Tuesday, 18 February 2014

For my Grandad. July 5th 1949 - February 16th 2014

Apparently life isn't endless as my blog name suggests, but it is endless in other forms. For example when a life ends in the passing of a family member or pet, that life doesn't just stop per se. It's the continuance of the sharing of stories or memories from that individual who has left us that keeps the life of the individual living on for many years to come. They may leave us physically, but in all honesty they're still going to be right there in the hearts and souls of those who loved and knew them. A life can never leave us forever, so long as we keep on remembering them.

     My Grandad was a really neat person. Whenever you saw him he'd either be reading yet another book from his massive collection, playing what must've been addictive games of "Hearts" on the computer or continuously beating the rest of us at other forms of card games. If he wasn't doing that he'd be sitting in his chair telling us funny stories of his past and the people he knew or rattling off jokes so fast that he'd be onto the second one before we'd even sussed out the first. Most of the time our email inbox was clogged up with piles upon piles of funny emails he'd forwarded, sometimes you'd get emails that you'd already had ten times over, but we didn't mind because they were usually absolutely incredible or hilarious. And if myself, siblings and/or cousins got up to no good at his expense he'd always jokingly say "It may be against the law to hit your children, but it's perfectly alright to hit your grandkids!"

     That is why it came to such a shock to all of us when he passed away Sunday morning, because we'd never imagined him not being there.

     In my minds eye I can see many old memories of him, such as when my brother and I were younger and were dubbed "The Two Little One's". During the visits to Nana and Grandads house for some reason, and I've no idea how or why it started, if we woke up in the early hours of the morning I would jump into bed with Nana and Nick would sit on Grandads knee in the lazy boy and fall asleep again instantly.

     Then when Grandad went off to work to sell cars, each day he wore a different tie, I think he even had a Christmas one. Sometimes Nana would take us down to see him at work, and right there on his desk was a jar full of lollipops, without a doubt it was always there. Those lollipops nowadays aren't the same and they probably cost three times as much... Every morning when we were at Nana and Grandads we'd have delicious homemade bread, toasted for breakfast. Every time I used "Grandads honey" and every time up until a few years ago I was tsked for it!

     As a child I was gullible, whenever I saw Grandad he'd point at my shirt and say "what's that?" upon my looking down he'd flick me across the nose and burst into laughter for, yet again, tricking me. Because that's the sort of person he was, always having a joke around and enjoying himself. And that's how I'll remember him, as I'm sure, will others.

Rest In Peace Grandad. xx

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Ye Olde Green Shorts

My favourite pair of shorts went through their last use today. I'm heartbroken. I've had those shorts for three years, and we've been very close companions up until now. I happened to glance down at the back of them to find a large slit where the fabric had worn down and split apart. I was mortified. And the problem is that I've grown so used to them! Depending on what I do during the time I wear them, I keep them for two days before chucking them in the wash and swapping to my other pair of shorts for the next day. So now I've only really got the one pair of shorts to wear, and they aren't really the best. I prefer not to wear them in public and use them only for when I'm working. Darn it, now I've got to go find another pair of shorts similar to my old green ones. Those shorts were perfect! :'(
     It's honestly quite frustrating. Especially when at the time you are wearing your Dads old sweatshirt that just happens to be going on 20 years old. Yes, all the cuffs are quite shredded, there's a hole in the elbow, a slit in the shoulder and rugged neckline, but it's perfect for what I need it for. It's lasted 20 years of use by Dad, my sister and now me. Yet those shorts couldn't last longer than three years. -_- They never make things how they used to...
     Stupid really, but what on Earth am I going to wear to the beach on Saturday, without a decent pair of casual, able to get dirty, shorts? Grr
     My life in a nutshell that.

     I did a few things today. Did some chemistry, now I've only got three (?) chapters left in the booklet I'm working on. Wrote a letter to my friend Miriam, now I've just got to go to the post office and figure out the cost to send mail to China. And I got an email from my Biology teacher about potential science events I could apply for this year. One is the "London International Youth Science Forum" where 350 year 13 students aged 17-21 from 60 countries meet up in a university in London for two weeks and attend heaps of lectures and science related things. It's in mid July and goes through to August 6th and I'd say only the best of the best get chosen. In your application you have to include NCEA results and a myriad of other things to prove your worthiness to attend.

     The other is the "Youth ANZAAS" (Australia New Zealand Association for Advancement of Science) This is a smaller event for year 12 and 13 students from New Zealand to go to Melbourne in early July and join with Australian students for five days. Only five students from NZ are selected however.

     Both applications need a tonne of school results, teacher references, letters of worthiness, CV's etc etc and the students who do get in will get a 60% scholarship for the fees of travel and attendance. I would love to have the opportunity to get in. Mum sort of cringed when she heard when they were as they are during the beginning of our busy time of work, but the way I see it, these opportunities don't come up very often, so what is the harm in applying? Although the London one conflicts with the Massey university open day that I had planned to go to on August 6th. However, what I'm thinking is this. These are once in a life time opportunities for me, I'll never have the chance to apply for this sort of thing again and if - and I do say if - I just happened to gain a place at either of these then it is meant to be, isn't it? Things don't just come up in a blue moon, they come up for a reason, and in a few years time if I skipped out on applying I'll kick myself for it. And as they saying goes - "You've gotta be in it to win it" so there.

     So, I've decided I'm going to apply for both options and just wait and see what happens. Anywho, I can go to a university open day any old day. Lots of people start uni without seeing their uni in the open day, they certainly don't skip big events such as a trip to London for them that's for sure! And also, being part of one of these will definitely help me out in the future, so why not give it a chance? :) We'll just have to wait and see. First off, I've got to figure out how to sell myself in a letter and a CV...Mind boggling that..

     Youth Group started again last night. It was fun to get back and see all the people after the summer holidays. I was super shocked how many people showed up! About 30 people! We never have that big a turn out, so it was a bit odd seeing so many chairs filled up in the circle. This Saturday is our first event of the year, just a barbeque down at the beach and such. I'm not completely sure that I'm going yet. 1) because I'm honestly not sure what the heck I'll be able to wear and 2) I dunno, sometimes I feel like going to the beach, other times I just don't.
     I don't swim at beaches really anymore, I prefer pools and lakes in a controlled situation. I used to swim at beaches all the time, but for the past five years I haven't really been to the beach and before then I had some not very nice experiences, being bashed around by waves and such, my body board suctioning to the sand, just silly little panic moments where you lose all sense of control. So if I were to go on Saturday, it definitely wouldn't be to swim! My favourite part about beaches is feeling the sand between my toes, making massive words and pictures in the sand and digging huge holes until we find water. Ok, so the latter part is a little bit dangerous, especially when stories like that of the little boy who dug a tiny hole, poked his head in and the sand collapsed, killing him, but if you'd seen the massive hole we dug when we were little, and then all stood in it.... hmm hehe

     I keep looking and my school work and groaning. Just the little bit I've got already seems like so much and we're only in the second week of February! It's so difficult getting back into the swing of things after summer and I'm not used to already having my teachers and everything organised so soon. So much to do, so little time. I'm feeling really old and tired...

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Been Busy

It's been a fair while since I wrote my last update. Since then quite a bit has been going on.

     Yesterday I was called by my Learning Adviser, it's great to finally be in touch with her again. She informed me of what an awesome start to the year we're going to have as the term is 12 weeks long. Meaning there's going to be plenty of time to rank up the workload and earn a bunch of credits. Well that's the intention anywho! As it's so early in the term, we aren't completely sure who my teachers are going to be as they're always shifted around at this time of year. So far though I've got last years Chemistry teacher - he's really nice but as my LA said - very difficult to get a hold of. For Biology I've got this lovely lady who is an amazing biology teacher. She was my Level 1 science teacher and she did the online tutorials for level 2 bio last year as well. We're going to have fun this year I think! And I've also got an Agriculture and Statistics teacher, neither of which I've heard of before. But then again, I've never done their subjects either!

     Since I had my first school stuff arrive mid January I've sent back the Ag and Bio questionnaire and what appears to be two maths books - the level 2 stuff I had to catch up on. Chemistry pre questionnaire is a little harder though. Unlike Bio and Ag which just ask a bunch of questions to see where you're up to, Chemistry is a really big booklet with the learning in it as well that you have to go over from Level 1 and 2 and then do the typical Teacher Marked Assessment section without the answers. It's not exactly difficult, but more frustrating and time consuming. There is a disk that should've been sent with it that you need to do certain activities. It is possible to do these activities online after doing a free download, but my computer doesn't seem to agree with it. It is also possible to do the activities without the download or disk, but that is also time consuming as you have to work everything out in your head or on paper. However, as most of these questions are so basic, I may just skip them. The only important part is getting the TMA right...Chemistry and I don't usually get along too badly, but we also don't go skipping in the park together because we love each other so much, like it is with Bio. Some things I do really well on, other things I just. Don't. Get. But hey, I can figure it all out eventually! Biology is less equations but big words and explanations. Much more enjoyable! :D My LA is happy I've made a good start to the year, so fingers crossed I can keep up the enthusiasm!

     This weekend I'm back into milking, it's not too bad at the place I'm at. It doesn't take too long these days as they're split calving farmers, they're in the middle of drying off half of their herd in time for them to calve in March. So it means a heck of a shorter time to milk. I just realised it took less than two hours to milk this morning, Mum and Dad will have to use the two hour minimum policy we've got to cover the cost of travel to the job, it won't increase by much though, only 15 minutes which is nothing really. These days we're only milking on the weekends because that is the only time people seem to be booking us for. Although we're almost fully booked out on the weekends until the end of the season - the end of May. So it's pretty great! We're desperately trying to find extra staff to help the four of us get through the workload so we won't have to turn so many people down. However we're also trying to convince farmers to have weekends off during the week. Sooner or later they're going to have to get the idea and use it to their best advantage.  But it's great for me though, because it means I've got definite work for the weekends and free weeks to get my school work done! Sweet!

     Last weekend I caught a bus and went to Te Awamutu in the Waikato to see my best friend. It's been four years since I'd seen her and we've been best friends since before we were born. I'm sure we have anyway! Lol, as our Mum's had been friends for years before then. So it was really good to see her again, and as per normal, we got on just fine and had a great weekend! We went Ten Pin Bowling, Go-Carting and shopping with her Mum and little sister at the Base in Hamilton, just basically hanging out and having a good time. Though it was pretty lame boarding the bus to go home again on Monday after only a short weekend visit, but hey, I'm glad I saw her. I'm hoping they will come this way at the end of this year so we can catch up again, and our Mum's can too. Fingers crossed!

   Wednesday night I went up to my youth leaders house for a few hours with other members of the group. Everyone kept ringing them asking if youth group was on that night, eventually they just said "nope it's next week but how about coming to our place for a movie and such?" The text message was sent out and I think ten of us showed up, had some roasted marshmellows and just caught up and chatted about the holidays and suchforth. It was fun, I took my famous chocolate brownie up there for them, yet again, they loved it. I'm beginning to think it isn't them just saying it's good, because it is almost fully devoured in minutes....I had to leave by 9:30 though to be home in time for my 10 o'clock driving curfew. Seriously, I can't wait to get my full license in August after doing a defensive drivers course. Not that I want to stay out late, I just hate having to constantly look at the time. Mum and Dad are happy so long as I'm back by ten, which is the main thing.