Fab Feb holiday – Abel Tasman revisited

I did it again. The Abel Tasman Coastal track. 15 years after I had done it for the first time. It’s still as beautiful as I remembered it: Golden beaches, crystal clear blue sea, with a backdrop of regenerating bush.

But it’s a lot more busy than it was back in 2002. And I also noticed that the vast majority of people belong to two distinctly different groups of tourists: 20-somethings doing a multi-day walk, and older people in their 50s and 60s doing day trips.  What they had in common though is that most of them were from overseas.

Over Waitangi weekend, Gregor joined me, and I then completed the rest of the walk by myself. But not really by myself, as I’ve explained above.

Te Pukatea Bay – Abel Tasman at its best:

Beautiful sunrise on the next morning:

Boats anchoring at, well, Anchorage:

Gregor on the mud flats of Torrent Bay:

My picturesque camp spot in Tonga Quarry:

View towards Totaranui from the North:

My Abel Tasman tramping boots:

It was an excellent walk, with good weather most of the time and the sandflies and mosquitos weren’t too bad.  If you’re seeking solitude, it’s the wrong place. But if you’re after spending some time on the beach, it’s an excellent choice.

Just a quick one

As you can see by the regularity of my blog posts (or lack thereof), you can see that I’ve been really struggling this year to make time to keep you up to date.

It’s not just because of going on holidays or camping weekends.

My health work has been really full on. I’m currently doing a big experiment of which I’m sure it’ll finally resolve the issue that I unwittingly created  in my Vanuatu holiday in 2010.

I’ve now also picked up the work on starting my business again as this is synergistic with my health work.

Curious how this looks like?

Check it out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cleanleanenergized/ or google Clean Lean Energized and you’ll find it.

Big promise that I will post photos of my February holiday soon.

Change of mind, change of reality

Back again at my blog – finally!

My holiday in the Golden Bay area was fantastic. But since I’ve been back, life has been very challenging, and I even haven’t had the time yet to sort through my holiday pictures to select the best ones to post here for you.

So instead of the long overdue post about my holiday, I’m going to share with you something I’m currently experiencing.

Your thinking shapes your reality.

While having my shower this morning, I realised how true this is. In my life right here, right now.

The last few weeks were incredibly stressful for me, amongst other things because of a significant disagreement I had with my two flatmates. It’s not because they wouldn’t have been decent people – in fact they  were, both of them nice and considerate hard working ladies.

Our personalities just clashed. This became clear to me pretty much from day one when they each had moved in (which certainly doesn’t speak for my ability of choosing the right flatmates).

Both moved out over the last couple of weeks, and new people have moved in.

Now my flat is very different to what it used to be. Just because I had changed my thinking about who my ideal flatmates would be. And the reality that I now experience in the flat has changed as a consequence.

This isn’t just happening in how I perceive things. The change is hands-on and real.

To illustrate this, my ideal flatmate used to be female,  tidy with mature attitude, around my age, earning her living as a professional like I do.

My ideal flatmate still is tidy with a mature attitude. But in considering what would be good for me where I am in my life right now, I concluded that I wanted more diversity in the flat.

Which now has materialised, with a young student lady from Ghana and a Maori guy in his mid 30s teaching performing arts.

It’s not like I had to push and shove for this to happen. In fact, these were the first two people who wanted one of the rooms. All I needed to do was give it to them.

You might now say what’s so special about this? Of course you get different results when you change your criteria.

Well, apply this to the bigger picture.

If I want my life to be different to what it is today, if I want to have my own self-employed income and settle down with Gregor in the Nelson/Tasman area, the first step is to open our minds and think differently.

And then all else will follow.

Zapped

It was a bit of a difficult week for me as I had a headache like I haven’t had it in a long time. I felt pretty crap for a couple of days with the pain being ever present and impacting on my work and enjoyment of life.

Considering that I lived with this pain for 1 or 2 years until I had reduced my EMF exposure quite a bit, it doesn’t surprise me that I felt low and grumpy most of the time back then.

The crazy thing is that this time, it was entirely and inadvertently self-inflicted.

I had had a bit of a headache all weekend but didn’t take it that seriously as it was a completely normal weekend at home, spending most of my time in my shielded room.

Surely it was just a random thing.not to worry about?

On Monday night, when I packed my backpack for work, I realised that my cell phone was turned on. Not that I ever keep it turned on. But since the earthquakes, I’ve had it in my backpack just in case. And obviously other stuff in my backpack must have put pressure on it and turned it on.

So for days, I was just a couple of meters away from my turned on cellphone. Day and night. In a part shielded room with quite weak cellphone reception which means that my cellphone would have radiated quite significantly.

Oh the pain…

By now, I feel much better again. But this was certainly a lesson to ALWAYS take seriously what my body is telling me. And if the reason isn’t obvious, then to go searching for it until I’ve found and dealt with it.

Northland holiday – Kauri forests, Bay of Islands, and a lake

The second part of our Northland holiday was a bit of a road trip combined with an island escape and a few walks here and there.

I usually don’t particularly like driving, but wow this time was different. I’ve always liked BMWs ;simply for their looks and the fact that they’re from Munich just like me.

Now having driven one (Gregor’s work car, a small 2003 model) along some seriously windy roads and the odd bit of gravel, I can definitely say that they’re my kind of car. No wonder that I ended up doing most of the driving up there, and it made this fantastic holiday even better.

But back to where I left off. We spent the following night in Rarawa and it turned out one of the best beaches I’ve ever been to in NZ. Crystal clear turquoise blue water, waves just right to be fun, and the sand was absolutely world class white powder:

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The forests were just great, but as always not easy to take phtoos of… :

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In the Bay of Islands, we spent a couple of days  hanging out on Urupukapuka Island. We went for walks in the morning, and then spent the rest of the day reading, talking and maybe a very quick dip in the sea.

Which was unusually cold, just like the windy weather we had throughout our entire holiday. Great for doing stuff, not ideal for frolicking on the beach.

A calm morning in Urupukapuka Bay at the campground:

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Green hills, deep blue sea, sailing boats, and an old woolshed:

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Very nice sunsets if you went up the hill:

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In places, the coastline reminded me a little bit of the”Calanques” in the South of France where I had holidayed with friends what now seems a lifetime ago:

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More forest, here’s Gregor in a stand of young Kauri :

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Lake Taharoa impressed with clear blue water and the petrified remains of an ancient forest:

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Not that you can see much of it as the lake shore drops off steeply to great depth where most of the forest is.

We rounded off our dream holiday with a BBQ on an Auckland campground. Gregor enjoyed a serious chunk of steak while I stuck with fish and had a most delicious salmon. Most of which got into my mouth as some of it was blown off my fork on the way to it. It was that windy!

Hope you all had such an amazing Christmas break as we did. And should you ever be in need of a  holiday destination, with Northland you won’t go wrong..

Northland holiday – Te Paki Stream walk

Back from an amazing holiday up North, in Northland. As far North as you can get in NZ that’s publicly accessible, and without getting your feet wet.

Here are a few photos of the first part of our trip – The Te Paki Stream walk which goes around the coast from the East, around Cape Reinga, then over to the West and down to 90 Mile Beach.

Starting off in Spirits Bay on a glorious morning:

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Gregor chilling out in the rock pools above Pandora Bay:

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Most of the Pohutukawa had already lsot their flowers, but this one here at our camp spot was still in in full bloom:

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Obligatory photo of  the famous lighthouse at Cape Reinga:

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Fancy a 1 hour beach walk? Try Te Werahi Beach:

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If you love the desert, you can get your fix, too:

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Twilight Beach at the end of a long 8 hour tramping day:

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We finished off our tramping with sandboarding the Te Paki dunes. Gregor absolutely loved it, despite nose dive into the sand and the slog up the steep dune. He went up saying “this is my last run” at least 3 times.

The Lord of the Boards Northland style:

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My photos can’t quite convey it what an amazing walk it was. Great Walk material if you ask me. Every day was different, the scenery was absolutely stunning, and technically, it’s easy walking. You could do it in your bare feet if you like!

We concluded our top North experience with a nice hot shower (1 of 2 during our two-week holiday, aahhh)..

And a short night of disrupted sleep fed upon by the local mosquito population., thanks to Gregor’s 30 years old vintage tent and its holes.That’s until I got up and pitched my small but mosquito proof tent in the middle of the night where we gratefully took refuge.

The humming of the mosquito chorus lulled us into sleep and we did not venture out and through the black cloud of these ravenous little buggers in the tent’s vestibule until in the morning.

Special birthday

Just been to a friend’s 50th birthday party. Despite having to get up very early tomorrow. And just for a couple of hours.

But it’s been a completely mind blowing and positive experience that will more than balance out the sleep I’ve missed out on.

First I had a good chat with the first ever German in NZ who obtained double citizenship, and I’ve learnt some very useful tips how to go about it.

Then by pure chance I met a German guy who lives in Auckland. But not just anywhere – in Earthsong, a well established co-housing development. Which is my ideal type of living arrangement.

He’s invited me to come to one of their open days, and if this doesn’t suit, I could contact him to come and have a look anyway. And guess what, his name is Raimund, quite a rare name and the name my parents had planned for me in case I had turned out a boy.

Next thing that happened is that I ran into an old friend of mine who I had lost contact with years ago. We had a really good conversation and it was like our years of no contact had never happened.

But that’s not all. When I was about to leave and said goodbye to my friend whose 50th birthday we were celebrating, she told me that she had at first not recognised me. Because I looked 6 to 7 years YOUNGER than when she had last seen me!!!

I’m just so grateful for all this right now, and so happy.

My life isn’t easy but I feel I’ve been riding a big powerful wave towards somewhere of amazing beauty and goodness. A place of true happiness and belonging. Of peace, health and pure joy.

What a day. What an amazing party.

I wish you all a merry Christmas. Have a great break and talk to you again in the New Year.

 

Why I lost my my work space

The engineering reports of the post earthquake assessments of our office building at work have now been made available to staff. I had a look and there were photos in the report of my desk post quake, and the ceiling above my manager’s desk.

In a nutshell, our desk locations would  have been a hospital pass had we been at our desks.

Luckily enough the quake was at night and both of us in the relative safety of our homes when it happened. So my manager wasn’t knocked out by ceiling tiles crashing down on him. And I didn’t fall into the seismic joint and being squeezed by its movements.

Why I know this?

Take a look at the photos from the engineering report. This one here is the ceiling right above where David’s desk used to be:

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And this was my desk with my chair right on – or rather in – the seismic joint:

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Result is that there won’t be any more desks on and around the joints.

So my desk is now in a safer space. I wouldn’t call it perfectly safe though, considering that on top of the part of the building where I’m now seated there’s a 14-floor apartment building.

But other possible locations for my work space are all unsuitable as they are too close to wifi routers and with more people seated close-by. So I’ve decided to run the risk of being squashed by the apartment building should there be a big quake again and the building collapses. Instead of the 100% certain fact to get zapped pretty badly by wifi and other people’s computers and wirelsss gadgets.

I now work primarily home based. It’s taken me a couple of weeks to get used to it and develop a new routine. It helped that it’s summer now with a comfortable 18 to 21 degrees in my room.

Big thank you to my direct manager Glenn who has been very understanding and supportive of my health journey to become free of symptoms of to electro-sensitivity. I’m also impressed by my employer’s willingness to accommodate for people’s health requirements and enabling them to continue in their roles like myself.

I’m very grateful for this and my heart goes out to fellow electro-sensitive people whose managers and employers don’t treat them so kindly.Kia kaha – be strong.

Plan B

It was a big earthquake last week, 7.8 as it’s turned out. It’s shaken up my life, in a way. And it’s proven the value of having a Plan B in my pocket.

What I mean is having a clearly defined action plan in case certain events happen and risks suddenly materialise.

For example, I agreed a Plan B with my manager months ago for the time when our offices would be refitted for mobile working, and how I could continue in my role with the increase load of microwave radiation that would come with this.

Funny enough, on the Sunday just 12 hours before the quake, Gregor and I also agreed on a Plan B for us should I loose my job in the upcoming restructure, or should my lease for the house I rent get terminated.

But I’m digressing.

You might think wow what a pessimistic outlook on life. Well no, to clarify this, I’m not a pessimist, I just have a well developed risk radar. And personal risk management approach.

Which did prove its worth last week.

On Thursday, the office where I work was finally opened again. I work on a floor with about 80 desks or so.And two of them had been displaced.

Where I used to sit is now cordoned off no-man’s land.

That’s what happens when you’re living on the edge. On the edge of the seismic joint running across the entire building. That bore the brunt of the quake, doing what it was built to do.

My desk is now down the hall, much closer to other people and the windows which all adds up in terms of microwave radiation load.

It would have been a bit of a shock  if it hadn’t been for Plan B.

While my manager and I didn’t have earthquakes in mind when we agreed Plan B, on Thursday, it was just like flicking a switch to activate it. Easy as! There wasn’t a moment of fear , doubt or hesitation, it was more like ‘Ok, the time has come that I’ll primarly work home based now’.

And that’s what I’ve been doing since then.

I haven’t quite settled into a routine yet, but I’m getting there. And I’ve heard that some other people also work from home more now, because it makes them feel safer.

This might all sound like a fairly small change hardly worth more than a couple of paragraphs. But the real impact, or chance as I see it, is in terms of the upcoming big restructure.

By the time this will affect me (March onwards, I will be well established as a productive valuable home based worker. Which I hope will increase my chance to be  able to continue with home based working even in case of a change of manger.

It’s not jut that I don’t want to loose my job because I’ll hardly ever be able to find a new one that I can do without making myself sick from microwave radiation. It’s also because it’s still the best job I ever had, and lately it’s been so rewarding with such great opportunities that I’m just not ready to let it go.

Which leads straight to my next topic: Letting go.

Let’s talk about that next time.