Proud Parents

I know that some of you wont care but i am a very proud of our little Sam, who decided after 6 months of peeing like a girl and getting his feet wet, he was going to cock his legs instead.
Although it was funny to see him sniff around this morning approach the washing pole, and cock the wrong leg so he peed into the air then fell over 🙂

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1 year ago today….. 9th January 2007……..

I would just like to start with the strange weather pattern, 6, 7, 8th Jan 2007 was raining just like this year and 9th it’s sunny and warm. hmmm coincidence.

As I remember (I was very tired for days) it was very wet and overcast when we got here, and I was jetlagged, in a foreign city and had no idea about how much a dollar was, or how to spend my day. Scott and I were off together, as he didn’t go back to work until the Thursday, leaving me to fend for myself in the overpriced, poky, noisy, over heat sensitive quest apartment. With a TV that had people swearing on breakfast TV with funny accents. At least with the Germans I had no chance of ever understanding them!!

It felt very strange knowing that I wasn’t just that short hour plane ride to see friends and family, it felt strange that I could almost understand what people were saying 😉 it felt strange that the only person I knew in a thousand mile radius was Scott. But how exciting it was too. Scott and I hired a car and drove around the Wellington suburbs to check out our new city, but I was saddened by the rain in the middle of summer (I was lead to believe that New Zealand was a tropical country!. Yeah right )

Those first few months seem so distant, yet so vivid, in my memory, my first birthday here just a few weeks after arriving, and we went on a helicopter tour around the city limits, which was amazing. Then our wedding anniversary in shed 5 and Scott’s birthday at our then local pub “The Roundabout”, where they sat on stools leaning on their sweeping brushes at 8pm and said “no rush”  I remember the agonizing and sometimes endless journeys of house hunting trying to find a rental which wasn’t gonna cost us a ton a night to stay in. I reckon I must have looked at least 30 houses, walking around the suburbs with a street map of Wellington, not realizing the hills of Khadallah or the very long trek that is between Redwood and Keneparu drive train stations.

It was by some small miracle that I stumbled upon Lee Newman, and his family, who were the first  kiwi’s really that made us feel like we belonged here. The rental we rented from him was a small 3 bedroom. We spent the first few weeks on a re blow up bed, and a handful of get in quick items from Briscoes and the Warehouse. Lee found us a car, gave us firewood, and generally was a good friend to us. In fact if it wasn’t for Lee and his family we wouldn’t be in the house were in now, as it was Les, Lee’s father who knew Jason who sold 27 Kiwi Crescent to us 😉 Lee offered us accommodation at his parent’s house, and the use of a car for marginally less than the quest, but we just couldn’t impose.

I found myself having a double stroke of luck at that time, because we also found the Johnstons, who were and still are fantastic friends, and Carol has really been my adopted Mum (Sorry Carol I know that your not old enough). It was also lucky that they were British as well and in fact from Newcastle, so that made Scott and Kenny instant friendly rivals 😉 It was through Carol that we met Jan & Brain, another British couple whom we have a good crack with every Tuesday night.

I also started looking for work, as days spent at Frank Kitts park with a book was all fair, but I needed to be active, its not the same spending quality time on your own. So I stumbled across temping agencies and thought this was a good way to get to know the city and maybe make new friends whilst getting paid for it. I must admit I have had some very interesting jobs and have learnt some new skills Getting the accent right was a little difficult, to start, but not impossible, although I did have some difficulties with people on the phone, and them with my accent too.

As temping jobs came and went and finally getting our stuff arrive at the beginning of March (which was actually very quick) and nothing broken that I can remember, Scott and I were settling in to the lifestyle in NZ. Personally I think that the work ethnics are quite different here to those of the British and indeed the Germans. Working 40 hour weeks, and not accepting overtime, or extra cash for just doing your job!. Hmm. Bosses seem to really care about there employees too with personal touches at Christmas time like gifts rather than bonus’s. No one ever blamed me for any cock ups since I have been here either, was  probably because I was the temp and I didn’t know any better 😉 . Scott seems to be getting on well at Fujitsu as well, with managing his small team, and taking exams to get him up to date in the IT world. The majority people I have met since working in NZ only seem to stay in one place for 1 year to 18 months before leaving and then returning for more money..strange

The winter was cold and long, it was very strange living in a wooden house with no heating and single glassed windows, with only a log fire and very expensive oil heaters to warm you up. Thank god for electric blankets that’s all I can say. But we kept ourselves busy with open homes. (Aghh the wonder), I often still miss them. It was quite ironic though after all the open homes, tears and tantrums that I had and put Scott though thinking we will never find a house that we wanted, we brought ours before the Open home even took place.

Since moving into our wonderful 1949 home and a few slight adjustments later I can honestly say that I am glad that we took this property, it’s a great section we get a lot of sun and with Samson now in our lives it almost completes the Elsdon family.

We have had some wonderful adventures this year, with a visit to Christchurch, touring on the tram and by Gondola. Rotorua, with Chris & Marcia, with the wonderful delight of traditional Maori ways and visiting thermal wonderland. Auckland to see “We Will Rock You” the musical which was one of the best evenings in 2007 for me. Our trip to Fiji was short and interesting taking Scott back to his army roots when he was 18, it is nothing really how he remembered it.

I would like to thank our visitors also this year, Marcia, who is hopefully coming again soon, as she had such a blast, and was an absolute pleasure to have. Chris, who actually spent the money and time to get here, I know how difficult that must have been for you Chris, it was great to see you, and I do hope that you had a good time too. (Even though you had to hang around with two girls yuck). Julie, my wonderful sister in law who is welcome back anytime, and I promise to have a bed for you next time, just give me a little more than 2 weeks notice 😉 We hope to get a lot more friends to visit before 2008 is out 😉

Emotionally its been a difficult year, with moving so far away, having to start again, making new friends, starting new jobs, learning new cultures, changing currency AGAIN, finding a short term rental which was almost impossible, finding a house which seemed worse at the time. With having to sell my dream car in England, and the house which Mum and I really bonded in. Missing my best friends from England and Germany. Learning our way around and where’s best to shop. Learning new pronunciation of words like DARTARBASE and ROWTER. Having Christmas away from my niece and nephew, and being surrounded by family and loved ones. The time difference has been difficult not just being able to pick up the phone and having someone there at 2 PM in the afternoon. Seeing Santa wearing sunglasses. Changing careers from IT to PA. Putting on weight, losing weight, and putting it on again.

I would just add though if it wasn’t for the fantastic support and love that I receive on a daily basis Scott, there’s no way that I could have done any of this. He is my rock.

  So with all that we have been through this past year, with the time and money spent to get into the country, having to give up the car of my dreams, and dealing with the aggro that I went through to get it to the UK in the first place. Selling the house, , getting 2 medicals done, and filling in endless paperwork, for immigration, medicals, MAF inspection forms, moving contents over from Germany, registering with the IRD, doctors, dentist, and passports going back and forth. I hear you ask was it worth the pay cuts that you both took, the changes that you both undertook, the emotional rollercoaster that you have been riding for the last year. And my answer the same as Scotts I should imagine, is yes..

Yes to purer air and less pollution.

Yes to better education at school because of smaller classes.

Yes to less population in the whole of NZ than in London alone.

Yes to the immigration selection, its hard work granted but you can control social situations.

Yes to very low crime rate.

Yes to never living more than an hour away from a beach.

Yes to the long sunshine hours (albeit in December) getting dusk at 10:30pm

Yes to the magnificent view we get from looking out of any window in our house.

Yes to asking your kid no matter what age to run along to the shops to get some ice cream with no fear of anything happening to them.

This move was initially for us but is ultimately for our children, our children’s children and thereafter. Who knows what 2008 will bring, certainly planning on having those pitter patter noises sooner than later.

Tina xxx

Blogging into 2008

Hello all, I am blogging into 2008. Well we haven’t really stopped since Christmas and seems as though tomorrow will be our 1 year anniversary of being in NZ, I should write a pre catch up before the main spurge tomorrow. (1 year I can hardly believe it myself). Well since Christmas, we have been decorating our room, which is looking fantastic now. Scott has done a marvellous job on stripping all the wood back to its original state, and we have stripped all remainder wallpaper and gone for a nice apple white to tinge the walls, added a new bit of coving painted the ceiling and got that old tatty carpet up that was still stuck down in places. The place looks good, and  I cant wait to move back in, after a week of sleeping in Paraparam, on the sofa and in the spare room on a mattress on the floor, I am looking forward to getting back into my own bed finally tonight.

There is only 1 day left before we go back to work, its been so strange having this forced time off, I have never taken so long over Christmas before, but it has been nice to sort out the bedroom, and catch some sun, plus Sam thinks its heaven as we are walking him everyday 😉 Taking the Christmas tree down today, its been a weird Christmas with the heat and the Christmas summer sales, and the Santa’s with sunglasses, but I guess I will get used to it, and the more time I spend with Scott the more I love him…. aghh pink pill pink pill….

Greetings from the Future

The Time difference is always there for us. Trying to get in touch with the UK to Skype family is always a case of working out what time it is there and what time it is here.  Getting up at 7am just to speak to people in the early evening is normal.  Even worse when we slip into winter and the UK into summer and there is a 13 hour difference.

Ok , enough prattling.  What’s happened this week.  Well As Tina said in her update, we both finished work on Friday 21st December.  NZ, then shuts down for a two to three week holiday each year for Christmas.  Don’t get all jealous though, as the UK and northern countries have their holidays in August and July, whilst we soldier on in the dismal winter months.  The school year ends here in December and the kids have their 6 weeks holidays in the summer, meaning thy go back to school and start their new school year in February.  Most families take a few weeks off and tour or visit family and friends around the country.  So it all makes sense in a funny way.  We still haven’t got used to adverts on TV for the Christmas Summer Sales though 🙂 Or having to mow the grass in December.

Talking of advertising, there is some sort of ban for adverts on TV and radio during Christmas.  Christmas day, new years day and I believe Good Friday has a ban on all advertisements that sell things.  The TV still has commercial breaks though which interrupt on the USA schedule of one every 10 minutes, but the adverts on these days simply tell you what is coming on next and news alerts etc.  Nothing selling stuff.    We bought the bikes though. Boxing day Summer sales, and we went to Porirua to look in a bike shop. Ended up leaving with two nice new mountain bikes.   Not that we can afford them.  We had a look at the budget and though we might be able to afford a couple at $600 each.  After getting a cheap bike at the NAAFI a year or two ago, and having it fall apart after 5 months I really wanted to get something decent this time. The two we choose were $700 each and they seem to be very good bikes.  But then we realised we had a few more bills coming up , with the car’s WOF and new tyres needed, plus rail tickets etc, so we’ll have to tighten the belts or dip into savings( not good) before next pay day.

The bikes are fun though, especially going downhill on them.  Up hill is another matter though 🙂

On Saturday we decided to take up Al and Tracey-Ann’s offer to use their place whilst they were away, so we went up early afternoon and opened up the house. Carol and Kenny, Jan and Brian then arrived and we had a pleasant afternoon, with a portable gas BBQ and had a couple of games of Snooker.  Played one of the presents Al and Tracey-Ann had got us for Christmas,  thanks guys. Articulate.  The guys went home around 9 or 10 PM and Tina, Sam and I stayed the night and cleaned up on Sunday morning. Before coming home we took a walk on Kapti beach and let Sam have a run around. He’s still not sure of the sea 🙂 Another very hot day.   I worked out well, as our bedroom was still smelling of paint on Saturday night from the Friday days painting jobs.

Tonight, were off to Jan and Brian’s to celebrate the new year.  Should be good.

So signing off for this year.  To all our friends and family, where ever you are on this big blue ball of water and rock.  Happy new year, and stay safe.

 

Love,  Tina n Scott, (and Sam)

We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Well, we both finished work on Friday 21st December, and we have two glorious weeks off, not back until the 7th Jan, it makes sense I suppose as its summer. Its nice though in some respects when the weather is nicer we can sit outside and enjoy our new books that Santa brought us, and on days like today where it isn’t so bright, we can watch the DVD’s that Santa brought us 🙂

Besides that most business and shops are actually closed for this entire period anyway, certainly most things in Wellington anyway I guess they don’t really have the population of people living there. Porirua shops were open today though as we went down to buy our bikes in the Boxing day sales.

So a breakdown, Friday I finished work early and left Scott to it, it was a nice day so I went home and spent some time in the garden with my puppy. Saturday and Sunday were both beautiful days too, so we took Sam out for long walks and enjoyed the sun, went to a couple of DIY stores to get some stuff for our bedroom, and the renovation work that is also happening over this break. Monday was nice and we went to Carols and Kenny’s for our tea and some drinks in the evening, Jan & Brian, and Steve& Kay were there. We all did a secret Santa, I got a porcelain Pug and some jelly bean (pills) with a very detailed list of what colour to take in what situation, including pink pills for “get a room” situations 😉 Scott got a disco alarm clock and some hall push lights with a story of the stadium of light in Sunderland, very funny. (for Geordies anyway) We got home at about 11pm, then stayed up to see Christmas day in together.

Christmas day we got up early to ring Lee and the kids before they went to bed, and then I started cooking dinner.  Scott was very well behaved on Christmas day, didn’t get under my feet once, and let me get on with cooking. He also lays a very nice table 🙂 we went for a walk to Carols, in the afternoon for a few hours and took Sam, which turned out to be a great idea, as a couple of hours playing with Delilah, and he was one very tired puppy…

As for today, we have been to Porirua to choose and buy our bikes, and now were house bound this afternoon because of the the rain again 😦 will have to pick up the bikes tomorrow now. Nothing much planned for the rest of the time off, apart from stripping and painting our bedroom fixing our new coving. We are also off to Paraparam on Saturday with all friends for a BBQ if the weather gets better that is…

For now all is left to say is Merry Christmas and I hope you didn’t eat all the pies….

QUAKE !

Well we had a big one last night, 6.8 on the Richter scale.  Even had a text message from England at 1:30 am to see if we were ok,  bless. ( you really think I would get out of bed and answer at 1:30 in the morning though ? )   Gisborne, where the most damage was is a good 3 hour drive away.  So imagine an earthquake in London if you live in Newcastle.   The actual quake was 50 km away under the sea south east of Gisborne.  Tina was sitting on the couch and felt it. It went on for 5 or 6 seconds, and the roof shock a bit.  I was sitting on the bouncy ball by the TV, and thought it was the sub woofer shaking the room.   Tina said it was the biggest one she’s had since she came to New Zealand,  but that’s another story 🙂 If your interested, the full story is here.   Were ok thought, but I can see where the cracks in the ceiling have come from.  It was reported that people felt the quake as far south as Christchurch and even Dunedin.

 

Catch up time

Well what’s happened since the 5th of December, apart from me opening up my advent calendar and getting chocolate everyday (diet is on hold until after Christmas). I went to the Telecom Christmas lunch which was at a Indian restaurant, not the best food, but nice to catch up with everyone, made some lasting friends there I think 😉  It was also Sam’s last puppy training class, if we want to progress from here we have to take him to special obedience and agility classes. nah. So now he can sit, down, stay, wait, watch, walk Nice on a lead, and am teaching him give paw.

Thursday 6th I had my first big meeting, and although I was lost all morning it did go well, so I sighed a bit of relief when it was over. Scott had his last Karate lesson before they break up for the summer holidays.

The weekend was cool, weather has been exceptionally nice so we’ve managed to go for long walks with Sam, took him to the beach at Paraparam on Sunday to check in on Al and Tracy Ann’s place. Saturday we went to Tony T’s wife’s birthday BBQ, Tony is one of Scott’s work mates and they have a lovely home in island bay. Good knees up of course I drove, not drinking ever again after Scott’s Christmas do 😦

Went to Kelly’s (Temping agency) Christmas party with Ola and Fernanda on Tuesday night, it was ok, didn’t really stay long, free food and a glass of bubbly ( the no alcohol thing didn’t last). It was also the last weigh in until the new year I thought that was only fair.

Friday night we were at yet another Christmas do, I have been to five this year Scott Fujitsu Scott social club Fujitsu, Kelly Services, Telecom and my current workplace Workbridge. This time we went out on a fishing boat for a booze cruise. I was a little chilly, but there was plenty of food (BBQ) and fishing to go around, we still didn’t win any prizes but never mind, we still had a nice evening, and the view coming back into the harbour when the whole of Wellington was lit up was well worth the trip.

Yesterday we didn’t do much. It was a case of finishing our damn Wasjig puzzle, and catching up with my overflowing ironing pile. Bless, Scott didn’t tell me that he had been hunting for clothes for weeks. As for today, we have made a trip put to the New Dowse this morning as there was a craft fair on, and also called in to Cool Britannia, to stock up on trifle for Christmas. This afternoon we will head out with Sam, as the weather is still beautiful, and its also Carol’s birthday today so we are heading out for dinner tonight at the Roundabout, then on to see some Christmas lights.

Sorry this a bit boring this time, but not much has happened, but I was nagged to write. Catch you just before Christmas. XXX