Saturday, 18 August 2012

Chiefs, Clans, and other Family Ties.

So, since my last entry, I carried on at the Mount for a few more weeks, twice having to pop back to Hamilton for cardiologist appointments at the hospital (in short I was born with a heart condition which was fixed when I was 6 years old, but they keep tabs on me every 2 years or so, however, I fell out of the system it seems when I moved up to Kaitaia, and then went to London, so this was my first appointment since late 2006.
One weekend before coming back home, I did get the chance to go to a career's expo at the Tect Arena - which is behind the Baypark stadium. That was informative, albeit surrounded by high school kids. Thankfully I didn't pass any of my cynicism onto them.

The last couple of weeks were OK at the beach, unfortunately it rained most of the time, but on the positive, Suzanne started her new job at the Mount, so we got to spend some time together, which was nice.

Other highlights included finally making contact with one of my maternal grandfather's cousins, who had the McDonald family bible in his possession, and has lent it to me for my perusal. It appears to have been given to my Great great Grandfather Donald McDonald in 1897 at Opunake, Taranaki. I had hoped it would contain some answers to some questions, but it ended up creating more questions - it appears Donald may have been adopted, which vaguely rings a bell from something I remembered hearing as a child. It also mentioned someone who at this moment in time I can only assume is his sister-in-law, (as she married a James Alexander McDonald). But it's all good information. Donald's daughter (my Great Grandmother) Grace McDonald is pictured below

The other family tree progress that I made was in regard to the Pearson side (also maternal Grandfather) - I had come across a post on a message board from 1998, and basically was trying to track this person down to see if they found a link and what information they did have (they were referring to Joseph Pearson of Oxford, who was the brother of John Pearson, my 3 x Great Grandfather (the grandfather of Ken Pearson pictured above, and the father of Thomas Pearson in the below picture - the same Joseph Pearson has verified the likeness of the photo- you will see that if you click on that image.) Anyhow, this person had changed his email twice since 1998, and he would be 86 I ascertained, so it was a possibility that he may have died, however turns out he is still alive and well, albeit, probably not related. He did however give me something to look up.
Other than that, well there was the little incident of going to the stadium and watching the Chiefs win the Rugby Super 15 final - my mate Scott had hooked me up with a ticket, $22 was well worth it. I was conveniently free on the Monday as well, so I got to go and see the victory parade down the main street - and as you can see, I made it onto TV. My picture has made it into the paper several times (The North Waikato Tatler when I was a kid, and more recently the Northland Age for the couple of plays I was in, in Kaitaia) - but this was my first time on screen.
Other than that, I went to a Vietnam evening put on by Calder & Lawson Travel (the people I bought my ticket to the UK with) - at some point I want to see South East Asia, the bits I didn't see while I was in Japan. A friend of mine told me she had made a goal to travel somewhere once a year, which I think is a goal I will try and adopt myself.

For the past week and a half I have been working at Waikato Cleaning Supplies, while Mum & Dad are away in Raratonga. I'm slowly trying to sort out a trip to Fiji and plan to return via a trip through Australia catching up with some good friends from various times of my life, as well as taking the opportunity to do some family tree stuff, and then fly into Christchurch and check out Oxford (re the Pearson's mentioned above).

Monday, 6 August 2012

10 Things I Love about London

I was going to start off by saying that this post might seem weird coming from me at the moment, but the truth is, you don't live in my head or feel my hurt - so that won't make much sense to you.

To give you a basic understanding, right now I should be back in London. But I'm not, cos I got dumped. So naturally, having radio stations going on and on about "London Calling" and then the Olympics on 24/7 is just rubbing salt in my wounds.

Admittedly I have started to feel a bit better about it all this last couple of days, and had this random thought that I should write an entry remembering the things I loved about London (rather than the irritations), kind of like a travel piece, like you might find in the New Zealand Woman's Day, written by Sarah-Kate Lynch (- which I find mildly entertaining especially because the readership of that magazine aren't as into travel and stilettos as the magazine thinks they are). The other reason is, I know I did a similar thing when I came back from Japan, but I don't think I really did a London one.

So, in no particular order -

1) I would go to the all-you-can-eat Pizza place in Bayswater, next to Hyde park. Specifically for breakfast, because it's all you can eat breakfast, hash browns, bacon, sausages, eggs.

2) The Belvedere - £2 dinners - I'm not really sure now why I bothered cooking... and the bangers and mash were divine...

3) Morrison's, about 9pm - just before closing time - when I could pick up some food for half price - such as bacon hocks etc

4) Public Transport 24/7. As much as I would bitch about the Underground being out of service, it really was forward thinking, having an underground train network that is 100 years old is pretty impressive, and there would always be some bus going near to where you needed to go at any time of the night.

5) Underground trains - in principle. Tunnels, maps, bridges, and obsolete train stations and stuff are cool.

6) My Acton flat. My room was small and cosy, and upstairs, not unlike a tree hut.

7) Some good people that got me through the hard times, Scott, Luke, Adrian, Campbell, Suzanne and Bevan, to name a few.

8) Magical Tours - without them, I wouldn't have had the funds or motivation to see some of the places I saw.

9) Pound shops. Anything for a pound.

10) Touch rugby - oh how I loved playing you. And you gave me the best body I have had in ages.