Sunday, 12 August 2012

Week 13 - A Visit from Friends, Team Away-Days & A Sunday Roast!!

Mount Victoria Lookout
Hey Everybody, just wanted to say I'm so proud to be British after such an amazing achievement by Team GB in the Olympics, and the amazing achievement of Mo Farrah in the 5,000 & 10,000m - truly inspirational! 
Ice Cream - Oriental Parade

So having almost recovered from my cold last week, and having come to accept that I was going to have to watch the rest of the New Zealand Olympic Team during the Olympic coverage, I was looking forward to the arrival of my friends (Mark & Jenny) of 17 years. They are on their summer holidays, which seems strange to me as I'm here in Winter! They were driving here, so didn't arrive until late Wednesday night, and seemed almost semi-delerious when they eventually got here. We got back to my flat where Mark revealed severe bruising on his leg, ribs, and face, with a swollen cheek! Having made sure it wasn't anything to do with commenting on Jenny's driving, I found out that Mark had fallen down a cave, at Waitomo Caves and he really doesn't like small spaces! 

After they had freshened up, and I had been given the proper English Cadbury's chocolate, and English tea bags, sent by my parents (it's so much better than the Cadbury's chocolate here - in my opinion), we headed out for a quick bite to eat! We had a good catch up, and returned back to my flat for a cuppa - it was the first time I had used 3 cups at any one time, so had to get it out of the box in my cupboard. Having agreed Mark was in most need of the bed - being quite injured - Both myself and Jenny took the sleeping bags option (donated kindly by my work mate Catherine)!

Mark working the street!
On Thursday, the heavens opened, in time to soak Mark & Jenny! I was heading off for my first work related 'Team Away-Day'. Having not been a permanent member of staff anywhere since 2007, I was getting a little over excited about what we might do! Whilst I had hoped for some kind of activity based day - such as go-karting or team bonding session - instead we headed for a meeting room away from our normal base, to discuss service development stuff! I'm not going to bore you with more details, but I must say two things... 1) I had the unenviable task of chairing the business meeting part of the day! (I don't think everyone gets my humour here - especially sarcasm), an 2) the highlight of the day was definitely the first hour where people went around the group, giving a bit of information about personal information about how we came into our profession, and how we ended up here in this role. Really interesting as we are a truly international team! I definitely feel like I have a greater understanding of my colleagues both professionally and personally! 

So Thursday evening, I met Mark & Jenny and we headed off to make the most of Wellington's huge number of funky bars! Starting off in one of my favorite bars 'the Library' (see pictures)....

Mark & Jen @ the 'Library'
before heading off to the waterfront to the Mac's Brewery bar for a bite to eat and some Cider! 

Me @ Jen at the Waterfront
So Friday morning soon arrived, and in typical fashion, as Mark & Jenny caught a very early ferry to begin their South island adventure, the rain disappeared and the sun came out! At least they had good views for the crossing! Saturday was another beautiful day here in Wellington, so I took myself back up to the Mount Victoria look out point, and walked to Oriental Parade to sit on the beach for a while... (see photos)...

SUNDAY, (today) has been a great day so worth a little mention. I was invited to a traditional Sunday roast dinner in Johnsonville, a suburb of Wellington, 20 minute train ride away. The dinner was hosted by Stephanie & Derek - the couple I met here through friends, who it turned out I already knew back in England. Oh it was sooooo good to have a nice roast meal, and I topped it off with a visit to the monthly free salsa party and a few fun dances, on the way back to my apartment - a perfect way to finish the weekend! Mark & Jenny return next weekend, so maybe i'll finally have an excuse to go tot he cheesy disco called 'Boogie Wonderland'! 
Sunset - Oriental Parade

Some Random Wedding by the Harbour! 
Regards from New Zealand

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