Sunday, 6 January 2013

Week 34 - New Year, Beaten by the weather & 'slip slop slap'

Hey Everybody and Happy New Year to everyone! (Did you know that Hawaii celebrated new year a full 21 hours after we hit 2013 here in New Zealand!)
It's been a bit of a 'blow out' her this week if I'm totally honest, quite literally with my two bit planned events this week falling victims to the Wellington Wind! Still, the week has passed with countless new year well wishes and quite a bit of skype time to friends around the place.

1) NEW YEARS EVE - this turned out to be quite a fun night, despite having no real plans until the evening itself, mainly due to working until 5pm, and the good friends I have made here either having left Wellington for New Year or busy. Still me and my friend Jess, had some pizza, wine and watched a crappy film on TV, until about 10pm. We then walked down to the waterfront where a live band were on (See photo below) in a family friendly 'alcohol free zone'. 
Free band at waterfront!
Our destination was to head up to the top of the nearby Mount Vic, to watch he reported midnight fireworks. With a torch, some beers and a packed coat & scarf we got through the darkened forest to the top of Mount Vic, and soon had to hide behind a rock to escape the ridiculously strong wind. (You can tell a little by the photo below). 
New Years eve @ mount Vic
More and more people soon joined us at the top of Mount Vic, in all kinds of clothing, from tourists in t-shirts and shorts, or skirts. One guy turned up in lycra - not fancy dress, but because he'd just cycled up the mountain! (Very Odd I thought & but very Kiwi). The Views were quite nice, when you could stand still long enough in the wind to enjoy them.  
Wellington Views from Mt Vic
Wellington views from Mt Vic
We got to the magic moment at midnight.... someone started a countdown to midnight: 5...4...3...2...1... and then.... NOTHING HAPPENED. We thought it must have been early so we counted down again 3...2...1... and STILL NOTHING HAPPENED. We were later told that the fireworks had been canceled due tot the wind, but no one seemed to know about it before midnight. Still we managed to get back down to the city and join the hoards of people in Courtney Place who all seemed in a festive mood! 
2) 'SLIP SLOP SLAP' -  with sea kayaking planned for Sunday, I had a lazy Saturday in glorious sunshine and came across this quote near the waterfront. (There are quite a few quotes carved on stone around the bay) but this one particularly caught my attention, so I thought I'd share it, - very appropriate for Wellington.
As the pictures show, the day was gorgeous, and after chilling in the sun most of the day, I was reminded of the need to put lots of suncream on. I 'd seen an advert on TV earlier in the day with the catch phrase 'slip slop slap' which was obviously referring to the need to ALWAYS wear suncream, and this explained what some of my colleagues had been saying to me in past week, when they had been using this phrase - I thought they'd be making reference to some kind of strange dance craze!   
3) Wind strikes again! After watching a great movie on Saturday afternoon (Life of Pi - well recommended), I was excited to be going sea kayaking Sunday afternoon with the 'Adventure Wellington' group. This would have been the 4th event I'd done with them, after the bike ride, mountain walk, and this week's social meet up drinks, where I met lots more adventurous people over beers - and I'm looking forward to quite lot more adventure stuff. 2 hours kayaking with an instructor for just $55 (£22), was due to start at 14:45pm. Unfortunately, at 13:45 I was just about to leave my apartment when I hear a little wind. Just one hour later, the wind had picked up strong enough to cause the cancelation of the kayaking - well postponed until next week. 
This did give me a chance to do something I'd been wanting to do for weeks - dive off the diving platform next to the famous Te Papa museum! It's quite a way up, honest! (See video below)

Unfortunately I lost a flip flop on the way back out, but had a spare pair of shoes with me anyway, which allowed me to get back home, but not before stopping for a much needed massage! So all in all I'm feeling well rested for 2013! 
So, to plans for 2013 -
1) Take my first NZ student Feb - March
2) Return to Vietnam for holiday!
3) Get accepted to speak at next NZ / World OT conference!
4) Find a more permanent place to live! 
5) See more of New Zealand! 

Happy New Year everyone! Hope it's a successful one for you all! 
Regards from New Zealand

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