The Prada Armada

Today we got to go out on workmate Mariie’s boat to see the yacht racing. It’s the Prada Cup, in which the USA, Italy, and the UK are fighting to see who will take on NZ in the Americas Cup in March.

But while almost everything is perfect in New Zealand (sorry, don’t hate me because I’m beautiful), we haven’t yet learned to control the winds. Today’s light, patchy conditions made for poor racing, and especially for Team USA, who got thumped in both races. In the photo, America is on the right heading to the third leg, while the Italians are a full length ahead and in the home stretch.

Despite all that, a bad day on the water is still a damn fine day. We drank Prosecco and ate sandwiches, chatted about anything and everything, and generally had a great time.

What a world

I work these days with people who grew up all over the world, but I’m the lone American.

It was a sharp sad bitter feeling to have people from places I’d always considered unstable or poorly governed come up to me and say “so sorry what’s happening in your country.”

Watersprite Tears

Our new house didn’t need much work, but several rooms wanted a coat of paint. My office / man-cave was the worst. Lee was ready to tackle the job over the Christmas break.

That beige color was even worse in person, sort of peachy. Ugh.

I wanted something similar to the blue-green shade we found in Brattleboro. And when one of the paint chips was named “Watersprite Tears” I was pretty much done looking. I imagine the paint-color-namer as the sort of stereotypical gray librarian person who’s just yearning to break out and Create. Well, mate, whoever you are, nice work.

The end result was brighter than I thought it would be, as is often the case in my experience. The room now feels very like it belongs in a tropical villa… which is fine, actually. It makes me smile just to walk in.

Thanks Lee for doing all this work!

Fish Out of Water

I enjoy long walks on the beach well enough, but add in the idea of beachcombing or mudlarking and you’ve really got me. It’s very rewarding somehow to spot the things that don’t belong out of the pattern of sand and shells and rocks.

I haven’t really found any treasures, but I’ve found a lot of broken glass and crockery, a few coins, and various bits and pieces.

But now I’ve got a big jar of ‘stuff’ that’s accumulating. What to do?? Mosaic!!! This masterpiece will live out by the BBQ so I have a place to set things.

And the winner is… Prada

It’s become a common sight over the past couple of months to see these magnificent AC75 boats swooping around the harbour. They’re amazing, able to go about four times the wind speed up on their foils. Obviously they’ve worked out the aero and hydrodynamics, but it still looks like some sort of illusionist’s trick.

Depending on which course they use, we can watch the racing live with a walk or a few minutes drive. However, like with most sports, it’s better on TV for me. Their cameras are way better, and better placed, than my eyes. Since I don’t really understand the sailing, even the commentary that more knowledgeable people find inane and elementary is helpful. And the distance lines they superimpose on the water also help me remember which way is which.

The actual racing got underway this weekend with a preliminary series. After some thrilling moments on Friday and Saturday, a windless Sunday ended the competition without a winner. Of the three teams who will contend against NZ for the Americas Cup in March, it looks like the American team will have the best shot. So I’ll be able to claim victory either way.

But the real winners will be Prada and the other sponsors who will somehow turn their massive marketing investments into gold. In some ways, that seems even more remarkable than the flying boats.

Let there be music

This was our weekend to enjoy some live music performances.

On Friday night – after a very good Japanese dinner with Isabella – we saw a community production of Mamma Mia featuring several of my band mates. We remember despising the movie… I am the only person in the world who doesn’t adore Meryl Streep. But this time we laughed and cried and sang along as young Sophie evaded the marital trap and Donna and the Dynamos got their groove back.

Last night we went just down the road to Little Shoal Bay for carols in the park. This was a far cry from the Coca-Cola sponsored Christmas music event we have been to on a couple of previous occasions back in the old neighborhood. Just a few hundred people sitting around on blankets, some with picnics, and a band thrown together for the occasion.

I think at least some of the band members are used to rocking a bit harder than this gig called for… the intro to O Come All Ye Faithful sounded a LOT like the beginning of Teenage Wasteland to me. But actually spicing up the standard carols worked really well, and it was a nice evening.


My picture doesn’t do justice to this beautiful jacaranda. The purple color seemed to radiate into the surrounding air.

Northcote Point

Northcote Point is the next suburb over from us, and it’s where the Harbour Bridge lands. There’s a funny little park under the bridge which we explored the other weekend. It was windy and a little chilly so we didn’t stay long.

We do more before 9 AM…

Getting ready for my morning swim, I thought I would check the beach cam to see how choppy the conditions are.

You got to admire people who are so determined to get their sunbathing in that they’re out before 6:30 AM, in 60° weather, with 20+ mile per hour winds blowing.

Big Game Safari

Misty really likes our new house because she gets to spend time outside. To show her appreciation and help us understand why we should go out more ourselves, she brings us presents.

A lot of times we only see the tails… which apparently this kind of lizard is quite happy to sacrifice and regrow.

It’s curtains for you, kid

After 35 or so years of adulting, I’ve learned a few things, such as to take the win when you can.

Yesterday’s triumph: hanging these curtains in the bedroom with only a couple extra holes in the wall and NO trips the hardware store.

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