Wednesday, January 25, 2017

25.01.17

I had to take a (more than slight) detour on my way to Festival this afternoon and drive out to Andy's farm to pick up some old speakers he insisted were crucial to the design of the marketplace.

It turned out that they were situated in an old open shed down the back of a paddock filled with what could only be described as menacing guard sheep and ducks - at least a hundred animals altogether. 

As I drove through the paddock the ducks came waddling at speed behind my car and were ready to meet me when I opened my door. 

The sheep weren't far off as the ducks had alerted them of my intrusion. I had hardly hobbled my way over rocks, wire and tree roots to reach the shed before I had an audience of sheep, baaing at me angrily. 

I was intimidated to say the least. 

I sought refuge in my car to recompose myself for a few moments. I had to laugh because it was ridiculous. But I figured that even though they may have been scared of me, they far outnumbered me so I best take precautions. 

I turned my radio up loud which did more to comfort me than put off the animals but it gave me more confidence as I marched through the flocks. 

When I shut the gate behind me I had that heart-racing sense of accomplishment. I'd won! 



I swear there were more than that!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

18.01.17

It's a bit terrifying to step back and take a look at the role social media plays in our lives.

Today I found myself scrolling through my camera roll, searching for something pretty or interesting to post on Instagram.  

After finding nothing suitable, I had this urge to do something 'instaworthy'. Something that would inspire my friends to double tap, affirming my self worth and place in the internet world. 

It's so crazy that we think like that. I mean, it's all subliminal. I just wanted to do something fun, take a picture and upload it so people could see. 

But underneath it all, what drives my desire to do that? If I don't post in a while does that mean my life is boring?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

17.01.17

Today was not the greatest of days. It was going alright until this afternoon I got a bit stressed and had to shoot off from work in a hurry to get Sam from his work and then we had a disagreement in the car and I got upset.

We worked it out and he came over this evening. We weren't doing much, just hanging out in my room and he was making me laugh. I haven't giggled like that in so long. 

I knew it was because my emotions were heightened from earlier. Really, a finger moustache does not merit the kind of uncontrollable cackles coming from my mouth. 

But upon reflection I find that kind of beautiful, that sometimes the worst feelings can make the best ones that much richer. Without the tears a few hours prior, I wouldn't have been so close to those joyful emotions. My giggles would have been much less mirthful. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

16.01.17

Insurance may not be very remarkable, but I felt pretty lucky today when I discovered that my new car has been uninsured for the past few months.

Just as well I haven't had any bumps or scrapes or even bigger accidents! I even saved some money during that time without paying premiums. 

But bad things could happen at any time. If you knew exactly when, the insurance business wouldn't work. 

I was just lucky this time. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

15.01.17

Even at the age of 26 I still feel as though reading late into the night is badass. Although I no longer hide under the covers with my torch, keeping an ear out for the parental sentry patrol, heart pounding when I hear the creak of footsteps in the hall.

I'm wisened enough to realise that reading after midnight doesn't make me seem tough, and yet I still felt rebellious as I tossed and turned through the last pages of my novel. 


Saturday, January 14, 2017

14.01.17

Sometimes you've just got to groove as though you just don't care. The shoulders start, then you're clicking along, and somehow you're up booty shaking to some weird song.

When it hits you've just got to go with it.


Friday, January 13, 2017

13.01.17

There's something special about the sun when it gets past 6pm. The rays lose their sting and they just lightly tickle your skin.

It's sun therapy. The stresses of the day melt in its gentle touch. 

That's how it was watching football this evening. The sun stayed out until the final whistle before slinking back to its home behind the trees. 

Thursday, January 12, 2017

12.01.17

Sometimes feelings can be overwhelmingly good but incredibly frustrating at the same time. Sometimes there just aren't words powerful enough to describe what's happening inside.

That's how I felt tonight as Sam and I sat on a bench and watched the waves bob up and down in the glow of the city lights.

It's his birthday and I wanted to express how loved and appreciated he is. It was all inside me, filling my heart but I couldn't get it out for lack of language. 

There's a word in Korean for this feeling, like pressure building up in your chest because of the inability to articulate yourself - 답답하다 (dahpdahp ha da). It's surprising how often you want to use it.



Wednesday, January 11, 2017

11.01.17

Driving home tonight along the winding country roads was made a lot more interesting by the fog on my windscreen. I turned it into a bit of a game and watched as the blasting air dissolved the mist in strange patterns while trying to manoeuvre around tight corners in the dark.




Tuesday, January 10, 2017

10.01.17

I finally ordered the right sized shoes for Sam from the online store. After returning them twice, we were pretty sure that these ones would fit.

The problem was that the courier website was saying they'd been delivered when no one was even in any of the offices on my level. I called the courier service and they were sure they'd delivered it so I emailed the website and told them the shoes never arrived. 

After a few minutes of door-knocking I found the shoes down on level one where someone had signed them in and forgotten to come deliver them to me. 

When I got back to my office I saw that the website had refunded me the full amount and after some discussion didn't want the money back. 

Wins all round! 

Monday, January 9, 2017

09.01.17

Sometimes it feels great just to let the little kid inside take the reigns for a while.

I don't know what came over me tonight, but I had a lot of fun annoying the heck out of Sam, whining and carrying on like a 4 year old.

I was protesting cleaning my room and using all kinds of tactics to procrastinate. There were the puppy dog eyes, the tickle monster and of course the sulking. Classic childhood manoeuvres and Sam was immune to them all.

It's nice to be with someone who tolerates me and who can laugh at me when I'm being a pain.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

08.01.17

Spontaneous dancing always brings me joy, whether it's brought on by a banger in the car, in a shopping aisle, or just the tune in my head.

This afternoon I put on an old Ink Spots vinyl to show Sam that my record player did, in fact work, and moments later we found ourselves slow dancing in the middle of my room. I don't even know how it happened. The romance of it all just took over and suddenly we were Leo's parents from Catch Me If You Can before it all went bad.

I felt so content, leaning on his chest as we swayed to the crackling music.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

07.01.17

Sometimes I forget how good it feels to meet someone new and find out about who they are and what they enjoy.

I am easily persuaded by my brain to be shy and reserved around new people, wondering what they might think about me and whether they'll like me. In actual fact, I can be quite charming if I forget about all that and just chill.

Tonight I made a new friend and it felt great!


Friday, January 6, 2017

06.01.17

There is no combination better than sunshine + good book + cup of tea.

I soaked up the late afternoon rays from my perch on the deck overlooking the grassy hills.

Whenever I paused my book to take a sip of tea or reposition my hat, I made sure to check how the cows were doing in the nearby paddock.

I could get to quite enjoy the country life!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

05.01.17

Charlotte and Adam came back with us to Hamilton and this evening we doused ourselves with insect repellant and toasted marshmallows on the brazier outside.

Somehow the darkness and flickering of flames drew out hilarious stories and fantastic sing alongs. We laughed until we cried and ate until we almost threw up.

Everyone needs friends with whom they can share shart stories and not feel embarrassed.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

04.01.17

After an ambitious attempt to eat breakfast outside, we sought shelter halfway through when a gust of wind almost sent our bacon flying.

That was how the weather looked to stay in Te Puna so we decided to take a gamble and head for The Mount, where if it rained, at least we'd have Celine sing alongs in the car and proper coffee as consolation.

It turned out to be a very wise choice indeed, because the sun came out and the wind died down to a pleasant breeze. We even had a quick dip!

If only every day of summer could be spent like that, getting sandy and pink.


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

03.01.17

Instead of going home today, we drove to Te Puna, where Charlotte and Adam were staying at his parent's place. It was one of those hardly planned decisions which only seem to happen in summer when the draw of adventure trumps the list of chores that have piled up over the year.

It's fun to bounce from one place to the next with Sam in a way which probably wouldn't have been so easy or enjoyable on my own. If there are two of you, you can keep each other company as you go from one set of friends to the next.

Open ended plans make the summer feel endless and the commitments seem distant. Just the way a holiday should be.

Monday, January 2, 2017

02.01.17

Today started late as all good holidays should start. Sam and I are visiting his parents in Hamilton and I have the luxurious double bed all to myself which is such a treat. 

I was woken by a kiss on the forehead and the promise of breakfast, handmade and delivered to my bedside. I placed my coffee order before dozing back off to sleep. 

The next time I awoke it was to the smell of bacon, eggs and fresh coffee (brewed to perfection). 

I felt like the luckiest girl in the world as I gobbled up my favourite meal of 2017 so far. 


Sunday, January 1, 2017

01.01.17

2016 was a great year. I learnt a lot, I discovered what I want to do with my life, I visited my other home, I made new friends, I became more comfortable in my own skin and I fell in love. But growth like that can also be hard. 

There were quite a few tears and moments I felt like I was in a train carriage, unlatched from the engine, barreling down the tracks to certain disaster. And while it's good to feel like that sometimes, my penchant for catastrophising the future meant I wasn't enjoying the thrill of the ride. 

When I first started One Remarkable Year, I believed that it would help people appreciate the small, beautiful moments in life which happen every day and are often overlooked. That was certainly my experience. 

So it is fitting that, along with my resolution to be less anxious this year, I am going to find and document one of these moments every day. I am going to wake up and decide to look for the good in that day. 

Today's moment happened at around 6pm when the golden sun was making the grass glow on the hills surrounding the Hewat's country home. I couldn't resist so I whipped out my towel and plonked myself down to read my book in the last warm rays. 

Right then I was very content to swap out the sandy beach of the last few days for the soft grass and rolling hills of the Waikato. 


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

After 25 years of going it alone, I have finally found myself a boyfriend. The curse of motaesolo (모태솔로 - perpetual loneliness, as they say in Korea) has lifted.

And what a great boyfriend he is. He's attentive, caring, he listens, loves to communicate, and he is so talented and capable. I am really enjoying being his girlfriend and I feel sorry for all the other girls who are missing out.

At first I was a bit concerned about how good I'd be at this relationship stuff. I'd been storing up advice and little tidbits all my life and now was the time to put them into practice.

It turns out that I'm actually ok at being a girlfriend, but I'm finding it much more difficult to navigate having a boyfriend.

Don't get me wrong, it's amazing to have someone send me sweet goodnight texts, or to snuggle up with as we binge-watch Friends. It's even better to have someone who accepts me each time new flaws come to light, or who really listens when I'm talking about something important to me.

As an independent female I was doing absolutely fine (most of the time) without anyone to share those aspects of life. Of course, I knew I was missing out, but I quite enjoyed my own company and autonomy.

I fully expected that level of self-assuredness to continue into my relationship and had visions of myself as the 'cool' girlfriend who lets him hang out with his friends and doesn't nag him with drivelly texts.

Nothing prepared me for all the emotions and needs I would be overwhelmed by.

It's scary to need someone to text me, to tell me I'm beautiful, to be proud of my accomplishments, to think that I'm just the best thing. I find sadistic ways to read into situations to make myself feel worse and then when I see him and he smiles at me, it all dissipates.

I used to be so even-keeled and actually quite apathetic. Now I've got all these emotions!

I'm trying to learn how to pull myself back to center and stop pushing my self-worth on him. It's such an important and steep learning curve but I am determined to get there.

I think this stuff gets easier the longer you are together and the more you take for granted the affection you have for each other. I hope I get there soon!

Monday, March 16, 2015

16.03.15

It was a girly dinner tonight at the Collinses. The HJ girls were over, plus one of the cousins. Poor Hugh held his own pretty well. And you could just tell Priscilla was absolutely in her element.

She'd slaved away making the most beautiful salads, chicken, and dessert for us. It felt like Christmas dinner. She basked in the compliments and raving - all quite deserved!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

15.03.15

This evening Mum and I just didn't feel like going to church so we mulled some wine, curled up with our books and read the night away while Cyclone Pam threatened to blow over the trees outside the window.

Of course, the most exciting thing that happened all evening wasn't the weather after all. I finished my book! If you could see how thick it was and how small the letters were, you'd be mighty impressed.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

14.03.15

I flitted from one social occasion to another today and they were all beautiful.

First was a breakfast date with Rose and Eleanor where I ate more GF bread (always very exciting!) and we talked about very adult things like marriage and kids. It all felt very strange but lovely at the same time.

Then, this afternoon I went to Lucy's for a spontaneous dip in the pool which turned out to be a bit of a set up. Priscilla's old friend brought her two kids over and the mums proceeded to push Lucy and the son together all afternoon. It was really very hilarious.

I left there and went to Laban and Amy's new little home which was very cute. Amy made us the most delicious dinner and we talked all about film, music, Korea, and sharing a bed. Strahan and Steph were there too, which was so, so nice because they're great but I've never got a good chance to get to know them before.

Friday, March 13, 2015

13.03.15

I found myself a red, hot, sweaty mess after jumping like crazy for an hour at an indoor trampoline centre this evening. It was a lot of fun but I had to keep trying to awaken the child deep inside of me to conjure up some fearlessness. Fortunately the child is never far from the surface, however I was never the kind of kid to fling myself into any danger, not even if foam pits promised to catch me.

I was determined to do a backflip and after a couple of shaky landings which almost put my neck out, I managed to to a very unconvincing one. This was while a little 6 year old girl was landing all kinds of spins and flips with grace and poise in her matching cheerleader mini bra and hot pants.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

12.03.15

As per usual, dinner at the Collins's tonight was amazing. Well, Lucy and I did make it so perhaps that's a little egotistical. But it's the atmosphere and the people that make it even more delightful.

Of course the Moroccan lamb and roast veggie salad was worth writing about, but then we ate chocolate and watched a good movie. I love the red couches and just being in that beautiful house. I'll probably cry if they ever move.

Dan's a genius

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

11.03.15

I had forgotten what it's like to be back amongst "the scene" in Auckland. I certainly don't count myself part of it. I'm not nearly stylish or elite enough for it, but occasionally I go to gigs and see them milling about, smiling beautifully at each other and saying their, "Oh darlings".

Tonight was such a night. It was Tom Lark's media show, which meant that all of Auckland's finest were out and there was not one unattractive face or unplanned outfit in the place. I was fairly intimidated.

But the music made up for how gross all that was. Oh my word it was a good show. Far, far too short to quench my thirst after two years of nothing, but definitely almost got there.

I found myself just grinning as I sipped the best wine of my life and bobbed my head along to my faves.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

10.03.15

There's something to be said for having a lot of shared history with a person. There's a level of comfort that cannot be reached without the passage of time. The type of conversation and recollection of memories is so much richer if you've known a person through many stages of life.

This is how it is with Amy and myself. It was so great to catch up and just talk for hours with her. She will always be a good friend of mine and I feel like we are getting to a similar head space. We're definitely in different phases of life (I think she's overtaken me in the growing up process), but there's more common ground than there has been in the past.

It's so nice to have friends with whom you can grow and change, but still be reassured that they'll always be there.

09.03.15

Isn't it just fantastic when things work out perfectly? This morning I had an interview at a recruitment agency in town and then I met Lucy in Albert Park because it was her break at uni. Kirsten was also in the city for a meeting so we all went to a cafe together.

It was absolutely lovely. I sipped on a coconut mango smoothie as we talked about many things I've been thinking about recently. It was exactly what I needed at this point in my settling-in journey.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

08.03.15

We skipped church this morning and headed to Mondays for a spot of breakfast. My heart was as full as my belly after real bulletproof coffee, a papaya bowl, and great chats with the girls.

I'm feeling very appreciative of this health-nut country and the accessibility of yum food like that. I had choices!


Saturday, March 7, 2015

07.04.15

It was a wonderful Saturday to be alive! It started with a trip to the French markets with Nicole and Aaron. I was expecting it to be weird to see them, but it really wasn't. I think NZ suits them. They certainly enjoy Aucklandy things like good coffee, organic produce, and raw/vegan sweets.

We went to St. Heliers and sat on a bench watching kitesurfers defy gravity. We even wandered about barefoot in true Kiwi fashion.

The day ended with homemade dumplings and lots of giggles at Annie's flat with Lucy. What beautiful friends I have!




Friday, March 6, 2015

06.03.15

I've really missed barbecues. Just hanging out at someone's house with a whole bunch of friends is a wonderfully relaxing thing. In Korea we all lived in tiny shoeboxes scattered all over the city, so it wasn't really an option most of the time.

As I lay on the carpet at the Berry's house, listening to the night time cicadas and my friends voices from different places in the house, I realised how nice it is to be back.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

05.03.15

I found myself, feet in the Collinses pool with no one else around today. It was kinda weird but it was mostly wonderful as I was gazing at the rainbows the sun was casting through the water.

There are just some very peaceful moments that seize you if you allow yourself to be taken by them.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

04.03.15

Praying at the crack of dawn with some quality folks on the beach, listening to the birds and the waves is a real privilege. Once again I'm feeling awe at the incredible opportunities to see beauty every day in this country.

It felt like summer, well and truly as we hung out at breakfast after and then mucked about at church before getting some yummy coffee at a super trendy cafe in town.



Tuesday, March 3, 2015

03.03.15

I saw the lovely Alysha today. We had delicious healthy smoothies at a new cafe close to home.

She picked me up, which was a very strange sensation, but also very normal. The roles were reversed but the whole time as we were hanging out I felt like I was with a peer. She's all grown up!

We shared stories of living away from home and the woes and wonders of coming home. It was so, so nice.

This tree was cold so people made a cardy for it.

Casual sunset at home.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

01.03.15

Every swim I have is better than the last. This one was the quickest of dips in the sparkliest of oceans. The waves were just right and the water was a refreshing temperature. I was all alone, making the most of our stretch of the coast before we came home.

I couldn't help laughing and splashing around like a child with my mum watching from the crest of the dunes.


This was our welcome home.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

28.02.15

For three years I have been longing to go to the mermaid pools at Matapouri and today was that day. After a treacherous climb through the bush and a suspense-filled descent, the glistening, turquoise pool lay before us.

We wasted no time stripping down and jumping in, feeling like real-life sea creatures as we perched on rocks in the crystal water. It would have been surreal if there weren't children kicking water in our faces as they snorkelled past.

Despite the dream which came true today, there was a moment which was even more remarkable. After dinner we made the somewhat spontaneous decision to grab some blankets and head to Whale Bay to do some star gazing. How perfect it turned out to be!

Of course, Lucy and I couldn't resist a little night time swim which was amazingly calm. We were in the ocean to watch the last of the sun's orange mark in the sky and the rippling sea beneath it. The only thing that could have made it more perfect would have been phosphorescence. But that's just a little picky.

We dried off and lay under the stars, harassing Melinda about her relationship and sharing dreams.













Friday, February 27, 2015

27.02.15

Mum and I had a bit of an adventure today. We thought we'd be tricky and go the easy way to see the boys out on the point except it wasn't the easy way at all. In fact, we scaled a cliff only to find out it was a sheer drop on the other side. It was rather hilarious, really. We had no other option but to turn around and head for our pretty little bay again.

After some quality family time my friends arrived just before the sunset. We were on the East Coast so all we could see was the effect of it, but it made a beautiful pink-to-blue gradient which was reflected in the water. I think I like it best when the colours are subtle.

The view looking down from the cliff we scaled.







Thursday, February 26, 2015

26.02.15

Mum and I discovered some horses taking a dip in the Matapouri estuary this morning. It looked like a scene from a film as we came around the corner and saw them standing at the water's edge. They're such majestic creatures.

One of them didn't want to go in the water and the other one couldn't get enough of it. He was grinning as he pulled his trainer through the turquoise channel.

It was so good to watch I didn't even mind the smell of horse poop in the air.