Monday, February 26, 2007

More on Modernising Medical Careers... (And a bit of honesty)

I know I'm not yet finished with the holiday postings but I thought this was a worthy topic for a break...
So, we have found that South Yorkshire (basically Sheffield) would like to interview Husbink for one of these great big seven year jobs. Tonight, he will call them and find out if they are willing to interview him over the phone. It is a long way to go for a 45 minute interview...
I feel quite confused by it being Sheffield that want to interview him as that seems to me like the easy option of the places we had selected. It is close enough to Leeds that we can still see people. We have one very good friend already in Sheffield and a number in spitting distance. We'll still be pretty close to both sets of parents. Generally, we mostly know what life will be like (approximately) if we end up in Sheffield. Which is really confusing. I was expecting it to be one of the harder options like Wessex - putting us close to various friends but not really close to any one - or North Western - putting us closer to Husbink's family and Mr & Mrs Scouse Dangermouse but further from my parents and generally further from most people... So yeah, I'm kinda unsure how I feel about the "easy" option - it has just thrown me a bit.
Of course, we are no where near there yet...we still have to persuade them that a phone interview is possible and that they then want Husbink (but really, why wouldn't they?!) and then do all the moving back again malarkey, but yes, it confuses me.
It also confuses me because I don't know what I want. Or what the right thing to do is. (And this is the honesty bit.) I realised that all our friends, and even people we don't know that well, over here know that we are torn about where we want to live but that I have been not really telling people "over there" that we might be a bit torn. I was thinking it all had to be cut and dried and I could only say "yes, we are definitely coming home" or "actually, we are staying for at least another year" or whatever it might have been.
You see, we miss you (those of you that are "over there"). And we miss the BBC. And we miss Britishness sometimes. We miss 56 Oriental. We miss the Cardy (or any form of local). But we would miss the attitude to life here (I'm sorry, I'm not sure I can explain it, I didn't really believe in it before coming here). We would miss our hills. And the bays. We would miss the cafes here. And of course, there are now people here that we would miss if we left them.
So at the moment, we are pushing doors both ways. If Husbink gets a job at South Yorkshire then chances are we will come home for it. If he doesn't get a job, chances are we won't come home just yet. Though then there would be all kinds of visa questions and so on. So who knows.
But I thought maybe I should be letting you know.
I guess after this evening and the phone call to the nice people in Sheffield, we may know a little bit more.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Post two...

So, we collected my parents from Auckland airport very early on Sunday morning. A brief pause to sort out the rental car and we were away. It was great to see them and not at all bizarre (I think if they'd arrived straight to Wellington and we'd had them in "normal life" straight away it would have been more strange...but taking a week to get them here made it less odd).
We made our way from Auckland to the Coromandel Peninsula, stopping for various photo opportunities and cafe breaks.
We made it to Whitianga (on the eastern edge of the Peninsula - which is the smaller sticky-uppy bit at the top of the North Island for those wanting to identify it on a map) early afternoon and found our B&B. All good. The rest of the day was mostly taken up with wandering and food. Food became a major theme of the holiday (no surprises there...along with wine...) and I need to be really good for a few weeks to stop feeling quite so sluggish and ugh!

On Monday, we went to Cathedral Cove in the morning. It was a pretty decent walk down (particularly when we chose to take some of the side tracks) and the cove itself was definitely worth the walk. We stayed and enjoyed the beach for a while, including numerous games of running away for me & Husbink - parents didn't quite get into the swing of that one! The only slight disappointment was that the weather wasn't fantastic - it was fine but not nice enough to sit on a beach or get properly in the sea at any point. Hey ho! So Monday afternoon involved more strolls on beaches that weren't warm enough to sit on and...more food!

On Tuesday we left Whitianga and started the journey to Rotorua. On the way we stopped at Hot Water Beach which was a highlight of the trip - at least in part cos I got to try out my new togs for the first time. :) So, what you do a spade, get down to the beach and start digging! There are thermal springs under the sand so if you get the right spot, you get lovely warm (or in some cases owwwww HOT) water coming up for you to sit in and enjoy - until the next wave comes in and cools it all down. There was one area that was the best so there were lots of people there - with all the men building up big walls around the area while the women reclined and enjoyed the waters. Husbink and I got in the hottest part for a while and then rushed to the sea to cool down, much fun until a crab latched itself onto my foot!

We then found an area just on the edge of the sea where if you dug your feet down into the sand, you reached the hot water pretty quick and then just waited for the next wave to cool you off. Was good.

The road to Rotorua was a heck of a lot slower and more wiggly than expected. So we didn't get to stop all that much which seemed a bit of a waste of a journey but as parents were still jetlagged the need to get to the next destination was pretty huge! And that shall be the next post...

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Overlander & Auckland my attempts to keep holiday posts reasonably sized, here is the first of several...

Just over two weeks ago Husbink and I took the Overlander all the way from Wellington to Auckland. We left Wellington at 7.25am and arrived in Auckland at 7.20pm having had a 45 minute break at National Park, half way. It was a beautiful journey and we saw some much of the country. But nearly twelve hours on a train is still a blooming long time. I've also had a slightly peculiar back pain since then so I don't think the seats were made for me...

The pics are of me and the Overlander at National Park and also a scene Husbink was rather taken with during the break at National Park. We took LOTS of pics from the train but they didn't work so well...

We stayed in the International YHA in Auckland which was tolerable (my days of hostelling are pretty much over...I may have said this before). On Friday night we actually had more energy than a 12 hour journey might imply so after a yummy Japanese meal round the corner from the hostel (quite Little Tokyo for those of you that know it) we wandered into Auckland and ended up having champagne cocktails and pudding. Yum!

Saturday we were a little slow deciding what we wanted to do and so missed the ferries to the most interesting islands just off Auckland. We did however take the ferry across to Devonport which is something I remember doing on my first visit to Auckland nearly 8 years ago. (I was very jetlagged and was guided around by my lovely friend who had been travelling a bit longer and was rather more alive!) The view is great and we had a lovely stroll, lunch, stroll and climbing of big hill before heading back over to Auckland. We then did much mooching in shops and managed to purchase Husbink's birthday present from his parents - a second lens for the camera with mighty zoom. Bet you can't wait for the bird photos...But for now, our ferry and Auckland will have to do!

The rest of Saturday involved baklava (twice), tapas, tio pepe sherry, spanish wine...It was really nice to be somewhere properly cosmopolitan for a wee while... (I was excessively excited at the sight of Borders on Friday evening. 3 for 2. Open til 10pm. Books. Ah.)
I forgot to mention the bit where I went on a swing. :) That was fun.
So that was the first segment of the holiday...the next day we collected my parents and headed for the beach...well, sort of! But that, as they say, is another post...

Thursday, February 22, 2007


So, yes, in answer to the Pom's comment at the end of the last post, we are back now!
We've had a great time rushing all around the country and have had fantabulous weather. We've eaten WAY too much (my lovely jeans are feeling a little less lovely this morning), enjoyed a range of wines and beers, seen lots of birds (including a kiwi - though that was in a sanctuary), done some crazy things (like the luge), avoided all sunburn, been bitten by a range of things (including a crab, lucky me) and taken hundreds of pictures (I was going to say thousands...I don't think it is far off...but a lot need to be culled!)
Mum and Dad are still here until tomorrow morning when they fly off to Sydney to see my bro and his lovely wife. Currently they are packing and Husbink is sleeping...well, I think he's awake but seems to be in hiding in the bedroom...
I will post properly some time in the next few days with pictures and what not (I will try to post multiple times so you don't just have one mahooosive post to get through) but thought I'd say a quick hello and that life is good.
Worrabout you? Life good?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Well, this is it. My last post.
No! Not ever! Just until we've been on our jolly holiday with my parents! Yay! Can't wait!
Tomorrow we sort and pack and clean and sort and pack (some of this hopefully involves a new swimming costume purchase...) and then on Friday we take the Overlander all the way to Auckland. That's twelve hours on a train. Oh my! Quite excited about it though, should be amazing. I'm just not so sure about 12 hours...
We then have Saturday to ourselves in Auckland before acquiring The Parents on Sunday morning. So much YAY!
So...since I last wrote...
Well, the sermon went pretty well. Lots of people said lots of nice things to me afterwards (including that they were very challenged. Which is cool. I also told them that I had written about it all on here and about ruthie g's and simon h's advice which also went down well :).).
On Monday, Husbink didn't start work until 4pm. We had lots of jobs to do so this was good. One of the first jobs required a trip to a garden centre to sort out our non-working lawn mower. While there, I spied a very reduced gas BBQ and was sorely tempted. But we decided to apply the "few hour rule" (no time for the 24 hour rule) and left it while we went and had lunch and a paddle in the sea (yes, I know I said there were *lots* of jobs...we did also purchase things required for the bit where The Parents stay here...). Having mostly decided to buy the BBQ, we went back to the garden centre. While investigating the costs other than the actual BBQ (like gas and covers and stuff), we bumped into a couple from church that we don't know very well but are very faithful people and pray every week for the service I coordinate. We mentioned that we were considering this BBQ and then all went our separate ways. As we got the BBQ into a trolley, they reappeared. And after a few preliminaries said "We'd like to buy you this. Call it a late Christmas present or a combined birthday present." I did an admirable impression of a goldfish. To which they said, "The Lord has told us to buy you this. You can't argue with that." And indeed, we found we couldn't. So, in possesion of a shiny new BBQ we made our way home.
And on Tuesday, a public holiday here, we had half our small group* round for a BBQ. Followed by some more time at the beach (poor Husbink had to go to work again and missed that bit). And in the evening we had a small group session which was just storming.
Aren't BBQs and people of such generosity just fab?!
See you in a few weeks. Ciao!

*For those needing an explanation of a small group - we meet together once a week as a smaller chunk of the church (in our case there are about 15 of us) and chill, do a bible study of some sort and pray together.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

No longer procrastinating

Well, I just about have my sermon for tomorrow evening written now... I had been going to blog earlier when I was really struggling but the combo of a bit of exercise and a shower woke me up sufficiently to get my sermon mostly written.
Which has, unsurprisingly, set me thinking.
I'm talking about Jesus' character and lead into this by talking about the three words that we'd use to describe ourselves and how they compare to words used to describe Jesus. At the end, I'm going to challenge people to use the next year to try to become more like Jesus in one particular area.
And so it has set me thinking about what I want/need/should change about myself. I don't really feel I can challenge people to do something if I don't intend to do it myself.
At the moment, I think my three words for me are "hard working, enthusiastic and a worrier". Now clearly, I'd like to get worrier out of there. But what characteristic of Jesus do I want to replace it with?
I'm talking about Jesus' humility, creativeness and compelling personality.
I'd love to be more creative. I'd love to be a more compelling, attractive sort of person. But I'm not really sure if they are directions God would want me to be changing in? I'm not sure they are top of the list of things that need to change about Jen.
Humility could definitely be an option. I guess "not worrying" or "peaceful" could also be an option.
What do you think? Either about me (please be sensitive!) or about you? If you are a Christian, how would you want to become more like Jesus? If you aren't, what would you like to change about yourself this year?