Monday, 23 February 2009

Ahum...Hello, anybody?

I know I know, what is keeping me with an update. In all fairness, there are several reasons, all with their own solution...
1) I do so many fun activities during weekends. Even if I think I will have a quiet(ish) weekend it turns into an active one. 'We are going kayaking, grade 2, down the Hurunui river, wanna come?' or 'We are going hiking to the West Coast for 3 days and you are coming with us' or 'There is a place free in our car to go ice-climbing, are you interested?'.
Solution: just go and enjoy. Live now, is my NZ motto!

2) I realise not having a computer is starting to become a nuisance. I cannot write the amount of emails I would like to do, nor do I have time to blog at work (obviously). Furthermore, skype would be useful to keep in touch, but if there is no computer, talking into cyberspace becomes quite difficult...
Solution: buy a laptop as soon as I have a free weekend to look into those horrible gadgets (can you see the paradox between point 1 and 2 appearing...I can...)

3) I hate to say it, I am crawling away in shame, but after 6 month in my exhilarating job, my lovely job has recently taken over. My project was kicking off in February (the actually launch and the first teaching sessions) and that has taken more time than I wanted. Last minute budget changes, adjustments to the workshops and just first time teaching takes way more preparation time than the next ones. Working 12 hours per day became more than 'incidental'. And, as you probably know, this is my biggest fear...falling back into that old rhythm of working my ass off. The good thing about my job is (although, this happened in my former job too: I just like working...), that the project is doing well. My parents always call me a 'regeltrien' and that is a good characteristic to have when doing project management. And the teaching: I truly, absolutely love it. And even though I say so myself, I am good at it. Of course there is always room for improvement (life would be boring otherwise!), but it went amazingly well. So the solution to this issue is simple, though extremely tricky for me:
Solution: cut back on hours... Sounds simple, but for those who have been there before: it is absolutely not easy to do. So good thing I have climbing buddies who want to climb at 5.30, Wednesday Walkies at 7 (which I have been cancelling...) biking buddies who want to be ready to go at 6, a boss who gets seriously angry at me for working to much, a lovely Patrick who verbally assaults me if I stay in work too late and in general friends who do the things I mentioned in the first reason of not updating the blog regularly.

Enough excuses though. Behold: the last 6 weeks in 'vogelvlucht' [bird view: I like the Dutch word, sorry!]. Enjoy!

1 week ago... and last weekend while I am at it!

A week ago the most significant thing that happened was that Warrick, a good friend of Patricks, decided to drag Patrick in his kayak off the Hurunui River. Being the only one who never done proper kayaking, I got myself a 'sit-on-top' kayak and I went along with the cool people.

Thank God I'm comfortable in water and that I learned so much on the rafting trip in November, otherwise I would not have been as relaxed as last week. Result: I'm afraid I have another hobby to add to my list...It was great!

And this weekend Patrick had enough of my work ethics and he forceful dragged me to Akaroa where we had a relaxing weekend. The weather was crap on Saturday so it turned out to be lazy easily (for some people it comes more natural than others ;-)
So I finally had time to read. Some old Dutch newspapers my mum send me ages ago...I do love those proper newspapers. Ever thinking of sending me something: send me your old 'zaterdag Volkskrant' and I’m happy.

Of course we played some games and finally I got my act together: I won most of them. I think my brains were too tired from work lately to beat Patrick. Good to know I am back! (except for Penté, I'm still learning the tricks...)

All pictures from the past 6 weeks are stolen of Patrick's blog (although some of them are taken by me, thank you very much...).

2 weeks ago...

The great thing about being friends with Steve is that he is a fantastic hiking organiser. With 8 of us we went over to the West Coast, where I hadn't been since my first time in NZ. I had forgotten how beautiful it was. We camped near some extraordinary hot pools and the second day we did a 10 hour ish day walk. Beautiful, knackered but if you are having fun with the people around you, it's truly blissful.

Since I was absolutely tired from work, knackered from the walk and I had eaten some food which didn't agree with me, I got sick overnight (I couldn't walk, I felt miserable and I had a fever). Yes, the body is a great system of telling you that you do too much!

Luckily it was gone by the next day, so going back was fine!

4 and 3 weeks ago...

The lovely Patrick turned 30. Massive shock for him, but strangely enough the world just continued as it did before...But I have to admit that his English Garden party was a big hit. Fantastic hit.

Loads of great pictures (see his blog), but this one is lovely because it shows Berit and myself. Berit is mostly a climbing buddy, but basically a 'everything-else-too' buddy.

So difficult to buy something for the birthday boy, so I decide to take the easy way out and organise a weekend away with a theme. Turning 30 means that you are getting old, so what can you do to stay young? Exactly: do a competition, do something you have never done before and do some exercise.

As you might know, Patrick and I both have got a golf fetish, so when we noticed a sign 'Dutch Golf' a few months before, we had to do that. Which is basically 'boerengolf'. It was really fun. Let's keep it at that. Yes I lost with 1 point, but I did get to be the new 'course champion'. Damned proud I was (not)...

The something new element was horseback riding. I loved it, and I almost wet my pants by watching Patrick do his best not to fall off. It was hilarious. Poor Patrick, he is never going to do it again. But he tried which keeps him young...!

And bad luck for us, all the mountainbike tracks at Hamner were closed due to fire danger...Or good luck for the lazy among us...

5 weeks ago...

Véronique, my parents best friends daughter (are you still with me??) who I never met before, was on holiday in NZ. Of course both our parents just wanted us to get to know each other, but we saw through it.

My parents wanted her to check up on me and my life here, and her parents liked the thought of having a familiar person in NZ who maybe could hang out with their daughter.

Luck of the draw: we got on really really well! So, what do you do? Exactly, take her on all the trips I would do. I took her to Wednesday Walkies (she was knackered), it took her mountainbiking (bruise no 1), we went surfing (bruise no 2) and Steve, Patrick and I took her hiking for the weekend (helicopter ride no 1).

Yes, the hike was brilliant and lovely, but twist of faith (in this case twist of ankle) let Véronique brake her ankle. And of course: we were in a remote area, non accessible and still quite some mountain saddles to go. No other solution than a helicopter. Guess who was made to sit in the front all the way back to Christchurch...for 45 minutes!

6 weeks ago...

Having not seen each other for 2 weeks, and straight back into work, Patrick and I went for wee hiking weekend to Ohau.
We were lucky with the fantastic weather, we did a nice and easy hike, beautiful scenery and lots of time for games.