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.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Maccas and Murder

Currently enjoying a Sausage and Egg McMuffin from Maccas while I prepare for the events of the weekend. Unfortunately no Simming for me. I've got a murder to plan.

Hosting my second annual murder mystery party. I don't buy those pre-made ox ones I just write my own. That way I can personalise the characters to my friends. Ah such fun! Killing ones friends! It's just like sims, you give them names, tell them what to wear, you develop their personalities and then you decide how to kill them! Brilliant. 

SR