August 2009


My friend over at blog-of-Nathan is doing her own personal challenge at the moment, blogging daily for two weeks, and today her blog was this 50 random things list, which I thought I would steal and give a go, while I am procrastinating about my walk:

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
I wish my dreadlocks would hurry up and grow nice and long

2. How much cash do you have on you?
$48.60 in New Zealand dollars and a $2 Aussie coin.

3. What’s a word that rhymes with DOOR?
Bore

4. Favorite planet?
Earth, it’s pretty comfy

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
I don’t have 4 missed calls, I keep switching between my old Aussie SIM and my NZ SIM to see if I have any messages and everytime I put in a different SIM card all that information resets.

6. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?
I don’t know what it’s called (aside from ACP23) but it’s nice and smooth and sounds all exotic and Turkish.

7. What shirt are you wearing?
Black Vedder 10 shirt.. but it’s holey and I need to try and find a new one

8. Do you label yourself?
Yep!

9. Name the brand of the shoes you’re currently wearing?
Converse

10. Bright or Dark Room?
Bright Sunshiny Room!

11. What does your watch look like?
I don’t have a watch.

12. What were you doing at midnight last night?
Taking a shower

13. What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
I’m safe and sound my love. (I’m a worrier!)

14. Where is your nearest 7-11?
LOL I have no idea, but it would have to be AT LEAST 47 kms away.

15. What’s a word that you say a lot?
Nice.

16. Who told you he/she loved you last?
Hubby extraordinaire.

17. Last furry thing you touched?
My dreadlocks

18. How many drugs have you done in the last three days?
Nurofen and chocolate

19. How many rolls of film do you need developed?
3, I have no idea what is on them, I think they are probably from the Loft era in 2003.. I’ve carried them with me all this time, meaning to develop them and always forgetting.. I should have put that on my day zero list, I’m excited to see what they could be!

20. Favorite age you have been so far?
25

21. Your worst enemy?
Money

22. What is your current desktop picture?
A pile of balancing rocks near Mount Cook, snow capped mountains in the background.

23. What was the last thing you said to someone?
Drive Safely!

24. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be?
Oooh, tough one!! I think I would choose flying.. but it would be a tough choice.

25. Do you like someone?
Yuhuh!

26. The last song you listened to?
Too Young by Phoenix

27. What time of day were you born?
I have no idea.

28. What’s your favorite number?
23

29. Where did you live in 1987?
Griffith, NSW

30. Are you jealous of anyone?
Thin people

31. Is anyone jealous of you?
I doubt it.

32. Where were you when 9/11 happened?
Sleeping

33. What do you do when vending machines steal your money?
Sigh, mutter, and then put money in the machine next to it.

34. Do you consider yourself kind?
I try to be.

35. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be?
I have so many tattoo plans in progress at the moment.. the next one will probably be a continuation of my matching barcode with the hubby so that it is more of a wrist cuff.. and after that, a sleeve for my left arm.

36. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be?
AUSLAN (me too!!)

37. Would you move for the person you loved?
Yes! (though probably not yet since we only just moved here!)

38. Are you touchy feely?
Depends on who I’m with.

39. What’s your life motto?
*enter something hippieish about peace and love and happiness here*

40. Name three things that you have on you at all times?
Ipod, Glasses, Coin purse

41. What’s your favourite town/city?
Queenstown.

42. What was the last thing you paid for with cash?
Bowen Therapy.

43. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
Last week, I sent Rachel her letter notebook, we write in the book and send it back and forth.

44. Can you change the oil on a car?
Nope, I don’t even have a car, or a license for that matter!

45. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her?
He has a puppy.

46. How far back do you know about your ancestry?
Nothing! I barely know anything about the people in my family who are alive and well.

47. Where was the last time you dressed up fancy?
My wedding

48. Does anything hurt on your body right now?
Nope

49. Have you been burned by love?
Yes.

50. Han enough of pointless questions?
I could keep going, but only because I’m procrastinating!

PS: T, I hope you feel special that I have given in and revealed my secret address to you!! 😀

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Yesterday was the 4 week anniversary of my leaving work so I thought I would commemorate the occasion with a list (of course!)

10 things I really love about our life in New Zealand

  1. Walking along the beach in the morning collecting kindling for our fire
  2. Finally having time to make my own iced tea and muesli and cakes and cookies
  3. Being able to spend so much time with my hubby
  4. Our incredible view
  5. Sleeping in, every.single.day.
  6. The masses of people here who have dreadlocks.. In Miranda I think I was the only one!
  7. The happy vibe in Queenstown – almost everyone is on holidays!
  8. The fact that I live in a town that doesn’t have infrastructure for town water, but has high speed internet
  9. Having all the time in the world to finally read all those books I’ve been buying
  10. Having the freedom to finally figure out what I am passionate about instead of working 9 – 5 in an uninspiring job

Cheers to freedom and beauty and relaxation!

So our stuff finally arrived in Kingston on Friday.. 8 weeks and one day since it was picked up in Sydney. I’ve made some good progress with the unpacking, and this is finally starting to feel like home. I’m especially thrilled to be sleeping in my own bed again, I have really missed that darn bed, which I think is an indication that I am getting old – I remember backpacking through Asia and sleeping in some terrible places without a second thought, these days all I can think about is that crick in my neck and how I want my bed.

I am enjoying being here but I am having some trouble feeling motivated on the 101/1001 front, so I thought I would do something a little different and instead of focussing on what needs to be done on my day zero list, I thought I would make another list, a list of 101 things that I have seen or done or which I am proud of or happy about.. things that were great adventures or I have wonderful memories of. I’m hoping that seeing that list will make me more motivated to work on the things that still need to be done on the other list.. make sense?

Here we go:

  1. Moved to Melbourne and made a whole new life for myself.
  2. Went skydiving – twice!
  3. Married Luke (even though it terrified me)
  4. Had very close friendships with my inner circle
  5. Hosted an ongoing weekly dinner party (Sunday Night Dinners!)
  6. Did a Melbourne – Perth road trip and lived in a tent.
  7. Scuba Dived in the Great Barrier Reef
  8. Visited Angkor Wat in Cambodia
  9. Did a motorcycle tour around rural Vietnam
  10. Moved to New Zealand
  11. Went Bungee Jumping – twice!
  12. Went to the Fire Ball Festival in Thailand
  13. Became a Feminist!
  14. Saw the Plain of Jars in Laos
  15. Went back to TAFE and did my VCE
  16. Did a UniPrep course at UNSW
  17. Got dreadlocks
  18. Pierced my nipples (lol)
  19. Went whale watching
  20. Went to an AFL football game
  21. Rode an elephant in Thailand
  22. Did a Great Ocean Road road trip
  23. Experienced the killing fields in Cambodia
  24. Went snorkelling in Mexico
  25. Got matching tattoos with my best friends
  26. Got matching tattoos with my husband
  27. Saw my godson be born
  28. Watched Rachel and Nick be married
  29. Participated in A&C’s secret wedding
  30. Lived in a crazy party house (twice!)
  31. Participated in a drinking competition (well many, but shhh)
  32. Went horseriding on the beach
  33. Went skinny dipping
  34. Had a surfing lesson
  35. Became a vegetarian
  36. Saw Pearl Jam live
  37. Went to The Big Day Out (a few times)
  38. Saw Ani Di Franco live
  39. Stood up to Elias and left PE when I was being bullied
  40. Saw Counting Crows live
  41. Went on an international business trip
  42. Camped in the rainforest
  43. Mended things with Theresa
  44. Supported Ashleigh when the rest of the family wouldn’t
  45. Gave money so that the SA group could buy a birthing pool
  46. Donated blankets and Mosquito nets to the kids at Umphang school
  47. Wrote to the Talsico sponsor child
  48. Sponsored 2 children at the Umphang school in Thailand
  49. Kept a travel blog when we were backpacking
  50. Sang Karaoke
  51. Took a chance on L
  52. Danced in public
  53. Saw VNV Nation Live
  54. Went to a Grand Silent System Concert
  55. Went to Cirque Du Soleil 3 times
  56. Saw the Phantom of the Opera
  57. Took Mum to see Mamma Mia the show in Melbourne
  58. Saw Priscilla Queen of the Desert in Sydney
  59. Went to the Ballet
  60. Went to an underground film premiere
  61. Saw the Dalai Lama
  62. Camped out for tickets
  63. Went to a Metallica concert
  64. Saw A Perfect Circle Live
  65. Won a sports trophy (first place!)
  66. Stayed up all night
  67. Saw the Franz Josef Glacier
  68. Went to the Baxter Detention Centre protest in 2003
  69. Went to an Anti war protest
  70. Bought organic fruit and veg every week from a farmers market
  71. Submitted an article to Susie Orbach
  72. Wrote letters to the health minister about the Maternity services review
  73. Helped get a pedestrian island built on a dangerous road in Sydney
  74. Made a submission to the marriage equality review in favor of marriage rights for same sex couples
  75. Took my grandmother skydiving for her 61st birthday
  76. Sent Chris care packages when his Dad got sick
  77. Gave up smoking
  78. Photo of the day with my Mum
  79. Went kayaking on the Mekong river in Laos
  80. Volunteering at the Oxfam store
  81. Went caving in Thailand
  82. Supported R during her secret B.A.
  83. Gave anonymously to the homeless person in S.C.C
  84. Took care of my Big Issue Man
  85. Took Mum to John Edward – Twice
  86. The whole Beautiful girl with the long blonde hair story
  87. Painted our car with peace signs and funky designs
  88. Road trips with Mum and Debi
  89. Visiting the Blue Mountains
  90. Paddle Pops in Port Douglas
  91. Started the friend book with Rachel
  92. Floated down a river in an inner tube in a National Park in Thailand
  93. Lived out of a backpack for 6 months
  94. Kayaked through the South China Sea for Outward Bound Singapore
  95. Pulled Nasifah out of the pool when she had been pushed in and couldn’t swim
  96. Made a wish on a shooting star in the desert
  97. Drove across the Nullabor
  98. Made a speech at uni even though I was terrified
  99. Giving out care packages to the homeless kids in Cambodia instead of money
  100. Volunteering at the Youth Refuge for a year
  101. Started 101/1001 and continue to challenge myself

Wow, that was much harder than expected! (I started this list days ago!) But definitely gives me motivation to get back on track with 101/1001 so that next time I try and do a list like this I have a lot more to work with!

So we’ve made the move into Kingston, our little village of 200 people. Our furniture is still being held up by customs so until it’s ready at the house we are holed up in a cabin in the Kingston Caravan Park. It’s cold and the bed is small and uncomfortable and I’m more impatient than ever to get our stuff back.. I feel like we are just on the precipice of finally being done with the long process that has been this move and I’m SO ready for it to be over.

Today was the first day that the enormity of what we have done really started to hit me. I was installing the wireless internet at the new house (this is VERY important!!) and Duane, the firewood guy – who has been in Kingston for a decade but is yet to be considered a ‘local’ – came by to drop off some firewood for us. We chatted as we helped him unload it off the truck and then off he went leaving us to move it from the side driveway around into the backyard and get it all stacked up under the wood shelter. It was quite an experience, hurling chunks of wood from one end of the yard to the other in preparation for the cold nights to come. It seems like such a small thing, firewood for the fire, but really it is the embodiment of so many things that are changing for us at the moment.

It’s a daunting feeling, but wonderful too.

Tomorrow I’d like to head into town.. either Queenstown or Invercargill, to feel like I’m part of the world again, this small town living is going to take some time to get used to, that is for sure!

firewood

We’re here! We’re finally here!! After what seems like at least a year of planning – though in reality it has only been 12 weeks! – we are officially expats! We have handed in our keys to our Matson flat and we are here! Our flight landed at 3pm local time yesterday afternoon, so we have officially been New Zealand residents for just over 24 hours. Getting through customs was a bit of fun, the look on the guys face when hubby’s backpack was scanned was pretty priceless. They made him open up his pack and show them everything in it, but the chef pants and jackets helped to explain the 16 razor sharp knives in there. All in all it was pretty painless, that is one of the great things about flying into Queenstown, it’s such a small international airport that we had gone through customs and picked up our bags in less than 30 minutes!

On the way to our hotel we were pretty thrilled to discover that the driver of our shuttle bus from the airport was a fellow ‘Kingstoner’, the village we are moving to is called Kingston, and has a total population of about 200 so having the first person we speak to be one of them was pretty great. He was very friendly and it made us feel very excited about finally getting settled in town. For now though, we are camped out in a hotel in the ‘city’. Hubby had an interview this afternoon and is heading in for a trial tomorrow afternoon/evening. He is pretty nervous but hopefully it all goes smoothly. It doesn’t matter either way at this point, we have enough savings that he doesn’t need to be worrying about finding a job within the first few days, but he is a bit of a workaholic so it’s to be expected that he would be organised already.

As of about 20 minutes ago we even have a car! A green, second hand, Subaru.. she is yet to be named but I expect that to be remedied by this time tomorrow. The plan is to take her (and all our luggage) out to the house tomorrow, along with any initial supplies. We won’t be moving in until the rest of our stuff arrives, which probably isn’t going to be for at least another week, but it will be nice to be at least part way into the house. It will make this whole bizarre experience a little less surreal!

Anyway, moving to New Zealand was number one on my 101/1001 list so I’m happy to be able to cross that off. I’ve also crossed off two other things:

#50: Get rid of my TV (we left it in Sydney!)
#69: Get rid of 101 things that I don’t use or need (the final number was well over 101 things!)

I have partly crossed off #88 (Save and keep $1000 in an ‘emergency’ savings account). I have the $1000 (and then some) sitting in my account at the moment. I would like to keep it in there until at least the new year before I can officially call that one completed.

Anyway, that is the update from me today. Until my next update, here is a photo of the view from our hotel room.. this is what we woke up to this morning, and what a great way to wake up!

View

Well I am into my second day of retirement and so far I’m having a blast, even though I’m not sure it can technically be called retirement yet since it kind of feels just like any other weekend. My last day at work was Friday, all the work gang came into the office to say goodbye, we had a vegetarian pot luck in the office – even though I am the only vegetarian in the team – so lovely. They bought bubbly (and sparkling water for me since I don’t really drink) and showered me with gifts of world music and fair trade chocolate and cash to help us on our way. It was really nice and I felt very loved, especially after reading my farewell card which was filled with so many beautiful messages.

Since my last post we have managed to sell all the things we were worrying about getting a buyer for, our fridge is with it’s new owners and our washing machine is due to be picked up this morning, we finally got a buyer for our car yesterday which was our biggest concern over the last few weeks since we need the funds from that sale to buy a new car once we get to New Zealand. We had contacted a few dealers all of whom laughed in our faces at the price we were asking, and offered us less than half – car salesmen suck, you just know they are going to sell it for double what we were asking! – but in the end we got our asking price so we are really happy about that.

I’m pretty stoked that I only have one more night on this miserable inflatable mattress. Tomorrow night we are heading out to a hotel near the airport where we are going to sleep in a king size bed and eat room service. It will be our last night in Australia. On Tuesday we officially become expats.

Our stuff has officially left Australia which is good news, unfortunately we were expecting it to arrive at our house on the 6th and it looks like it won’t even be arriving in New Zealand until the 7th and then we have to wait up to 14 days from there. It’s a bit frustrating and I was pretty stressed about having to pull out the inflatable mattress again at the other end, especially since it is 10 degrees colder in New Zealand at the moment, but I contacted the owners of the Caravan Park in Kingston and they were nice enough to set us up in a cabin there for a really good price so now we will be sleeping in style while we wait out customs.. what a relief!

On the day zero front I’ve been making a little head way – but not much. Today I signed up and released my first book on bookcrossing which is a bit fun, I’m looking forward to seeing where it turns up. I ate another ‘meal’ outside earlier this week when my lovely husband bought crepes and lattes to the park and we had a picnic in the sun. I attempted to give blood, but was turned away when the nurse found out I was trying to conceive (darnit!) so that one might have to wait a while, hopefully there is a blood bank in Queenstown otherwise I might have to make a special trip somewhere to tick that one off. I’m pretty excited about getting to NZ and finally being able to cross Number 1 off the list, it’s taken a lot of work, and a lot of time, so I’m looking forward to being able to mark that one off!

I had the unpleasant experience this week of having an internal ultrasound as part of the TTC dramas we’ve been having, everything seems to be in order which is a bit of a relief. The expected cysts were there in force – 10 on my right ovary and 12 on my left – but I was more concerned about finding something worse during the course of the test so while the cysts are disheartening they aren’t devastating. I’m pretty sure that I can get around them with some focus on my diet in the coming months and if not then we should be able to find a fertility specialist in New Zealand who can prescribe some ovulation stimulation drugs which should help.. At least now I know that I don’t have any bigger hurdles to face just yet and that is a bit of a relief.

Anyway, that is our update this week. Hopefully before long we’ll be settled in our new house and there will be time enough for proper updates and photos and lots more day zero progress.