Phew. I made it to the end of my month long blogging-every-day experiment. Tomorrow I can do laundry! Here’s what else happened in November.
Very exciting life news this month. Today I received my passport back from immigration, complete with a shiny new work visa, valid until April 2020. So we can stay in New Zealand, for reals. What a relief!
Other than visa fun and games, November was mostly blogging…
But we also managed to have a whole day off, just the two of us, just staying in Christchurch this month. I can’t remember when this last happened. So we celebrated with a champagne brunch at Under the Red Verandah, which isn’t too far from where we live, and we’ve been meaning to try for a while. It’s a lovely setting, and the food was nice, though not knock-your-socks-off nice. Can’t really argue with $11 glasses of champagne though. And they have a bike rack :).
After brunch we spent the afternoon at Ferrymead Heritage Park, which I wrote about in yesterday’s post.
I also finally got round to doing the hike from Taylors Mistake to Godley Head and back this month, with a friend, on a very clammy Friday afternoon. It’s a really scenic little walk. It took us about two hours to do the whole thing, and you’ve got great sea and cliff views the whole time. Taylors Mistake beach is only about 20 minutes drive from Christchurch, and it’s probably the nicest local beach to head to in the summer. (Read more about the hike here.)
This month’s trip was a sneaky overnight in Arthur’s Pass (that sounds really weird, doesn’t it?) followed by a day hike up Avalanche Peak (which barely has any snow on it by this time of the year). We were planning to camp at a DOC site, but about an hour out of Christchurch we realised we hadn’t actually packed the tent. Woops. Fortunately there’s a DOC hut in Arthur’s Pass that’s only a couple of hundred metres from a roadend, so we spent the night there instead.
We had a burger supper on our camp stove, then enjoyed the stars for a while before turning in. The next morning there was glorious sunshine, so we had a lazy coffee and porridge breakfast outside the hut, and set off mid morning to climb Avalanche Peak.
It was pretty hot going, climbing up Avalanche Peak track in the midday sun, but we made it to the top in less than three hours, including a lunch break. We thought we were doing pretty well for time, but we hadn’t counted on finding a pack of kea hanging out on the summit. It was too much fun sitting on the roof of the world, hanging out with the kea. So we had a second peanut butter sandwich lunch up there, and took a fair few photos. (See more in my kea post.)
As ever, the descent felt much more tiring than the ascent to me. My knees don’t really like steep downhill walking. Coming down Scott’s track we were overtaken by a couple with a toddler in a backpack. But going a bit slower gave us plenty of time to enjoy the scenery.
Favourite book: Fight Like a Girl, Clementine Ford
Technically this is the only book I finished in November (I don’t know if I mentioned I was kind of busy). But I’ve nearly finished two others, and this ranks as my favourite counting those too. I suppose I think of myself as a pretty staunch feminist, and as somebody who thinks a lot about this stuff. But there are some things in here that opened my mind a bit further, mostly around patterns of thought and behaviour that are so ingrained I’d barely even noticed them. Also it’s very funny, which is important.
Some things I found on the internet:
All Mighty Stone — bouldering photos with the climber photoshopped out = a new religion (all hail the mighty stone).
Learning to Speak Lingerie — fascinating and absorbing look into the world of Chinese lingerie shop owners in conservative Northern Egypt.
China sets up Social Credit system — this is utterly terrifying. In China, credit ratings are extending into what you buy, not just how you pay for it. And people are sharing this information on their dating profiles. If this isn’t the dystopian future, I don’t know what is.
Blog I started reading: my jumbo kimono
Rosanna and Mischa are travelling around the world without flying, they should be on a cargo ship from Asia to the US about now!
And the tramp of the month wins again. Well not really a tramp, just a day walk. But Avalanche Peak is a pretty intense day walk.
For completeness, here are the posts I listed in October’s update:
November 1st: Three Gorges Cruise: Christmas on the Yangtze
November 2nd: New Zealand is really home
November 3rd: Godley Head loop walk from Taylors Mistake
November 4th: Anatomy of a Relationship
November 5th: Life isn’t always a beach
November 6th: A Foreign Country
November 7th: New Ideas in Penang
And after last month’s update on November 8th, here’s the rest of November’s posts:
November 9th: The Lonely Road
November 10th: Ten weird things I love about New Zealand
November 11th: It’ll all come out in the wash
November 12th: Climbing Cattlestop
November 13th: Bluebridge or Interislander Cook Strait Ferry?
November 14th: Will you join me?
November 15th: Is this zero flight living?
November 16th: Tramping the Mount Arthur Tableland Circuit: Day 1
November 17th: Tramping the Mount Arthur Tableland Circuit: Day 2
November 18th: Hopping mad (the only pre-scheduled post of the month, which allowed me to go on our Arthur’s pass trip)
November 19th: Don’t feed the Kea
November 20th: What Lies Beneath? Above the Three Gorges Dam
November 21st: It’s beginning to feel a lot like Chinsemos
November 22nd: How to travel by Cargo Ship
November 23rd: Changing track
November 24th: What to expect on a Cargo Ship Voyage
November 25th: Slow down, tune in, green up
November 26th: Stage fright
November 27th: Albatross spotting on the Otago Peninsular
November 28th: On finding focus
November 29th: Things to do in Christchurch: Ferrymead Heritage Park
Phew. Made it.
I’m planning on trying a bi-weekly posting schedule in December. Look forward to a post every Tuesday and Thursday. Maybe!
Coming up in December
I’m turning thirty on Monday, and on Saturday we’ll have been in New Zealand a year. So, along with my new visa, lots to celebrate this weekend!
After that I have my mum and dad coming to visit, first in Christchurch, and then we’ll all be heading up to the Marlborough sounds for Christmas in a rental bach. So December will be a much needed rest after a silly hectic November.
Thanks for coming along on the daily blogging ride with me, here’s to the slightly less blogging-intense future!
Want to catch up with how we got here? You can find our previous monthly updates here.