Sunday, 9 March 2014

The best and worst of life, wonderful Wellington, & the use social media in 'Therapy' .

Me & my Nanna
Hi everyone, it's now March 2014 (Yep, where did the time go?).
It's been a while since my last blog, and even though I intended to have a little break, it's been longer than I anticipated. There's been a lot going on in life since my last post in November, and for once I'm going to share a little bit of my personal journey....

30th Birthday
Whilst at home visiting friends and family at Xmas, my world changed. My gran became ill (and died just 3 weeks later). Whilst nothing will ever fill the hole in my life left by my gran, I do wonder if there is some invisible force that directed the events of the last few days of my Gran's life to allow family from far and wide to come together, as a serious of randomly planned visits. These recent events have certainly played a large part in my current thinking about which path to travel down for the next few months/years, leading to lots of unanswered questions.

These events also made me become more mindful of the distance between myself and those people I'm closest to: family, friends, and loved ones. I love where I live, Wellington is like a paradise for me, in so many ways, but missing the central characters in my life. It's kind of like eating at your favorite restaurant but never feeling totally satisfied with the whole experience. The atmosphere is relaxed, the service is fantastically friendly, the prices are reasonable, the food tastes great, the company is good, but there will always be an empty chair or two at the table...

The level of satisfaction living here is really like nothing I have experienced anywhere else in the world. Here's a sample list of the events (often free) that have been on around the city - JUST IN THE LAST 4 WEEKS -
- DRAGON BOAT RACING (free to watch)
- 10/21K ROUND THE BAYS RACE - free post race events including music & food
- WELLINGTON WATERFONT SUMMER THURSDAYS - (music, craft stalls, & Salsa) - free
- FILMS BY STARLIGHT - free outdoor movies
- NZ FESTIVAL - many art / performance acts - free drum, band & choir concert.
Check out some pictures below from some of the events!
- POWER PLANT - Fastasia style sound & light show in Botanical Gardens

Start of the NZ Festival - Big Bang Concert
Choir @ NZ Festival event.
Big Bang Concert

Big Bang Concert
The Newton Festival was something I'd heard people talk about, and living just round the corner made me think I should check it out. On a gloriously sunny Sunday last week, me and my flatmate Bez were able to wander through the small suburb of Newtown where you could eat from one of the 100+ food outlets / stalls, and listen to a variety of music from one of 7/8 stages! 
Crowd entertainment @ Newtown Festival

Random things @ Newtown Festival
Local music...
Solo shows...
Small stages...
Best seat in the house?
More music....
Jazzing it up on the big stage....
This weekend (today and yesterday) was the annual Dragon Boat Racing - which my ultimate goal is to raise enough money to buy a place in the race for mental health clients, staff and families to race in. The DHB (Health Trust) do have boats for staff as far as I am aware... I learned that once a team is entered they have 8 one hour practice runs before the event itself. It was another lovely day with people lined up all along the waterfront enjoying the spectacle, they even let some Aussie (Australian) teams compete, but needles to say they didn't win. 

Check out the grand final video below from day 1!

The final thing I was going to write about was some of the issues about using social media in therapy, and the way we are communicating with clients and families of clients, through rapidly changing technology. However, as the clock strikes 22:40 here, I am thinking that should be a separate post entirely... 

So my final word goes to all those people who have offered me time, a listening ear, support and encouragement, and most importantly friendship over the past 2 months...  A HUGE THANK YOU... and as a dedication to you Nanna, here's the poem.

My Nana

My Nana was fun, always smiling and smart,
But not in a way where she knew about art,
Or about politics, or current news affairs,
But she knew about life, and about how to care…

My Nana had ups, and her fair share of downs,
But always moved on, making smiles from frowns,
My Nana had a spirit, not quite like any other,
With infectious charm, sometimes frustrating my mother.

My Nana made friends everywhere, it never took long. 
All it would take, was a smile or a song,
In Asda, Boots, Aldi or Tesco
There would be a new friend, where ever she’d go.

My Nana could shock, always surprise, be funny,
Even dressing up twice, as a Hugh Hefner bunny.
My favourite costume, that she bought to look good,
Had to be, the quite naughty, red-riding hood!

My Nana loved flowers, and going away,
With my mum, my sister, on many a holiday
To Germany, Spain especially Scotland,
She’d come back with tales of fun on the sand.

My Nana loved life, and ‘Black Russians’, too,
Of the alcoholic kind, she occasionally get through.
She’d welcome each girlfriend I ever brought home,
With such a kind heart, they’d feel like her own.

My Nana loved life and went many places,
Bury Market, Ashton, she knew many faces.
‘That lovely lady”, we’d hear many times,
From all kind of strangers, from all walks of life.

My Nana loved life, and was loved in return,
By many a person, and now here we all yearn,
For one more laugh, one more smile
One more song, for that final mile.

As we say goodbye to my fun-loving gran,
Please remember these times, that made us a fan,
Of this woman, who knew the true meaning of life,
That despite many hardships, it’s easy to love life.

Regards from New Zealand.

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