Thursday, 30 October 2008

Rings Blings & Sparkling Things

Earlier this year (before I moved to Auckland for work and started on the path of misery from being apart from Garth), Garth and I discussed marriage. Well we discussed my desire to have one and his not seeing the point of having one. The long and short of it was I decided I wanted something colourful for an engagement ring and maybe a blue diamond might be nice - a real gemstone

Of course, Garth wouldn't be able to afford a genuine blue diamond, so I figured I'd settle for an emerald ring or a sapphire or a ruby. They aren't necessarily very expensive..not compared to a blue diamond. Plus there are discount jewelers out there...

Recently over the last fortnight or so, in our nightly phone conversations, Garth appears to be dropping maybe he's going to propose. I'm not entirely sure if he is or if he's going off about something else. If he is though, I'm not entirely sure if I should be elated or gutted.

Well why elated is pretty is exciting to have the love of your life propose after all. I might be gutted however coz as a student he is pretty much broke, so how would he be able to afford a really really nice ring? You might be thinking "geez materialistic b***h", but hey gimme a break, we're talking about a ring I'm gonna be wearing the rest of my life! It has to be up to standards!

Oh well, at the moment it's all speculation anyway. But what with all the weddings and engagements going on lately, who knows? Hopefully when the time comes I'd be 100% elated and 0% gutted!

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

From the Pacific to the Tasman

Where in the world can you cross from the shore of the Pacific Ocean to the shore of the Tasman Sea in 20 minutes on foot?

On the coast of the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean low tide in the bay below the Farewell Spit

20 minutes later: Standing in the water of the Tasman Sea
In the Tasman Sea

Answer: At the base of the Farewell Spit - the Northern most part of the South Island in New Zealand.

While I was up in Takaka, we decided to make a trip out to see the spit, it being a good day with not much wind about. Of course before actually starting out on what would be a longer walk than I expected, we needed some "fortification" which Garth's parents kindly provided with lunch at the Paddle Crab.

The Paddle Crab is a (really expensive) cafe that overlooks the Farewell Spit from the Pacific Ocean side.

View of the Farewell Spit from the Paddle Crab
View of the Farewell Spit from the Paddle Crab

They've even got a little viewing room with a telescope through which you can look at spit all the way to the end. They also have the most awesome seafood meal for 2, which includes mussels, cockles, cold meats, and a paddle crab. Yum!

Seafood for 2
Awesome seafood meal at The Paddle Crab

Following a most satisfying lunch, we started the walk along the coast of the Pacific Ocean, which lines the bay just below the Farewell Spit. At low tide, the water recedes for miles leaving a wide expanse of mushy sand. It's not uncommon for whales to get beached here because the tide goes out so far, and the locals around the area are familiar with trying to save the whales (from a single one to an entire school).

The tide travels a long distance out
Low tide - the sea goes out far out

Half an hour and 1 dead very smelly sunfish later (Sunfish are huge, round and flat, and this one was larger than a bus tire), we reached a point where you could cut through the bush to get up to the lower part of the spit. The bush wasn't very dense, and there was only some gorse...and I rode of Garth's shoulders mostly (I'm so glad I've got a strong bf!!). So the hardest part really was climbing up a steep incline of sand to get onto the spit. What's so hard about it? The sand was burning hot after having absorbed the heat of the sun for hours. Honestly, it was scorching, and it isn't me just being a girl since the men found it very hot too. Garth's dad had it the worst since he decided to go barefooted and left his sandals in the car at the start of the walk.

When we reached the top, we saw...

Endless sand dunes - Some sign of vegetation!

sand. Lots of sand. A whole wide expanse of sand, as though we had warped into a desert. Basically the Farewell Spit consists of sand dunes. Many many sand dunes. Since there was no wind and no clouds, and the sun was really hot, it pretty much nicely fit it with the whole desert theme.

We started across the sand, with Ian (Garth's dad) trying to find cooler spots to step in since the sand was scorching (it wasn't a very fruitful endeavour because all the sand had been getting sun for hours). When we got a quarter of the way across, we could no longer see the vegetation bit from whence we first came up. Then there was nothing but sky and sand. And the sand dunes seemed endless.

An endless expanse of hot white sand
Expanse of white sand Sand dunes on the spit

Eventually though, (and much to Ian's relief) we came across a damp area, kinda like an oasis in the desert. The wind had blown the sand into little stiff peaks across a damp patch. The damp sand, of course, was much cooler and nicer to stand on barefooted.

Hurray for cooler sand
On cooler sand

The patterns in the sand made by the wind was a fascinating view of nature's artwork.

Nature's artwork: Patterns in the sand
Wind blew the damp sand to form peaks Nature's artwork

About 5 minutes from the other side in the middle of the sand dunes, we came across an area filled with pebbles. Strange huh? These were pretty large pebbles too, the kind you'd find along the riverbed. And no, there was no river in sight. Just sand.

Huh? Pebbles?
Pebbles in the middle of the spit?

Since the area has seen its fair share of ship wrecks in its time, Ian thought it may have come from ships, since ships put pebbles in their hull when they need more weight.

And then...the first sign of water!! A sight for sore eyes and hot feet 8)
It's so hot!!

Yes we had arrived at the other side of the spit, the Tasman Sea! And while the tide was out, it wasn't as far out as we saw on the Pacific Ocean. It was far out enough though to form little pools of sun-warmed water, just nice for soaking your feet in...


...although much later on I realised that it wasn't a very good idea to dip your feet into "nice" warm puddles without first checking for jellyfish, after Garth nearly stepped onto a very poisonous blue jellyfish that looked like a ring of blue plastic (the kind around a Sprite bottle).

And of course we had to get our feet wet in the Tasman Sea after all that hot sand.

The Tasman Sea
The other side of the spit: The Tasman Sea

Frolicking in the water
Frolicking in the Tasman Sea More splashing

Getting quite wet
Getting wet

Ok I'm tired

Thankfully, when it was time to head back, we had an alternative path to take, which didn't require going back over the "desert". Instead, we wound up cutting through a farm i.e. there was a path. Along the way we also almost got attacked by some native birds who thought we might be trying to attack their chick, which we could see was frantically running off in a distance while its parents tried to distract us.

All in all, a good if rather tiring day out crossing from the east to the west coast of the South Island on foot. 8)

And just to end off with a twisty fact, the North of the South Island is North of the South of the North Island!

Sunday, 20 January 2008

2007 in a Nutshell

Ok it's been a long long long long time since I last posted anything here. So I thought it might be a good idea to sum up 2007.

2007 has been a rather eventful year, being the year...

...I broke up with my summer fling over MSN

...I move into a flat with awesome views

...I met Garth (and ended up renting a room I never stayed in)

...I learnt to shoot a rifle with real bullets too!

...I joined the sync skating team and we won South Islands and South Island Masters

...I worked as a tutor and had 1 or 2 students who apparently had a crush on me

...I got flown up to Wellington for a job interview

...Roly and Sheena came down to visit and we spent a night at the bach

...I saw pregnant sheep being scanned

...I auditioned and was short-listed to film a skating commercial (but didn't get in)

...I finished my degree

...I did my Grade 3 hip hop exam

...I did my first skating tests

...I performed in a hip hop dance show

...Garth gave me a white gold and diamond ring

...I performed in the Dunedin Ice Show

...Garth went through heaps of trouble (and gorse) to cut me a 2.8m Christmas tree

...I attended the Takaka Christmas Parade

...I spent Christmas in Takaka and got loads of presents and a Christmas stocking

...I got to play with newly hatched chicks on the farm

...I went musseling in Takaka

Yeah it's been a great crazy year, with heaps of new experiences, new beginnings, and new people. Hopefully 2008 will turn out to be just as great, as I move forward into the next chapter of my life: Life as a Non-Student.

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Energy Drinks: My New Best Friend

Garth hates it when I consume energy drinks...coz it means I wind up staying up late and keeping him up by talking. But this week has been special. I've had the (mis)fortune of have 2 5000-word assignments due on the same day, with my dissertation due the day after. To finish everything, I haven't been sleeping for the last week or so. Needless to say energy drinks have been my new best friend for the last week...and miraculously Garth has bought them for me. Oh well, not that I'm home much to keep him up late. I practically have moved into the post-grad computer lab in the commerce building. It's kinda creepy at like 2am in the morning here with just me, my snacks, and my energy drinks lol. I predict I'm gonna be needing heaps over the next 2 weeks, or at least till exams are over. Maybe I should just move into the lab already...

Hobbies Online Survey

Monday, 27 August 2007

South Island Skating Champs

I've just returned from spending a weekend in Christchurch where the South Island Skating Champs are on. Our synch team competed in the Adult Synchronised Skating category against Christchurch yesterday (yes we finally have someone to compete against!)...and WE WON!!!!! It was a close win really, and totally unexpected. We actually thought we'd be second instead coz some of our members couldn't make it up to Christchurch, and the Christchurch team had more complicated and "cooler" transitions. Apparently we won based on our artistic interpretation, coz our costumes and moves suited the music.

I'm really stoked about it. Haha after all it's my first skating medal. Yep we all got pretty gold medals 8). After the event the team just had to go out and celebrate. We went to the Speights Ale House, and they serve really yummy wedges, with cheese and bacon on top. Tremendously fatty food, but hey even our coach had a whole plateful. It's actually been a not-so-healthy trip. We kept stopping along the way at cafes and little outlets to eat. Along the state highway between Dunners and Christchurch, there's this cafe run by a berry farm. They have amazing raspberry sauce. I had their raspberry and cream cheese brownie, which was divine...especially with the raspberry sauce! The sauce was full of whole raspberries. Pity they dun sell the sauce though, and they're famous for their raspberry cheesecake, but I didn't try that. Oh well, there's always next time.

Next time isn't all that far off anyway. Coz we're competing in the South Island Masters Games as well, and that's in Christchurch too. Gonna have to make our program more complicated though, to make sure we keep ahead of Christchurch! It would certainly be nice to bring another medal home!!!