Thursday, 16 November 2017

Microblog 1

This weekend me and Aric went to Cambridge - he had to go there for work so I joined him on a little adventure. It's not as nice as the 'real' Cambridge but it's quaint - oddly everything shuts at 3pm on a Saturday.  He was in charge of accommodation booking and did a fabulous job - a little campervan on a lifestyle block.  I was in charge of navigation and didn't do such a fabulous job, taking us halfway to Hamilton for dinner before realising we were going totally the wrong way and had nearly run out of fuel. Oops.  On Sundays they have an amazing market so whilst he was doing work duties I went shopping, before watching the Armistice day ceremony.  I've never watched one of these before and it was emotional - something I was surprised by but shouldn't have been I guess. We headed home via the Blue Springs, which are the clearest springs I've ever seen in my life.

Monday me and some of the girls had a long overdue catch up and went to Karekare for a dinner picnic which was lovely, and got me very excited for the summer coming.

On Tuesday, Amy and Colin finally got to meet Aric - which is crazy as we've been dating for 4 months, but I guess we have all been really busy and our lives are doing different things at the moment.  I then 'worked from home' at his house on Wednesday as he had the day off and my tummy was hurting, so I had a very chilled day of answering emails and finishing Stranger Things........

This morning I had to get up super early to take him to the airport - he's gone on holiday for 2 weeks.  Sadly he booked this before we both decided we liked each other, so he's off on his own.  He actually invited me along for the first part of the trip - all epxenses paid, but I am doing the Auckland Harbour swim on Saturday and decided that though a free trip away would have been amazing, I can't not do the swim...so I said no....much to the amusement of friends and colleagues. The race better be worth it now....

I went to the dentist today for toothache and ended up having root canal treatment and the rest of the day my face felt like it was buzzing and weird.  The dentist was lovely and offered me a piece of her pavlova after my treatment.  She can't continue with it as the root is too damaged and has referred me to a specialist who is going to charge me between $1600 and $1800 to sort it out, plus then I'll need a crown in 6 months for $1500. fuck. However, instead of being sad about this, I am focussing on how grateful I am that I am in the very fortunate position of being able to pay for this through my savings and how great it is that I have an income to replenish my savings.

The other weekend me, Amy, Colin and Renee did an adventure race.  It was a lot of fun - basically a rogaine on steroids - it had a tubing section which was very fun and now we are planning on river tubing adventures when it gets warmer. Yessssss.

I am sat here writing this in my wetsuit...I am trying to stretch it out a bit before Saturday and get used to the tightness.  My hands and wrists ache whilst typing as it's so tight.  I love how buoyant it makes me but the tightness makes me feel really tired when I am not.  I need to get used to this.  Dan and I did an ocean swim clinic last Saturday which made me feel better - I didn't freak out about being in the water as I was surrounded by other people which was good, and the same thing will happen in the race so hopefully I won't panic.  However I also struggle to breathe properly again because it is so tight....hmmmmmm

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Micro blogging

Well, I was going to write a proper blog this evening as it was my first evening free in a while, but my laptop decided to do a bumper update of probably unnecessary windows updates for the last hour and it's only on 47% so I doubt I'll  get to do a proper one. 

However, Dan wrote a post inspired by my last mini post which in return inspired me again - inspireception if you will  - why don't i just do little mini micro blogs every so often rather than huge daunting bumper updates? I have 3 months to catch up on - let's be honest that's never going to happen, so instead I'll recap some of the more exciting events that occurred during that time, and then perhaps continue with little, more regular updates (probably without photos- I was so anal about posts needing perfectly edited pictures but actually it takes up so much time and instead if you want pics you can look at my Instagram instead). 

I'm typing this out on the blogger app on my phone which is a bit of a pain as my fingers are fat and my autocorrect is shit so I apologise in advance for anything not making sense. Also I doubt this will be a microblog as I have so much to catch up on...

Things that happened:

1) my family pulled off the biggest surprise ever and turned up unannounced in Auckland.  Well - unannounced to me. Turns out everyone else knew about it! Isaac decided to come out here for 4 months due do a bad breakup at home and it happened to be around his birthday. Mum booked for me and him to do the skytower walk and she was being super coy on the details which I found weird but she was in the middle of moving house so I figured she was just being a little forgetful.  She told me to take Isaac to the skytower at midday on a certain date.  When i got there, the skytower people had no record of her booking so I figured she has gone a bit mad in her old age.  I turn around and walk out the door to see her standing in front of me crying. I did a literal "wtf" before bursting into tears myself. Tim and my step brother were also there and I was gobsmacked.  Turns out they'd been planning it for months and originally was meant to be in August for my birthday but they sold the house then so they delayed it till September. We had a fun 2 weeks - it's so weird not seeing someone for nearly 2 years but then you slot right back in and it's like you never left.  It was however a very accident prone 2 weeks - mum fell over into a rock pool on day 1 and smacked her head and got a black eye, on day 5 Tim faceplanted on a volcano and smashed his head in and spent 24 hours in hospital and had to wear a neck brace the rest of the trip, and Joe (step bro) had to delay his kiwi experience trip as the day he was meant to leave he had to have emergency dentistry.  Madness.  Apart from that we has a lovely time and I was sad to see them go. Thank you Mum and Tim for the best surprise ever - it made me feel so loved and brought my spirits up again :) love you both to pieces.

2) my brother came out here.  This has been amazing. I've never really hung out with him as a friend before, so this has been really interesting having him as a friend as well as a brother and it's been really nice.  For the first 2 weeks he camped on my deck in my old house, then I moved to a bigger house and he slept in the 2nd lounge.  When my parents came over he moved out to stay in their apartment and I felt a bit lost that he wasn't with me anymore! It's been amazing to see how much he has changed since I last saw him- so much more confident and grown up and he was a bit shy before but he settled in with my friends really well. I'm looking forward to having him back in December for a bit before we head home together.

3) I moved house.  I cat sat for 6 weeks and when I moved back into my flat things didn't feel the same.  The opportunity arose to move in with some friends in a huge 6 bedroom, 2 lounge, 2 bathroom place and create a new flat, so i took it.  The new house is massive - it has a double garage with attic, even a laundry room! My new bedroom is huge compared to my old shoebox and it's so nice having the space. My flatmates are also really lovely which is a bonus!

So they're the 3 big things that have happened.  Sorry for not updating sooner. I'm so busy at the moment and I barely have any time to myself.  I feel pretty stretched and stressed sometimes and it's not too enjoyable.  I'm training for a swimming race which happens on 18th Nov which I am very nervous about - a 3k sea swim across Auckland harbour.  I've done 2 training swims in the sea and panicked each time because it's been cold/wavey/murky and I probably swan a total of 50 metres! Hopefully adrenaline will kick in for the race and I'll just do it...i can do 3k in the pool comfortably.  Work has also been very busy and taking over my life. I really don't like it either and don't want to be there. But I'm stuck because my visa links me to it. Meh. And I've started seeing someone who I really like and he takes up a lot of my time too but in a good way. Plus living with 6 other people means I don't get a lot of "me" time either so it's pretty crazy at the minute.  Hopefully once the swim is over I won't feel pressured to swim all the time (I don't even go that much to be fair! I should probably be going every day but it's more like 3 x a week) and I can focus on something different for a bit.

Anyway that's my wee photo less update for ya....

Friday, 3 November 2017

MIA

Sorry sorry sorry. I haven't written in ages. I am so busy. My time is spent at the moment either at work, with friends, with a man friend, or in the gym or swimming. I have zero time and feel like I am stretching myself very thin and when I do get 'me time' I am too tired to do anything. But I am still alive and I will try and update soon.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

30

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.

WALKING ON A LIVE VOLCANO!

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
















KAYAKING TO AN ISLAND

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.










CAMPING ON A MOUNTAIN

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.