Sunday, 13 August 2017


I haven't written in AGES.  I have been pretty down in the dumps and haven't felt like writing.  A variety of things, starting with the stress of trying to find a job and not knowing if I could stay in the country or not, followed by moving out and cat sitting on my own for 6 weeks, followed by being led on and rejected for the 2nd time by Morrison followed by some family stuff at home making me feel a bit anxious, followed by moving back into my house and not feeling part of the flat anymore, followed by my new job being utterly ridiculous put me in a pretty shitty semi-constant mood, and it was a vicious cycle as I come home from work grumpy and exhausted and not want to join in flat festivities and hide in my room, which meant I only isolated myself further and made me feel lonelier than I already did. And with my impending birthday - the big THREE OH, being in a state of flux, realising that I was in the same place I was in when I left London 2 years ago - flatting, in a job I don't really want to be in, single - that was kind of the icing on the cake really.

But. I have now turned 'that age' and even though I cancelled my original birthday night out and spent the evening crying myself to sleep instead, I am feeling a bit better and more 'me'.  I need to change my perspective on my job - it's a means to an end, and it's character building, and I need to remember that my friends do sometimes leave me out but it's not intentional -I can't be invited to all things at all times, and I need to remember that being single isn't the worst thing in the world and though it'd be nice to be 'in love' etc that it might not happen and to accept it - love can be found in other places like hobbies and passions and nature.

So hopefully I'm getting back on track to being more normal again and the upbeat me because being down in the dumps was pretty shitty and did not feel good and it scared me a little bit how down I felt for the length of time I felt it.

Anyways an update.

My Job

This is the biggest bug bear at the moment.  I feel like I work with idiots.  Spoilt babies who have no idea how to respect anything or anyone.  In one particularly bad week, I had to stick my hand down the toilet to retrieve someone's access pass that they'd dropped...why they couldn't get it themselves I don't know.  I had to stick my hand down an insinkerator because someone had put a $2 coin down it.  I had to clear up a whole heap of used wet Nespresso coffee pods because instead of someone telling me the box was full, they just put a bag on top of the overflowing box so when the next person opened the cupboard they all fell out over the floor.  It's very cliquey.  I took my indirect team out for lunch to a nice restaurant to thank them for their hard work over the last 6 months.  They complained when I wouldn't let them have more than one alcoholic drink, and tried to order the most expensive cocktail on the menu.  One girl refused to eat anything as she doesn't like coriander or lemongrass and we were at a Vietnamese restaurant and blamed me for not checking her dietary requirements beforehand. A bunch of girls only communicated to me via the receptionist.  It's all very weird and the culture is odd.  They drink a shit ton.  We recently had a social event where we probably went through $800 worth of booze in one evening.  A core group of people stayed drinking in the office after the event until they had to be bribed to leave with the promise of a beer on the company in a pub at 11pm so that the cleaners could clean the office. One of the Directors got arrested and put in a cell for being drunk and disorderly that night.  It's lonely as I don't really have any friends there or anyone to complain to about people.  I miss the relationships I had with people in my old job.  I was having a pretty shitty Friday the other week and I met up for coffee with some old colleagues but it turned into a 3.30pm sneaky beer instead but they put such a big smile on my face which was so nice as I felt like crying.  I do miss them.

But - I had a really nice birthday at work and it changed my perspective slightly of my immediate team.  They'd got me a cake and some presents, wrote me a sweet card with words to the effect of 'we know how hard your job can be but you're doing an excellent job' and took me for lunch - very unexpected but very welcome and received by me with a lot of gratitude. So that was nice and I am hoping that the more I get involved the more we will warm to eachother and maybe I'll get some friends.  I've joined the work netball team and signed up to the touch rugby too.

Things I Have Been Up To

- a weekend away to our friend Sylvia's bach in Rotoiti, down near Rotorua.  Me, Shanyn and Lachie drove down late Friday night to meet the others and pretty much fell asleep straight away.  The next morning we woke and had delicious porridge with stewed apples (my idea - so yummy) then boarded kayaks and a motorboat for a trip across the lake to a beer garden.  It took an hour or so and we were pterry cold and wet by the time we arrived so we huddled up inside to drink some craft beer and eat an incredible cake and some pies.  We stayed for a while before swapping boats - me and Sam got to ride in the motorboat which if I am honest was probably the highlight of my year. Haha. It was much quicker than a kayak that's for sure!  Back at the bach we huddled up by the fire to warm up again and read books, before getting back into the boat and heading out to a boat access only hot pools - awesome!!! There were 6 or so pools with only 2 other guys in them, so we had the place practically to ourselves, tentatively trying each pool - some were like bath water and others were super duper hot.  There was also a slide that went off the jetty into the lake, so I surprised myself by sliding down it - man that was cold and breathtaking and also a bit scary sliding into the darkness of the water at night time!! But I am glad I did it - even if I did swallow a load of water and nearly lose my bikini in the process.  The following day we took a slow drive back to Auckland, stopping at a nice cafe on the way home.  Me and Shanyn nearly got wiped out by an idiot driver on the wrong side of the road which was a bit scary but we survived, woo!

one of my favourite birds, a Fan Tail.  They're very friendly and flit around trying to catch bugs you kick up. 

- I know they sound like men's hair regrowth treatment, but I have started doing these things called 'rogaines'.  They're essentially a super fun orienteering race - someone's laid out a course with checkpoints and numbered them with a difficulty level (if they start with a 3, they're worth 30 points and are easy, start with a 5 and they're 50 points and harder to find etc).  You get given a topo map with the check points on and half an hour to plan a route to capture as many of the checkpoints as you can, taking into account access, hills, streams and how far you think you can go in 90 minutes - because if you're not back in time, you lose something like 20 points for every second you're late back. So we like to plan a route that has 'escape points' where we can turn back and get back to the start line as quick as possible if we've over estimated our fitness.   I have done 3 of these now and they are SO MUCH FUN.  The first 2 I did were with North West Auckland Orineteering club, and I felt like I was in the Hunger Games - groups of adults and children running around in the mud trying to find these little checkpoints.  It was such an adrenaline rush and very fun.  The last one I did had more of a chilled vibe but equally as fun - the benefit of them too is they take you places you wouldn't necessarily go, whilst also doing exercise and having fun.  At the end of them there's a little sausage sizzle and and prize giving - at the last one I won a pair of arm compressors!! I don't know what they do but at least I'll look like a professional athlete!

getting the checkpoint

- a weekend away to the Coromandel with Amy and Colin.  Amy found an awesome house bus and couldn't resist booking it so we headed down there on Saturday afternoon and chilled in our new surroundings, reading books by the fire on board the bus.  The place was awesome! 2 double beds including an upstairs bedroom, a fire, a sink, a sofa - it was so cosy.  We went for dinner at the local pub (very local - it was dead and filled with pokie machines and local memorabilia) and the next morning went for a little walk in the bush before driving back home again. 

I do have some more photos but for some reason my phone isn't syncing with google photos anymore so I can't work out how to upload them.

There's been a few other things too, like
- flat last minute July 4th celebrations
- flat Christmas dinner
- Bastille day raclette party at Yann and Renee's
- Leah's hippie vs hipster leaving party
- tree planting day at Tawharanui
- gatecrashing the Beca mid-winter ball
- Parnell markets, Matakana and Tawharanui Saturday
- going on an ex America's Cup yacht and getting to learn about how it sails

At some point I'll share the photos when my phone starts syncing them again. 

My little brother is coming out to visit and travel in September - I am SO excited to see him.  I cannot wait to give him a big squeeze. Three weeks to go!!!!

Oh yeah my birthday.  So I ended up not doing anything too crazy.  I am seeing a guy at the moment and he took me out for cocktails and dinner which was very nice of him, he planned it and everything which was a nice change. Then this Friday my friend Conor wanted to have a flat warming party so we did a small joint thing - I wasn't feeling the most social but I went anyway (I couldn't cancel 2 parties in a row!) and it was nice to see people plus there was a dog there.  Then today I roped some friends into picking up litter from Long Bay beach, it got very awkward as we saw Morrison and I forced everyone to go in a different direction to him so we didn't have an awkward bumping into conversation and we spent the rest of the morning hiding from him. We then went for a nice lunch before going back to Amy and Colin's to play board games, except I fell asleep as I was hungover from getting accidentally very drunk last night.  We had a flat dinner and the guy I am seeing came over and for some reason I just kept drinking wine which I don't normally do and I don't remember going to sleep. Oops.

Monday, 12 June 2017

Got a job, walked on a volcano, kayaked to an island, camped on a mountain

So yeah - I got some news.

I am gainfully employed! In a little something that seems like Serendipity, I have got a job with my old company in London, based in Auckland - in fact let's be a bit more specific, based in the same office as the job I had just before.  Weird.

I never really wanted to go back to my old company but out of desperation and curiosity I checked their job board and as you'd have it, they had an Office Manager role going - however it'd been advertised over 6 weeks ago so I assumed they'd have filled the position but I applied anyway.  I was already in conversations with my UK boss about job hunting and he asked about checking the job boards, so I told him I'd applied for the role at our company.  He pulled some strings, wrote me an amazing testimonial and the next day I had an interview!  When they called me to say where the interview would be, I laughed out loud as it turns out they have just moved to the building I have spent the last 10 months working in.

Turns out they've been struggling to fill the position for ages, I could start immediately and I had previous company experience, so they hired me! Best bit is - they will sponsor me to stay :) So I am now in the process of applying for a 3 year work visa.  I started the job a month ago and it's been keeping me really busy - I manage 2 receptionists, indirectly manage a team of 14 administrators and keep the office running.  I feel like I have been there forever as I have fully immersed myself into the role (probably helps my commute hasn't changed!)  I am ridiculously grateful to both my old boss Tony, who without his string pulling I probably wouldn't have got a look-in, and my colleague Matt who gave me a glowing reference.  I love people.

So that's the big bit of news.  A huge relief and weight off my mind.  Visa hasn't been approved yet (or even applied for to be fair) but at least that's the first step to staying.

I have also been on some really cool adventures.


We have tried several times to do this but it's been cancelled twice due to the weather. We finally got lucky with a few weekends ago - the weather was beautiful, sunny, a little bit windy but not too bad.  We travelled down to Sam's bach in Ohope and spent Saturday mooching around the local area, going for a walk along the beach and seeing a cow holding a meeting - if only I had taken a photo. We also had a huge fire to burn off some of the storm wood.

The following morning we woke up super early, Sam made us a delicious porridge breakfast and we headed off to Whatakatane to catch our trusty steed, Peejay 2.  The boat zoomed across the ocean (it was more of a lurch than a zoom actually) and before we knew it we were being distributed into an inflatable dinghy and floated to the island.  It was SO COOL.  We had maybe an hour walking around the island, walking past steaming sulphury vents (I definitely needed the gas mask - that stuff makes you cough and hard to breathe!) and tasting the stream water - there's 2 streams on the island, one tastes like blood and the other like stomach acid...yummy!  On the way back I decided to sit outside to keep a slighly sea sick Amy company and we got drenched. I also have a new found respect for sea birds - one gull kept it's pace by our side for a good 5 minutes


I made friends with a random boy called Neil who has a proper sea kayak.  We decided to go for a paddle out to Brown's Island, a little old extinct volcano about an hour's paddle off the coast in Auckland.  We had a beautiful day - it's the beginning of winter but there wasn't a cloud in the sky.  That morning the fog took a while to rise from the ground and it looked overcast and wet, but in the afternoon the sun blazed through especially for our trip.

It was hard keeping up with Neil as his kayak is super slick, but I made it and we landed on Brown's Island.  We jumped out the kayaks, dragged them to shore and then went for a little explore.  It's only a small island but it's very cool - very hilly and dippy and with a very obvious crater.  There was no one else on the island apart from one volcanologist taking lava samples - cool! After an hour or so of wandering about and relishing in the fact we had just paddled to an extinct volcano as a random Sunday afternoon adventure, we headed back just as the sun was setting - it was so beautiful, with the water glowing pink on one side and gold on the other.  My heart was singing and I wish I could have bottled up the view forever.


Last weekend we had a long weekend so me and Morry did a little hike and camp.  We didn't know where we were going until the very last minute, headed down in his car and pulled up in a carpark in Turangi to stay the night in his car.  The next day we drove a little further on into the Kaimanawa mountains before starting our little tramp.  I hadn't done any research so we didn't know what to expect but the first few hours were steady up hill - owch! Then it flattened out to tussock and it was gorgeous - we stopped for some snacks and the weather closed in a bit so we found an excellent camp spot just off the mountain ridge with views of Ruapehu and Ngaruhoe.  It was pretty cold and got dark very quickly so we ended up going to sleep at 5pm!!

We work to the sun rising up over the mountains and a frozen tent, beautiful! We waited for the sun to rise and melt the tent a bit, made some porridge and packed up our gear, ready for the rest of the hike ahead.

We got to the end and discovered we had another 5km of road walking ahead of us to get back to the car, I nearly cried but then we bumped into our saviours - a lovely couple from Auckland who gave us a lift back to the car.

We headed back to Taupo and had lunch, then much to my disappointment headed back to Auckland - why go away for a long weekend and not make the most of it!? Silly boy.