The New Zealand Diaries: one more sleep (23/12/2015)

Well this is it. One more sleep and I will be on my way to New Zealand. So many times in the past few weeks, people have asked me whether I am excited. The answer to that question has always been a bit vague….not that I wasn’t excited; more that it just all seemed too far away, somehow surreal. There was also still so much going on: continuing battles to sort out whether or not I have to re-take my maths GCSEs to re-train to be a teacher; meetings with friends and family in the UK, Germany and in the US; involvement in carol singing at my wonderful church, St Luke’s Church in Watford, at Watford General Hospital and by the shops and in a pub.In short, it is not as if I have been sitting back and have had that much time to think. Human beings seem in some way addicted to busy-ness: we fill our days with endless activities and tasks. I am no exception.

But now, with only one more sleep until I board that plane to New Zealand–yes, I am getting excited. People have been asking how I have got on with my packing and so it is time for a public statement on the issue of preparation and packing: Packing is always a last-minute endeavour in Nicky’s world….it usually starts in earnest about 1 day before the trip…..only with luck does a list start building up prior to that. I do not understand how people can pack their bags days before a trip: how do they manage to get all their washing done in time to actually put it into their bags? How do they actually remember what is in their cases by the time they close their bags and head off to the airport and avoid frantically looking for things that are actually already in there? Perhaps they have reached a realm of organisation which is well beyond my grasp. In any case, my methods does seem to work, although any visitors to my flat today will have to contend with the organised chaos within it.

For those who have been concerned about my relaxed approach to packing–here is the good news : there are now piles of things building up on my living room floor; there is washing which is almost dry on the clothes horse; and there is a list; I have also picked up my currency, have booked all the main activities which required pre-booking (a camp site for the first night, ferry crossings and excursions which may book out and which I absolutely do not wish to miss) and have checked in for my flight. There is also a list of emergency numbers, several photo memory cards (which still need to be emptied but still…..), a “last  minute shopping list” (sun-cream is on it….apparently much more expensive in NZ than here….); and a bus timetable which has told me when I need to catch the bus to avoid getting stuck in Christmas eve traffic tomorrow. In short, there is now a degree of “method in the madness”, as this picture shows, though some may spot more “madness” than “method”……

one more sleep

That is not to say that I am not still busy with other things. Having successfully worked through the first two modules of my maths GCSE yesterday, I hope to wrap up a third today; a group from my lovely choir (Chorleywood Choral Society) is singing at a wedding today at 3pm at a Catholic Church in Watford (a fundraiser and to bring joy to the bride who contacted us at the last minute and so desperately wanted a choir); and I would like to go to my church home-group tonight to wish so many dear people a merry Christmas and share some German biscuits with them. There are phone calls to make, last minute Christmas emails to send…….

All of that is as important (if not more) than having a neatly packed bag 24 hours before travel, at least to little, slightly chaotic me.