Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chocolate coffee and a flower….food for the soul

I wish I had a “healthy” habit to soothe my soul. I wish I could run with the wind in my hair and music pounding in my ears. I wish we had the sea at our door where I could rush in and swim until my emotions were back on an even keel. I wish I could dance the night away with no one watching.

But right now (11.30am) amazing chocolate, coffee and a simple purple flower will have to soothe the ache in my soul. I also have an amazing new nephew and every-time I look at him my heart melts.

The past few months have been an emotional rollercoaster for family and friends. There is hurt that has occurred that I have no power to fix or control; which is hard because I am a control-freak.

There has been heartache, anger, death and life and while I understand that these things are part of life I/we still have to live through it. I also understand there are people who are suffering greater tragedies in this country and this world and I am still deeply concerned and compassionate towards other people for their grief or loss.

Sometimes it all just gets too much and I need an emotional “reboot” so that I can be a better wife, daughter, sister and friend. It would appear that the next few days are the time for that.

So sleep, a relaxing weekend, reading, music, the gym, a swim, a movie (or two), cuddles with our cats and summer holidays with friends and family will help get me back on track.

What gets you back on track?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How to lose friends and alienate people…

Puppy with a bow is cuter than a political related photo
I tend to stay away from discussing politics in a public forum as I believe it to be a contentious subject. Political views are a personal thing and it is highly unlikely that people’s comments (or rants) on news articles/social media will influence the way that I will vote.

I am not going to fight with people that have different opinions to mine as I cannot imagine that I will change their opinions, nor have people change mine. On the odd occasion people that make intelligent or well thought out comments/arguments have made me think about things differently. But ultimately I will make my final choice based on my own opinions.

I grew up in a ‘left-wing’ household and I have only voted Labour once. Does that make me ‘stupid’ or ‘unable’ to make my own decisions? No it does not. I think that I am a rational person, and I can usually hold my own in debates where I know my argument. However, I am not the type of person that just argues for the sake of it and certainly do not try and argue a point that I know little or nothing about and hope for the best.

ALL political parties have made promises (at some time or another) that they have not kept for whatever reasons. Left and right wing led governments have made mistakes and then other governments have tried their best to fix those mistakes. It is almost like a national sport to play the “blame game”.  I think that sometimes people forget that politicians are still human at the end of the day and we ALL make mistakes.

I have never studied finance or economics but even I can tell that New Zealand is struggling financially. Will a change of government fix that? Possibly not. Should individual people also look at starting to change their own behaviour? Definitely!!

So I am going to think of NZ in terms of my own personal financial experience as I know what it is like to struggle under enormous personal debt as I did it for years. I could never see the light and just got further and further into debt.

How did I clear my personal debt?
- Took ownership of my debt, consolidated it into one loan and stopped borrowing
- Reduced my cost of living and lived within my means
- Stopped buying unnecessary stuff and sold the things I no longer used or needed
- Got an additional part time job

Now to ‘simplistically’ apply this to NZ
- Stop borrowing and getting further into debt
- Reduce costs i.e. politicians spending, benefits, student loans etc. Essentially "trim the fat"
- Put things in perspective and stop wasting money on unnecessary things i.e. $36 Million to Team NZ (yes I know the current government were “contractually” obliged to give it, but seriously?!)
- Before you spend the ‘big bucks’ do your research first!
- Things this country could learn from this town

By the way I am morally against selling assets, but even I can see the benefit of selling off 49% of some assets to try and ensure that they are more profitable and run in a more businesslike manner. If you don’t understand what the implications of selling state owned assets are then ask someone that does before you cast your vote. I know I had to.

Lastly, I did a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Education as I considered being a teacher. I worked throughout my degree and I am bloody proud of it even if it is not a science or business degree. I have an amazing job that I love and do not regret the choices I made for my tertiary education as it has shaped who I am both personally and professionally. It is ironic that I nearly studied politics at University, but ended up choosing different subjects at the eleventh hour.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Week 44 – w/c Saturday 29th October, 2011

Saturday (29/10/11) ~ I made poached eggs for the first time with the help of Twitter. I think they turned out quite good. Mark planted our summer garden; very exciting. I managed to give myself a second (or even third) degree burn pouring the pasta into the colander in the sink….no photo of that revoltingness. Reinforces the idea that pasta is the DEVIL; thanks Colleen.

Sunday (30/10/11) ~ Mark did the 5km walk that is part of the bigger Auckland Marathon while I had a coffee and read the paper. In the afternoon Shona and John popped over for a catch up which was awesome.

Monday (31/10/11) ~ Halloween and we only had one trick-or-treater.

Tuesday (01/11/11) ~ I attended an old work colleague/current client and friends funeral. Devastating.

Wednesday (02/11/11) ~ I received a phone call from my sister at work to say that she could go into labour at any stage in the next few days to a week. Exciting! Took Kitty-Kat to the vet.

Thursday (03/11/11) ~ Sister still not in labour. Saw the 5+ a day team outside Britomart.

Friday (04/11/11) ~ Chilled out at home with Mark in the evening and watched some recorded TV. Sister still not in labour. I kept waiting for the late night phone call so decided to have an early night.

Week 43 – w/c Saturday 22nd October, 2011

Saturday (22/10/11) ~ Lunch at palmers with mum and dad and then later birthday dinner in Greenhithe for Jamie and Nikki.

Sunday (23/10/11) ~ Relaxing day at home. I think Mark planted sunflower seeds into trays.

Monday (24/10/11) ~ Lovely extra day off for labour day. No photo.

Tuesday (25/10/11) ~ Work and loads of TV watching in the evening. Made the best Pita for lunch at work. Yum-yum.

Wednesday (26/10/11) ~ I cooked a fantastic dinner with loads of broccoli to use up stuff in the fridge.

Thursday (27/10/11) ~ Work and client meetings. No photo.

Friday (28/10/11) ~ Early morning appointment with a client. Went to see John Rowles in Takapuna with Raewyn for her birthday; very cool! Amazing performer.

Week 42 – w/c Saturday 15th October, 2011

Saturday (15/10/11) ~ I got up late as Mark took the car to get supplies for his boat building project. I started the kitchen spring clean/declutter. It is kind of a work in progress but I did get rid of a lot. I think I will write a blog post about it. Made Nigella’s Devil’s Food Cake for dessert; it was great but I will double the mixture and add more baking powder next time.

Sunday (16/10/11) ~ Finally got soil for the garden! Watched the rugby in the evening while texting my sister who was on her own in a bar in New York.

 Monday (17/10/11) ~ Bit of a bad day and ended up eating some bad food and then putting some clothing on layby. Tackled the pantry which looked like a train smash!

Tuesday (18/10/11) ~ Went to the gym and did about an hour of cardio which was awesome. No photo.

Wednesday (19/10/11) ~ My sister and nephew came to visit me at work today and I got three paintings from my nephew to put up at work.

Thursday (20/10/11) ~ Work. No photo.

Friday (21/10/11) ~ Work. No photo.