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Moving onwards and upwards...

NEW ZEALAND | Thursday, 14 April 2011 | Views [616]

Kiā ora folks,

Well, this is my first journal entry and no doubt it won’t be my last.

Currently living in the beautiful and windy Wellington, I feel I have been shown an untouched treasure, waiting to be discovered (thanks Anna!). It's the people that make it a defining place, as they value life as a gift, giving it what it gives them.

Community groups are rife, the arts stand strong and science and nature is appreciated in its deserved glory. People here immerse themselves in all things positive. From mountain biking and theatre to festivals and restaurants, it’s all here and I love it. The Wellington slogan is no joke – Absolutely, positively, Wellington.

I moved up here with my ‘other half’ Hunter, to live with my other ‘other half’ Anna, and her ‘other half’ James.

Made on a semi-spontaneous whim, Hunter and I decided to make the move at the end of last year. Previously living in Invercargill, home of the rugged and raw south, it was time to say 'farewell' to the old and 'kiā ora' to the new.

Invercargill, where our roots run deep, is a grounding place with an expiry date. As I pitch it, 'a great place to grow up, a great place to raise a family and possibly a good place to retire'. During its colonial survey, it was described as a swamp, unfit for habitation. But the hardy Scots and Englishmen forged ahead and formed what was later to become 'Invercargill' - Inver meaning river's mouth and Cargill in honour of Captain William Cargill, Superintendent of Otago at the time. Coincidentally our family has one of Cargill's old ornamental dressers that came off his ship. My great-great auntie Charlotte, or 'Aunt Lottie' as we used to call her, was married to Cargill's nephew, so the story goes.

The nature of the geography in Southland mirrors the heart of the people, solid and strong, tough and determined. It's almost like the swamp's dampness has chilled the core of many. Work hard or be lost. While there can often be found a keen spirit, there can often be found a snub nose abhorrent to the young and the new. This is the way, and the only way. An existence that forms both great and oppressive minds and crashes with the minds of youth like waves to the rocks.

However, it is this very landscape that has mapped me, shaped my soul and moulded my mind. I hold the southern pride as strongly as I hold the southern 'rrrraaaa!'. We breed em strong and we breed em proud. We'll stand up strong, we'll stand our ground.

Needing to spread our wings and soar new heights, we set on our merry way and made the voyage north where nothing is better than something and everyone is as good as someone.

While I love the south, I love middle earth too.

I am blessed in fortune for I now have yet another cloud to rest my head and carry my heart.

So hāeri mai to my journals of journeys - reflecting inwards, looking forwards.

Tags: invercargill, new zealand, wellington

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