Monday, 26 August 2013

NZ Baby!

You may remember me mentioning a couple of months ago that MR and I were thinking about planning a holiday to New Zealand.

Well, that thinking has turned into action!  I got my letters from the specialists, found out that I could get travel insurance and now we've booked!  We're going in October for 11 days and I am quite beside myself with excitement.  That's only five and a bit weeks away!

For those who are interested, it was only an extra $100 to have my Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia and Liver Transplant covered during the trip.  I was expecting a lot more that that!  I guess it does depend on your age, status of your condition and where you are travelling though.  NZ and Australia have a reciprocal health agreement which makes things more friendly.

Of course, after we booked, I was driving home one day making up lists of what to take in my head and into my mind (thankfully) popped the passport aspect.  Mine had expired.  Argh!  After having a big stress about not being able to go because my passport wouldn't arrive in time, I found out it only takes about 2 weeks for a new one to arrive so off I went for new photos and to fork over a ridiculous amount of money.

Look what old age steroids have done to my jaw line.
We've even planned a bit of an itinerary.  We're flying in to Auckland at about 6am so the plan is to jump into a hire car and drive to Te Puke (MR has family there) where we will visit for a couple of days and do things like glow worm caves, waterfalls, a big flying fox and hot pools.  Then we're off to Rotorua, Taupo and Masterton on the way to Wellington.  We're going to stop in at some cheese farms to indulge in lots of yummy cheese.

Following that we're flying to Queenstown where we'll stay for a couple of nights and then head over to Dunedin before flying back to Auckland and flying out.

For the south island we have planned:
  • snow
  • maybe Milford Sound
  • Arrowtown
  • some famous burger joint in Queenstown
  • Butterfly Experience at the Otago Museum
  • maybe a penguin experience

Of course, there is still lots to be planned, where to stay, what else to see, hire a car and so forth.  So I'm very open to suggestions of great places to go (or stay).  Particularly cool crafty shops or nice galleries.  We've been saving up for some art for our walls and are thinking about buying something while we're over there to remember the trip by.  So have you been to NZ or are you a local?  Please, please share your expertise!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Life lessons

Last night I was just about to fall into bed when I realised I had yet to take off my makeup. And I wondered, why don't I ever take it off as soon as I get home? Instead, every makeup wearing night I ponder the actual harm of going to bed in it. And sometimes, even though I know better, I still do.

It got me thinking about other little life lessons I am still working on learning. Things I know I should do but am just not quite there yet...


Put it away once you're finished with it.

Case in point: look at all those things I hadn't put away until
yesterday when I cleaned my desk.

If you don't try it won't happen. 

Eat five serves of veggies every day (yesterday's pitiful effort was a big fat zero).

Everyone is neither talking about you or judging you.

Don't put off til tomorrow what you can do today.

Every hour of sleep before midnight is worth two after it. 

Exercise regularly.

Of course, after making that depressing list that makes me sound like a fussy make up wearing five year old, I had to counter it by listing the life lessons I have learnt... 

Appreciate the small things. 

Have regular conversations with your partner. 

Take time for yourself (I do this way too well). 

Do things you enjoy. 

Pity I still sound like a fussy make up wearing five year old (with a boyfriend). 

What makes your lists of still learning and achieved?

Monday, 19 August 2013

The Really Just Right Shoes

Today while reading Maxabella Loves I came across a new little group to join.  My type of group that might encourage me to write a bit more, something I've been wanting to do for a while but am entirely very slack about actually doing.

The Blogfast Club is run by katesaysstuff but it seem to have a different home each week so we can all tour the traps.  This week it is being hosted by Syrenex.

So I sat straight down and came up with this little short story for the theme this week which is a children's story about New Shoes.  This is a ten minute job and could probably do with lots of tweaking before being sent out into space but that's the good thing about this sort of writing, it's just about putting it down and getting it out there.  No need for perfection and I can always come back and fine tune it for my own benefits at a later date.

Also, please ignore the fact that the picture does not at all relate to the shoes in the story, we'll just gloss over that part...

The Really Just Right Shoes

Last night as Mum and I tidied up my bedroom Mum said I need new shoes.

“No way!” I said.  My shoes are just right.  They are red and they have lights that flash and even though the Velcro doesn’t stay stuck together and I kick them off when I play soccer in the playground, they are still just right for me.

“Wouldn’t it be nice to have some different shoes though?” Mum asks me.

“No. I like my shoes how they are.  They are comfortable and they don’t squeak and even though the sole is coming off of one they are really just right.”

“How about if we looked for some just the same then,” Mum asked as she tucked me into bed.

“No, there’s really no need Mum.  My shoes are so quick and easy to put on even though they are actually a bit hard to put on because they are tight at the toes and I have to stomp a bit to get my foot in.  But they are still Just Right.”

“Hrm.” says Mum and she looked at me.  You know that look where her eyebrows go up and her mouth goes together all scrunchy-like to the side and she just waits.  That one.  I looked back.  It lasted a little while.

I know what that look means.  Mum uses it all the time.  It means Have you really thought about what you are saying?

“Mum, really.  They are Really Just Right.  Even though there is a hole in one toe they are.  They Really Are.”

Mum just kept on looking at me with That Look.

I sighed.

Maybe she’s right.

Monday, 5 August 2013


These beautiful tulips from MR are on my tallboy in the bedroom at the moment. Catching the afternoon Winter sun. Looking amazing. I could lie here all afternoon smiling at them. They make me happy. Just what I need after a few annoying days stuck in hospital. 

I am not really much of a flower type girl. Many of them are too pongy and give me a headache. But Spring bulbs I could have in my house any day. Tulips, Snowdrops, Bluebells and Ranunculus particularly. I love how you can gently pull down the tulip leaves a little bit and they go all curly. It's like hair styling for flowers. 

I often think as I am looking at photos of flowers (or trying to arrange a bunch myself) how do you get them looking so beautiful? I never seem to get it looking quite as nice. The only thing I have learnt about arranging flowers, or anything really, is that odd numbers grouped together look better. It is something I did a little bit instinctively without really realising and then when I read it, it was a bit of an epiphany moment. 

Are you are flower arranging queen or have you done a flower arranging course? I've love some more tips. 

And what flowers would you have in your home year round if there were no climatic restrictions? 


Thursday, 1 August 2013

Shopping for an occasion

Not too long after my transplant a few years ago, I found myself out at the shops looking for a whole new set of clothing for a particular occasion.  The occasion of having to be stuck in hospital and wanting to wear something other than pyjamas. 

Now don't get me wrong, I do love my pyjamas and happily wear them all day when I'm not feeling the best.  But sometimes you have visitors, or want to pop down to the cafeteria for something more palatable than the hospital meal you've been served.  And sometimes you just want to have proper clothes on in the off chance that the doctors will look at you, see that you're dressed, presume you are well and send you home.*

Winter hospital clothing is quite easy, trackie dacks or yoga pants, a few loose tees and some cardies or zip up jackets.  Jumpers are no good due to cannulas sticking out of your arm in awkward places and having your obs done every hour or so.  I also like to buy the stretchy crop top bras because they are more comfortable to lounge around in if you feel the desire to bother putting one on.

Summer hospital attire is a little bit more difficult.  There really is nothing that compares in comfort and coolness to a pair of boxers.  I've purchased a few trial items such as knee length trackies but am still looking for just the right garment for the bottom half.  Yoga pants sometimes work okay as the air con is usually set to The North Pole.

Luckily at the moment it is Winter and my wardrobe now has sufficient amounts of trackie dacks and loose tees.  Luckily, I was up to date on my washing.

Have you ever shopped for a strange occasion?

* unfortunately this has not yet happened to me.