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… and the result is here:

http://www.threespoons.co.nz/2009/07/meet-and-greet-tina-from-norway.html

The blog is an insightful reflection on living in New Zealand as an expat from a culinary point of view. Read and have your mouth water!

I realise that it’s been way too long since I wrote a proper post. Granted, I have been here and updated my Books Read and Things I Make pages, but that doesn’t really count now does it?

Sometimes you’re just so busy that you have to really make an effort to get the things you want to do done, and that’s been the case for me lately. Work just seems to take over, and I have to make myself take the time to do what makes me happy. Lately I’ve been increasingly pondering this issue: Is it really worth it to work your arse off when you end up not having any energy for yourself, friends and family? Being the person I am it’s really hard for me not to work so hard, but I still think I need to slow down and consider what’s important in the long run. Wonder if I manage to change my ways or if it’s all talk with me as always when I get onto this topic…? I guess I just have to accept that I’m the only one with the power to do something about that.

But lets focus on something nice now! This weekend has been busy but in a good way. Saturday was spent going back to my roots at the Scandinavian Festival, where my husband joined a short Norwegian workshop for beginners and aced the class. Very proud! I attended a thoughtprovoking session about Icelandic sagas, which are important in Norwegian history too. We saw some darling Icelandic horses and visited the Norsemen’s village where I learnt to spin wool – something I’ve been wanting to try for a long time. And i realised that there are a lot of people out there that know more about how my forefathers lived and what they believed in than me and maybe it’s time I’d do something about that… We went home tired and satisfied, and a tad restless for our future plans involving moving to Norway.

Later that evening we cuddled up with candles during Earth Hour, and even went for a little walk to see the Sky Tower with its lights turned off. Today (Sunday) was just as hectic – in the morning we saw Monsters vs. Aliens, a free pre-screening (courtesy of my generous colleague who couldn’t make it and graciously gave me the tickets). A movie I really didn’t expect much from but found myself laughing out loud more than once. Really enjoyable – althought I think I’d get motion sickness if I watched it in 3D as it’s makers intended.

Then we rushed over to pick up some friends to go to Auckland International Cultural Festival, where we had all kinds of nice food and saw lots of cool international musicians perform (from Ghana, Korea, Easter Islands, etc…). Evening came with a visit to the parents-in-law, where we had a pleasant dinner date. This type of busy I like! Only I think we might take it easy next weekend…

I had my hair done yesterday, and I finally did what I have been close to doing the last three or four times at the hairdresser’s but been to much of a chicken to actually do:

I got a fringe.

M seems to think it’s really cute, but I still need a bit of time to get used to it. When I feel more confident about the whole thing I might put a picture here.

Last weekend we had our friends Johanna & Julien over for a few days. They’ve been travelling around NZ for almost eaxctly one year and is coming to an end of their one-year working holiday visas. They stayed with us to start off with but have now been to every little piece of Aotearoa and have seen more (geographically at least) that I have in the two years of living here.

It was lovely to have them staying, but a little bittersweet as well. Tinged by a bit of envy for their two weeks in Samoa… 😛 But mainly sad because when they come back to Auckland for a few days it will be the last we see of them in NZ. It’s been very comforting to know that some of our “old” friends were here with us on the other side of the planet, especially since I sometimes find myself feeling a bit lost on Matt’s turf.

Anywho – we spent the time together well, and enjoyed ourselves with drinks and talking and pics and in between it all we found time for an outing: Piha and the Waitakeres.

Waitakeres landscape - picture perfect

Waitakeres landscape - picture perfect

Arriving at Piha - Matt and Julien are keen to get to the beach

Piha view

Piha view

And I have to add – they are the best house guests ever! Our flat was never as clean and the dishes never so quickly done!

More students leaving this Friday – tears and speeches, but beautiful leaving notes and some memorable gifts… and one final party to go to!

PS: I should add that we might get to see J&J in Aussie when we go over there in October – fingers crossed they will have made their way to the Gold Coast by then, alternatively are still in the area.

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