One Day: Part Four (and A Half)

To read parts one and two of my “One Day,” please head here, to read part three, head here.
This is part of my yearly “really open up” series, based on the David Nicholls’ book, One Day, as the date in the book of Emma and Dex’s graduation was the same day as mine, 15th July.

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Tuesday 15th July 2014

Millbrook Resort, Queenstown, New Zealand

I’m looking forward to my day off tomorrow – I’m going snowboarding and I have some new goggles too. It’s busy at work with the winter season, but I’m not afraid of hard graft so long as I get to rest every now and then. Housekeeping is a completely different and new direction from all my previous jobs, however as long as you use your common sense, it’s really pretty straightforward and I’m enjoying it.

What a year it’s been though! I do miss China, I really do. The food, the friends, the experiences. Of course I’m never going to get the same of those here in New Zealand. I want to go back, I will go back, one day, only just to travea and visit, not to work, I’m sure.

Having arrived in NZ and struggling to find a job, I ended up at Fairfield Kennels, run by my friends Sarah and Neil. I saw Christmas Day 2013 in towel-drying 40 dogs after their morning exercise in the rain. New Years’ was a quiet affair as dogs (and cats, but not my responsibility!) needed to be looked after.

I think the most awesome moment in the New Year was travelling 11,000 miles home and surprising a whole host of family and friends. I’m sure my grandparents in particular will not forget me delivering their paper at 7am on a Friday morning, nor will my Mum forget my sister and I faking a problem with my brother’s car in order to get her out of work to surprise her. Nor my Dad, standing in front of a fire warming up going something along the lines of “what are you doing here?” and I replied that he would have seen me earlier, had he been at the football match I went to! It was fantastic to meet my godson Ailen (ee-len) for the first time and catch up with everybody I hadn’t seen since my trip home for the Olympics.

Amazing – one of my greatest travel experiences to date by far.

I found a boyfriend this year. Well, I say found, I wasn’t really looking for him to be honest. We’ve been living together for just under a month now – first cohabitation with a boy! It seems to be going well. Only time will tell to see if he’ll manage to put up with me!

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Thursday 15th January 2015

Millbrook Resort, Queenstown, New Zealand

Well, I’m still here! Still working, and much harder if I do say so myself. Summer season is silly season here. I’ve often still been at work at 6pm, however my role is now as a supervisor, doing a bit more than I used to as a room attendant! I still enjoy it – the tough days are a challenge but when you make it through, you feel pleased, and tired. I worked over Christmas and New Year and I still have another 7 days now until my next day off.

Honestly, I’m not sure how I can keep up this strength, but I’m sure I’ll pull through, I usually do. The only person suffering more than me is Craig, as all I want to do when I get home is sit quietly or go to sleep – if he tries to interact with me I just get grumpy and we fight! Poor him.

Even more so now that I’ve applied for a partnership work visa, to extend my time here in New Zealand. This time round I can only get up to a year, but after that I can apply for one for 2 years and we’ll see where it goes from there! Craig will pretty much have the power to kick me out of the country if that gets granted, so I’d best be on good behaviour! 😉

Yes, that does mean that I will be here in New Zealand a while longer. Gives you all time to save up and visit, yes?! Talking of visits, it was nice to catch up with an old friend in Queenstown before Christmas. I met Fran through GangShow in Newcastle and having not seen her in a while it was great to show her around and see what’s going on.

l-r: Craig, Andy, Fran and Sarah

l-r: Craig, Andy, Fran and Sarah – playing Frisbee Golf!

One major disadvantage of living in Queenstown is its transience. Every month I’m saying goodbye to one friend or another as they move on. Most recently was Chloe from work – we’ve had a damn few good nights out together to say the least!

Head above the water though, as Craig and I bought a car together just before Christmas. She’s a beauty and we’re really proud of her and lucky to be in the right place at the right time.

Our Christmas present to ourselves

Our Christmas present to ourselves

I looked back at my last One Day posts to remind myself what’s happened over the past few years. It’s a constant reminder of how lucky I am, not only to travel, but to meet so many wonderful people. Of course, I continue to miss every single one of you at home, but I hope you all realise that if you were in my position, I’d want you to savour every moment too. Thanks for the support, everyone.

Although

Some of you may not be so supportive when I announce my BIG BENNETT NEWS for 2015 (don’t panic, no flights to attend a wedding or grandmas/great-grandmas to be made! I know I had you worried for a spit second though!)

BIG BENNETT NEWS

I got my second tattoo.

The Girl with the Penguin tattoo

The Girl with the Penguin tattoo

The four curves in his back, next to the tummy, represent my parents and siblings (Duncan and Amy). Maori style tattoos need to represent things like this, and the unbroken gap is like the flow of life, a very strong Maori belief. It took just over 2.5 hours to tattoo this onto my leg (Monday 5th), and it’s healing up nicely – in fact there is no red at all now around the tattoo – I used this picture because it’s just really, really clear and you can see the detail (the raised bits will fall off in time and it will be completely flat). He’s even got a little yellow eye, for the yellow-eyed penguins who live here in New Zealand.

And if that wasn’t a big enough change for you, add to it that I’ve cut off my long locks!

See you on the flip side!

What do you think of the new addition to my tattoo collection?

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Author: Bennett

2 years as an expat in China and now doing the same in New Zealand, Bennett sure likes to experience "slow travel!"

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2 Comments

  1. Wow, a whole year! Great work on settling like you have in NZ!! And Frisbee golf – what a discovery!! 😀

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    • A whole year in Queenstown almost. Amazing really! My grandmother was none too impressed about the tattoo, as well as not really quite understanding frisbee golf! (we found a third course which I shall post about when I actually remember to take a camera!) 🙂

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