Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes


May 15, 2013

January 2019: Life Update

Hi De Hi Campers!  After writing weekly life updates for the past few years, I’ve decided to change the shizzle up a bit and write a monthly update instead…as why not.

Places I’ve Visited this Month

Just before New Zealand decided that it was time to head back to work (this happens around the 14th of January), we had a family road trip to Tirau in the North Island.  This classic kiwi town is fun and quirky…and if you’re not careful, you’ll blink and miss it when driving through the North Island.

New Zealand Travel InspirationTirau New Zealand January 2019: Life Update

Daddy and I headed up to Kumeu for the Kumeu Classic Car show with my inheritance aka the Plymouth Fury…we were there early thank goodness as it really heated up as the morning progressed.

New Zealand Travel InspirationKumeu Classic Car Show January 2019: Life Update

I finished the month with a visit to Melbourne as Daddy purchased us all flights as a present on Christmas Eve; this was my very first time travelling to this Australian city and I think I’ll be back…there are so many places outside of Melbourne that I now wish to travel too…Pinterest is going to get a work out.  You can read our Melbourne trips and tales here.

Australia Travel InspirationMelbourne Brighton Beach Huts January 2019 Update

Books I’ve Read

The joys of being an unemployed bum is that I’ve had plenty of time to read and obviously scroll….but I’m trying to avoid the scrolling by reading.  Here is what I’ve read over the past 6 weeks –

The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck by Mark Manson – obviously the the title drew me in!  It’s a bit of a self help-ie style book but in a fun way…thankfully it’s not one of those books where the author is just talking out of their arse about roses, sunshine, unicorns and rainbows.  I really enjoyed it and to be fair, I think after my health problems in 2017, I was already in the mind set that the author suggests living by.

I sold my copy on trade me…(tip: don’t list a popular book on trade me until you finish reading it…queue panic reading!).  UK Link / US Link / NZ Link

The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan – I love Sarah Morgan’s style of writing however this book just wasn’t a winner for me…I struggled and just found it a bit bland.  If you like Morgan’s style of writing in her previous books then this isn’t one for you.

UK Link / US Link / NZ Link

Rich Enough? – A Laid Back Guide for Every Kiwi by Mary Holm – after my move home to New Zealand, I needed to get my head around how things work in New Zealand from mortgages, retirement plans, banks etc so Rich Enough? by Mary Holm was a no brainer as it’s full of really helpful tips and it’s bloody easy to understand.  Holm writes about personal finance for the New Zealand Herald so you won’t find better advice.  If you’ve just moved to New Zealand or want to get your finances in order then this book is awesome…just be aware it’s not a get rich quick or how to get out of debt book.

UK Link / US Link / NZ Link

Sunset Over the Cherry Orchard by Jo Thomas – I’ve read one of Jo Thomas’s previous books and enjoyed the easy flow of her writing style so decided to see if she could capture me again which she did.  This is just a pure chick lit book (a genre that I love to escape into) set in sunny Spain.

UK Link / US Link / NZ Link

Becoming by Michelle Obama – hmmmm I’m part way through this book…I had to park it earlier this month as I was just finding it so tedious and boring.  Extremely well written but so fucking boring…there I’ve said it!  I’m going to give it a go again and I’m hoping it picks up speed…there is a lot of hype around this book obviously.  If nothing else…I’m sure to make a profit selling this book on trade me shortly!

UK Link / US Link / NZ Link

I try and sell all the books that I’ve read via trademe – my little way of recycling and getting rid of clutter.  I need to join the library as well…need to do that pronto…saves cash and trees!

Ex-Expat Update

So I’m coming up to my 2 month mark of arriving home to New Zealand and I’m slowly getting a bit more settled…things move rather quickly here which I love however I forgot that New Zealand doesn’t like to start working till mid January which includes the job market which has frustrated me somewhat.

I have a couple of things in the pipeline now so just playing the waiting game…I was offered a role the first week that I arrived home however the salary was low so I didn’t accept that particular role and decided to hold off till I found something that was a good fit for me rather than accepting any role.

It’s important to make sure you choose the right job when you first move to a new country as it can make all the difference in enjoying your new home.

My little smurf mobile arrives into New Zealand from the UK next week which I’m rather excited about!  My household items are now delayed a further week…ahhh well.

Australia Travel InspirationMelbourne Street Art January 2019 Update

New Zealand Life 

Obviously moving back to New Zealand after almost 15 years away, the country has changed a lot and I thought I would write about these changes as a lot of people see New Zealand as this perfect place to live…the grass is greener but there are problems just like every country in this world.

Crime is big news especially in my home town; since arriving home I’ve seen an armed robbery of a jewellers at lunch time where the police took almost 10 minutes to attend; a police chase and gang members wearing their patches in town.  Most of this crime isn’t reported…I remember when a murder would be in the headlines for weeks…not anymore, it’s almost a daily occurrence these days and it feels like we just move on to the next one.

January 2019 Update

Seriously do we need any more fucking alcohol shops in New Zealand…drugs and alcohol are a real problem in New Zealand and it’s the time that the government and the people of New Zealand did something to tackle this problem.  It’s sad when you see pretty wasted folks sitting on the pavement with their booze…there’s generally a queue of people outside a bottle shop the day after a public holiday waiting to buy booze…this is a NZ wide issue.  Did anyone watch the TVNZ news stories over the festive period about the drug problem in the Kingdom of Tonga…unbelievable and scary of how much the population is hooked on drugs!

Tourism vs Keeping New Zealand Beautiful – one ethos that was beaten into me as a kid was to Keep New Zealand Beautiful i.e. take your rubbish with you and to respect your surroundings so others can enjoy the same scenery after you…I took this with me wherever I went travelling around the world…unfortunately some of the tourists AND locals don’t show the same respect and it’s clearly causing havoc with the clean green image of New Zealand and also the wildlife habitat for some of our native species.  There’s a fine balance with tourism and I think New Zealand is badly off balance at present.

Fucking instagram and responsible tourism…I read an interesting article about how tourists and Kiwis are going off tracks to take insta-perfect photos for the ‘gram BUT they’re damaging the delicate habitat.  What annoys me even more is that big instagram accounts are re-posting these images which basically means the next lot of twats come along and do even more damage just so they gain the same photo, likes and more followers…it’s time for us to ask these big accounts to be responsible for what they’re re-posting and to call out the idiots that aren’t following the guidance on DoC paths in New Zealand or entering sites with No Entry signs.

Racism…fuck a duck (please don’t! or rabbits for that matter)…I thought racism was bad in the UK (I’ve encountered it many times while working in the UK at some big name employers!)…but alas New Zealand you’ve really taken the cake over the past few weeks.  One interview I had was to gauge if I was racist or not…needless to say I didn’t want that job!

The sun is so strong…as someone with very pale skin, sunblock is necessary even if I plan to be only outside for 10 minutes.  A heatwave is currently hitting New Zealand which is lovely when you’re sitting inside with air conditioning but a bitch when you add a bit of humidity into the mix and you’re outside…climate change making things even more toasty warm in New Zealand.

New Zealand isn’t a bad place to live but you have be aware that it’s not fucking perfect…nowhere is!

But on a much happier note, something that hasn’t changed is how friendly, honest, helpful and lovely Kiwis are…it’s refreshing as Kiwis’s are really open and it’s something that I’ve really missed.  Along with great manners…New Zealanders have great manners!

Australia Travel InspirationMelbourne Street Art January 2019 Update


I try and walk for 60 minutes each evening on the treadmill as I’m finding this quite relaxing…I add in P.volve when I can but want to get back to doing these online classes each day as my tummy has lost some definition over the past few weeks where I got a tad lazy.

Honestly I swear by P.volve as it’s a great low impact work out that really tones your legs and tummy without adding bulk…I could give the Incredible Hulk a run for his money with my thighs when doing other exercise classes; this is the first time my thighs have actually slimmed down.

Australia Travel InspirationMelbourne Brighton Beach Huts January 2019 Update

Health Update

Signing on with a NZ doctor was so bloody easy and painless…my hour long appointment with the nurse and then doctor was free…apparently my GP likes a challenging patient like myself (famous last words!).  Even my SPS referral has come through with a colonoscopy invite…just waiting for my notes from the NHS!

I had a blood test in the afternoon and the GP was calling me the following morning with my test results…there was a prescription sitting at the reception waiting for me that same morning…the nurse called me the following morning to check how my stomach pains were to make sure I didn’t have to go to hospital.

Ahhh I’ve missed the New Zealand health care system!

So I have diverticulitis again…I was hospitalised for this back in 2017 so was not taking any chances this time…was prescribed some antibiotics as the stabbing pains were increasing (the pains are worst than labour pains apparently…morphine is your friend)…plus my iron was very low again so back on the crappy tablets.

I feel a load better now thankfully…I had to stop taking all the medication while in Melbourne as they were playing havoc with my colon and I almost had a few accidents while out exploring with Daddy.  That’s iron tablets for you!

Plans for February

As yet there are no plans…apart from my birthday mid month which will be my first birthday I’ve had in New Zealand for almost 11 years!

I’ve sat down and started to write a New Zealand bucket list of places and things I would like to do in the  future…for me personally, I like to have a list (which is fluid) of ideas that I think I will enjoy and start ticking a few things off.

Australia Travel InspirationMelbourne Street Art January 2019 Update

So that was January 2019…over and out!


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