I'm back - back from London, but my feet want to keep moving. Here are the accounts of my travels and experiences.
Monday, 9 September 2013
Making Sense and Redemption.
So here we are again! catching up like old friends, at least ones that listen. My life isn't as fun and eventful as I'd like (you) to think it is, so catching up since June probably won't take too long...
So, Since the Fielddays, I had a few more rehearsals for my play, one night I went out on the town with some of my castmates, and Scott came back from Kuwait - so we subsequently caught up at the rugby, when the Chiefs played the Hurricanes (and won). Most of the reason I know that there isn't much to tell you about in the two and a half months since my last entry, is because July was pretty much taken up with my play performances - of Footrot Flats, by Ball, Hall et al... the exception in July being invited to Luca's 4th birthday dinner at the start of the month, and his party proper at the end of the month.
I enjoyed performing in Footrot Flats, it was nice to be in something so iconically Kiwi, the opening song to the second act was "Slice of Heaven" by Dave Dobbyn & Herbs, and everytime it made me want to put my hand on my heart - next to the silver fern... Artistically too I liked it, in the first act I was Boris the Boar, and didn't have any offical lines, so it was a nice challenge portray a character with limited means (including costume), and then in the second act I appear near the end as the new owner, with lines. It is probably the first role I've had as the bad guy, which is a nice change.
The First weekend in August I took the Friday off and went to Auckland on the Thursday night. I went up mainly as there was a Family History Fair on, but also to cut loose and relax after my month of performances. Unfortunately I didn't get much out of the fair - I had gone with great expectations, as the one I went to in 2011 I got a lot out of, however that was when my tree was in it's infantcy, whereas now it is at a stage where any progress is marginal, especially without spending much money. To be honest, it also ended up taking second place behind my social agenda and sight-seeing.
On the Friday, I decided I wanted to go there (to Manukau) using the train, which I did, but ended up taking a bit of time. Once I got to the events centre, they were having technical issues with the internet being down. That night I went to a ceroc evening which was fun, yet also gave me feelings of inadequacy, not because I dance badly, but more because I'm from Hamilton.
The following morning I went to the Otara markets, as it was something that I have intended doing for years. Too be honest, the markets themselves weren't any more spectacular than the Frankton markets. I met a friend there, so we went to a local food place, and I got to try a bit of Pacific cuisine, which was my main goal. From there I went and visited Jan and Alan in Papatoetoe. Jan is in the process of selling off her father's stamp collection, and well, I'm in the process of tidying mine up, so I made a few purchases, and had a good catch up with them. I ended up not bothering with the fair that day, so headed back into town and caught up with someone. Following that, on my walk back up the hill I went and caught some comedy at the Classic. Problem is, they always put you up the front if you are by yourself, and the front is not a good place if you want to maintain a low profile.
The rest of August included catching up with a few mates, and some terrible dates... enough said. I went to another Family tree thing, had not a lot more success, but the following week I went to a talk in Matamata on using Ancestry.com.au which was alright. What I also enjoyed was before I ventured over there I had just been to the Red Cross book fair and got some books, and a CD by Anthony Robbins - which made really good listening on the way over there. What he was saying was that your experience is governed a lot by the vocabulary you use, ie, you choose the strength, and it becomes habit. The evening before I had gone back to Riverlea to watch "The Producers", which I wasn't sure about, but I'm so glad I did, as it was totally funny. I guess my reservations were along the lines of being more of an on-stage person than a watching person. Two positives that have come out of August were my promotion into Accounts Payable person - my workmate and long-time family friend Heather retired, so I have taken on her responsibilities. The other thing was finally getting my holiday sorted - there were various factors that were obstacles to my decision-making, but they cleared up, and admittedly with a bit of help from Suzanne, I sorted out a trip to Fiji, a tour of the Mamamuca and Yasawa islands with a whole lot of snorkelling - something I had researched last year, but decided against then because I would be returning to unemployment.
So, here I find myself in September. Mum and Dad are currently away in the Gold Coast, and I am home alone, which is nice- nice to be responsible for myself again, in charge of what I eat, etc - and not in the "eat all I want" sense, more the "control of input" sense.
On Saturday I went across to Rotorua to use up a night in a hostel that I had pre-paid for this time last year (I had bought a 5 night-pass, but only had used 4.) It was nice to have a change of scenery, and enjoy the hot pool, however it didn't live up to the hype in my head, as a shooting gallery I had been to last year wasn't open (you could shoot at a can for example, and if you shot it down from the string you won a can of drink), and by the time I'd walked back to the hostel bar, and watched the All Blacks vs. Argentina game, I was a bit tired and not in the outgoing state of mind, so I went to have a lie down to see if I regained my energy, which I didn't, so I slept.
In keeping with tradition, here I get to share my pearls of wisdom with you. The title of this post relates to the victories of the past few months: redeeming myself on stage despite some challenges; finally feeling like my career is roughly back on track after a four year detour; booking my trip; redeeming myself with the travel agents in doing so - I felt bad last year when I had huge plans to do this and that, such as going to England again, and then changing it to Fiji and Melbourne, then facing reality and sticking to the South Island, I felt that they thought I was a tyre-kicker and full of shit, so it was nice to come back and say here's my money, lock it in Eddie! On top of that, its nice knowing I didn't take the easy road and hide from them because I was embarassed. I guess also, I like to think of myself as a travel blogger, and yet this is my first international foray in nearly 2.75 years.
Along those lines I have had a random thought recently - I remember the careers advisor at school (who also happened to be my tutor teacher in 7th Form) saying that in our life times we would have several careers, some of which wouldn't have been invented yet. When I apply this to my life, I certainly have had multiple mini-careers, and in the case of my most recent job, emails had bearly come into being in 1997...
I have also gotten into TradeMe in a bigger way lately. I initially opened an account in November 2008, prior to going to the UK - which was a great idea, as then it gave me 2 years credibility by the time I came home, without having to do much. I bought the odd thing initially in 2011, but lately have bought books and a rugby jersey... Lets start with the Rugby Jersey... recently I came to the realisation that most of the "cool" clothes I like are in fact clothes Scott gave to me in the UK, when he headed to Kuwait, (and admittedly they are on the slightly small side now, at my present weight.) One of the items I paid forward (like the movie pay-it-foward) before I left was an old Irish rugby jersey, which I would've liked to have kept, but I had to draw a line somewhere, so I gave it to my Irish mate. So it was a no-brainer when I saw a 2007 RWC Irish Jersey in my size on Trade me. What I love about that jersey is that the seaming of it is quite flattering - makes you look like a rugby player, rather than just a fat bastard. That and the homage it pays to my Irish ancestors. Of course Suzanne and Bevan were a little bemused in my sudden desire to spend money, so Bevan forwarded me a link to buy a modern All Black's jersey - without the AIG logo which now appears on it. So, I ended up buying three jerseys in quick succession (including the Waikato one at the fielddays).
In terms of books I discovered New Zealand and TradeMe have in fact discovered Danny Wallace and his books. I used to look forward to Thursdays in London when I could pick up a Shortlist magazine from the tube station and read Danny Wallace's column. I later discovered he was the author of Yes Man, which at the time was in the height of it's popularity as a movie (starring my man, Rhys Darby) Last year I read Yes Man the book, which was different to the movie, as it was actually Danny's own experience as opposed to the fictionalised movie. I enjoyed it, and admittedly cried a little at the end when he got the girl despite the odds (to be fair I had recently lost my girl in a similar odds situation). Anyhow, this round I came across a book he had written called "Friends Like These".
Basically it is about Danny reconnecting with his childhood friends, whom he has lost contact with over the years. Now I have always been partial to trying to maintain my relationships with people, and while I was a student, was doing quite a good job keeping email contact going. Admittedly Facebook, Laziness, and other priorities such as travel has made me drop the ball a little. Anyhow his book totally struck a chord with me, reminding me of the value of those you grew up with - and I grew up with some awesome people. One of his mates had died in the time they were out of contact, which I can relate to, (although we were in contact) - again reminding me of something we were told at Primary school - that statistically in 20 years time, one or two of us would have died. When you are 11 that's a scary thing to be told, especially when you are in a class of only about 10 kids. If you have been following me since the beginning, you may recall this post - at the time of the London 7/7 bombings. One of my mates had recently beaten meningitis, and only by chance had not taken the bus that had been blown up. I later found out that his brother's workplace was in one of the archways under the track that would've contained the train that wasn't blown up, and he fortunately wasn't at work that day also. I don't know what else to say here. I guess the moral of the story is stay in contact and don't be scared of expressing your love for your friends.
So, other than that masterpiece, I also read "Join Me" and "Awkward Situations for Men" (also written by Danny Wallace), and have purchased several Bill Bryson books to read, and a Haynes repair manual for my Honda Civic, which is looking mint by the way, after I fixed the trim on the passenger door, and sewed a green gearstick sock. I also have made a few iBook purchases on my iPhone to read in Fiji - including "A Bit Mental" by Jimi Hunt - he travelled down the Waikato river on a Lilo, I intend to go from Cambridge to Port Waikato on a kayak.
So, hope you have enjoyed my honesty with you, and myself. Thanks for reading this far. Keep an eye out for the next adventure - Fiji baby!