2011 is nearly over – and in many cases, thank heavens for that. It’s been a very trying year for me, my friends and my family for many, many reasons. But for me, it has been a bit of a sea change as well.
In my first year out of academia (almost to the day now), I have learnt a significant amount of what life is like outside of the ivory tower. And despite academia being my security blanket, I have made a promise to not go back and start something new. And to be honest: holidays, weekends, a stable and above the poverty line salary… wow. It’s amazing. I’ve also started to tick things off my bucket list and set out to do things I couldn’t do as a student. But more on that when I hit my end-of-year review post.
This is more of a summary post of what’s happened and some early thoughts on 2012.
So, since my last post, I have been busy. In the week before my escape to Auckland, I went to Fly My Pretties IV, which was a complete and utter waste of time and money. A friend who suffered through it with me summed it up beautifully, but it’s not a quote to repeat in polite company, nonetheless I still chuckle over it. Slightly more redeeming for NZ Music was my first Flip Grater concert (and the first time I’ve been to Mighty Mighty – good cheese toasties), and then Lisa Crawley, supported by my most favourite duo, Rosy Tin Teacaddy, who didn’t play nearly long enough, at the San Francisco Bath House (first time I’ve been there too). Lisa Crawley has a lovely voice in studio, but her live performances (and her wooden band) need a little more practice in front of people – it was quite painful in places. But music aside (next year I will see more RTT, and hopefully Hera decides to stop avoiding Wellington, and Tiny Ruins comes back. But more on those plans later).
Still, I managed to get a respectable amount of music in before winging it north and giving Auckland some time to try win me over. It hasn’t yet, but I don’t loathe it any more. I’m open to persuasion, as long as the argument is good. And the argument here wasn’t too bad.
In all honesty, Auckland was great. It was a weekend away I needed, and there was a good deal of exploring done. Saturday saw a trip to the La Cigale French Market in Parnell for my weekly shopping (yes, I bought my groceries in Auckland and flew them to Wellington. Your point?) and the Night Market in Pakuranga with good food and millions of people. It also held a trip to the top of One Tree Hill (where I nearly blew away), and Mishi Yarns (where I didn’t buy anything).
The Obelisk on the top of One Tree Hill
Sunday turned out to be a beautiful day (and if gmaps is correct, I did about 15km of walking in the sun in jandals): I walked about the Symonds Street Cemetery, and the Auckland Domain (and Museum).
Symonds Street Cemetery
Auckland Museum and War Memorial
Hall of Rememberance
On a whim (the Santa Parade was on), I caught the ferry across the harbour and took lunch while walking North Head in Devonport (I fell in love with a stunning 2 bedroom unit in a period house right on the water, but I’d need to win lotto to buy it), and got slightly burnt (to go with the tired vocal chords from 2 hours of karaoke the night before).
Knitty-Graffiti at the Devonport ferry terminal
Munitions Bunker, North head
Torpedo Bay, Mechanics Bay, and the CBD
All in all, I had a fantastic time with one of my favourite people (who gave me Dune
as a birthday present = stoked), and a good escape to a city that reminded me almost too much of Sydney in some aspects.
What has followed in the three weeks following has been a flurry of Christmas knitting, time at the gym, time in the pool, and plotting a return to the library fold for 2012. Things are in motion, and I can only hope that it all falls into place.
On the note of falling into place, I’ve decided to set some rough goals for next year, not ironclad plans. I have a delightful pile of fascinating books which I need to read/revisit and haven’t done nearly enough indulging of the ink and paper kind this year, and the knitting may take a bit of a back seat to the books next year too. Yes, I know, it’s inconceivable, but I don’t do audiobooks, and you can’t concentrate on reading and knitting at the same time. Yes, I’ll have a play with the Southern Summer of Socks (again), but I need to finish some of the bigger projects I have started and knit smarter next year. The yarn diet will help this. There will also be more music, more theatre, and hopefully some travel involved. As soon as I renew my passport. There are several bits and bobs I want to complete on my bucket list next year and I have every intention of crossing off at least 5. That’s my mission.
For now though, I have an apartment to continue to pack into boxes in anticipation of quieter pastures next year, seeing as I’ll have little time to really deal with it in January. There’s a few more days of the flurry of chaos before I escape to the Bay, with it’s sun, my puppy, and relative silence. I can’t wait.
Until next time…