Run to Paradise

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWrW3qJ2HOA

(I’ve decided that since I’m doing a song title kind of theme, I should include a link to the song in the blog post, so that’s what that link is. FYI, my favourite song for about 2 years when I was a senior at high school. It’s and oldy but goody, lol.)

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My poor blog is feeling neglected, so I thought I’d better make an effort to get back in the habit, so to speak. Sadly, I have a few things going on at the moment that I’m not ready to talk about yet, so this post is going to be about the weather. Lame, I know. I feel like I’m conversing with a long lost friend and we’ve run out of things to say so we are reduced to discussing the weather!

In my defence, it’s the weather and the scenery so that redeems it slightly, right? Like the pic at the top there. I’m very much a point and shoot kind of photo taker, but the autumn colours were just so perfect on this day I just had to stop and take a pic. Some of my wedding pics were taken under this bridge. Under, because it rained the whole day of my wedding. Yep, at almost the exact time of year. So I could have had photos that looked like this. Instead, I got slightly waterlogged shots under the bridge. Like a troll. Good times.

Moving on. I turned 40 in June, and I decided the perfect birthday present to myself would be to run away from home for a weekend in a hotel. My husband was going to stay home and watch the kids but at the last minute my parents came and looked after them, so we both went. I wish I’d thought to take a pic of the hotel room, but I’m not that kind of person. It was nice though. Nowhere near as nice as the scenery we saw when we went for a drive the next day, but nice none the less.

The hotel was in an area called Fiordland, on the edge of a lake at the base of the mountains, so pretty picturesque as you can imagine. The weather was awful when we got up, freezing and foggy, but we had decided to go to Milford since neither of us had been there, and we were doing it regardless. Fortified with a yummy breakfast from a nearby cafe we headed off and quickly left the fog behind to see some pretty amazing sights of the frost and snow.

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This isn’t the lake we were staying next to, it’s a smaller one a bit further down the road. I wish I could remember what it was called. We stopped because there were a ton of Canadian geese floating on the water. Apparently they took a wrong turn somewhere.

 

 

 

 

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Random mountain photo. There were so many, and a lot that were nicer than this one, but I got out of the car to take this photo, and promptly stood in a snow drift. I was wearing open toed shoes, because I my other shoes didn’t go with my outfit. (lame I know, hubs harangued me for that choice believe me!) So this pic is getting posted no matter how bad it is since I suffered so much taking it!

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The Mirror lakes. Fairly unoriginal name, but you can see why they are called that. Some European tourists laughed their heads off at me here when they saw my shoes. Not sure why.

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More Mirror lakes. I took a kazillion pics here, it was gorgeous.

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Next we drove through the Homer tunnel. An unlined granite tunnel that takes you just over a mile through a mountain. I did not enjoy this. Felt very claustrophobic and there were huge icicles hanging off the top which, while pretty, made me think that it wasn’t sealed. Freaked myself out!

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Saw this little fellow in a carpark on the other side of the tunnel. He’s a Kea and frankly I think they should be our national bird instead of the Kiwi coz they are awesome! Feisty little things, getting into everything, including stealing your windscreen wipers if they get on your car for long enough! This one wanted the muffin I had in the car and nearly hopped in the car with me! I had to shoo him away. Cute though. There were big signs saying not to fed them, but they were pretty well fed looking to me

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Mitre Peak in the Milford Sound. Quite a famous landmark in New Zealand and both my husband and I were a bit unimpressed. We both felt the drive there had been so spectacular, that the destination was almost a let down!

ImageStopped on the way back to the hotel and took this as the evening fog was starting to roll in.

After we got back to the hotel, we went out for a spectacularly good dinner. A pretty damn good day for me. Not that I don’t love hanging out with my kids, but this was just so peaceful and beautiful, it totally replenished my energy and spirit

Oh, and just since I seem to be on a frenzy of weather and scenery, when I went to pick up my kids from their grandparents house a few days later, it was foggy and freezing there too, -8degC both days I was there. So we would have a spa every morning to warm up for the day. Here’s a few of the pics I took in my parents garden.Image

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We would hang our bathing suits over the trellis next to the spa when we got out, and then have to break them off later because they would be frozen onto it. Awesome stuff!

Well there we go. A blog post about the weather. This is what I am reduced to. I apologise. On the plus side, surely the next one can only be an improvement right? I really want to try to post regularly so that my posts aren’t hopelessly sporadic, so I’ll talk to you soon, OK?

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Drift Away

I’ve blogged on this subject before on a different site, but as its still my favourite topic, I’m going to talk about it again. If you know me at all then you know how passionate I am about music. I try to support the artists that I like and promote them to anyone that will listen. I also tend to obsess over new music until it eventually makes its way into the shuffle playlist as some other new music takes it’s place (except Blake Shelton, he will always be the exception to that rule. I listen to him every day.)

A while back, I was at a friend’s house with a group of friends. We were heading to the annual ‘ball’ (read country folks excuse to dress up, drink and socialise) We were having pre-ball drinks at her house because it was just down the block from the venue, everyone had arrived, and while having a catch up, drinking copious amounts and generally doing what you do at these things, I decided to put on some music. I had seen a mini system over by the computer, so wandered over to choose some tunes. After rummaging around for a bit, I finally turned to the hostess and asked where her CD’s were. The response I got was that they don’t really listen to music, have no CD’s and only really have the stereo there for the news. What the….?!?

I admit I probably looked a bit stupid at this point, mouth agape, unresponsive. But to be fair I was genuinely shocked. I have never met someone who didn’t listen to music! Don’t get me wrong, I’m aware I’m a bit over the top with my love for music, I mean I have a soundtrack playing in my head most days. Something someone says will trigger a lyric that plays in my head while they are talking. But come on! No music at all! They are missing so much. Well they might not be, because you don’t miss what you never had, but still.

They will never know the joy of having a song come on the radio/stereo/pc and being instantly transported back to the time that song is associated with. Case in point; Meatloaf – 2 out of three ain’t bad? Senior year of high school summer holiday fling.  4 non blondes -What’s up? Camping at Buckland’s crossing with my brother and sister and a group of our friends, during a break in my nursing training.  The Exponents – Why does love do this to me?  Getting my boob signed with ‘thanks for the mammories’ by the lead singer after a really drunken bar gig, as a student in Invercargill. More recently, some of the musicians I listen to, like Blake, remind me of the person that introduced me to the music.

So many more that come to me at random times when the song triggers my stroll down memory lane, and each memory so closely associated with the song.  I am so grateful for being brought up in a household where music was as much a part of our upbringing as Sunday roasts, backyard bbq’s and sitting round the bonfire having a sing along at our annual summer camping trip. My parents may have scarred me for life in other areas, but this at least, they got very right.

Runaway Train

 

ImageOK, so it wasn’t actually a runaway train, but I’m going for a song title theme, and it was the first one I thought of!

Last weekend my employers made up for the lack of a party at Christmas by taking us on a train ride. The Kingston Flyer is a famous train in New Zealnd as it is a surviving steam train from the time when trains were the main mode of transport around the area. We are a young country so having something that’s been running since 1865 is significant. I’ve never been on a steam train before and my kids haven’t been on any kind of train so it was an adventure for all of us.

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The kids were a bit over excited by it all, my son especially. I took this photo four times and finally gave up trying to get a decent one because he just could not stop being silly!

Once we got on the train there was the inevitable barrage of questions as to what each little thing was, of which I knew the answer to about 50%! Pretty impressive of me considering there was no information provided at all,(my only complaint about the whole day).

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My daughter was fascinated by the view out of the window, when she could sit still long enough to look at it, but once the novelty wore off, I was very glad I’d bought along her colouring books

 

 

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The view from the train window while still at the station

 

 

 

 

We travelled from Fairlight station to Kingston approx an hour in total. While the combination of steam and smoke from the engine weren’t particularly fun, I’d do it again in a heartbeat, it was a fantastic family outing.

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My son was getting a bit bored so i took him out onto the platform and then couldn’t get him back inside!

 

 

 

 

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View from the platform as we approach the lake

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Kingston station

 

ImageAfter the train trip, all of the staff and families headed to the Garston pub for lunch. The food consisted of hors d’oeuvres type dishes that just kept comng, which we ate sitting in the beer garden in the sun. Spent the afternoon relaxing in the sun with a couple of cold beers and some good company, something that I don’t get to do all that often these days.

Gotta say, my employers got it right on this one, what a great way to spend a Saturday!

All you need is love

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Credit to http://getoveritloveislove.tumblr.com/ and http://triomphedevie.tumblr.com/ for the pic

 

I don’t understand all the fuss over gay marriage. In New Zealand (where I live) civil union has been legal since 2005. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_union_in_New_Zealand I know that in different countries this means different things but here it means that couples that are ‘married’ through civil union have the exact same rights as ‘actual’ married couples. Except that same sex couples haven’t got the right to adopt children. (side note: single opposite sex couples can adopt but not ‘married’ same sex couples.Something I was unaware of and will now be campaigning to change!)

As someone who wasn’t particularly keen to get married because I’m not a religious person I wonder if it’s the religious side of the marriage ceremony that makes it important? I think for some people it is. I would have been happy living with my partner or having a civil union. I ended up with a church wedding simply because my husbands family is religious and I respect them enough to want them to be happy. (we didn’t have any religious language in the vows though, I’m respectful not hypocritical).

However I think that for 99% of the people that are fighting to change the law in their respective countries, it’s not about whether or not they have the same legal rights as such, it’s about being treated equally and having the right to choose how they want to be joined together. Am I wrong? Is it about something other than wanting to be treated as equal? To not be made to feel like a second class citizen simply because you fell in love with a gender other than what the government dictates is the right one? 

My sister’s best friend had a housewarming party last weekend that turned out to be a surprise civil union ceremony instead. It suited them perfectly, in the backyard with their dogs, family and friends around them. They call each other wife, everyone says they are ‘married’ and for all intents and purposes, they are. But the fact remains that if they had wanted to have a ceremony in a church, to stand up in front of whichever God they believe in and vow to love that woman for the rest of their lives, they couldn’t. Because legally, they aren’t considered the same as the rest of society. They aren’t considered equal to me. And that is why I fight for gay marriage to be recognised. So my friends, have the same choices as I do. So that one day, i can sit in a church pew, with sunlight streaming through the stained glass windows, and watch two men (or women) who love each other, declare it to the world.

This is why I don’t understand the fuss over gay marriage. Because there shouldn’t have to be one. There should be no need for someone to have to fight to declare their love in a ceremony. There should not be a distinction between one group of people or another. Walk a mile in a their shoes, what if it was you? What if only gay marriage was legal and heterosexuals had to resort to civil union or promise ceremonies? Would this law be getting changed any quicker? I think so.

I don’t understand the fuss over gay marriage As soon as the first gay person said “I want to marry my partner”, the laws should have been changed to allow it. No fuss. No bother. Just equal rights actually meaning equal.

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Some days are diamonds (some days are stone)


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I can’t be the only one who, once alone in the car, puts on that one song, and proceeds to perform the best American idol audition ever. (In my case it’s The Voice, by far the more superior show)

I also can’t be the only one (if you’re a woman) that bursts into tears at the drop of a hat at certain times in a monthly cycle.

Sadly, my day has been of the kind that, after my ‘audition’ none of the judges turned around. Seriously? It’s my friggin fantasy and I still don’t make the cut? C’mon! The best part? I was so upset at not making it, I cried. Yep, stupid, big, tears rolling down my face, cried.

So there you go, however crappy your day has been, it can’t be as bad as being rejected by your own imagination.

 

*Smile. It makes people wonder what you’ve been up to*

Gorgeous shots of my homeland

Catastrophic Findings

I can’t believe that come the 28th January, we’ll have been home an entire month! And this will probably mark the end of all my holiday postings from down under (sniffle).  Here are some of my favourite snaps of our whirlwind road trip around South Island.  We definitely hope to be back soon.  And I know I’ve said it before, but do put this on your list of travel destinations and experience the beauty of New Zealand with your own eyes!

(Christchurch)

(Much of Christchurch’s CBD is still closed to pedestrians.)

(Kiwi Road Sign)

(Hokitika)

(Lake Matheson, Fox Glacier)

(Silver Fern Koru)

(View from rest stop on our way to Queenstown)

(More scenery along the way to Queenstown)

(Queenstown)

(Kiwi Queesntown)

(Quadricycling in Te Anau)

(Milford Sound)

(Church in Dunedin)

(Moreaki Boulders)

(Akaroa)

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Introducing….

Well this could either be the start of something beautiful, or a train wreck. That’s the best part about trying something new though isn’t it? The unknown?

I’ll start by saying, I’m not a writer. I’m not particularly creative at all actually. I’d like to be. I’d like nothing more than for my conversations to be peppered with phrases like, ‘wrote a new song today’, or, ‘The new painting? It’s coming along great, thanks.’ I’d love to be able to write. Sing. Do something that contributes to enriching someone elses life. As I cannot do any of these things, I’m going to share some of the things that inspire, move and excite me.

I hope you like them. However, if you don’t that’s okay too, because the best thing about this crazy fucked up world is that we are all different.

Now all I need to do is figure out how to add media and we’ll be on our way.

Oh hey, there we go. Take that technology! (Technology is my nemesis. We trade blows regularly).

About me. I have the maturity level of a child. I have low levels of tolerance for bullshit and even lower tolerance for discrimination of any kind. I have a dirty mind, and can curse like a sailor. Although, that’s an odd expression. Bear with me, I promise I’ll get better at this