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"To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower; Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour." William Blake


Children Challenge

December 6th, 2006 by sunflowers

Te HaumiToday my sister Rhonda had to go down to Whangarei to see a lawyer as she is trying to get custody of her first two children from the father of her third child. My parents and my other sister went with her to visit our forth sister who lives down in Whangarei and works with disabled people.

Fish and chips on the beachRhonda reckoned that I wouldn’t be able to handle all three kids for a day. This is the same sister that thinks that I can’t handle a bike either. Once everyone left I took Bethany for a two hour walk up and down two hills into town. Then back down in the car to pick up Macklin from kindy, up to the house to watch a bit of Spiderman (Macklin is Spiderman obsessed) and then back down to pick up Edan from primary school after which my best mate Anna and my godson Fyfe came over and we went down to the beach for fish and chips. Finally it was back up home where Mackin ran out of energy before I did. Point to auntie.

Posted in New Zealand | No Comments »


Kindergarten and Karaoke

December 5th, 2006 by sunflowers

KindergartenchangeTuesday was a bit of a kiddie day. In the morning we went to my nephew’s kindergarten class and hung out for a few hours. Then it was off to see my best mate and my godson, Fyfe. In the evening we went to my niece’s school parent bbq. After which I and my sisters went to a karaoke place where I had a few drinks while my youngest sister Rhonda sang karaoke.

Posted in New Zealand | No Comments »


Break in and Burglary

December 4th, 2006 by sunflowers

GrandparentsIt is wonderful to be at home and spending time with my family. Also the Bay of Islands is one of the most beautiful places in the world and walking out of the house in the morning you can smell the flowers and the sky is bright and clear. After getting picked up at the airport by my sister and father it was straight up home to see my mother. Then on the Monday I did all my chores (dentist, hairdresser and beautician) with my sister Gaylene who usually lives in Korea after which we spent the night with my grandparents as they had been broken into and had money stolen from the house the evening before. When we showed up the police were parked in the driveway. They think it is this fifteen year old that has been causing problems in the neighbourhood.

Bike JacketMy grandmother also helped me clean my motorcycle jacket that was filthy. The picture is of my grandparents. My grandfather was diagnosed with Parkinson’s about six months ago and has had several falls, one of which caused a blood clot and made him lose his motor control. It is one of the reasons I have wanted so much to come home for a visit.

Posted in New Zealand | No Comments »


An Inconvenient Truth

December 3rd, 2006 by sunflowers

We left Dubai two hours late due to the rain. One of the air hostesses said she has only seen it rain twice there in the last nine months. Now we have a two hours stopover in Melbourne before flying to Auckland so I am sitting outside a business lounge in order to pick up on their free wireless.

I finally watched the Al Gore movie An Inconvenient Truth. I have almost been too scared to watch it as I was worried that it would upset me too much. It was a very well put together documentary and I don’t think that anyone would argue after watching it that we don’t need to urgently address the issue of carbon emissions. I am glad at the end of the movie they said that if we start working towards it now that we might not have ruined the planet irreparably. I am also surprised with the amount of emissions that the USA put out that none of the countries that have been negatively affected have sued the US yet. They probably have I just don’t know about it as I am not very politically aware. I am going to pop an email to my flatmates to make sure they turn off the tv from standby while I am going and adjust the heating to only the hours we need it for while I am away. I am also going to start researching to find out if there is a possibility of doing my trip on an environmentally friendly motorcycle. You can find more things to do on the movie’s website www.climatecrisis.net.

Posted in General | 1 Comment »


United Arab Emirates

December 2nd, 2006 by sunflowers

Every since I was living in Australia and someone told me how you could earn quite good money working in IT in the middle east I have wanted to work there. It also appeals living in a vastly different culture and hot weather. In fact after my dotcom failed along with my work permit for the UK I was telling my mother that I wanted to work in the middle east but that I didn’t want to leave the UK as I was enjoying it and my mother said that I had spent two years in the UK and it was time to move on and I should go and work there. I bet that is a first for a mother to tell a blue eyed blonde.

United Arab Emirates is probably one of the easiest places in the middle east to work as a female foreigner so when I checked in I found out that I was able to change my return ticket in order to stay in the UAE on the way back for a couple of days. If I can get flight availability and find accommodation I might do that as it is better to check it out if I do want to live here one day. As a teenager I really wanted to live in South Africa after meeting some South Africans who talked about how amazing it was. Then I went there for a week in the early nineties and after growing up in NZ found the inherent racism that exists in South Africa quite difficult to deal with.

Though I am not quite sure as right now it is pouring down outside the air terminal and I am sure I am going to get enough rain in NZ.

Posted in General | No Comments »


Emirates

December 1st, 2006 by sunflowers

First day of five whole weeks off work! I was up early to meet this guy that was picking up my futon bed that I had advertised on Business LoungeI was quite excited about flying with Emirates as everyone I mentioned it to said how they were one of the best airlines in the world including my flatmate’s girlfriend who used to work for Air Canada and has just moved to London and is working for SAS – so she should know. Also after such a busy last few weeks I was also looking forward to just vegeing out on the flight and watching heaps of movies. Boarding the plane I was on the first set of seats after business class and I couldn’t see the individual tv screens and instead the plane was decorated in these naff pastel colours. I was so disappointed that I wasn’t going to be able to catch up on my movie watching until I realised that both business class and our rows had the screens in the bottom right hand side of the seat. The meal was pretty good and I managed to get three and a half movies in.

Now I am waiting in the business lounge using the pass that I purchased for fourteen quid through my egg credit card. It is well worth it for the wireless connection and huge spread of food considering I have a seven hour wait here before I fly first to Australia and then on to NZ getting there in about twenty four hours from now. This is a bit of a pants photo of the business lounge cause I didn’t want to make it really obvious that I was taking a photo.

Posted in General | 1 Comment »


Leaving Lunch

November 30th, 2006 by sunflowers

Unloading BikeBike in VanI got up at five thirty in the morning to traipse out to the Wembley Park station. I really dislike North West London as I used to live there when I first arrived in London. At the time I had a bit of difficulty finding a job as all IT work was on hold for Y2K and I had a pretty scrungy flat. Walking through that area in the dark doesn’t feel very safe either. But the good news is that I got my bike back safe and sound and she started first go. I on the other hand wasn’t so good and started down the road on the wrong side with no headlights until a truck came around the corner scowling at me and I thought he was taking the corner wide.

Leaving LunchThe rest of the day was a blur of trying to finish up leaving a job after almost six years. We had a leaving lunch in the Thai place where the waitress doesn’t give me a menu anymore and just brings out my order. I had a lovely leaving speech and my colleagues all signed a card wishing me well. I received a Boots card (chemist/pharmacy). But as I didn’t finish up until after seven and had three huge bags to carry home I had to give the HU drinks a miss.

Tomorrow I fly out to NZ with Emirates. Everyone says it is the best airline in the world so I will have to give you a rating as I flown quite a few. The only one I really didn’t like was Aeroflot and they were still smoking onboard when I flew them a few years ago. Plus I sat beside annoying Russian women and every leg of the journey was delayed and we ended up having to stay in Moscow under armed guard.

ps. There were a few more people at my leaving lunch but they had already gone back to work.

Posted in General | No Comments »


The London Waiting Game

November 29th, 2006 by sunflowers

For all they talk about the fast pace of big city life there is a weird anomaly in London when it comes to deliveries. I once waited 4 months for a vacuum to be delivered though I did leave the house during this time. So now I usually get stuff delivered to work and lug it home on the tube as you can never get an approximate time they are going to come and I have stayed at home only to be told they were going to come the next day.

My motorcycle was suppose to be delivered this morning around eight and a builder was coming to pick up the parking vouchers for the roof replacement by 1pm. Finally at 3pm I chased both up and the roofing guy came at four and the motorcycle delivery guys say it is going to be tomorrow lunch time before my bike can be dropped off.

Seeing as how I am having my leaving work lunch tomorrow as well as working an hour away from home I can’t do lunch time tomorrow so instead I am going to have to go to some far out place in North West London and pick it up myself at seven in the morning. Normally that would be ok but tonight the band I was managing is performing at an A&R night with free drinks. To drink or not to drink.

Posted in General | 1 Comment »


Carbon Wise

November 28th, 2006 by sunflowers

I am going to carbon offset all my flights from now on. Particularly as they will all be personal travel rather than work travel. The amount of flying I do makes me feel pretty guilty as I try hard in the rest of my life to be as environmentally friendly as I can and ensure we recycle at home, don’t keep electrics turned on when they aren’t being used, have only owned a car for the year that I lived in Canberra and bicycle or walk everywhere.

It is going to cost £44 to offset my carbon emissions for my return flight to Auckland. Not bad to get rid of the guilt factor when I enjoy travelling so much. Shoot – I hope that is for a return flight!

This is all nicked from the Lastminute.com website

What is offsetting?

When you fly, drive and heat your home, your CO2 emissions cause climate change. Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing the globe. Offsetting lets you repair the damage done by your emissions by funding projects that reduce C02.

Where does your money go?

Your money goes to Climate Care, a leader in offsetting. They reduce CO2 by funding projects that cut emissions in developing countries and bring a wide range of benefits to local communities.

For examples read about our projects in Nicaragua and The Bahamas or go to:www.climatecare.org.uk

Why Offset?

Every hour we fly, each of us produces about 0.1 tonnes of C02. For example, on a return trip to Athens you will fly for seven hours – that’s the same as:

Leaving the hairdryer on for one month, or
Boiling the kettle non-stop for four weeks, or
Running the TV & games console for one year, or
Leaving the TV on standby for 35 years, or
Running the car for 10 days and nine nights, or
Leaving all the lights on at home for three months

Posted in Preparation | 1 Comment »


No Preparation Weekend

November 27th, 2006 by sunflowers

It was so nice to have a weekend that I wasn’t running around trying to get ready for my trip. Even though I am leaving for five weeks in New Zealand including a mini motorcycle trip (hopefully if nothing comes up to cause problems with Nigel’s kind offer to borrow his bike) I pretty much have all my camping gear packed. Most of the work that was left was sorting out leaving home for six or seven months which I don’t have to worry about now.

My new workmates invited me along to drinks on Friday night and it was really nice to meet the team, play a little pool and go dancing. I am really looking forward to working a lot closer to home than West London where I am currently based.

Saturday my good mate’s American wife held a Thanksgiving dinner and I actually cooked something but cheated with the dessert. I also managed to spill red wine on their carpet. I should really start carrying spot remover with me.

On Sunday I purchased a new camera to make up for the one I lost at my mate’s gig. I bought this tiny Canon Ixus which I will need for my NZ trip.

I think that writing every day when I now have 18 months to get ready for my trip might be a bit over kill so I have resisted the urge to have an entry for every day and missed a couple of days of blogging.

Posted in General | No Comments »


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