I'm still not really sure what's going on but look, I'm typing with my eyes closed.
December 9, 2013Posted by on
For my last full day in Tauranga, I went shopping with my mother today. ‘Shopping’ of course, means ‘walking around the mall with Mum while she spends her birthday money and buys me lunch’.
We were in a clothes store and Mum had gone into a dressing room. My feet were a little sore, so I perched on the only chair there was. Moments later, I saw and old woman heading into another dressing woman, with her elderly husband hobbling in my direction. I was about to get up and offer him my seat when he walked towards me looking like he wanted to say something. Leaning in close, he said to me “There’s an urgent call for you, they need you to get up and go answer the phone!”
I stared at him in confusion for a few seconds before he started laughing. I laughed too, when I realised it was a cheeky attempt to trick me out of my seat. I got up with a chuckle and let him sit down.
When Mum opened the door to show me her dress, she looked at the man for a moment, then said “You’re not my daughter.” She then showed him her dress and joked around with him for a bit before returning to her dressing room. When the man’s wife came out, she said “he’s been flirting with everyone, hasn’t he?”
I was amused.
As the old couple left the shop, the man leaned over and thanked me for the seat.
“You tricked me,” I grumbled back. “I wouldn’t have given it to you otherwise.”
I like old people.
December 8, 2013Posted by on
Two more nights and I’m off to Whanganui for what I’m sure is going to be a big adventure.
It’s strange to think I’ll be moving there – it’s never a place I thought I’d end up living. Life is funny, though. With any luck, I’ll be able to see my boyfriend often enough that I don’t go insane. I’ve already informed his best friend (who lives there) that we’re going Christmas shopping together, and that I’ll start playing squash with him to work up my fitness. Seriously, I felt puffed after walking up a flight of stairs the other day, I am in dire need of some exercise and healthy food.
On that note, wow, squash is good exercise! I played it when I was last in Whanganui, and was so tired by the end of it I nearly felt like throwing up. The next day I had aches and pains in places I didn’t realise I was even working out.
It won’t feel like I’ve truly moved away from everyone for a couple of months though. I’ll be back in two weeks for Christmas, and then a week or two after that I’ll be back here again for my birthday. After my birthday, though, that’s when it will start feeling real. That’s when the uncertainty kicks in – how long do I go without seeing Sam? Family? Sacha?
I’ve already promised Sacha I’d come back to Hamilton when her pregnant horse gives birth, but that’s a while away still. By the way, I saw a horse ultrasound the other day. Interesting experience. (I got horse poop on my leg.)
So, anyway, adventure time. Bring it on.
December 8, 2013Posted by on
When I went to my dad’s house the other day, my little sister walked up to my car as I pulled in to the driveway.
“Why does it say ‘help’?” She asked me, pointing to the word I’d scribbled in the condensation a few days ago.
“I was feeling sad when I wrote it,” I said with a shrug.
“But . . . why is there a smiley face beside it then?”
“Because I drew that earlier, when I was feeling happy.”
She looked at me like I was a super weirdo.
December 6, 2013Posted by on
I had a pretty ridiculous day yesterday.
I’d been visiting my dad in Auckland, and was on my way home to Tauranga. The weather was miserable, so I had my window wipers going. As I pulled into a rest stop along the Auckland motorway and drove up to a petrol pump, my front left windscreen wiper snapped off. Needless to say, I was sufficiently bewildered.
I got out of my car and picked the blade up off the ground. The connector holding it to the arm had simply broken. I have no idea why.
‘Oh well,’ I thought, ‘At least it’s only the passenger side. I’ll get it fixed when I get home.’
I carried on my merry way for a couple more hours. I’d passed through Waihi about 20 minutes ago when, with a clack and a clatter, the front right windscreen wiper snapped off too and dropped onto my bonnet. I stared at it in disbelief for a couple of seconds before I realised I now could not see out my windscreen. With a few muttered swear words, I quickly pulled over (I was lucky there was room).
Putting on my hazard lights, I clambered out of my car and into the rain (which was absolutely bucketing down at this point) to see if I could slip the blade back on. Nope, same problem as the other one – the connector was broken.
I climbed back into my car and fought back a few frustrated tears. What was I supposed to do? I was still 40 minutes away from Tauranga, and what could anybody do for me anyway? I called Mum and she suggested trying to tie the blade back on with something until I could get home. It was just my luck that I didn’t have anything to tie it with, bar a hairtie (which did not work, I tried). Mum suggested using a pair of underwear to tie it with. I was not keen on that.
By now I was thoroughly soaked from standing out in the rain trying to tie the blade back on with a hairtie while cars and trucks sped past, whipping up huge clouds of water. It was then I realised, after a quick look behind me, that there was a driveway only a few metres back.
Very carefully, and very slowly, I backed my car up so I could turn into the driveway, stopping every time another car went past. It was tricky work, considering all I could see out my windows was a vague blur of road, trees, and oncoming headlights. Eventually I managed it though, and quickly drove up the driveway, jumping out of my car to run to the front door.
I don’t know what the old lady who answered the door would have thought to see me standing there looking like a drowned rat, but she quickly ushered me inside out of the rain. After explaining my dilemma to her, she called out to her husband, who donned a raincoat and gumboots to come outside and help me. It was quickly apparent, however, that there was nothing he could do. Tying it back on, he said, was not going to work.
He told me I was only six kilometres from Kati Kati, and drew me a map to get to the workshop that could fix my wipers. I’d just have to drive very, very slowly, he said.
Then I was off, sitting hunched over my steering wheel trying to see through the water on my windscreen. It was a nightmare. I made it to the workshop though, and half an hour and $60 later, I had working windscreen wipers. The driver’s side one had a broken bolt, the man said, and had slowly been getting worn out. Today, of all days, was when it couldn’t take it anymore apparently. It was simply a horribly ironic coincidence that the passenger side wiper had snapped on the same day.
What a day to have just such a malfunction.
December 1, 2013Posted by on
After living together for two years, we’re finally going our separate ways. It feels like not very long ago we were running around with baseball bats warning people of the impending zombie apocalypse for a class presentation. That was fun. It’s strange to think that after a hug and some almost-tears (you know, the kind that collect on your bottom eyelid but never actually fall, and eventually mysteriously disappear), it’s all over.
We’ve had our fights and annoyances, but we’ve also weathered a fair few storms together, helped each other cope with the stress and dramas of flatmates with suspected personality disorders, and we’ve stuck by one another when it felt like we had nobody else. It’s certainly felt a lot like that lately, and you were the best person to have by my side through all of that. I’ve never had a friend like you before.
Here’s a few things I will and won’t miss.
WILL MISS: The conversations. We could start chatting about something meaningless and eventually branch off into a zillion different philosophical topics, and we’d only stop talking until we realised several hours had passed. I love that we can disagree on something and have a really mature, well-rounded debate about it.
WON’T MISS: The shoes. The shoes everywhere. I wasn’t really allowed to keep shoes in the doorway as a kid, but you seem to think it’s necessary to have them there. In your defense, you’ve definitely shrunk the pile of shoes you keep by the door.
WILL MISS: The stupidity. Like chasing each other down the street in our togs with buckets of water even though we’re in our twenties.
WON’T MISS: Flooding the house. How many times have we managed that? Four times in two years? Granted, most of the time it wasn’t our fault. At least we have a well-established system now whenever it happens.
WILL MISS: Being able to grab the cat, a couple of towels, and a bottle of wine and go sit down in the gully making daisy chains.
WON’T MISS: The tissues that seem to accumulate in various places on the floor.
WILL MISS: Cooking new meals together when we had no idea how to make them, but would wing it anyway and come up with something delicious.
WON’T MISS: Your washing machine and vacuum cleaner. They’re terrible and I hate them.
WILL MISS: Sharing cool songs we found on the internet.
WON’T MISS: . . . I’ve run out of things I won’t miss.
WILL MISS: Seeing your family and your boyfriend, who has fluffy hair.
I could probably list a lot more things that I wish I didn’t have to leave behind, but I’m getting bored of the list format. I just want to say thank you for sharing these last three years with me. We’re keeping in touch, no buts about it.
(Please take all the “won’t miss” parts as tongue in cheek. I’m probably going to start piling shoes in the doorway to feel like you’re still here . . . )
November 28, 2013Posted by on
Cam used to belong to the people down the street. I used to walk past their house on the way to school and walk up to the fence to see him. My stepbrother would always pat him, but I was usually too afraid, because dogs were scary and Cam was a playful biter. He was still only young.
Nearly 11 years on, it’s the end of the road for Cam. Last time I saw him he seemed normal. Happy, affectionate, a little pushy for attention. Congestive heart failure struck quickly, however.
I received a text from my stepfather today, telling me Cam was sick, and would be getting put down later today. Luckily I happened to be over in Tauranga visiting my boyfriend, so I was able to go over and give the dog one last cuddle.
The change was dramatic. He almost seemed normal at first. He walked up to me and licked my face when I came through the door. His tail wagged a little. But it quickly became apparent how tired he was. Even while he was just lying on the floor, he panted as if he’d been running. His resting heart rate was about twice the speed it should have been. He used to let out a bark whenever we stopped patting him, but he’d given up on that now.
I have a lot of fond memories of Cam. When I was younger we had some family friends come to visit, and one of the boys was playfighting with me. I was screaming, as kids do, and Cam looked at the boy, put his hackles up, and started growling at him until he moved away from me.
Cam used to come over and stick his nose in my face if I cried. I’d pretend to cry sometimes, to see what he’d do. Sure enough, moments after I’d buried my face in my hands, a big, wet dog nose would push its way between my fingers. He was the sweetest, most gentle dog I’ve ever come across.
He once appropriated my little brother’s moonhopper, and thoroughly molested it. He loved that moonhopper, literally. He loved it so much, in fact, that the poor thing eventually popped.
He’s caused his fair share of trouble too, though. We had a quad bike at our old house that he loved to run behind, and he’d get irrationally excited whenever he heard it start up. One day Nana was over to visit, and was standing in the gateway when someone started up the bike. Sam was through that gateway like a shot, and we all got a shock to see Nana lying on the gravel, having been knocked over by an overenthusiastic dog.
Another time one of our rabbits escaped, and Cam rolled her halfway down the driveway with his nose before Mum managed to grab him.
Cam was never the dog I expected to go first. I thought we still had a few good years left in him yet. I just hope where he’s going has all the moonhoppers he could ever hope for.
November 27, 2013Posted by on
November 27, 2013Posted by on
It’s a real breath of fresh air. For a while now we’ve had a sort of movement coming that tells us we should be accepting of all body types. This means not labelling any one body type as the marker of a “real woman”. Instead of posting up pictures of curvy women and ridiculing the skinny ones for not having a “womanly body”, we celebrate the uniqueness of each woman’s shape.
This isn’t news to anyone, I’m assuming. As we develop as a society we’re slowly, slowly starting to learn how to treat others as equals, regardless of looks, gender, sexuality – the whole shebang. For a long time, people have taken it upon themselves to shame fat people for what they see as not having enough self control to put down the donuts and put on the running shoes.
At what point did we decide it was our place to punish them for their own weight? Whose business is that? Of course, we do the same thing to slimmer people as well. “Eat a pie,” is , sadly, a commonly uttered phrase nowadays, usually borne from our own lack of self confidence. Often it’s not taken into consideration the other person is naturally slim. We label them “anorexic” just as quickly as we label large people “lazy”.
What I liked about this article – and the blog – is that we’re seeing women embracing their body shape and wearing what they want, and actually looking good while they do it. I seriously believe confidence plays the largest part in how well we pull off a look. The women in these photos look beautiful, and they do it while wearing all the clothes they were told they couldn’t wear.
It’s nice to see.
November 25, 2013Posted by on
1. I’ve been given a job at a respectable, daily newspaper, but it’s in Wanganui, right down the other end of the North Island from everyone I love.
2. I need to figure out a start date, probably within the next two or three weeks. This means trying to sort out time to visit my Dad and family in Auckland, my mother, and my boyfriend’s family in Tauranga before leaving.
3. Sam has told me he’ll move to Wanganui too, but he wants to find a job there first before he moves, and I don’t know how long that will take, or when he’ll actually start looking. Plus, if he gets accepted in the March intake into police college, he won’t bother moving. I don’t know how long we’ll be apart.
4. Money is crazy at the moment.
5. I think my cat hates me.
6. I don’t know why I’m not coping. I just keep feeling a weird mixture of stressed, sad, angry, and tired.
But aside from all these things, I’m ridiculously excited to start my new job. So to make this sad list a little balanced, here’s another list.
Reasons I’m happy
1. I get to have a real, professional email address. Many of you will not understand the awkwardness of emailing someone for an interview with a hotmail address.
2. I’m going to live with my cousin in Wanganui.
3. I’m going to be a lot closer to family that I usually never see.
4. I can go visit my boyfriend’s best friend who’ll be living just across the river from me.
5. I’ll have a full time job which means FULL TIME PAY. Sayonara money issues. Well, I hope anyway.
6. I get to take my cat with me, even though he hates me.
7. I get to see how I’ll do as a real journalist. Spread my wings and all that jazz.
November 19, 2013Posted by on
I’m the type of person who likes to think the best of people.
In some ways, I’m an optimist. I want to like everybody I meet, and I struggle to deal with it if I find they’re an unlikable person. If somebody turns on me, I’m quick to forgive, and I don’t give up on a friendship easily.
Tensions have been high with a number of people lately and I’ve had trouble hanging on to that optimist side of myself. In all areas it’s been an exhausting year.
Classwork has been piled on like there’s no tomorrow, someone I considered to be one of my best friends threw a tantrum and walked out of my life without so much as a backwards glance, and I’ve just barely been scraping by financially. This year has been both fantastic and horrible – I can actually say for once ‘it was the best of times, it was the worst of times’.
I’m still learning to let things go. I’m still learning not to care about narrow-minded people. It’s a tricky thing to manage. The hardest thing I’ve found this year is having people develop a misguided opinion of me and my personal views, and start to spread that opinion around like a disease.
When somebody wrongs me, I go through a process. For a while, I feel sad, maybe even in shock. After about a week, I start feeling angrier, and a few days after that, I stop caring. It suddenly hits me: they don’t matter any more. A friend that can turn their back on me without bothering to talk about what’s wrong? I don’t need someone like that in my life. Eventually I realise it would have been a toxic friendship anyway.
My flatmate deals differently when someone hurts her. She skips all the sad parts and immediately adopts the ‘screw you’ attitude. That being said, I think the sadness catches up to her when she least expects it.
Anyway, it’s been a hard year. I’ve finished my degree (bar one assignment I have to send in by the end of the week, let’s not jinx it), and I’m ready to join the real world.
A new start is exactly what I need.