According to some people, midnight tonight marks the end of a decade. At first glance it’s hard to see how far we’ve come in this time. It’s been a decade of Dick Cheney, Harry Potter sequels and The X Factor, but surely there’s been some personal growth going on beneath the radar too.
Tash tweeted today that “we grew older, further apart and closer together, grew deeper, wiser, more foolish. Lost and found hope, but didn’t grow Up.” Which is lovely, and possibly true if I could work out what it meant, but I thought I’d try to capture some of the spirit of the “noughties” (as I experienced it) in ten photos…
2000: living in France the first time round, learning to be an Alsatian. Hanging out in a small town at the foot of the Vosges, hiking in the hills to work off the tonnes of tartes flambées consumed.
2001: back in Auckland, joined one million dollars. For a short period, we were something like the biggest little funk band in the land: albums, low-budget music videos and collective food poisoning in Vanuatu ensued.
Flatting in Western Springs in the first half of the decade: I learnt how to be (mostly) a vegetarian and make leek-and-potato soup. In between cooking, we used the kitchen to make low-budget music videos.
Helping out with youth group leadership at St Paul’s Remuera, I ended up driving the van on our now-legendary ski trips. Little sleep was had by all involved, but we did get to see Paradise.
2004-06: Getting wrapped up into the free improv scene in Auckland, we formed slightly inexplicable musical units such as the Dominion Centenary Concert Band. Audiences didn’t understand what we were doing, but that was OK, because neither did we. But the costumes were fabulous.
2005: Got paid a moderately obscene sum of money to be an extra in Peter Jackson’s King Kong. It turned out to be one of the worst films of the decade, but at least the costumes were fabulous.
Over the course of the decade, I managed to ski at Le Markstein, Châtel, Méribel, Val Thorens, Arolla, Zinal and Grimentz (in Europe); and at Whakapapa, Turoa, The Remarkables, Coronet Peak and Cardrona (in NZ). My skiing didn’t improve much, but I fell down a lot and bought a helmet.
2006-2008: In Oxford, another spiritual home was discovered. A town where you can consult mediaeval manuscripts in the Bodleian and chase semi-wild horses on Port Meadow within 15 minutes walking distance.
In the UK, one slightly inexplicable musical project got replaced by another: The Original Rabbit Foot Spasm Band. It provided an excuse to tour the pubs of Oxfordshire.
2009: finally made it back to France on the back of an MBA degree. Montpellier was hot, friendly and offered great opportunities for hiking, including the lovely Gorges de Lamalou.
So somehow I’ve finished the decade by moving to Paris. Looking back, it’s been a busy ten years, and I’m thankful for the good friends and family who have shared it with me. I always had the impression I could have fitted more in, but in fact quite a lot got achieved anyway despite the procrastination and the blogging.
I hope the next decade is just as action-packed. I just wonder if the costumes will be quite as fabulous.
Have a very Happy New Year, all of you, near and far. All the best for a peaceful and fulfilling 2010.