Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Montage with happy music playing

Due to an exceptionally busy week - I'll just give you the good stuff!

Hung out with Amelie on Friday night. I got to give her a bath, change her nappy, feed her a bottle, take her for a walk in the pram and was even treated to a go with the front pack.

It was so much fun. The front pack apparently feels like you are pregnant. I immediately put my hands to the small of my back and had trouble walking down steps. Kudos to those of you who are pregnant and have to carry around that weight all the time. I however carry my own weight, in sympathy.

Then I pottered back to Auckland in my poor little car, who I just hate at the moment for having thief hands all over it, and it just doesn't like going over 100 km/h. I tell it who's boss however.

Sunday was spent at the Belgian Beer Bar in Mission Bay with friends, who also have a little person Charlie. He is one very cute kid and is going to be a lady killer. This is him showing off his bouncing skills in his jolly jumper:

Back to Tauranga on Monday, where I have put wheels in motion to be transferred here with work. Yes I am just ready to make the move to a more settled atmosphere - would like to just chill out and live a more relaxed lifestyle which Tauranga offers. So sayonara's been fun. I'll call you. No I'll call YOU.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Find the good stuff

So am feeling somewhat better waiting for Karma to do its thing. One good thing that has come out of this is that I have found a locksmith in Mt Maunganui who is seriously awesome. He's been a locksmith for like 25 years and is my new hero. He sourced me a new lock and door handle and even kept my car for me over night. Zanden is the name of the place...check it out.

On a completely different tangent now - I was watching Dai Henwood last night - my most favourite comedian ever - and he showed Michael Jackson - Thriller. Does anyone remember how, on a Sunday, there'd be ads all night going "at 8pm we will be showing you the new Michael Jackson video in its entirety!" And you'd all make sure you were fed and bathed and in your pyjamas and you'd all sit around and watch Bad, or Beat It. It was a huge event. Ah... reminiscing.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Victim Statement

This morning I got up before dawn to make the trip to Tauranga for work. At the moment I am dossing in my parent's apartment in town as my flattie and I are between flats. So my car was SUPPOSEDLY in a secure carpark.
I got to my car, and found the doors unlocked. Someone had stolen pretty much everything from inside. This may not sound like much, but unfortunately for me, I had moved in the weekend, and had used my car as a storage place. The items that the thieves stole have got NO VALUE to them, yet are priceless to me.
  • A print of Katherine Mansfield by Anne Estelle Rice, that my sister had framed for me for Christmas a few years ago. KM is our second cousin and her stories are special to our family.
  • A print of Rozzie at Pisa by Grahame Sydney, my all time favourite painting that I had coveted for years until Mum had it framed for me for my birthday last year.
  • Framed photos of a trip James and I made to the yellow eyed penguins in Moeraki last year that are no longer on my memory card and were my first effort at "proper" photography. They are also an endangered species so was hoping to keep these photos in the family.
  • My Sony Discman, that I bought in 2000, and has to be the most reliable piece of technology I have ever owned. My radio doesn't work in my car, so I had to listen to my own rage the whole way down.
  • A CD that Lizzie had made for me that was full of songs that we had thrashed one boozy night out.
  • My George Michael CD. You do NOT want to get between me and George Michael. I love him.
  • A little kit of car cleaning products that my parents had lovingly put together for me last time I visited them.

All of these things are worth about $20 retail in NZ. Yet to me they were so important....I imagine they have been scattered on the road somewhere in Auckland looking like worthless junk.

Hopefully soon I'll come to terms with losing what really are just material possessions but right now it just seems UNFAIR.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Office etiquette

I always thought it would be a good idea to write about a book about this, because so many people are obviously unschooled in the subject. But....I am too busy, (read: lazy) so a quick post should suffice.
I work in an office which is probably very similar to most other offices in the world - cubicles, open plan, meetings rooms... etc. Working here day in and day out means that the smallest tiniest things tend to get on one's nerves.
Here are my top annoying things at work that actually have nothing to do with work itself.

1. People who talk on their phone, and their cellphone goes at the same time, and they don't silence it. And the ring tone is something annoying like The Final Countdown and it sticks in my head All Day.

2. The fax machine that doesn't have a "silent" tone when it's trying to send a fax. So you get that awful warble over and over if the fax line is engaged. It pierces my brain and haunts me at night.

3. People who need to be shown things eighty five times before they get it. Why don't you write the instructions down for god's sake????

4. People who use the lift to go up or down one floor. Are your legs painted on? Can you not SEE I'm in a hurry? When there are 39 floors in your building it can take a long time to get anywhere.

5. Last but not least, and this should have a post in itself. Loos. If a girl is on the loo, and she is not making a noise, she is obviously going twosies. A girl cannot go twosies if there is someone else in the bathroom. So, other girls, make yourself scarce. Do not stand in front of the mirror doing makeup, because she is going to have to sit there until you go. Which, if you are really vain, could take up to 15 minutes. Have a heart.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Woo hoo!

So walking down lovely Spring Street in Tauranga today on the way to get my lunch, when I crossed paths with a lady who'd obviously landed on hard times, waiting outside the dole office with a ciggie.
"Get your skinny white a$$ out of my f*^&ing way!" says she.
I could have kissed her.

Famdangle 14 May 07

I just had the funnest weekend ever AND it didn't involve boozing or any other of those vices that tend to get me in trouble.
I spent the weekend at my step-sisters - a horrible term isn't it? I shall call her my sister. Anyhoo she has 3 kids who are 6, 3 and 1. I re-discovered my inner child and played Hopscotch, Horsie, peek-a-boo, took them for walks, threw the ball to the dog, and read them a couple of chapters of Fantastic Mr Fox. It was brilliant.
My nephew is seriously the cutest thing alive. He is 3 and blond and blue eyed with a dimple right where a dimple should be. He is the only little boy I know that actually likes cuddles. If his Mum and I are laughing about something he'll just crack up too. And he answers rhetorical questions. "Who's the cutest little fluffy bunny in the world?" I'll say. "I am," he'll say quite seriously. And he really is. This is not to say that my neices aged 6 and 1 are not the cutest kids's just that 3 year olds are so funny. That empty clanging noise you can hear? It's my womb.....

A discussion on why I like Winter

I whinge just as much as the next person when daylight savings ends and the coats get dragged out of the hall closet - but secretly I am loving it.
Winter to me encompasses all my favourite things...roaring fires, crisp cold days, walks in the park kicking the leaves around, comfort food, woolly jersies and cats snuggled on your lap. Is there anything more fun? Yes I am a secret Nana at heart.
For some reason winter always reminds me of childhood....lying in front of the fire reading the latest Babysitter's Club - never far away from a bowl of Sour Cream and Chives O'Ryans....listening to Hawkes Bay play Wairarapa Bush (and losing probably) with Dad, who would be sipping on a Steinlager.
I am looking forward to the day when I can enjoy winter days with my own wee family!

Conversation in a share broking office

"So Amy, are you back on the market yet?"
"Actually I've decided to suspend trading for a while. But there have been a few interested parties."
"No I was lying...sharebrokers always make things sound better than they are."
"What about a hostile takeover?"
" share price took too big a hit due to the South American crisis - I wouldn't be able to pull it off."

Meant to be

So last night I got to worship at the altar that is my new niece. She is just the littlest and tiniest and cutest thing alive.
She is 10 days old and her parents are still going on adrenaline. At the moment she is sleeping in 3 or 4 hour stretches and they have her routine down so that they only have to get up once in the night.
My sister and brother-in-law are so made for each other. They are Seriously the best couple I know. They constantly ask each other's advice. They are only happy doing something if the other can share in the experience. My B-I-L is absolutely dreading going back to work next week and my sister is also trying not to think about it. Get this - she LIKES getting up in the middle of the night for the 3 am feed. AND - at the 6am feed she gets up and just may as well stay up! This from a woman who, if she didn't get her 9 -10 hours, could get a little snitty. It is so wonderful to see them so happy, and in love, and just being SO perfect for each other. They really are two halves of a whole and I GET REALLY JEALOUS but only in a loving sisterly way. They are enchantingly unsmug about how lucky they are.

Lighten the mood

Wow! That was all a bit heavy wasn't it. But necessary to get off my chest. Thank you for all your advice and I think we all came to the conclusion that hiding it would make it worse.
So am loving my new flat. Flattie and I are like a couple, but without all the couple sh1t that goes with being a couple. I can do whatever I want, he does whatever he wants, but we cook for each other, have a couple of drinks together, he puts the rubbish out, I tell him when to cover his eyes during Brokeback Mountain. It's great. Maybe it's what a normal relationship is like.
This weekend I am lying very low after the doctor told me I had a sinus infection and hayfever and put me on antibiotics. I am writing a List of Things I Want to Achieve. I intend to cross Everything off. I am going to go for walks, buy Mum's birthday present, make a big pot of soup and finish unpacking. I will also put on the list "lie on couch for 2 hours" and "drink nice red wine" so that I can be sure I will get something done.
Have a great weekend!

Thoughts on a common illness

So throughout my trip around South America my battle with depression and anxiety came back to bite me on the ass a couple of times.
I have had it under control pretty well lately what with good meds and some excellent therapy.
However traveling for me brings it all back, the lack of a comfort zone, the uncertainty, the lack of routine and it makes me all a bit fearful and stressed, which is hard to control still.
Dealing with someone who didn't know me very well while I was going through this really opened my eyes. I try to explain a panic attack to people to be rather like an asthma attack – certain situations will bring it on (for me, being in a crowd, feeling nauseous in a public place, turbulence etc) – and that there's nothing to be done until it passes. For those who don't know what a panic attack is like, for me I go really cold, I just want to get out of wherever I am, my heart beats really fast and your mouth goes dry. Afterwards you are utterly exhausted and just want to sleep.
I had around 3 panic attacks while we were away and spent most of the time going to all efforts to avoid more.
My traveling partner could not understand this at all. After one particularly nasty one he said he was freaked out by the whole thing and couldn't handle it. He didn't want to have to deal with it.
This really made me think. I can't help the fact that this happens to me. I will probably deal with it my entire life. I had always been very open around him about this problem. I can't really understand that this sort of thinking still goes on. I respect his honesty that he said it does freak him out and I could definitely see why. But it worries me as do I from now on have to keep it a secret from future partners? Or will other people be more understanding? It is another thing to worry about.
Your thoughts and comments would be appreciated.
Aims x

No 1 Aunt Apr 07

Bonjour mes amies,
I am an Aunt! My little niece was born 2 days ago, weighing 7 pounds. She gave her Mum a problem free labour and is now happily sleeping and eating and eating and sleeping. She does have a pretty good squawk on her and the look on my sister's face during that is priceless, a mix of, oh god please stop, and, who do I give this back to?
Meanwhile back in the Saga of Amy, I have moved into my flat and half unpacked, can't find ANYTHING, and have been down in Tauranga for work the last 2 days. Very flat out and busy and knackerooed. Cold has come back with a vengeance and am worried I'm giving everyone the plague so have finally made an appointment with the doctor.
Tomorrow have organised a lovely picnic with the crew for Anzac Day so fingers crossed for the weather.
Aims x

Battery re-charge

So as I type this I have muffins cooling on a rack, a spotlessly clean car outside, thai curry ready to be made and Mum is hemming my winter coat. For anyone who is down in the dumps I suggest a trip to the parents. It is great.
Unfortunately it's all too short as am off to work tomorrow...yes I got a job with my old company which is really great. Things have all fallen into place within a few days, aren't I lucky. My cold is even on the way out.
No other news, I am going to lie in front of the fire and read Peta Mathias's new book, and have Ollie the burmese on my lap. Heaven.
Aims x

Smiling on the Outside

So here I am back in Auckland. It is quite a weird feeling considering how stoked I was to be leaving. I had said goodbye to all my favourite things and friends, and was anticipating never having to battle Auckland motorways and Queen Street again. You just never can tell what will happen huh.
So my friends have all been super awesome as usual and kept me busy. Jet lag has knocked me for six though and have been spending most nights wide awake watching CNN. Was amazed to see Prince William and Kate have broken up, I thought I should ring her to commiserate, you know, share the pain.
Have found a flat in Ponsonby with my friend's brother which will be super good times, he is a top guy and the house is beautiful so that is a relief. Have a meeting at my old work today to see if can be placed there so have all fingers and toes crossed for that. Funny how things seem to fall into place BUT I WISH THEY DIDN'T HAVE TO. I was really looking forward to being on the farm...but not meant to be. Ah well.
Heading to the Bay tomorrow for some time out with Mum and Colin. All I want to do is lie on the couch with my head in her lap and have her pat my head. Mums are good times.
Anyhoo! Will post again when I am far more cheery. Aims x

A cheery note!

So it turns out that in Auckland Jimmy and I will be parting ways. As a couple we are just not very suited, certainly not for long term. But you have to take risks and we have had a great month in South America and while break ups are not nice, a long term unhappy relationship is worse.
So I will be chillaxing with my family for a bit and I promise to not be ranting and unhappy, and I have a lovely new niece or nephew to look forward to which is awesome.Next step: choosing where to live and finding a flat/job, and getting back into it. Or maybe I'll keep travelling. Who knows?

End of Trip Apr 07

Firstly mes amigos, a thousand apologies for the lack of updates and general contact over the last few days. We have been in a very remote area of Uruguay for the last week and as a result have no idea what is going on at home or around the world so hopefully Helen Clarke hasn't been overtaken in a bloody coup and my share portfolio is still kicking ass.
So where did we leave you – in Bariloche. Spent another few days there soaking up the scenery and deciding to buy a house there when we win Lotto. Seriously beautiful and unspoilt. Jimmy did a rafting trip and made it a couple of metres over the Chilean border.
Took the overnight bus to Buenos Aires which was as comfortable as the last time and then took the ferry to Montevideo where we spent the night and had a fun night out with a local guy Gustavo. We are now his best amigos and we have promised to call him when we get back there.
I even caught up with my little beggar mate Diego, who is an orphan rather than a kid who has been sent out to the streets by their parents. He is about 9 and we see him out every time we are in Monte. Poor little dude.
Next day it was farm time (about time really) and we hired a car and drove out to Don and Nic's brand new house on their farm, in the Rocha district. It was lovely. Jimmy and Don spent the days searching for farms and were even given a leave pass to stay the night out in Montevideo but were so knackered they didn't make a go of it. Nic and I hung out with Oscar making frittatas and bread and waiting for the sun to go over the yard arm.
We made it into Chuy which is a border town on the edge of Uruguay and Brazil. One side of the street speaks Spanish, the other Portugese. The town is chockas with duty free stores and incredibly cheap booze so we stocked up big time. It was like being in a wild west frontier town.
So jimmy has his eye on a farm that he likes the look of, which is an hour north of Don and Nic's which is good. I will tell more when I know more but it all looks pretty good at this stage.
So today is our second to last day in South America and I am writing this in the car on the way to Montevideo. It has been rather fraught so far with 2 blown tyres and we are currently on a thimble full of petrol to make it 28 km to Aigua all in a big hurry so we don't miss the 12:45 ferry to Buenos Aires. I am typing this and keeping my head down as Jimmy is biting my head off big time. Boys. Anyhoo will let you know how we get on!

Culture shock in the same country Mar 07

Hola chicos, que tal? (that means what's up g?)
Well here we are, across the other side of the country and it's totally amazing and different.
First of all I'd like to high-five Jimmy and I for getting through a 3 hour ferry ride, a 5 hour wait in BA (made better by taking Jimmy to Hooters, where, funnily enough, the waitress had no hooters at all), then a 20 hour bus ride over the Pampas to Bariloche. We did not kill each other once, in fact we had a great time.
The buses here are insanely amazing. I would seriously go back to NZ on one if we could. We were served a 2 course dinner with wine (and whiskey and champers for Jimmy) and our seats folded right back, and they even put a Bob Marley DVD on. It was perfect.
So anyhoo, Bariloche. Very very like Wanaka. It's very clean and tidy and cute, and touristy, but hey we ARE tourists so can't complain. The scenery is stunning and it's very cold. Hard to believe we were sweating on the beach 3 days ago. Last night we tied one on with the locals and ended up sharing a fondue with a couple of Aussies who had been travelling Sth America for TEN MONTHS. Excuse me while I high-five them too for not killing and eating each other. They said the main thing they got annoyed about was the lack of clean clothes.
Today I am nursing a tiny hangover and Jimmy is trying to find a rental car. I think we may even do a wee bit of exercise also. I can still fit my jeans thank Christ but have 2 more weeks of this.
Oh yeah last night seriously thought about adopting a dog we found, man she was cute and was very licky and cuddly. I probably now have ringworm but it was worth it!
Finally I apologise for not being in touch over the emails much, it's very hard to find time to email and this is the first time I've been able to sit for long on the net so please know I love hearing from home and can't wait to see you all again soon.Lots of love,Aims xxx

A halfway point

Hola chicos,
Am typing this on the ferry from Montevideo to Buenos Aires, straight across the Rio del Plata (silver river, very muddy and wide).
We are heading back to Argentina for a few days R&R – will be taking a big bus on a big trip over to the other side to Bariloche, which is apparently just like Queenstown. It will take about 20 hours but luckily the buses here are great and "Cama Classe" has fold out beds and a bar service. Excellent.
Had our first Alcohol Free Day yesterday – knackered after a big last night with Don and Nic in Punta. Don graciously babysat Oscar so we took Nic into town – her first night out since Oscar was born (11 months ago). Good times indeed.
Am missing Punta already but looking forward to heading back there in a week or so.
So we are about halfway through our trip – you're right Mum, it feels like we've been away for ever. Things I won't forget about Sth America so far:
· Child beggers
· Rubbish in Piles on the street and homeless people picking through it
· The smell, a mixture of cheese, incense, and broken sewers
· The absolutely fantastic food and service in restaurants, in fact everywhere
· Cars that are held together by cobwebs of rust and 4 people including baby to one motorbike, without helmets
· The disparity between the rich and the poor. Seriously I'm no Che Guevara, for one thing I can't pull off a beret, but it really gets to you after a while. It's very hard to not give money to everyone that asks, and it's hard to ignore. You feel quite heartless.

Anyway have sent some postcards so hopefully they make it home before we do. Thinking of you all and sending
love,Aims xx

This working holiday doesn't involve much work 23 Mar 07

Hola Chicos, another beautiful day here in Punta del Este...about to hit the beach again. We are in a nice routine of beach, beers and parillas (outdoor woodfired BBQ - never using gas again) with Don and Nic and it's going to be hard to hit the travelling trail again!
Yesterday we drove North to see Don and Nic's farm which was amazing, they have done Such a lot of work. They have built a beautiful Uruguayan style house (maid's quarters!) which they are moving into very soon. Hopefully we can have a couple of nights there on our way back through.
The farm itself was lovely, very very flat and green. I can't tell you anymore details without outing myself as a total mental when it comes to talking farming lingo. But it all looked cool. The workers muster on horseback and have mate (green tea) long lunches and siestas right in the middle of the day which could possible drive the Kiwi farmers crazy who are used to eating on the go.
FInally got to pat an animal yesterday....also saw ostriches, a beaver, bright green lorrikeets, enormous ants and a squished armadillo.
Today we are heading back to the beach and getting around to doing more postcards....also trying to book flights to Bariloche. It's Jimmy's turn on the parilla tonight so off to the supe to buy super cheap beef and enormous red peppers and more litre bottles of Heineken. Oh yeah, ciggies are also $2 USD a packet so I'm afraid it's just to easy to smoke. It will be a serious month of detoxing when we return but hey when in as the locals do.....except for begging at streetlights and going through rubbish bins.
Chau amigos Aims xxx

Chillaxing in Punta

Hey hey. So are on our 4th day in Punta del Este staying with the Hecklers and we are getting a good routine down...lots of fruit in the morning, a fair amount of sun bathing and playing with Oscar during the day, then many many helpings of delicious food and beers.....litre bottles of Heineken are $2 USD. Such a hard life! Havainas are half the price here so stocking up on those too.
Jimmy went up to Montevideo yesterday with Don and met some head farming honchos which was good, has a few more meetings on Friday so we will be here till at least then. Then we'll be off to the other side of Argentina to Bariloche.
Right must to you all....Cam and sarah awewsome that the wedding went so well, can't wait to see photos.xxxx

Has it only been 4 days?

So today we are in Uruguay and I am typing on a Very crappy keyboard so this might have to be a short one.Highlights of last few days - seeing Evitas grave, checking out La Boca and having the best steak of our lives. Seriously they look at you funnny when you ask for salad. Lots of nice red wine too.Took the ferry over this morning - Montevideo much more laid back than BA and small. Jimmy has discovered heaven on earth with a food court consisting entirely of parillas - every type of meat you can imagine cooked over fire on a grill. so So good. We had pig for lunch and are going back tonight for more. Have learnt to avoid the fries.Going to meet up with Jimmys farmer friend Don Heckler tomorrow in Punta del Este so looking forward to gettgin going on the farm front.We are both well and happy and cant wait to bore you all with our stories,Love Aims

My poor arteries

Hola chicos and chicas,
So first full day of being a tourist yesterday! Note to self - when planning things to do always tack on an extra 3 hours to cover fluffing about, walking 4 blocks in the wrong direction (Mum I should have learnt to use that compass properly!) and finding that no bank in the whole of BA wants to change our USD. As a result our trip so far has been very cheap!
So went to the Cemeteria de Ricoleta which is insane, full of these massive crypts that have about 11 coffins each in them, and you can look at them through a window...very cool and different. Evita was buried there so heaps of tourists checking that out.
Then we went off to Ave Florida, this ENORMOUS street FULL of shops. It just went On and On and On. Thousands of people hawking things. A billion leather stores. We bought postcards! Big spenders.
Had a steak the size of a baby´s head in San Telmo last night along with more meat garnishes. Seriously we have been here 2 days and I am having an apple for breakfast and putting it on a par with heaven.
Things to note; there are dogs everywhere (pets not strays) yet if I try to pat them the owner looks at me like I am crazy. Went on first taxi trip in city yesterday and only nearly died twice which was a bonus. Brilliant. Had first bottle of Argentinian Malbec last night - delicious.
Anyhoo off to book ferry tickets to Uruguay for early tomorrow morning. Checking out La Boca this afternoon. Love Aims xxxx

What a day 14 Mar 07

Hola chicos....
what a day! Here we are in Buenos Aires - totally amazing. First of all we both had a brilliant flight.... delayed a couple of hours so had a few wines. Flight was great - love love love sleeping pills. Woke up just as breakfast was being served then flew over the pampas and into BA. Customs and Baggage and Taxis all so so easy.
Got to our cute hostel which is great, just as we imagined. So nice having own room and bathroom. Went out to explore San Telmo (area where we are staying) - lots of parks and antique stores. Things of note; 2 guys beating the crap out of each other with everyone standing around smoking ciggies watching laconically; EVERYONE smokes; there are mozzies everywhere, thank god for Deet.
Had what we would call an antipasto platter for dins, but it was really just meat with meat and some meat as well. The salami was amazing. Tonight we are on a mission to find our first parillo (mixed grill restaurant) and have these steaks everyone is talking about.
Today we are heading to Palermo and Ricoleta to check out a religious theme park, Evita´s museum and grave and this amazing big cemetary. Well that´s the plan anyway!
Everyone very friendly, except for, funnily enough, other English backpackers. Weird.
Hasta Luego,Aims xxx

You say Cirrhosis, I say So what

So you thought today I'd be perhaps contemplating life during my last day at work....some musings perhaps on my time here and how the experience has shaped me as a person blah blah blah....
But no. On my last day at work, I am trying very very hard to not throw up in the rubbish bin. Yes it was a big night out last night. An old mate was back in the country from being in the Caymans for a couple of years, and I did feel the need to welcome her home with a couple of wines.
The night involved a lot of screaming, a fair amount of gossip and possibly a couple of emo moments.
At the pub later on I may have mooted that we should Stay Out All Night! I even put out there that It Didn't Matter that I was doing Jaegermeister was my last day at work!
A point to remember: when you and your old school friends are sitting at a bar in Parnell singing old school hymns in the best operatic voices we could's time to go home.So anyhoo here I am.....looking like Britney Spears at Burger King....about to give a leaving speech to 100 people. Wish me luck!

Comfort Zones 8 Mar 07

Just having teary moments at work after a 4 bottle farewell lunch with my team. They have been so good to me! I will miss them.
It's hard leaving a comfort zone for something else.....who knows how this trip will work out for Jimmy and I....but if there's one thing I've learnt in my 28's that you will always regret that which you Don't do, as opposed to what you do do. I know we'll have a brilliant time no matter what happens and the mind has a wonderful ability to only remember the good stuff anyway which saves our sanity.
Anyhoo, how deep and meaningful am I! Meeting up for drinks and dins tonight with the crew so may have a slightly sore head in the morning. So what, last day, and I get a morning tea. Yay!
Feeling very apprehensive yet excited, appreciate everyone's support and kind words.
Love aims x

Further things to miss about Auckland

The emos that hang outside Aotea Square. They provide entertainment on the walk home. "I'm going to cross the road! I'll come with you! Hahahaha!"

The cleaners leaving the White House in the morning....(strip club). What a job!

The homeless guy who sits on Queen St saying he used to be a fashion designer. He is, I must say, always nattily dressed if a bit pongy.

Ponsonby Road. Best dressed babies and dogs in the world.

Chapel Bar. Because it totally rulz.

The battle lines of Asian students on Queen Street. They have an innate inability to walk in single file.

Karaka Bay. Most stunningly beautiful beach and bay I have ever seen and only 20 mins from home. I will miss this the most :-(

It's the final countdown 5 Mar 07

Have I got the song in everyone's head now? Excellent.
Yes it's 5 more working days.....40 more working hours.....(to be honest, about 9) and I am so excited I am having to rely on a couple of vinos and a very long Stephen King book to get to sleep at nights. The Stand, if you're interested. I love Stephen King, even if he does kinda look like the missing link - my ex used to be able to do this face that looked just like him.....was very funny. But I digress...
So anyhoo, it's all about the packing this week.....amazing how much crap one collects - have only been in apartment 6 months. Should all be done by Saturday morning. Am going to spend the rest of the weekend supping a few light ales and maybe a snifter or two of port.
Haven't seen Jimmy for 7 weeks which means I can hardly remember what he looks like - I said this to him and he goes "I'm really really good looking" - which jogged my memory. He is mega flat out with a wedding this weekend and finishing stuff off on the farm, so will probably arrive in Auckland on Monday with a couple of supermarket bags full of dirty underwear and no passport.
Just had a brilliant weekend in Taupo with the family - was my step-dad's 60th. Was great to see everyone especially my sister who is 7 months pregnant and still looks like a little girl with a pillow stuffed down her front. We all had bets on what we think she'll have, I reckon a girl and 7 pounds 2, so watch this space.
Anyhoo will get back to doing 6 months worth of filing and tidying.Aims x


So this is first words this morning were the charming "what the f*ck?" alarm didn't go off. THEN I giggled and said Rabbits. Hopefully the person/celestial being who hands out the lucky months wasn't listening to the first bit.
Only arrived at work 10 minutes late however so not too bad.Happy Autumn!

Chernobyl 28th Feb 07

So I am nearing a meltdown with all that's going fact am quite proud of myself that I haven't say, shaved my head and had a breakdown like Some People.....but am sure it's not far away. What with....packing my house, organising storage, finishing up work (and the market crashing at the same time), leaving do's, family do's, organising movers to Ranfurly, organising accommodation and cash for S.A, getting the perfect book for the plane (you know, Important Stuff) it's a wonder I can sleep at night. Bring on the 13th. Jimmy and I are both so tired we'll probably have one glass of champers and then drool on each others shoulders for the whole flight. And miss Friends dubbed in Spanish? I hope not!
On another note, am not very nostalgic at the end of summer...I certainly had my fill of lovely sunbathing and singlets....I won't miss those annoying mozzies at night that's for sure. One bit me on my back last night Right Where I Couldn't Reach. Must have been Hitler re-incarnated.
Don't forget to say Rabbits tomorrow and get a lucky month!
Aims x

City Girl Farmer Boy 22 Feb 07

So today I met one of my all time idols.....the incomparable Bill Bryson. He was doing a signing and I lined up with my copy of A Short History of Nearly Everything along with half of Auckland. We were rushed through like sheep at drenching time (oh yeah I'm there) and eventually I got my 5 seconds - I said "you're a leftie like me!" (by that I mean we write with our left hands, not a leftie socialist hippie) and he said "all the best people are lefties!" to which I whole-heartedly agreed. And that was that. He was very polite and cute with his little chipmunk face and big glasses. Bring on the next book I say!

At the other end of the country Jimmy had the Maniototo A&P show yesterday (Agricultural and Pastural for those who are not as learned as I) - and their little lambies won a prize. For being the fluffiest? The cutest? The best at jumping through hoops? No for being the heaviest. I was told off for not taking this's a big prize! Next year they'll all have ribbons around their necks too.
Aims x

Frenetic weekends 19 Feb 07

Stupid things I have done on drunken weekends in the city (all pre-Jimmy obviously)

Given my number to random guys who then call me at work and I have to talk to them in my very quiet office

Stolen a pair of Ugg boots from the Icebar at the Viaduct and wore them for the rest of the night

Chucked a drink on one of our best clients at the pub, who luckily thought it was funny

Had a bender with 3 completely random people because I didn't want to go home (FOMO - Fear of Missing Out)

Made myself a burqa out of a curtain at Pasha

Suggested to a girl I had seen in our building a couple of times that we should get together for coffee....all the time! She agreed!

Moral of the Story: It's time for me to hang up my drinking trousers and get out of the city!

Things I will miss about Auckland

My "Hi Guy".
This guy and I cross paths every morning on the way to work, usually on the Upper Queen St overbridge. He always has a massive grin and is ready to stop for a big chat. He brightens my morning!

19 working days to go 12 Feb 07

Not that I'm counting down or anything but only 3 more Monday mornings left.....not that I really mind Mondays...I have more issues with Tuesdays. Can't remember the weekend, boring telly night, too early in the week to start drinking.
Anyhoo have had more jabs - anyone who has had the rabies jab will sympathise when I say I have an enormous lump on my arm that hurts very very much. Kinda like a bee sting mixed with a whack with a hammer. Only 2 more jabs to go in early March and I should be sweet. No doubt I'll get hit by a bus at B.A airport. The boyfriend is terrified of needles and hasn't had any jabs so far to my dismay, am picturing standing by helplessly while a rabid dog latches onto his leg. Hmm.
Have been emailing friends who are in Sth America and they are all raving about it which is great. Really can't wait to get there now and it does feel finally like it's around the corner - have to start packing up my place! Rats.
Have a good week, Amy.

Human Pincushion 1st Feb 07

So today was much better thanks to a 10 hour sleep and saying Rabbits this morning (1st of the month) - got lots of work done and the in tray is looking a lot less scary.
Today started my vaccination shots - got Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A&B and Rabies which sounds so horrible! But as I am unable to go past an animal without patting it (see: my photo holding a stray cat) I thought I had better be safe. Super duper expensive though! Off to leaving drinks for a work mate which will be nice at the Wine Loft, good times indeed

Super Duper Busy

So trying to juggle work, moving house, planning a trip and a social life is muy muy hard amigos. Oh yeah, and learning Spanish.
Today work was absolutely insane - must be a full moon. Lots and lots of work (funny that). A few scratchy tempers. Having a glass of wine at my desk which is muy muy bien.
Plans accomplished today - printed off some available farms or "estancias" (I'm on a roll) from the Net - some really cool places available it seems. We just have to organise how to get there. I guess it will all fall into place hopefully! So far we could run a shrimp farm in Brazil, a Trout fishing resort in Chile or a great big sheepies and cowies farm in Uruguay. I am running with Brazil since shrimp are very very small and take a lot less work, plus a lot less wool and guts, and less fattening. Downside, can't be arsed learning Portugese as well as Spanish.
Also registered with so that if some eejit takes over the government of Uruguay while we're there they can get hold of us easily. I am slightly paranoid and have also taken 5 copies of my passport and credit cards to give to my family if they don't hear from me - I expect them to come looking. Yes even my sister who will be 9 months pregnant.
Right off home to learn more Espagnol. Buenos noches!

Like a frog in a sock

So my first blog entry - here beginneth the saga of 2007 - preparations to up and move to South America.
At this stage (end of Jan) Jimmy and I are frantically running around trying to get contacts in Uruguay and Argentina (and Chile and Brazil, hey we're not fussy) so that we actually have someone to visit when we step off the plane.
The plan is to go and purchase a farm. This will be interesting. Luckily Jimmy is a farmer but I however am not, in fact when I am visiting Jimmy I wander around going "look at the sheepies! Look at the widdle cows!!" which causes him immense embarrassment. Must learn to say this in Spanish.
Have handed in my notice to work and my landlord and am very much looking forward to getting out of Auckland....has been a great 3 years but time to move on!
Will be updating the plans, and trip (from 13th March to 12th April) regularly so be prepared for rants about government departments, painful jabs, airport queues, tourists and the food.
Wish us luck!Amy