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Sleep sleep sleep sleep I worked for 14 hours today sleep sleep sleep there is a cat sitting on my nice warm bed sleep sleep sleep. That is all.

I’m celebrating sleep today cos that is all I can think of. I like to use the excuse that I’m still transitioning from being a teenager (either that or I’m making up for all the times my (darling) Mum made me get up at 10!) but man do I love to sleep!

Here’s to sleep, which is what I am going to be doing very very shortly. That is really all now πŸ™‚


I know it’s not a post day, but this place deserves a post of its own! Sunday night I got picked up from the airport, and we didn’t arrive at our motel for the night until about 10.30. So we were all pretty tired.

My boss rocked on up to the office before we arrived (I was helping to navigate in the truck), apparently the guy had no idea we were supposed to be arriving. Luckily there weren’t any other people staying at this place, so we still got 2 rooms.

Me and my colleague lucked out and got the ‘good’ room. And when I say good I mean the one without cockroaches. In our beds. Plus ours had a heater! Of course the heater was as loud as a truck, and didn’t seem to produce any heat, but it succeeded in keeping us awake most of the night. I finally fell asleep after putting on another couple of layers of clothing and filling up my hot water bottle, but I did NOT get enough sleep to work on the next day! Just to cap it off, the tap in the sink had more pressure than the shower, and went cold about half way through my shower 😦

The ironic thing: in the notes we had on the place, apparently a previous staff member had recommended this place!

So now we get to Tuesday. The notes for Tuesday’s accommodation read: “Doesn’t look great, but not a lot of choice here” so I’m all ready for another crappy nights accommodation.

But I was pleasantly surprised! Our motel room had a working quiet heater that was incredibly efficient, the beds had electric blankets, and although the beds were both in the lounge, the bathroom had a shower that had some pressure (and hot water!) and nice soap and shampoo and stuff!

Of course come about 6pm we were starving, so we headed into the town of Te Aroha, and as we were walking along the footpath I noticed that there was music playing. At first I thought it was just from one shop, but as we continued along it kept playing, and kept playing, and kept playing! Eventually we found an open restaurant called Ironique, which was AMAZING! I had the moroccan lamb which was delicious, and ginormous! Enough for my lunch today as well πŸ˜€ Mostly so that I could have room for dessert which was baileys bread and butter pudding, which didn’t look as good as the sticky date pudding, but was very good! (And the Russian fudge that we had for lunch today was insanely good too!)

So yes, you should all go to Te Aroha! (We stayed at Te Aroha Motel which I can recommend if you get on well with your co travellers!) (They also have a bookshelf there and I got 2 books :D)

For some reason I had a few moments like that today, in between the rush of packing and cleaning and going to BookCrossing meetups. Sitting on the bus listening to music. Not exactly sure how to describe it, it’s not like being happy, but not sad either, just kind of thoughtful, but not thinking about anything in particular.

Sorry for the short entry, I just got back to work after my week off and we had to drive about an hour and a half out of Auckland and it’s not almost 11, and I need to sleep!

Totally unrelated it is incredibly foggy here tonight and driving through the fog in a truck was amazing! (Glad I wasn’t driving though)

As some of you know, I am a HUGE Hazelnut (for the uninitiated that’s a fan of the band Sister Hazel) and I recently discovered that they have fora over on their website. Hazelnuts strike me as very similar to my other group of favourite people – bookcrossers. It probably doesn’t hurt that most of the Hazelnuts I know ARE Bookcrossers as well, but we seem to share the same kind of hmm spirit I guess is the word I want. Generous, fun loving, slightly quirky etc.

So anyway, over on the fora, there’s a thread called ‘The Happy List‘ that I absolutely love! It’s like a smaller version of this blog, where I can just write a sentence or two πŸ˜€ The best thing about it though is that you get to share in other people’s happy moments! Celebrate with them. It’s a great way to make me smile πŸ™‚

A little explanation to start us off perhaps! Last year I was lucky enough to work in a summer camp in the USA. It was a heck of a lot of fun, and I would totally do it again! While working there I made some friends (wow I hear you all thinking! :p) Β and Crikey and Mavis were 2 of them. Not that those are their real names, we all had camp names (mine was Whaea!)

Mavis and I are both from New Zealand, and we travelled to camp together. She’s a teacher by trade, and we’re about the same age, and got on really well (thank heavens because we spent 5 days on a train together!). And Crikey is from Australia (sure none of you figured that out already!)

Anyway, a while back Crikey emailed us both saying she was going to be coming to Christchurch this weekend and then making her way up to Queenstown to do some snowboarding (I forget which). Somehow I mistook the date for next month and so hadn’t booked any tickets, but after getting a few messages on fb, I quickly rectified that!

So on Friday I flew from Auckland to Wellington, and then Wellington to Christchurch, and was picked up at the airport by Mavis. We spent a ridiculous amount of time chatting about travel (she did an incredible trip around Canada, Europe, AND Egypt, of which I am insanely jealous), didn’t get nearly enough sleep!

Saturday evening Crikey arrived, and we all went out together, me looking like a complete idiot because I didn’t have ANY nice clothes with me! Had a wonderful time anyway though, and it was so nice to see them both again!

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Te Papa, it is a fantastic museum, but I’ve found another one that is almost as cool!

Yesterday was my last day off in Auckland, and my friend Alkaline-kiwi asked what I wanted to do, and I chose this museum, because I’m a total War Memorial geek (speaking of which, I must go and log this landmark over at Markeroni!). It was fantastic. I want to go back because there was not nearly enough time to see everything.

The war memorial parts were incredible, and I really didn’t get enough time to see all the stuff I wanted. Partly because we found the childrens area (for new readers I used to work in a family area in a museum while I was studying) which had LIVE animals! Including a moray eel and some really really cute rats πŸ˜€

Definitely want to go back, and spend the whole day there!

I work with this guy Shane who also did Camp America back in the day, and he regularly manages to make me laugh quoting campfire songs! Surprisingly enough we actually know quite a few of the same ones, albeit with occasionally differing words…He’s been singing ‘The Princess Pat‘ all day today, and he only desisted when I threatened to sing ‘The Skunk Song

As a kid we never really had ‘campfire’ songs, but I remember there was one Alex and I used to sing while we were out tramping called Black Socks. You may have heard it before :p It goes:

Black socks, they never get dirty
The longer you wear them the stronger they get!
Sometimes I think I should launder them
But something keeps telling me
Don’t wash them yet, not yet, not yet, not yet…

We used to do it as a round with Mum and go on for a while until Mum (probably on purpose) would trip up and we’d have to start again. And we’d go on for a bit longer. Great way to keep the pace up while tramping.

For the first time since January I’m working over a weekend – I got two days off in the middle of the week which was AMAZING! But now it’s Friday, and my body is telling me that it ISN’T a Friday, because I have work tomorrow! Which is weird for me, because I’ve never had a job before where I’ve worked the same days every week for a long period of time. OK I worked the same days every week at camp last year, but that was only for 10 weeks, hardly a huge length of time (especially since after that I travelled for 3 months and had NO schedule!)

It’s kind of crazy that this job has provided me with routine, because my job is anything but routine. The number of schools we go to in a week changes, what kind of venue we set up in, how big it is, how far away we have to park the truck, the kids, the helpers, where we’ll be staying, how many hours I’ll be working that day. All these things are extremely changeable. Not to mention all the other stuff that can go wrong in a day. Or a week.

No wonder I love going home so much!

As far as I’m concerned, this is the worlds best invention ever. There’s nothing quite like sliding into a warm bed on a cold night! Especially when you’re reading a good book too (which I am right now – Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner).

Of course the electric blanket only just beats that feeling of having 3 or 4 duvets on your bed, being weighed down, knowing that even though you’re cold now, when you wake up in the morning you’ll still be under all those layers and toasty warm πŸ˜€

The last time I slept under that many duvets was at Mums holiday home – it was a beautiful night and I slept outside on the verandah. Insanely cold though, and I was glad of all those layers! It was amazing waking up in the middle of the night and seeing all the stars. Good times πŸ™‚

'capture the flag'Of course, being the history geek that I am, I’m going to celebrate the LAST 4th of July, which is far more meaningful to me! This time last year I was working in a summer camp in the USA, and because July 4th was on the weekend, we celebrated it a bit early. Now, apparently our camp had a few July 4th traditions, primarily being that the international staff would go and *borrow* the USA flag, and raise another one instead.

So, at about 11pm (yes, after curfew!) me and another counsellor snuck down to the flagpole and took down the American flat, and raised up one we’d made using bandannas of all the international staffs flags pinned to a bedsheet. We then stole back to our cabin, took this picture, and stowed it under my bed (no, it wasn’t touching the ground) Of course we returned it later, but it wasn’t there on July the 4th!

On the actual July 4th, the camp had organised for a trip to DC to watch the fireworks that I’d signed up for. Of course we all got horribly lost and couldn’t find any of the other groups, but there was quite a big group of us sitting together. Well, after chugging down my orange cream soda which I apparently wasn’t allowed to take in because it was in a glass bottle! I had a ball, especially after deciding to cover myself in NZ flag (fake) tattoos (gotta be the right day to show some national pride right!) πŸ˜€

The fireworks were pretty cool too!

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