Wednesday, 22 April 2015

May 2014 – Planning to Stay But Happy to Leave

May arrived with the news that my police certificate had also arrived. Sadly not a single person in my flat had taken delivery of it meaning that whilst the postal service were adamant that I had it, in reality I did not. Eventually we discovered that a helpful painter who was working on the outside of our house had taken delivery and left it inside our downstairs neighbours house; a fact they were oblivious to until I turned up on their door step begging them to look for it. It had been slightly stressful but finally I had it. Now all I had to do was apply for my visa which meant giving up my passport for the duration of the application process which wasn’t at all worrying....

May also marked the first anniversary of my brother and sister in laws wedding. I couldn’t allow such a momentous occasion to go by without celebration so I went with a friend to see the fabulous KT Tunstall perform at a Bodega, a tiny but awesome venue where KT was only a few steps away from us. Ok, I would have gone anyway but the date was a nice coincidence.

The most exciting thing about May of course was that after over four months of being in charge of the cafe I was taking a much need break. I am one of those people who tend to give their all to a project and whilst this helped me get to grips with my new role it meant I was definitely in need of a break. Fortunately I had a great team and I was able to get out of Wellington for a whole four days. After much deliberation I had decided to spend them in Taupo. The last bus to Taupo left before my shift was due to finish but I was so excited about going away I wanted to leave as soon as possible. I therefore decided to go half way there by taking the afternoon bus to Napier and spending the night there which meant I would be in Taupo early the following afternoon as well as getting to see more not Wellington NZ scenery. I must admit when the day finally arrived the end of my shift really couldn’t come soon enough!

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

April 2014: Making Plans....

After an emotional March I was looking forward to an uneventful April. Thankfully that’s what I got, of course uneventful generally leads to boredom which leads to the ol’ wanderlust kicking in..... Fortunately for me my current supervisor was turning out to be extremely capable so as well as planning a week off in July when my Aussie friend was visiting I also managed to wrangle 4 days off in May for a mini adventure. The theory was that this would make me stop planning a long term escape whilst I waited for my UK police certificate. My efforts to not run away were helped by my laptop keyboard breaking down. As it was still under warranty I knew that I would have to send it off to be repaired but as always I was reluctant as there was so much I needed to do on it. Eventually though I gave in and sent it off. Turns out that there is only so long you can live without an enter key. So off it went and then all I could do was wait impatiently for its return.

Being without my laptop did have some benefits. I dug out my neglected kindle and made some serious headway through the Raymond E Feist Sagas. As fantastic as these books are they do require a lot of concentration as they really are sagas, which is the reason I came to be slightly traumatised by one Veronica Roth. If you don’t know who she is then I urge you to never ever read her divergent trilogy. She is a brilliant writer who made me care about her characters, a lot. What she did at the end of the third book actually traumatised me for weeks. I cared so much I found the ending very difficult especially as it was a little close to home. I understand that as an author she has to stay true to her vision but I can honestly say I will never read another one of her books. I read books like that for light relief. Emotional turmoil is what my sagas are for thank you very much! Next time I shall just re-read the hunger games, or download the entire Discworld series. which has the advantage of making me think without causing any long term trauma, thank you very much Sir Terry.

After recovering from the Divergent/Allegiant trauma I visited the library and did some research the old fashioned way. I decided to use my 4 day break to visit Taupo  where I could attempt the famous Tongariro Crossing and finally try my first skydive and bungy jump. I also visited the tourist information and got leaflets for both Taupo and various places my friend might like to go on her visit. I had forgotten that travel research could be so much fun. I even managed to squeeze in a few photography books in the hopes that it would inspire me to take my camera out more. It didn’t convince me to take my camera out in Wellington but it did inspire me to make sure my camera was well prepared for the following months mini adventure.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

March 2014: When the Novelty Wears Off

Whilst February had been a busy month with me managing to fit in some socialising around my busy work life March saw the hectic schedule I was keeping catch up with me. By the time it rolled around I was ill and sleeping a lot. I’m not sure if it was the stress from the new job, the number of hours I was working or the fact that the 5 year anniversary of Josh’s death was approaching. Or maybe it’s just the number of strangers I see every day. Whatever the reason, I was ill and I set new records for sleep. As in 2013 I worked my normal hours though I did tell my staff they had to be extra nice to me to help me cope. They were and I did. Though my boss seemed at a loss at why after five years it should still be so hard for me. I can understand that if you’ve never had such a loss that it would be confusing so I just let it go and try not to bring it up with her. It does still hurt though and I know most people reading this understand that. For one I still miss him. Also 5 years is half the time we were together. So much has changed for me in those 5 years and life has continued to surprise me. Every time I think I know what I’ll do next something else happens and I change my mind. I’m at peace with how I live my life and where I’m at. I’m happy that for the first time in while I’m working towards something and not making it up week to week.  However I am looking forward to the next adventure when I can stop planning for a while again. But where ever I am and whatever I am doing I know there will be times when I miss Josh so very much. There will be times when it still hurts. Mostly though there will be times when I remember him and smile and think, look what I’m doing now and know that he would be proud, if some what confused.

In between the work and the soul searching I also managed to fill out the visa application and send off for my UK police certificate.  I had decided to stay and thought it was about time that I get the paper work done so I could keep on working. After all as challenging as my job was for the first time in years I could honestly say I wasn’t bored. Also I rather liked my flatmates and our flat so that made life easier. I might have been struggling but still thought that staying put was the right thing for me to do.

He was my favourite chapter, in fact he was more.
He was a book that ended too soon.
He was the best in a series that isn't the same without him.
He was the foundation of my story.
He is never forgotten.

Saturday, 11 April 2015

February 2014: This Normal Life Thing Isn't Half Bad

The first month of 2014 flew buy in a haze of rosters, work, rosters, stress and more rosters so by the time the 7s rolled round I was ready for my weekend off. A bit of background here, a few months previously a friend had asked if I wanted to go giving the impression that this was some big fun rugby match that would happen in the afternoon so even if I couldn’t get it off I’d be fine to go after work. Oh the foolishness of the foreign, it out that the 7s is a major party weekend in Wellington and I’d need that Saturday off to enjoy it plus the Sunday off to recover! Fortunately my boss appreciated all my hard work and gave me the weekend off so I could fully enjoy the festivities with my friends. I am so grateful that she did as I had the best time. I started my weekend off with some celebratory wine then the next day we got dressed up, headed to the stadium and drank yet more wine whilst watching some brilliant (and not so brilliant) rugby. The weather wasn’t great so I was grateful we were in a box but we did head down to the pitch for the final games and I made sure I was in the Scotland section for at least one of our games. After the rugby it was on to the pubs and clubs and a fun night of silliness and dancing with other dressed up people. It was a brilliant night but I was so very glad to be off the following day as I paid dearly for my fun. I’ll say this though, it was worth it.

The rest of the month work kept me busy but not so busy that I couldn’t enjoy something of a social life. Two of my friends left Wellington which was very sad. One was the first person I spoke to at the Cambridge and one of my favourite go to people for a good hug. She was heading home back to a normal life and I knew I would miss her and our coffee dates but at least I had yet another reason to visit Ireland when I finally made it back to the UK! The other was heading back to Australia then home to the UK. She was my go to ice-cream date friend but she did leave me a table and an iPod dock to remember her by which were muchly appreciated. My room was starting to look like someone actually lived there and the iPod dock was turned out to be very useful week following her departure when it was my birthday.

For my first NZ birthday I finally got round to organising a BBQ at my flat and invited the few people I knew left in Wellington. This was mostly my friends still at the Cambridge but also included a Danish friend I’d made in Australia who had coincidentally got herself a job in one of our other stores and was therefore now living in Wellington. It was a quiet affair as I held it midweek to suit my days off (well it was my birthday!) but I was grateful that my friends made the effort to come and celebrate with me and it was a nice way to celebrate surviving another year. Who knows I may yet turn in to a ‘birthday’ person after all. I also managed to fit in a salsa session with my Danish friend and a trip to a local theatre to see a play written and performed by my flatmate's sister and her friends. Even though I missed some of the native references I was still in stitches for most of the night. I can honestly say they are very talented not only to perform but to write such a laugh out loud funny show. I think it is safe to say that life in one place was starting to feel like a pretty good decision.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

January 2014: Backpacker No More (For Now)

Back in the real world it transpired that my manager not only quit sooner than originally planned but also rather suddenly so when I arrived back at work straight from the plane it was clear that everyone was glad to see me. The owner was glad to have me do an impromptu shift and I even had a go at doing the roster. We had a chat and she said that they thought it would be a good idea to have someone with management experience take over from my previous manager. Whilst we had discussed me taking over I must admit I was somewhat relieved with this decision as my few months as supervisor was the sum total of my management experience. I said I thought it was a good idea but was happy to be acting manager whilst they looked for an appropriate replacement. After all my visa was up in 6 months so to me it made sense. They placed the advert and in the mean time I got on with trying to remember all my previous manager had taught me. I must admit I had a lot of help from the existing staff and was grateful for all their support whilst I figured it out.

Therefore the first month of 2014 was mostly work, work and more work. I did fit in some fun along the way, Te Papa held an impressionist exhibition which I not only found interesting but also very relaxing. I had forgotten how much I enjoy art, especially the impressionists so it was a great way for me to unwind on my day off. I do wish that Wellington had a proper art gallery as I miss going and looking at art on my days off. There are a lot of little galleries and they have big exhibits occasionally but it’s not the same. Anyway this exhibition was amazing and I’m glad I managed to see it before it left.  I also attempted to start another blog, foolish when I think how little I was posting in this one back then but hey ho. The challenge was to post a photo every day of something I am grateful for. I found it quite difficult as it turns out a lot of hat I am grateful for cannot be photographed but I persevered and got off to a pretty good start.


I did manage to spend some time with my friends. As well as the odd coffee, drink and even lunch date one friend excitedly announced that she was going to get tickets to see Jimmy Carr which I thought would be an excellent way to unwind after a busy month so I promptly invited myself to go along with her. I’ll admit he’s not my favourite comedian but he was in good form and I enjoyed some much needed laughter. It was absolutely worth going to work the next day on four hours sleep!

By the end of the month I was ready for the weekend off I had looming in February and apparently was doing a rather good job as my boss decided that they weren’t finding anyone who could do the job as well as I was. They offered me the job permanently and asked if I could extend my visa. It would mean committing to another year but the money was more than I’d get at a normal hospo job and whilst challenging it certainly wasn’t a boring job so I said sure, then I went home and panicked!

As well as working I was also working on playing blog catch up. When I started I didn’t think it would take long as not much had happened. I was surprised to realise how wrong I was. I turns out that even when you stay put life can still be interesting and keep you on your toes. After months of playing catch up I’m still more than a year behind. I just hope blog Lyn can catch up to real Lyn before she leaves Wellington!

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Summer Holiday Part 2: Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014!

The next day we were on the move again, this time heading to Waihi Beach where we would be spending the last night of 2013 watching NZ band Fat Freddy’s Drop. The campsite was a step up from our previous field, It not only had better amenities we also had an actual site allocated to us. The staff were helpful and friendly and even helped us sort out our transport to the gig that evening. I have to say it was one of the best New Years I’ve had in a long time. We ordered our drinks from the extremely crowded bar four at a time and managed to find each other every time we got lost. The music was amazing and the atmosphere happy. At the end of the gig we had a bit of a wait for our pre-booked taxi but we coped and were all happy to get back to our tents that evening. The next day the wisdom of our decision to stay put for the day was proven. Our designated driver needed the extra 24 hours to sober up and my other friend and I enjoyed spending the day in the natural spa pool, it was an excellent hangover cure. Well that and the cheese and steak pie from the camp shop. We did consider braving crossing the water to the beach but in the end we took the safe option of staying put and I don’t think either of us regretted it. Our driver eventually emerged and managed to have some dinner with us then it was an early night as we had a long drive the next day.

Too soon it was the last day of my holiday. We drove to Auckland stopping in Paeroa to get out photo taken with the giant L&P bottle of course. In Auckland I was deposited at my hostel before they headed off for the second week of their adventure in the North Islands. My hostel was chosen for it’s proximity to the airport so even now I cannot really say I have ever been to Auckland. The next day I caught my early flight and once in Wellington headed straight to work. My holiday was over and 2014 had begun.