Sunday, 28 February 2016

I got a tattoo!!!...ticket...

I can't believe I started writing this post a week ago and am only now getting round to posting it! It's been another busy week but at least not without some interesting bits along the way. Last weekend the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo was held in the Westpac Stadium in Wellington. Sam, my mother and I had tickets, and where I originally thought it may be a little tedious for my tastes, it turned out to be quite a cool event.

I don't think I ever would have gone of my own accord, instead I ended up there kind of by chance. Months ago I was asking my Mum what she wanted for Christmas as she's notoriously difficult to find a gift for. I did remember when the Wearable Arts used to be in Nelson she was a huge fan of going, so now it's run out of Wellington I figured maybe we could get her tickets and fly her up for a weekend. Unfortunately that hit a brick wall when Mum said "No I've been to that plenty of times and I don't really want to go anymore...". At that my heart sank as I figured I was back to the drawing board searching for this metaphorical needle in a haystack. However my Mum then mentioned " would be interesting going to that Military Tattoo thing though". After a little research I managed to find some tickets still available and booked seats fro Mum, Sam and I, then it was just a matter of counting down the days till Feb 21st.

It turned out to be a really interesting event coordinated with a lot of skill and discipline, which is what you would expect from a cast made up mostly of soldiers I suppose. The field was set up with a replica of Edinburgh castle which made it so much more fantastical than just seeing drill teams march out of the stadium tunnels. Below is a shot of the closing act with most of the performers present on the field.

The show incorporated mostly kiwi acts but also included some others from around the world. The South Australian Police band was there, the Norwegian King's Guard brought both a band and a drill team and there were of course British representatives including the obligatory Scottish pipe and drum bands.

However the stand-out performance was the Swiss drum team. They were throwing drumsticks and flags around with the dexterity of gymnasts and towards the end of their set they had all the stadium lights turned off and lit their drumsticks on fire while the flag bearers set off fireworks from the top of their flag poles. It was an amazing sight which the below photo simply couldn't do justice.

My poor old camera isn't up to the task of doing night shots and I couldn't even find an image scouring the interwebs, so the best part of the act will have to remain a pleasant memory for those who were there.

It really was an incredible experience so if you get the chance to attend it, here or in Scotland, I'd highly recommend it. Just a warning though that you should get there a little early. The demographic for this event is...shall we say...more experience in life than most of us. So with all the walking sticks and zimmer frames it's a slow crawl to reach your seat.

In Natcon related news I'm a few steps closer but still behind. It's going to be a close call to get everything done in time as life is just so very busy and it's not looking like slowing down over the next couple of weeks. This is how far I have progressed with the Kitsune escorts:

They still need a bit of work, which normally wouldn't be a problem with almost four weeks until the tournament. However I'm in Melbourne most of next week with work and then I'm attending a Blood Bowl event the following weekend. So that leaves me with just under three weeks and only two weekends to get the models finished as well as catch up with everything work and life related that will inevitably fall behind while I am in Straya.

It's looking like an uphill battle but still very much in the realms of possibility right now so fingers crossed all will go to plan. I'll post another update the weekend of March 12th to show you all where I'm at.

Until then here is a picture of two baby Platypus in fedoras to make you go awwwwwww...

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Double down on the Big Brown!

It's been two weeks since my last post! Where the heck has the time gone!?!

When I think about it I'm not that surprised as it's been pretty busy of late. Sam and I were in Christchurch last weekend for an awesome wedding at the Clearwater Golf Course. It was a lot of fun and we're really happy for our friends to have finally tied the knot. The best part had to be the eel fishing; a few kids at the reception saw some eels in the pond below the clubrooms, so they decided to take one of the ribbons attached to the back of the chairs in the dining room and tie some leftover food onto it, then lower it into the pond to try and haul up an eel. It didn't work in the end but it was hilarious to see these kids fishing for eels at the wedding surrounded by a bunch of men with beers in their hands egging them on.

While I may not have achieved much at home lately I did manage to get in some burger time while in Christchurch. We flew in on the Thursday and touched down around lunchtime so pondered where to go for something to eat. We happened to be close to Riccarton so we thought we would stop in to Velvet Burger.

Now I'm a huge fan of Velvet Burger so it was a simple choice for me between The Stag (Venison and Blue Cheese) or the more traditional Big Brown Combo (Double Meat/Double Cheese burger and a can of Double Brown). In the end I decided to go traditional as it was a long awaited homecoming to Velvet Burger for me as we don't have one in Wellington yet. This was the awesomeness that was my Velvet Burger lunch:

The Big Brown is a good burger but it's not going to win any awards. It's a safe meat and cheese burger with aioli and relish. You get it more for the fact that a Big Brown and can of Double Brown, or 'Do'bro' as it's called, is a Velvet Burger tradition. The really interesting burger was Sam's pick; the Animal Rights.

The Animal Rights is Velvet Burger's vegetarian burger and given that Sam's previous experience with Velvet Burger has been a bit of a catastrophe I was a little worried when she decided to go for the vege burger. I have a stigma about vege burgers that they're a bit bland and tasteless, but in hindsight I shouldn't have worried. The Animal Rights is...


This burger is made up of a kumara and coriander patty with salad, beetroot, mint yoghurt, aioli and relish. It tasted like some awesome refreshing curry burger! With a solid patty in there it lost none of the body of a normal burger and with the coriander in the patty and the mint yoghurt there was plenty of flavour to accompany all the other veges and sauces. I was truly blown away and next time I go to Velvet burger I think I'll get this one even over my beloved Stag Burger.

Velvet Burger have stores in Dunedin, Christchurch and Auckland so if you get a chance do drop in and try one of their burgers. Most of all, don't be afraid to give the vege burger a shot, you won't be disappointed!