Gromit in Wellington

Me-and-GromitIts been so good catching up with Andrew over the last few days while he has been here in Wellington. Hard to believe its been 8 years since i last saw him!!

Andrew has been speaking at the Tip of the Iceberg conference: Addressing exploitation and trafficking in people throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. The conference has been run by The Anglican Diocese of Wellington, the Embassy of the United States of America and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Andrew is CEO of Unseen, a multi award-winning UK charity working towards a world without slavery. He was joined at the conference by Unseen’s Executive Director, Justine Currell and both of whom have been instrumental in the passing of the UK’s Modern Slavery Act.

Helping down south

f-nzstorm-a-20161118-870x580At crack of dawn this Thursday morning, i wil be flying into Christchurch and then squeezing myself into a light plane or chopper to head into Kaikoura.

I will be working down there for 6 days as part of a Salvation Army emergency services team, one of a number we have been sending in on rotation since the November 14th earthquake.

We will be working under the direction of Civil Defence providing  a wide range of assistance, but I’m not totally sure what to expect; I just felt I should put my hand up. I started working for the Salvation Army in January 2012, shortly after the Christchurch earthquakes, so i did not get a chance to assist with the relief work there, so this seemed a good chance to do something more hands on.

I’d certainly value prayers as it will undoubtedly be had work but also a time to serve and bless others, and an experience unlike anything else i have done.

Over the hill

FeatherstonA big change for the Barratt family…at the end of next week we are moving to Featherston in the Wairarapa.

Featherston which is a small country town (2,200 people!) on the edge of the Rimutaka Mountains and its qunitessentially small town New Zealand. In truth, the town has seen better days and while people have some bad opinions on it, there is a strong sense of community and a feeling the town is ‘on the up’. It seems like we are moving at a good time….

Its about an hour by train to Wellington so i will be commuting a couple of days a week that way, driving a couple of days and working at home on Fridays.

We decided to move, as we wanted to try life in a smaller town and we felt it might be a new season for us in terms of church and community. Plus property is way cheaper. Mortgage rates are going up fast here too so its been a financial decision too. We have halved our mortgage and have a much smaller one now which is great and gives us more freedom longer term. The house we are buying is slightly smaller than our current one but has been completely renovated and it also has 900m2 of flat garden so lots of room for Jake to run around!

We have a lovely park and picnic area opposite our house and are just 5 minutes walk from the town’s main street. We are clsoe to Lake Wairarapa and also the coast. Plus Wairarapa is wine country- we are only 15 minutes from Martinborough which is the home of world class wine and 10 minutes from Greytown with its great cafes and market.

Friday music choice 6.12.13

Happy Friday! A double portion of music goodness for you all today as im feeling generous…

Firstly, unless you have been living under a rock you will have heard of the 17 yr old Kiwi sensation Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’Connor AKA Lorde. Whilst Royals got all the headlines, it didn’t really do anything for me. But she is super talented and this is her brilliant new single Team, which i love.

And with the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug next week (and which i am getting to review at its first showing!) here is Ed Sheeran’s beautiful song from the film called I See Fire.

Friday music choice 25.10.13

Been too long since a Friday music choice, so here you go. A great little cover of a great song by the fantastic Kye Kye, who i recently discovered.  Kye Kye will be playing at Parachute Festival here next year. Check out more of their music at their website.

And in very exciting work news, im going to be interviewing one of my absolute favourite artists for an article i will be writing in the next few months 🙂 I will reveal more soon…!