Hello my hobbi—ope! Still in work mode. Hello my dear travelers! Lordy it’s been a while since I’ve written to you. All the way back in January! And now February is almost half gone. Goodness, where does the time go? I’ve already been in New Zealand nearly four months. That’s still a bit weird to think about from time to time. But anyway, let’s get you all filled in on some of the goings on from the past few weeks.
First a few things from work. A lot of people on my tours will ask me if the charm of Hobbiton has worn off, if the novelty is no longer there and I’m just jaded by the whole thing. To which I usually answer, yes and no. And that’s an honest answer. Eventually, working at Hobbiton does just feel like any other job. You have good days and bad days, there are things you like to do and don’t like to do. And the people you work with (both coworkers and customers) can make or break how much you enjoy it.
That being said, there are still moments where it all just hits me. The most recent moment I had was a couple of weeks ago when I was on the bus being driven down for a tour. We were just passing the break in the hills where you can look out and see the mill and the bridge in the distance. And I looked out at that stone bridge with its twin arches and I just thought, “Damn, I work at Hobbiton. Freaking Hobbiton! How cool is that?!”
Also there are certain things that happen at Hobbiton that probably don’t happen at most other jobs.
First, it’s totally normal to come to work and find the carpark full of sheep.
And it isn’t totally out of place to come into the staff room and see this.
I had to say goodbye to an old friend recently as well. Someone that has been with me for many years. It was just time, she was too old, getting tired and worn down, so I had to replace her. It was tough, but I think she’s happier now. And by ‘she’ I mean my hat.
Yeah…it was time. This is what happens when you work in the sun for 8 hours a day. My pants don’t even look like the same pants if you turn them inside out.
Now not long ago I felt like I was in a bit of a rut with tours. They were all pretty average, the people didn’t seem very thrilled to be there and it made it hard for me to get excited about work. But then, oh my, I had the BEST tour the other day. It was a four tour day for me; I started at 8:30 and was going to be finishing up somewhere around 7. My last tour was only going to be four people until I took on another tour from the group going down after me (we were already five minutes late so it just made sense to go as one group).
These guys were awesome! There four people from the States, two guys from Austria and a couple from Germany. We had so much fun together! They asked questions and we all made jokes and told stories and nerded out together about Lord of the Rings and I took awesome photos for them. And because I had so much fun with all of them I asked for a picture with them behind the bar at the GD (Green Dragon; just a little Hobbiton shorthand for ya).
Uh, they were just awesome. Such a great group of people. I also had a girl on one of my tours a few days ago who was super sweet. We chatted about languages and I attempted to speak what limited Spanish I know to her and her mother and we just had a good yarn at the bar. She actually brought me some chocolate after the tour. I can’t eat it, but for me it is all about the gesture and the fact she took the time to give me a little chocolate gift. Gracias.
Okay! Because this blog is in danger of getting very long (and also because I have a book I’m trying to finish) I’ll be short and sweet about the last few things.
I had four days off this week so I decided to make the most of them. I got to do archery twice, which was sweet as but my fingers suffered a bit. It was my first time shooting where I didn’t have any finger guards or anything. Totally worth it though. (Also, to anyone who knows anything about archery, the picture probably looks like a shit round but this was intentional. I was going for an arrow in every color. Nailed it!)
My friend Emily and I took a wee hike up McLaren Falls, just outside Tauranga. We’re planning on going back sometime to do a bit of kayaking and more exploring. I also made a trip to Rotorua, which was the first time I’d been there. I went to see the redwoods after a recommendation from my mother. It was nice being in a proper forest again. The redwoods here aren’t as impressive as in Yosemite but it was still pretty cool to walk around and just enjoy some peace and quiet…if you don’t count the cicadas (or whatever they are; they sound like cicadas). I also paid a brief visit to the Rotorua Museum, which is in the old bath house building. An absolutely gorgeous piece of architecture. I had planned to go down to Blue Spring during my days of as well but Deadpool came up so I’ll have to save that for another time.
Oh! And I moved!
A smaller room certainly makes it seem like you have more shit than you actually do. Until next time travelers!