Sunday, 24 June 2012

Week 6 - Birthday Week, Presentations & Bar Hopping!

Hello Everybody...
It's certainly been an emotional old week. People have gone out of their way to make my birthday celebrations very memorable, but being away from family & friends during this time has been pretty tough too. I certainly feel like work is now in full swing, and it's been another week of meeting new people and finding funky little places to go for a dink / brew!

I'll talk a little 'business' before pleasure, as I'm feeling well and truly settled into my work role. I'm still meeting new clients, and still have plenty to learn about how many aspects of the service works. I have however met some very fascinating people with some difficult issues, which will provide many interesting and difficult challenges in the time ahead. I haven't seen too much difference in the presentation of mental health symptoms between New Zealand and my experiences in the UK. From my current understanding Wellington has a transient population, with many students coming through the 2 large universities here, and a steady number of New Zealanders who were born outside of Wellington living here. The City has a real artistic and creative side, which may also be a factor for the kind of people that use out service. I'm getting used to driving about it here too, though it seems many more clients are able to attend our work base than I experienced in similar services. I am keen of course to start doing more community therapy, and some group work, which I know happen in time. I'm presenting to my team this week, about my perceptions of what Occupational Therapy can achieve in this field of work. This will be my second presentation this week, after being the Lunch speaker for one of the local Rotary clubs last Friday. I talked about the cultural issues when trying to use OT across other cultures, and how we need to adapt our approaches to be culturally competent! (I'm still available for hire to do these talks - for conferences, lectures, birthdays, barmitzva's and weddings... ;) )

Birthday Cake at work!
My birthday weekend has been one of fun, food and drinks, all staring on Friday, when my colleagues helped me celebrate my birthday on Friday )Birthday was on Sat), with cake, see below...

The afternoon cake, was followed by a brilliant evening out straight from work, at the 'Bangalore Polo Club', for drinks and food. This place is known for it's peanuts - let me explain!  They give you free peanuts in shells, but they expect you to throw the shells on the floor, so you have to wade through lots of peanuts on the floor! Sounds strange I know. The food was totally delicious, have a look at some of the dishes!
My Roast Pork Hock!
Ella's Pizza
And here's a few of the pictures from the evening!
The work crowd!
Out with Work
Unusual bag stand!
My 'pod' mates Jen & Belinda
Jen & Bob with "Dan" (long story)
Anthony & Louisa 
Me with Derek & Steph
After the Friday celebrations, I spent Saturday morning speaking with the folks, and nana on the phone, before heading to the gym. I then had a nice surprise that I wasn't expecting when I got a get from Jessica (a member of the OT Board of NZ) who helped me get registration. I met her 2 weeks earlier to say thanks for all her help. On realizing it was my birthday, Jessica had not only got me a nice card but baked some very yummy biscuits (see picture), and gave them to me in another funky little cafe (Fidels on Cuba Street)!
Jess' present for me! 
As I was saying, there has been a really social week, with drinks with people from my apartment block on Thursday at the Bangalore Polo Club & the Library, Saturday Drinks at the Bruhaus to watch the rugby where I met a whole new lot of English friends! I even managed to go the Mac's Brewery bar this evening with my colleague Louisa. I can't wait for my mates Mark & Jenny to arrive in a few weeks to show them some of these funky little places. I even did a Sushi bar today!

Sushi Bar
Despite all the new places to socialize, nothing can really be compared to the natural scenery around the pace, and just today I went to 'Eastbourne' (no not the home of the pre-Wimbledn tennis tournament), but a little town just 20 mins drive from Wellington. I always enjoy a good scenes picture! Those of you that have been away with me, now I love a good sunset picture too, so enjoy these pictures!

Sunday Stroll
Sunday Stroll
Sunday Stroll
Sunday's Sunset from Eastbourne
Regards from New Zealand


  1. Belated birthday wishes Dan, it looks like you had a great time and, as always you look like you've been there for years! The food and scenery look fantastic that should make up a little bit for the homesickness. I'm sure you've heard that the weather is typically British at the moment, unpredictable and mainly wet so make the most of those fantastic sunsets!

  2. hope you had a nice icecream at Eastbourne - what the plan for this weekend?