of Americans throughout the journey. *cough cough sarcasm if you didn't get the fact that the accent was grating me the wrong way and it really does sound like they're complaining alot of the time and yes in answer to your raised eyebrows I'm anti- the accent because of recent experiences and yes I'm generalising of course.

Anyway the flight from Frankfurt to Toronto was quite good, I had an aisle seat as usual and the seat next to me was free so my over sized handbag and I were able to stretch out quite comfortably. I tried to buy duty free on board but my credit cards wouldn't work so had a bit of heart failure over that but they work now so you can all breathe easily knowing I won't be begging in the streets.

Also the funniest thing happened on the plane, I was walking back to my seat when I looked down and saw that a gentleman sitting down was holding my arrival card for Canada in his hand. I reached down to take it and explain (although I didn't know how) that I must have dropped it and could I have it. Language barrier and a few confusing seconds later and I realised that this German man was actually holding his wife's arrival card (who was sitting across the aisle from him and looking at me like I had smoked the electric puha) and her name was Anne-Marie Petersen, spelt exactly the same, and in very similar writing, but she was about 35 years older than me, oh and German.

Aunty Tree and Uncle Lox were at the airport to greet me which was absolutely lovely. Even in my short ride back to their house I have already learnt alot about Canadia :-)

This is the first time I have visited their home and my first time in Toronto so it's going to be interesting.

$1.24 for 20 + bottles of water so I'm already loving it. TV channels in French as well as English so I can bone up on my francais and a very comfy quiet and dark bedroom. Sleep was inevitable.

I really love the house its an apartment but two levels, actually the sort of thing I will look to buy myself in the future I imagine. Lots of groovy nick nacks that make me want to go antiquing!!

Right off to get bank account, SID number, cell phone SIM and hopefully a kick ass job.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Stockholm, ABBA, Sunken Boats and Au Revoirs

Zoomed on into Arlanda from Copenhagen and it was funny because it felt like I was coming home, hearing Swedish everywhere again, knowing where I needed to go, and again, helping out random strangers who are lost and who always seem to find me and ask for help. I must have a friendly face.

Met up with the glor-ious Kenny Stahl who is an old friend of Ida's and who generously was putting me up for the week, in his own bed no less while he took the couch.

It only took a wee while before we cracked open the bubbly, started chatting and the inevitable singstar started up. Nothing like a drunk Kiwi and a gay Swede to crank up a party.

OK not the first glass of bubbles judging by the time stamp - with the fabulous Kenny

Needless to say the next day we did not look good so snuggled up on the couch and proceeded to start a Queer as Folk (US) marathon. I think by the end of season two I was so hooked I should have been a gay male.

The weather, like my stomach was a bit up and down but after two months in Sweden we realised I had been ill due to drinking tap water so I switched to my ever faithful Evian and Ida and I headed out to wander Stockholm and do a bit of sight seeing.
At the Vasa Museum, the ship that sunk straight out of the er, gate, so to speak
We headed to the Vasa Museum, in a nutshell, a Swedish king built a ship and it was absolutely beautiful and the colours on it were amazing it was huge, etc, etc and they built it wrong and as everyone was watching the launch it sank. Only no one bothered to go and retrieve the ship which had just tipped sideways and sunk and was now sitting on the bottom of the Stockholm harbour for , um, 300 years.

I have to say love the fact that the Swedes of the era completely ignored that it ever happened. Mind you at the same time they also let Norway be independent and Norway is the only country in Europe that will pretty much survive anything happening, economy wise and otherwise so I don't think the leadership of this period in Swedish history was getting any gold stars.

They have retrieved bones from the wreck and  built them up to make their faces.
Face once reconstructed

Sorry, excuse the flash - this is the description of what the skeleton would have looked like, age and also perhaps what  he did aboard.

On that note, does everyone remember that MacGyver episode where MacGyver finds a woman's skull in a house and uses the erasers off pencils and plasticine to help recreate her face so he can figure out who was murdered. MacGyver was so awesome.

Seriously, I am glad this thing wasn't loaded - one Swede I do not want to be on the wrong side of  if she has heavy artillery.
 All good things must come to an end however and so the mikes came out, as did the airline tickets as I bid a fond farewell to Scandinavia and hello to Canada.
WARNING: getting in the way of Swedes doing singstar will be harmful for your health. Trust me.

Final things learnt in Sweden:

1. Everything is a phallus symbol, I even watched a documentary on how everything cultural is based around fertility. Even the maypole that you are supposed to dance around at Midsummer. The Swedes are still very connected to their pagan roots.

2. Strangers (Tourists)will always find me and ask me for help. I apparently blend into the colouring system over here yet have a friendly enough face that they can approach me to ask for help. Not that I have a clue on what I am doing.

3.  Cobblestones. And bags and wheels and shoes and sore feet. Ick.

4. Alcohol - the Swedes go to Denmark where it is cheaper and the Danes go to Germany where it is cheaper and the Germans keep the money. Explaining a bit why Germany can help out the Greeks in their economy - I have seen Swedes and Danes drink and that is a lot of money going into the Fatherland.

5. A question to ponder: How can the Asian travellers who are always buying up every store never seem to have any excess baggage where I buy a few small items and get done for being .5kg over the limit or what have you??? Where do they store it? Do they have some sort of Mary Poppins bag invention that they are not sharing with the rest of the world?

6. In the US of A it is legal (as in written into the actual law of the state) in 23 states to shag a horse but it is only legal in 6 states to marry your gay partner. I leave it to you to decide your thoughts on THAT one.

7. ABBA. It was Sweden, there was LOTS of ABBA. And even guys will beat you at singstar if its ABBA.

8. All the hot policeman are in Denmark

9. Swedes love taking long showers. Remember this - whether something takes a short or long time depends on what side of the toilet door you are waiting on.

10. You'll never be away from home when you have family and I now have true family in Sweden.

That's Sweden folks, but I'll be heading back there, and to the Motherland of Denmark sometime soon.

Monday, 17 September 2012


I have made a pit stop through to Denmark to visit my host sister Ditte. She lived with my family from 98/99.

In a nutshell, she arrived June 98 and I left for Belgium in December 98 so we had about 6 months together.

We haven't seen each other in 13 years and when we lived in NZ I was trying to complete Bursary , etc and any free time was spent with my then boyfriend Kieran so we didn't really spend that much time together so both of us were feeling a little hesitant in our meeting again.

I was met at the trainstation and we went to drop my bags off at Ditte's work - she works in the town hall in the Fredericksburg Kommun. She still had a little work to do so I was going to wander the streets a bit and hopefully find some cream for my damn finger.

I have to tell you about this, it was this amazing random lift, that used to be for everyone but little old ladies got stuck on it and someone tried to take skis on it and broke their arm or something.

Anyway it is this eternally moving wooden lift that you basically jump on and jump off and it doesn't stop. I just love it although it took me a couple of tries to get on.

I have to say, for me it was like we have been in contact this whole time. It has been amazing reconnecting with Ditte and getting to meet her lovely hubbie Christian and her gorgeous little boy William.

I don't know why I thought I could do an alcohol free Europe I think I was deluding myself really hee hee but it was nice to have tapas and a few wines on the Friday, on the Saturday a little bit of shopping.

Ditte and Christian have this great place although thanks to my parents I didn't realise it was four floors up with no lift but luckily I am built well so managed to walk up the stairs with my 27kg pack.

Hand update- before I bound it
 And now come gratutious family shots
Ditte and William

Soooo cute

Christian and Ditte
On Sunday we headed out to Bregentveld Estate where my ancestors came from in Denmark. It was so peaceful and beautiful there and I felt that I should be wearing a gown befitting the period and gracefully walking around the estate. I am so pleased that I have had a chance to visit, and to connect with a little of my family history.

Apparently William wanted to push Daddy in the pram!

On the road again- farewell to my new home of Skellefteå

Hey firstly I want to say thanks for reading I've reached nearly 2,000 hits so its cool to know this blog thing works for communicating!

I haven't updated in absolutely ages so I'm sorry!!

I'm currently in Stockholm but I need to update on my last days at home in Skellefteå and of course, being back in Denmark after a 13 year absence.

Well Lillasyster and I finally made it to Bonnstan which is the oldest area in Skellefteå.

Bonnstan is the local name for the Church Town of Skellefteå, which dates back to the 17th century. Bonnstan comes from the swedish (and local) word for farmer, so Bonnstan would transcribe into The city of farmers in English.

Historical context 

400 years ago the church village was the centre of the region surrounding Skellefteå. The church-goers from the countryside got together here during church holidays and conducted trade, drank, fought, proposed, asked for God’s forgiveness and listened to priest’s sermons.

But it was also here that the first lines in Skellefteå city’s history were written. Today, the area is a cultural haven in historical surroundings that do not leave anyone untouched.

All in wood 

Church towns is a northern phenomenon and maybe the church town of Skellefteå is the most genuine church town in Sweden since it has kept its rustic surface and traditions.

Several of the timber houses are well over 150 years old and in the old days the Church Town got erected due to the obligatory church visits for the farmers and here families. Today there are 116 houses with a total of 392 chambers. These were used as overnight stop for parishioners who lived too far away to make the journey to the church and back in one day.

 There were some school kids out doing orienteering and we were sooooo tempted to move their flag somewhere else but we remained mature and left it as it was.

The church for which the town was built

The faithful Ka which has transported us around Norrland.

The clock in the centre of the church tower has a face on each side, north, east , south and west and unusually is run off one timing system - not usual for this period.

 There was one final thing to do before I jetted off to Copenhagen and that was to try the traditional Swedish food of Surströmming (pronounced [sʉ̌ːʂtrœmːɪŋ]Swedish "soured (Baltic) herring") is a northern Swedish dish consisting of fermented Baltic herring.Surströmming is sold in cans, which may bulge after prolonged storage, due to the continued fermentation. When opened, the contents release a strong and sometimes overwhelming odour; the dish is often eaten outdoors. Click here to read more.

Happy that the tin is closed.

Traditional fare

First you butter the hard bread, then you cut up the bits of fish and place it on- you add more the more used to it you are, as a novice I started off slow.

Add mashed potato, tomato, herbs and sour cream and voila!

First taste I had been told it was the worst thing ever.....

But I rather liked it (down to my sour cream mo)

And I finished it all

My darling Swedish parents
So it was my final meal in my latest home of Skellefteå. I will be forever grateful to Ida and her parents, who housed me and fed me for two months, to Emil and Maria who showed me Ralund, Dick who showed me the mines and to all I have met. I have felt truly welcomed and in a warm loving home and it has been an honour and a pleasure to experience life as a Northern Swede.

Although of course, as though nature was telling me I shouldn't leave I got a wasp sting. The last time I had a wasp sting was at my Nana Wilson's house in Mt Wellington, I had been playing out by the taro patch (Samoan styles) and got a sting, went running into my mother crying my eyes out but was fine a minute later.

Not these damn vicious wasps here in Europe. This is what happened.

And my hand swelled up so much I couldn't wear my watch, I had to strap it and take it with me to Denmark  I was soooo worried I was going to have my hand explode mid-air. I mean, sort of worried , sort of interested to see how it would all work.

And now we head to Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen!