2011

Well.
I’m fairly certain there isn’t any other phrase I can use to sum up this year than life-changing.

I can remember so clearly the day I moved to Christchurch those 8 months ago, all scared and shy, although excited about everything ahead. I will always wonder what it would have been like had it not been for February 22nd, but it’s through such experiences (and not just the day of Feb 22nd, but June 13th and all through the year), that shape who you are. I won’t lie, I had always thought that was a rubbish line, but I realize now how true that is. Thinking about the person I was 8 months ago compared to now, I’m fairly certain I’ve changed in so many ways that I couldn’t have even thought of had I stayed in Auckland.

Not only through earthquake related ways – but through so many hall experiences throughout the year as well. I’ve tried so many more things that I couldn’t have imagined I would – granted not all of them were my finest moments, but I don’t have a single regret this year, as everything that has happened has made it the incredible journey it has been!

Toga party, Snow days, Mad Hatter’s Party, Back to school party, Fisher 3 BYO’s & dinners, International party, Glitter party, Rugby World Cup in the Fanzone, Flat parties, Ice Skating, The Running Bull, Lip Sync nights, Fresher Field Trip, and quite possibly the best night of the year, Traffic Light Party!

 

How is it that through all of this I managed to only have one drunken encounter for 10 seconds at a party with the one person of whom I have shared pretty much my entire life with this year? EMMA CLARKE – you have only added to the amazing-ness of this year. Psych labs, study and report writing sessions, Cappy B’s dates, and our several hundred catch-up’s, usually after nights out on the “town” where we were both full of some interesting tales to tell! After the College House drama for me at the end of last year I was fairly sure we wouldn’t have our Cantabrian adventure together – but I’m so incredibly glad it worked out in the end, and thank you so much for so many unforgettable times this year! You’re lovely 🙂

And now exams are done, and the holidays are here, and even though it has been an amazing year – I’m so glad to be home! TOWN again, home-cooked meals, having a television around….the simple things you don’t realise how much you miss until you’re without them!

So despite everything that’s happened this year, I will never regret my decision to move to Canterbury, and I can’t wait to go back for round two with my amazing flatties Emma, Emma and Eloise in three and a half months – new challenges, new experiences and new memories – bring on 2012!

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Add a comment November 9, 2011

Semester One? I Am DONE.

And good god how the time has flown!! Half a year = gone. And it has been one hell of a half year. Right from that very first day in Christchurch, the 16th of February, my life has pretty much been turned upside down – or, to use a more approproate term, shaken up. And yet; four papers, 14 odd weeks, a lot of alcohol and parties, some amazing new friends, several hours in planes, a VERY annoying ash cloud, and about six billion earthquakes later – i’m back to the same old place. But I’m sure i’m not the same person I was 4 months ago – I’m not sure many people would be after having been not only thrown in the deep end, but being chucked around every which way in that deep end. It was bound to happen – and Emma, you’ve  taught me to accept the fact that you can’t give a rats about what other people think or how they might react….you’ve gotta do what you want to! And that’s so true it’s not funny.

I love Canterbury! Seriously. If not the incredible people there that are so leniant with ANYTHING to do with earthquakes, the campus is just SO much better all in one than being separated out by roads and all that jazz. The hall and the food and the people and I’ve said it all before – but I just love it all!!

Stupid, stupid earthquakes. Why do they have to ruin everything? No town. Not enough venues for parties….not to mention having to plan my escape route every night before I go to sleep. I suppose the only remotley positive thing about it all is how much closer it’s made everyone…and that’s definitley something, given all my fellow Cantabrians are in it for the long haul……*note to self, do not rent a brick flat!*

Speaking of flats, that really seems to have all fallen completley into place for next year! Which was one thing I was stressing about….THREE Emma’s, and Eloise and an Anna. This should be fun….

Of course, this is assuming that I’m brave enough to stay where I am next year. Two weeks ago, I remember so clearly contemplating coming back home to stay. After February’s 6.3, I figred as long as I could get through that and return to Christchurch, I could handle anything. But it turns out that when another 6.3 hits – all of those doubt arise again. And I’m sure they’ll rise again after the next big one – I really have no idea how much I can take, but I’m sure I will know when or if it gets to the point where I feel I need to come home. I’m praying that point will not come though – I couldn’t leave all of Christchurch behind, I know I would regret it for the rest of my life.

But for the moment – I’m home. And it’s lovely. A TELEVISON to start with is definitley a plus…oh, and no jelly ground is pretty splendid too. But seeing everyone after 7 weeks has just been the BEST! And not only spending time with all my favourite Auckland/Otago-ers, but getting one of my most favourite Cantabrians to come and stay with me has been beyond fantabulous!

Emma Simpson, you’re lovely 🙂 I am honestly starting to feel like part of your family now – not only do I know you just as well as friends I’ve had for years, I’ve met a HELL of a lot of your family and friends, and I know a LOT more about horses now then I did 4 months ago!! I knew I’d meet some awesome people – but I didn’t think they’d be as wonderful as you, and I’d get to be a part of so much of your life – bring on the flat next year, you’ll be one rockin’ flatmate!! You are SO coming back to Auckland to stay again 🙂

I guess if anything this semester has taught me it’s that you really never EVER know what’s coming. An earthquake can be just around the corner – but so can everything that has been so good about Canterbury so far. Aftershocks are really just becoming part of my Christchurch life now, and I do not care how much Kristy, Terence, Em and any other’s don’t want to come and stay – you will grow a pair, and come down to join me for a weekend to see why I love it so much 🙂

Through all this, somehow many photos were managed to be taken! A few of my favourite memories from undoubtedly the most memorable 4 months of my life….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, bring on semester 2 Canterbury! With three parties, a ball and many horse events already lined up, term 3 ship shaping up to be the best one yet 🙂

Add a comment June 29, 2011

Home Sweet Home!

And it’s a bit weird being back in good ol’ Devo….but good weird 🙂

After 6 weeks having a routine in a new place, it would be weird to come back to the old life, but it’s great 🙂 Seeing Kristy today was so good, it’s been MUCH too long!! A lunch out and a fun afternoon on photobooth is always a good way to spend the first day of the holidays…

…Going away for easter tomorrow, but back on Monday and ready to have some fun with all the wonderful people I left behind in Auckland, but am now back to! 🙂 So very excited!

6 weeks ago, I remember being so doubtful about whether I should even go back to shakey old Christchurch…but I sucked it up, got on that plane, and after only one night there, I knew I had made the right decision to go back. Parties planned, alcohol bought, and the food just as good as ever! (Even if tap water was still un-drinkable!)

I’ve done so much over the past six weeks….I’ve grown so much closer to some amazing people, not only my fantabulous R&R friends, but some pretty awesome people over at College House too! I’ve been to about five parties, gotten the most drunk I have ever been, I’ve been ice skating, to the movies, had lecturs in tents and online, studied a bit, motivated myself (somehow) to do that damn psychology lab report, been in what feels like around six thousand earthquakes, ventured the Canterbury plains, and… done all my own laundry without any major hicccups ….ok it sounds silly, but it’s one step further to being a grown-up 🙂 but most of all, I’ve had so much fun…. Despite the last week being a big challenge work-wise, and the after shocks every 2-3 days, I am loving my brand new life!

However, it’s always good to have a bit of the old in a brand new life. Emma Clarke. The shit we have been through together man! Ever since that 6.3 (exactly two months ago), and really since February 16th, you’ve been the one familiar face I have had down in Christchurch (well, that I’ve seen a decent amount of!) The psych lab’s, that god damn 3,000 word report, the Captain Ben’s treats ;), our many chats in either your big College House room or my….cosy R&R room :), the travelling back and fourth, and finally – you actually coming to my house! About time too!! I truly do hope that we remain as close for the rest of the year – because it’s been an awesome 6 weeks so far, (this picture says it all), and I’m so grateful to have someone as wonderful as you with me through all the shakey times, (both earthquake related and not!) You’re lovely 🙂

So, as much as I do love my Cantabrian adventures, it is definitley nice to be back, if even for a short amount of time….and I plan to make the most of it 🙂

Add a comment April 22, 2011

Home Sweet Home!

 And it’s a bit weird being back in good ol’ Devo….but good weird 🙂

After 6 weeks having a routine in a new place, it would be weird to come back to the old life, but it’s great 🙂 Seeing Kristy today was so good, it’s been MUCH too long!! A lunch out and a fun afternoon on photobooth is always a good way to spend the first day of the holidays…

…Going away for easter tomorrow, but back on Monday and ready to have some fun with all the wonderful people I left behind in Auckland, but am now back to! 🙂 So very excited!

6 weeks ago, I remember being so doubtful about whether I should even go back to shakey old Christchurch…but I sucked it up, got on that plane, and after only one night there, I knew I had made the right decision to go back. Parties planned, alcohol bought, and the food just as good as ever! (Even if tap water was still un-drinkable!)

I’ve done so much over the past six weeks….I’ve grown so much closer to some amazing people, not only my fantabulous R&R friends, but some pretty awesome people over at College House too! I’ve been to about five parties, gotten the most drunk I have ever been, I’ve been ice skating, to the movies, had lecturs in tents and online, studied a bit, motivated myself (somehow) to do that damn psychology lab report, been in what feels like around six thousand earthquakes, ventured the Canterbury plains, and… done all my own laundry without any major hicccups ….ok it sounds silly, but it’s one step further to being a grown-up 🙂 but most of all, I’ve had so much fun…. Despite the last week being a big challenge work-wise, and the after shocks every 2-3 days, I am loving my brand new life!

However, it’s always good to have a bit of the old in a brand new life. Emma Clarke. The shit we have been through together man! Ever since that 6.3 (exactly two months ago), and really since February 16th, you’ve been the one familiar face I have had down in Christchurch (well, that I’ve seen a decent amount of!) The psych lab’s, that god damn 3,000 word report, the Captain Ben’s treats ;), our many chats in either your big College House room or my….cosy R&R room :), the travelling back and fourth, and finally – you actually coming to my house! About time too!! I truly do hope that we remain as close for the rest of the year – because it’s been an awesome 6 weeks so far, (this picture says it all), and I’m so grateful to have someone as wonderful as you with me through all the shakey times, (both earthquake related and not!) You’re lovely 🙂

So, as much as I do love my Cantabrian adventures, it is definitley nice to be back, if even for a short amount of time….and I plan to make the most of it 🙂

Add a comment April 22, 2011

A Belated Update…

Things are just so nuts down here, there’s no time to sit down and write a decent blog….until right now 🙂 After my first lecture BACK IN A LECTURE THEATRE. Granted it takes an exxtra 15 minutes to get there, as walking through the University would be assumed as someone having a death wish…oh, and the first message we got in the lecture?  ‘If there is an after shock, just get under the desk. If an alarm sounds, exit through the left door and assemble outside the building.’  Didn’t do much for the old confidence that one! Still, better safe than sorry!

International party on Saturday night = fun I can’t even begin to explain! Being Madagascar was quite possibly the funnest part, as going nuts with face paint is never a bad thing 🙂 bit of the old hall gossip starting up, which makes things slightly more interesting as well 😉 alcohol + 178 teenagers living together = recipie for interesting happenings, as I have discovered! Food is still amazing, and things are almost starting to go back to ‘normal(ish)’ life here at R&R, but it will be a few months yet until life here will ever be the same as I was expecting when I signed up for Canterbury…but there’s nothing anyone can do about it, and with everyone being so supportive it’s really not that bad 🙂 Even people that are no longer here. This morning I found (well, techinally my neighbour found) a note under my light switch stating:

‘Hey to the person who sees this. I’m from 2009, you’re lucky to have this room. Have a great year. Be careful with blu tac on the paint. And picture frames fall out the windows easily! The heater is amazing in winter, and a great way to save having to go to the dryer! Don’t forget to study hard, especially in June and November, but most importantly? PLAY HARD!’

I have decided I am so writing one of these at the end of the year to the next lucky resident of my room!

And of course it’s not only the people at R&R, but the University too. An article (especially this part) in Canta (UCSA Magazine) I really thought was amazing the other day…

‘For years to come, when employers look at your transcript, they’ll see you were here, this year, the year we faced terrible calamity and overcame it. The year of strife and inconvenience. The year of students who took the adversity, the setbacks, the challenges, the pain. Those who took it, every last bit, and kept on going
..this year is more -much more. This is the year we show the world what being a UC student truly means. And it means adaptabilioty.  It means resiliance. It means strength.’

Truly gives me chills! If I ever am sitting in a tent with no tables/heating/slides/powerpoints and I think to myself ‘Why the hell am I still here?’ I read that and think of what I would be giving up if I left – and it’s a million per cent not worth it. Canterbury is my second home now…even if the reaction you get from people when you tell them you’re from Auckland is ‘oh..’ and you can instantly tell they’re thinking ‘JAFA JAFA JAFA!’ …it’s kind of like telling people you’re doing a BA at Canterbury. In a place where you’re surrounded by Engineers, and a BA is pretty much the opposite, again you get the ‘oh…’ reaction. But it’s all good 🙂

Having said that, it’s only 3 weeks and 3 days until I can come home to stable ground, which is definitley exciting too 🙂

Add a comment March 28, 2011

A Re-Start…

So, after a bit of a ‘false start’, it’s time to return! ….but I wish I was a bit more excited 😩  I can so vividly remember when I left, all I wanted to do was go back in another week or 2 when everything had started to calm down, if only a little. As long as all my new-found friends were safe, and I could get home, as far away as possible from the place that had been where I had experienced quite possibly the most terrifying event of my life, (only to be reminded of it every 15 minutes with after shocks) – I was ok with going home, just for a little while until there was very little or no fear of my third-floor room toppling over.

That was before the 13 hour mission of a trip home, and being somewhere that was completley safe and with family…it took me only a few days to realise that after only one week how much I had missed it up here…and now, here I am after almost 3 weeks back here, definitley not so keen to go back….and I have concluded this could be for a number of reasons;

a) subconsciously, I am so terrified of being in another earthquake I don’t want to go back (although part of that is also conscious..)

b) I have missed Auckland and people here so much, I just don’t want to go back

c) I tried so hard only 2 weeks ago to get out of a place so dangerous that even the middle of a field didn’t feel safe, yet now, here I am going back to it all…

or, d)  A month ago all of my family were encouraging me all to go down to Christchurch for University. Now they’re all encouraging me to stay in Auckland.

I’m pretty sure it’s a bit of everything. So to sum up, I am just utterly confused. Every time this happens I try to imagine why it was that I wanted to go back so badly when I left…and I did conclude it was because of the amazing people that I met in only 6 days, and the fun I did have in those 6 days. But that’s when earthquakes didn’t even enter my mind, I was so focused on everything else I didn’t even comprehend I was in a place that had been affected by one only 5 months ago (the only clue was the fallen over brick wall down the street…)

PLUS, there’s just mega awesome family stuff going on here, which I HATE to miss. So, Sunday, where my flight is already booked for 8:35am is almost the WORST day to go back. Which doesn’t exactly help the situation…grrrr. What a rut to be in – when I applied for a Canterbury education, I certainley did not sign up for this. Although that sounds selfish, thinking of all the people down there, when I’m so lucky to have a place to come back to in Auckland.

I suppose only time will tell really. Life is unfair, and sometimes we just have to deal with the situations we find ourselves in as best we can, it’s just bad timing on the STUPID earthquake’s part 😩 …although there is no good time for an earthquake – 6 days after moving to a new city? Cruel mother nature, just cruel.

Add a comment March 9, 2011

22/2/2011

Quite possibly the most terrifying day of my life. Six days into the hall, two days into lectures, and now back home, with nothing to do but sit, wait and pray for 3 weeks. Never would I have believed anyone if they said that one week after moving to my new life in Christchurch would I be returning home upset, emotional, devestated, and most of all, scared.

It was just another day of lectures..breakfast at 8am, across the road to Uni and into a lecture. An hour later, into another lecture.  The cafe next to the university bookshop looked appetising following two hour long lectures, especially piled with hot food on a jeans-and-puffer-jackets kind of freezing day. Waiting at the front counter, looking back now was a countdown. The shaking started, and it took me about three seconds to actually realise what was going on. It was only Emma’s grip and shouts of ‘GET UNDER THE TABLE’ that made it click we were in an earthquake. 8-10 seconds later, lights swinging, tables and chairs moving, and windows shaking, it stopped. I couldn’t help but notice the cracked glass panel, and food that had been thrown everywhere. Nor will I forget the face of despair on the guy working behind the counter, as if to just say; ‘here we go again.’

Walking outside in a panic, alarms were going, people were being evacuated, and I tried to get through to my parents. It’s the first instinct – tell your parents you are ok. Just to find out that six cellphone networks were down. Never has ‘call failed’ made me so terrified before. So we walked back to my hall. Just at the entrance, the first after shock came. Never have I been so glad to have you with me Emma, someone by my side that was just as clueless to these things as me, that I could just grip to for comfort. Three hours of waiting followed. Waiting to go back inside, and see what kind of havoc had been caused in our rooms. Two hours of those three was trying still to get through to my parents. What scared me most was the fact it was on the news by now – and all I wanted to tell them was that I was ok. But not before the second big after shock hit. I was walking down the road with three others at the time, and all I saw was a line of cars down the road, shaking as if they were rattles in a babies hand, and to hear a voice screaming ‘GET OFF THE PATHWAY!’ at us. Looking up, I realised why. Never have power lines looked so unsteady, by this point I was on the verge of tears. Every step was stepping into the unknown of when the next after shock would come. And the next. And the next, and the next.

Finally, I got back up to my room. Terrified to be on the third floor during such chaos, I opened the door and saw my jewellery and perfume all over the floor, as well as all my lotions and potions thrown across the bathroom floor. Followed by the most pleasent; my hairdryer in the toilet. At this point I lost it. To have my only possessions in my new home thrown everywhere was the final straw. I packed the essentials hurriedly into one bag – not knowing when I would see my things again, prepared to go anywhere out of Christchurch. By this point 80% of the people in R&R had left. Left the hall, left their things, left Christchurch. And I wanted nothing more than to get out of there. After stressful negotiations I managed to sort a way to get home. But not until the next day. One night of after shocks, packing, worry, stress, emotion, how I managed to get even a few hours sleep I’ll never know…only to be awoken at 5:30 by yet another big after shock and alarms going off. I had to get out of there.

A five hour drive, three hour ferry crossing, waiting at the airport, and an hour flight home; I was finally safe, on solid ground. Never have I been more thankful that I had somewhere safe to go, and never have I felt so scared for not only myself, but so many others.

I can appreciate now that you can never even begin to comprehend what it is like until you have been in the situation of a natural disaster. I had never experienced an earthquake before, and although now I’ll certainley have a memorable first week at University, I would never, ever on my death bed wish this had occured. I have cried more in the past two days than I have in the last year. I still feel the shakes, even on solid ground. I’m emotionally and physically exhausted – yet I can’t sleep. Never in my life have I felt so emotional about something, especially as even after only one week, I feel like Christchurch is my second home. I have never been so grateful that I have amazing people around me, and that I am lucky enough to have a home and a safe place to sleep. My thoughts are with every single person still in Christchurch, and I can’t begin to thank enough the dozens of people that kept me as calm as possible, and that helped me get back home.

Although everything is still uncertain – life goes on. Cities have come back from this, Christchurch will be no exception. Although the city will never again be the same as it was, it will come back stronger, better, and a place I will be even more proud to call my second home ❀

A picture of my room following;

Add a comment February 24, 2011

Not just Valentines Day…

But two days before I move out of home. I won’t lie, I’m terrified. I haven’t ever even experienced moved house – how will I possibly handle moving out, to a different city, to a different ISLAND, into a hall with 177 strangers? I suppose only time will tell. It is this that leads me onto the awfulness of what leaving entales….goodbyes. Of course it’s not the last goodbye, it never will be, that’s TOO awful…but there really wasn’t a better goodbye than dinner on the viaduct last night with 90% of the gang 🙂 Stefan, Kristy, Hayley, Vicky, Terence, Rachel and Keegan, thank you guys so much…and i’ll miss you all! But it’s only 6 weeks…until we can coffee, go to town, finish scrapbooking, see movies, all those things I’m going to miss so much. No doubt 6 weeks will fly by though, and I can’t wait to see you all again 🙂 (Although others I shall be seeing halfway in OMARU! very soon :D)

But it’s not just friends. Family too. And if anything, the past 24 hours have taught me that ANYTHING can happen around the corner, which is why I’ll be skyping. Every night. So that I am kept fully and completley up to date! Never have I been so worried in my LIFE as I was for those tearful 30 minutes waiting to hear how my just-turned-13 year old brother was after being thrown into the windscreen of a car, and we all say it, although he can get on my last nerve sometimes…things like that really teach you how much you care for and love your siblings. That’s for sure.

Having said all that, it is, of course Valentines day today. Several hundred people are probably posting some kind of blog today related to how much they love and appreciate their certain someone and just say ‘you you you’ and ‘love love love’…and although I could reject all this and just say that Johnny Depp is my valentine this year, I’m really not that much different from those several hundred people. How I can understand why people do it these days… It’s been five months, and I miss you every day, and I AM coming soon. At 2pm, remember? 😉 We can have our own valentine’s day, I don’t care when it is 🙂 …we certainley have all our plans of what to do, and in the mean time, you know what song I’m playing 😉 ï»żï»żï»żï»żï»żï»ż

So, keeping in tone with today…

WOULD YOU RATHER #4:

Have loved and lost, or have never loved at all?

This one to me is fairly obvious…although loss can be the greatest hurt, to experience a life without love would almost be not worth living

Add a comment February 14, 2011

It’s Not Goodbye

It’s a see you later.  Because I came so close to crying today, even when it’s not goodbye, not for good! The past week, with nights to town, trips to Queenstown, goodbye parties etc etc have made me remember the amazing people that I’m saying goodbye too, which is what makes me say it is NOT a goodbye, because it can’t be, because that would just be too sad for words. So it’s not 🙂

George and Kristy, we’re meeting in Omaru. (that’s right George, I said it!) Nikita and Lizzie, you’re coming to stay with me in Christchurch. Sacha, Hayley and Terence…well, we have Katy Perry to look forward to don’t we? 🙂 And Miss Emma Clarke, I’ll be seeing YOU no doubt every single day. And I can not wait 🙂 ….I know most of the people mentioned probably won’t read this….but I don’t care, coz even writing that here makes me feel like I’m saying it to you!

Speaking of trips to Queenstown and Sacha and Hayley, thank you guys so much for quite possibly the best two days of the summer so far! I can’t even explain the amount of fun I had, especially watching Sacha being vom’d on, (sorry deary, but it had to be said!) And lugeing and meals out and plane flights and Shorty St quizzes, not to mention a sweet aaas hotel, thank you guys so much for an awesome time 🙂 🙂

Ok, I’ve decided that I don’t like writing about this, because it’s making me too sad. So I’ll just leave with….

WOULD YOU RATHER #3:

Die for someone or have someone die for you?

I think I’d have to say (depending on who it was), the former.  To live with the guilt of someone dying for me….is pretty much not worth living anyway!

Add a comment February 11, 2011

Music Makes The World Go Around <3

So it kinda just dawned upon me that Tumblr is just this in a shorter form…but anyway.

Today, I came to a realisation that I never really stopped loving to play the piano (of course no instrument could replace my super dooper guitar) but with hours of time on my hands today, I figured I’d sit down at the piano and have a wee tinker again….which inevetably turned into about four hours of some Katie Melua, Gaga, Lionel Richie, and Alicia Keys tunes…and a half NAILED When I Look At You, of which I plan to finish very soon…and play just like this guy 🙂

I don’t care how much you hate Miley Cyrus, this song IS amazing.

That was pretty much my day in a nutshell actually. That and some Guns N Roses on guitar…perhaps I should be taking music at University, my brain has pretty much been raped by music today. But hey, when is that EVER a bad thing?? 🙂

So seeing as I am in an extremley music-y mode today, there really could not be a better place to mention my LOVE for the musical Wicked. Miss Hayley Gardiner, you have introduced me to an absolutley AMAZING book/show/musical! I loved the songs before New York, but after having seen it on Broadway and being MIND-BLOWN, I can now safely say that I am officially obsessed. Oh, what I wouldn’t GIVE to be able to see Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth perform it….

So, as I think I’m gonna go and play some piano right now ;), It’s that time again….

WOULD YOU RATHER #2

Be a member of The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?

I think personally I’d say The Beatles….as amazingly classic as they both are, who DOESN’T sing along to Hey Jude when it comes on? 🙂

Add a comment January 25, 2011

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