Water Snake

‘Cause everything that’s been has past/the answers in the looking glass/there’s four and twenty million doors/on life’s endless corridor

Those were the lyrics that floated through my head as I searched for a particular room, in a particular hotel, while on a training course for work. It seemed like there were doors, upon doors, upon yet more doors. After finding my room (well, mine for two nights anyway) I flirted with the idea to be all rock star, breaking and throwing and smashing hotel property. However, I was raised to be better than that so instead I danced up and down my room with the curtains open and lights on. It was an oversight on my part that such a display was made public. At least I was dressed.

Anyway, haere mai and welcome to the first post of 2013 on lizzie dot meates.

Crazy, I know that this is the first post and it’s the tail end of April. Unfortunately no earlier post was forthcoming. I was in a creative slump, a crisis of faith, mainly in myself. I was wasting energy on fruitless endeavours (hello evening TV!). I would sit and think ‘How to open 2013? It has to be big, after all it’s the start of a new year!!‘ but nothing suitably big popped into my head. Maybe because the last two years have been so full of events (2011 Rugby World Cup, Grandma’s 100th birthday, the royal wedding, the Jubilee, the Olympics and my own milestone birthday), that once all that was out of the way and I came to 2013 I was just like ‘phew, nothing major happening!‘ and mentally switched off. There was no way I could write an opening 2013 post similar to that of 2011. In the end I stopped trying and decided upon opening with the above vignette which was just one small part of a month of little travels. The only idea that survived the failed first posts was my homage to the Chinese year of the water snake:

Year of the Water Snake

Year of the Water Snake

‘Cos I’m a nerd and because Snake is awesome.

March was  month of little travels. Travelling for work (I hardly ever need to do this so it was exceptional for me) and travelling for pleasure. Mostly the month was travelling for pleasure which is the best way to travel. It was while on one of these little trips that I was smacked in the head with an echo of a very important moment nearly five years ago.

I had gone to see the Stereophonics perform at both Leicester and Doncaster. I had been to Leicester before, to watch the New Zealand Maori play the Tigers. The city had found worldwide attention recently due to the discovery of King Richard III under a car park. The story of his discovery couldn’t have been written better if it had been made up. It was a very exciting discovery.


The Doncaster concert was on a Monday, though for me it felt like a weird Sunday as I had taken an extended weekend. I was standing in my favourite place which is stage right and so out of the craziness that is the Kelly fanatics in the middle. This way I’ve found that I can lust after the guitars without too much aggro. There was a lot of Tele action that night so I left sated. It was somewhere around ‘I’m Just Looking‘ when I got smacked dead centre of my head with a full blow of de ja vu. I may have even shaken my head a little due the force of the blow. What came flooding back to was a very important moment five years ago when I first saw the Stereophonics play. It was one of those crossroad moments in your life where it can split in ways you can (and can’t) imagine.

The concert five years ago as also on a Monday night and so another long weekend for me. It was in Auckland and this necessitated flying north from Wellington. I must say that one has not experienced New Zealand until one has taken off and/or landed at Wellington Airport when there is a Southerly. Imagine bopping not only up and down but also side to side – kinda like a drunken weeble on a see-saw. Then imagine during that at height and in a flying a bird made of tin that can’t flap it’s wings. It was during one such landing that I saw someone go as far a pray for salvation from the plane caught in the washing machine of Wellington wind. Whatever divine being he was praying to must have been in a favourable mood because both he and I landed safe and sound.

However, on this flight I clearly remember sitting on the right of the plane, in the window seat and over the wing (that way I could watch the flaps do their thing which is kinda cool). Somewhere over Taranaki I started thinking about the one-way flight I needed to book to the UK. I started thinking that my stuff was already over there. That I had the capital to pay for the ticket. That my gym membership would expire in six weeks. Then I had one of my ‘oh fudge*, why not?’ moments.

‘oh fudge, I’m gonna go now, why not?’

That, dear readers, was about as much planning as I put into my move from Aotearoa to the UK. In hindsight I would totally recommend more planning, but you learn by living and, occasionally, totally flamingoing up** in truly spectacular fashion. By the time I had landed at Auckland, my mind was made up. Upon my return to Wellington on Tuesday I bought my ticket, typed up my resignation letter and resigned the next day. Four weeks to that Thursday I was back at Wellington Airport, waiting for my flight to London Heathrow with my one way ticket in my hand.

There’s something very freeing about a ‘oh fudge, why not?’ moment. Mainly, I think, because at that point you’ve stopped your brain battling with your heart (or vice versa) and you’re just going with the flow. It is one of my personal mantras. It doesn’t even have to be over big decisions. In fact it is frequently over much smaller matters. We humans are very good at putting up barriers that in fact don’t exist. The ‘why not?’ approach helps to smash some of those barriers (because some of them most definitely need to be smashed).

Writing this post was a similar ‘why not?’ moment. I was putting up blocks with the drafts that I had written. I reckon that was why my subconscious assaulted me with that blow of de ja vu. It was reminding me that sometimes it is best to not over think what needs to be done and just do. A totally important lesson and well worth the whack and bruise and the well timed kick to get me writing again.

*It wasn’t actually fudge that was uttered but something else. I’m sure y’all can figure it out. 

**Red Dwarf (s2, e6 ‘Parallel Universe’): Holly: I just don’t know where we are. There’s no two ways about it: I flamingoed up! Rimmer: What do you mean? Holly: It’s like a cock-up, only much much bigger.

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