So, the following weeks were about getting back into New Zealand life, and catching up with people. The following Tuesday I caught up with my old school mate Dave, his wife Sandra, (you may remember their wedding in 2007) and their son Luca, who had been born in the time I'd been away. In fact it was this day that the Christchurch Earthquake hit, and because Dave is a branch manager at AMI Insurance, he had a particular interest in it, above your natural patriotic concern. Thursday I re-enrolled at the Wananga in the next stage of Maori - for something to do, but also to keep the brain working. Saturday was my mate Ron's (whose house I am currently house-sitting) birthday, celebrated with a massive amount of KFC, which was all good. I also got back into driving - which after two years was slightly scary - especially when it wasn't in my car. I think my first attempt was in Dad's car, 3kms away to the pub to watch a Chiefs' match (that sounds bad, but I didn't drink any alcohol, just L&P).
The next week was mainly about registering with recruitment agencies, although I also went with Mum & Dad to a dinner at which the mayor of Hamilton spoke at. When she jumped the queue getting in, I piped up with "So much for a classless society" much to my mother's embarrassment.
From that Friday until the following Tuesday I went to the beach at Papamoa for a bit of relaxation time. Thursday I had a job interview, and Friday I took Suzanne and Bevan to Auckland Airport, as they went to Sydney for their 6th Wedding Anniversary. On the way home from the airport I stopped at Nana's and received a phone call, letting me know I had got the job - a 4-6months temporary role doing Accounts Payable at Pacific Aerospace Ltd. That was an awesome feeling - knowing I had reasonably secure work for most of the next half a year, at the same rate I was on when I was in Kaitaia, which was career relevant, and local. Not only that, planes are pretty interesting too.
The following week was spent preparing, picking Suzanne and Bevan up from the airport, and going down to Mokau in Taranaki to attend a funeral for a family friend.
The next week I started work, which was a nice feeling. I'm in an office with a lady who is roughly about Mum & Dad's age, but we get on well, turns out she had done the Maori course last year, so we had a bit in common. The first week I spent boxing stuff from the filing cabinets, and had completed that by the end of Thursday, so they gave me Friday off, as my desk and computer hadn't come yet.The week after that was when the air balloons have their annual festival in Hamilton, concluding with a night-glow on the Saturday night. I rang up my Auntie to see if I could leave my car at her place and catch the bus from there, turned out she was going with my cousin and her daughter, so I ended up going with them, which actually made it a bit more interesting. When it finished we went back to my Aunty's and watched The Last Samurai, which was good, although I did fall asleep right near the end.
The following weekend, my Maori class had a Noho Marae - basically a stay on a marae, Friday night, and Saturday until after dinner. The logic behind this is to spend the day revising our course work so far. We went to Waimakariri marae - which is in Tauwhare, near Cambridge. It was awesome, I had been feeling overwhelmed in class, having not been remotely exposed to Maori language in two years, and being the most Pakeha (white person) however, I gained some confidence back, and was feed tremendously.
Sunday was Dad's birthday, but also was our Thomas family reunion in Pukekawa. It was interesting, I didn't really converse with any relation's that I didn't already know, but did learn some more about our ancestors, which was really interesting. Some of our ancestors came from Cerne Abbas, which is famous for the Cerne Abbas Giant, I was really fascinated with this as I had intended to visit that while I was in the UK, but never quite made it. No one else in my family knew what I was talking about, so my enthusiasm fell on deaf ears. After the reunion we went to Nana's for a birthday tea for Dad.
The next weekend was the Hamilton 400 - V8 racing around the streets of Frankton, (the old central business district of Hamilton). King Street, on which Mum & Dad's business is on, was one such street, therefore to make lemons into lemonade (as it means their street is pretty much closed off for at least a week) they fashion a balcony to watch it, and invite clients, staff, and friends. Its rumoured to have better views than the paid stands. This year, the council decided that it would be good to have a couple of bands come and play in the evenings on Saturday and Sunday, ZZ Top, and Good Charlotte. Also because they were on the circuit, Mum & Dad received free tickets for the inconvenience, so Bevan, Suzanne, & I went and watched Good Charlotte on the Sunday.
The Easter holiday was the following weekend - the five of us went over to Papamoa for the weekend. Unfortunately most of the weekend was wet, however Sunday turned out not too bad, so the three of us went down to the Mount main beach and had a surfing lesson, something I had intended doing since the Summer of 2007/2008 when I was in Kaitaia (had planned to do it before going to London at the mount, and then had planned to go to Cornwall to do it too). Apparently Suzanne & Bevan had had similar aspirations, so it all worked well. Admittedly, it was rather exhausting, especially because I think I hadn't really swum in the ocean as much as I normally do in the last two years, and also getting stuck in a rip took it out of me. Conversely I managed to read two books over the weekend, which was nice and relaxing.
Which finally, brings us to this weekend. Once again, I ended up having Friday off, as there wasn't enough work for me to do. It worked well however, as it meant I could join Suzanne at lunch to celebrate her birthday, help Mum and Dad out at their work folding invoices, and knocking off a few personal jobs. Yesterday, Saturday, I did a whole of washing of clothes and dishes, and then went around to home, and Dad and I replaced the heating unit in my car, as one of the levers had broken. Today so far has been writing this, after this I need to do some important Internet business, and then will be concentrating on my Maori assessment due on Tuesday.
And so, in the first time since mid-August, I have got this blog up to date. Where to from here? as of this coming Friday (6th) I will have written 3 blogs spanning 6 years of my life (See where it all began.) Funnily enough, it also happens to be my 6 month anniversary of dating Adessa. I'm not sure whether to start a new blog to document this new chapter of my life. I think I probably will, I just need some inspiration on what to call it. Also my life has reached the end of the 'plan' and now it is into the unknown.
Unfortunately, one of the downsides of writing a blog retrospectively is that I haven't included much emotion into it, something which reading back over the previous two blogs, was part of the core. So I will try and sum my feelings up at the moment.
Things are going well, having a decent job really helps, and an amazing girlfriend, despite the fact we are on opposite sides of the world. If anything, the thing getting me down at the moment is uncertainty - where to from here? - when will I see my girlfriend again? what do I do with the rest of my life? how do I get to be in the same location long term as my girlfriend?
I do think I have grown over the last 6 years, not just smarter, but have managed to work through issues, found love, and don't sweat the petty stuff anymore.