You’re being serious?!

So…when a friend says to you ‘My Mum has offered to pay for me and a friend to go to New Zealand,’ you don’t automatically think they’re being serious.  Or I didn’t anyway.  In retrospect, I should have known better.  But when I got a phonecall the following day saying ‘I’m going to book the flights today – do you really want to come?’ I realised that the wheels were being set in motion for me to take the chance of a lifetime, and I grabbed it with both hands, and said a very enthusiastic ‘absolutely’.

So here I am, about three weeks later, with my suitcase partially packed, my toenail paint drying, my passport close at hand (with regular checks on it’s whereabouts taking place, even though it is an inanimate object that cannot move) and my imagination running away with me.  Only I’m not imagining this.  Tomorrow, I’m going to New Zealand for almost three weeks.  I keep blinking to prove that I’m awake, and this is really happening.  And I’m more than a little bit excited.

But New Zealand aside for a bit, The Purkiss/Antcliff family were also blessed with a new arrival last week.  After 53 hours from waters breaking to birth, my big sister had a little boy, weighing in at 8lb 13, with a head of thick black hair and a tiny button nose.  We keep joking that it’s not going to last that long – big noses run in our family, and the Antcliff family.  Even my once ‘teddybear’ nose is becoming slightly more pronounced.

But big nose or no big nose, Andrew Charles came into the world (in quite a dramatic manner by all accounts) on November the 2nd, and since then, family life has been a bit on it’s head.  Who knew something so tiny could create such excitement.

There’s still not much success on the job hunt, but as of about 10am tomorrow, I’ve been told I’m not to think about it.  I’ve got temporary work throughout December, so it’s not all completely bleak, just a little bit gray with a slight drizzle.  But it’s a challenge, and learning from challenges is what life is all about.  And this can’t be any more of a challenge than passing my driving test was, right?  At least I can laugh about that now…

While I’m away I’ll be writing every day, once my mind (and stomach, I think that will be the bigger issue) has settled on what time it is.  From the sounds of things Mamma Oldridge has a LOT planned for us while we’re there, and I know little to nothing about NZ, so everything is going to be a new experience, and therefore a great opportunity for me to get my writing game on.

See you in a few weeks!

PS: got some amazing holiday reading: Eat, Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (I’ve heard wonderful things about it), The Beach by Alex Garland and A Spot Of Bother by Mark Haddon.  I’m also taking with me Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres – someone bought it for me years ago, and I’ve never got round to reading it.  And the present seemed like the perfect time to embrace it.  I’m really back in to reading at the moment, so I’ll be writing a few reviews upon my return, and hopefully the wonder of these novels will inspire something in my ideas.

Update number 3,762: My very good friend has just text me and said: ‘Alice…you’re packing for NEW ZEALAND!!! Can you actually believe it?!’  No Sophie – I actually can’t believe it, and it’s all down to you and your Mammy, you big legends!

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