Today it was finally time to say goodbye to Rotorua and the Hot Rocks Base Backpackers; although it was never somewhere I'd planned to go (in fact, I'd never heard of the city until I got to New Zealand and talked to the guys on the Stray Travel desk, aaaaaall the way back in Auckland) it has fast become one of my favourite places to explore. As much as I adored (read: cried my eyes out) over finally making it to Hobbiton, Rotorua is so much more than that; a beautiful blend of tradition, history and modernisation that you could ever hope to find on the Northern Island!
Plus, between all the sulphur pools and mud spa's I've encountered over the last few days, I swear my skin is leaving feeling ten years younger than it did before we arrived.

Any who, the good thing about the Stray bus pick-ups from Rotorua is that they tend to come in the afternoon as opposed to the usual crack-o-dawn o'clock start times, so it was a nice change to make a leisurely descent down to the bus stop, instead of the normal 'crash-bang-oh I'm going to be late' fall out the door approach.

Lesson Number 28: No matter how good your intentions are, no matter how much you convince yourself  you'll wake up early enough in the morning to do so - PACK UP YOUR STUFF THE NIGHT BEFORE! You'll either wake up your entire dorm room trying to pack in the dark (they'll kill you for turning the lights on at 5am) or you'll be the scrub in the hallway trying to cram that last t-shirt in your bag five minutes before the bus is about to pull away!


'Exploring New Genres' Blog Hop

Raise your hand if you've ever wanted to try something new before, but felt hesitant to dive into the uncharted waters all by yourself. Don't be shy, I'm raising mine - both literally and metaphorically!

Last month, the lovely Charlotte from Wonderfully Bookish was considering writing a blog post, chronicling her adventures into reading a book genre she'd never tried before - Graphic Novels. But rather than wade in alone, she put the call out for fellow book lovers to come join her via ye olde Twitter (think Ace Ventura hollering for his jungle friends) and out we came, springing forth from all corners of her figurative apartment.

And so the 'Exploring New Genres' Blog Hop was born!


Forbidden Pool - Original Photo



Hair Modelling Adventures at Thomas J William

I want to start off this post by saying that I'm not a bride; not now, not in the near or even the far future (sorry Mum!). In fact I'm so far from a relationship, let alone marriage, that the only time I say the words "how about we take this to the bedroom?" is when I whisper them to my snacks.

But if you think that's going to stop me from signing up to be a Bridal Hair Model for the day, then you've got another thing coming!

I'm purely in it for having my hair played with for hours on end.

Now I'm having several inches of my hair chopped off in a couple of days so I can best survive the oncoming summer heat (because 20 degrees is considered HOT here in the UK) so when I saw that Thomas J. William Hair and Beauty Design in Dorchester were looking for people with longer hair for their stylists to practice for the day, I decided it would be one last hurrah for my mermaid hair before it waltzes off into the sunset. At least until it all decides to grow back in three months time...


Smoke On The Water - Original Photo