My brain knows even when I am not aware that it does

Have you ever come across a term 'blindsight'?

I hadn't - not until I read an article on BBC today, Blindsight: the strangest form of consciousness.

Fascinating stuff.

Melina: Nobody Down There Will Help You

I have written about Melina from The Wilder Coast before, but today's post was just... wow. Such powerful reading!

Nobody Down There Will Help You (

Date night: Bowenvale valley tracks

Working our way up the valley

A selfie. Not sure why I even write that :)

Looking back towards Christchurch

The Man pointing towards something he is talking about...

...and then laughing at the fact that I had taken a photo which probably made him look like he was posing :)

Rainclouds gathering

A hilltop landing strip

...and my goofy airplane of a husband

Beautiful low evening light hitting the hilltops behind us as we're descending

Almost there. Back, I mean.

A sh*tload of photos!

Our laptop was away for repairs for a week and a half and, wow, what a lesson it's been in 1) the amount of time we spend online and the amount of stuff we need the laptop for, 2) our aptitude for sharing the iPad, and 3) the amount of stuff that cannot be done on an iPad. But it's back now - thank goodness! - and I am sitting here, thinking, "Oh how I love keyboards!" and "Oh how I love touchpads!" (as opposed to touchscreens) and "Oh how I love laptops!"

Basically, it's nice to have it back again, and may I not have to see Apple's service providers for a very, very long time again, thank you.

We've been...

...playing with Duplo and Lego at Imagination Station which is an entire room filled with mountains of blocks.

...walking The Dog in the rain and through our nearby wetland reserve which she adores!

...playing at home...

...building with blocks and jigsaws, neither of which The Girlie has much patience for. Guess which photo is of her stuff?

...visiting the beach on cold, rainy mornings...

To those of you wondering what those containers in the background are for: those are there to protect the road from further rockfall. That cliff-face had a lot of collapses during the earthquakes and containers block the rocks from making their way onto the road where they would end up endangering the traffic.

...and then on hot, sunny mornings...

...and generally speaking, it's been a lot like a summer this year. It has actually felt a lot like a summer this year!

I have watched Astrid from Connecting the Dots visit New Zealand and upload her photos to Instagram (she left for Denmark only a few days ago), and it has filled me with a recognition of what a magnificent country it can be. 

She visited many of the places that have been my "home" of sorts over the years, and walked many of the tracks that I have walked, too, and I have looked at her photos and sighed.

There's been change in the air. I discovered, by coincidence of sorts, that government-set lending criteria for home loan applicants - at least 10% deposit and in most cases, 20% - only applies to banks and not all financial institutions, and so it means that this week I will be talking to a mortgage broker to find out if we, with our saved-up deposit of approximately 6% and no other loans to our name, will be able qualify for a home loan. It still means crunching the numbers and working out if it makes sense to keep paying rent until we save up the remaining 4% of the deposit, or to go for a higher interest rate that non-bank lenders offer in exchange for the opportunity to buy a home, but either way, for the first time in several years I am feeling like there is at least an option available to us, whether we take it or not, and it's a hope-filled feeling.

I have also wondered - again - whether to just ditch Christchurch and go down to Invercargill, where I would finish my quantity surveying diploma and see if The Man can face kind of Scottish winters of lots of rain and cold, as opposed to Christchurch's rather mild overcast skies.

But either way, I think for this year we are set to stay. The Kid has another year until he starts school and I have started working at a local bakery on Saturdays (which has allowed me just enough finance to put The Girlie in daycare once a week so I can finish writing the book I have been trying to finish for about 4 years now). We'll just plod along and do our thing and eventually, an answer will come, I think, an for the moment I'll just continue enjoying the fact that I have a functioning laptop, two healthy kids, a dry home, a large backyard, friends, youth, a safe place to call home and life.

Enjoy your week, guys :)

CEOs and parents

I don't know who to attribute this quote (or two) to, but it really stood out to me.

"Great parents make sucky CEOs, and vice versa."


"Great CEOs make decisions, not meetings."


I might write a little more once I either get my laptop back from repairs or have bought a new one (oh dear oh dear I hope I don't have to pay for a new one!) but for the moment this household survives on one iPad alone and let me tell you, it isn't comfortable.

Oh, and I've also broken my housekey.

It's been a long week. Very much hope the next one is easier.

Questions and answers: good books

Ha! It was just yesterday afternoon that I wrote that I haven't come across good books lately, yet by the evening I had come across one that I have now borrowed from the library and like! Talk about magic :)

The Sketchnote Handbook by Mike Rohde

His website has a free downloadable chapter 4 which gives an idea of what the book's like on the inside, so here you go. A book recommendation :)