Sunday, January 27, 2008

2007 Ta Da List!

Hong Kong at Night, taken from The Peak

Following on from a similar post last year, I decided once again to write a list of what I/We have achieved in 2007 and post it for public viewing. I think the 2006 version will drop off the front page soon so here is a link to the month it was posted. I haven't quite worked out how to link to a specific post yet!

So here we go...

  • I wrote a novel...50,000 words in 30 days during the month of November

  • I got a new job (at GAP and will have been there a year come the 1st of Feb 08)

  • Graeme became self employed and started his own business

  • We went to Melbourne, Australia and saw our first Grand Prix

  • We visited the UK and saw friends and family (our 1st visit since we got to NZ in June 2005)

  • I became a stepdaughter when my Dad remarried

  • I joined Curves and got over 50 workouts

  • I did a 12.9km walk (& felt it afterwards! must do more this year!)

  • I had chickenpox (which I believe is quite an accomplishment, aged 25!)

  • I completed my Certificate in Freelance Journalism

  • I learnt how to be a book-keeper for work (thanks to Graeme for answering countless accounting questions!)

  • I went away on business and talked to large groups of people (I'm really not keen on public speaking so this was HUGE for me) as well as driving and finding my way around towns and cities in New Zealand I had never been to before

  • I went to the cinema all on my lonesome (to watch Music & Lyric's whilst in Melbourne by myself for work...I felt grown up enough to go on my own!)

  • I had my colours 'done' - I'm a summer apparently

  • We went horse trekking which was awesome (Graeme's first time on a horse and I hadn't been on one for donkeys!)

  • We made out wills (a little morbid but it's good to be prepared!)

  • We saw 2 sets of my great aunt and uncles when they were travelling around New Zealand

I wonder if there is anything I have forgotten! I am pleased with what I/we achieved in 2007 and the start of 2008 has already been busy and filled with new experiences. I am going to write down some goals for 2008 over the weekend and may post them on here as well.

I think it will be good fun in years to come to look back on these lists and see what I achieved at certain times in my life.

And now, I am going to go and enjoy the weekend! I didn't make it to the gym this morning (there's a surprise!) so need to try and get there twice next week before going away on Thursday. We didn't get to make tattie scones last night either as we were both too knackered after 4 days back at work and still fighting with our sleeping patterns! I have the ingredients at the ready though so will get to them!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Technically minded? Plus Back to Work

Koh Lanta Beach, Krabi Province, Thailand

Well I think I just successfully updated the links bar at the side of this blog. All seems to look and link fine from here anyway. If anyone notices any problems or links not working please let me know.

I deleted some links that weren't working and pages that weren't really relevant anymore and added in some links to blogs/journals I read regularly at the moment. I am pleased to see Dog Blog is still up and running and recommend a look if you like dogs and have a strange sense of humour like me!

So that's the technical side of things dealt with for the time being!

As for being back at work, it's not so bad really.
I suppose it's good to have structure to your day and a sense of achievement from crossing things off the ever-expanding list of work to be done! I'm fairly up to date with the book-keeping side of my job after today so now I just need to start getting ready for this years 'campaign' of bringing in the applications and getting them processed. Plus we have 35 (or so) incoming gappers arrive next week so I am up in Auckland from Thursday to Sunday at orientation...not been to one before as I missed the August one when I got the chicken pox (yes, you are reading that right, a childhood disease at the age of 25!) So I am busy on the work front.
Graeme seems to be settling in well back at his clients too although we both still have the leftovers of the colds we brought back (thanks UK!) and are trying to shake it off.

Plans for this weekend? We are thinking about making a big batch of tattie scones to celebrate Burns Night on Friday and then maybe hire a DVD to watch or maybe go and see Sweeney Todd at the cinema. I'm hoping the weather will stay fine (but not too stinking hot!) so we can take Rhett for a walk along the river and I really should get back to the gym this week and it's likely to be Saturday morning now before I get there.

So nothing too stressful then...back to relaxing Palmy life!

I am wondering if people are still reading this blog and think it's not likely after my abysmal journal keeping in 2007. If you are around, please leave a comment or drop us an email to let us know! I will keep updating though as I quite enjoy having a ramble on!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

2 posts in 2 days....crazy!

Before I launch into more stories of our trip and provide some photos from that I thought I would show you what we came home to....I spoke yesterday about the agapanthus being in bloom (a gorgeous colour blue) so here's a picture of that:

And also, back in November (I think it was around then) we bought some veggies to plant out. We got some spring onions and lettuce after successful growing last year and branched out into something new...some tomato plants.
We peeked at the veggie patch once we got home and were amazed at what we saw! We had lost the letture (R.I.P) but the spring onions are doing okay and the tomatoes are crazy!
Here is a picture to show what I mean:

This is after we spent a while trying to get them caned and tied up to wire along the fence. To begin with they were just a mass of leaves and green tomatoes on the floor of the veggie patch.
Now Graeme doesn't like tomatoes so methinks if these babies ripen up I will be living on tomatoes for a very long time!

So I plucked some spring onions out and got some fresh lemons from our lemon tree which magically produces lemons whenever I want them....I feel very country kitchen! Who would of thought I would be raving about home grown fruit and veg!
Of course the benefits to our own lemons includes an amazing lemon drizzle cake I can make and also lemon meringue pie - yum, which should I make first?

I'll be back soon with holiday pics and stories. In the meantime, I will bore you with yet another Rhett photo!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Good to be home...

First of all, I want to wish everyone a belated Happy New Year and I hope 2008 has found you safe and well.

Secondly, an update on the last month. We are back in NZ after our 'Not-so-NZ-adventure'.

Malcesine Castle

Here's a brief rundown on our itinerary:
We left home on Thursday 20th December and flew from Palmy to Auckland, had an overnight in Auckland before boarding our Cathay Pacific flight to Heathrow via (a 9 hour stop) in Hong Kong.
We arrived in Heathrow morning of Saturday 22nd December and spent Christmas in Essex with my family.
We then flew up to Glasgow on Friday 28th December where we caught up with Graeme's family and spent Hogmanay.
On Wednesday 2nd January we flew across to Milan Bergamo in Italy with Graeme's Mum and met my Mum there. We then spent a full day in Malcesine (pronounced Mal-chesney!) looking at the place where we plan to marry in 2009 (see photo above).
From Italy we said goodbye to Graeme's Mum who was flying back to Bristol and my Mum and us flew back to Stansted on Friday 4th January. We then had all day on the Saturday in Essex before departing Heathrow on Sunday headed for Hong Kong.
We met my Dad and his wife in Hong Kong on arrival on Monday 7th January and stayed there until Thursday 10th when we flew down to Phuket in Thailand.
We had an overnight in Phuket before ferrying down to Koh Lanta (in the Krabi province of Thailand) for our friends' wedding. We left Koh Lanta on Monday 14th, had another overnight in Phuket, flew to Hong Kong where we had an awesome overnight at Novotel Citygate (complete with free upgrade on our room - woo-hoo!) and then left Hong Kong on Wednesday 16th January, arriving back in Auckland morning of the 17th.
We then got a flight down to Palmy and we were home by 1.30pm.

So there you's no wonder we are both sleeping and eating at strange times and that we both have colds!
Picked the dog up from the kennels on Thursday evening and it was a joyous reunion - apparently he was the life and soul of the kennels and everyone (humans and dogs) loved it. It's good to know. Of course, I have been fussing over him heaps since he got home because I really missed him.

And so now we are back and it feels like home. I didn't realise before but I was worried it wouldn't feel like home.
The agapanthus are in full bloom (I'll try and get a picture and post it), the sun is shining and the house was clean and tidy (for the 1st time ever...I'm so grateful for the effort we put into tidying before we left now!).
And I don't go back to work until Tuesday so I still have a relaxing couple of days left.

I will try and post more soon...
Ta ta for now, K x