2016 – The Year of Change… Kinda

2016 has been a strange year, it has gone by very quickly, and has been full of change.

At the start of 2016 I set a small number of goals, while I only completely achieved two of them I feel I made progress towards all of them:

  • Get a stable job (this may involve leaving academia)
    • The first half the year saw more of the casual work and weeks without income that I had experienced in 2015
    • However, by the end of 2016 I have a full time job and it is in academia! While I continue to look for further opportunities it has been good in the second half the year to have some stability in life.
  • Continue learning German
    • During the first half of the year I continued well along this goal, however, by the end of the year any practice has fallen by the wayside.
  • Travel and/or move to Europe or Singapore
    • I spent a month travelling around Europe in February and tried for a job in Germany but was unsuccessful.
  • Read 30 books
    • I completed 27 books, which is fewer than the previous two years, however, after moving house I have a shorter commute to work which is where I do the majority of my reading. Below are some of the books I read this year.

Every month had its highlights:  Continue reading

NZ Winter Adventure – Part Five: Skiing at the Remarkables

On my second day in Wanaka I went skiing at the Remarkables with some friends from China.

The Remarkables are much less extreme than Treble Cone, which was good as my knee was still very sore from my tumble the day before.

The Remarkables

While the crowds were rather small and slopes less steep, off piste was rather icy so it was easy going for much of the day.

Empty Ski Area at the Remarkables

Continue reading

NZ Winter Adventure – Part Four: Treble Cone

My first day in Wanaka started with a decision to go skiing at Treble Cone for the day.

Treble Cone isn’t too far from Wanaka, however, it is one very impressive and dangerous drive to get up the mountain.

Early morning over Lake Wanaka

After turning off the highway you travel up the mountain on rough gravel with hairpin turns and no safety barriers – I would not want to travel this road with snow and ice. Continue reading

NZ Winter Adventure – Part Three: Christchurch to Wanaka Road Trip

Following a weekend exploring Christchurch, Methven and Ashburton I drove from Christchurch to Wanaka. Direct driving time for the 430km trip is just over five hours, but in reality it takes all day. Starting out from Christchurch right on 9am, I first stopped at the Cookie Time factory which is located on the outskirts of the city.

Cookie Time Factory

Cookie Time Factory

Having bought far more cookies than I will care to admit, I then continued down State Highway One to Geraldine. At Geraldine I turned inland and headed towards the Southern Alps and Lake Tekapo.

State Highway 8 Before Tekapo

Church of the Good Shepherd, Lake Tekapo

From Lake Tekapo, I then continued along State Highway Eight until descending into Lake Pukaki. The full beauty of Lake Pukaki cannot be stated in words or captured in photographs. Across the far side of the Lake rises New Zealand’s highest mountain, Mount Cook. The whole lake is surrounded by mountains and on the edge of the lake was a fresh salmon sashimi cafe where I had lunch. Continue reading