Sunday, 11 November 2012

Week 26 - 'Guy Fawkes Night' - Alice's Tea pots & reminders of life's fragility.

Waterside Fireworks!
Hello everyone,
I guess I'd just like to say a huge thank you to everyone who reacted to last week's blog by sending nice messages this week. My intention is always to try and share aspects of living and working as an OT in difference parts of the world, without too much censoring. So sharing a bit of personal information and reporting the good and bad is important.
This week there has been plenty of stuff happening here in Wellington, both within my OT role, and within my role as a Wellington citizen!

Mnday November 5th, (usually known to me as 'Bonfire night' in the UK), is known here as 'Guy Fawkes Night'. Most people I spoke to understood the history of the celebration (Guy Fawkes failed plot to blow up the houses of parliament - and he was executed for the attempt!). It's just the 'Bonfire' tradition, and the 'penny for the guy' (where children make a dressed up dummy Guy Fawkes) is not something that is done here.  
Guy Fawkes Fireworks!
My apartment friends!
So, I headed off to Wellington's Waterfront with some friends, see below, and whilst waiting for the grand 15 minute Firework display, we got soaked by a passing rain shower! Still, it was worth the wait as the fireworks were not too shabby! I've tried adding video to give you a flavour of the display!

The rest of the week, was pretty much a haze of working and trying to keep healthy by going to the gym! Slowly getting there! Wednesday night I went to the movies to see 'Ice Age 4 as part of the CANS FILM FESTIVAL as discussed in last weeks blog! A free movie for a can of beans! It's just brilliant!
Tea Pots in Alice!
Another neighborhood get together was arranged on Friday night, starting at the usual 'Bangalore Polo Club'. Myself and few others who live, of have lived at my apartments, had a few beers, and a catch up about Wellington life...
As has happened in the past, we moved on to 'Boogie Wonderland' and the little side bar called 'Alices' - and the famous tea pot cocktails - named after the Alice In Wonderland characters. As the pictures below show, even with 'alcoholic' tea, you are still required to follow tea drinking etiquette.
Late night tea anyone?
Today I returned to the now familiar 'West Pac Stadium' to watch my hometown team - Wellington Phoenix play their 3rd home game of the season. With a win and a draw at home, I was optimistic about the chances of a win. At just $32 a ticket (£16) it's pretty accessible sport for most people. The atmosphere of the 6,500 was a bit muted, and the clouds and wind were rolling around the stadium. Unfortunately, despite plenty of possession the Wellington players seemed to lack the desire, and often the ability to cross the ball into the penalty area, leading a dull game! the low temperatures helped the crowd stay awake long enough to see the away team (Central Coast Mariners) score a pretty good winning goal in the early part of the second half. Being the only NZ team in the Australian league it helps the Wellington fans have some pretty standard chants like: 'Same old Aussies, Always cheating!' 

The Phoenix enter....
An 'almost' moment!
I'm very sad to report that on Saturday morning, I received a text telling me that one of my friends had died, after a long battle with cancer, aged just 33. I have seen so many families, in quite a few different hospitals watching the reactions of people's friends and families deal with this kind of event. It's never quite the same when you're in the situation yourself. Support comes in all ways, and I've been lucky to have that. So, to my friend, Reena, may you rest in peace, and may your family, friends, and fiancé feel your spirit where ever they may go. Your bravery, fight and spirit in the face of difficulty says everything about you. A reminder to us all, to look around and ensure that we don't take the important things for granted.

Regards from New Zealand.

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