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Hi guys!

I wrote this blog before leaving Auckland for Christmas but just never got around to posting it. The twoing and froing of being home was fantastic fun but also absolutely mental and I didnt get to see half the people I intended to.

Having come back I wanted to just add another stage to the list of stages here no.14 – coming back to NZ. It was tough – tears at the airport were intense and I felt like I was really upsetting my Mum etc. The journey and jetlag in the way back were a challenge but one week on I am just overcome with gratitude.

How lovely it is to have a wonderful life here but also the world’s best people at home. For now Auckland is home but my heart is always with my family. Enjoy the post guys and Happy New Year to you all xxx

For the first time since I came to Auckland I’m going home for Christmas. It’s the first time I’ll be seeing my family in two and a half years – not unusual for us away at this end of the world it seems – and I can’t wait.

I have to say though, it’s been an odd experience these last two weeks in the run up to the departure and I had to wonder if every irish female immigrant goes through the same roller coaster of emotions/peculiarities…

I kicked things off with a bang last April when my boyfriend first booked our flights by squarely nosediving into stage one for about 3 months. The subsequent, what I experienced as eleven different stages, followed in bold, quick and surprisingly organic succession rounding off this morning with bonus stage no.13, culminating in us discovering at 8.30am that I possessed no visa for entry into Australia (our first leg) …oh with about 4 hours to take off. Suffice to say, I sorted it with all manner of nightmarish pictures of being stranded waving goodbye to himself as the plane jetted off for Melbourne. In any case, look we made it and like all tough things in life it was nothing that a glass of bubbles and a trip to the Victoria secret in Auckland airport couldn’t solve 😉

So yeah, the stages…

As I said before, I nosedived into this one.

1. Absolute and overarching desire/intention to look the incredibly best you have ever looked, even after a 24 hour flight, upon arrival into an Irish airport in December in an outfit suitable for all climates which manages to strike the perfect balance between casual European chic and international super model.

Nothing like keeping things simple…

Now, granted this could be just me, given that one of my larger weakness is to over worry about how I look…in any case, this stage started months ago. In fact, it started as soon as flights were booked. It was like – ‘right, now, I’m definitely going back at Christmas and I don’t want them thinking I’ve let myself go so let’s get this sh*t sorted – them few kilos, that podgy bit there – let’s have all that gone by Christ’. As for the outfit – oh only at least 19 hours of celeb ‘arrival in airport fashion’ stalking on Pinterest.

Reality – nieces see me as a walking source of hugs and sleepovers, nephew as something to be avoided until day three where he decides to make eye contact, brothers couldn’t give a high filutant what I look like as long as I’m home and up for craic and sure the parents – well they just hope I’ll be influenced about the latest campaign to bring irish abroad home to work. As for my body, given what happened on the flight over, my feet, will look like two GAA lads after a three day bender on Jaegers and will just want to be in flip flops. As for the clothes, most likely I’ll never want too see them again. Ever. The crisp white cotton tee that looked good leaving Auckland will look, feel and near enough stink as bad as those GAA lads after three day bender.

2. Undeserved and incessant amount of time talking about the first thing I was going to eat/ do upon arrival.

With this one I think I’ve clocked up a good solid 6 months talking about getting a mushy pea pie in Murphy’s chipper in Cork. Hopefully the place still actually exists.

In reality I may not get there at all in between all the carting around but sure in my mind for the six months it was beautiful…

3. Buying all bloody round me to make up for the birthdays/Christmases/anniversaries I missed.

Now in the case of my nieces, trying to assume what a child/teenagers interests now are and could possibly have morphed into in the years I have been away – the thinking on that one alone could have powered a small country.

4. The ‘that’s it I’ve spent too much – the outstanding people/person/child is getting a t- shirt with a map of New Zealand on it’ stage.

Followed immediately by no.5

5.  Wracked with guilt by the thought of entertaining no. 4 and overspend with enthusiasm for said individuals.

So by stage 6/7 I knew far more than I cared to and about Disney’s Frozen, Optimus Prime and various options of tractors for little boys. With three brothers I haven’t seen in person for nearly three years I was confused by men’s clothing sizing and was at the end of the road with explorinpresents for my Dad. I still had the significant other to buy for combined with his mother, my own mother, the aunt I forgot was going to be there on Christmas Day and of course the dog.

8. Packed a suitcase in 28 degree ‘summer mode’ happily folding the cutest maxi dresses and play suits for a month of minus zero temperatures in Cork.

9. Realised my mistake and repeated stage 8 in ‘winter mode’ and packed every piece of darkness, wool plum and burgundy I owned. I then discovered there was no room for aforementioned presents.

10. Unpacked it all and make challenging executive decisions regarding shoes. I convinced myself of the stellar quality, long lasting tenure of the all the Penney’s over the knee boots I am going to buy and hope that the roads won’t be too flooded in Ireland for me to actually go shopping in the first place having flashing images of myself  running around in the aul leggings and cardigan I wore on the plane for the entirety of Christmas.

11. Skype the Mammy to make sure the roads aren’t flooded and have lengthy reassuring conversations all centred on the main mammy thesis that ‘sure isn’t there plenty new stuff in Dunnes and Penney’s and New Look and sure if you buy it won’t it do you for the winter in NZ then?’

Clearly a fantastic plan/belligerent self-deceptive excuse making to go crazy in Penney’s

12. Feel better about life in general, especially delighted I bought everyone (except the odd few) nice presents (sure can’t you get the All Blacks jersey cheaper in Lifestyle Sports in Wilton than Auckland after all – thank you Aileen Bradley) then proceed to have a mild panic attack about work and all I have to do before I leave but then quickly switch my focus onto what makeup I am going to put in the suitcase and what in the carry on bag whilst at the same time hoping that my dry shampoo is not over 100mls because Jesus you don’t want to be walking into arrival without volume!!

Then I finally got around to printing tickets , sorting cash and booking a cab to the airport before getting the biggest waves of excitement and happiness knowing that all the madness was worth it and that no matter what I look like coming into arrivals, to the people who love me I will always strike that perfect balance between casual and international supermodel – in my aul leggings and t-shirt.

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