Another early start, off to catch a train to Burgess Hill.
Had a nice journey down, bit rainy but got to see Battersea power station on the way.
Clare and Ben were there to meet me as the train pulled in complete with Tigger, my welcome to the world present for Ben.
He was pretty grizzly, seemingly not happy with my presence, but Clare and I had a great catch up, all the gossip from work, her NCT class friends and how massive Ben is.
I’d bought him a couple of treats from NZ including a hoodie that says ‘camping is in-tents’ and it fitted him really well, he got chilly so a good excuse to try it on.
He finally warmed to me and we played with his toys – my time in NZ has not been wasted!!
All too soon it was time to head back – dinner plans back in FP
I didn’t cry when we said goodbye, but the was water in my eyes.
Back in FP I had to get back to the flat, pack my stuff and take it to the restaurant – Peteks – one of my top 2 in FP – as I’m staying with Nikki for a few nights.
Actually first we met in the Worlds End our old BMF pub, Al was there when I arrived followed by Helen and finally Nikki – no emotional reunion, Nikki announced it was like she’d seen me last week so we all moved straight on to general gossip.
The food in Peteks was as yummy as ever. I had the grilled tuna with rice and salad – amazing! Wine was drunk, a bit more when we returned to the pub where I met Helen’s housemate Jane – I’d been staying in her room and had been convinced she was called Jo….
Nikki and I headed off home to Lewisham, don’t think I’ve been there before. She’s housesitting for a friend, lovely place, I was honoured to be her first guest.
I have her presents from NZ and we sat to open the gift she’d given me when I went away. This was to be opened in case of emergencies, she’d forgotten what was in it! There was a purse with a London bus on, a pretty bracelet, a tea bag, some popping candy, nail varnish and a picture of the 2 of us with a great message on the back. Happy I never had to open it, was great to open it together.
Then after all the excitement of the day it was time for bed
I woke with a big question in my head…… Why was going to running club a good idea? I was tired, it was raining and I’m unfit….
But I’d said to Gray I’d be there and so be there I had to be. Gray helped me train for the London marathon last year by introducing me to Chi running technique and by being a fab motivator.
He runs 2 clubs on a Sunday now, but I think the weather put the walkers off as it ended up being just the two of us having a great walk around the park catching up on news and working a bit of technique.
The best new thing for good posture is to think about standing up straight and hooking your bra strap (bit that goes across your back – he’s working on a similar analogy for the men) yes, bra strap over a hook and for me that visualisation really works!
Back to the gym for a bit, Nerys who I’d previously trained with was meant to be coming but never appeared and the other regulars were away on holidays. So this time I had what they call ‘Lazy Sunday’ by myself with Gray for running and Simon (pt from the gym) for the more ‘circuity’ elements. 2 trainers and one unfit me headed off into the park and along the Parkland Walk.
I had my garmin on and so knew that Simon, running ahead, was pushing me out of my happy 10min miles into 9 and sometimes 8.5. I tried to pace myself at 9 something, 8 was going to kill me.
So the idea was we ran a bit then stopped and did some press ups, squats, sprints etc we did this along with some chatting, but I was struggling with the talk!
In the end we did around 4 miles of running and finished with some fun hill sprints – definitely got a good workout!!
Had a sneaky shower in the gym and headed down to Colliers Wood to sort out all my stuff I’d left behind in my flat and had gone to storage….. Far more than I thought, and a bike! Going to pick it all up on Wednesday, but wanted to see where the locker was and quite how much was there.
Got the tube back to FP, quick walk home and collapse into bed
A few days short of a year and I landed back in the UK on 1st November – just in time for some pinching and punching.
Having only booked my flights a week before all the sensible relatively direct ones had gone…….
I left the house in Wellington at 7am on Friday, flew to Auckland (Air New Zealand), waited for 4 hours, on to Bangkok (Thai) for another 4 hour wait, Vienna (Austrian Airlines) for 2 hours then on to London Heathrow (Austrian). A tube journey up to Finsbury Park and I was in the park for 10am Saturday morning in time to meet my BMF friends for breakfast!!
39 hours and pretty much no sleep. I’d treated myself to a bulkhead seat on the Bangkok-Vienna leg – worth every one of the 70 Euros – but still no sleep.
Was great to see everyone in the park, they’d just finished their early morning BMF session, easy to spot from afar in their bibs. True to form I had a little cry, mostly of relief to have arrived, tiredness and the joy of seeing my friends after so long.
Hugs all round and we went to the cafe for breakfast.
It’s been strange being back as through the power of this blog and Facebook most people know what I’ve been up to and so there’s been no need to catch up – most conversations have involved their news and what we’re getting up to while I’m with them.
So at breakfast it was firework chat. Off to Alexander Palace to see them in the evening – exciting times!
Helen walked me back to her flat before she headed out for lunch with the ‘in laws’, I unpacked my rucksack, had a quick shower and headed out to meet Nikki’s mum – who needs sleep??
Me as it turns out. I was about half way there when I bent down to retie my shoelace and discover that I was wearing odd shoes….
Anyway….. met up with Nikki’s mum in the park after her training session with Jel. Also saw other faces from the past including Mary and Ian who had very kindly recorded the 50th anniversary edition of Doctor Who and sent it to my parents for me!
Sat and had coffee and a catch up with Jel and N’sM before it was time to head back and have a sleep before fireworks.
About 1hr later Helen woke me up. I was so confused, my brain could not compute where I was, what was happening or what I needed to do.
Thankfully all that was needed was to put on 2 matching shoes, a coat and head out for dinner. We met everyone in Nandos and a chicken burger and unlimited sprite later I was feeling much better.
The fireworks were at Alexander Palace and the views were amazing, it was such a clear day – reminded me how much I love London Town. The fireworks were delayed for 30mins, but still good although it kind of ended abruptly.
We walked back to FP rather than try and take the train, stopped for a cheeky beer each, before arriving at The Noble (or the Nobbel as my housemate used to call it) for another couple before I headed to bed leaving the rest behind.
Can hardly believe I’ve been away so long, but at the same time it feels like forever since I left the UK.
Life is busy here, too busy to keep up with the blog it seems, but I really am intending on getting back to it!
Most exciting news is that I got my visa to stay in New Zealand for another year! So stressful getting all the paperwork together, got some amazing letters of support from some lovely people, and it came back in a week – so quick – couldn’t quite believe it
Does mean that I can now plan a trip back to the UK and catch up with everyone and finally make some decisions on what to do with all my stuff that was too important to throw away but that I’ve managed to live without for a year…….
In other news I’m in the middle of another hacking cough, at least I know from my visa chest x-ray it’s not TB!
Had a really sore hip so not been running but returned to the gym this morning – cross trainer and recumbent cycle felt good, but not sure my co-gymees were so pleased with the coughing up a lung soundtrack that accompanied it.
I’ve also volunteered for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 for their dates in Wellington – first match England vs New Zealand! New Zealand is such a small place, I was at the volunteer session and met a friend of a friend from the UK, she’s also called Emma!!
Next up is find a job and sort out a trip to the UK
Originally posted on Slinks and TreasurePods:
We are delighted that we will be showing at Best of Britannia next week
3rd and 4th October 2014 in London.
We will be there with our TreasurePods and Barefoot Slinks, both handmade in the UK – Sparkle, originality and quality.
(Use the promo code bobfeedsclerkenwell to gain 2 day access with a Pulled meal and a pint of Meantime beer for £8)
CLICK HERE to register
Tomorrow (5th September) marks 10 months since I left the UK.
Can’t quite believe I’ve been gone for so long but at the same time it feels like I’ve been gone forever.
My blog has been quiet since I moved to Wellington. Lots of stuff has happened while I’ve been here, some bad but mostly good, great in fact especially now summer is on its way! – am going to try and put together some highlights as can’t quite face putting everything out there just yet.
Tomorrow I’m going for my medical for my temporary residency application in NZ – please cross your fingers that its all OK and the application is successful as I love this country.
Latest nighttime adventure – team ‘the undead’ do the Butterfly Creek nighttime madness!
Thanks to my friend Claire in the middle of a lovely summer in the UK I got to do this this morning, the ice bucket challenge. Thankfully a sunny day in the middle of winter in NZ