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DAY SEVEN – AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – FAREWELL TO MY FIRST INTERNATIONAL DESTINATION

Our flight to Melbourne was set at a very civilised┬átime so we were able to get to the airport and wander around rather easily! I was somewhat concerned at the weight of our return luggage, having dispersed rocks between myself and my Long-Suffering Husbands check-in luggage. I think the limit was 20kg and I was sweating as to whether we would be under or over. In the end we were just under 18kg (phew!) and the rocks were safe for now….until we get to Australia and have to explain to customs why we have bags full of rocks. But that’s […]

DAY SIX – AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – THE GOOD DOCTOR’S TURN

Thank goodness! Her voice returned! Yay for all those highly medicated, very stinky throat lozenges! She might not be able to fully feel her tongue, but my Long Suffering Mentor has got enough of a voice that she can do her presentation. Hallelujah! Dr Sanja Van Huet is a smart lady. She is a Taphonomist, a fancy word for a person who studies the sediment surrounding bone or teeth or any other interesting trace element from ages past. She’s the dirt lady of the dinosaur world – just kidding! She would hate me saying that! Anyways, her presentation of the […]

DAY FIVE – AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – TRYING VERY HARD NOT TO PUKE!

I refuse to disgrace myself in front of a crowd, but I swear! This presentation-thing doesn’t get easier! I’ll be very lucky if one day I make it to my old age without gaining the reputation of the girl who shit her pants in front of an auditorium full of smart people! My presentation was scheduled for 11.20am. Which mean’t I had the first session of “Coastal Dynamics and Processes”, which I actually found extremely interesting and relevant to my own research, and funnily enough I managed to understand the majority of what was said, to fidget through! This session, […]

DAY FOUR – AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – MID-CONFERENCE FIELD TRIP

Today began with another watching of the sunrise as I was too excited to sleep! The mid-conference field trip is always a highlight of any conference but the promise of seeing multiple volcanoes in one day was too much for this budding geologist! So, having dragged the Long-Suffering Mentor through our now common early-morning ritual of caffeine, and more caffeine (keep-cups anyone?!) we arrived at the bus stop complete with hiking packs and comfy boots! Our first stop was Mount Eden (Maungawhau). It’s a volcanic cone with a huge crater that is 50 metres deep. We were able to walk […]

DAY THREE – AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – STARTING TO ROCK IN A CORNER WHILE THUMB-SUCKING!

Okay…..so it always gets better on the second day doesn’t it?…… Our first sessions for today began with Human-Environment Interactions. Sounds great doesn’t it? Nice and simple? Yeah I thought so too…..and then talks such as “Anthropogenic Influences on the Sedimentary Evolution of Coromandel Harbour” (Alexander Harpur), and “Testing Lessons from the Past : Using Paleoenvironmental data to define pre-human baselines at Lake Pounui, New Zealand” (Andrew Rees)……and I was starting to rock in a corner while thumb-sucking. Despite my Long-Suffering Mentor assuring me that I was going to be okay and wasn’t, in fact, on another planet having an […]

DAY TWO – AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – I’M WAY OUT OF MY DEPTH HERE……

The sunrise from our beautiful apartment was breathtaking! And I can testify first hand to that because I was so nervous that I was awake and watching it! Having managed to get some caffeine into my Long-Suffering Mentor and prompt her to perform some personal hygiene ablutions (she is NOT a morning person!), we ambled across the road to our first sessions of the 2016 AQUA Biennial Conference – Quaternary Perspectives from the City of Volcanoes. The first sessions were on Millennial Scale Climate Variability. Huh? After a wonderful and inspiring morning tea which consisted of me scarfing scones in […]

DAY ONE – AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – I’M NOT IN AUSTRALIA…….

It’s not like I’ve lived under a rock (excuse the pun!) but, I have never been outside of Australia in my whole life! While others were travelling Contiki tours, AB and I were married at 21 and having babies at 23! While others were building careers, I was looking after 4 children and juggling a job as a vet nurse. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing! But to say that at the age of 43 I still didn’t have a passport was somewhat strange…… So, when my Long-Suffering Mentor suggested we go to the AQUA conference (Australasian […]