Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Fun Fifteen: May & June 2015

The end of May was hectic - lots of assessments due, Jared in town to visit, and exams to prep for. So I never got around to doing any writing!

1. Congratulations / Thanks / Good Luck: There have been a whole screed of baby announcements again in the last few weeks, mostly second kids for LJ's peers. Good luck everyone!

2. What am I reading?: Loads, especially considering its been busy time at uni! But I've been reading to unwind, and on the bus. First up is a biography of Mary Boleyn, then another Alison Weir book about Traitors in the Tower, before moving to something entirely different in the modern fiction novel The Final Testament of the Bible (highly recommend, very challenging), and rounding out with some Jodi Picoult in the form of Vanishing Acts. I'm still working my way through the Tramping History book, very slowly!

3. Sport and exercise: Have done a couple of interesting challenges in the last couple of months through Fitbit. Other than a really bad week where I was sick and barely got 55,000 steps, I've been averaging closer to 80,000 steps a week since 01 May. 

4. Tramping / Camping / Outdoors: May was a quiet month, and June saw some bad weather kick in, but we did a 5km loop at Zealandia on the shortest day of the year together as a family.

5. Blog management: Same problems, new month. To be brutally honest, I'm considering archiving everything and just stopping. 

6. Goals already set:
*Go for a run - I made the effort on May 1. I was doing a Couch to 5km week one option, and got about halfway through when I got wicked cramp and had to start walking (which I could barely manage).
*Book a personal trainer - Still not done yet. Mid-year break.
*See the dentist - Another thing to do on mid-year break
*Get my CV up-to-date and registered on recruitment sites - this one is now fairly urgent!
*One Swim - Nope. Oops.

7. New goals?
*Get semester two classes planned and signed off
*Sort all the stuff we have for selling on TradeMe and get it listed

8. Been there, Done that: Jared's 30th (30?!? My little brother is 30? How did that happen?!), a couple of trips to the Zoo and Zealandia, an afternoon plane spotting at Spruce Goose. Ten Pin Bowling, a ride on my dads new motorbike, an awesome wedding in Martinborough (and a weekend with no toddler!), and LJ and I enjoyed a quick trip up the Cable Car and back one Wednesday afternoon.

9. Coming Events: Holidays. Perhaps with a trip to Napier for a long weekend.

10. Life list / 40-before-40 update: Nothing new to add. I have at least started writing up my first 40b40 achievement (which was completed in January!).

11. Wish Lists: A new house. Or a carport with built-in storage and an extension. Its winter, and this house is feeling far too small on cold, wet days.

12. Life Lesson this month: Life is a bitch sometimes. I wound up getting significantly less than I was capable of on a major assignment, because I was too sick and too tired to get it functioning, and too proud to apply for an agerotat pass

13. Days gone by: May and June will always mean that trip to Europe for me. Great memories.

14. Fave memory from the month: I've been really slack at writing things down, so while I know heaps of cool things happened this month, I cant remember any details. Oops!

15. Photo of the month: 
We had some interesting weather over the last couple of months - flooding and storms. And then we had some gorgeous sunshine, and I spotted this. Sadly I only had my cellphone with me (have stopped carrying my camera around most of the time now), but I still think its cool, even if its low res!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Summer Holiday

This summer, we missioned all the way to Stewart Island, via a few stops along the way - it was almost 1,000km each way, since we didn't fly!

An overnight ferry out of Wellington was an interesting start to the holiday. The plan of sneaking LJ out of his cot and into the car, still asleep, completely failed - he bounced around the car like a mad thing the whole hour+ we were waiting to board.

Leaving Picton at 6am was also really unusual. About 10 cars from our line of traffic pulled in to McDonalds for breakfast with us. I suspect they get that every day that the overnight service operates! We stopped for a run around and second breakfast at the farm, before LJ fell asleep in the car on our way south through Kaikoura.

We had Christmas in Christchurch with Marks family, which was lovely. LJ loved chasing L&Q around the house - seeing them have such a great bond is lovely. Come dinner time, the boys decided they all wanted to sit together around the top of the table. Chaos. Hilarity. The laughter was contagious. Long may it continue.

Boxing Day and we were off again - for a night in Dunedin. This was one of two awful days in the car, where LJ just did not want to sleep, the drive was longer than we anticipated, the weather was scorching and we were all a bit tetchy. A paddle in the outdoor pool at Ashburton Domain was a fantastic antidote immediately after lunch, and discovering the fun of seesaws in Oamaru made for a bit more relaxed toddler going back in the car - but only when I climbed in with him.

All the stress was worth it when we arrived at Pounawea. Gorgeous. Stunning location. One of those just-old-fashioned-enough campgrounds. A bit utilities block, lots of tents and caravans, almost no international tourists in campervans. A huge contrast to the night in Dunedin, which had almost no tents, and was out of space for campervans.

Lots of walking was to be had over the next few days. We spent three nights at Pounawea and then a night at Waikawa. Be warned - the only off-licence in the Catlins area is at Owaka, about 5 minutes drive from Pounawea. A beer would have been fantastic on the deck at Waikawa, but we had only bought a six pack in Balclutha before we left town, and it wasn't worth a nearly 2-hour return drive to get some more!

Two nights in Bluff bookended a day on Stewart Island. We had hoped to do a night on the island, but logistics and cost made it just too hard (turns out, having a toddler reduced the number of places who would rent to us to only those who charged $200+ a night). Although a day was excellent, it was also hard, and as much as there isn't more to see without going bush (we walked over half of the roads on the island in a day), it would have been great to go bush. But we survived the challenge of being out for a day, with no access to beds for LJ to nap in (he actually slept in his carrier - miracle!), and while we were all exhausted after, we felt it was a success.

Travelling home was much like travelling south. We stopped for lunch with a friend in Invercargill, saw Nicola, Tom, L&Q in Dunedin when we stopped there fore a couple of nights, and spent the morning at the Antarctic Centre in Christchurch with Grandma, before stopping at the farm for afternoon tea on our way to a dinner-time ferry home.

I'm way behind on even thinking about photos. And at some stage, I'll come back to this and write up a proper 40-before-40 post about the day trip to Stewart Island!

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Fun Fifteen: April 2015

1. Congratulations / Thanks / Good Luck: Congratulations to Belinda and Alan on buying their first home! What exciting news! Guess you are now well and truly settled in your new city.

2. What am I reading?: Have just finished The Tudors: The complete Story of Englands most notorious dynasty, which was surprisingly good, for a book titled "complete" story, then introduced as "not exhaustive, nor scholarly". Its the Tudor era taken from an ever-so-slightly different perspective. A few raised eyebrows at some accusations and conclusions, but nothing really new. Am now up to 10/12 books read for the year towards my goal.

My 100,000-step week.
3. Sport and exercise: I've done a lot better this month than last. I actually averaged over 10,000 steps a day for starters, and managed a couple of nice long walks. My favourites were a big loop on the skyline walkway, and getting to the top of Castle Rock at Castlepoint (although I am gutted the GPS didn't track it properly).  I recorded a distance of nearly 50km on my tracked walking, and about 230km on my fitbit. For May I want to do at least one run, and at least one swim thats not recreational with LJ.

4. Tramping / Camping / Outdoors: We went to Zealandia early in the month, and did one of the hiking tracks up the hill from the main walkway with LJ in the tula. He walked chunks, we stopped for food often, saw heaps of birds and generally took our time. It was lovely. We also went as a family to Castlepoint for the long ANZAC weekend, where we did some rock scrambling, and played in the sand by the lagoon.  We are now into the second quarter of the year, and dont currently have an overnight tramping / camping trip planned, but I'm sure something will come up soon.

5. Blog management: I still need to reformat my life-list, write out some more info about my 40-before-40 list and get my hut log-books up to date. I also feel like I need to write more, but I dont know that I have a lot to say, nor a lot of time to say it in. Uni is hectic at the moment.

6. Goals already set: 
*Go for a run - nope. Oops. Lots of walking though!
*Have a 100,000 step week - YES! Done! Woohoo!
*Book a personal trainer - oops. Missed that one.
*See the dentist - well, yes. Not the way I planned (for a checkup), instead I had to have an emergency appointment. Oops. Need to see the dentist again this month for some repairs to an old filling too.

7. New goals?
*One run
*One swim
*Get my CV up-to-date and registered on recruitment sites.

8. Been there, Done that: April was wierd. Uni was hectic for starters. We were meant to go to Napier for Easter, but for various stress-related reasons, we opted not to. We did Staglands and Zealandia and the Zoo instead, which was a neat weekend. For ANZAC weekend we went to Castlepoint, and attended the service at Tinui. We spent a morning at the playground at Raumati, which has been firmly added to the list of "places we must visit again", and Mark and I went to see the ANZAC light show at Pukeahu.

9. Coming Events: May sees Mark back off to Sydney for a week - the same week that an old friend is here from Melbourne. I'm in the run up to exams in the first half of June. Jared and A will be down from Auckland for Jared's 30th over the long weekend.

10. Life list / 40-before-40 update: Nothing new to add. Although I hope in May to finally write up my first 40-before-40 achievement :)

11. Wish Lists: A couple of new books. Still would love a standmixer (and a bigger kitchen to fit it in), as well as a 4-slice toaster (so I can keep my GF toast separate).

12. Life Lesson this month: Life shits on you sometimes. Last month it was my health, this month it was repairs to our car and Marks teeth. Thank goodness we still have a financial buffer or we would be screwed.

13. Days gone by: We lost Grandie a year ago this month. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited NZ (and I saw them in Civic Square) as well. 3 years ago (yay for pre-baby), Mark and I did an epically boozy cook-your-own deluxe champagne breakfast - at the same time that we were getting ever closer to our awesome trip to Europe. Easter tramping trips to Nelson Lakes and Round Ruapheu too. Awesome times.

14. Fave memory from the month: Hard, but probably the trip out to Staglands. Very different to the zoo, definitely worth the effort, and had some really hilarious moments, like when the peacock came and stood next to our table at lunch - reminded me a LOT of Mark meeting peacock in Launceston on honeymoon.

15. Photo of the month:
This was HARD this month. Partly because I actually have a whole string of worthy images, but mostly because absolutely none of them had been edited (or really even looked at). Oops. Perhaps I can set that as a goal for winter break - to get some photos actually edited?
Anyway. This is one of the donkeys at Staglands.
Pat me! Pat me please!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Fun Fifteen: March 2015

1. Congratulations / Thanks / Good Luck: Congratulations to the mighty Black Caps on making it to the Cricket World Cup final. We're proud of you, that semi was a fantastic game. I couldn't watch the final - just too nerve wracking.

2. Annual Goals, Checking in:
*Emotional Eating - I dont particularly feel like I am emotionally eating as much as I was. BUT I am definitely nearly constantly craving sugar. Which is annoying!
*Triathlon Training - Still not doing a lot in this regard. I'm still struggling with my pinched nerve, my abs hate me when I try to actually swim, and I've been sick almost all month.
*12 books in a year - Thank goodness I got ahead of myself. I feel at the moment like I've done no reading, but I finished two new books early in the month - The Princes in the Tower, and The Bone Season. Reviews for both in the links.
*Dance - sigh. I wish.  
*Tramping / Camping trip (qaurterly) - We made two for the quarter - Battle Hill Camping in January, Ruapehu Lodge daywalks in February.  
*Outdoors as a family (monthly) - Actually, I cant find any evidence that we managed this this month. But with Mark away overseas, me sick and then a birthday party, there weren't a lot of days free to do it.
*Graduate Recruitment - I haven't applied for any jobs yet, but I have two graduate programmes I am waiting for, and several companies lined up for suitable entry-level roles, which wont be advertised till later in the year. Updating my CV is on my to-do list for Easter Break.
*Clearing out old stuff - Yay for some successful sales. Boo for growing out of more things. I'm just going to have to give a pile away soon.

3. This months goals, summary:
*Run the couch-to-5k week one TEN times. - Nope. Not even once.

*Re-format and update life list - Still not done. Uni has been insane this month.

*Get hut log books completely up-to-date - Still a work-in-progress. North Island seems to be done, and I've started the South Island on PC.
*Wear a skirt or a dress every day that I have uni lectures this month - I gave it a shot, and managed about 80% of the time.

4. Next months goals to aim for:

*Go for a run. Just one. Make it the C25K week one, so its more walking than running, but DAMN, get off my ass and do it.
*Have a week where I do 100,000+ steps
*Make an initial appointment with a personal trainer. Time to get my abs functioning again.
*Go see the dentist

5. Venue Review: We hosted LJs birthday party at the Makara Playgroup rooms. Perfect! Honestly, great for any kind of function that will have a lot of kids - indoor space, loads and loads of outdoor space, heaps of ride-on toys, a slide, kids-sized picnic tables. Plenty of parking, and only one neighbour to potentially annoy. Would be perfect for a family-friendly BBQ type function too, although you'd need to take adult-sized chairs and tables, as there are none on site.

6. Motherhood Moment: Having LJ pat me gently on the shoulder and ask "whats the matter Mummy" (and then say "I'm sorry") when I was crying in pain from a sinus infection. I was devastated that he thought he had done something wrong.

7. Been there, Done that:  A quiet month, truly! A 2nd Birthday party for E, several visits to and from Granma and Pop, and LJs birthday party. Mark away for a week in Melbourne, when I got sick and wound up camping out at my parents place for almost half a week. What the doctor thinks was a "diaphragm spasm" (read: muscle cramp that means movement hurts and breathing is excruciating) saw my parents even call me an ambulance. Thankfully no trip to hospital though.

8. Coming Events: A trip to Napier was planned, but uni assignments + all that time off sick this month = its just not feasible.

9. Links Round-up: Hmmm. Cant find anything! It seems I shared nothing on Facebook this month, and didn't bother bookmarking anything new either. I know I pinned some new recipes at least! However, here is the one thing I did share to friends that I thought was apt...

10. Life list / 40-before-40 update: Nothing new this month. As above - sick + uni = nothing gets done!

11. Wish Lists: More time. Honestly. Oh, you mean, buyable things? At the moment, a scraper mixer is my only thing I really want.

12. Life Lesson this month: Sometimes, you really do need to let other people take care of you. Also, the Air NZ app gets really unhappy when you dont check in for booked outbound flights.

13. Days gone by: The RNZAF airshow (I've still only edited one photo, three years on!), I still tear up reading about when LJ was in hospital. I was overdue and over it, so freaking over it by this stage. Gosh, this time 3 years ago was my endometriosis surgery. Mike and Nat got married, despite a major earthquake literally a month out.

14. Fave memory from the month: Probably hearing LJ say "Daddy in Melbourne" without any prompting. Even though, by that stage, Mark was actually in Christchurch for the weekend!

15. Photo of the month:
Surprise, surprise (not), I have no photos posted on flickr from this month to share. But I took this one at 38 weeks pregnant when we went for a walk through Zealandia.
Close Encounter

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Fun Fifteen - February 2015

1. Congratulations / Thanks / Good Luck: I'm going to be a bit selfish and do two to myself! Congrats to me on dropping to pre-baby weight mid-month (even if I bounced a bit immediately) and good luck to me on starting back at uni for the year.

2. Annual Goals, Checking in:
*Emotional Eating - this is still hard. I know I'm still doing it, but the whole "needing to go GF" thing is making it all a nightmare. Am off to see a dietitian mid-March, so hoping to make some progress after that.
*Triathlon Training - no running, biking or swimming this month. Instead I've been focussed on walking (to build general fitness and body strength) and trying to get back into group fitness at the gym. Turns out, combat class is fun again! Am planning to actively schedule this sort of thing in once I have my lecture / lab / workshop timetable sorted.  
*12 books in a year: Have made it to 7/12 now (two of these I also finished in January, but didn't write up then!) - getting ahead of myself so that when uni starts, I can fall behind again. Now adding in: "Lust to Kill" by Fred McLean, "Jorge Sandoval - Surviving Pinochet" by Peter Bidwell, "S-K, Schormann to Kaitoke" by Megan and Tony (eds), "Confessions of a Male Nurse" by Michael Alexander, "Harvesting the Heart" by Jodi Picoult and "A Noble Assassin" by Christie Dickason. Reviews are on GoodReads if you follow the links. I'm also part-way through two other books, one of which may take all year.
*Dance - sigh. I wish.  
*Tramping / Camping trip (qaurterly): Two so far this quarter - Battle Hill Camping in January, Ruapehu Lodge daywalks in February.  
*Outdoors as a family (monthly): As above, three daywalks based out of the lodge at Waitangi Weekend
*Graduate Recruitment - Nothing yet. Will be making an appointment to see CareerHub within the first couple of weeks of the semester though.
*Clearing out old stuff - managed to have a run of selling things off this month, which is awesome. Shame LJ is growing so fast that I cant keep up and the pile seems even bigger than before!

3. This months goals, summary:
*Run the couch-to-5k week one TEN times. - Nope. Not even once.
*GF Recipe hunt - Success! I now have something in the range of 40 GF / GF-able dinners on a rotating roster, most of which I've cooked before. I would love to get through some of my other recipe books and find some new ones to try though.
*Re-format and update life list - Feeling uninspired by this at the moment. Its the kind of thing I really need to do at a time when I have access to a computer with two screens - which is never, at the moment!
*Start scheduling in 40-before-40 stuff - I'm one down, one definitely in the works and have ideas for several others.
*Get hut log books completely up-to-date - Still a work-in-progress. North Island seems to be done, but I've not really started the South.

4. Next months goals to aim for:
*Wear a skirt or a dress every day that I have uni lectures this month
*Run C25K week one TEN times
*Have a week where I do 100,000+ steps

5. Product Review: So, I tried the new Edmonds Gluten Free Standard Flour this month, in a scone recipe to make savoury scrolls. It wasn't too bad. The dough was shockingly white compared to normal, and seemed very sticky, but then crumbled when I tried to roll it. Cooked well, although short rather than fluffy scrolls came out of the oven. They were tasty enough, but definitely did not keep well, even when reheated.

6. Motherhood Moment: I took LJ to the park one afternoon mid-month, and to get to the slide involved a climb up a vertical ladder almost above my head. He climbed his own way up, only needing my hand at the top the first couple of times, and a reminder to do one step at a time on a regular basis.

7. Been there, Done that: Not such a big month this month. I did some walks around the place - including a massive one from home, over Tinakori Hill to uni and then into the CBD. We had a family weekend at Ruapehu with the McGavins and the Cuthberts, which was fun. Swimming and playgroup started up again for the year. We walked the 6.5km option for Round the Bays with LJ in the backpack, and to end the month, I spent the day walking in the Orongorongos with tramping club. 8. Coming Events: A trip to Christchurch for LJs last free flight, his birthday party, a long weekend in Napier.

9. Links Round-up: A friend shared this list of history books that are suggested reading, I have two now on my kindle wish-list. I needed something fun to cheer myself up, so have added this video from youtube, as well as the same song with a slightly different take (Funnily enough, I've never seen the real video clip). The discussion document for the changes to the local bus routes. Some ideas to take time for yourself. I need this reminder constantly, always. The most succinct take-down of 50 shades yet.

10. Life list / 40-before-40 update: Nothing new this month. I think I'll try and get sunrise from Kaukau done before winter kicks in - perhaps around the time daylight savings changes.

11. Wish Lists: More books. Lots more books. And a new laptop, since the tablet didn't work so well for uni last year, and will probably be even less useful this year.

12. Life Lesson this month: Its ok to feel disappointed when things change in a way that inconveniences you and your existing plans. But sometimes, the person who caused those changes to be made can also be the person who makes you feel better about them.

13. Days gone by: Round the bays, the Christchurch Earthquakes. My triathlon. We had to say goodbye to Checkers. Outward Bound. LJ spent a night in hospital this time last year with an acute respiratory infection and then started crawling two days later.

14. Fave memory from the month: Probably seeing little miss McGavin asleep in her carrier on the daywalks we did at Ruapehu. Gorgeous, and jealous. Seeing LJ get really attached to Ella was also gorgeous.

15. Photo of the month:
I've not taken anything really worth sharing this month, and incredibly, have absolutely nothing on flickr from this time last year either! So I've gone back through the archives, and found the first photo I have of Mark, from the tramping trip we met on, way back in 2008!
There have been some other really cool things happen in Februarys past that I have photos for, of course, but, sentimentality has won out.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Fun Fifteen - January 2015

1. Congratulations / Thanks / Good Luck: Congratulations to the friends who got engaged over the new year. I hope you have an awesome time planning your weddings, and that your future is rosy!

2. Annual Goals, Checking in:
*Emotional Eating - I wonder how much is boredom? I tend to open the pantry every time I walk past.
*Triathlon Training - Pinched nerve in shoulder = no weights training, no swimming and no bike riding, damnit. So I've been walking. Will start running next month.
*This months book: "Gentry" by Adam Nicholson. Took a while to get into it, but once I got reading, it was actually really interesting seeing how things have changed (and not) in the UK over the last 800-or-so years.
*Tramping / Camping trip (qaurterly) - Camping at Battle Hill with the tramping club families group was fantastic. Mostly!
*Outdoors as a family (monthly) - Well, we did a daytrip on Stewart Island, an overnight camp at Battle Hill, and a visit to Moeraki Boulders this month, I think we nailed it.
*Graduate Recruitment - nothing starts till uni goes back in March.
*Clearing out old stuff - a couple of sales on TradeMe this month, but still need to sort the bags of clothes.

3. This months goals, summary:
*Find 10 gluten-free dinner recipes that I would want to cook. GF by chance or on purpose, new or done before, actually GF or easy-to-turn GF.
*Reformat my life-list and update it to reflect some of the things I have done
*Start scheduling things in from my 40-before-40 list
*Get my hut log book(s) completely up-to-date

Wowsers. Didn't even start any of those. Will have to carry them all over to next month.

4. Next months goals to aim for:
*Run the couch-to-5k week one TEN times. I'm not a runner by nature, so I'm going to build up slowly in preparation for the triathlon at the end of the year by doing each C25K "week" over a month.

5. Restaurant Review:

6. Motherhood Moment: Watching a nudie LJ, who had newly learnt to jump, playing "no more monkeys" on his grandparents bed. Hilarious.

7. Been there, Done that: Stewart Island (#1 tick on my 40-before-40 list!), Dunedin, Christchurch, a visit to the farm, a night camping at Battle Hill. Lots of swimming. Visit from Nicola, Tom and their boys. Several trips to the Zoo and Zealandia to maintain sanity. More swimming (its been hot)

8. Coming Events: A trip to the lodge, I'm helping out with a junior bushcraft course through tramping club, and Round the bays

9. Links Round-up: Nothing worth sharing this month - two websites that sell canvas tents, and a holiday park we are looking at visiting.

10. Life list / 40-before-40 update: First 40B40 item checked off - Stewart Island. Yes, I knew I was going when I wrote the list. Of course I did. But I wanted something I could kick off with a bang.

11. Wish Lists: A couple more recipe books, more books for LJ. I'd really love a stand mixer, would make cakes much easier. But we have to wait till we have a bigger house (and therefore a bigger kitchen) before I can justify that purchase.

12. Life Lesson this month: Holidays with a toddler are not holidays. They are "travel". Darn that was hard work. Definitely looking forward to next summers plan to spend 10 days in one spot. Hopefully that will be a bit easier. 

13. Days gone by: A while back was the trip Mark and I took to Fiordland, including a day in Doubtful Sound. Back further still was working in Te Anau - I miss Fiordland at this time of year! The end of January always signals the anniversary of the start of my Outward Bound course. Last year we went to the lodge for a week. January has also meant Jamboree's.

14. Fave memory from the month: Seeing Kaka in the neighbours tree at home. Its so fantastic to see these awesome native parrots spreading across the city. 

15. Photo of the month:

Thursday, January 29, 2015

40-before-40: Things that didn't make the list

So, thanks to the ladies at the excellent secret mums group I'm in, I got an awesome appreciation for some of the things I have already achieved in my life - things they thought worthy of such a challenge.
Many of them are things I did when I was much younger, so here are brief write-ups of a few that didn't make it on the list and why.

Learn a language - I learnt French in high school, through to then sixth-form certificate level. I'm a bit hazy on a lot of it, and cant keep up with fluent speakers, but its been done. Additionally, I didn't want anything on the list that would take months or years to be able to feel I could satisfactorily tick off - and my perfectionist streak would mean I would want to do this quite well (Or I would give up quickly)

Outward Bound - This was suggested by several people. And its another I've already done!

Complete RTBs this year, then beat time for next X years - I'm already something like 5 years straight into doing Round The Bays. My best time was a run and walk, at about 55min for the 6.5km. I even did it 36 weeks pregnant! But I dont want to do things that need repeating over an extended period of time, as there is still an ongoing discussion in our household as to whether Marks career is going to need us to go overseas.

Hot lap - Cost. Pure and simple. I had too many things on my list that would cost not-insignificant sums, and so I had to decide which were most important. I opted for a holiday in Canada over a hot lap in a supercar.

Join a book club / choir - Another thing that takes up time, and how to I judge that its done? How many times would I have to visit / participate to tick it off?

Organ / blood / egg donor - For various future-health-concern reasons, I'm not going to be an organ donor while I'm still alive. Yes, that could be seen as selfish. Of course, I've got the "organ donor" box ticked, and Mark knows that. I cant donate blood because I black out. And I dont think my eggs would be wanted, given our family health history. Its one of the reasons I was iffy about having kids myself.

Work way through an entire recipe book - time, motivation, ingredients I dont like... Even my baking recipe books include chunks of recipes I would never eat if I cooked them. And (unlike my mother) I dont like cooking things I wont eat. I did start this back in 2013, trying to cook all 100 muffins and slices in one of my favourite recipe books. I got about 6 recipes in before I gave up.

Marathon / trail running event - Nope. I am not a runner. I'll run enough for this triathlon I'm planning to do late in 2015, but thats enough for now. I also did a half marathon at Outward Bound, and feel no need to repeat the process! Yes, thats me sitting on the ground in the background, trying not to throw up in the photo ->

Learn to surf - My list was already outdoor-activity heavy, so I gave this one a miss. Having a single surfing lesson is on my life-list though.

Die hair insane colour - Much as I would like to, this one simply didn't make the cut. I've been almost-fluoro red before, and my mum had a habit of going purple, green and blue when I was a teenager (and she was only a bit older than I am now)

Go glamping - Sigh. Would love to. But cost and outdoor-heavy list factor in again.

Firearms licence - I dont see the point. I have no intention of owning a firearm. I have friends who shoot, and I would love to go out target shooting with them at some stage, but the steps to getting a licence seem rediculous when I dont intend to use it.

Scuba ticket - I get claustrophobic watching underwater video sometimes, so I think I'll give this a miss. Its another thing where I do want to face that fear and give it a go, but I'm in no huge rush!

Fly a plane - Yay, another awesome been-there-done-that activity! In fact, I've done a chunk of flying through Air Cadets as a teenager, and then again when I was newly graduated from uni I got another trial flight.

Snow cave - sadly, not enough space on the list.

All the tourist train trips in NZ - Done and dusted. I've even done ones that no longer exist. In high school I did Napier to Wellington, and in my uni days, I did the train between Dunedin and Christchurch several times. The only part of the existing network I've not done is between Hamilton and Auckland on the Overlander / Northern Explorer. Sadly, my photos from all the other trains are film, and not digitally stored anywhere. I know I have some, but have no idea where.

Opera / Ballet - Another already done. I attended several operas in high school with my music class, including Carmen. Mark and I went to the ballet in Moscow while we were in Europe a couple of years ago.

Visit a nude beach - I dont think I'll ever be that body confident. Plus, its not something I would feel comfortable talking about, or taking pictures to prove I did it!

Perform Solo - I used to busk when I was in my early teens, and in primary school I sang solo in a concert at the town hall. Sure, it was only one line, but I still did it.