A taste of New Zealand

I made one of these last week, and enjoyed it so much I made another one today.


Something of a staple in New Zealand coffee shops, Bacon and Egg Pie is a dish that is so obviously great (it’s bacon and eggs in a pie for chrissakes!) it’s a wonder it isn’t eaten everywhere. In Australia the quiche has always been a big thing, but you have to do so much just to make it not seem like the most boring thing at the picnic. Somehow we forgot about bacon!

This one pictured was made with mushrooms and onions as well, and if anything was too complicated. I recall buying slices in Auckland with nothing but egg and bacon evident inside (and often about 3 inches thick) and being perfectly satisfied.

Serve with tomato relish/chutney. Try it, you won’t regret it.



I made some time over the weekend to start on a job I’ve been planning for yonks; to turn a heavy old wardrobe into a coffee table. The one we’ve been using was a horrible particleboard piece of crap.

This is my first pass, and it took me many hours (largely to work out how to correctly use a circular saw). Next step is to add another shelf (can never have enough storage for envelopes and tissue boxes) and improve the overall finish.


And in other DIY news, a quick and low cost fix to my shiny white desk was to add this PVC contact sheet to give an optical mouse something to track on, as I needed to set up an extra workspace with a Windows machine. Someone should invent a breathable version of this material, as I spent much much longer getting the [largest] air bubbles out of it than I did applying it in the first place.


Note that pictured here is an exceedingly rare example of a Late 2009 model iMac running in Target Display Mode, connected to the Windows laptop on the right via a DisplayPort->MiniDisplayPort cable. Even though I knew it *should* work, I was still genuinely (and pleasantly) surprised that it did. To toggle the display between the two systems I just have to press Cmd-F2 on the iMac keyboard. (The reason I am using a separate Windows machine is that my work requires it for security purposes)


One Month Old


Soooooooo tired. But in a good way. Not so good that I wouldn’t prefer not to be tired though. How humans made it this far with such utterly dependent and helpless offspring I can hardly fathom. But oh she is adorable, and we love her to bits!

2 weeks

Polly was 2 weeks old today, and celebrated by puking a couple of times and then having what I think might be her longest nap yet.


She slept in my arms right through Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and then some. If sitting down and watching TV is what keeps her asleep, then I can live with that.

Another milestone today, I cooked runny poached eggs for the first time since moving in to our new house (since Emma has been pregnant pretty much the whole time, runny eggs have been off the menu).


Also, Drivey turned 10. As in years. Woulda been nice to have some great update about it, but, time passes, life happens.

Hello Polly

It took us a few days to decide on her name, largely because we’ve been trying to get a sense of her personality. It turns out she has the personality of a 5 day old baby, and we like the idea of boundless optimism.


Name: Polly Anna Shumack
Born: 6:55AM, Sunday 9th March, 2014
Birthweight: 4.15 kg (9.16 lb)

She is doing well, and pooing very well, like she is basically a poo-making machine. When not pooing, eating or crying (+ occasional spews) she sleeps adorably or stares at vertical shapes.

She has my hair color, Emma’s chin and ears, and dark dark blue eyes which I think is just a baby thing. She has super strong arms that she is already using to haul herself around and is very good at squirming free of a wrap (she is not fond of the current swaddling trend). Her hearing seems fine, and if she’s lucky the myopia and hyperopia of her parents will cancel each other out and leave her with 20/20 vision.

She’s lost about 130 grams since birth, which is actually a lot less than expected (more like 400 grams expected), and this is likely because she is feeding well (generous poos corroborate this theory).

Day 4

Bubs is home, and no longer ‘chubs’, since she’s lost some of the original swelling/puffiness that made her look a bit too much like grumpy Churchill. The following photos are taken a day apart and you can see her cute-ification in progress.

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We are all pretty low on sleep right now but it feels a bit less strange every day.

She seems to be less shriek-y today, which is nice.

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AKA Chubs MacGee, Bubs, Moly Baby

She is pretty hefty, at 4.15 kg (9.16 lb)


… and counting.

Trying to decide the best way to spend one’s last child-free weekends is tough. There is so much to do around the house that I still haven’t got to, so many half-baked plans. Instead I just slept most of this weekend away; I find myself preternaturally tired– perhaps sleep-banking…?

Google does Sochi

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A bit harder to get a decent image now that she’s getting rather cramped in there. She looks fairly content though.

How to make me hate you in one easy step

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– a comment posted on a dear friend’s Facebook update about starting chemotherapy for cancer

View from my roof


This NYE I won’t be climbing on the roof to watch fireworks, as there aren’t really any to speak of in my area. So I climbed up a day early to investigate the cause of a small leak in our ceiling. Turns out it’s yet another example of bodgy work left by previous owners and/or tradesmen.


I’m considering removing the solar heating anyway as I’ve not switched on the pump for it in months, the hosing is obviously catching leaves and detritus, and the pool is quite swimmable anyway on a warm day (I noticed no difference switching off the heating).

I’m much keener of the idea of rigging it so that the waste heat from the A/C goes towards heating the pool instead. This is such a stupendously obvious idea that I’m surprised it was so hard to find any decent example of it being offered for home use, and even now I’ve so far only found one company that does it: Hotspot Energy. It may be a little complicated with piping and such, but could it be any worse than nailing hundreds of meters of black rubber tubing to your roof? Not only that but a heat exchange between house and pool stands to vastly reduce the energy consumption that goes into cooling, even if you don’t give a crap what temperature your pool is.