April 30, 2011

thoughts from home #2

When I was seven me and my family moved to New Zealand. We lived in a city called Tauranga in the North Island where my aunty, uncle and Nanna also live. We only ended up staying there for ten months until we returned to a different part of Tassie. But despite the somewhat brief time spent living in another country I have a lot of memories from Tauranga. As some of my extended family live there still, I have been back there four times, the last of which was the week just gone. Inspired both by this video and all the places that sparked memories, I decided to do some revisitation.

This was the house where we lived at number 35A Queen Road. The middle window was the bedroom where I regularly danced to my S Club 7 Don't Stop Movin' cassete tape. It was in this house where I ate the worst meal ever - vegetarian lasagna with about three cans of sloppy spinach in it. I was made to eat it before I could have dessert and I can remember wiping green slop on the bottom of the table to try and hurry up the process.

This is where I went to school. I did half of both grades three and four (equivalent to Tassie one and two). Bellevue was a bit of a culture shock coming from a very small private Christian school. There was no uniform, and barely any of us wore shoes.

This was my classroom during half of 2001. One of my teachers was called Mrs He-Ha (I kid you not!) and I can remember her speaking Maori on my first day and I was like "WHOA". Later on she taught us to count to ten in Maori which I have now forgotten. My three different teachers while I was at Bellevue were all great, but kind of in their own ways.

This was the chemist where I got my ears pierced which didn't hurt nearly as much as I thought it would. I was a big fan of birthstones at age seven so chose Emerald for my earrings.

This is he track we used to regularly ride our bikes on. Once I fell off and grazed my knee rather badly that it got gravel stuck under the skin. I still have the scar.

This is the pool where I had swimming lessons. Back then the pool was outdoors and we swam in the rain in our lovely green swimming caps.

This is where I heard my first swearword. The F-bomb was dropped by the boy who I had a crush on at the time and I don't think I even knew what it meant, despite the fact that it was bad!

This was the pool at my aunty and uncle's old house which we stayed in when we first moved to NZ. Despite it being mid-June wintry weather me and my brother were so excited that they had a pool that got our bathers on and jumped in. It was so freezing that we went into shock and apparently had to be fished out!

I love Tauranga. There's something about a Kiwi accent that makes me feel right at home and I'm thankful for the brief time that I lived there. I hate to think about how different my life could have been if we never went, as it did shape me as a person. But in saying that, I'm also glad we left because where I live now is definitely home #1.

April 24, 2011

til death do us part


When I was younger I loved weddings. I can remember going to a few ceremonies and enjoying myself immensely. I think it was part of the whole fairytale fandom - a pretty girl in a pretty dress in love with a charming prince. Somewhere along the lines I lost that excitement I had once felt towards weddings. Sure they’re interesting, but I think that the stress and drama and the whole over the top ness of it all became a little boring. I am in no way against weddings, especially marriage, it’s just the whole shenanigan can become quite overrated. I was a flower girl for my aunty when I was ten, but besides that minimal involvement, I hadn’t really experienced a proper wedding.

My cousin got married on Thursday and me and my Dad came to New Zealand for the wedding, as well as to visit all the family. Already my original perceptions of weddings were changing as I was excited because I knew my cousin would be a lovely bride and also because New Zealand is awesome. As well as helping at the reception venue on Wednesday, I was enlisted as a backup/happy snap photographer for the duration of the wedding day and got ready with the female members of the bridal party. My cousin looked absolutely beautiful and was the most relaxed, humble and easy-going bride ever. Even when the ceremony started half an hour late because the mother-of-the-groom had got lost on the way to the church and when the original photo plans had to be rethought because of the rainy weather, the bride did not make a fuss. Instead she just laughed.

After being involved in a wedding for a mere two days, I have a new respect for all the effort and organisation it takes. And weddings are actually quite fun! I took a grand total of 1040 photos (including the one above) and really enjoyed it as wedding photography was a very new experience for me. Now I kind of understand why weddings get a little bit extravagant and stressful. It’s a big deal. You only get married once (hopefully), so why not celebrate it? In some ways, there is not a lot that is more beautiful than two people committing themselves to each other in love. As long as as much thought and planning is put into the marriage and not just the wedding, I can merit a little fuss. And there is something amazing about the look on the groom’s face as he sees his future wife walking towards him, to be together for life.

April 13, 2011

school. enjoyment. what?

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I am one of those teenagers who likes school. And I'm not talking about the social aspect, the hot chips at the caf, or the fun extra-curricular activities. I'm talking about the school work. I enjoy being in my classes, and well, learning. Being 100% enthusiastic towards schooling is not how someone would describe me at all, and some days there are so many other things I would rather do than be stuck in classrooms for six hours. But generally speaking, I quite like it. Before I started college people gave me their mixed opinions about it: 'you'll either love it or hate it,' they all said. Out of those two options, I pick the first. That's not to say school isn't challenging. It is. But I like to challenge my brain.

I have always been someone who aims to do well in school, and I'm proud of that. It kind of amazes when some people hand in assignments three weeks late and it doesn't seem to bother them at all. I couldn't do that, for two reasons. Firstly because I don't want to, and secondly because I would just feel to guilty. I suppose I'm a bit of a nerd. I choose to spend my free lines studying in the library rather than hanging out or whatever, and I (sometimes) look forward to doing my homework. I consider myself fortunate to be someone who likes schoolwork, because college would be a hell of a lot harder if I didn't. And as bizarre as this is, I'm actually enjoying maths at the moment. Weird, huh? But as much as I like school, I really hate getting up in the morning for it. It's Wednesday and I've already missed four buses this week, two of which were on the same morning. Good effort by me.

School isn't always great. It's a long day when I catch a bus at 8am and get home by a quarter past four. Sometimes just going to class takes every ounce of effort I have. Sometimes I feel like I am drowning in homework. Just last night I got myself into a raging tizzy because I have so much to do before I go to New Zealand next week. But that's all okay. Because there's good stuff too. Like getting an A, getting to go home early, having a really great teacher and getting that perfect idea for an assignment. I think the real reason I like school is because nothing beats that feeling you experience when you finally get something. That you understand something in a new way and you know how to rework it and write it and tell it. That is the beauty of school. Learning something you would have never otherwise known.

April 7, 2011

my pet named hate

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Everyone has a pet hate. Or a few. That particular thing that drives you up the wall and annoys you to no end. Like people sniffling or talking loudly on their mobile phones or biting their fork. Mine? People singing. Not performing, (although that can be excruciating when they do not have God-given vocal chords), but when people just sing. ALL THE TIME. When they're walking down the street, or in class, or even just under their breath. Just because they can. Granted, it's okay for people to do this every now and then. But when it becomes a regular activity, boy does that annoy me.

I enjoy a bit of music here and there, but generally I prefer the peace and quiet. This is probably why people singing all the time annoys me. I understand that some people are musical creatures and prefer noise rather than quiet but do they have to sing that often? Most people I know who sing all the time have good voices, so I suppose that's a bonus. Maybe it frustrates me because they never sing a full song. They sing a verse here and a verse there, a line of one song and then a line of another. It's all over the place. And it's usually annoyingly crappy songs that get stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

As you can most likely tell, I don't like musicals. At all. (Glee should not exist). There is no reason at all for them to sing instead of talk about their feelings. Seriously. And this whole singing just for the sake of it is even worse when incessant guitar strumming is thrown into the mix. To be honest, sometimes I can deal with it. Other times, I can't. It will depend on my mood, but overall I would prefer it if you didn't sing, but really, I don't expect you to stop. I understand that this is pretty much giving everyone licence to sing at me all the time now, but please don't. If you really want me to listen to you sing, sing a full song please. And make sure it's a good one.

What are your pet hates?