Almost a new year.

And almost time to officially start my “50 things which make me go Wow!”

I have a problem. Well, actually I have a lot but this one is pertinent to my blog. What constitutes a Wow moment/occasion? It seems I am incredibly easily wooed by the beauty of nature and incredibly unimpressed by my own acheivements. Often even other people’s acheivements.

For example I am sitting here, in a dinky little bach in the bush at Lake Rototiti. There is music playing. No-one here knows what it is. We are just randomly selecting cassette tapes (yes, they still exist) from the bach owner’s eclectic assortment. At least the current selection is infinitely improved on this morning’s action songs for mother and child. Out the window I see the bottom of the St Arnaud ranges. The tops are up in the cloud. Between me and the range there is a lake but we cannot see that from the house as DOC has decreed the bush must be allowed to grown without intervention. I see the bush. And hear the birds.

Just an hour ago I was mountain biking in the bush and the rain. Every so often the rain would cease momentarily and the sun would lighten everything up. Sun on wet tussock. Gnarly grey matagouri and whiskery green old man’s beard. In the distance violet mountains and heavy black clouds. I took a photo but I doubt it could do it justice. It was one of those glimpses the mind needs to capture with its own snap shot. Yes. A Wow moment. I will return at a later date to explore the concept of banking memory snapshots.

Yesterday I swam the length of the foreshore in the lake. It was possibly my first ever proper “training” swim in the lake. I have swum for fun and for fitness out to the 5 knot buoy but this was proper swimming. Wetsuit. Goggles. Swimcap. Overarm. What I noticed on my return lap as I breathed to my left side was the stunning view to the top of the lake. A view I am most familiar with from land. From the jetty. From a boat. But never from water level. It was one of the most scenic sights I have ever seen. Almost monochromatic with the grey cloud, darker grey mountains, deep green bush and still lake reflecting all. Oh that was a Wow moment.

Through this blog it is going to become apparent how much I love New Zealand and the ability I have to enjoy it. I love that I grew up in a family which taught me to love the great outdoors. I love that I met a man, Andrew, with a similar background. I love that we have taught our kids to appreciate camping and adventures. I especially love that I am fit enough to just get on my bike or put on my running shoes and get out there and really take advantage of the freedom and beauty with which I live.

So back to my question. What constitutes a Wow moment? I am thinking it might be the beauty of light reflected against a stormy background. It might be a different viewpoint than one I am used to seeing. Or it might be sitting here having a glass of wine while my two teenage sons cook dinner (hot ham, chips, mushrooms) and outdo each other with puns, and realise that Andrew and I have created two really nice people; three if you count Juliet who is at home with the cats and chickens. Yeah, I look at my family often these days and think Wow!

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Welcome

Welcome to my blog.  I hope you enjoy your visit and come back.  Maybe bring a friend or two.

So why a blog?

Many reasons, but the main one is purely that this blog is for me.  A way to express myself through the written word.  Secondary I hope it entertains, amuses, inspires my readers.

In June 1964 I was born at St George’s hosptial in Christchurch to June and Neville Perkins.  I was the third child of four.  My younger brother, Nick, was born two years later.  I already had a sister (Wendy) and a brother (Andrew) older than me.

Readers who are quick on the uptake will have worked out that in June of 2014 I turn 50 years old.  I am looking forward to this mainly because I go up an age group in running, and that will be a good thing.  No doubt this blog will feature running.  A bit.  Or even a lot!  I like running.

I am not that big on birthdays.  More specifically my own.  They never really live up to my high expectations and in recent years I have preferred that they didn’t happen.  That doesn’t really work.

Turning 50 is one of those milestones you are supposed to acknowledge.  With a party.  Invite all and sundry.  Instead I plan to go to a quiet beach in northern Queensland for a week of winter sun with my husband, and anyone else who makes it.

Half a century.  That is a lot of life.  It needs to be celebrated.  Which is why I came up with my 50 things to “wow” me.  It is not a bucket list.  I personally think ticking everything off a bucket list compares to a to do list.  Once all items are completed you are done.  It is the end.  Curtains come down.  I am still thinking of things I might like to do.  But it won’t matter if something happens and I don’t do it.  Like a child, I take as much pleasure in the organisation, dreaming and planning as the actual game.  Like the cliche says. Life is a journey – not a destination.

In 2014 I hope to record my journey of finding 50 things which amaze me.  Some might be bucket list material.  Some might be big – I have a few ideas, some will be small.  But I hope to find inspiration in my country, amongst my family and friends, and of course within myself.

Come back and hear all about it.  It starts on New Year’s Day.