Kia Ora “Hello”

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It’s 5.00am in the morning here in New Zealand.  We’ve been in the country only 3 days and already feel settled in.  I’m writing to let my family know…we’re alive.

Leaving Australia, mid air – it hit me (rather unexpectedly) that we were finally moving, and the emotions came pouring up to the surface and out my tear ducts.  I was a blubbering mess and could hardly explain what I was feeling to Mike.  Saying goodbye is very hard, and yet saying hello was equally exciting.

We’ve spent a day in Wellington with our friends, Mark and Shelley…and their rather hilarious pugs; Isla and Guinness.  Of the two, the later was particularly ridiculous and could be likened to a hyperactive little grunting piglet.  Mike had met Guinness before, and had shared stories of their love affair to me.  They were a total love match for each other.

While we were out at a local beach getting the pugs some exercise we stopped at a small dog park, where we were introduced to this enormous Newfoundland retriever.  I was in the midst of taking a photos when he cocked his leg and pissed on me.  There was an audience of about 7 strangers who cackled at the fence line.  Thankfully he only got my toes.  It was pretty random, and a memorable welcome to the country.  In fact it wasn’t the only “blessing” of the day.  Later in the afternoon, a very small baby girl that I was holding for Mike’s Uncle adorably, spewed all into my crotch.

At the moment we’re with Mike’s dad and his partner.  We have been catching up with his family in the areas of Fielding and Palmerston North.  We will be renting a home here for the first 6 months as Mike begins work, I continue working from home and await the arrival of the little dude that’s rapidly growing in my belly.  It feels like everything lined up perfectly.  Our transition from Australia to New Zealand has been in fact, seamless.

Yesterday we chucked on some bee suits and were able to see the inside of some honey boxes from hives that his family have been keeping at their farm.  The honey season is quite intense, long hours and a lot of manual work are required.  Mike’s cousin Kat’s husband has been working in the honey industry here for quite a few years and was really helpful in showing us some of the process and how to maintain the structure and integrity of the colony.  There are drones, babies, nectar, pollen and of course the queen shown in these photos.

Can you spot the queen?

We are now getting a few things sorted before we begin our month long road trip around the country in a few days time.  We’ll be stopping in to visit many friends and family along the way and should hopefully get to spend some time with everyone.

I’ll post again soon.



My first week with Tess.

Normally when Mike is away at work – I find the time goes by particularly slowly.  This has not been the case since our dog Tess has come to stay with us in the city.

I find watching her amusing… very amusing.

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Corymbia ficifolia, a stunning red flowering gum tree.

She has had a fairly “event” filled week, though there had been periods of time where she’s probably not as stimulated as normal.

Her second day she spent with me at work.  She was very shy and lay at my feet the entire day apart from a brief moment when I found her gingerly pulling the CEO’s garbage out of a bin – piece by piece and placing it into a new pile.  She was looking for treasure.  My co-workers were surprised by how mellow she is, as they came around for a quick pat.  Whilst it does seem like she’s an old dog by the way she behaves, she is only 4.5 years old.  She was well attended to at work, and gave us all little distractions… I think there is something really nice about having a dog in the office – they can remove stress and give people a welcome bit of affection that can brighten their day.  It’s something that’s quite common in Vancouver actually, many offices have a policy that allows them to bring their dog to work, most days.  It’s awesome.

Have you ever had the chance to bring your dog to work?  How do you feel about bringing a dog into the office or work space?

She’s been asked to come in again by one of the directors – and I think at some point this week I’ll have her in for another day of petting and attention and “slothing” about.

As I write she’s pressed into my side sleeping.   No wait – she’s moving away now.  I must be annoying her.

I do have some guilt about keeping an “outside” dog inside – but at the same time she looks so cozy and happy, that I think while she might not be getting as much exercise she’s safe and somewhat content.

Back to why I originally started writing this piece.  My observation this morning…

I was just waking up from a deep sleep when I groaned and stretched.  It’s Sunday morning, so we slept in till 7.  Tess was sleeping beside me and turned to greet me.  She shook her little tail and brought her nose close to me (thankfully she never gives kisses, it’s not her style).  She loves to have her chin stroked so I gave her a few pats.  She was enjoying this immensely until she caught the reflection of another tan, black and white dog in our closet mirrors.  She stared at it intensely.  So intensely… then leaned her head back ever so slightly in horror.  She moved her neck back another inch.  She did this for about 4 minutes.  I tried not to laugh as I was waiting to see what her final reaction would end up being.  Eventually she turned her head really quickly to hide her face and pretend she couldn’t see “the other dog” and hid her face in the blankets.

It was adorable…and so amusing.

Mike also teases her on Skype when we talk at night – She just about loses her mind trying to figure out where his voice is coming from.  She looks like she’s nervous he’s about to catch her inside or sleeping on the couch (a no no) and  he’d not really be too happy she’s sleeping in bed with me!

All her freedom vanishes when “Mean Mike’s” around! ahha…

  • She loves people – total strangers especially, but some more than others.
  • She’s terrified of buses
  • Children scare her and also perplex her, mostly scare her.
  • All the local birds try to swoop and attack her
  • She grumbles to me when I grumble to her – kind of like muttering and we “talk”.
  • In the middle of the night she comes close and cuddles with me when I say it’s bed time (she’s not normally much of a cuddly dog but I think she’s changing her ways).

MAMMÚT and more…

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Tessie, Bonnie and Chocco loving the long walk and spreading happy vibes

Every couple of months there appears to be a dry spell of decent music that is pushed out into the webisphere, and then suddenly it rains and pours.  I hold out for these days.  This has been the trend for the past two years. I spend a few hours each month listening to the backlog of music to listen to what’s been hyped.  This involves sorting through some garbage (you might even think some of the stuff I’ve listed here before is in that category) – and even a few of the choices below might not be like fine wine on your ears.

Here are today’s finds.   If you take a listen, let me know what you think.  I’m aaaaalways open to new music.  So if you feel like sharing with me… Could you let me know what have you been listening to lately?

MAMMÚT – Salt (this one is simply haunting – English Version)

MAMMÚT – Salt (Icelandic Version)

Wolf Alice – Bros

Slaptop – Sunrise

Litany – Woman (Feat. Appleby)

A$AP Rocky – LSD (Shemce Remix)

Lewis Del Mar – Loud(y)

Baile – Matter (feat. Felicia Douglass)

Dillon Francis – Bruk Bruk (I Need Your Lovin)

Michael Calfan – Mercy

Long Weekend – Eneabba & Greenhead

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 This weekend I traveled North to Eneabba to spend the long weekend with Brian and Tessa on the farm.  We headed to the coast our first few days to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere to beach always brings  During this time, we socialised for a few nights, enjoyed the local art scene and also got to witness the rare blood moon.  Tessie (our dog) warmly greeted us when we returned to the farm and I spent several hours taking her and the 3 other’s into the bush.  It was so nice to enjoy the quiet and company this weekend.

Mike will be headed to Coorow this Thursday to begin a seeding season, which will have him back on farm soil for about three months.  I’m happy that he’ll get a chance to get back onto the land, but also deeply sad that he’ll be away for 3 months (I’m trying not to think about it too much!).  I’m going to either pass my driving test in a few weeks time (fingers and toes crossed) or take a bus to visit him, depending on how I go.

Anyway, this Easter long weekend was really just great.  It would have been made even better if Mike were with us too.

Hoping you all enjoying your breaks too.  What did you get up to?  Did you eat buckets of chocolate?

Sandy Cape – Camping

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My personal interpretation of the wind and waves…  Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.24.39 PM

Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.24.20 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.24.03 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.23.54 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.23.47 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.23.24 PMOur first night was spent at Sandy Cape.  Which is about 10 minutes North of Jurien Bay.  It’s family friendly, and is adjacent to a beautiful beach and sand dunes. Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.22.48 PM These bees were in Brian and Tessa’s garden, when we went to pick up our beloved Tessie.  It was nearly 40 degrees and the poor little bees were desperately trying to find cool shade and safe landing spot.  Lucky timing for this bug stalker… Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.22.32 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.22.20 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.21.59 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.21.41 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.21.31 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.20.48 PMOn our second day we spent a few hours at our old beach stomping grounds/oasis in Greenhead. Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.20.42 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.20.30 PMTessie has been with us during our camping adventure. She slept in a tent for the very first time.  She’s also become a bit of a shadow.  Everywhere I go, she goes.  If I start walking, she’s right beside me.  This also includes going to the washroom.

I squat in a bush…she literally poops beside me.  Which was awkward. Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.20.23 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.20.14 PM

She also drove the car and got us stuck.Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.20.06 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.19.59 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.19.52 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.19.34 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.19.10 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.18.38 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.18.30 PM We met up with a couple of old friends, who took us to this private (locals only) beach for some fishing and relaxation.  It was such a beautiful sunset…  Tessie nearly got killed by one of the other dogs.  I’m slightly exaggerating, but things did escalate rather quickly.  Thankfully someone jumped in… Tessie is fine.  Just not top dog in this lot!Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.18.19 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.18.04 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.17.57 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.17.35 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.17.25 PM Apparently there is a larger breed of puffer fish, that can grow to be one meter in length and will bite off your fingers.  Which is absolutely insane.  I made sure the guys tossed them back into the ocean unharmed (they are a pain when fishing).Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.17.16 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-18 at 10.17.04 PM

We stopped on the way home to admire this valley.  There are thousands of these “tall boys” that have sprouted out of the sand.  They can grow to be 600 years old, and only grow at a rate of 1 cm per year.  They are quite a common site in Western Australia, however knowing these facts I suddenly have even more respect for them.  They are quite quirky to look at, and yet they were also incredibly useful during pioneering times.  The seeds were ground into flour and many other parts of the plants were processed to help industry.  They can also lead the most observant people to a grub mecca beneath the ground.
Tessie has returned to Perth with us for a little while.  It’s nice to have our little family back together.  She’s here to help keep my company as some days when I am home and Mike is away, I can get really sad.  It’s nice to have some company and feel love when the day winds down.
Our weekend was really relaxing.  I didn’t shower, wear deodorant, makeup or brush my teeth very regularly.  It’s nice to disconnect from the churn and grind of the city and appreciate nature… It’s peaceful to listen to the waves and hear the wind howl around the tent in the middle of the dark night.
We also were witness to the milk way our first evening.  It was stunning, emense, powerful…
Western Australia is an amazing place.
Have you been here?  What did you love most?  
Are you from Western Australia?  Please, let me know where you’re from, tell me what it’s like.  I’d love to know.