Wednesday, April 8, 2009

When your work makes you zing

I have just been to a meeting and been inspired. It was about something called the Greening Campaign which is a not for profit organisation (ie like a business but where profits are reinvested into the business) enabling communities to look at climate change as something they can manage rather than a 'big brick wall' as the presenter explained it.

There are various stages involved - please look at the website - but the beauty of it is that it gets streets and communities aware that each other, their neighbours, are doing their own 'bit' but the simple method of putting a card in the window if they are undertaking some simple things (like washing at 30 degrees, or using energy saving lightbulbs). Terena, the lady behind it and who gave the talk, likened it to how people decorated their homes during the world cup, and how it engendered a visible sign of community.

As I say, look at the website. This has taken off around the country as people look at their part in climate change as positive and tangible. I for one will be looking at this more - very surely though 'work' work, but in Hove... Could it start something in your area?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The inevitable

Since returning to the UK, I have had a number of comments comparing me to me a year ago, generally starting 'since you've been back...' or 'you're more x since you're back'. They range from my physical appearance, to my personality, to my accent. Uncommented but possibly noted also are changes to my faith.

Comparisons are one of the ways that we naturally use to evaluate change, and it begs the question to me as to whether I like/am happy with/ the changes that have been mentioned (they are correct observations I should point out). Am I a 'worse' or 'better' person than 12 months ago? It's all rather subjective unless you in turn compare it with a universal truth.

I'm good at bimbling through life and enjoying it, but on a bigger scale that you find yourself considering when you are about to pounce on 30 years: what, where, who, when, and why?

A rock or rocks are used as a metaphor in the Bible to describe God/Jesus/faith, often meaning as a foundation (Matt 7:24), and as unshakable protection (Ps 94:22). I could do with some of that.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Pestered into blogging

I can't believe how long it has been since I posted something.
Madness. And I hate it when people don't update theirs. Maybe it's because I am basically lazy. Ok, I put on or two notes up on fb, but I don't think that counts!

Anyway, I'm back and unwittingly challenged by a challenging person in my life to write something. Which I am in nearly in danger of not doing whilst still doing.

Some things that have made me happy recently:
  • my mini rose plant. Now blooming pink flowers on my window at home and just so so cute! It's a mini rose! It's so mini! I think you get the point.
  • a meeting running how it should. I not sure I'm convinced that the Government necessarily had to invent and impose the structure to bring us to that point, but nevertheless different agencies and groups sat round a table, had shared goals, offered services and generally made me think that some people are bloody great.
  • 14/15 f my sweet pea seeds have germinated and taken off like rockets. Actually not quite sure what to do with them now, but can't wait till they flower because the scent is heavenly.
  • having my own white board by my desk. Yep, it's the thinking woman's flipchart.
And check out Iva Lamkum.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Holidays soon...and Mid Point

Yep, by now Beth, Jo, and Nicola should be just about in NZ. I will be joining them for three weeks of fun-filled travelling and all the amusement you can have on long car journies packed with people!

Before then, I have a week and a half of work left at Audit NZ, and frankly lots of work to do. However, I have to most laid-back 'boss' ever who truly demonstrates the meaning of 'work-life balance', and if I don't manage to get it done he will shrug and say 'who's that Russian?'. The Russian being 'Toughski Shitski'. Another inappropriate comment that keeps me sane, and will make me sad to finish working with him soon.

In a break for the normal routine I was sent up the Tauranga office last week, and then to the Auckland office, to do some resourcing stuff (as I do). Was good to see the places. The TRG office is slightly out of town, so I didn't get to explore much (plus, working pretty hard I didn't have much time spare anyway) so one of my colleagues gave me a little tour of the place and Mount Manganui before dropping me at the airport. I got the smallest plane I have ever been in to fly between TRG and AKL - probably 20 people, 1 row each side. No hostess, just the pilot and co pilot who say hi and play you a pre-recorded flight safety announcement. I took a sneaky shot of two with my camera (didn't want to appear too much like a tourist!), which will probably appear on FB at some point.

In a big surprise to me, I quite liked AKL! Had been psyching myself up for hating it (huge, overcrowded, dirty etc etc) but being as I was hotelled right smack downtown, with taxis paid for, it wasn't a problem for me.

Had an amazing day conference by New Wine NZ at my Church a couple of weeks ago. I accidentally (yer really, I can't read the signs) ended up in the workshop on prophesy. NOT where I wanted to be. Especially as the blurb said we would be trying some. Oh man. It was an extremely small group as well, most people probably being naturally rather reticent. All Christians of course. Was great though. Was very sound background into what the Bible says about prophesy, when it is appropriate or not, 'am I just making it up in my own head?' etc. Very interesting. Then we just prayed for each other and if we felt prompted to say anything (positive, should always be an encouragement/positive, not a judgement) then we did at the end. Really glad I ended up there!

Headed out to yet another cooler than school bar in Wellington in the wee hours of Saturday. Called 'Good Luck', it was a great place and just really cool but unpretentious. I already know how much I'm going to miss it here.

I'm starting to think about the future past NZ now, as next Monday will be half-way through my year away. Obviously, I'm having thoughts about staying longer, wondering if it is a sensible idea to come back to the UK if I'll just want to pack up and come back here again in 12 months time...and how much I miss my friends back in Hove and the UK (got to say UK, as Ieuan and Mary (and baby Erin) are in Wales...). Ho, and indeed, hum. I think I'm coming back. I mean, I've got a return ticket, a sister to see, and a wonderful wedding to go to (and hopefully help plan for...?!).

It's a strange time. I am leaving a job I have very much enjoyed, so to go on holiday with fantastic friends, and then who knows what? Slightly unsettling.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Last Saturday evening I felt the pleasure that comes with discovery of something beautifully simple. Like all of these things that make one exclaim 'It's so obvious! It's great!, I couldn't believe I had lived without it. I shall set the scene:
Having had a couple of beverages out with Jojo in another lovely Wellington bar, we decided that we needed a snack in order to survive the winter chill and bus journey home. We went to BurgerFuel which it would seem has a reputation in NZ as a good burger bar. Just slipping in under the closing wire of midnight, we ordered and were happy when our meals appeared fairly speedily. Jo looked at my tray, frowned and said "They haven't given you a Doofer". "A what?" I replied, wondering what she herself was doing playing with some kind of presumably free cardboard game/toy/hat. "A doofer", she replied matter-of-factly, holding up a sort of semi-circular mini-basket that she had assembled by slotting the edges together. Holding it to the bottom of her burger, she concluded: "It stops all the bits falling out the bottom of your burger".

Could anything be more sensible?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Scrap that. I've left. I got offered a job at Audit New Zealand (equivalent of Audit Commission in UK), who audit government depts/orgs/bodies. Really enjoying it. Bit of a novelty working in a place that I would never think/be able to work in at home. My two temping experiences so far have been great. They have given me a lot of insight into my skills, interests and options, and are a great way to meet people and get access to an instant social life - this sort of access into normal people is what backpackers generally miss and is what I really wanted. I'm helping implement a new (better in various ways) method of resourcing the audits so that it is better planned and staff are happier with what they are doing. I'll be here for a couple of months.

I now start even earlier, and start work at 8am. This means I am getting up at 6ish and leaving at 7 for a walk through the bush and gardens and into town, watching the sun come up over the high-rise buildings. It's very beautiful. Probably won't be so when it rains, but hey! A much higher proportion than other cities in the country get to work either on public transport or walk. Nearly everyone walking into work wears trainers, so to begin with it is a strange sight of men an women in smart suits with trainers (though there are also a good number of people who jog past me, presumably with their smart clothes in their rucksack...). I need to work out how to retain the ability to get up early, and using a healthy way to get to work. I think a bike is going to be the answer.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

I'm clearly never leaving The Firm

Yep. My previous boss sidled up to me and asked if I would be interested in some more work after the end of next week when my current job ends. Obviously I said yes. But that I wanted a few days off to lie in bed first. She said she'd negotiate it. I'm never going...

Right. So went to Napier. The best bit was the travelling in my car and discovering an incredible waterfall with noone else there or anywhere around for miles and miles and miles. It was amazing and when I can get some pictures here I will.

Napier was pretty and reminded me a bit of Hove because it was by the sea and relaxed. I found a brilliant ice-cream place and had manuka honey and passion-fruit scoops :)

Dangerously I have discovered a nice cafe that I walk past on my way to work every day. I am limiting myself to two per week. Aren't I good?

I am looking forward to this weekend to relax, cook, and read a book.