Monday 28 February 2011

Shore Girl Goes South: Rugby Oreo Truffles for Baking for Hospice

So sorry my lovelies for the massive break between posts.

I honestly think these last two weeks have been the most eventful two weeks I can remember.  And on top of the life changing, literally earth shattering events recently, I also haven't had access to internet where I am staying so my poor wee blog has been a bit neglected.

So humongous apologies to everyone, I've missed you all heaps and I would like to explain my tardiness by sharing with you all the massive events that have been going down in the world of Nessie.

Massive event numero uno:  Moving down to Dunedin. 

I grew up on the North Shore (cue the Shore Girl jokes) in Auckland, New Zealand and have lived in Auckland since 1989.  Yes, since the eighties.  I can still remember a time when milk was delivered to your door, Cobb & Co was considered haute cuisine and not all malls were Westfield.  So moving down to the South Island was a bit of a shock to the system to say the least.  From a city of about 1.4 million to a city of 125,000, 25% of which are students).  We are so much closer to Antarctica it's almost like a different country down here. I went from wear tiny beach dresses because it was 28oC and 99% humidity to wrapping up in two layers of merinos, jeans and boots.  That first week was a classic case of spot the Jafa (Jafa of course, stands for just another effing Aucklander), since everyone else was telling me it was actually warm for Dunedin when I thought it was freezing.  Apparently eating lots of pies will help me acclimatise.  I'm working on it.

Massive event number 2: Starting Medical School.

The reason for making the move down was to start studying Medicine down here.  I went straight into second year and have hit the ground running.  The amount of lecture/tutorial/lab time is many contact hours, so much reading, so much catching up to do but I am loving every minute.  I've been studying/practising law and doing basically no science for pretty much the last four years so getting back into all the sciencey stuff is a wee bit of a task for the old noggin.  But it is SO much fun and interesting and we've got such an awesome bunch of us graddies (graduate *coughmature* students) to hang out with, commiserate getting old with and sit at the front of the lecture theatre with.  Fun times.

Massive event number 3: Christchurch Earthquake

A literally earth shattering event for all New Zealanders.  I was sitting in the library here in Dunedin (which is 5 hours drive away from Christchurch) and felt everything shake.  I think it's New Zealand's largest natural disaster in history, it was devastating, terrifying and heartbreaking.  We have been glued to the telly at the 24/7 news coverage.  My friend who I am living with had to do a 10 hour round trip to drive up and pick her brother and his wife up at 3am in the morning and bring them down here.  There are still so many missing, and the death toll keeps on rising and rising.  My thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Christchurch and their friends and families...what an absolute tragedy. Kia kaha Canterbury.

Massive event number 4: My Grandma

In the midst of all the drama and chaos down here, up in Auckland my Grandma had a stroke and is currently in hospital.  The doctors say that it doesn't look good at all and I haven't felt more far from home than I do right now.

So do pretty please I get let off this time for slack posting????  :)

Just before I left Auckland, I made these Rugby Oreo Truffles for the Baking for Hospice Kiwi Round and I've been dying to show you all these cute wee things!  And I have so many posts in the back log to share so hopefully we will get the internet sorted soon and I can tell you all bout my recent kitchen disasters and triumphs. Onward and upward!

Thursday 10 February 2011

Ch ch ch ch ch changes, Chinese New Year and Cereal prawns

Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine. ~ Robert C. Gallagher

Happy belated Chinese New Year!  Kung Hei Fat Choi! Welcome to the year of the Rabbit.

I don't know what my horoscope is supposed to be for this year but it's definitely a year of Change with a capital C.

I've tried on many different hats in my time: pharmacy, research science, and most recently, lawyer.  But deep down, all along I've wanted to be a doctor.  I just missed out when I applied straight out of high school waaaaay back in '02 and that blow made me bury those dreams for a long time.

Now, I've been given another chance.  At the ripe old age of 26, I am uprooting my life, moving away from my loved ones, my friends, even my fiance to go to med school in a completely different city on a completely different island: Dunedin.

It has been an agonising decision...can I do it? Move away from everything I know and everyone I love to live in a place I've never even visited.  I'm excited and exhilarated but at the same time terrified and sad.  The hardest thing is knowing I'm leaving my Mum all on her own and be living away from C just when we are about to get married.

But at the end of the day the question was - is it worth it?

And it is.

Nothing worth having is ever easy and it's facing your fears and challenging yourself by doing things out of your comfort zone that shapes you as a person.

So this Chinese New Year, I am saying au revoir to the life I know to follow my dreams and to celebrate I tried a brand new super yummy Malaysian dish: Cereal Prawns.

Wednesday 2 February 2011

Olive oil and chocolate chip cookies and sucker punches

God saw you getting tired,
And a cure was not to be,
So He put His arms around you
And whispered “Come to Me”.
With tearful eyes we watched you,
and saw you pass away.
Although we loved you dearly,
We could not make you stay.
A Golden Heart stopped beating,
Hard working hands to rest,
God broke our hearts to prove to us,
He only takes the best.

I warn you now, this is going to be a sad post.  Someone very dear to our family passed away yesterday.

Suddenly, unexpectedly, gone.

One minute you're exchanging emails, sending presents, making plans, then all of a sudden they simply aren't there anymore.  There will be no reply to that email you sent.  You can never say your grateful thank you for that parcel which only just arrived.  Hopes held and plans made, all of a sudden have no meaning.

We still can't wrap our head around the reality that a person so vibrant, so hard working, so generous, so larger than life, so sarcastically hilarious, so loving, so thoughtful and just so alive is no longer here.  It's totally surreal.  When you can still recall their last phone call to you, read their last email, see so clearly their face in your mind.

My father passed in 2005 and I have lost other people I care about before.  So you'd think I'd be prepared for the sadness, pain and loss that comes when someone else you care for deeply passes away.  But nope, it really does sucker punch you. Right. In. The. Gut.

I made these Olive Oil & Chocolate Chip Cookies to send down to the family.  I baked them with love, with tears flowing down my face and with the hope that something sweet would help just a little with the bitterness of their massive loss.

Please know we are grieving with you.  Our thoughts and constant prayers are with you.  Although we can only imagine what you are going through, we know what a special person he was and what a void his passing leaves in so many lives.


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