22. See a netball match

20160122_Eng_vs_Aus_Netball_London5981Netball is not very popular in England, well at least not as popular as I’m used to it being in NZ. It just doesn’t get the media coverage here. The international series’ are not shown on free TV and the mainstream newspapers just don’t pick it up.

This is part of a much bigger issue, the lack of coverage for women in the sports media in general. It’s an issue I feel passionately about, particularly as someone who plays and values watching a sport that the main stream media largely ignores. Hello Sports Media, share the love already! According to the Women in Sport Foundation only 7% of UK sports media coverage features women. 7%?!? Seriously! That is sad. I’m starting to think I need to go big on this issue and do more than just tweet my disapproval from the comfort of my couch. Any ideas on this, please let me know.

Ok, rant over.12625640_10156427487925291_1021224486_nWhat this all adds up to is that I have to be a very engaged netball fan over here, if I want to know what’s going on. So, one rainy afternoon, frustrated at not being able to see any Netball World Cup matches on TV, I frantically loaded up my social network feeds with all things netball to keep up with the results. Eventually I did beg a Sky subscription off a friend, but even then didn’t see much due to the odd times they were telivised. Sigh!

But as a bonus, all my social feeds now keep me informed about upcoming tournaments and news on all things netball. It’s brilliant! In amongst my Instagram staples of food porn and travel pics I get ANZ championship results and netball action shots. Check these Instagram accounts if you’re interested: @england.netball; @silverfernsnz; @irenevandyk; @anzchampionship@mariatutaia

After disappointment in learning that the Silver Ferns are not touring England or anywhere near, any time soon, I jumped at the chance to see Australia play England in London instead. After all, if I can’t see the best, I will happily settle for second best (<– teehee Aussie dig).

A few of my lovely team mates joined me and we settled in for some sweet as international netball. This was the second match in the series and England were coming off a close loss in the first meet up. I was excited to see a tight match between the teams. 12647599_10156427487860291_218327071_n^^ International match bonus – national anthems! I always love a bit of pomp and ceremony to start off my sports matches, even if it’s not God Defend New Zealand. 20160122_Eng_vs_Aus_Netball_London5991Both teams started strong, we were barely able to keep up. I kept trying to concentrate on the defence players, as that is where I play for my team and I wanted to pick up some sweet skills. The pace was so fast though, I felt like I was following the ball in a tennis match at times. The girls carried it from one end to the other at lightning speed. 20160122_Eng_vs_Aus_Netball_London5964In the end though Australia’s slight upper hand in the first two quarters turned into domination in the second two as the English team battled to sink goals and feed the ball into their shooters. I did say to my English and Australian friends on either side of me that I was impartial and didn’t care who won either way. But in truth I think I was rooting for England, the underdogs. I definitely wanted to see them put up more of a fight than they managed to. In the end Australia took the win 60 -44.12637031_10156427486105291_1596579185_oThis is one of the fourth netball matches I’ve managed to see in the UK, although I am yet to support the Silver Ferns over here. My day will come though as NZ, England, Australia and South Africa have just announced a new international competition between the four nations. It begins this year in Australia and NZ and will be hosted by England and South Africa in 2017. Hopefully that means a few more netball games in my future.



Resolutions 2016 + Some Stolen Ones


In some ways I feel like I am in a completely different place than I was when I wrote resolutions last year, in others ways it feels exactly the same.

My resolutions last year were simple and I feel pretty good about all of them.

2015 Resolutions

  • Continue working through my 27 List and on this blog.

You can see the archive here. I have completed over half and I am still intending to do more this year and probably in coming years.

  • Save to buy a house sometime in the future.

We made significant headway with our savings this year and it feels good. We live pretty frugally and have relatively low rental overheads (for London) so we’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing and remembering to save first and then forget about it.

  • Print photos and display them somehow.

I mentioned my personalised calendar gifts for my family – these were pretty popular and I’m really glad I made them. My next step is to create a photo book and populate an album that we have had empty on our bookshelf for years. Going slowly with this one but always have it in mind.

So what am I aiming for this year?


2016 Resolutions

  • No More Snoozing! I want to wake up and get up in 2016.

Because really, what do I gain by staying in bed an extra 10 (or 30) minutes?

  • Complete 10 full press-ups.

I can currently do none so this will be a big deal for me. I have started by doing them leaning against the stairs – top tip from a colleague of mine.

  • Make cards and use a bit more of the paper scraps that I am always collecting (hoarding).

This is my recycled wrapping paper and parcel bag collection, and my magazines in case I need to find pictures and all my craft supplies.. arg! I need to stop.

  • Say Yes! more and be an available and willing friend in 2016.

I want to do more and hang out more and say yes when someone makes the effort to invite me somewhere.


2016 Stolen Resolutions

Some of my mates have some pretty cool resolutions, too. Like when I heard them I was like “oooh I wanna do that too! I’ll totally join you on that!” and so I have forced my way into their 2016.. Sneaky!

T is my number one muso soulmate in London and she is planning on going to more gigs this year – always keen for that.

My colleague J wants to eat out less but when she does, she wants quality. So I’m hoping that will mean trying out some new restaurants in my future.

My boyf wants to draw more and I’m eager to support.Nude modelling? Jks.

E has started a blog on brunches in London. She’s aiming to do 33 this year and I’m aiming to share as much avocado on toast with her as I can. Yum!

Anyone else got any resolutions they want me to help them with? I’m always willing to support.


Oh I nearly forgot, I did kinda set myself a photography challenge too….


2016 Travel Plans

My plans for travel in 2016 are much more structured than they ever have been. It’s the start of the year and we actually have a travel plan! This is a first and I’m really excited about what different opportunities this might give us in our trips. We have tended to travel if not quite last minute, then second to last minute, booking trips based on what friends are doing, events we have managed to get tickets to and generally going with the flow in terms of travel. When we have the time and money available we take advantage and when we don’t, we stay put.

It’s been a good system so far, although somewhat hectic and usually over our very uninformed budget, we have managed to pull off some epic trips. In 2015 alone I saw Malaysia while Ben was living there, Paris, Croatia, Denmark, Jordan and Egypt. Closer to home I spent Easter in Bristol, a few rugby weekends in Newcastle and Cardiff and we got out to Wales twice to visit Ben’s grandfather and extended family, too. All in all, a pretty good year!

We’re changing our travel style this year for a few reasons though. One, (and it’s a biggy) is that I need to renew my visa this year. It’s up in August and to save money we have decided that I will send my passport away this time rather than booking a same day appointment which nearly doubles the already expensive cost. It means that my passport won’t be with me for up to two month this summer so it’s a London summer for me.

02-03 2014 New Zealand Holiday 264

The second reason that we have to be organised is that we’re planning to go to New Zealand for Christmas in 2016. I couldn’t be more excited! It will have been 2 and a half years since I’ve been home by the time we get there. But as it is the other side of the world and at Christmas time, it’s going to be pricey and so we need to Save! Save! Save! for the tickets ASAP. We also want to make the most of going that far, which means conserving leave for this period.

Hutt River, Lower Hutt, New Zealand

Both reasons mean that we need to be organised and budget and be much more realistic about our travel chances this year. But of course, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any!

We’re headed to Italy for our fourth time in May. We will be meeting Ben’s brother and girlfriend to road trip along the Amalfi Coast for a week. We’re thinking tents, sun, swimming and oh so many gelato cones!

Positano, Amalfi Coast Italy

Pic Source

Originally planned for summer 2015, we will try again this year to stay at what is reputedly the best campsite in England, Eweleaze Farm in Weymouth. We tempetd fate and booked for the August bank holiday last year and were unsurprisingly rained out. So bonus – this one is already paid for! I can’t wait for these stunning views >>

Pic Source

I still have a couple of trips I want to tick off on the 27 List, namely seeing the White Cliffs of Dover and climbing Mt. Snowdon which will help me see a bit more of England.


Pic Source

Lastly, a friend and I are aiming to spend some time up at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival. I have wanted to do this since I learned about it and can’t wait to see who will be performing.

So that will be my 2016 and I can’t wait to get it started! I think the restrictions on my 2016 travel and the fact that I’m being more organised is increasing the anticipation and excitement for my adventures.

What are your travel plans for the coming year? Are you going with the flow or have you already given your boss a list of leave requests? Whatever they are I hope daydreaming about them is giving you as much joy as I’m getting.

Here’s to 2016!