Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Missing things: A shallow post...

Recently I have had a bout of missing things that did not make the cut when it came to packing for our adventure.
I miss my reasonably-thin-well-fitting-cream-roll-neck-jumper.
I miss my handbags. The multi coloured greeny/bluey one that holds everything in the world (and reminds me of Mary Poppins in more ways than one) and was a major bargain from Asda. The see-throughy one with pinky stripes that screamed "it's summer" (thank you Welsherella). The blue denimy one that never held as much as it should, didn't stay on my shoulder very well yet maintained a special place in my heart.
I miss my boots. The two ridiculous pairs that I bought last winter from the very cheap place on Kirkstall road. The green ones with the fluffy bits that mostly resembled glorified wellies. But made me taller. And the cowboy-ish ones that were perhaps the weirdest colour possible in normal shoe tones.
I miss the jeans that are now stupidly large on me but very soft from having owned them too long.
I miss the coat that Husbink's parents got me for Christmas a few years ago. A nice proper blue with a giant hood and fluffy white bits.
I miss all our lovely wedding presents - like the ridiculously over sized wine glasses and our very satisfying denby mugs.
I miss my leather jacket. So much so that without realising it, I bought a cardigan exactly the same shape that has become entirely my favourite item of clothing.
I miss other things too. But that is not the point of this post.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Wanting to do everything

This morning, I didn't really fancy going to church, was not "in the zone" and as I am going tonight and service leading I thought it justifiable to not go. But Husbink reminded me that our new minister was doing the second of a three part series and last week was great so...
And indeed, our new minister is fantastic. Very gifted speaker. The trouble is that I now feel so inspired that I would like to go out and change the entire world this afternoon thank you very much! There are so many ideas buzzing through my head, very few of which I can do anything about at this point in time, that it is hard to sit still or actually do anything. Tricky. So instead I'm faffing about on facebook, not quite getting anything done. Silly me.
To make myself accountable to the big black hole that is the internet for the rest of this afternoon I shall...get sorted for leading this evening; try to finish writing a bible study that I've been mulling over for a while; do a bit of research into my latest not-really-a-job scheme; read my book (rather than continue to faff on facebook...)
Ask me how it has gone...

Friday, July 27, 2007

A mini adventure...

Today was a good day.

Yesterday and today have been Husbink's weekend this week. Yesterday was the getting-the-jobs-done kind of weekend day and today was the everyone-needs-a-sabbath kind of weekend day.

So after a very slow start, we packed a picnic and made our way round to Eastbourne (round the bays from here - further from Wellington by road, probably closer to Wellington as the crow (or rather cormorant/seagull/king shag) flies).

From where we parked we could see across to the Kaikoura mountains of the South Island (currently lightly snowy). (Ok, so it is reasonably only-just-see...)

We picnicked in the car due to the wind but once we'd eat got out for a stroll as the sun had heated the car so much. We pootled on the pebble beach for a while, the pebbles were so warm that it didn't matter that I didn't want to put proper shoes on (I'm turning into a proper Kiwi slowly). Husbink tried to bowl pebbles, I pottered up and down with the camera, playing.
Then we went to a cafe back round a few bays and had cake.
Highly contented me. :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My day

I'm still trying to work out what I should and shouldn't attempt to do in any given day a) since surgery and b) while trying to do this whole having space/working out the rest of my life thing.
On Monday Husbink and I went for a big walk. By big, I mean a bit less than an hour though it was at least up hill. This was too much and I spent the rest of Monday with quite a lot of post-surgery-type pain again.
On Tuesday, I pootled all morning while Husbink tried to finish HP before going to work. When he went out, I went and did a few jobs like dropping off library books and then spent a few hours at a friend's house chatting/watching children's dvds with her daughter who has chicken pox. All was well but I wanted to go to bed at about 7.30pm. I held out until 9.30pm.
Today I got up after 12 hours in bed, pootled a bit, spent some time with Husbink (he has now finished HP), went to a friend's house to discuss the women's retreat our church is running in September at which I get to be the speaker (very excited, yes, I know I'm odd with my love of public speaking...), came home in time to do my two tutorials and well, I'm only still awake because I didn't get round to putting my electric blanket on earlier!
Today feels like it has been the most "successful" day of the week so far in terms of not doing too much/doing enough. But I just don't know how to get the balance. I want to start doing stuff - and specifically picking up my fitness levels again - but some stuff seems to the be wrong stuff and only has a detrimental effect.
Whinge, whinge, whinge...sorry!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Returning to the human race

It may surprise you from the title to find that this post has nothing to do with my continued recovery from surgery.
Instead, I am thinking of the final Harry Potter book that has absorbed my life for the last few days... (Before I go any further absolutely NO PLOT SPOILERS are contained in this post. I am going to say nothing of what I even thought of the book.)
So since Saturday morning, I have not been on the internet (excepting checking my emails - and even then some of them I decided not to open until I'd finished the book). I did not want to see a THING about the ending (or anything that happened along the way). BBC website - out. Facebook - out. Blogs - out. When HP6 came out, I didn't get to read it for a couple of weeks for one reason and another. Husbink read it before me and wasn't very good at hiding his distress at parts of it. I did however have a guardian at work who stopped anyone from talking about it in my presence which was very handy! But the impact of it was rather lost on me having seen others reactions even if they hadn't told me details.
This time I was determined to get through it as fast as possible so that I heard nothing at all about deaths or anything else from the media.
I was even afraid to go out on Saturday night in case someone in the group that we were saying thought it funny to "share" on the subject...
A trace obsessive?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Over Achieving

It's a little hard to come up with things to blog about at the moment. I'm having quite a good time - I've got a couple of people to tutor in maths, I'm managing to do various things I enjoy, I'm looking forward to going to Sydney, I'm looking forward to Saturday and the release of Harry Potter...
Today I did a load of washing; made muffins; went to church to do photocopying; bought a new ink cartridge and some wool...then had to sleep for an hour and a half to recover. I'm only awake now because the living room had become a little chilly and I had to get up to put the heating on and make a cup of tea.
It doesn't really make for much to write about. I suppose what there is to write about is that I'm having a good time. I'm (mostly) feeling really chilled and content with what I'm up to at the moment. But it is odd that I feel this need to justify my days - when Husbink gets home I feel compelled to tell him all the useful things I've managed to do, to show I'm not a waste of space. Which is such an odd thing.
I was discussing the other day with friends this whole "time that isn't being used is wasted" thing. And the guilt we can have for relaxing or not achieving or sleeping or whatever it might be that isn't up there in the "achieving" category. One of the guys was talking about a book he'd read that followed the idea of Socrates being transported to a 20th century university. The main theme being that he could not understand why people had no time any more, why people no longer met together just to discuss things, why life wasn't fluid enough to be able to have those discussions when they arose rather than pencilling in a date in three weeks time. There are plenty of bonuses about our modern lifestyles but yeah, I'd like a little more time and I'd like to be able to lose this need to justify myself to people other than God.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Today we went to the Immigration office.
When we arrived, we found that its hours had changed and we were not at the front of the queue as hoped/expected.
Then we found that the system was not the same as in the London office and that it seemed we could stand in a queue to talk to reception but we couldn't be "seen" and would just have to leave everything with them once reception had done a cursory check.
We got to the front of said queue, explained ourselves and found that the charge was going to be double what we expected. But they did say that the evidence of our relationship was sufficient (still no marriage certificate, now just quite sad that it might be lost forever...but it could still turn up) so that was reassuring.
After this quick checking through, I asked if it would be possible to pay then because of the method we wanted to pay by and the receptionist said "hold on a minute" and disappeared. Reappearing, she did not offer us an EFTPOS machine but instead said "seeing as you are desirable people, someone can see you now".
Expecting to just pay and have a more thorough check of our docs, we headed round the corner. A little under an hour later we left with everything done! We have visas through to February! All is good!
We then in elated moods went on to discuss what made us desirable people which all got quite silly...
Tomorrow, we can book our trip to Sydney :)

Monday, July 09, 2007

Visas. They're not much fun.
I know I've been muttering about this off and on for a while, but today it has all become too much.
In April, we were told that to apply for an extension would be very simple, involve a two page form, possibly a medical for me but not Husbink (due to having had most of it done last time for working in a hospital. Not because they have strange sexist laws...) and all would be well.
So we put it on the back burner a little while we dealt with the house move and the surgery.
Whadda mistaka to make!
We discovered a few days before I went into hospital that the above information was false. We needed to complete the same huge form as last time (including the bit where Husbink writes a letter saying "yes, I do want my wife to stay with me") and we both need medicals. The medicals include a full check over by a nurse, then by a GP, then a chest x-ray (moderately expensive) and blood tests (if anything was going to induce me to swear on my blog, it would be the cost of the blood tests.) However, we managed to complete all that last Monday and the GP assured us it would take about 3 days from finishing the tests to our forms being completed.
So we gave them until Friday and rang to see how it was going. As I've previously mentioned, the receptionists aren't great so Husbink didn't get far over the phone. I fabricated an excuse to pop in (we had part of the form, perhaps they needed it back?). There was hope that it would all be finished today. But there was still questions over whether part of my form would be ok. There was a test that had already been repeated once and might need repeating again. And again. And again. The nurse would ring me back on Friday afternoon to tell me where we were up to with that.
She didn't.
But these things happen and I wasn't too worried about that. There was the agreement that either they would ring me or I would ring them on Monday to see where we were up to.
So about an hour ago, I did. The receptionists were, as ever, special and unhelpful. But I managed to leave a message for the nurse. Having spoken to her I have established that 1) she has no idea when the forms will be completed but will try to put pressure on the GP; 2) the bit of my test that might have needed repeating is sort of ok; 3) the blood test results that should have taken a matter of days to be returned are still not back. This is probably why the forms aren't complete - but they couldn't work that out on Friday!
The second thing is that we require our marriage certificate to show that we are indeed in a stable relationship. About 10 days ago, Husbink's mum posted it to us. A few days before that we had received something in the post that Mr & Mrs SD had posted three days previously so I felt quite confident of the postal abilities between home and here. Ha!
Still it has not arrived. And despite the fact that my m-i-l sent it registered, it can only be tracked to having left England. How useful!
We had been hoping to go the the immigration office tomorrow. We won't be. Our trip to Sydney in August is ebbing away from us and that makes me very sad. Very, very sad.
Thank you for bearing with me...rant over...

Friday, July 06, 2007


Today I had a major achievement: I left the house all on my own, drove the car, and "did things". Several of the things were not very exciting but were things that needed doing and it feels good to be a functioning part of the human race again! (Not that functional though, I've spent the rest of the day recovering (i.e. reading Harry Potter 5...))
The final thing I did on my trip out was buy tickets to see Crowded House in October. I'm not a huge Crowded House fan - in fact I don't own any of their music. But they are a local band (anyone who tries to tell you they are Aussies would receive much mocking here) so we thought it might be fun. And then it turned out that they are being supported by our (probably) favourite NZ band, Supergroove. Much excitement ensued! Tickets went on sale at 9am this morning and by the time I made it to buy them around 11.30, they were close to sold out.
Anyhoo, not very exciting reading, but the most excitement I've had in the last few weeks. Yay me! Back to Harry Potter... (or maybe Trinny & Susannah and my knitting...)