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.

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