Well, glories of glories, last night I got to see my first cockroach "in the wild", as it were. Unfortunately, the "wild" was the bathroom wall above my head as I was brushing my teeth. Ugh! I couldn't find anything tall enough to whack it with (Skye told me this morning she usually uses the broom to knock it down then whacks it with a shoe) so I just left it there, but when I went back to my room I stuffed a towel under the door so it couldn't crawl in. Now I'm paranoid...
Today I spent a very hot three hours in the garden weeding while Skye and Finn went to church, and when they got back Skye took me over to see Marie and Michael, neighbours up the road who are going to Australia for Christmas and asked Skye to look after their plants while they are away. Skye promptly delegated this to me, so evenings now I will be looking after a dizzying array of potted cacti, tomato plants, and various fruit-bearing trees.
This afternoon I called Warwick to ask if he had any Christmas sheet music I could borrow (Skye wanted me to play some songs for she and Finn to sing along to in the church tonight), and when he called back in the affirmative I went up to see him. We ended up playing/singing a few carols and having a 1 1/2 hour conversation about everything from Canada-New Zealand differences and consumer culture to organic food and genetically-modified organisms. Warwick is quite friendly and fun to talk to, and it's nice to know I've made something of a friend in the neighbourhood. When I go back up to return the music in a few days we are going to play some duets; I threatened he has to find them and dig them out or we will be playing "Heart and Soul" in every single key.
Warwick says hearing me play last Wednesday night inspired him to start playing again, and true enough, when I sat down at the piano I saw a book of Chopin preludes open on the music board, with fingerings and notes written in. :-)
I finished the knitted square blanket tonight; all sixty-four squares are now stitched together. I took a picture, as even though I didn't knit the squares, I feel like I assembled and sewed most of the blanket, making it the largest crafts project I've ever completed. What do you know, I can be a little domestic...
Tonight after dinner Syke, Finn, and I went to the church and sat around the piano while I played my way through the sheet music Warwick had given me. We sang the usual Christmas classics, such as "The First Noël", "Hark the Herald Angels Sing", "Good King Wenceslas", "We Three Kings", and "Silent Night", and a couple of my own favourites such as "I Saw Three Ships", "O Come Emmanuel", and "Once in Royal David's City". Skye even found "The Boar's Head" in a book of carols, and I eagerly pounced on it and sang it for a somewhat perplexed Skye and Finn, who didn't see what was so appealing about a Christmas carol about a severed head on a platter.
I was put through my sight-reading paces tonight, as after we had exhausted the repertoire of Christmas carols (there's something a little strange about singing "Frosty the Snowman" when it's 22ºC outside) Skye dug out the "Alleluia Aotearoa" hymnbook and had me play eight or ten of her favourite hymns. I'm afraid my brain doesn't cope very well with reading melody, figuring out appropriate chords, and trying to read the text for the additional verses down in the lower right corner of the page as well!
Tomorrow we are going to go to a play in the morning, and then in the afternoon, weather permitting, we will visit the beach in Napier! Here's hoping the clouds don't make it too cold. Night!