Life Story, Chapter Five: The Hellraiser Years (OK Road)

"My life history", by Michael Riversdale aged 38 and a bit

Anything that I may have said about anybody is totally my memory/impression - anyone wants me to change/delete it then I will without hesitation, simply leave a comment. If you find any links that no longer work again, just leave a comment.

Chapter One: The Travelling Years
Chapter Two: The Monmouth School Days
Chapter Three: Swindon and How to Survive It
Chapter Four: London and Engagement

Chapter Five: The Hellraiser Years (OK Road)

I'm single, I'm well paid and I'm in a brand new land with opportunities laid out before me. Sweet as. First though I had to find a place to live which involved trawling around the city of Wellington every Wednesday evening and Saturday morning - unfortunately we'd sold the car so my flat-hunting was done by taxi, decadent! After a few false starts, a few, "No thanks you"s I wandered into a flat on Orangi Kaupapa Road (Northland) - OK Road - where I was greeted by 3 lads (there is no other way to describe them really - still isn't) in a cool little cottage. The room looked fine but I wasn't too sure about the "lads" and I hinted that I'd get back to them. Whilst I was looking at another place which had an awesome view, two stunning women and a beer fridge to die for I got a call from one of the guys offering me the place. The girls said no, I said yes to the lads. I subsequently found out I was the only person to turn up - I don't like to use the word 'desparate' but it does fit very well.

Moving in turned out to be one of the best things I ever did. I met and became close friends with Adam and Phil with Paul, Neil & Nat, and Pete ("Kiwi Pete" - even though he was born in Singapore) never far away.
I shifted my stuff into the room and settled in - well, "settled" might not be the correct term. After not really being a "single man" for most of my life I now proceeded to catch-up. I could go into loads of salacious details but won't, suffice to say that Phil, who's room was under mine (see where this is going), called Adam after a week or so and told him they had a "sex maniac in the house". The bed was lad'ly called the "workbench" - not by myself I hasten to add. I met, and briefly fell in love with, an awesome girl called Erin ... right person, right place, wrong time - shame.

Then there was Sharon. Shazza was (possibly still is) a bit of a 'wild child'. She was going through a messy break-up and I, for some reason, fell head-over-heels in love. Well, again, was it "love"? It became a bit of an infatuation for me and I started to lose sight of what reality being "with her" really was. We had fun at times but I'm sure I was far too "clingy"for my own good and that she was just coming out of a relationship and wanted to experience new things as well. Being someone I worked with also added a certain spice to it all. Right place, right time, wrong person.

Not that I was a one-person-person all of the time, remember these are the "hell raising years". I was totally bowled over by Cat (just the thought of her still raises ... a smile). Had fun with Jo, Trudi, Mark, Jo (#2), strangers in alleys and ... well, you can imagine the rest. Certain blogging mates can fill you in if you want to ask.

At the same time there was a lot of drinking with my ever expanding circle of new friends (Jo, Trudi, Steve, Greg, Lauren and many others), mainly at Paris (as it was before becoming the Dog And Bone) and many late nights falling asleep on the couch to be discovered with burgers on the tummy contentedly snoring away. The house became a popular delivery destination for Eagle Boys Pizzas who delivered a Phil/Mike concoction which to which they answered the phone with, "Ah, your regular!" namely vegetarian with all the meats - and BBQ sauce!. I rarely caught a bus home living out of taxi's coz I could afford it.

Sadly Jones (our cat) didn't stay for too long and was missing one day after a visit by the rotary man - not chopped up, just run away ... and don't tell me anything else!

So many things happened in, what turns out, to be a relatively short time.
The house had some awesome parties - in fact, the best I've ever been involved in. The "Rags To Riches" was a winner (especially Fleur) as was the effort people made in dressing to our "Cocktail Party". Another notable (thanks Adam for reminding me) was the "Tropical Heat party" from which I have some very interesting pictures of Trudi in a hoola skirt and we all have fond memories of Paul passing up a 'How you doin' offer from Lozza.
What else - rugby (helicopter up from Chicago Bar to Athletic Park), Aussie holiday with Phil (no, just as friends), visits to Lauren in Dunedin to watch rugby tests, trips to Rotorua, New Year in Nelson skydiving and getting very emotional about life (New Years are, for me, the time I miss the people that were in my life and my family - be aware, if you're around me on New Years Eve I will most probably have one pint too many and blub!).

More people entered my life: Dom, Pete, Kath, Mike ... I feel like I should mention everyone a la Oscar night; sorry if I've missed you off. Equally, sorry if I've mentioned you and you wanted to be left off.

After a year or so though things were starting to get a bit boring at work. After being turned down for residency initially I finally got it and wasn't tied to Dept of Corrections anymore. Also the Sharon thing was doing my head in (whilst she was just 'doing others', boom boom).

Jude and I divorced after we'd left it to see how the immigration deal would pan out - we'd stayed in touch and as I came up to me leaving we'd started to be friends again with a key moment me asking if she'd seen my Welsh flag in the moves to which she gleefully replied, "I burnt it! ... Joke!" - if we could laff we'd be fine.

As there was nothing really holding me in Wellington and I had become friendly with a supplier of s/w at Corrections and I decided to make enquiries about a job in Australia. They said come over for an interview and, as it happened, I was on my way over to Brisbane for a long weekend anyway (Muffy). Diverted myself via Sydney, chatted to JC and Flic and got me an offer of a pre-sales position with ECG who were the re-sellers of Business Objects.

Phil had also decided to move to Sydney after meeting a girl on holiday and therefore the house was breaking up. In May of 1999 it was all goodbyes and off I went to have a cracking time in Sydney.

Before we leave Wellington I wanna just to clear something up.
Loads of people assumed that I was outta here for good and that NZ was merely a stepping stone into Sydney; not true. Wellington is and, ever since I (we) decided to stop here, always has been my home. Sydney, in my mind, was an adventure and I knew I'd be back.


Chapter Six: The Hellraiser Years (Sydney) >

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