Sunday, August 20

five peas in a pod

For the past 8 months I've been working down in Christchurch (for some of that time at the Canterbury Innovation Incubator) on a web concept called lifebox. But as all new business owners will tell you, there are risks that come with a startup and its always good and just makes sense to have a backstop or alternate income source to allow you to carry on with your project.

So over the past couple of months I've been setting up another company trading under the name Five Peas in a Pod. So far I've been providing training services in Wellington through Change Training a large public sector training company, and searching for small amounts of consulting work with other government departments and wider state sector agencies. It's really good to be able to use the knowledge I gained from my time in the public sector and at Parliament to now help train others about Government, policy and legislation processes.

Five Peas in a Pod represents me and four of my friends - we all started work around the same time in the Select Committee Office back in the late 1990s working for the Office of the Clerk - and also stands for five subject consulting areas namely Parliament, Policy, Politics, Processes and Procedure.

Tuesday, August 8

happy birthday flying machine

After five years sailing out of Port Nic Yacht Club one of the greatest things I missed about Wellington was getting out on the water during weekends. So I was lucky this winter to pick up a ride in Christchurch on Flying Machine, a Young 88 keelboat pictured above. Ironically I used to sail on Flying Machine a few years ago when she was owned by Mike Upshon.

18 years ago Flying Machine was first launched in Wellington on 8 August 1988. She still hums along, and with the new owner investing in a new main she is competing well with the small fleet of Young 88s down south. The Naval Point Club at Lyttelton runs the Cardrona on Avon Winter Series and this year Flying Machine did well winning the series on club.

I still miss sailing and friends at Port Nic though especially the easy access to facilities, and firing up the BBQ outside the boatsheds after a hard days racing.

Tuesday, August 1

tax free

There's not much in this world that's free, but if you are a new business starting out then I've discovered that the Inland Revenue Department offer a great business tax advisory service and its free! It's obvious that the IRD want to make sure that the right amounts of income tax are paid to them, and goods and services tax (GST) is properly applied, so it's in their interests to help new business owners get it right. Last week I was paid a house call by one of the inland revenue advisers and was really impressed with the service. While I already have an accountant, I would recommend it to anyone starting out. The Inland Revenue website is also full of useful tools and guidance for managing accounting systems and tax obligations, all helping to take the headache out of tax time.

lemonade scones

Was about to email a favourite scone recipe to a friend and was thinking about how often I pass it on to others so thought - why not post it on my blog?

So here it is - its a goodie and always works -

Charlotte's lemonade scones

4 cups of self-raising flour
pinch of salt
300ml cream
a can of lemonade (approx 350mls)

Mix together ingredients and pat out on a floured surface, cut up into scones and place on an oven tray covered with non-stick spray, each scone slightly touching the other. Bake at 220 degrees celcius for 10 - 15mins or until golden brown. I'll admit I didn't bake the ones pictured, they are posted to inspire.