We had our second Covid boosters two weeks ago because it's back like some low budget horror movie sequel. Most of our friends who didn't get it the first time around are getting it now, poor buggers.
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I will keep this epistle short as I’m catching up after a long weekend away to celebrate my birthday (53rd). We went to Le Bons Beach (I learned that the name comes from the original Bones Beach, and not from the French settlers who were around the place, as there were a lot of bones found on the beach, in common with many peninsula settlements). It's an hour and a half’s drive from here, unless you're in a 1975 Land Rover…
It was on the cool side and we had a lot of rain, but it was brilliant to go in the sea every day (as did Molly. The boyf was not keen) and I had a couple of good surfs. I also took lots of books (reading the wonderful Paper Palace at the moment). Fortunately, I also took audiobooks and my battery-powered speaker so that we were able to listen to podcasts when the power went out. I enjoyed being without power for most of Saturday, as we had the long days and a log burner to take the edge off and it meant neither of us would be tempted to try the DVD player (there was no phone reception, no TV, no wi-fi). But I really feel for people in Europe who are going into winter as energy bills skyrocket because of bloody Putin.
Our energy bill last month was just under $4, total. I'm hoping that in the summer months the power company will be paying us for the solar power we are feeding into the grid. We’ll never make our money back, but it does make me feel good contributing to grid power at a time when New Zealand often struggles. Most of New Zealand's electricity comes from the South Island hydro lakes and they can get very low in the summer. There are two cables linking us to the North Island and it was a little worrying when one of the cables failed recently. Especially as the North Island uses a coal-fired power station if it can't draw enough power from us. Lots of that power comes from Indonesia, as we export most of the West Coast coal to be used in making steel.
I better get to back to the drawing board, as I am trying to get ahead of schedule before Christmas. I want to take time off to hang out with my sisters when they visit, yay!

PS. Like every Christmas, I buy another ornament or two (this year I found some sweet Kiwiana secondhand wooden ones). If you are looking for a new ornament, King Features have some available in their store, including one featuring Oscar the penguin.
I haven't seen the real thing, but it looks pretty cute online:
Copyright © 2022 Alex Hallatt's Cartoons and Writing, All rights reserved.

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