Just a mid 2023 update

It’s June.
How are things going for you?

Where has the first half of this year gone?

For me the time has gone into doctor’s appointments, various tests, blood pressure monitoring, struggling to generate power, work stress, reading, catch ups with old friends and family, a road trip around the north island, and a couple of awesome book related day trips.

The good news that at the time of writing, my kidneys are perfectly healthy and other health markers are good!
The not so good news is that my blood pressure has been difficult to lower… But we’re working on it.

The year hasn’t been great for the off-grid life. Solar power production has been pretty low all year, and we had some decent flooding where I am, which is unusual. Other parts of NZ had destructive flooding… too much rain, not enough sun.

But despite the lack of sun, we can make our own, and this year I have really enjoyed catching up with an old friend from university who has been living and working in the UK for the past 5 years, meeting a new friend in person, and catching up with my sister and her family.

In March I turned another year older. This year was made amazing by a friend of mine who bought me an absolutely beautiful (and delicious) birthday cake! I loved visiting her on my birthday, and was blown away by her generosity! Thank you Anne for making my day super special! x

In April, I went on a week long road trip of the north island, and got to enjoy some of the iconic and awesome filming locations for Lord of The Rings, such as Rivendell and Hobbiton! I loved it, and would love to go back to Hobbiton when construction is complete on the hobbit homes that will be fully functional.

In May I had some health tests, completed my 2023 Reading Challenge on Goodreads, and had 3 fun book related day trips.

An ultrasound on my kidneys showed that they are healthy and not the cause of my high blood pressure. Good to cross something off the list! But with my BP still high, I’ve been prescribed two medications to try and help lower it. So far I haven’t experienced any adverse side effects, and have seen a little bit of improvement.

At the beginning of the year I set my Goodreads Reading Challenge to 52 books, and by the 1st of May 2023 I had completed that challenge! I am super proud of that achievement! And now the test is to see how many I can read in a year so that I can set a more accurate goal for 2024. A lot of highlights in my reads this year, some moments where I haven’t had time or been in the mood to read, but also some awesome buddy reads with new book friends over on Instagram. My other reading goals include reducing the number of books on my physical TBR (to be read) list, and of those finishing The Expanse series and getting through more of my Star Wars books.

The first book related day trip was to Upper Hutt for a large used book sale. It was amazing to be able to fill a box, rather than pay for items individually, and I managed to get a few books that were on my list of books I’m actively looking for.
Another trip was to Featherston which is now affectionately known as Booktown. There are more bookstores than you can poke a stick at, and they had a book event which was fun to check out.
And the third trip was to the Hawke’s Bay, where I made many stops at various locations and found many gems from my list of books, as well as some others that intrigued me. I highly recommend the Habitat for Humanity Restore in Hastings for books!

The beginning of June saw the first King’s Birthday weekend, which also coincides with the annual Red Cross Book sale, which I was really excited for! I arrived far too early, not realising I had got the start time wrong, but that meant I was at the start of the queue. That afforded me the opportunity to find some good books – however, I learnt a lesson! If I see a book that I am interested in and not 100% sure on next time, best to get it anyway because hesitating will lead to missing out. However, I still came away with a small stack of books that I am super happy to have in my collection and added on to my ever growing TBR.

Where to from here?
Well, hopefully we can get my BP under control. This is my biggest priority.
I can’t wait to see how many books I read between now and December 31st! I’ve got a bunch of great buddy reads lined up too, which is a fun way of working through books. I enjoy being able to share moments and at the end debrief the experience with people who are passionate and have shared the journey.
And hopefully, sometime during the second half of 2023 may see that my off-grid system get its biggest upgrade with a full new battery bank!

What has the rest of 2023 got in store for you? What are you working on, and looking forward to?

Until next time,
Heather x