On Never Walking Alone

Just over two months ago, a few days before I moved to Ireland, I was sitting in the living room of my parents’ home watching Manchester City play Chelsea. There were no fans in the stadium, hadn’t been since the Premier League had restarted after a long, coronavirus-induced break. Stakes were fairly high for each team. A win for Chelsea would boost their Champions League qualification hopes, while a win for City would keep them in the title race for one more week. Chelsea’s young American Christian Pulisic opened the scoring, then City’s Kevin De Bruyne equalised. In the second half, a handball saw Fernandinho sent off and Willian step up to the penalty spot to bury a second goal for Chelsea. Twenty minutes later, the game was over… and suddenly Liverpool were champions.

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Maybe the real OTP was the friends we made along the way

In September 2005 I had just started high school. On Tuesday, September 13, I think I had an orchestra rehearsal, if I remember right, but there was this new show premiering on the WB that I was super excited about because I loved (and still love) all things paranormal. So I set up my VCR to record it—unfortunately the episode ran five minutes over so I missed the ending, but it didn’t matter, I was instantly hooked on this story of two brothers searching for their missing father and hunting ghosts and demons as they went.

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The Gang Cleans the Beach

Yesterday, a group from the r/Wellington subreddit got together to clean up trash on Petone beach, on the Lower Hutt side of Wellington harbour. We spent an hour and a half (some intrepid redditors spent closer to two hours!) picking up small bits of plastic, cigarette butts, and what might have been a Pepsi bottle full of pee—ew. 

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I organised the event, which was amazingly simple thanks to the great community in Wellington and particularly r/Wellington. There’s always someone keen to meet up to do anything that someone else is interested in, so all it took was a quick post to the page and 20+ people expressed their interest (we didn’t end up having quite that many people on the day, because life gets in the way, but there was still a group of about 12 of us ready to do our part).

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Worldwide friends, again and again

I’ve been lucky in my life to make some amazing, close friends. I’ve never been someone with a big social circle, and being terrible at keeping in touch means that I don’t stay connected to many acquaintances, but I have a few friends from every place that I’ve lived who I know I will always be close to even if sometimes we don’t see each other (or even talk!) for years on end. I’ve also been lucky enough to have seen two of those close, best friends (two of my flatmates from Ireland) here in New Zealand (their partners are kiwis) and my very best friend and her husband came for a visit last month.

Still, even if I know I have these amazing friends I can count on to be there for me across thousands of miles and months or years apart, moving the number of times I have in the last few years means that I am in a constant state of making new acquaintances and hopefully new friends. For an introvert who has struggled with shyness all her life, this can be tough, especially in places notorious for their difficulty in creating non-superficial relationships (see also: the “Seattle freeze“).

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A whirlwind North Island road trip with the best company I could imagine

What do you do when two of your favourite people fly to the other side of the world to see you? Go to some of the north island’s most amazing sites of course! My bestie Erin and her husband Jason came to visit Steve and me last week, breaking up their Australian holiday with a few whirlwind days in New Zealand. Because they only had two weeks total, their time in NZ was brief—only four full days—but I think we managed to squeeze a whole lot into that quick trip.

They arrived in Wellington late Sunday night and we immediately got down to business with a long-overdue catch-up (and some of our favourite local wine and beer). I hadn’t seen Erin and Jason since the end of last summer, and the four of us hadn’t been in the same place since their gorgeous wedding last May.

Despite staying up until nearly 3am (an especially impressive feat for me since I’d run a half-marathon earlier on), we got up early the next morning—so much to do, so little time! Because Wellington weather is unpredictable, we took advantage of the decent if a bit overcast day and as soon as we picked up the rental car we drove up to the Mount Vic lookout for a view over the harbour.

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