Tag Archives: Paralympics

Sunday Smiles: Flowers, fossils & toast

It’s been a bit of a dull week.  A plodding week, to be honest – not a great deal happened, with the exception of my birthday, and then I was really ill with a tummy bug this weekend that came out of nowhere.  So all in all, fairly uneventful.

Here are my (rather brief) Sunday Smiles for this week:

  • The Paralympics ended last Sunday.  I actually thought that we had a whole other week of them and they were ending today, but nope.  Gutted.  I loved the Closing Ceremony though – and dare I say it, enjoyed it rather better than that of the Olympics.  I mean sure, it was basically a Coldplay concert, but since I happen to quite like Coldplay, that was fine by me.  And there was a lot of fire, which is obviously awesome.  If you missed it, you can watch it here.  I’m rather upset that all this procrastination potential sport is over though.  And we’ve four years to wait for Rio…
  • There are some lovely tulips right by my uni building that I get to see every day.  I love tulips, they’re so bright and colourful.  I really hope that spring hurries up now.

  • Somebody searched “no talking to me until I’ve had my coffee” and landed on my blog.  I don’t know who you are, and I don’t know whether you found what you were looking for (probably not), but I know how you feel.  Thank you for that moment of amusement.
  • Did you know that Google makes you a special birthday Google Doodle if it knows it’s your birthday?  Slightly freaky (Google is watching you…) but kind of amazing, too.  And I’d rather they made me personal Doodles than sell my information.

  • I saw this interesting little news piece about fossils in London, specifically the stones and marble slabs of London.  It’s something I’d never really thought about, and the next time I see some marble I might have a closer look.
  • And finally, something a little silly.  I came across this little toaster USB hub, complete with toast-shaped USB keys.  I admit that it’s totally impractical – I’d lose the USB keys within about ten seconds since they don’t seem to attach to anything (like a keyring).  But adorable nonetheless.  (Image source)

  • Ok, that wasn’t quite the end – let’s finish off with some more pretty spring-like flowers.  I really can’t wait for this winter to be over.

What made you smile this week?

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Sunday Smiles: And stuff like that

I got all excited last week about spring finally getting here and all, but apparently the weather had other ideas.  Despite managing to eat lunch out in the courtyard twice this week (but solely because it’s sheltered from the cold wind and it happened not to be raining on those days) the weather has been very changeable and the weather this weekend has been positively autumnal – rainy and awfully blustery.  And not excessively warm either.  Brrrrr.  Thankfully I’ve got a batch of apple spiced camomile and honey cupcakes in the oven smelling fabulous and warming the apartment as I type (and if they taste as good as they smell, they’ll be showing up in a blog post soon).

Here are my (not particularly concise) Sunday Smiles for this week:

  • Firstly, I finally finished watching the Paralympics Opening Ceremony.  I loved it.  I’m always going to be enthusiastic about something that features so much science.  The Large Hadron Collider was even mentioned, and involving Stephen Hawking was a stroke of genius.  Sir Ian McKellen as Prospero was also fantastic (though that’s hardly a surprise) and I loved that he was involved right the way through and even partook in some awkward dancing at the end.  And of course Boris Johnson seemed to be having the time of his life, no matter how bored some of the other dignitaries looked.  I’ve also been watching some of the Paralympics, but not as much as I’d like since I’ve been buys and it’s not on a continual loop on mainstream TV.  But at least most of it is available online for free on the Paralympics channel (the Olympics should take a lesson from that) so I’ve been able to choose what I watch.  Although bizarrely, the live stream isn’t available in NZ, which isn’t too much of an issue since the time zones are inconvenient anyway.
  • The only good thing about this week’s ridiculously changeable weather (I don’t know how many times I’ve simultaneously required sunglasses and an umbrella) is that we’ve been treated to plenty of rainbows.  I spotted this double rainbow over the university as I made way home the other day.  I love rainbows.  They never fail to make me smile.

  • At the same time as the rainbows above, this was the view in the opposite direction.  Sunshine behind the Sky Tower, but pouring rain in front of it.  I really like this photo (even if it meant that I was getting rained on):

  • I came across these completely amazing hand paintings the other day.  I’m always in awe of anybody with artistic talent.  And maybe a tiny little bit jealous, too.
  • I discovered Pyrenées, a French deli, last weekend, which sold some of my favourite cheeses.  Cheeses that I haven’t had since I moved to NZ seven months ago, which is a big deal for me since I am a total cheese fiend…  So I obviously couldn’t leave without buying any, despite the rather astronomical price.  I’m considering them an early birthday present to myself in order to ignore that.  I’ve been happily nibbling way way through some morbier, comté, brie de Meaux and munster this week.

  • Somebody has finally solved the mystery of the Loch Ness Monster.  Manatees, of course!  (Yes, yes, I know, manatees in Scotland, and in a freshwater loch to boot…  It’s still funny though.)  All those tourists will be gutted, I’m sure.  (Cartoon source)

  • And finally, Flight of the Conchords have written a NZ charity single for sick children which was released about two weeks ago (I think it’s part of the Red Nose Day for Cure Kids fundraising).  Now I’ve heard it several times on the radio and been a little confused because it doesn’t really make any sense.  It contains lyrics such as “kids need us to come together, we can make them better [so far so good], we can get them some feta [huh?]” and “John stop blowing all the money on couches,” there are made up words (“lospital” and “mospital” – to rhyme with hospital) and it’s called Feel Inside (and stuff like that) which also happens to be the chorus.  (Actually, the first time I heard it, I thought they were singing “feeling sad (and stuff like that)” which would have made marginally more sense.)  So I decided to look the song up on YouTube out of procrastination as you do.  And it turns out that there’s a whole sketch that goes with the song.  And once you’ve watched it, the song makes complete sense, because Bret and Germaine visited a school and the lyrics are actually based on what the kids said.  The sketch includes the interviews with the children (they start at 5:07) and ends with the song (sung by plenty of famous Kiwi artists, but I don’t know who any of them are, aside from Bret and Germaine).  It’s 15 minutes that will brighten up your day, I promise.

What made you smile this week?

PS – Look what I accidentally broke whilst being removed from its mould…  Woops.  It went down as “quality control” (gutted, ahem) – scrumptious!

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Sunday Smiles: Spring is on its way!

Huh?  It’s September?  Already?!  Are you sure?  Yes, it really is September.  Normally at the beginning of September I’d be looking forward to the leaves turning pretty colours (which is pretty much the only part of autumn that I like) and very much not looking forward to the days getting shorter and weather getting colder and worse.  But this year, September means that spring is on its way and after the snowdrops in early August, flowers are starting to show their faces in the parks and the days are getting longer.  Yay!

Here are my very spring-oriented Sunday Smiles for this week:

  • I was totally surprised to discover that there are magnolias here, and they’ve been in full bloom the past couple of weeks.  I love magnolias, they remind me of Louisiana (which unfortunately got rather battered by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Isaac this week – my heart goes out to you, Louisiana) and also of our house in Norway which somewhat bizarrely had a stunning magnolia tree in the garden.  I particularly love the colour of these ones in Albert Park.

  • The daffodils are also showing their sunny yellow faces, and it’s difficult not to smile whenever one sees them!

  • My favourite bit of spring though, is baby animals.  Specifically lambs.  We went to One Tree Hill and Cornwall Park this weekend which includes a farm and it has lambs.  Lambs!!!  Oh my gosh, so cute!!!  I only just managed to resist the urge to take one home with me.

  • It’s difficult to move on from such adorable lambs, but in non-spring related news, the Paralympics have started!  I haven’t quite finished watching the Opening Ceremony (but I’ve enjoyed it so far) and haven’t watched any of the events yet since I’ve been busy this weekend, but I’m totally excited about procrastinating catching up.  And discovering new sports to get distracted by watch.
  • Viviane from At Down Under posted these stunning photos of Budapest this week.  I’ve never been to Budapest, but it looks beautiful and these photos make me want to visit.  A little impractical from New Zealand though, so that’ll have to wait!
  • One of my best friends sent me this cute little shark cartoon, which made me laugh.  Poor white sharks, so much pressure.  (Cartoon source)

  • Sticking to the shark theme, another of my good friends sent me a link to this Jaws-themed nail art.  I find nail art a little odd – how do people have time to create such masterpieces?  And how do they stop it from chipping??? – but these are seriously impressive (I love the swimmer).  And I’m pretty sure the shark nail could be used as a mini weapon.

  • And finally – a little bit of self-indulgence here (sorry!) – I was Freshly Pressed yesterday!  Ironically, I hesitated to publish the post as I thought it might just be a bit silly to talk about the sound of gas cookers.  Looks like I was wrong (or that people enjoy silly posts about gas cookers…) and waking up to that made for a rather smashing start to the weekend!

What made you smile this week?

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