Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Bob Dylan and Cass Elliot

More than likely no one will read this, whose fault is that? Mine.

I have lost touch with everyone, to the point where I was in the same town as another one of my closest Simming friends from back in the day and yet through my own guilt over losing touch I didn't reach out to meet up (despite our promises years ago to one day meet in person)

I played the Sims again last night for the first time since like March. 
Times have firmly changed, the game doesn't draw me in anymore, perhaps its not so much the times that have changed, rather the change has been in me. (Although Bob Dylan did say the times they are a-changing and who dares disagree with Mr. Dylan)

So I did sell my house and quit my job at the Bank. I went on the world tour that I had been planning. I left in April and have just finished up now. 6 months in total. My EU visa extension was declined in the end for a variety of reasons but for 3 months I was able to work with the refugees as intended. 

I am now studying law, however I don't think I have the dedication to become a full lawyer. The initial intention is to become a Legal Executive and get work in Community Law. Apparently what happens is, at first, everyone wants to work in Community Law in order to help people but that you end up selling your soul to corporate law firms. Time shall tell. 

I am feeling really positive about where I am now, something that could not be said for me when I was at the bank. I have drawn inspiration from the song: Make Your Own Kinda Music, made famous by Cass Elliot. I shall be singing at the top of my lungs, metaphorically speaking (mercifully), even if no one else is singing along.

The big thing I am grappling with is how to be a good friend without losing sight of my own aspirations. Or perhaps sometimes to grow, means also to grow apart? Some people never leave the flowerpot on the doorstep, and that's okay, but the flowerpot just isn't enough for me anymore. 

Friday, March 15, 2019

The Ides of March

This morning when I sat down to my breakfast I started a crossword, my first clue being:
“The —— of March, a fateful day (4)”

The answer was Ides, meaning the 15th of March, which is today’s date. It refers though to the famous day in history on which Julius Caesar was assasinated.

The clue though was to haunt me later that day, for today in New Zealand history, March 15th joined rank among the darkest days in living memory. A fateful day indeed.

New Zealand has experienced its first mass terror attack. While shootings are not unheard of here they are uncommon, and the modern version of terrorism in this post 9/11 world has never touched our shores until now.

At this point in time reports say that 49 people have died in a coordinated terror attack on two mosques in the city of Christchurch. The shootings occurred near Hagley Park, although not living in Christchurch now I do have family there and in fact my mother is from Sumner in Christchurch. On times we’ve visited I remember visiting Hagley Park, and to now hear its name connected with terrorism seems so otherworldly.

At dinner this evening the news of the attacks dominated conversation. We were at a restaurant and I overheard someone at another table say:
“New Zealand has lost its innocence”

Truly this expresses how I feel. The shores of New Zealand seem so disntcly seperate from the major cares of the world. We live in something of a bubble where although the news distresses us it doesn’t directly affect us. But now the fairytale is over and these islands have been dragged into the brutal reality of the modern world. 

To my mind New Zealand has always felt like the last little corner of the world. A little place where it was ordained that terror shall never make landfall, this illusion has been wiped away and with it has gone that ignorant hopefulness for which sanctuary is always to blame.

All those affected by the tragedy directly are in my prayers. And may the morning bring with it some version of courage, for we here will wake up to a New Zealand that does not resemble the one we knew yesterday.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Craziest Update So Far

First order of business: If there is anyone who still reads this I must apologise because I owe my old simming pals more than an annual check in. (Its actually been two years but lets not make a thing of it)

Second even if you do read this I doubt I have any right to any of your attention because its been approximately 2 years since I last played the sims. I tried to get back on the wagon but it just never happened. I'm officially a boring old person. 

I have come on here, drawn in by my sense of nostalgia but also a desire let everyone know I am still alive.

So in news, I bought a house exactly one year ago. Renovations are in full swing at present and as of today I have no bathroom but rather an empty shell where soon a new bathroom shall stand. Everything has been kicked into high gear because [trumpet sound] I am selling my house and moving overseas. 

I have officially given notice at the bank to say that I am finishing up at the end of April. From there I am heading off to the USA for a month long holiday. In June I will be popping back to NZ (if the house hasn't gone to market by then) in order to get the house sold (which will free up some much needed capital), after which I am off to Europe, specifically the south coast of Sicily. 

I am very fortunate to have family connections in Italy which really has helped make into reality plans which otherwise would have remained dreams. The goal is to spend one year in Sicily using it as a base for seeing the rest of Europe (as my visa* will allow). While in Sicily I will be doing volunteer work with refugees (Sicily is one of the places where many refugees are sent after being taken in by Italy) and my sister and her husband have already spent two months in Sicily working with the refugees and apparently they are in need of as many hands as can be spared so off I go. 

After the year is up I will likely have run out of my on-call savings completely and will return to NZ. Depending on how it goes I will either pursue my next plans from there or try and find work in Sicily and return (visa* dependant of course). 

Who knows what the future may hold beyond the plans already laid, nevertheless I am currently of the mind that life is an adventure and opportunities are to be grasped as often and as eagerly as circumstances allow. 

I can't promise to make frequent updates but I do hope I can take your best wishes with me as I go.

Your Internet Friend,

SR



*Getting a visa for Italy has been a Herculean task and is still not yet over. The bureaucracy is unfathomable and making headway is difficult when my time is already stretched between work and getting the house done and trying to still have a life. I have family in Cumbria (in England) which is actually where my family is from originally. I do hope to go and visit them but I have yet to figure out what effect, if any, that Brexit will have on the whole visa situation. The whole visa thing is honestly a headache for me even to consider and I am ignoring it to the best of my ability while also cognisant of the fact that I am utterly reliant on getting a visa for these plans to come through. There is light at the end however in that at least for the first year I appear to have almost everything in place. 

Word to the Wise - have a European passport from birth and save yourself the hassles that I have had. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

A Wild Few Months

So I know I've done it again, reappeared for a few seconds and then vanished. Again it's been work. I won't bore you with the details but I've just left a job and now I've got a new one in the banking sector, where I always wanted to be. So now I'm a banking consultant which basically means I do things like home leanding and personal loans etc. so that's exciting. Sorry for the absences and also I must say I don't think things are likely to improve as I'll be living in two different cities now. But I'll pop in as much as I can.