This week I’ve felt myself going through the at times, mind numbing motions of full time work.
I’ve had plenty to keep me busy though, and aside from the usual hangs with Lewis, I got to catch up with a lovely face I’ve not seen since Vietnam – now if we could just do something about the weather, I could love Auckland.
We first met Penny and Oly in Ho Chi Minh, on our trip to the Cu Chi Tunnels.
I have to laugh at our first impressions of the two – we couldn’t have been more wrong!
It was a relatively early start, we were full of beans, happy to have finally been released of Cambodia and the stresses of travelling with such a large group, and these two miserable looking people got on to the bus from a relatively fancy looking hotel.
At the pit stop to see the crafts of the Orange People, the girl came up to us and started to chat, the complete opposite of the moody looking traveller on the bus, she seemed lovely.
We were still a little guarded, unsure if we wanted to make more temporary friends, but eventually I couldn’t resist having a female to talk to, and when I found out they were from New Zealand, at the very least I thought I should try and get some insider information.
Within a few hours we’d made firm friends and had planned to meet up with them again in Hoi An.
For me it was refreshing to make a connection with someone in a real way – something that hadn’t happened with the people we’d met travelling previously.
It can be intensely lonely travelling, being surrounded by people, yet still not feeling like you know any of them, solemnly knowing that this friendship will fizzle out when the trip ends and all that will be left are insincere likes on Instagram and a vague morbid interest in what their doing, followed from a safe distance on Facebook and Snapchat.
I was already travelling with my best friend, so I wasn’t too disheartened in that regard, but I was still hoping to find another kindred spirit, flung across the ocean.
Enter Penny and Oly.
Penny’s back in Auckland for a brief spell for a friends wedding (Oly is coming too, just not quite yet) before heading over to England for a few years to try their luck there.
I don’t envy them – they’re headed for London.
We all know I feel about London. London is not for me. I’m hoping they’ll love it though.
Naturally I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to catch up and it’s likely to be a rare time we’re in the same country again.
We met at Circus Circus in Mt. Eden – I’d actually applied for a job here to no success.
Penny offered to snub them out of spite, but I was actually really interested to see what their sweet treats were like and a child I’d taught at the pool said I looked like someone who worked there because of all my earrings.
I think it was a compliment – he was a pleasant little 4 year old.
It was lovely to catch up and just have a much needed girly gossip with someone who felt more familiar than the people I’m surrounded by now.
Not that I haven’t made friends, but when most of my current relationships aren’t more than a few months old, having actual memories with someone felt nice.
And if you were interested, she looks incredible from all the boxing.
I feel that it’s well documented that a lot of my inability to live in England is the long, dark winter months.
I’m a creature of the sun. I hate the rain. I don’t like being cold unless it’s bitter, bitter cold.
During the summer, I wake up bright and early around 6am every day, I feel fantastic, I don’t need as much sleep, I don’t have sleep hangovers, even on rainy summer days, I still feel like I have more energy.
In winter I’m sluggish and groggy when I wake up, I feel like everything is slightly muffled until around lunch time when I finally feel like I’m fully switched on.
I’d never put much stock in S.A.D. – I’d heard of it, of course, and when I was at school, come October, every year without fail I’d be gripped by a seemingly unshakable depression. A feeling of gloom and despair that was forgotten so quickly once the sun started shining again it was easy to forget it ever existed.
I’m better in Australia.
Even in the winter, there’s still more daylight hours.
Their summer nights aren’t as long as ours (that is something I’ll always miss), but the winter days are definitely longer, by and large, I’ll see sunlight before I get to work and it’ll still be daylight when I get home.
I’m like a flower: I need sunshine to survive, to be the best version of myself.
My unit is in a converted warehouse, on an industrial estate, it’s three floors of hotel style rooms. Little boxes housing a rainbow of people.
I’m on the ground floor and with the balcony above shadowing over my room, I don’t start to get daylight until nearly 8am at the moment.
By and large, I’m starting work by then, the mornings are coming harder and it’s taking me longer to wake up.
My room is filled with natural light for about 4 hours of the day, those hours I’m usually at work – after that if I want natural light I have to leave my door wide open.
It wasn’t something I thought of considering when I looking for a place, and when I came to see the room, it was during those hours when the natural light pours through.
The alternative is moving to a ‘loft style’ room on the top floor.
The bed is on a mezzanine with a little window on top, they look super cool, but it’s really warm in those rooms and the top window doesn’t open. I’m not great at sleeping with a fan on, and when my little ground level room gets hot at night, I don’t want to be uncomfortable in a loft room, just for the ‘cool’ factor.
Plus I’d be paying an extra $20 a week for the privilege.
The clocks are changing this weekend, and I’m hoping the earlier daylight hours will make it easier to wake up again.
This week has been pretty grey, and wet and miserable, and I’ve been assured it’s pretty much a signifier of what’s to come.
In the mean time, I’m back to all my usual tricks, lights on at just the right time, lights off at just the right time, anything to trick my body into thinking we’re in the sunshine.