Turns out, my plan sucks…

So here we go again. Let’s spend most of the time this year shouting from the rooftops that I’m going travelling in search of my forever home. Prepare, plan take action and 5 weeks into the trip, I’m suddenly on my arse in hospital.

If the universe wanted to have a good laugh and let me know that my plan was shitty and not the plan it has in mind for me, well there you go, you win this round universe.

Why in hospital? Well why not give me the worst injury that prevents me from travelling too much over the next 6 months? Why not mess with my vascular system, stop me from walking more than a block and leave me reeling in pain and swollen up like I’ve been stung by 100 bees. DVT – Deep Vein Thrombosis….or the fastest way to get yourself house-bound for 4 weeks. One very long haul flight & believe it or not taking contraceptive pills and I have one large blood clot in my pelvis, rather too close to my lungs.

I have to admit I’ve been taking this in my stride (oh how I miss striding at the moment). I’m in pain, I’m hobbling around, I have a giant blood clot in my pelvis and I’m trapped resting when I love to exercise and be outdoors. There’s days I think I’m doing well and I can lift my leg on its own without the need of my hand to guide it into a pair of knickers. Then there’s days that I can barely lift it off the pillow to get up in the morning. I have 4 weeks of intense rest, no travel (I can’t even go home) and no exercise then hopefully after then I can at least exercise and get about. I think the travels are on hold for at least 12 weeks. As they say in NZ, I can ‘handle the jandel’, I will survive. I still laugh, I can still cook dinner and I still have a somewhat sound mind through this. A small job wouldn’t go amiss to keep me entertained. I am not one to sit and ponder life for too long.

Gratitude is keeping my spirits positive. I am grateful I have a base here in the UK to live in and very grateful that I was at said base when things turned to shit. I am grateful I made the choice to not board a plane to Ireland that day, but to go to the doctor instead. I am grateful that I had someone by my side the entire time. I am grateful I am so far alive. Oh hail the mighty NHS system, you are my saviours. Their advice and treatment has been top notch.

So universe, you’ve decided that Sheffield is where I am to stay for the next few weeks. You’ve probably decided there’s something I need to learn here and travelling is not serving that lesson right now. That’s ok, I’ll follow your lead from now on (for the time being, until I get pig-headed again). But why Sheffield? Why couldn’t it have been somewhere lush, tropical, exciting? I am a kiwi in Sheffield and quite often I feel like a circus freak amongst people…. ‘oh, come see the New Zealander’. I’m a rarity round these parts. Embrace the rare, hobbling, moaning in agony kiwi…she doesn’t bite…much.

So I’m here for the next 3 weeks, not doing much, just over-using the internet and watching far too much telly! Wait till the day I get clearance for take off again, with perhaps something newly found about myself. I dream a dream, to be living the dream!

Big love x


Living the Dream – Take 2

Three months ago I declared I would go travelling in search for my new forever home, then not a post since…

Did I bail out of this adventure you wonder? I’m pleased to inform, NO I DIDN’T!!!!!

I am actually one month into my adventure and currently in Cumbria, UK. I’m watching out the window in awe this week, at the stunning scenery in a quintessential English village north of Cumbria. Spring is having its usual fight with winter to release its hold and allow summer to step into the light. This week winter is winning….every time I go to step out the door to take the dog for a walk, it’s suddenly snowing or hailing heavily. With my usual gut feeling telling me to sort out some writing so that if anyone actually reads it knows I exist, or at the very least being productive with my time until the sun fights through the snow flurries and I can consider risking an outing.

January I declared my adventure plans and wanting to find my forever home, I spent a lot of time getting my shit together, whilst maintaining my usual routines. To say things have been a bit crazy is an understatement.. Work wise I was slammed in February by a very busy teaching schedule, life as a teacher huh! This is what took me away from writing and that’s okay. I also committed myself at the beginning of the year to better nutrition and to clean eat as much as I could. I have enjoyed changing my nutritional lifestyle and in combination with bootcamp I have so far lost 4kg and gained an almighty amount of muscle. I am not only proud of myself, but also my happiness levels have gone through the roof and the year although busy, is amazing and what I felt was the perfect time to travel.

Come 27 March, goodbyes and nights out with friends now in my memory bank, I spent a long weekend with my closest family members in Auckland eating beautiful food and watching them shop up a storm in some fabulous shops we do not have in Christchurch. A wonderful weekend shared before we said our farewells and I left for London, to start my forever home adventure, wherever that may be..

With a six month plan to travel and housesit my way around UK & Europe in my mind, I was filled with the usual anxiety before leaving, constantly asking myself ‘WHAT THE F*@K AM I DOING’? But since I have been here I have been embracing it 100% and weirdly this time I feel more settled and less panicked about being here. The first week or two I had to remind myself to ‘chill out, I’m on an adventure’, especially when the fleeting thoughts of no income raced through my conscious mind. 16 years of working and receiving a constant income to raise myself and child ingrained into every portion of my mentality, is now being tested to trust in the process of this adventure and the six months ahead of me.

Now it’s unreal, even surreal to be away and fulfilling my dream. I had some challenges before I left and I’ve had a couple here already, I was going to have a rant about them, but you know they’re about people – friends, family, lovers etc, and you know what, this is my adventure and not theirs… The growth that I have experienced in the past year has been bloody tough but tremendously rewarding. I have watched peoples behaviours and my reactions to their behaviours and sometimes liked or not liked either, but I have matured through this and learnt to let some shit go. I have seriously learnt to let some shit go! I’ve learnt that some people in your life are awesome and some are shit. You decide if you want to let the shit ones go, that’s your decision. I know that these days I ain’t got time for that type of bullshit in my life. I choose to surround myself with supportive people who empower me, and I in return offer the same type of friendship.

Keep walking your dream and living the way you want to. No one else creates your own story but you, so surround yourself with people who genuinely care about you and support you, because that will raise your vibration to be a wonderful person not only to yourself, but to those who back you.

The adventure is real and I can’t believe it’s only been a month, it honestly feels like I have been here for longer (in a good way).

In the next post I am going to tell you how I came up with the idea of housesitting my way around the country and what I’ve been doing here over the month of April, not forgetting to mention what I’ve booked for May!

Big love x

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The road is clear

2016, everyone is raving that this is going to be a big year. The New Year, New Me biz is still raging, after all we are still in January and I have to admit I am 100% onboard. My confidence, inner happiness and love for myself is back, I feel so good. I am completely set for a good year ahead. Looking back at 2015 it was a bit of a work year with not a lot of travel or excitement. I did make one trip to Thailand with my now ex-partner, however it wasn’t the dream holiday I had hoped for. To be honest I felt like my holiday was the fourth instalment of Bridget Jones Diary! Relationship troubles, scooter accidents, extreme patchy sunburn and straw hair just to name a few scenarios!!

So yeah, looking at 2016 already and so far its been great, I am still doing my exercise and this year I am on top of my nutrition and I am feeling really good. I am turning 40 this year and am also newly single. My daughter turns 20 and is creating her own life. I recently sold my house and I have the funds to purchase what I hope will be my new forever home. There are silver linings everywhere in my life and I feel so lucky to have this clear path leading into 2016.

For me 2016 has the potential to be a terrific one. I am so blessed that I have so many choices lying in front of me. All I want is to have fun, spread joy and send out lots of good energy this year. I am so grateful for the opportunity to carve a new life, home and who knows maybe even attract love (ya gotta put it out there!).

So the big question is, where to from here? This is the first year of my entire life where I can do whatever the bloody hell I want to and I do love me some travel…lets go find that forever home.


Welcome 2016 – nice to see you…finally.

With a title like that anyone would think I couldn’t wait to see the back of 2015. It’s kind of true that part of me was looking forward to a new year and today I found myself reflecting back over the year remembering the climaxes and anti-climaxes of 2015. There weren’t a lot of climaxes, unfortunately there were many challenges and that was a reminder in itself that I am survivor in this high-pressure and somewhat dysfunctional world. The peaks and troughs were immense and it was sometimes hard to be consistent inside my mind, but if I walk away from 2015 without learning a lesson or two then there is something seriously blind about my journey on this earth. I’ve had 3 majors this year that have been significant in my life and 3 I want to recognise, accept, put into my life toolbox and walk into 2016 with a fresh outlook.

A year ago I returned home from a year in the UK, ah-hem…I ran home, back to my comfort zone, because being in a new country in a normal relationship freaked the shit out of me and I fought every single minute of it to make sure it didn’t work. I was a shit and continued to be a shit back here in NZ for 2015. I made some dumb decisions and then some more that looked dumb, but underneath their dark appearance they had some healing in store for me. For example I healed a long term dysfunctional relationship with my father, it took up 9 months of 2015 and showed me that a life lived with hurtful and toxic behaviour everyday is not a ‘life well-lived’. Behaviour that will never change, a life with no love for the people closest to him. So during 9 brutal months of misery disguised as healing for us we reached common ground and parted ways with an unspoken love and new understanding that we are both free from each others hurts now. Life is full of instances that present mirror images of yourself and I recognised that same toxic behaviour and hurt was present in my life too. I acknowledge it, I accept that I am not an amazing person and although it’s not a full recovery yet, there has certainly been growth for me and I’m working on being a kinder more gentle person daily. I’m surrounding myself with good people who make me feel good about myself and I can give them love and friendship also.

I somehow try to juggle a relationship with my daughter here in NZ and Mr Darcy in the UK and that has often shown signs of stress and decay throughout the year. I have a close relationship with my daughter and a distant and fractured one with Mr Darcy. Some would ask (actually many ask) why am I still clinging onto this? They are both my best friends who know me so well, they’ve seen it all and I love them both, but I often wonder how many balls in the air should I really be trying to juggle. After all I seem to be the only one juggling these balls while they are just sitting and watching. This is the one major that is not closed in my life just yet, I’m still trying to work this one out, but it will be worked out, one way or another this year, I promise. It’s a promise I make to myself. That being said, I have learnt this year to look after me and not let others control me and my own thoughts for their personal happiness, which happened way too often in 2014 and 15. I have plans for me this year that fill my tank and it’s exciting.

Lastly was my health and wellbeing. Given the challenges I really struggled to be on top of my wellbeing. I gained 10kg in the UK and have battled to find some sort of rhythm to get myself back on track with health and fitness. My self-esteem and confidence suffered which left me down a lot of the time. Finally in October I joined a boot camp for females and have been smashing some goals in this area. I haven’t lost any weight, but I am a lot stronger and I am more confident and feeling so much better. I was even awarded the most improved boot camper for the season, which was a wonderful surprise. If anywhere I wanted to succeed this year, it was here. I’ve joined for another season and looking forward to smashing some more goals with an amazing bunch of like-minded females. Exercise is definitely proof that it is the antidote to better mental health.

So it’s been a challenging year, but there have been some hidden rewards for me to tuck into my life experience belt. Good ol’ life lessons and awareness, sometimes living life aware is a curse and it’s felt like a curse  for a long time now, but I am hopeful that 2016 will be a rewarding one.

My goals this year?

Relationships are difficult for me and I would like that to sort itself out this year with Mr Darcy, is it there or not there? I am going to put more energy into this relationship this year.

I have made some big travel plans for myself this year and they’re exciting, but they also make me nervous as I will be jumping out of that comfort zone again, but this time with a parachute, faith and prior experience.

It’s my life now and mine to take ownership of.

Kicking Arse

Boot Camp…

Yep Boot Camp…

It has been my life saviour beyond measure to kick my arse in the right direction. Not to mention as well, that literally my arse is being kicked into shape and is starting to look like a mighty fine arse!!!

I am on week 7 of 10 and loving it. It’s not easy, however the results keep you going back for more punishment. I signed up because I am 12kg over my weight range, miserable, low self-esteem, lacking confidence and completely lost my direction in life. Let’s just say I have been this way and declining since January 2014, but if I was truly honest I would say it would go back to July 2013 when the decline really started. Heart shattering break ups can sometimes do that to you and then you start making some dumb decisions you think are brilliant at the time! Not all decisions were dumb, I just went about them the wrong way. Anyhow…

It took me a long time to get back on the exercise wagon, I tried many times but the motivation and stickability just wasn’t there. I couldn’t get my head in the game so to speak and therefore always chose the couch option after work. I wouldn’t make it a priority in my life and although I would tell myself everyday that I would exercise, the evening would soon roll around and it was the only thing on my list I had not completed. I made sure everything else came first in order to avoid it. I asked myself,

‘how come I can get shit done everywhere else in my daily life, but I can’t with my health?’

So when I joined boot camp, a 10 week programme with the slogan ‘strong is the new sexy’, I knew I was in for it, it was time to get shit done in this area of my life. I flipping love it and for a whole pile of reasons. You pay for the whole 10 weeks in advance and you have set days/times a week to turn up, you are set weekly challenges to overcome and you work sometimes in teams, so it’s all about you taking ownership for you and sometimes your partner. If you don’t meet challenges, you are punished, plain and simple. Being the honest person I am, I own up to sometimes forgoing challenges and will honestly say I will never find the love for burpees…they make me sick! Haha.

So to be true to yourself, take ownership for your losses and then smash your own goals  are some super life lessons not only for boot camp, but for everything you apply in life.

I joined to lose weight and now that is not the priority, that for me would be the final icing on the cake. The priority now is being strong and feeling sexy again. Feeling confident, self-assured and wanting to be a part of this world again.

There’s been two gauges for me in this boot camp:

  • How many press-ups I can achieve week to week.
  • How many wolf whistles I receive daily. 🙂

Just to clarify these both; I started at 0 press-ups on week 1. I’m talking strong man press-ups and down to 3 inches off the ground. I could get down, but I couldn’t get back up. My back was too weak. It’s now the end of week 7 and I can now do 10 in a row, and about 16 in a minute time frame. I’m pretty damn happy about this, in fact I’m over the moon, I can’t believe how far I have come in 7 weeks.

Wolf whistles…now don’t get me wrong, they make me puke as much as a warm fish smoothie would….but when you’ve had no self-esteem for over 2 years and carrying around 12 extra kgs, I don’t mind hearing the odd wolf whistle when I walk to work. They don’t get acknowledgement, it’s just a nice to be a part of this world again (to clarify some more, I work in the city where 20,000 construction workers are building a new CBD for us, it’s unavoidable….ahhhhh….they weren’t happening 7 weeks ago). Again I state, it’s not the weight loss, I am sure it’s the confidence, I’m walking taller, I’m smiling more and I want to get dressed up more feminine again.

The sexy is making a come-back..

So, I’m up to 3 wolf whistles a day. Haha.

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about the lessons this boot camp has been handing out, you know, it just keeps on giving and giving….value for money! Mostly as you may have picked up, my mental clarity has changed dramatically. My confidence, self-esteem has grown. I don’t feel so lost in life and can see a path for me ahead that I have always dreamed about.

Then there’s my writing, I feel like this is the first time I have written properly in 2.5 years. If you look back on my history my last proper blog was sometime in 2013. It wasn’t, earlier this year, I reviewed the stuff I had written and was embarrassed by my frame of mind and given that I had no confidence, I deleted the lot. I knew I would regret it but I regret it because now I wanted to take ownership of my journey and to be transperant to my audience. It is what it is and it’s what you do when you are in a dark place for so long, you make rash decisions. I don’t want to look back now, I only want to look forward, the past is the past and I want to be a part of today, not yesterday.

The lessons that I am learning in boot camp, I want to apply here. I have had so many writing blocks, so many unfinished drafts. I haven’t been able to write on here at all, but I have been able to write in my journal by hand, for that I am grateful. It’s a pleasure to spend an hour transferring my thoughts onto my page and to share my journey with you. I have many ideas and I want to see them come to fruition next year. My spirit is now willing me on and I feel I am now in the flow.

I do have another hurdle that I have recognised from these lessons. I have slipped into this type of person that needs to be told what to do. I’ve been an employee too long! Haha. Boot camp, I am told what to do, that suits me, but writing? Who is giving me motivation and making me stand accountable for delivering something to the table? That is my next hurdle and it may call for an accountability partner, let me think on that one a bit…and as for being an employee, I no longer want to be one, I’m working on that too. I step at a time huh.

So far though, I have committed to this small list of key writing companions:

honesty, authenticity, vulnerability and to write with passion and love.

To get to the bottom of my blog and know I am going to put this online is such a big step for me and for once in a long time, it’s in the right direction.


Under Construction

My site is under construction, actually so am I this year. After a tumultuous year in the UK, I have come back to NZ to rebuild my life here. I have bought many lessons and skills back from the UK, I have learnt a lot about myself. Not only that, I found myself back living with my father who sadly is a very broken person from his childhood. Living with this, I see the foundations of my childhood, my makeup, my reacting emotions and who I am (was), why I was like that and how I want to live my life now. I am a product of my environment, we all are. But I am aware and for me that is key to my success. I choose to be aware and I choose to walk a very difficult spiritual journey that sometimes takes me down paths most refuse to acknowledge. I come off these paths armed with lessons and a new sense of purpose and hope. Somedays I trust myself and my heart, others I get lost and feel I have abandoned myself. But at the end of each day, I know that I am here for me, I’ve signed onto this and I am committed to myself.

By doing this I learn to love more, I learn humility, I learn forgiveness and to let go.



My first Half Marathon – TICK!

Well Saturday 11th May and come and gone and it was D-day for my first half marathon. We had an absolutely fantastic weekend away and the half marathon was a complete success with me achieving…..

2 hours 2o minutes and 57 seconds

I am absolutely chuffed with my time and so proud of myself for running the entire way. Admittedly I was a little worried about how I would go as my last 2-3 training sessions saw me walking some of my runs. I was really out of grunt. But everything fell into place and one might say ‘my planets aligned’. I had a thoroughly enjoyable run.

The time is for an average runner and that’s me! So I’m pleased that I can say I ran the whole way and now I have a time I can work with 🙂 Chuffed to bits…


This is how our weekend rolled…

We left Friday afternoon after I had taught a 3 hour class (no voice!) and hit the road for Blenheim. 3.5 hour drive north to the spectacular wine region of New Zealand, Marlborough. World renowned wines come from here and Marlborough turned on a fine weekend for all. I had heard that 1000 runners/walkers had registered from Christchurch alone for the race, so we expected some big convoys on the road to our destination.

We had booked ahead and managed to organise a homestay with friends of friends for the weekend. Jill and Pete were utter gems and laid it on thick for us. A beautiful home, lovely big log burner, our own rooms and bathrooms, a couple of super friendly dogs and the creme de la creme….. a spa pool!!!!! Yusssssss!!!!!! A god send believe me. They were just the nicest people to stay with and it really made our trip so special. It was a million times better than booking a motel/backpackers.

After a visit to a friends for a dinner of pasta and pasta and pasta. Beautifully cooked I might add we returned to Jill and Petes for a spa under the clear skies full of stars. The frostiest night of a chilly 1 degree (Celsius) and tucked into bed for the race the next morning.

Up fresh and bright in the morning for a good breakfast, waited for our other running partner to arrive (who had not registered the night before) and we headed off to St Clair’s vineyard. Sussed out Angie’s registration and freebies and chucked back a gel shot and off to wait in line for the starting gun.

It was a chilly morning with frozen big toes but after 1km that wasn’t an issue. We ran through the vineyard lanes, up stockbanks so you had terrific views of vineyards on either side of you that joined to the snowy mountains beyond. A fabulous day without a cloud in the sky. A little road running and a nice run about the 15-18km mark along the river. By the 2km mark I set it in stone that I was going to run the entire way, I felt so good.

What was fun about this run was the food on the circuit, yes you heard me right, food, gourmet food to be precise… So at the 5km mark there was king salmon on a cracker. Yum but not for this runners tummy, there was no way I was going to carry that in my belly for another 16km. Just to add – behind the runners next off the starting block were the hybrids (run/walk) and then walkers. So I think these treats catered more for them. There was also NZ mussels, mini Bavarian sausages, mini gelato sorbet in a mini cone, swiss chocolate, and then some more! Personally I stuck to the water stations and the fuel electrolyte stations. Oh there were also band playing on corners, pipe bands, brass bands and bongo players! It was a really fun event and it was great to see the support from so many people.

I hit the 17km mark and it suddenly became harder, my will to live was starting to leach out and my emergency positive talk needed to kick in now. 18kms still going but slowing down…… My original goal was to make 2 hours 30 minutes but I changed that to 2 hours 20 minutes on the day. 19 kms it became the mental battle for the last 2 kms, it was really really hard and I nearly gave up. About 150 metres from the finish line I heard the loud speaker say ‘Anyone wanting to get before 2 hours 20 minutes has 10 seconds to pass the finish line’. Argh!!!!!! I wasn’t going to make it, but who cares, its all about finishing. Nearly there and I was so dis-heartened to see a young lass had collapsed 50 metres from the finish line and was being helped by two men. It just shows how hard it becomes near the end. I made it and in a weird delirium I slowed down to a walk and made a bee-line for the water tank…

My good friend Tash finished on 2 hours 7 minutes so she cheered me on at the end. Angie came in at 2 hours 33 minutes and 50 seconds, which I thought was pretty good for someone who had not trained for 6 weeks!

We hung around the event for another hour and checked out all the stalls. Oh don’t forget my bottle of wine!!! Haha. Had a nice chat to a celebrity by the name of Kerre Woodham. She is a radio DJ and comedian and wrote a book ‘short fat chick to marathon runner’. She’s quite inspiring and doesn’t need to look fancy pants to run, she’s just a real genuine kiwi woman.

Here’s a link to her book here

Oh and here’s my photos, my bib number is 1162. The photos aren’t the best. I was struggling at the end!! There’s also 3 videos of me crossing the finish line. Pretty cool!

After the event we headed back to our homestay and had a spa of course!!! It was so lovely. Then a lovely lunch at a beautiful vineyard Rockferry

The evening we had a few drinks with the other girls we met the night before and then off to bed. It was a huge day! I didn’t sleep to well with achy muscles.

Sunday we drove home and stopped at the most amazing natural day care centre in the world. This is called Ohau Waterfall and is located in the northern end of the Kaikoura coastline. It’s an easy walk up to the waterfall (10 minutes if that) and this is a magical place. So…..this is what happens….mama seals go fishing and they simply cannot fish and care for their babies at the same time. Look I know us woman can multi-task but why would you when you can drop your baby seal off at a sublime waterfall to play with 80 other baby seals….

They are so adorable, the are all up the stream and make their way back and forth to the waterfall and the ocean. About 50 or so are in the waterfall diving from it, jumping on each other and sunbathing on the rocks. They are the biggest posers and will pose for photos for you, supermodels of the seal world, they can pull out the moves! Haha. I just love them and unlike adult seals they don’t smell. Oh and it’s free as well 🙂

Photos of course….

Baby Seals

Baby Seals 2

Baby Seals 3

So obvious I’m a tourism teacher, can’t help doing a tourism venture on the trip and completely plug it with passion!

So in summary it was a fantastic weekend with many many highlights and not one single lowlight except that I have to wait an entire year to return and do it again.

My blog post comes over a week since it happened and for a reason. Tuesday came and my dearest friend who has been battling terminal cancer and the young age of 35, lost her life. My heart just broke for her and her family and it was a difficult week last week. She is in my thoughts everyday and I am going to miss her for a very long time. I dedicated my run to her because I admire her strength through her illness and also her grace and dignity to fight so hard. I admire how organised she was and has left so many memories for her 2 year old daughter behind. Not only memories but she set up her daughters future so her life will be filled with quality care and love. RIP Tania, you will always be remembered, never forgotten.

Tania and I

So next goal, we’re thinking the Buller River Marathon. team of 4 doing 10km each as it’s rather hilly. Not till Feb, so we’ll have to find something for October to fill in the gap. Loved the running and I’ve taken a week off naturally but rearing to get back into it this week for maintenance runs 🙂

So in 10 days I’m off to the UK to visit Mr Darcy. I feel like it’s a reward. It’s going to swing by really fast, super excited and looking forward to hauling the suitcase out, getting myself mentally ready for 33 hours of travel time (gulp) and seeing my man and his family, friends etc. Trying not to feel the pressure….