Annual leave - week 2 of 2

*sigh* Week 2 of annual leave is over. What did I get up to this week?

I've already blogged about the piano and recorded myself playing it yesterday. The piano, although very minimalist-looking in size, still takes up a large chunk of the wall of my bedroom where most of my random crap used to sit: bags, books, papers, my heater... pretty much anything that didn't fit in a cupboard or sit on a desk lived in that spot. Now the piano is in that spot, and everything else is on my bed. I had to brush that all aside to make enough room to sleep last night, then this morning I had to put it all back on my bed so I could safely navigate my own room.

So the piano probably isn't going to live where you saw it in that video. I only put it here so I could do the recording since I don't actually have a proper camera; just a webcam and a stereo cable. It's going to have to go in the lounge where there's lots of room. Although most of that room is now taken up by packaging material and the gigantic box in which the piano came in. The box is large enough to work as my coffin - I might have to bend my knees a little, but when I looked down into the box yesterday, empty of the piano and full of space, it was like looking into an Emanuel-sized hole in the ground...

Apart from that, the only other thing worth really mentioning was the Wellington Open Day today, which I just came back from, where a bunch of places throughout the city were available for tours/visits for the price of a gold coin ($1/$2). There was one place in the list of attractions which I had never been to before, the City Gallery, so made that one place to visit, and with the help of a friend who came along with me, turned today into the visiting of places I haven't been to before.

We started at Downstage Theatre (I've only been in the theatre part once when I watched a show there last year), where they told us a bit about that theatre and its history, and took us on a tour of the backstage (haven't been there) including the lighting grid above (definitely haven't been there).

Next was a bar called Motel (been there once before) where there was the option of trying to create the cocktail they showed us, the Red Snapper. The drink is like a Bloody Mary (tomato juice), but with tobasco sauce, amongst other things. Now I would've thought that years of Indian curry lunches with workmates would have prepared me for tobasco sauce (I can now eat the hottest curries without wishing to cut my tongue from my mouth to separate me from the pain). I thought wrong. After the first sip, I kept opening my mouth and breathing out in a futile attempt to get the heat of tobasco sauce away from my throat. The bartender saw my reaction, watered-down my drink for me with more tomato juice, and my friend was kind enough to take a photo of me when I wasn't imitating a fire-breathing dragon.

Tobasco sauce
My new arch nemesis

After that we had lunch at a restaurant called Sweet Mother's Kitchen, a restaurant I had been trying to get to eat at several times in the past couple of years, but each time without success - it's just way too busy and way too popular a place to eat. The furthest I'd ever got in the past was to the counter to ask if they had seating for the number of people in the group I was currently with, only to be told that they might have a spot if we came back in an hour. This time however, they said yes, and were able to seat us. I guess it helped that there were only 2 of us this time, but with each step I kept voicing my excitement: "Yes! They have room at Sweet Mother's Kitchen!", "Yes! I'm sitting down at Sweet Mother's Kitchen!", "Yes! I'm eating food at Sweet Mother's Kitchen!"

I didn't eat as much as I normally would for lunch (Motel also had tiny sandwiches which I ate plenty of when I was trying to dampen the tobasco sauce) but settled on pumpkin pie, which had to be the sweetest pie I have ever eaten (not being familiar with American sweet pies).

Lastly, we went to the City Gallery where we were taken for a tour through one of their current major exhibits, and where our tour group included a couple wearing bear costumes. (Did I mention that the weather is a bit crap today: cold and rainy? No? Well, the weather is a bit crap today, so dressing-up for warmth was a good idea.)

Bear costume pyjamas
From Japan, where else?

So that's my 2 weeks of leave done. I did a bunch of stuff, but did I actually get done what I planned to get done?


Then again, when my plans included items like 'Watch all of the Harry Potter Musical on YouTube', maybe it's better things ended-up this way.