I have finished my year-long Proofreading and Editing Course and I am now (as long as I didn’t bum out in my final assignment) actually qualified to point out grammatical and spelling mistakes to people. Oh, and fix them.

And now the hard work begins, because it’s all very well having a pretty certificate up on my wall, a copy of “Proofreading for Dummies” on my bedside table and a packet of brand new red pens on my desk. Now I have to get my freelance business off the ground, and start looking for work.

And what better place to start than in the middle of nowhere? I’ve decided to celebrate this accomplishment, which allows me to put the letters Dip. Edit. after my name and to infuriate my friends with my anal-retentive adhesion to good grammar, by going bush for a few days. I’m going to hike the Milford Track, often referred to as “the finest walk in the world”. By myself. Actually, it’s a double celebration. It’s my birthday on the first day of the hike, and who doesn’t like to eat dehydrated noodles and get zero sleep in a hut in the wilderness with 50 total strangers on their 46th birthday?


Here’s what the Department of Conservation website says about the Milford Track:

Experience the stunning grandeur of the Milford Track – a 53.5 km walk over 4 days in beautiful Fiordland National Park. 

You’ll be awed by natural wonders while walking in a spectacular, wild and beautiful part of New Zealand. There are sheer ice-carved valleys from a mountain pass, refreshing mountain rivers, peaceful forests and cascading waterfalls.

The track is nestled in amongst some of the most impressive of Fiordland National Park’s landscapes, the kind you normally only get to see on your TV screen. Even in wet weather (which happens often!) the scenery is superb – with entire valley walls turning into waterfalls.

milford sound from mitre peak_large

I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time and I can’t wait. I’ve been reading Cheryl Strayed’s book Wild over the last two weeks, trying to gain some inspiration for what lies ahead. Somehow I think her weeks on the Pacific Crest Trail were just ever so slightly more challenging (I do not plan to lose six toenails, come face to face with a bear, hike for miles in sandals held together with duct tape after losing my boots over a cliff, or pick my way over treacherous sheets of ice), but I’d like to think I share just a little of her “woman on her own, achieving a personal dream” spirit.

When I come back I’ll launch into my work. I’m already building my new business’s website, which brings me to the ultimate point of this post:

You won’t find my blog at http://www.bellbirdwords.com anymore. I’ve transferred that domain name to my new website, because that’s going to be the name of my business:

Bellbird Words Proofreading, Editing and Writing Services. I’ll let you know when my new site’s up and running.

This blog can still be found at http://www.thebellbirdblog.wordpress.com. Easy.

Adios until I return from my walking adventure. In the meantime, please let me know if you have anything you need proofread, edited or written. Will you be my first customer?


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