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Bungy Jumping Or At Least Bungy Falling…

Published March 12, 2016 by julietstubborn

When I was ten or eleven years old, I saw a film where the two main characters bungy jumped off a bridge into a river. While the film’s name, the characters’ names or even the resolution of the plot  have entirely escaped my memory, the idea of bungy jumping off a bridge into a river has remained in my mind.

Aged ten this seemed like the most amazing concept. It involved two of my greatest passions at the time: Climbing up things to jump off them and trampolining. Surely if there was any adrenaline junkie activity designed especially for me, bungy jumping was it.

Only bungy jumping isn’t something you can do over any old river, or at least not in the UK, so it wasn’t until I was 24 and found my self in New Zealand where most small towns seem to offer not only bungy jumping but also skydiving over spectacular scenery that I thought about my adrenaline fuelled dream again.

The AJ Hackett bungy jumping company in Queenstown started the first commercial bungy in the world: The Kawarau bridge bungy, so finding myself in Queenstown surely this was the place to do it.

The jump itself is 43m which, while not being the tallest in the world did fulfil my ten year old ruling that the bungy jump I took would have to be over a river.

I didn’t think I was nervous, in fact as the instructors tied my feet together and asked me whether I wanted to hit the water or not – I opted for not as I was wearing contact lenses and didn’t think river water would be good for them (ten year old me would be so disappointed) – I felt quite cheerful. Until I had to stand at the edge of the bridge that is…

It was at the point that the instructor said “Go on then, jump” that the instinct part of my brain decided to take over. A survival mechanism in my mind delivered the very clear message “Don’t jump off a bridge!” and automatically I stepped away from the edge.

But the instructor was still behind me and told me “Don’t look down, look up”.

I had been staring straight down towards what my instincts told me was certain doom and instead I moved my gaze to straight ahead down the river.

In doing so the instinct part of my brain settled down again and I was able to think rationally about what I was doing, the thought process that went through my head was “I am tied to a bungy cord, I have paid to do this…”

However, my instincts were not letting go that easy, they had delivered the message “Don’t jump off a bridge” and while my conscious mind could rationalise my decision, my instincts could not, so my conscious mind came up with a compromise: Get as close to the floor as you can before you jump.

I crouched down so my knees were almost resting on the floor of the platform as my body moved forward and then I was bungy jumping – or at least bungy falling as I had sort of just tipped myself off the platform.

Now I was in free fall my instincts kicked in once more, but by now there was nothing they could do so I let out a huge scream which echoed round the cliffs surrounding the river and in that scream was another simple message from my instincts: “I told you not to jump off bridges!”

And then before I hit the water and my inevitable doom was carried out, I bounced back up and my instincts calmed down “Oh this actually is alright and quite like trampolining…this is fun after all” and then it was all over.

An instructor pulled me down onto a boat where they untied my legs and complimented me on my shoes (They have flowers on), they took me ashore and then there was nothing but a long walk back up the viewing platform.

The person who went after me did not scream, clearly their instincts don’t get as angry at not being listened to as mine.

And so the adrenaline junkie dream of a ten year old was fulfilled, even if I didn’t get my head in the water as ten year old me wished – but then I didn’t wear contact lenses back then so I think this slight change of plan should be forgiven – as for the screaming, well I think she would have approved of that, if you don’t scream, how does anyone know what you’re doing is fun (or at least terrifying)?AJH-KB-20160109-180-001-0006-Roving

12 Short Stories of Christmas 5: Five Gold Rings

Published December 16, 2015 by julietstubborn

For day four click here.

One. Two. Three. Four. Five.

He laid them down on the table, with a clunk as he counted. Five wedding rings for five wives. They were all gone now, of course. He looked at the box which contained another gold ring. For wife number six. What would happen to her? He hadn’t decided yet.

12 Short Stories of Christmas 1: A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Published December 12, 2015 by julietstubborn

Summer plucked one of the pears from the tree and bit into it, the juice dripping down her chin. The day was sunny and warm, a partridge flew into the tree knocking a few more ripe pears from the tree that landed with a thump on the grass beneath. The bird sang. Summer scrambled to pick up all the pears so she could eat them later. The bird flew away again before it had finished it’s song and the garden felt silent without the sound.

That winter the snow fell thick upon the ground, but the tree still bore pears. Heavy and ripe they fell from the tree and dropped silently in the snow. Summer thought the silence was too loud. She no longer ate the pears from the tree and the unfinished song of the partridge that had never returned, roared in her ears like a spell.

NanoWrimo x 2

Published November 1, 2015 by julietstubborn

NanoWrimo is traditionally known as National Novel Writing Month where people around the world attempt to write 50,000 words of a novel in the 30 days of November. I have taken part in this challenge three times before and won all three years. My friend is taking part in NanoWrimo for the first time this year, however her first thought was to raise money for charity by taking part in the challenge. As I have previously succeeded in NanoWrimo I thought 50,000 words wasn’t enough of a challenge if we are raising money for charity, so both me and her are attempting to write 100,000 words each during the month of November to raise money for Marie Curie and Breast Cancer Care.

I chose to raise money for Marie Curie for a few reasons, one of which is that I do not like to ask people to give money to charities that I myself am not currently supporting, as it seems strange to me to ask other people to donate to something when I am not. While I am travelling, the only charity I am able to support on any regular basis is Marie Curie who help provide care for terminally ill people who want to die in their own homes. My friend is raising money for Breast Cancer Care who are similar to Marie Curie but focus their efforts on caring for people with Breast Cancer, hence the name.

If you are able to donate and would like to, please click this link and if you can’t donate then just wish us luck, because we’re really going to need it!

Bout of Books 14 Update Post

Published August 17, 2015 by julietstubborn

Monday:

Pages read today: 111

Total pages read: 111

Notes: I have been reading The Man in The Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas on my kindle, I started the book before the read-a-thon and should be able to finish the book tomorrow easily enough. I thought the book was a standalone story but as it turns out it is part of the D’Artagnan romances which consist of 4 books  starting with The Three Musketeers, however while I have not read any of the other books in the series (yet) the story is still easy enough to follow.

I was hoping to take part in the twitter chat today too, but due to me currently being in New Zealand the time zones are way off for me and Monday’s twitter chat will actually be happening at 1pm on Tuesday, this would be fine if I weren’t going to be at work at 1pm on Tuesday, I may be on my lunch break so may be able to join in on my phone, but seeing as the other twitter chat happens at 3am my time, then this is the better one for me to take part in!

Tuesday:

Pages read today: 172

Total pages read: 283

Books finished: The Man in The Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas

Notes: After finishing The Man in The Iron Mask, I have been reading My Family For The War by Anne C. Voorhoeve, a story about a girl who is sent to England from Germany on the kinder transport during World War Two, I am not that far into the story yet so don’t know much more about it, but from what I have read so far it is definitely interesting.

I also missed the twitter chat that was on at 1pm today in my time zone, so I will have to try again and take part in the one that is at 3am in my time zone! Good thing that one will happen on a Saturday when I don’t have to be at work!

Wednesday:

Pages read today: 303

Total pages read: 586

Books finished: My Family For The War by Anne C. Voorhoeve

Notes: Having finished My Family For The War I have to say it is a remarkable story, it reminds me a little of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, although this story takes place mainly in England rather than Germany. The books were first published only a year apart from each other with The Book Thief being released first in 2006 and this story in 2007.

Tomorrow I will be starting to read slightly more happy stories as I start The Hourglass Factory by Lucy Ribchester and The Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot which I am very excited to read even though it’s been about ten years since I did actually last read The Princess Diaries but I’ll remember enough right?

Thursday:

Pages read today: 175

Total pages read: 761

Notes: Have started reading Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot and The Hourglass Factory by Lucy Ribchester. Tomorrow and the weekend I am off work, so I should easily finish both these books before the end of the read-a-thon but don’t know if I’ll be able to complete any others. I am also hoping to either tomorrow or Saturday take part in at least one challenge as I so far haven’t managed to do any and as I am off work I may be able to wake myself up at 3am for the twitter chat on Saturday!

Friday:

Pages read today: 293

Total pages read: 1054

Books finished: Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot

Notes: The twitter chat for me will actually be happening at 3am on Sunday so I obviously haven’t quite got the hang of the time zones yet, but I will try to join in! Also this is the first time in any read-a-thon I have taken part in that I have read over 1000 pages!

Saturday:

Pages read today: 73

Total pages read: 1127

Notes: So yesterday I seem to have reached my high point of the read-a-thon and didn’t get anywhere near as much reading done today.

Bout of Books Read-a-thon 14

Published August 13, 2015 by julietstubborn
Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

So this will be my third bout of books read-a-thon I have participated in and my 6th overall, however it will be my first time participating in a read-a-thon from a different time zone and as the time zone is ahead of my usual one I may find I run out of time to read if I don’t pay attention to the days!

I have five books I would like to finish during the week (I bought myself some for my birthday despite the fact they will not fit in my suitcase…)

I am planning on giving myself goals for this read-a-thon including participating in at least three challenges and one of the twitter chats but whether I will be able to do these is dependent on the times they happen, as the time zones are so different from what I’m used to the twitter chats may all take place while I am either asleep or at work! So none of my goals are set in stone until I know the times and whether it will be possible.

I will post updates each day during the read-a-thon detailing which books I have started; finished; any notes I have on the books and whether I participated in any of the challenges for each day. And if you would like to take part in the read-a-thon too there’s still time to sign up!