This has been a good week. I started back at work on Monday, which would not normally be an opportunity for rejoicing, meaning as it does that the holidays are over! We had a good holiday, including a trip back down to Wellington to catch up with those friends and family who had not fled the place in search of kinder weather! But I digress. This week was a good one. As most of the plant isn't back yet (it's only the maintenance/engineering staff, the financial staff, and me on site right now) the place feels completely laid back and chilled out. I've been loving that we've been hanging out for morning and afternoon teas and actually talking, laughing, and just having some fun. Also finishing a bit earlier than usual most days because it's pretty quiet right now. I'm spending my time planning my year in safety and getting things ready for the big re-induction days that happen at the end of the month. I am bound and determined to be organised this year! It was tough coming into the plant in April when things were going full swing without the time to plan things to run the way I wanted them to.
I'm also getting to be a bit of a socialite at present. I'm family-free for a few days as small daughter has gone with hubby back to Wellington to see grandparents that were in the UK when we were down after Christmas, and hubby is on a photoshoot for a week. So on Friday night I went to the pub with a friend from work (yes, me in a pub, now don't all die of shock!) - nice just to sit and chat about stuff and have some fun together. He went home and I wandered off to see the movie version of Les Miserables which had just opened in Rotorua. One soggy hankerchief later..... I was very very impressed with Hugh Jackman as Jean Valjean, and Anne Hathaway's Fantine was beautifully done. I had been pretty sceptical that they could make it work as a movie, having seen the stage show twice and adore the music (most of which I've sung at various times), but I was wrong. It works, wonderfully well. Also lovely to see the very first stage Valjean, Colm Wilkinson, getting a cameo as the Bishop who gives Valjean his chance.
Today was a really good day too: began with a hot stone massage (new to me!) at Rotorua Health and Spa, which I'd picked up off GrabOne just before Christmas. Very relaxing and I felt pretty good afterwards. I was a bit worried whether I would be able to lie on my tummy long enough, but didn't seem to have too many issues which was nice.
This afternoon was spent sanding and painting a small bedside cabinet that used to be mine, but now belongs to small daughter. Hubby has recently redecorated her bedroom (when we moved up here, we promised her that her room would be the first one we would do). It's all light blue, with a frieze of tropical fish and coral (similar to but nicer than the one she had in Wellington), and the room had built-in furniture that we've painted quite a bright, strong, primary blue. She has been using a chest of drawers that used to be my brother's, and a bedside that was mine when I was a girl. We hadn't done anything with them before, but this time we've painted them the same bright primary blue as the built-in stuff. She went away with all the furniture done except this bedside cabinet (which was a tired, grotty white - well, it's 23 years old!) - she'll come home to find it finished. Felt good to set up a little surprise for her!
Tonight after tea I went for a walk at one of my favourite spots around here, the lovely Hamurana Springs. The sun was low and the light through the redwood grove was incredible: warm, golden, making stripes and shadows, the redwoods almost purplish with brilliant leaves. First time I've actually wanted to have a camera to hand! I could watch the springs for hours: it seems amazing to think that 4.5 million litres of water come up from that spring every hour! It's so deceptive too: there's no gushing water, no waterfalls, only this silent lazy movement of the water that almost doesn't look like it's moving at all.... but it is.
And the crowning glory of the day was discovering tonight that one of my favourite authors, Laini Taylor, has just released Days of Blood and Starlight, the sequel to the quite spectacularly wonderful Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Daughter was one of the most original books I'd read in many years, gorgeously written, with a twist in the tail that I would never have picked in a million million years. I love being surprised that way. I found it quite by chance in a bookshop last year, loved the title, read the first page, and walked straight to the counter - and I don't recall anything else of what I did over the next few days outside finishing the book. Absolutely compulsive read, and the reviews of the sequel sound as though this one is even better. Cannot wait for it to arrive from The Book Depository - rather faster (and generally cheaper!) than waiting for it to come out in NZ.
Of course, even in the lovely Bay of Plenty sunshine there are a few shadows lurking. There's been a fair amount of pain, which the massage and a long soak on Thursday night at the Polynesian Spa has helped a little, but I'm trying to stay positive and hopeful that we can find something that will give longterm relief, or at least a way forward for managing it. But I'll not darken this cheerful post with the other side of the coin too much tonight....