The 2015 List Wrap Up

Ok… so with the end of 2015 it’s time to check out what actually came of the list… the full run down. Once again there have been heaps of times this year when the list has been on the back burner while life went on. Which is good, because it means that life is actually full of heaps of fun stuff.  So much fun stuff that it’s February and it’s only now that this blog is being published… instead of it’s usual December appearance… I guess all that matters is that it is here now.  2015 was another full on year and you can get a better recap of all that happened here.  But what happened with the list?  Good question… and you are in luck because it is all here for you to read about below…  Just like all the other years those that have a blog of their own have a hyperlink so you can just click it and read all about it… and the ones that don’t are all listed below with either an explanation of what did or didn’t happen…

  1. Visit Hobbiton – completed: 01/01/15
  2. Make my own dumplings
    No excuses really… I just ran out of time.
  3. Do another Pinterest craft – completed: 13/02/15
  4. Make my own hot cross buns – completed: 05/04/15
  5. Follow through with the 2015 date box again – completed: 22/12/15
    All done and dusted for another year… once again we had to sneak a few into November and December, but they were all done and quality time was enjoyed.
  6. Paint Something – completed: 15/08/15
  7. Eat something I have planted – completed: 27/01/15
  8. Buy lunch at work no more than twice a week – completed: 23/12/16
    This year I got much better at taking my lunch… there were still a lot of lunches out, but there were less… and no more than two in any one week.
  9. Go to two weddings – completed: 21/02/15 (wedding 1, wedding 2)
  10. Order fish at a restaurant – completed: 06/01/15
  11. Try again to embrace home cooking
    This one I struggle with and I don’t know why… I like cooking… I am just not good at actually doing… maybe next year?
  12. Have a weekend away – completed: 26/04/15
  13. Go to some carols by candlelight – completed: 14/12/15
    We actually did a few carols by candlelight… starting with the ones on the 14th and finishing with the ones on Christmas eve at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl.
  14. Work as a classroom teacher – completed 13/03/15
  15. Make the most of my gym membership
    I could have done more… let’s be honest.
  16. Run 5km without walking
    Not yet… there is still hope… 5km is a fairly comfortable distance now which is good, but I am not running the whole thing.
  17. Do some trivia – completed: 17/01/15
  18. Learn another song on guitar – completed: 20/12/15
    Hello “American Honey” by Lady Antebellum
  19. Have a picnic in the backyard – completed: 22/12/15
    We should do this more often… it is nice
  20. Start collecting and sorting photos of Dave and I’s family history – completed: 20/12/15
    The collection has started… it probably needs a little more structure, but it has been started… and that’s all the list required.
  21. See some black sand – completed: 02/01/15
  22. Put some new photos up around the house – completed: 11/04/15
  23. Blow some giant bubbles – completed: 05/12/15
    An excellent Family Christmas BBQ activity for the whole family
  24. Ride a rollercoaster – completed: 09/04/15
  25. Play mini golf – completed: 08/12/15
    It was only one hole… in works put put comp… but that still counts right?
  26. See a movie at the drive-in – completed: 14/02/15
  27. Build a sandcastle – completed: 01/12/15
    Thank you December Date Day
  28. Buy an ice cream from an ice cream truck – completed: 12/12/15
    Is there a better way to celebrate seeing Taylor Swift live?  I don’t think so
  29. Take a selfie with the selfie stick fully extended – completed: 10/01/15
  30. Go to the beach at least 5 times – completed: 26/01/15
  31. Stargaze while lying on the grass – completed: 13/11/15
    I should do this more often too… the night sky is pretty incredible
  32. Watch the sunset from a beach – completed 01/12/15
    Again I say… Thank you December Date Day
  33. Rent a bike and go on an adventure – completed: 03/01/15
  34. Stay at the Langham – completed: 07/01/15
  35. Go Hiking – completed: 03/01/15
  36. Take a last minute road trip – completed: 01/10/15
  37. Make a playlist for each season (Summer and Autumn; Winter) – completed: 03/12/15
    And finally I give you Spring: :
    – Open Heaven (River Wild) – Hillsong United
    – Tommy and Krista – Thirsty Merc
    – Unashamed Desire – Missy Higgins
    – Different Worlds – Brittany Cairns
    – Head to Heart – United Pursuit
    – Midnight Clear (Love Song) – Chris Tomlin
    – He Shall Reign Forevermore – Chris Tomlin
    – Adore – Chris Tomlin
  38. Bake a cake for someone
    No excuses really… it just didn’t happen.
  39. Buy a stranger dinner (e.g. pay for someone else meal at a restaurant)
    Also no excuse for this one…
  40. Learn a greeting in a language I haven’t spoken before – completed: 07/11/15
  41. Give a heartfelt surprise to someone – completed: 10/08/15
  42. Dance in the rain – completed: 20/12/15
    This is pretty self explanatory… it rained and I danced… it was summer which made the whole thing a lot more comfortable.  
  43. Plant a tree – completed: 22/09/15
  44. Knit a scarf – completed: 30/05/15
  45. Read a book on a subject you wouldn’t normally choose – completed: 08/06/15
  46. Fly a kite – completed: 17/01/15
    This actually happened way back in Jan… rather unsuccessfully… the kite strings snapped in the wind…  but for a brief moment it flew.
  47. Write and email/call a company from which I received excellent service
    This one just didn’t happen either… I am not sure why… probably because when it comes to things like this… I am all talk
  48. Go on a romantic getaway – completed: 13/11/15
    Dave planned a camping trip, just for a night and just to help me cross things off the list… that’s pretty darn romantic.
  49. Help someone in need – completed: 20/12/15
    I probably could have done more… but we did feed a community with the help of Just Salvos
  50. Learn something in sign language – completed: 08/06/15
  51. Wear fancy dress to something – completed: 29/08/15
  52. See two oceans meet – completed: 05/01/15
  53. Go in a sea vessel… kayak, canoe, paddle boat, regular boat… whatever – completed: 06/01/15
  54. Play a board game with friends – completed: 11/07/15
  55. Write at least 3 letters to my prayer pal
  56. Go fruit picking – completed: 08/11/15
  57. Swim 20km across the year
  58. Do another boot camp – completed: 04/12/15
    It wasn’t an official bootcamp, but I did work hard thanks to my trainer for the day Rachel
  59. Do another fun run – completed: 02/12/15
    You should all go out and sign up to next years Santa Run… it is fun… and ridiculous… but mostly fun
  60. Walk/run 400km across the year
  61. Go camping – completed: 13/11/15
  62. Walk 10,000 steps more often than I don’t – completed: 31/12/15
    I don’t think I got there every day, but I certainly walked 10,000 steps more often than I didn’t.  
  63. See some fireworks – completed: 13/12/15
    Carols by Candlelight are also excellent places to see fireworks.
  64. Eat a Feijoa – completed: 16/04/15
  65. Go on a luge – completed: 03/01/14
  66. Swim in a thermal pool – completed: 02/01/15
  67. Cook all meals at home for a fortnight (no going out or lazy take away)
  68. Take a photo everyday
  69. Play Super Mario Bros
  70. See a Musical – completed: 07/02/15
  71. Read 15 books – completed: 27/10/15
  72. Try four more local cafes in search of our new breakfast spot – completed: 21/11/15
    I still haven’t found a new favourite… but the search is continuing… 4 down, plenty more to try.
  73. Try Inverloch’s ‘Red Cup’ equivalent – completed: 25/04/15
    It didn’t end up being the cafe I thought it would be as this one opened first and ruined the others plans… but this one was good.
  74. Have a mocktail – completed: 17/02/15
  75. Finish unpacking the last boxes
  76. Visit a country town I haven’t been to before – completed: 01/10/15
  77. Put up some outside lights for Christmas – completed: 25/12/15
    We got some new outdoor Christmas lights for Christmas… so Christmas night we tested them out… that still counts right?
  78. Keep getting closer – completed: 31/12/15
    There is still a long way to go, but I can honestly say that I am way better off than I was at the beginning of the year and it’s been a long time since I could say that, so it feels good.
  79. See Big Hero6 – completed: 30/05/15
  80. Use a remote control toy
  81. See a live music concert… or 4 – completed: 26/09/15
  82. Do some colouring – completed: 08/05/15
  83. Go to a live sporting event – completed: 08/01/15
  84. Have a hot jam donut – completed: 14/12/15
    The may have just been from Coles… and they may have been mini… but they were good. 
  85. Have High Tea – completed: 07/02/15
  86. Cook something from each of my Donna Hay Mags
    If I had embraced no.11 better, this might have stood a chance… but unfortunately neither have been done.
  87. Learn a new skill – completed: 10/05/15
  88. Make a photo book of our New Zealand Adventure – completed: 27/12/15
    It isn’t finished, but it has been started… I think this one will also be on next years list.
  89. Have at least 5 different groups of people over for dinner – completed 07/09/15
  90. Ride a push bike without tears – completed: 03/01/15
  91. Complete my sentence a day book for 2015 – completed: 31/12/15
    Again… this one is pretty self explanatory, but I have really enjoyed doing it… I am really looking forward to what will change in next years sentences.
  92. Make a teepee or blanket fort and watch a movie in it
  93. Go to a farmers market – completed: 26/04/15
  94. Go through the alphabet of foods/restaurants/cuisines – completed: 19/12/15
    This one ended up being a little different from what I imagined too, but here is the list:
    A = Apple Pie, B = Broccoli, C = Carrot, D = Donuts, E = Eggnog, F = Fries, G = Gingerbread house, H = Homus, I = Ice Cream Slice, J= Jam, K = Koren BBQ, L = Lamb, M = Massaman Beef Curry, N = Nectarine, O = Octopus, P = Peachy Keenie Custard, Q = Quince Paste, R = Raspberries, S = String Beans, T = Tea, U = Unsalted Nuts, V = Vermicelli, W = Watermelon, X = Xanthan Gum, Y = Yogurt, Z = Zucchini.
  95. Do something handy at home – completed: 14/02/15
  96. Walk the dog once a week
    Sorry Dex 😦
  97. Set up our outdoor furniture and eat at it – completed: 19/10/15
  98. Actually read through the New Testament – completed: 19/12/15
    The whole thing… a little each day, but the whole thing. 
  99. See a wild swimming animal – completed: 06/01/15
  100. Touch a volcano – completed: 02/01/15

Ok… So there you go… that’s the list wrap for last year… 82 out of 100… I think that’s my best year yet!  Bring on 2016!

Halfway point 

Just like every year, this year is flying and without really any warning at all we have reached July… which is the halfway point… so what better time to do a quick list update.  I think the list is actually traveling along quite nicely… but I will let you decide for yourself.  Like always, those list tasks that already have a blog or a picture of their own have a hyperlink, so you can go back a read all about it… but I have included the ‘official’ list picture too, just for some fun.  Oh and any that have been completed but seemingly flown under the radar you can read about here…. ok, here we go halftime update.

1. Visit Hobbiton – completed: 01/01/15

3. Do another Pinterest craft – completed: 13/02/15

4. Make my own hot cross buns – completed: 05/04/15

7. Eat something I have planted – completed: 27/01/15
The veggie patch is still going strong, although I think we have enough chillies to last a life time.

9. Go to two weddings – completed: 21/02/15
(wedding 1,
wedding 2)
Two beautiful weddings I might add, the first our friends Ben and Annie and the second my Mums. 

10. Order fish at a restaurant – completed: 06/01/15

12. Have a weekend away – completed: 26/04/15

14. Work as a classroom teacher – completed: 13/03/15
Yep it’s happening, at the moment it is just emergency relief teaching, but it is teaching in a classroom all the same.

17. Do some trivia – completed: 17/01/15
Ok so it wasn’t quite the trivia I had in mind, but there were several rounds of buzz and it is a trivia game, so it is off the list. 

21. See some black sand – completed: 02/01/15

22. Put some new photos up around the house – completed: 11/04/15

24. Ride a rollercoaster – completed: 09/04/14
Winner birthday inclusion from 1 Dave George!  It may have just been the scenic railway at Lunar Park, but its a coaster of sorts and was enough fun to warrant crossing this off the list.

26. See a movie at the drive-in – completed: 14/02/15
What better way to celebrate valentines day than at the drive-in?  There is none, seriously I don’t the drive-in will ever go out of fashion

29. Take a selfie with the selfie stick fully extended – completed: 10/01/15

30. Go to the beach at least 5 times – completed: 26/01/15
Split over 2 countries in the once summer means 5 different beautiful beaches.

33. Rent a bike and go on an adventure – completed: 03/01/15

34. Stay at the Langham – completed: 07/01/15

35. Go Hiking – completed: 03/01/15

37. Make a playlist for each season
Well we are now into our third season this year… so two playlists are done.
Summer:

– Burn Like a Star – Rend Collective
– My Lighthouse – Rend Collective
– Shake It Off – Taylor Swift
– Style – Taylor Swift
– Out Of The Woods – Taylor Swift
– Blank Space – Taylor Swift
– Welcome To New York – Taylor Swift
– I Am Australian – Travis Collins
– Uptown Funk (feat. Bruno Mars) – Mark Ronson
– Ever Be – Bethel Music

Autumn:
– American Honey – Lady Antebellum
– Forever – Bethel Music
– Wasn’t Expecting That – Jamie Lawson
– Trouble (feat. Jennifer Hudson) – Iggy Azalea
– Shut Up and Dance – Walk the Moon
– Sexual Healing – Hot 8 Brass Band
– Marvin Gaye (feat. Meghan Trainor) – Charlie Puth
– You’re The Voice – John Farnham
– How Can We Be Lovers – Michael Bolton

44. Knit a scarf – completed: 30/05/15
Hand knitted… as in… with my hands… as the knitting needles… and it turned out ok…. but took a lot longer than the 30 minutes the YouTube I watched told me it would.

45. Read a book on a subject you wouldn’t normally choose – completed: 08/06/15
This year I have been part of a new bookclub… which I mention breifly here… and I love it, I have read 3 books now that I probably would never have read without prompting and one I chose.  2 of the 3 were books that I would have read if recommended to me, but probably would other wise not come across and one was completely not on my raider.  I had heard of it… mostly because it’s title is my name… but it was in a genre that I just never really got into.  I think probably because I found them more challenging to read, and couldn’t do it as a little mind escape… it took effort.  But May’s bookclub book… which turned out would also become June’s as well was Emma by Jane Austen, a classic.  And even though I would have never chosen it myself… I am glad Kirsten did, because it does share my name and once I got used to the style of writing I actually loved it.   So time well spent and no. 45 off the list.

50. Learn something in sign language – completed: 08/06/15
So I have always had a fascination with Auslan and how incredible it is… so I popped learning some of it on my list this year.  Conveniently one of my besties recently did an Auslan course and shared some of her knowledge with me… and we made a little video.  Click the link to check it out. 

52. See two oceans meet – completed: 05/01/15

53. Go in a sea vessel… kayak, canoe, paddle boat, regular boat… whatever – completed: 06/01/15

64. Eat a Feijoa – completed: 15/04/15
Delicious and sweet… I really don’t understand why these don’t take off here.  Seriously they are delicious

65. Go on a luge – completed: 03/01/14

66. Swim in a thermal pool – completed: 02/01/15

70. See a Musical – completed: 07/02/15
January date night at Once with Davo.  Quite different to the musicals I usually go to, but still a winner, let’s face it musicals usually are. 

71. Read 15 books
Ok so it isn’t quite completed yet, but it is on it’s way… I’ve read 10 so far, 5 to go, but here are the ones I’ve read to date:

    • The Storyteller – Jodi Picoult (finished 26/01/15)
    • Still Alice – Lisa Genova (finished 09/02/15)
    • Leaving Time – Jodi Picoult (Finished 22/02/15)
    • Wild – Cheryl Strayed (21/03/15)
    • Divergent – Veronica Roth (02/04/15)
    • Child 44 – Tom Rob Smith (10/04/15)
    • Useful – Debra Oswald (05/05/15)
    • Emma – Jane Austen (08/06/15) 
    • The Burnt House – Faye Kellerman (18/06/15)
    • If I Stay – Gayle Foreman (25/06/15)

74. Have a mocktail – completed: 17/02/15
Thanks to a fun hen’s night for my mum this is now off the list!

79. See Big Hero6 – completed: 30/05/15
We didn’t see it on the big screen like I thought we would, but we did see it in the comfort of our lounge and it was wonderful as all disney movies are… seriously I can’t think of an animated dud.

82. Do some colouring – completed: 08/05/15
Apparently adult colouring is a thing now… just another thing that I seems to have been into before it was cool… so much before that I was uncool… but now I can embrace it… seriously embrace it because its a thing… a real anti-stress thing. 

83. Go to a live sporting event – completed: 08/01/15

85. Have High Tea – completed: 07/02/15
Celebrating mum as a bride to be also meant that we got to have high tea, and as all high teas are it was beautiful and delicious. 

87. Learn a new skill – completed: 10/05/15

90. Ride a push bike without tears – completed: 03/01/15

93. Go to a farmers market – completed: 26/04/15

95. Do something handy at home – completed: 14/02/15
Now that we have our own home we can change it whenever we want… so at the moment we are preparing the backyard for a deck, so far I have drilled, hammer, shoveled and use some power tools I don’t actually know the name off, but it is fun… and you’ll get to see some pictures when it is done. 

99. See a wild swimming animal – completed: 06/01/15

100. Touch a volcano – completed: 02/01/15

New Zealand… The Land of the List!

I am currently sitting in Sydney airport waiting for my flight to Melbourne trying to work out two things…

1. How to recap all the amazing things we have seen, done and experienced while we’ve been away and

2. How to overcome this sinking feeling that life starts again tomorrow… Reality is about to smack me in the face.

Now I know that most of the time good holidays have to come to an end… And that life isn’t actually that bad… It’s just not the unrealistic holiday life you get used to… So I thought that I might just spend some time reflecting on the trip and updating the list… and maybe, just maybe it will start to squash my super Monday blues

The list was a little loaded this year, in that I put quite a few things on my list that I knew I would cross of in New Zealand… Some planned adventures that also made fun list additions.  When I made the list I had guessed I would complete about 10 things while we were here… But it turns out I managed to squeeze a few more in.  And to be honest, I think this is the best way to work through some of my highlights from a pretty jam packed and incredible time away… Ok so here’s what we crossed off…

IMG_45491. Visit Hobbiton – completed: 01/01/15
This was a super fun way to start the new year.  I have to admit The Shire is about the only thing that I loved about The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit movies… I like the idea of homes and villages just for short people, where everything is in reach and there is always food!  So, while you can do lots of tours throughout New Zealand for both movies trilogies, the only one I had any desire to see was this and it was the best! 90 tiny houses with tiny windows, chimneys, jars and clothes… just perfect! Oh and we got have a drink at the green dragon which was pretty cool too.  I think what helped me enjoy this even more was the fact that we saw the final Hobbit movie on Boxing Day… And the day before we had jet boated around the rapids from the barrel scene in the second Hobbit movie… So I was in the Tolkien zone!

IMG_4547100. Touch a volcano – completed: 02/01/15
So it turns out that we bookended the list in the first two days of the year! That, I didn’t plan… It also turns out that touching a volcano wasn’t that difficult to do in New Zealand, although the one I used for the list was a bit of a turbulent trip. What I had forgotten when I popped this in as number 100 was that New Zealand is pretty much lots of old volcanoes stuck together… In face the whole city of Rotorua is in a dormant volcano… Seriously New Zealand is pretty much a massive death trap!  During a cultural dinner we went to the guide tried to convince us that Rotorua was safe because it had geysers… Places were boiling water and steam spew from the earth… Because these released pressure… I am not convinced that that volcano couldn’t blow the whole town to Australia if it wanted to… No matter how many geysers they have.  But nevertheless thats were we lived for a couple of days… in a town, in a volcano… crazy!  Anyway, I have been side tracked… I did also travel out to an active marine volcano called White Island, as while it isn’t a lava spewing volcano it was still pretty crazy! It spews steam, mud and sulfur and smells pretty bad, but it was pretty amazing to walk around, get pretty close to the main crater and live to tell the tale!  Although I did feel like I might die from the sea sickness I experienced on my way to the island.

IMG_454821. See some black sand – completed: 02/01/15
On the way home from the volcano we stopped at the popular North Island costal town of Ohope for a swim… And the beach had black sand… I don’t know why this fascinates me as much as it does, but it really confuses me. Apparently it is a west coast trait… And I have no idea why the sand is black and I don’t really care… I love it… Although it gets pretty flipping hot!

 

 

6IMG_48756. Swim in a thermal pool – completed: 02/01/15
The second of January was a big day… And what better way to finish it then to have a spa… A natural spa… In a thermal pool in Rotorua…

 

 

 

33IMG_4870. Rent a bike and go on an adventure – completed: 03/01/15
90. Ride a push bike without tears – completed: 03/01/15
Riding mountain bikes through the redwoods in Rotorua was Dave’s only request for the trip… And it almost didn’t happen as we almost couldn’t get bikes… But it did and I survived… I won’t lie, as much as I try to like riding bikes and even sometimes pretend that I do, I just don’t really enjoy it… And I was almost 100% sure this trip would end in tears, literally, that’s why these were both on the list… But I rode my bike through the Redwoods and a there wasn’t even a single tear. In fact, by the end of it I was almost enjoying myself… Almost

IMG_486735. Go Hiking – completed: 03/01/15
This one wasn’t planned, but it was great. Dave and I took a quick road trip out to see the blue and green lakes in Rotorua because they were listed as ‘things to see’ in one of our travel books, but on the way we passed The Buried Village and because I am a sucker for a tragedy I made Dave stop.  The little museum is basically the remains of the town that was there over 100 years ago that was destroyed when a volcano blew… The volcano also destroyed some natural terrace thermal pools which would have been pretty awesome… Anyway, as we walked around the grounds we found a little optional trail which turned out to be a little hike to a pretty awesome waterfall… Well worth the spontaneous stop and detour from the path.

IMG_486865. Go on a luge – completed: 03/01/15
Ok… So maybe it wasn’t just the second that was a big day… The first three days of the year crossed 8 things off the list… That’s a pretty big start!  The luge was heaps of fun, it wasn’t quite the lying down, no breaks, concrete death that I had imagined, instead it was more of a glorified go-kart and it was great.  And while I did try to go with out the breaks for a little while, I had to start using them again after I had my cart on one wheel… I didn’t want to smash my face!

 

5IMG_53002. See two oceans meet – completed: 05/01/15
When we were planning our trip I was told that at the top of New Zealand you can see the Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea crash into each other because they don’t mix.  Convinced it would be epic, I asked Dave to change our plans so we could go and see it. These were my holiday requests… The Hobbits and the oceans crashing.  In anticipation for the trip I googled it… And I was a little disappointed… in the pictures they just mosey on together… Meeting but almost ignoring each other… Not quite what I had in mind.  But the trip had been changed and we were heading as north as you could go so that I could find out first hand that they meet, high 5 and go on there merry way… You can see the colour difference and it’s still pretty cool… But there was no crashing…

IMG_573353. Go in a sea vessel… Kayak, Canoe, Paddle boat whatever – completed: 06/01/15
I could have crossed this off on the 2nd when we headed to White Island, but because the boat part of that trip was so yuck I didn’t want to taint the list with it… And I knew were doing this cruise, to a place called ‘Hole in the Rock!’ So this time armed with artificial ‘sea legs’ I enjoyed a boat cruise around the Bay of Islands to the Hole in the Rock and while we were there I also got to cross number 99. See a wild swimming animal as we stopped to watch some Dolphins playing

10. Order fish at a restaurant – completed: 06/01/15
I know this seems kinda lame, but even though I enjoy fish, I always wuss out when I am out. I always panic that I won’t like it, or it will make me sick… That’s why this made it on to the list… And thanks to some salmon I chose at a waterfront restaurant called 35degrees south it’s now off the list.

IMG_602434. Stay at the Langham – completed: 07/01/15
Just before Dave and I got married we entered a competition to win a trip around the world to all the Langham hotels by having the worlds most romantic proposal… And we almost won… We got in to the top 10, and then didn’t quite get our second video up to scratch because we were too busy enjoying our honeymoon… Anyway, we decided that if we could, if were near a Langham we would stay even for just one night… So thanks Langham Auckland for being our first international stay… Your beds and pillows are just as good as the Melbourne ones!

IMG_616983. Go to a live sporting event – completed: 08/01/15
This was another unplanned New Zealand adventure… But when your hanging out with family and they offer to take you to the tennis you go… Seriously, who wouldn’t?

 

 

 

IMG_639829. Take a selfie with the selfie stick at full extension – completed: 10/01/15
I know selfie sticks are annoying and perhaps as the Wanganui paper described ‘the most narcissistic present this Christmas’, but Dave and I became the proud owners of one and used it with pride! This was no ordinary selfie stick either… It extends 4feet and is operated by remote and it helped us capture some our and New Zealand’s finest work!

So that’s the list contributions… There is so much more of our trip to tell, but I think maybe I will save I that for another day, as I will be surprised if anyone actually made it through this far… But the list is well underway thanks to New Zealand… And our families who gifted us some of these adventures and some of the cash we spent on making them happen! Monday you can still happen tomorrow… I know you will anyway… But you can’t kill my holiday joy that easily!

The Treaty

So I am not really sure how this post will go down… it might be a little heavy, so if you are looking for a happy list update or Emma’s unusual but mildly hilarious life musings you might want to skip this one… but it’s something that I have been thinking a lot about while I have been away, and something that I feel like I will be able to better process if I put some of it out in the open… because being in New Zealand has really got me thinking a lot about Indigenous Australia…

I am a white Australian… I didn’t choose to be, it’s just what happened… but being Australian is all I know, it’s all my parents know and I am pretty sure my grandparents too. Although I realised today that I don’t actually know that much about my heritage… I mean I know the countries my families come from, but I don’t know if we were convicts or migrants… All I know is we came second… second to the Aboriginal People… and that before me a lot of things went down.

As a child I was taught about Captain Cook discovering Australia, about the stolen generation and about how Australia became the Australian I know today (there was lots in between, but you get the idea). But as I have been traveling around New Zealand, I have been learning about Maori tradition and culture and the integration of English settlers and the traditional landowners and it has made me a little sad. It makes me wonder how much more of Indigenous Australian culture could have been saved and cherished, if things had have been done differently.

I know that there are a number of really significant differences between the indigenous cultures such as the way they communicate (multiple languages vs one) and their style of community (nomadic vs territorial), the approaches of the invading countries and perhaps even in the way it has been dealt with in the aftermath, but as I sit here in, on the Waitangi Treaty grounds, I can’t help but be a little jealous. I am jealous of the way that Maori culture has been persevered and respected. I am jealous that the English seemed to be completely different in New Zealand than in Australia (although that may just be the way the stories have travelled through time?) and I am jealous that things weren’t different, and that it is so hard… maybe even impossible to un do the damage that has been done across the Tasman in my home land.

I am frustrated that even now, in 2015, at home, it still feels like the Indigenous culture is just something that is there, its isn’t something that is embraced and cherished… it is something that is tolerated… well at least that is how it feels where I stand.   I am frustrated that it seems like such a big bridge to mend and that I actually don’t know how I can actually help this process as a someone who came here second. I am sad for my children and my children’s children that they will have the same or maybe even less of the true Australian history than I do… but mostly I am sad that I in this instance I still refer to myself as a white Australian… There shouldn’t be a divide, we are one.

I think when I get home I need to learn more about Aboriginal history and make sure I position myself as an ally and not another intolerant immigrant. I pray that there will be a day where Australia as a whole is just as proud of Aboriginal culture as the New Zealanders are of the Maori… not just a token acknowledgement of land, or an additional sentence in a text book, but a true blending of the old and new which really does make Australia the luckiest country in the world.   Until then I will let the words of my favourite Australian songs sum up my thoughts…

I came from the dream time, from the dusty red soil plains
I am the ancient heart – the keeper of the flame
I stood upon the rocky shore, I watched the tall ships come
For forty thousand years I’d been the first Australian

I came upon the prison ship bound down by iron chains
I cleared the land, endured the lash and waited for the rains.
I’m a settler, I’m a farmer’s wife on a dry and barren run
A convict then a free man, I became Australian

I’m the daughter of a digger who sought the mother lode
The girl became a woman on the long and dusty road
I’m a child of the depression, I saw the good times come
I’m a bushy, I’m a battler, I am Australian

We are one but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We share a dream
And sing with one voice
I am, you are, we are Australian

I’m a teller of stories, I’m a singer of songs
I am Albert Namatjira, and I paint the ghostly gums
I’m Clancy on his horse, I’m Ned Kelly on the run
I’m the one who waltzed Matilda, I am Australian

I’m the hot wind from the desert, I’m the black soil of the plains
I’m the mountains and the valleys, I’m the drought and flooding rains
I am the rock, I am the sky, the rivers when they run
The spirit of this great land, I am Australian

We are one but we are many
And from all the lands on earth we come
We share a dream
And sing with one voice
I am, you are, we are Australian

2015… Here is Your List!

Happy New Year!

It’s 2015 and it’s List time… This is my 6th list… which I think is pretty impressive!  While sitting in an Otaki Motel the other night I started to watch the Movie ‘Julie and Julia’ which I had seen before and even blogged about here… but the same sentiments from when I blogged about it then struck me again.  It reminded me why I like to blog, and in fact why I make my lists… not because I want to become a super famous blogger, but because it gives me drive, something to look forward to, some thing to aim for… 100 little goals, some silly, some hard, some fun, some serious and some that just seemed like a good idea at the time, but all things that will shape my year and move me forward when I need a little nudge.  If you wanted to catch up on the the journey so far you can check out my old ‘lists’ by clicking the year 2006, 20072010, 2012, 2013 or 2014.

The more lists I do, the more I love them and I am really excited about this year’s list because there are some super fun things on it.  In fact, I think the 2015 list is one of my most adventurous lists yet as I am taking advantage of the fact that I am starting this year off in the extreme sport capital of the world… New Zealand… not that I am really doing that much extreme sport… just some more adventurous things than I would probably attempt at home. So here is my 2015 list of 100 things that I would like to do/achieve in the coming year.

Just like all the lists that have come before the list is a mix of all kinds of things, some of them are things that I have done previously and just wanted to do again, others are things I have attempted and not quite achieved yet, so they are back on the list again and some a brand new this year.  I think there is a nice mix of weird and wonderful, thanks to everyone that helped me put the list together… and as things are better when we do them together if you see something that you might like to attempt with me… sing out!

Hopefully this year I will be a little more efficient at blogging about things are they get crossed off, but we will just have to wait and see… but enough rambling… here is the 2015 list:

  1. Visit Hobbiton
  2. Make my own dumplings
  3. Do another Pinterest craft
  4. Make my own hot cross buns
  5. Follow through with the 2015 date box again
  6. Paint Something
  7. Eat something I have planted
  8. Buy lunch at work no more than twice a week
  9. Go to two weddings
  10. Order fish at a restaurant
  11. Try again to embrace home cooking
  12. Have a weekend away
  13. Go to some carols by candlelight
  14. Work as a classroom teacher
  15. Make the most of my gym membership
  16. Run 5km without walking
  17. Do some trivia
  18. Learn another song on guitar
  19. Have a picnic in the backyard
  20. Start collecting and sorting photos of Dave and I’s family history
  21. See some black sand
  22. Put some new photos up around the house
  23. Blow some giant bubbles
  24. Ride a rollercoaster
  25. Play mini golf
  26. See a movie at the drive-in
  27. Build a sandcastle
  28. Buy an ice cream from an ice cream truck
  29. Take a selfie with the selfie stick fully extended
  30. Go to the beach at least 5 times
  31. Stargaze while lying on the grass
  32. Watch the sunset from a beach
  33. Rent a bike and go on an adventure
  34. Stay at the Langham
  35. Go Hiking
  36. Take a last minute road trip
  37. Make a playlist for each season
  38. Bake a cake for someone
  39. Buy a stranger dinner (e.g. pay for someone else meal at a restaurant)
  40. Learn a greeting in a language I haven’t spoken before
  41. Give a heartfelt surprise to someone
  42. Dance in the rain
  43. Plant a tree
  44. Knit a scarf
  45. Read a book on a subject you wouldn’t normally choose
  46. Fly a kite
  47. Write and email/call a company from which I received excellent service
  48. Go on a romantic getaway
  49. Help someone in need
  50. Learn something in sign language
  51. Wear fancy dress to something
  52. See two oceans meet
  53. Go in a sea vessel… kayak, canoe, paddle boat, regular boat… whatever
  54. Play a board game with friends
  55. Write at least 3 letters to my prayer pal
  56. Go fruit picking
  57. Swim 20km across the year
  58. Do another boot camp
  59. Do another fun run
  60. Walk/run 400km across the year
  61. Go camping
  62. Walk 10,000 steps more often than I don’t
  63. See some fireworks
  64. Eat a Fijoa
  65. Go on a luge
  66. Swim in a thermal pool
  67. Cook all meals at home for a fortnight (no going out or lazy take away)
  68. Take a photo everyday
  69. Play Super Mario Bros
  70. See a Musical
  71. Read 15 books
  72. Try four more local cafes in search of our new breakfast spot
  73. Try Inverloch’s ‘Red Cup’ equivalent
  74. Have a mocktail
  75. Finish unpacking the last boxes
  76. Visit a country town I haven’t been to before
  77. Put up some outside lights for christmas
  78. Keep getting closer
  79. See Big Hero6
  80. Use a remote control toy
  81. See a live music concert… or 4
  82. Do some colouring
  83. Go to a live sporting event
  84. Have a hot jam donut
  85. Have High Tea
  86. Cook something from each of my Donna Hay Mags
  87. Learn a new skill
  88. Make a photo book of our New Zealand Adventure
  89. Have at least 5 different groups of people over for dinner
  90. Ride a push bike without tears
  91. Complete my sentence a day book for 2015
  92. Make a teepee or blanket fort and watch a movie in it
  93. Go to a farmers market
  94. Go through the alphabet of foods/restaurants/cuisines
  95. Do something handy at home
  96. Walk the dog once a week
  97. Set up our outdoor furniture and eat at it
  98. Actually read through the New Testament
  99. See a wild swimming animal
  100. Touch a volcano

And that’s it… that’s the list… here we go…

 

Christmas in New Zealand

So Christmas has come and gone and I missed posting something about it because it turns out just like costal towns in Australia, the costal towns in New Zealand don’t always have the best Internet reception… So here it is a little late, but here all the same!

Christmas is a time to celebrate joy and love with those you love, and while for Dave and I it has steadily gotten harder for us to see all the people we love on Christmas Day, for the last 10years, while we have been together, I have been pretty blessed in that at Christmas. I have been able to see and spend time with my family, if not on Christmas Day then on the surrounding days. But this year it’s a little different, this year I am away for Christmas, still with family, but with different family than the last 10 Christmases… In fact different from the last 27 Christmases… This year it’s Christmas with the George’s… Well the extended Georges… Kind of, and its been really nice.

I have to admit there were lots of things I missed from home, the biggest ones being seeing my brothers, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles on Christmas morning… And carols by candlelight… I really struggled not being able to enjoy the carols of Dennis Walter and Sylvie or being able to laugh at David Hobson, while secretly enjoying they fact that someone has sung Holy City! But thanks to the marvel that is the mobile phone (after a wrong number to some poor random in New Zealand) I was able to speak to home, and then celebrate in a slightly different fashion.

It is an odd feeling being a random at Christmas, but it was actually a great day. Dave and I were warmly welcomed and included in a delicious summer Christmas feast. We also walked on the black sand of the Otaki beach and enjoyed the surprisingly good New Zealand weather.

It turns out that even with family that we don’t spend a whole lot of time with, Christmas is still the same! Love and joy are celebrated and embraced and shared and it is still wonderful! It’s a day, I know not for all, but at least for me, I get to experience heaven on earth in the love that Christ came to bring.  I can witness joy on the face of Dave’s grandma as she laughs at a corny Christmas joke. I get to be part of the excitement as Dave’s Dad creates the wonder of Santa with a $5 warehouse scavenger hunt. And I get to be thankful for all that I have… I am truly blessed.

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