Monday, February 23, 2009


I've been interviewed by Penny
1.One of the things I admire about you is your amazing weight loss journey and the way you have turned your lifestyle around by choice. I'm currently trying to find some ideas for healthy snacks or ways to deal with the 4.00pm munchies... any suggestions?

Well journey might not be the the right word - sometimes it feels like a monumentous uphill battle. I'm certainly no saint - the chocolate biscuit box gets the odd hammering. It's a neverending challenge - which I struggle with day after day. But like you I get the 4pm munchies and while there are lots of things I can and do eat at this time (rice crackers and hummus were on the menu last year) I've recently made a rule that at 4pm if I need to eat then it can only be fruit. I'm the rule queen (she who has never had a parking ticket!) and I think that if I make myself some rules this just eliminates some of the bad choices I could make.

2. Your career sounds awfully interesting. Tell us some more about it. What do you find the most challenging? What do you find the most rewarding?

I find that I laugh at the term 'career' because I never really planned any of my jobs - I fell into them. When I was a kid I wanted to be a lawyer, a journalist or a speeech language therapist. I became none of these. I left school half way through the 7th form when my parents could see I was mucking around and they got me a job interview in the Justice Department (that wouldn't happen now!). I worked for over 20 years in the Public Service - the Justice sector and the land arena. One of my most interesting roles was in the late 80s when I worked simultaneously for the Indecent Publications tribunal (there aint a dirty book I haven't seen!), the Abortion Supervisory Committee and the Committee of Inquiry into the Sharemarket crash. Most of my 'career' was spent working for the Registrar-General of Land. I had lots of different roles including NZ Operations Manager which was challenging and fun when it involved looking after 12 offices round the country but not so fun when we had to close 7 of them. Through that experience I learned heaps about performance planning, HR, project management, strategic planning, audit, and more and I became very involved in change management. They were really useful experiences when I took up management consulting over the past couple of years. I now work for a very little company on a range of things from reviews of organisation structure, to project managing small projects to leadership training and individual coaching. My favourite thing is the individual coaching. I am fascinated by people and their life experiences and love working with people who want to improve themselves. Coaching others has been good for me, too as it's forced me to look at myself. As a coach you need to be pretty sure about who you are and how you can help. I'm a real talker, though, and in my coaching role I have to constantly remind myself to shut up - it's about them not me.

Interestingly I don't have a degree - I have one law paper I did part time. Lots of people over the years have told me I should study but I've always wondered why? What would it give me that I don't have now? I think I came from the last generation where it was possible to have roles I've had without a degree. It wouldn't happen these days.

PS I also had two and a half years as a stay at home mother and, while I did get bored, it was the most rewarding job of them all. It was during that period that I finally had the time for myself and was able to start my weight loss and ftness journey as well as be there for my family. It's a cliche but true.

3. What is the thing that most surprises you about being a grown-up?

As a 'grown-up' I don't feel any different to how I felt as a teenager - maybe more confident in myself - but I remember as a teenager that I thought I would die before I turned 20 because I couldn't imagine how my life 'being old' would be. I am so pleased I hung around to find out.

4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be and why?

Like most people I have these dreams of living in a foreign land but if I really think about it the dream is really to just take an extended holiday.3-6 months in one spot would do me just fine - not too fussy - Rarotonga or France or Italy or the States. New Zealand will always be where I would plan to come home to. We have a dream about living in Mapua (in the Nelson region) but maybe the holidays we take there will suffice. Home is where the heart is. Anywhere with DH suits me just fine.

5.Floral, oriental, chypre... what perfume (if any) do you gravitate towards? Do you have a signature scent?

I like florals mostly. I hate musk. I love perfume but unlike most women I do not have a collection of perfumes. I generally have one bottle of expensive stuff which I use and use and use until it is used up and then I get another one. I love Jean Paul Gautier (those torso bottles!) and although I've never owned a bottle, Chanel No 5. At the moment I wear Bvlgari everyday. I'd never worn it til DH brought it home from an overseas trip. I only ever buy perfume duty free so when I run out I have to wait for an overseas trip or (if I'm waiting too long) get someone who's travelling to pick it up for me. I have my eye on Issey Miyake next.

I do have a question. Why do I not like the cheaper fragrances? I'd love to pick up a bottle or two of those pop star perfumes - you know Brittney's or Celine Dion's. They're cheap and I could have a few of them. But when I smell them - nup they don't do it for me.

When we were in Rarotonga recently we went to a place called Perfumes of Rarotonga and I brought a couple of bottles home as gifts. I kept one and opened it recently. Wow - in Raro it smelled of, well, Raro. It was florally and heady and great. At home? The only thing you could use it for is an airfreshner - so it sits on the top of our loo!

If you would like me to interview you just leave me a message and say 'interview me" and I'll email you some questions.


Penny said...

hey- new banner :) Cool!

Great answers.
Love the Indecent publication/abortion committee juxtipostion.

I like florals best too, though some orientals and chypre ones appeal. I used to buy perfume a lot and now I have many bottles I need to use up. Smith & Caughy's sale used to be the place I'd get new ones. The perfume I use most frequently is Ysatis by Givenchy but I recently got a sample of Donna Karan's Gold which I think is going to be my next "signature". I also like L'air du Temps and Ma Griffe. The Kenzo Flower is also lovely but way beyond my price range. I often use the tester in Farmers when I'm there ;-)

Anonymous said...

Great interview Mel. A very interesting work carrer.

scrapgeek said...

Great interview and interesting answers :)