Saturday, October 31, 2020


 Well... let's start off with yesterday's trip shall we?

ABOVE: Weigh in at the airport and my bags were BANG ON the correct weights!

It was a slow and tedious wait to get on the plane, but once on, I lay down across 'my' three seats and WOW!
I slept until the last 25 minutes of the flight!
Sadly, that meant I missed lunch... which had pretty bad repercussions later on in the day.

ABOVE:  As you can see... the plane was virtually empty!
Over 200 seats empty, and about 25-30 passengers.

ABOVE:  I love being able to follow where our plane is!

ABOVE:  It felt RIGHT that as we came into land, all we could see was a long, white cloud.
AOTEAROA:  Land of the Long White Cloud.

ABOVE:  My first sight of HOME.  I cried.  Just a little.

We landed at 5.57 pm.  A full 35 minutes ahead of time.
Didn't matter much.  It then took 2 bloody hours to get through all the airport checks, onto the bus and to the hotel.
Traffic was abysmal.  

I am at the Grand Millennium Hotel, in the heart of Auckland City.

Once we arrived at the hotel, it was another half an hour of checks and questions, information thrown at us... then off to our rooms.

We were assured that dinner would be delivered to our door 'VERY SOON', as it was by then, 8.30 pm.  

REMEMBER: I was STARVING, having missed lunch on the plane.

So.... 9.30 arrived, still no dinner.  So I rang down to the Service Desk, to be told "Oh so sorry, I will get your dinner sent up right now".

And I waited.  And waited.  And at 10.15  I rang AGAIN.  And was told "Oh I'm so sorry, has it not arrived yet? ... I will send it up immediately".

And I waited. And waited.  And started to actually feel really sick.  Like sweaty, got the shakes, felt like vomiting.  

In other words, a HYPO.  Low, low blood sugars.

So at 10.40 I went down to the Lobby (we can do that as long as we wear masks)... and I stood in front of the three people at the Service Desk and burst into tears!


But I did manage to get out that I was fucking starving, having a HYPO and WHERE THE HELL WAS MY FOOD???

HUGE APOLOGIES.... man running off to the kitchen.... food shoved in me hands... and a FREE Pepsi Max.  They don't have damn Diet Coke... of course!

And I cried all the way back to my room.  It was all just a bit MUCH.

ABOVE:  And yes, I cried again when I looked at it.
Fucking chicken, CAULIFLOWER, BROCOLLI AND CARROTS.!!!! And some rice.
This meal gets a 3/10.  

ABOVE:  So, I sat down to my dinner at 10.51 pm.

OMFG this better not be an indication of how it's gunna be in this FIVE STAR Hotel.


BUT... moving on.  Let's see what breakfast is like eh?

And I am going to explore the 'exercise' options.
Seems you can go down to the lobby where there's an area you can be in, or you can 'book' to go to the Level 4 Deck for exercise too.

Tomorrow I will show you my room.  And the view... such as it is.

And ... that's me for now.
Catch ya later.


I've not been able to do an online grocery order yet.  I NEED DIET COKE!!!
I shall keep trying...

ABOVE: I'm pretty sure I'm in the higher one.

ABOVE: This is where I am... outside view from my window.
AND... according to the information I have read, ANYONE can drop stuff off at the MAIN ENTRANCE ON MAYORAL DRIVE:

ABOVE:  This is the main entrance, it's on the opposite side of the building to where I am.
If anyone were to drop anything off for me, you do it at this entrance.  And you have to clearly state who it's for (Mrs Christina Harvey), in ROOM 401.
Not that I expect anyone to send me a thing... but Stew/you kids... if ya want to? 

Now.... back to today:

ABOVE:  Because we didn't get here in time to order what we wanted for breakfast, ya get a lucky dip.  This is my lucky dip breakfast, I shall give it a solid 6/10.  Cos at least it's not GREEK YOGHURT!  

Thankfully, you are given a 4 day menu to choose your meals from.  So tonight's dinner and going forward will be meals I've chosen.

You get THREE choices for every meal!  I didn't see any snacks on the list, I think you have to buy them from the Hotel's shop.

I don't think I will be doing that, I don't want to gain weight!

SUCCESS!!!  I've managed to get hold of Countdown and have ordered SIXTY cans of Diet Coke!
That should last me the entire time I'm here.
So relieved.

Now I can get myself dressed and start the day properly.

10.08 am:  And I went down to the Lobby area to sort out the pick up of my Diet Coke this afternoon.  DONE.
Then I booked myself into an exercise 'slot' for 6 pm tonight.  You get a 40 minute session on Level 4, which has an open deck outside.  I'm on Level 4, so it shouldn't be hard to find!

There is also an exercise area on the ground floor... outside as well.  You don't have to book for that one.  I will check it out tomorrow.

I am feeling MUCH HAPPIER now.  Last night I was so upset I just wanted OUT OF HERE so bad.
Now though, it's all coming together.
I'm very happy with my room.  And the overall set up here.  I'm not TRAPPED IN MY ROOM 24/7 at all.

ABOVE:  The view from the corridor leading to my room.  All the rooms open out to an open corridor that overlooks the downstairs lobby area, which is huge.  That photo only shows a tiny area of the lobby.

It is decked out with all sorts of areas:  Booking for exercise, delivery pick ups, arrivals/departures and so on.  And there's HEAPS of personnel, security, police and military around too.  NO escaping allowed!  😂😅😇

I just spoke to Reception, to clarify if this is DAY ONE, considering I arrived yesterday.  And yeah, yesterday is classed as DAY ZERO.  Today is DAY ONE.  F*#K it.

ABOVE:  My 'lucky dip' lunch arrived.  It's not bad.  Seems snacks are thrown in?  I give this meal a nice round 8/10.  I won't be eating the popcorn... or half that bread!  But... it's OK.

ABOVE: Have you EVER seen a better stocked fridge?  Nope, me neither.

I'm SET now.  Very happy.

The nurse called in just before, took details of medications I'm on, took me temperature etc... and declared me well.  Why thanks.

ABOVE:  Well that ain't what I ordered!  And bugger me ... it's pretty much the same dinner I got last night, except they threw in a piece of potato to 'spice it up'.
I hate saying it, but I cried.  AGAIN.
I ate the chicken, and I will save the friggin pear for later.  When I'm starving again.

This dinner is getting a damn pissed off 2/10.

On the bright side, I got out for  my 1st walk on the 'sky deck'.  There were about 8 of us walking around and around in a circle.  It was OK.  I feel like I got some exercise.

I caved in and bought a toasted sandwich and fries from the In House Dining Menu.
And they charged it to me credit card.

And an hour later I got a phone call from Reception.  They are not going to charge me for my sandwich and fries, because they realise they stuffed up by giving me the same dinner twice, AND they knew it was not to my liking.

COS I TOLD THEM.  Of course I did.  I ain't taking this shit lying down.

So, very nice of them to not charge me for my dinner.

And then I got a note under my door.  Fantastic news!  I will fill you in on that... tomorrow.

Friday, October 30, 2020


 Today I head home... and have to endure another two weeks of loneliness.  There's been a lot of that these past 7 weeks.

It's all a bit of a blur really.  So much happened, yet did not happen either.  Lots of alone time.  Lots of filling in time.

I know one day I will look back on these past 7 weeks, and be thankful I got to spend Mum's last three weeks with her.  But right now?  It's just a horrible, sad memory.


ABOVE:  I thought listening to this song would be painful... but it just brings me PEACE.

This morning will be spent getting my bags packed, making sure I've not forgotten anything, then catching a taxi over to the International Airport.  Checking in, then WAITING for my flight out of here.

This trip has been bloody AWFUL... and I can't wait for it to be over and done with.

So many people I have met have asked me how I'm enjoying my 'holiday'.  It's so upsetting when I tell them why I've been here.  Cos, I can't lie and say my 'holiday' has been terrific can I? 

Even though I don't get into New Zealand until around 6.35 pm, this is officially DAY ONE of quarantine I think.  Shit I hope it is!  NOPE, IT'S DAY ZERO.

I have no idea where I will be put for Quarantine either.  It could be Auckland, Hamilton or even Rotorua.  It all depends on where 'they' have space.  But it's MOST LIKELY to be either Auckland or Hamilton.

Right, time to get moving.  Places to GO....


I totally forgot to add this little video of Bondi Beach yesterday.   So ya get it today.

ABOVE: While the beach is beautiful, I loved the coastal walk so much more.  Waves crashing, deep water, rock formations... just BEAUTIFUL.

JUST checked in, gone through customs and now have 2 hours to kill until I fly out. JUST A COUPLE  of shops open. Not worth even looking in them, they are grossly overpriced. 

ABOVE: Again...a ghost town!

ABOVE: On board. Just 30 odd minutes to takeoff. Feel like bawling. 

8.56 pm:  And I am finally safely HOME.
It's been an incredibly long, tedious day.
I am going to just do a very quick update for now, as I have heaps to do/read etc tonight.
We only just got here (to the Hotel) about half an hour ago.  So I've not even been given dinner yet.

I will do a full post about my trip home tomorrow.


Thursday, October 29, 2020


 WHOOP WHOOP!  Today a blogger friend (Christy) is going to pop on by and pick me up!

We are going to Bondi Beach for a walk along the coast!  I can hardly wait.

Someone to talk to!  Spend some time with!  I've 'known' Christy for years and years through blogging, it will be amazing to actually meet her.

I don't think I mentioned this, but last Monday Stew and Bex 'did' the Cambridge Market.

Bex sold a lot of her crocheted toys, but sadly, Stew did not sell much of my stuff at all.

It was a total waste of a day really.

Not sure why... seems people were 'just looking'.

Sadly a sign of the times I think.

ANYWAY, because I thought I'd be over here in Australia much longer than I was, I canceled my participation in a local market (Rototuna High Market).  

Now that I'm going to be home in time for it, I've reapplied to attend.  And the lovely girl running the market has added me back on the stall holder list.

So, I will be home for two weeks, then have a market to attend.

I really hope it goes better than the Cambridge one!  As it's closer to Christmas, and I've not sold my wares in a Hamilton market before, it might go well?

Only time will tell I suppose.  But I'm excited at the prospect of doing a market again.

ABOVE: two of the dresses I bought yesterday.  I love that they both have pockets.  And the one on the left was only like $40! 

ABOVE:  No idea why, but late yesterday I decided to put some makeup on.  I can't remember the last time I put some on?
WEEKS ago for sure.  Stupid thing was, I was going NOWHERE, just to bed in a couple of hours.  But I'll tell ya this, I felt so happy with my face on!


Down in the lobby of this motel they have a baggage weight scale. So this morning I decided to see what my bags weigh now that I've thrown out a bit of stuff.
My BIG suitcase has gone from 29.8 kilos to 21.3!
My MEDIUM/BIG suitcase has gone from 24.6 kilos to 18.7 kilos.
And my 'carry on' suitcase has gone from 12.3 kilos to 8.4 kilos.

That's a grand LOSS of 18.3 kilos!!!

AND... I can actually now ADD 6 kilos to the bigger suitcase and still be BANG ON WEIGHT.
NO EXCESS charges for me on the return trip.

Friggin awesome.

CHRISTY guess what?   I can go SHOPPING !!!

The weather is looking a bit 'iffy' for walking along the coast in my humble opinion!  

Well.. the weather was a bit gloomy to begin with this morning, but by midday it was lovely.
Christy picked me up bang on time and off we went to walk along the coast from Bondi Beach.

Although Christy and I had never met in person before, after being 'blog friends' for nigh on 14 years; we got on just fine!

Now photos:

ABOVE:  A deserted Bondi Beach!  There were just a handful of hardy surfers out there today.

ABOVE: There was a small bulldozer moving fresh sand around.  I wonder if it's brought in from elsewhere?

ABOVE:  Someone got creative with some rocks.

ABOVE:  Hmmm... my sorta eatery I think. lol

ABOVE:  New Zealand... off my left shoulder and 2,161 kms away ... see ya tomorrow!

ABOVE:  TWO views of the same rock!  I have decided the 'profile' view looks like a crocodile's skull.  Creepy!

ABOVE:  On the way back from our walk... the weather was clearing, making the water look amazing.

ABOVE:  Christy it was a pleasure meeting you in person!  Next time I'm over I will certainly be catching up with you again.
THANK YOU  so much for taking time to take me out and about.  

Once back at the motel this afternoon... I felt the nerves start to kick in.
I really hate travelling, and flying... particularly the LANDINGS.
So... my stomach is churning already!

And I'm feeling rather tearful too.
Not so much with grief right now, more with anticipation of being 'home' in New Zealand.  

And starting my final countdown to being with Stew (and the kids) again.

I felt tearful before I even left home seven weeks ago ... because I knew I would miss the family so much.  It's exactly the same now!

I feel like such a wimp.

For dinner tonight I am gunna walk 500 meters down the road to the KFC, and get a burger and chips.  I've been SO GOOD with my meals these past 7 weeks... I don't think a burger and chips tonight is gunna ruin my good run.

And of course, I will be in quarantine for another two weeks tomorrow, so I won't be able to indulge in takeaways then will I. 😄😂😆

7.34 pm:  And it's my final night here in Australia.
Home tomorrow.  Off to bed in a couple of hours, hoping to get some decent sleep ... instead of waking at 4 am AGAIN.
Bring on TOMORROW!

Wednesday, October 28, 2020


 I remembered late yesterday that I had a sewing kit in my luggage.  From when I was going to do some sewing while over here!

ha ha... like that happened.  I posted all my fabric home when I realised I was not going to do any sewing.

Anyway, I decided last night to stitch Mum's little lock of hair into the soft toy right there and then:

ABOVE:  Now safely inside the Koala.  CeeEm is going to be my special Marsupial from now on.
Seems Koalas are not Bears!  Thanks for the info Dee. 😊

ABOVE:  The Family Pyromaniac at it AGAIN last night.  And Amanda with her 'littles'. 

Now... what am I gunna get up to today?  I know I said I couldn't be arsed going out and about again... BUT... the days drag if I stay inside.

AND as ya all know, I'm going to be stuck inside in Quarantine for two weeks soon enough, so I suppose I really should be getting out while I can. 

So... I checked out the price of taking a train into the city from out here (at the airport).  And bugger me, it's around $50!  One way.  Yeah, NAH.

I think I might head off to a different mall, one much closer to here instead.

I know most malls are similar, but at least it's somewhere to spend some time.

OR... or... I might just get a freakin' taxi into the city and go to Paddy's Market!  It's no more expensive to do that than catch a train, which I'd have to walk a distance to catch.

Lesson learnt from yesterday though, DON'T  catch a taxi at 8.30 in the morning!  Rush hour traffic... it takes LONGER, so ya pay more.

I will just kill time here till after 9, then go.

Great.  I have a plan for the day.


ABOVE: I have me walking shoes on.  Let's see where they take me!  And the patches?  Ironed on to cover the holes me big toes make. 

Because I decided to take a train, I left earlier than 9 am.
AND...  I walked 20 minutes to Mascot train station...


2 pm:  And sheesh!  I'm exhausted.
I caught the train to Central Station, got off and walked over to Paddy's Market.

ABOVE: That was an hour of my life I'm never getting back.  It was boring as f*#k.  Half the stalls were shut up.  And the other half were all the same shit... fruit and veges, electronics and cheap knock off clothes. Bugger all else.
Though !!! ... I did find something there that I loved and bought for Christmas presents.

So after wandering around there for a little while, I walked downtown to Pitt Street Mall.
It was a good walk.

You really can't get lost when you use Google Maps, and get directions from Point A to Point B.
Gotta love Google Maps.

Pitt Street Mall... OMG.  TOO MANY SHOPS ... in every direction.  Left, Right, Up, Down, Sideways you name it.   I finally gave up and just went to my favourite shop, Taking Shape.

And yeah... got some more clothes.  Seems I'm fixated on clothes right now.  Taking Shape had quite a few 'last seasons' clothes on sale, so I took advantage of that.
As ya do.

ABOVE:  A very pretty Arcade off Pitt Street.  It was full of jewellery shops, eateries and not much else.
I saw a Shoe Shine man!  Never seen one of them before.

ABOVE:  Seriously, I can't even remember what that building was.  I used it as a 'compass' point for my journey back to the train station.

ABOVE:  OMG!  Pikachu! I went in that shop, thinking Dante and Archer would flip for a really simple Pikachu bag.  Picked up the smallest Pikachu bag and asked for it's price?
And yeah, it stayed in the shop.
They were more 'ladies' bags really. 

ABOVE:  I got another nice view of the harbour as we passed on the train.  Derr, forgot to turn off the flash.

It's now 2.13 pm and I'm going to put my feet up for a while and just listen to music.

6.45 pm:  And well.... I've had a very nice afternoon, chatting with family back home.
I even laughed a few times, that felt neat.  I have had A GOOD DAY.  Felt happy for the most part.
Now... winding down.  Had some salad for my dinner.  And a Mocca too.  Nice for a change.

Catch ya tomorrow.