Bowls Christmas do, bake fest and indoor beach volleyball

Tetleys!The start of this week was all about recovering from the weekend as I hobbled to work for the first few days!

Aside from that, look what I found in a local supermarket, TETLEYS TEA BAGS! How excited am I! I have always had them posted to me, and it’s not cheap, so I don’t mind their price mark up!

Friday night it was a Mark’s works Christmas do. It always seems odd, light evenings, slightly warmer weather, spring flowers and Christmas. They held the do at the local bowls club this year. It surprised me that they were allowed onto the hallowed turf!

The afternoon started with some light hearted games of bowls, something I have never tried before in my life. This is also what Mark said, but I don’t believe him, he was actually pretty good at it! The ball is weighted, and you have to bowl lightly so it doesn’t go off the other end of the green. Hmmmm! I’m not sure I do ‘lightly’. To my surprise I managed to keep most of my balls in play, but I didn’t quite get the hang of aiming the ball 50m to one side of the target to make it go where you want (because of the weight in one side of the ball!) anyway, I was quickly retired in favour of a more ‘effective’ model, so was allowed to watch, and drink the free beer! The apparently ‘bit of fun’ became all serious as Mark and his new partner took on another pairing, and the game was a very close victory! I think he enjoyed it a little more than he expected to!

The ladies of the bowls club cooked a cracking roast dinner with usual festive ham or beef. The managed a true feast in a tichy tiny kitchen with basic amenities. Incredible. With a seasonal pavlova (or fruitcake) desert, it was time for the quiz.

Apparently at work each day, Mark and his mates do the daily quiz in the paper. Due to their very localised general knowledge, and his more worldly general knowledge, he was in demand for quiz teams! The questions were a good mix of NZ (for which we relied on the locals) and general world knowledge, we actually tied for the lead after the end of the last round. It came down to a tie breaker question: what was the name of the Invercargill mayor’s wife? Immediately one of Mark’s work mates knew the answer- so we stole the win! $30 each in grocery vouchers- thank you very much!

This was a weekend of many events – a lot of choice for things to do.

It was also Burt Munro weekend. We didn’t go to any of the races this time, as the weather forecast was rubbish, and we got quite a lot of sand in our eyes last year while watching the beach races! They got gale e winds n the Bluff hill climb and a storm put an early end to the Teratonga races.

The legion regatta was also on this weekend. My first race was scratched, and coach decided it best not to bother with the second, as the weather was rather touch and go for rowing anyway, plus I have a sprained ankle and sore knee from a slip on the hump ridge track last week.

Splash palaceI took the opportunity to go swimming on both Saturday and Sunday lunch times, as the pool was opened up to 50m for the Southland swimming champs. A rare opportunity to swim in the full 50m pool.

On Saturday evening we took the opportunity of going to watch the beach volleyball champs. It’s the first time it has come this far south, and they brought in 42 truck loads of sand into the velodrome to make it all possible.

Despite not knowing much about it at the start, I really enjoyed it, and the men’s final came right down to the wire: 17:17 in the third set and the winners needed to be 2 points clear to win. The favourites wearing NZ shirts took the win, but the third seeds gave them a great match. In the women’s, the favourites and top seeded pair, fresh from the Oceana champs took the win, in a little more straight forward a match.

Great entertainment and only $2 each entry, as was the 20 mins or so darkness, as the velodrome was struck by lightening. All credit to them getting things going again so fast.

The same thing happened again shortly after we got home that night, as another lightening bolt put quite a lot of Southland and some of Otago in darkness: not great when everything runs from electric! Luckily we have a range, and a bag of coal, which would be useful in emergencies! My candle fetish came into its own as we ate out take away pizza by candle light!

The storm remained throughout Sunday, so we decided to use up our egg and banana surplus to do some baking. Mark made Banana cake and chocolate cake, we had a joint effort at making our own whole meal bread, then I knocked up kumara (sweet potato) and pumpkin soup.

Bargain easy Pumpkin and Kumara soup recipe!

Pumpkin and Kumara soupI varied my last effort and this time literally just used:

1 onion, 400g diced Kumara, 750g diced pumpkin, 1 litre veg stock, 1tsp grated ginger and a small bunch chopped fresh coriander.

Chop it all up and put in the pan, medium heat till it’s all cooked: blend, reheat then you’re done!