nortonknight said: You still in nz? :)

Nahh, Scotland.

Little New Zealand Update - Fin

"I just want them to know, that I gave my all, did my best, brought someone some happiness, left this world a little better just because… I was here. I lived, I loved. I was here. I did, I’ve done everything that I wanted and it was more than I thought it would be. I will leave my mark so everyone will know, I was here." - Beyoncé - i was here - 4. 

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Surprise Mum! I’m home! I’m not sure if anyone noticed but I kept the countdown back to Scotland quite vague online but in person I couldn’t wait to tell people that I was heading home a month early to surprise my family back home. 

This is quite an achievement for me, I am terrible at keeping secrets. I went from wanting to surprise my family and friends back home to telling all my friends I’d be home early but to shut their traps because my family were none the wiser (all of my aunties back home knew!).

Anyhoo, I’m home… my journey was a total of 32 hours and it was a pretty good one.

  • having a Mr bean type moment where I couldn’t fit me, my laptop bag, my backpack and my carry on luggage through those tiny little freaking aisles and then finding a friend on the plane from Auckland to Hong Kong who picked up all my stuff and popped it away for me.
  • being tested for explosives at Hong Kong 
  • first long haul flight all by my own
  • getting lost in London Heathrow with a lot of luggage
  • kind London Heathrow employee who took my luggage from A to B

I was sad to leave New Zealand and to depart from Craig and Hailey, my roomies, my mentors, my caaats. Coming home early was decided by me after Christmas and New Year, spending the holidays away from everything I’ve known was special and I’ll never forget it but my inner child’s lip trembled at the thought of another Christmas without the familiar faces. That’s not to say I won’t ever do it again. 

Homesickness, a word to describe the great longing for familiarity, security and love. 

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I’ve spent a year telling everyone I’ve met that “scottish summer” is a myth - these glorious past three weeks have been stunning, i’ve been more summery here than i dared to be in NZ. 

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soaking up dem (death) rays!

I love my new home, skipping distance from the best ice cream place ever!! (sorry Giapo) 49 flavours, just saying. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Varanis-Forum-Cafe/200750366613310

Walking distance to town centre. On wednesday my mum and I decided to go swimming and 15 minutes later bobbing along a kid infested pool, yeah, that’s right. “fun swim” most inaccurate. Seriously though, kids and water is like mogwai and water, more sprogs just pop up everywhere. 

I’m enjoying my social life, I can’t stop cuddling my friends. I can’t stop telling them how much I missed them. I can’t stop thinking about seeing them as much as I can before uni starts, also, I love bumping into people and just being buzzing to see each other!! 

I’m a happy girl, managed to get my old job back along with a new one which i start later this week and all in less than a month. Put the cash in my hand!!

"I can make you ice-cream, we could be a sweet team, melting in your vice dreams, sport" - ice cream - new young pony club.

This past month has revolved round ice-creams, berry sundaes, mcflurries, £2 tubs and soft scoop vanilla with apple crumble. 

This time last year,I left Scotland for New Zealand, I was excited, hopeful, nervous and tired. Tired of my frame of mind, nervous about the year out I was gunna take (who will I meet? What will I do? What will I see, Who will I be?) truth is, I got to be me and everyone I met knew me for the Steph that stood in front of them and they accepted it. Hopeful, hopefully i make friends (which I did), hopefully I’ll earn money and hopefully I’ll gain something from this journey.

if you’re thinking of taking a long term break away from your home, i’d like to give you tips:

  • make sure you have some money. money for your fare home at least. money just gives you access to lots of things, unfortunately - and it’s just one less stress. 
    even if you’re going to work in your new location some start up money is always a help, it’s a tough job market out there and you may need some moolah.
  • have an itinerary, do lots of research on your location(s) and take responsibility for your entertainment, websites like trip advisor are great for making the most of it. 
  • think about how long you’d like to be away for, take the whole year? maybe a few months? maybe a few weeks? always have your fare home in case of emergency. 
  • medical care - look into how much it costs to see a GP in your new location and if you’re in a different country you’ll more than likely pay a lot of money for appointments, tests and medicine. I came down with tonsillitis and it cost me $70 for an appointment, $15 for medicine and over $50 for blood tests and I was only earning around $200 a week. 
    before your trip find out if there are any vaccinations you may need, any different types of bugs you may catch out there. (my tonsils had to be swabbed for group A streptococcus bacteria as it causes rheumatic fever and can cause more complications to a person’s health)
  • think about what this break means to you, what do you want to gain from it? what can you give in return? 
  • and finally, have a good knowledge on where you come from there is nothing more awkward than someone knowing more about your homeland than you, you’ll end up just nodding and smiling! 

Thanks to everyone who has kept up-to-date with this blog and I’ve enjoyed every second of it. 

Thank you for having me New Zealand, thanks for the memories, the friends and for helping me grow and develop. <3 

PEACE!!!

Little New Zealand Update (10 months)

"I saw a glimpse, a shimmer, a shadow of something I had once but since lost and now I I’ve got a feeing that I’m not complete any more. Don’t even tell me where we’re going hands over my eyes hands over my eyes. Don’t even tell me where we’re going just walk, just walk by my side." - Walk The Moon - Fixin’

I said brr! it’s cold in here, I said there must be some Toros in the atmosphere oh-e-oh-e-oh-e! Ice! Ice! Ice! Yeah, so all of a sudden it’s gotten really cold in Auckland and in New Zealand in general, the southern hemisphere is now having winter. We’ve been lucky recently the sun is still shining and the rain has stayed away, hopefully it continues over the next month. 

It’s been ages since I’ve updated this Little New Zealand Update. I’m not very good at it! anyway so since the 8th month update I’ve remained in Auckland, working hard, socialising hard and just generally living life. I have loved these past few months. I guess I finally settled in, I have a lovely group of friends and I know the city pretty well now because I work between 3 Auckland stores, I get about. 

It’s my last week at my beloved store and I’ve been reflecting over my time at the store, when I first got to New Zealand I thought I had a concrete plan. I thought I would come here, things would magically happen for me and I would work part-time get a volunteer job at a lab and do science-y stuff because that’s what I’ve been doing for the past 3 years and that’s what I’ll be doing when I get home and I would come home a year later and do university and then travel again. I came here and in the first 3 months I didn’t really want to think about coming home, boom, first bout of homesickness and I kind of realised that it was gunna be hard to stay away from home. I felt better when I talked to people back home about it and they were all like “don’t be daft, killie’s shite.” 

At the store I got the opportunity to meet loads of people who were in the same boat as me, travellers but they had more of a plan, they knew what they wanted to see in NZ and they knew where to go and what to do because they had researched it, they had been to Australia first, the had travelled before or they were here with their partners or their friends and they were living in hostels with other travellers and they just had it all sorted out and then there was me, relying on these trips to magically happen for me.

I started to write in my notebook stuff like “when I come out to New Zealand again, I will do this” and then a thought struck me… I’m in New Zealand now… I can do these things now… I should do these things now. Then the next issue was money, how could I afford travel, accommodation, and activities and I thought “I’m so unprepared, if I had thought about what I was gunna do in New Zealand then I would’ve been more financially savvy” Dunedin was my first taste of organising getting out of Auckland using money that I had earned by working every hour under the sun that they could throw at me and I was lucky to have people there already who were more than happy to share their home with me. I looked into what activities I could do in Dunedin but again I was lucky to have Hailey’s grandparents organise a fun filled weekend for me. It was perfect and magical. 

I guess my point is that I needed to be inspired and I needed to be taught how to use the my time wisely, organise my money better and find out what my aims were, what did I want to see? where did I want to go? what did I want to do before going home to Scotland?

When I got back from Dunedin I began to make more of an effort to spend time with people that I had connected with through the months that had already gone past and I knew that these people were lovely and again, I expected friendships to just magically happen and once I realised that the more I showed my intentions of friendship I began to get really close to these people to enjoy my leisure time and I was beginning to make extremely beneficial relationships. I didn’t want to leave Auckland any more, I was enjoying the city, the parties, the hangover days, the swimming lessons, the catch up sessions. My calendar started to fill up fast with all these plans I had arranged and still this next month is full of stuff. I will be lucky to have a day to myself ;) (going from spending 3 days playing xbox, watching breaking bad, movies, etc to experiencing what these kiwi’s have to offer, amazing - side note: I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy those days, I just felt like I was wasting this fantastic opportunity and waiting for some magical new adventure to drop on my lap).

 What Brought You To New Zealand? 

Over the past 10 months working at the store I’ve been asked “So, what brought you to New Zealand?” I’m all - “a plane. haha. omgi’msofunnyhaha” kidding on, I’ve never replied that, partly because I love telling people my story and partly because I’ve only just thought of that witty reply just now. yep, 10 months I’ve been asked that question… 

my reply goes like “Ah, I’ve been in New Zealand for about 10 months and I finished my studies at college and I deferred my university offer a year and my brother was all like “come over here, live with me and my wife and just see what’s happening on the other side of the world””  and then I tell them a little bit about my brother, why he’s here and I tell them a quick version of how he met his wife and  I basically fit that whole story into about 3 to 5 minutes. In amongst that 3 - 5 minutes I’ve already told them that this time last year I had never been on a plane and NZ is the only place I’ve been, I tell them that I wanted to experience a real summer for once and that I was getting a wee bit fed up in my home-town and I wanted to take the opportunity to see a wee bit more of what else is out there and I tell them I love it in NZ and I plan on coming back.

I enjoy answering this question and I enjoy thinking about this question and I guess it’s all really to do with my personal development, finding myself, getting a clearer idea of what is important to me and just gaining a little bit more independence and showing myself that I can just up and leave and I’m not confined to where I was born.  

When I hear an accent that is not Kiwi I often ask them where they are from and I want to know their stories. I want to know why they are here, what they are planning to do? what they’ve already done? I want an idea of what I might want to do in the future, so far I want to see more of the world, I’d like to see a few festivals, I’d like to visit friends that I’ve made in other countries, I’d like them to visit me in Scotland and their stories are sometimes not great but most of the stories are inspiring. 

This update has turned out to be very different to the past ones. I guess it’s just me reflecting, all I want to do is look back on these entries and read about this little new zealand adventure and if you’re reading this and you’re planning on having a gap year or travelling or whatever then hopefully you can learn something from me or take something from this. hopefully. 

Anyway, over the next month I’ve got heaps planned, leaving my job and exploring more of New Zealand and just having a holiday before I go back to normality in Scotland. I’m excited for Queenstown and hopefully I’ll bungee jump next week - throw myself off a friggin’ bridge. boing! 

Again, thanks for all the “i miss you” and “can’t wait to hear all your stories”. I can’t wait to see you all, catch up with you. I miss you too. 

PEACE! I’M OUT. 

8 notepads in 10months. Filled with thoughts, plans, interview preparation, itineraries, memories, reminders, blog ideas, scribbles. My little new zealand adventures. Single handedly keeping typo in business. #typo #wanderlust #mosbows #themoustacheappreciationsociety #keepitclassy #itsuptoyoutofindbeautyintheugliestdays #dontbelieveeverythingyouthink #neverendingsummer #journal #writing #gapyear #newzealand

8 notepads in 10months. Filled with thoughts, plans, interview preparation, itineraries, memories, reminders, blog ideas, scribbles. My little new zealand adventures. Single handedly keeping typo in business. #typo #wanderlust #mosbows #themoustacheappreciationsociety #keepitclassy #itsuptoyoutofindbeautyintheugliestdays #dontbelieveeverythingyouthink #neverendingsummer #journal #writing #gapyear #newzealand

Little New Zealand Update (8 months)

"Could’ve hit you with a candlestick but I want you in my life forever more. Should’ve crushed your cheek bone and your nose but I kind of like your face. Yeah, I like it like it is, I like it like it is forever more. It’s been a crazy summer, it’s been alright. Could, would, should’ve hit you back then but I really had to sleep, I had to take a nap, I had to take a nap forever more." - Múm - Candlestick - Smilewood

I haven’t done too well to keep this super updated and I’ve kind of let the days and nights slip by and I’ve thought to myself “I’ll do the LNZU on my day off”… Guess what? I had a day off yesterday and just watched reruns of Tosh.0, it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine, the guy is handsome, he says mean things in a funny way and he’s just fun to watch, so it’s not a guilty pleasure at all. 

Since my last update I went on that wonderful Dunedin adventure, I ate my body weight in Cadbury’s chocolate from the Dream World tour and I got to feel the flutter of butterfly wings all around my wee face at the Otago Museum Tropical Forest. I spent a few days with some pretty cool people (Hailey’s Grandparents) and I loved every second of it. The weather was lovely and the sights were interesting, I was well fed and spoiled the whole time. I’m eager to go back before I head back to Scotland. Who’s up for round 2 at the chocolate factory?! 

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The plane journey was the first one that I’ve done by myself, I had a row to myself and I watched “500 Days of Summer” to stop myself from thinking about the 37 hour journey I’ve got to take to get back to my home town in a few months, it was difficult to clear it from my mind as I was floating above the south island scenery, it’s extremely scottish looking. 

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Preach it Summer, tell it like it is. 

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I caught this snap, yes hills, dear, lots of hills.  

I think I’ve been really busy this month, I’ve grabbed all the extra hours at work as possible, I’m attempting to learn how to swim, I try and say “yes” to almost every opportunity that comes my way. My roomies, Craig and Hailey have been crazy busy recently, they’ve only gone and opened up a restaurant with close friends and family. LOOP

Check it out in the link: 

http://loopdining.co.nz/

I can’t quite believe that it’s finally happened.

Recently I’ve been looking at my previous blog entries about NZ and I can’t quite believe I’m in my final few months, I try to enjoy every moment in New Zealand, I am striding comfortably through these next few months, comforted by the fact this was a long term holiday but as I read the old entries I can recall my feelings of anticipation, my excitement and I’ve gone in a full circle, I’m excited to come home. Let’s make the most of it all. 

I’ve received a lot of messages recently, I’m feeling missed. You’re asking when I’m coming home and what my plans are when I get there, you’re telling me that you miss me and you can’t wait to catch up when I get home. You’re saying that you’re proud of me and you can’t wait to hear all my stories, you can’t wait to have girly nights in and girly nights out. You let me know you’re thinking of me and not to get homesick and you’re not just one person. <3

Anyhoo, before I get even more mushy and airy-fairy I’m gunna wrap it up here, I’ve got some plans to make and cool stuff to do, not sure what, not sure when but I’ll get there! 

I miss you all, PEACE!! 

Hair Transformation (2011 - 2014)

From 17 to 20. Black to blonde. 


Little New Zealand Update (7 months and 2 weeks)

"Come on, get up Romeo. Don’t you know what time it is? It’s the death of rock and roll. That’s what the news said. Did you know that I’ve been wanting you? So leave your locks on the latches… If you bring the water, I’ll bring the matches" - Band of Skulls - Fires - Baby Darling Doll Face Honey

What up peeps? Long time no speak, I honestly don’t know where to begin with this one… Alright, THE WEATHER! 

It’s been stunning, sunshine like you wouldn’t believe and the temperature is slowly but surely cooling down and it’s sorta perfect. Can I tell you something though? I may have actually gotten a little bit of a tan… yeah, you heard. I’ve went from ghostly white to sorta white… 

February has been a random month, I spent most of it in the house filling my head with knowledge that I can’t quite recall now from documentaries that I don’t quite remember. February is a strange month, maybe it’s the come down after the new year celebrations but people seem to fall back into their same routines and summer is coming to an end for most. 

I got hit hard by the hand of homesickness this month, I just couldn’t shake it, I started romanticising about my home town and I was seeing it a sort of earlybird instagram filter in my head, everything was all slow motion and I saw all the good bits and I couldn’t quite remember why I wanted to leave so bad, or for so long… 

Expectation… 

Reality! 

Obviously missing friends and family is to be expected but I didn’t realise just how much it would affect my mood but I just had to remind myself that everything I’ve always had is still sitting there, at the other side of the world and I’m going back at some stage and I’ll be there for like a month maximum and I’ll be like “Wish I was back in New Zealand…” So, you can go away homesickness, make like a tree and leave. 

Anyway, this update isn’t going to be all about my missing home and what not. I’m on the other side of the world mutha truckers! 

I spent the last week of February hanging out with a really cool German chick, M, she told me about her journey to NZ for a wee 2 week vacation and how she had been here before and she just loved it. She encouraged me to venture out of Auckland all by myself when I get the chance, I’m keen to go on adventures and just see where I end up. I’m in such a sweet position for it, working the first half of the week then travelling the rest. I am inspired. Over the past week I’ve met some wonderful people and I can just tell that this is another chapter in the NZ adventure. 

I think I’ve mentioned that Auckland has a lot of weird things in it’s veins, I was sitting eating some frozen yoghurt (was amazeballs) and I was casually people watching when this old guy was walking about with a long black coat on, sun glasses and a back pack, and I’m like “Donald! where’s yer troosers!”

http://youtu.be/t6qoQ7UvEBk

(translation - troosers = trousers…) - This song is actually about kilts but anyway… this old guy was marching through the street in his boxers… his junk was just flailing about as he was walking about, I swear I could have ripped my eyes out there and then, I almost brought up my frozen yoghurt. 

Then a couple of hours later I was sitting at the bus stop with M, we were innocently gazing in the general direction of friends exchanging goodbyes, it was clear that the male friend was expecting a goodnight kiss but the lady was very shy and wanted to keep the kissing limit to 3 times on the cheek but he was so keen on trying to land one on the lips… It was the most awkward thing I’ve ever seen in my life, I wanted to look away as if it wasn’t happening but it was so deliciously tragic. 

I went to a place called Longbay this week, sand and sea oh it must be a beach, after being burned quite badly at the beginning of the month I kept applying my spf 50 every time I got out the water, exfoliating my skin with the sand that kept sticking to my sunscreen. I actually bought a bikini, the dreaded one piece was not to make an appearance that day, seriously though, New Zealand has a lot of eye candy in summer, every one is so freaking gorgeous… Look at my fabulous hat. 

My accent gets me so far, always. 

I just thought I’d let you know what I was up to these days, it’s been too long. I hope that winter is treating you well, spring is just around the corner and then I’ll be home in summer, how lucky am I? 6 months of sunshine… I can’t say that with a straight face, Scottish summer is a myth. 

I miss you all, hugs and kisses to my Scotties. 

I’m out… PEAAACE! a

Little New Zealand Update (5 months and 3 weeks) - Part Two

"This town will always be too small for all the dreams held inside my head, I’m sorry but I cannot stay." 

I’ve started this Part Two so many times and I’ve just never saved the drafts. I will not move until this is done. 

The weather has been freaking stunning over here with all this summer going on and what not, I’ve been to the coromandel peninsula twice in 2014. TWICE! and we’re only 2 weeks in! 

New year was a total blast and I hope yours was too. I went to matarangi beach with Craig, Hailey and most of their friends. We camped outside F’s parent’s bach and it was tent city under the stars. 

The little tent in the middle? mine… well T let me borrow it and he kindly put it up for me too, with a mattress?! oh my, princess Steph! my best tent experience in my entire lifetime, except for the early morning saunas that I woke up to as the sun cooked my tent as soon as it popped itself into the sky. 

The dog? Murphy. I like that name, I imagine that his inner monologue is Eddie Murphy. 

The journey to Matarangi was a bit of a struggle for me and my pea sized bladder but i made it - just. 

We went straight to the beach after we got ourselves settled in, I had the intention to swim in the sea, i even put my black one piece on (not the one piece!) but once i got near those white horses I just couldn’t do it, captain… I JUST CAN’T DO IT!

We got back to the bach and started the new year’s eve celebrations and I was drinking Old Mout (rhymes with fruit) and I had a wee shot of tequila courtesy of F and his sound advice about shotting it - breathe in, knock it back then breathe out so the vapours don’t burn your throat… EASY! 
The day went on and we played ring of fire, next thing i knew it was like 5  minutes until 2014! we grabbed the chinese wish lanterns and ran to the beach trying to get there in time for the countdown… got half way there and 10 - 9 - 8 aww crap? where’s ma kiss? - awkt well. 

New years day was pishing it down all day as if to wash the puke from the night before away… I have such a vivid imagination. New years for us was crosswords, hungover people and boys played poker. 

02/01/2014 
"Sunshine, on my window, makes me happy, like i should be…"- Spiderbait 

F’s mum, J, recommended New Chums beach to us, informed us that it was a bit of a mission but totally worth it as it’s so out of the way and it was voted one of the best beaches in the world! - SOLD

I imagined that the mission part would be walking endlessly… i was wrong, there was rocks, and mud and obstacles and I was wearing jandals (flip-flops) and carrying an umbrella as a parasol… princess Steph… as the smile was slipping from my face as i slipped into the rocks the little voice in my head was like “Steph, this is an experience, everyone else is doing it just fine. It’s not a negative, it’s an experience, it’s an experience” as I saw the opening from the end of the forest and my eyes saw miles of pohutukawa trees, sand and bright blue water I just couldn’t help but smile. 

I felt brave with my water resistant spf 50, my shield from the sun… with my one piece on into the sea I go… I’m unsure but I’m ready. I let the water get up to my knees but no further as i look at everyone miles ahead with the water only getting up to their waist and I stay sure at shore but then Craig looking like a pro in his rash guard tells me that i’ll be safe if i wade in closer and i do, i let the waves lift me as the sea full of fish eggs soak me, not letting my hair get wet, until a big wave comes in - i gotta duck! fish eggs in my hair, my mouth oh my, i need a break! 

we go back to our shady spot to have a wee rest, i read and chat and then we go back in for some more. Craig hits out with more pep talk as he tries to teach me how to swim with the waves and I got dumped twice by waves and the water engulfs me, my eyes dart open to see my flailing milky limbs as I try to gain control to seek air - shaking once it’s all done, chuffed faces from those who successfully caught the wave and then there is me, my body not ready to undergo it all again, i get out of the water and my body just spits up fish eggs and sea water. - eww. 

Craig, Hailey and I went back to the bach and I felt like it was much easier getting out of the beach than getting in, i was swifty completing the obstacles until the rocks, aww shit. Craig to the rescue once again as he helped his baby sister by holding my hand over the rocks! hurrah! i survived, got ice cream then chilled out the deck with my book.

Check me out in my wee singlet (vest) i had to go for a shower when i got back to the bach and there was a heated outdoor shower, so liberating except for the part where i got really paranoid about people being able to see me through the holes in the fence… 

once everyone was all clean and free from fish eggs we braided each others hair, cute! 

In return for T letting me borrow his tent I attempted to teach him how to french braid. He did okay! 

- So that’s the new years update! 

Since then I’ve been to Whangamata (wh = f sorta like ph…) beach and back to work! loving life. 

Happy 6 months in NZ! 
I’m such a lucky girl out here, I’m having such a blast and I’m looking forward to the next 6 months. I have met amazing people here and I’ve learned/discovered a few things about myself. I miss everyone back home and I can’t wait to hug and squeeze the living daylights out of most of you! I hope you’re all doing well :) 

PEACE! 


Little New Zealand Update (5 months and 3 weeks) - Part One

"May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art - write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope somewhere in the next year you’ll surprise yourself." - Neil Gaiman

Happy New Year! Phew! This is the calm after the storm - 

I’ve been all over the shop in the past couple of weeks and I don’t have a solid weather update to put here - you’ll get the gist as I blab on… 

I spent Christmas in the South Island of New Zealand in a bach (nz word for beach house/holiday home) at Pareora River in Timaru with Hailey’s mum’s side of the family. image

Hailey’s mum, B, pictured above is not doing the Sprinkler Dance (note: I am not 100% if she is or not). hehe!

So, this is my first time going to the South Island of New Zealand and I got the plane with Hailey’s brother, E, to Christchurch where we were met by B and we took a drive to Timaru, stopping on the way for some treats such a fudge and I had a steak and cheese pie for breakfast - how very kiwi of me?! (it was so freaking yummy, words just can’t explain, maybe it was the lack of sleep kicking in from 6am flight but it was simply euphoric). 

We got to the bach on Christmas eve in Timaru, Timaru has about the same population as Kilmarnock and I swear for just a little second I felt like I was in Ayrshire. Oh homesickness, you amplify each happy emotion I have - thank you. 


Introductions happened and I felt instantly welcome, this lovely bach has been in the family for at least 5 generations as the 4th generation are starting to have babies I am sure that there are many generations to experience this place. It’s a bach with 4 bedrooms (the one I was in contained about seven sleeping spaces, bunkbeds, double bed, single bed! The first night I was there the bedroom only had two people in it, by the last night five of us were sharing one room!) a big piece of land for camper-vans, tents etc and an outdoor bathroom with a tank of hot water for the bunch of us to share! (maximum quantity of people at one time at the bach: 25) 
Hailey had the good sense that the weather may not stay glorious for us and we should probably explore while it was nice, armed with my togs (kiwi word for swimming outfit) and some Dutch courage we marched to the Pareora River - nothing was gunna stop us. not even eels. image

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Oh dear… WARNING: BRIGHT OBJECTS WEAR EYE-PROTECTION TO OBSERVE! seriously though? how pale are we? twilight, eat your heart out!? vampires sparkle? well! we glow!! gingergenes. 

oh the nostalgia!! - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIiblu5kLhw

anyhoo! so there was flying fox action too (cable car type thing - not animal bat like thing) and a HUGE cat called MEATBAALLL! image

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MERRY CHRISTMAS! 
I bounced out of my bed, flew into the living room and drank my tea as we began to exchange prezzies with each other, scrutinising each other’s faces to see if the other person truly likes the gift! we kept some prezzies at home for post Christmas, Christmas. we saved some Christmas fun for Hailey’s dad because he had to work over Christmas. I ate like a princess that day and by princess i mean pig. croissants for breakfast, ham (cannibalism) for Christmas dinner and we went to say our seasons greetings to our new found chubby feline friend.

I called home, I called my Dad and he was so happy to hear my voice, I was so happy that B let me use her phone as I got no reception out in the great wild. called everyone else and then as I got off the phone my homesickness was interrupted by the youngsters at the fire place, asking me where my accent is from and if i’m Polish. I am not! I had a lovely Christmas outdoor shower at night time so I could get some hot water while everyone else was busy! 

I wake up suddenly on Boxing day with a phone call from my Dad, he was trying to figure out where these strange NZ numbers were popping up from, I forgive you! 
More people arrive at the bach and we go to meatbally faces territory, his bum is angry and smells bloody terrible, he clearly didn’t take it easy over Christmas. eww. Haileybubz was keen for some boxing day sale action in town and craigy was keen on a walk to the dam, both equally frightening, shopping wins. as we got further into town, i saw more mullets than i’ve ever seen… 
Hailey then took us to Caroline Bay Carnival which featured hot donuts, rose gardens and semi-safe carnival rides. image

I visited Scotland for a wee second in the picture above. Imagine if that was real life, to scale - save us all. i’d be stephzilla steppin’ on er’body! 
Got back to the bach late afternoon and I let a four year old girl put chalk in my hair, she’s got two older brothers, she was so chuffed to be doing girly things! I got given a pretty flower from one of her brothers (he bet the other boys $5 that i’d accept it…) and the lingo of these youngsters these days “young, dumb and full of…” DO YOU KISS YOUR MOTHER WITH THAT MOUTH!? - we all had a fairly civilised end to the night with us helping hailey with her puzzle book! -

I was taken on a wee adventure to look for eels, we took frozen sausages as bait and we tried to break up the links using a shovel, no luck, i had the bright idea of running the sausages under warm water like i do with ice cubes to loosen them from the tray but naaaw it didn’t work out too well, walking about with cold, gooey sausages. I don’t blame the eels for not taking the bait and I’m not afraid of the dark, i’m afraid of my imagination and the dark “steph, what would you do if the torch just shut off and me and C just disappeared?” “steph, imagine if we saw a feral man in the tree over there?” - the only feral man i wouldn’t mind seeing is Will Ferrell… good one steph! We got back to the bach and had a cuppa tea, biscuits and a chat by the outside fire! bliss! 

The next day we got up and went to see some maori rock drawings and went and had lunch at Pleasant Point, went to see some stuffed animals and tried hokey pokey ice-cream! I got to see a real live wallaby, dead. 
Got to the bach and had some white bait pancakes… the eyes, oh my gee the eyes! :( 

The last night, I went on another adventure with R, and C and they had better bait for the eels, we spent ages hunting them down only to find the frozen sausages from the night before until C spotted an eel, about the length and width of my leg peer out from under the bank, we called her Stephanie, AN EEL NAMED AFTER MEEEE! 
another early flight back to Auckland and the lack of sleep and trekking about with wet socks on has caught up with me, I have a cold. 

Thank you everyone at Timaru, you made this Christmas totally special for me, you made me feel welcome and at home. 



POST CHRISTMAS, CHRISTMAS?!

I like the way hailey does Christmas, she extends it, it’s great! we took a trip out to muriwai to spend the night (i forgot we were spending the night - silly me) and we got to share that special christmassy moment together again, although, it’s hard to think that it’s christmas when i’m outside drinking cider in a spa hot tub… 

Anyhoo, this looks like it’s gotta be a two parter, i’ve got a lot more blabbing to do about my new years adventure, see you in a bit, I hope Christmas was lovely and I hope you’re all doing well! 

PEACE! 

Little New Zealand Update (5 months)

"So save me, love, save me all the time, i’ll wash you down with a simple sip of wine, and toast my glass to all my loved ones, to  let them know that the stars, well they still shine. it took a while for you to find me, but i was hiding in the lime tree…" - Trevor Hall - The Lime Tree - Trevor Hall

It hasn’t been long since my last update but I wanted to squeeze one in before Christmas. The weather has been amazingly beautiful and warm and i’m impressed with myself, i’m remaining fairly untouched by the sun. thanks spf 50, you’re a skin saver. 

With temperatures staying in mid-twenties over the past week i’ve been melting, melting like the little snowman i am. image

well that’s a wee bit morbid and i’m being a drama queen but for the love of god and all things holy will someone please, please, PLEASE get me a parasol. 

i said in my last update that i would have a much more organised update but nahh, not this time. 

you can always rely on the kindness of strangers: well that was me a couple of days ago, got up for work earlier than usual so I could get a tasty treat from a café up the road and as i was waiting for my delicious turkish style chicken sammich to be toasted i overheard a conversation between a woman that worked there and a homeless chick who was wanting to leave her huge suitcase somewhere so she could drop off her dog but the lady was having none of it… steph to the rescue i thought as i jumped out my seat and said “bring it to my shop, sit it there” and she did, but as she left she said “don’t worry there ain’t any drugs in there” WTF? i wasn’t worried at all about that but NOW I AM! i’m thinking all sorts of things now that she’s gone and this suitcase is my responsibility, getting a bad feeling in my stomach as the day goes on and she isn’t back yet. how long does it take to drop off a dog? i’m thinking of all types of scenarios “what if she doesn’t come back for it?” “what if it’s full of dead bodies?” etc, etc… luckily she gave me her mobile number and I called her… the phone was switched off! AWW HELL! someone suggested that i take it to the local homeless shelter and give them her name and number and tell her where it is when i see her next. “my whole life is in that suitcase” she said as we brought it into the store… no pressure. five hours later and i finished my shift, called her mobile and she answered, “aww shit, didn’t realise the time, can i ask you one thing? can you bring it to me?” 
i was like “yeah, sure” man, in for a penny, in for a pound. i hauled the suitcase down the hill for her into the next street and she was so grateful and then the nice feeling that i thought i would get from helping someone happened, finally. i gave her a big cuddle and went on my way. stressful times

life is pretty eventful in the city and people are strange when you’re a stranger… got a little admirer in the last week who is a wee bit younger than me, he’s keen and has been in 3 days this week, he brought his mum in to meet me. yep, his mum. she asked me for my number to give to him and i said no, i had to tell this boys mum that i wasn’t interested in her spawn, that she has raised, how dare i? her response “you tell him then, i’m not gunna break his heart.” luckily i knew she was just messing around with me… i think. 

with all the craziness aside i’m so glad i’m on the other side of the world, i thought i had a solid idea in my head about where i wanted to go in life, you know? university, career, fall in love, marriage, babies… i thought that it was silly that i wasn’t fully inspired by that thought, something in me just doesn’t think that it’s enough… if i’m lucky to lead a long life then there is plenty of time for all of the above but i wanna see what else is out there. the people i’ve met here have opened my mind up and they’ve shown me that the possibilities are endless really and i don’t have to do just one path and there are so many ways to explore… metanoia. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4c_WGTah5hE

Craig, Hailey and I all went to Muriwai to celebrate B’s birthday, had some lovely steak, salad, new potatoes and cheesy mushroom and plenty of booze, some chocolate cake to finish with some jersey caramels on top and chocolate sauce, delish! We’re heading to Timaru for Christmas and I’ll get to meet some more of hailey’s family and I’m excited to see how they do christmas! I’m one lucky lady managing to get a few days off at xmas and new year from retail! Got a 6am plane to catch on xmas eve, i’m a morning person, and i’m quite festive, ya’ll have been warned. “can someone please get this festive bitch off the plane!?” 

There is something highly unusual about summer and christmas being together. i could get used to this if i wasn’t so god damn hot all the time! 


i’m fascinated by the weird insects over here, i’m sure i saw something like this: 

on my window today… beautiful. 

to all my friends and family back home, I miss you and I’m gutted that I’ll be spending this Christmas and New Year without you and I’m sending all my love your way. I promise to bring lovely kiwi souvenirs back with me. I’m having the best of times here and everyone is great, everything is great and i think about you all often. much love, stephanie! 


i miss you all,

PEACE!