Saturday, July 30, 2005

Post No. 39 - All by myself

...don't wanna be....all by myself. Okay, I will stop - those that have heard my singing will be covering their ears in case the horrific noise travels the oceans and meets their ears! Plus I am in Cyber-space at the Library and I am pretty sure the people hear don't wanna hear me sing!

I have just uploaded more photos to the Kodak Gallery so if you fancy having a look, drop us an email and we will send you an invite to view the album.

In the meantime, while I have an afternoon of free time stretching before me and the photos on a CD I am going to attempt to post some on here - eeek!

So here is a picture of our new place:

Okay the preview looks good so I will go on! This is Whangerei Falls:

And here is Whakatane:

Us with a Maori at Auckland Museum:

And finally.....a geyser

Gosh, how proud of myself am I?! Of course, when I go to post something will probably go wrong....we will see!

On the news front, I have been for a temp induction with the agency and it looks like they have found something for me. There is a slight hold-up as the person that normally fills in all the paperwork for temps onsite is off but fingers crossed I will be starting work soon! This weekend we plan to start looking at cars....eeek! Secondhand cars seem awfy expensive here but you really do need one. Graeme is enjoying his new job and the house is still great.

Hopefully Graeme will be back online this weekend so if you have sent him an email and he hasn't yet replied you might hear from him over the weekend!

Hope you are all doing okay and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Post No. 38 - All on my lonesome

Well the time has come! Graeme started work today. It was a very early start for us! 7am the alarm went off - eek! Graeme set off about 8.10am to walk to his new office (about 10 or 15 minutes walk) to be there in time for 8.30am. I have not heard from him yet and he didn't come home yet so I am assuming all is going well!

And so here I am, all by myself! It feels quite strange when we have been in each others pockets practically 24/7 for about 5 weeks now! So I was up and dressed when he left and although I did have a small longing to crawl back in bed I got busy! Did some washing, some tidying, (no unpacking yet!) and then curled up on the couch with the new Harry Potter - was already about halfway through and managed to finish it before lunch. Enjoyed it, was disappointed with number 5 but number 6 is back on track and I look forward to number 7!

Made myself some lunch and then strolled into town where I am in the cyber-room at the library just now. The library is amazing - a beautiful light building with loads and loads of books (well, obviously!) but the bonus is there are loads I want to read so I am impressed with the libraray! And now Harry Potter is completed I can get some books out (I am allowed 20 at once!). Perhaps I should check in here to see if they need any staff as this would surely be one of my dream jobs!

I think I planned to tell you about the rest of our weekend....I will make it short. We shopped and shopped and shopped until we dropped! Now have pretty much everything we need for the house and a few luxuries like candle holders as well (although I have heard a few people talk about powercuts so they may turn out to be more of a necessity!)

I've actually been driving....scary thought huh?! And still have no idea of what direction I should be going in at any time. The one time I went out in the car myself I got a little lost but the great thing about Palmerston North is that it is built in a grid around The Square so as long as I can always find my way back to the Sqaure I shouldn't get too lost! Came to town on foot today as I didn't have any change for the parking but I will venture out again in the car later on in the week and see if I can find my way home again!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Post No. 37 - Woohoo - no longer homeless!

Been a few days since we were online, apologoes if you have been eagerly awaiting a new post and have had to keep checking back!

We got back to Palmy on Friday lunch-time. Got a carhire place to pick us up and got a Ford Festiva for a couple of weeks. The name of the car hire place is Rent-A-Dent - I kid you not, you can check it out here!

Once we had the car and checked in at the motel it was a mad afternoon indeed! We signed our tenancy agreement for the new place (and picked up the keys - yay!), Graeme signed his job offer and confirmed he was starting on Tuesday. We had to sort some stuff out at the bank, we collected the rest of the luggage from where it was being stored. Finally, we got to go to our new home and check it was really as good as we thought the first time! And yes it is!

We had arranged for phone and electricity to be on Friday which they were and then we headed to Countdown - a supermarket close by to stock up the cupboards, fridge freezer etc! Spent a ridiculous amount of money - it sounds such a lot in dollars but see when you compare it to the pound, we got an awful lot for our money!

Headed back to the motel for an early night in preperation for all the shopping/unpacking/sorting out that laid ahead of us!

Up early (for us!) on Saturday, checked out, took more luggage to the flat, basked in the sun streaming through the windows for a little while and then headed out to the shops. Enter The Warehouse, a fabulous shop where you can get all sorts of stuff really cheap! Bought bedding, hairdryer (no more using that crappy travel one and the chamy leather towels to dry my hair!), radio alarm clock (v.important for Tuesday when Graeme starts work!), and tons of other stuff. Didn't have any nice towels in colours I liked at the Warehouse so we headed to Briscoes where they had a sale and got some lovely fluffy towels! Also got an umbrella each as we don't seem to have escaped the rain since we got here!

Car was pretty full at this point so had to head home for an unload and some unpacking. And then later on we headed back out...went in to Dick Smith Electronics after some shopping around with the anticipation of buying a TV, DVD player, new mobile (so we have one each) and home phone (a cordless so I can sit on the balcony whilst making some calls!!!!) Of course, there is a slight problem with the telly so we have had to reserve one and hopefully should have it next weekend (please keep your fingers crossed!) and the home phone that we want was out of stock! But we have got a new mobile and a DVD player! The man that served us suggested playing a film we know quite well in the player and guessing what was happening according to the time running!

So thats pretty much Friday and Saturday sewn up for you. Will hopefully be back tomorrow or Tuesday with another update!

Have taken some pictures of the new place - will try and get them on the Kodak Gallery this week. Also about to send an email around with our new contact details - if I accidently miss you out and you want them just give us a shout!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Post no 36 - Not much to report

The only news we have is that Graeme has a start date for his new job - he starts next Tuesday and is looking forward to rolling up his sleeves and getting on with it!

Now don't all shout abuse at once and I hardly dare say it but we are both getting bored of being on holiday! Don't get me wrong, we are loving NZ but due to the season its increasingly difficult to do the stuff we want (like horse-trekking, quad biking and going out on boats!). We are both looking forward to Friday when we get back to Palmy and start getting stuff done! And as the weather starts to brighten hopefully we can go off on some more adventures! Of course, before winter ends we do have one thing we both want to do - go and learn to Snowboard!

You would think after all the hectic-ness before we came and the year of planning and getting the flat sold etc we would be glad of the break but we don't like being idle! Just need to decide on the next project now! I'm thinking talking Graeme into getting me a dog or finding a house to buy!

Monday, July 18, 2005

Post No. 35 - Lakes and Smelly eggs!

My last post was from Lake Taupo although I didn't say anything about the place - we were there for 2 nights. Bit too cold to go out on the lake so just did a lot of walking about. We did go on a tour on a British Double Decker bus which was cool and had a proper Chinese meal - yummy! Bet you can't guess what I had those that know me well?!

Rotorua - the place absolutely bloomin stinks! Its so gross.....people said we would get used to it after half hour but everytime you go outside it just turns your stomach! The reason it smells so bad is because of all the sulphur in the air.

And even though it smells gross, we are glad we came! Today we went on a sightseeing tour. We got picked up from the end of the street (where our hostel is) at 7.40am - yuck! We headed out to a thermal village (pronounced Fakka-weara-weara) after picking everyone up! We got a tour round - its a Maori village with geysers and mud pools - pretty amazing sight! We were told to sit down on some rocks at one point and they were toasty warm! Lovely on a chilly day like today!

Next we headed to Paradise Valley Springs which is a wildlife park. Its mostly native birds and animals they have there although they do have some lions! And there are 2 female cubs which you get to go and play with (except we didn't have time on our tour - will definetly need to go back to do that one day soon!) but we did get to hand-feed some wallabies! Which was fabulous - they were so cute - they put their little paws on your fingers and eat right from your hand!

Our final stop was the Agrodome where we saw a Sheep Show. It was really fun, much better then it sounds! We were intoduced to loads of different kinds of sheep, saw a sheep being sheared, saw some sheepdogs in action, some people got to try milking a cow, some people got to feed baby lambs their bottle (aaaah!) and we got some freshly shorn wool to take away with us!

Hint for link - if you look at the sheep show link - take special care when looking at the top photo - yes the dogs really are on top of the sheep! They run all over them and we got some photos of our own!

Sidenote - we will definetly be returning to the Agrodome in the near future (when its a bit warmer) as we are going to try zorbing (the wet one where they put us both in the same one, throw a bucket of water in then push us down a big hill!)

Tomorrow we head to Whakatane (Fakka-tany), then onto Gisbourne, before another night in Napier and then onto our final destination - Palmy and our new wee house! Yipee!

Friday, July 15, 2005

Post No 34 - Home Sweet Home

And how are you all today boys and girls?
The good luck is spreading as we had confirmation this morning that we should have a place to live when we get back to Palmerston. We went to see it on Wednesday morning and its bright and lovely.
It's a 2 bedroom house with a balcony, a wee garden, a laundry room and a carport. Will suit us very well for now. The rent is a great price and its furnished as well which means we don't need to fork out for furniture any time soon.
So it's just me dragging my heels now...I mean, Graeme has a job (like the 2nd day we are in Palmy!)we have a house....what have I done? Held a penguin! Hoping to have some news about some work in the next week or so.
Managed to get some photos upoaded onto our Kodak Gallery today so if you didn't recieve an invite to view them and would like to, just drop us an email or comment and we will get an invite to you.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Post No. 33 - Little Blue Penguins

We are in Napier at the moment. Got all excited when we found out the internet was free here hoping we could upload some pictures and files etc but the computer only has a floppy drive! Oh well, tomorrow is another day!

We arrived here about 1.15pm and checked into the hostel - I love the horsey theme and there is some great artwork on the walls! Then we headed down to Marineland just in time to see the 2pm show. The seal and dolphins were fabulous, bit too quick to get any pics though! After the show I got my picture taken with Stella - who is a little blue penguin (and I am pretty sure thats the proper name not just one I made up!) Its a printed digital image so maybe one day I will be able to get it scanned in so you can see it!

After Marineland we walked through some of Napier and had a hearty lunch in an Irish pub before heading back to the hostel where we watched Bad Santa - a pretty funny film although its definetly not for kids!

And probably the most important thing to announe today is that Graeme has had a job offer....isn't he fabulous! So Graeme got a job and my accomplishment today was holding a little penguin - yay! We will keep you posted on the job and house developments as fingers crossed we may have found somewhere to live as well!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Post No. 32 - Palmy and beyond

So my last post was from New Plymouth was was lovely! We stayed there 2 nights. On the full day in between we took oursleves to the Sugar Loaf Islands Marine Park, no boats were running because it was too choppy but we had a lovely view from the beach....250 steps back up to the car though! We hope to go back soon and go out on a boat to see the seals!

From New Plymouth we headed to Wanganui (wanga-newy)which is on a river. This was also nice, quite old fashioned but lovely. Here we went up the Durie Hill Elevator....they've dug a tunnel 200m into the side of a hill then put an elevator shaft 70m upwards to the top of the hill...wacky! We got some pictures from the top and one of the tunnel so they will be available for viewing in the distant future! We also went to the cinema in Wanganui to see Madagascar which was hilarious! Loving the subtle and not-so-subtle takes on other movies! And the King of the Lemurs was just great! Also....gosh aren't there a lot of also's! We went for a lovely dinner before hitting the hay. Lamb Shanks and Tiramisu....but not in the same course! Hmmmm, delish!

So now we are here, Palmerston North. And we like it! We have been spending most of our time looking about! We have looked/researched renting homes, buying homes, renting furniture and white goods! We met with Vickie from Recruitment Plus who has been so helpful - she set up some meetings with potential employers for Graeme and put me in touch with someone else who should be able to get me some temp work. She has shown us some sights and driven us round to see some rental properties. What a great service!

So tomorrow we head off on our travels again but we look forward to returning and getting settled! And maybe buying a barbeque....and eventually getting a dog!

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Post No. 31 - How are you?

It seems wrong to comment on what we have been doing after whats been happening back at home.
I hope everyone I know is well and safe. My thoughts are with anyone that has been affected by this attack.
Please let us know you are okay by dropping us a quick comemnt or email.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Post No 30 - Auckland Again!

Post number thirty already - wow! Bet you are really fed up with this by now aren't you? Especially with the lack of photos! Unfortunately we won't be able to do anything about that for a while but once we have somewhere to live we will get some stuff up here and on the website for you!

So the weather has been pretty awful this last wee while. It could get depressing but we are refusing to let it! Mind you we seem to be spending a lot of time asleep at the mo!

We decided to hire a car to get from Auckland to Palmy...will take a bit of pressure off our backs carrying those heavy bags! So we pick up the car in the morning and are hoping to make it all the way to New Plymouth (about 6/7 hour drive apparently) by the evening. We decided to skip Hamilton althogether! It looks like theres not that much there and the hostel there has a bad rating.

Will probably spend 2 nights in New Plymouth, then its a 2/3 hour drive onwards to Wanganui where we will spend a night (might end up living there as there are a few accountants job that way!) then another 1/2 hours onto Palmy.

Whistle-stop in Palmy where we will meet with the recruitment agents, see what sort of rental properties are about etc before heading off on another adventure 2 days later!

As much as I enjoying the touring and looking about I look forward to having my own bed that I know is comfy to fall into each night. And a shower that I know is warm and works properly! And big fluffy towels! The travellers micofibre towels are great for dryng quickly and not taking up much room but it is like drying yourself with a shamy leather - yeouch! And I know thats not how you spell shamy! Please comment and tell me how it should be spelt!

So what are all you up to? Any gossip we should know about?
We know that:
* Richard Whitely and Luther Vandross have passed to the other side
* London got the Olympics
but thats about what else?

Post again soon! K and G

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Post No. 29 - Northland - Kaitaia and Paihia

We arrived in Kaitaia around 3pm on Sunday, the coach driver (he was cool - he was singing along to the easy listening radio station all the way from Paihia!) dropped us at the driveway of our hostel. Now, we wern't keen on Kaitaia - the weather wasn't great (but the weather isn't that great here in Piahia but we still love it!) and the place was a little run down. The hostel was nice enough but in no way could it be described as cosy! I have decided that cosy suits me fine! Large and sterile does nothing for me at all.

We went for a stroll up the main road and went to Pak'n'Save for some groceries. We then headed back to the hostel and spent most of the evening in our room although we went up to the kitchen for some dinner. It just didn't seem as sociable there. But we are glad we went so we know not to go back!

Although I think we may come up to Northland again to see Cape Reinga - the northernly most point of NZ and we passed Doubtless Bay on the coach which looks amazing.

And today we took the coach from Kaitaia and back to Paihia (same coach driver as yesterday but not singing as much!) where we stopped for some lunch on the way up the road!

We are staying in a hostel called the Mousetrap which is a lovely place. We are back to cosy so I am happy! We like it so much we have amended the itinerary and will be staying for another night! Tomorrow, weather dependent, we hope to go out on a boat-trip or take the ferry across to Russell which is across the water.

The weather is pretty nasty - very windy and quite wet but we still like it! Had an amazing lunch...a lamb and kumara pie (kumara is like a sweet potato apparently) it was delish and I was chuffed cos I got some Mint Sauce to go with it!

So we head back to Auckland on Wednesday, if you don't hear from us by then we will probably be online again on Thursday at some point!

Post No. 28 - Northland - Whangarei

Let me think where we are....have I told you anything about Northland yet? We posted pictures from an internet cafe in Whangarei (pronounced Funga-ray apparently but those of you who know me well enough will know that pronounciation isn't a strong point of mine...I am in my element here!) but I don't think I told you anything about what we have been up to.

Here goes...we left Auckland on Friday lunchtime and got the coach up to Funga-Ray, arrived at the coach stop after an amazing journey up - it really does look like hobbits should be just strolling around! We were staying at the Bunkdown Lodge and the owner, Peter, kindly picked us up from the station. Now my main reason for liking the Bunkdown Lodge was the 2 beautiful dogs! It was a cozy place and we chatted to other travellers there.

On Saturday we caught the local bus up to Tikipunga and walked along to Whangarei Falls which were beautiful....yes we did get pictures and yes you will get to see them one of these days! From the falls we walked through the park alongside the river and into the town of Whangarei (about an hour and a half walk). Now I am almost ashamed to admit this but we had Pizza Hut for lunch! Its weird how theres like a McDonalds and Subway absolutely everywhere you go! We self catered in the evening to try and save some money and left Whangarei on the coach on Sunday headed for be continued.....

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Post No. 27 - Photos for you

Well we have finally found somewhere where we can upload photos.
Here are some for you!

From the Sky Tower (our hotel is in the yellow 'circle')
Kiwi International Hotel in Auckland

The Sky Tower from the ground
Sky Tower, Auckland

Penguins at Kelly Tarltons
Penguins at Kelly Tarltons

There are loads more but the USB cable for the camera is still in Auckland so it will be a while before we can get anymore up for you. These will just need to whet your appetite for now!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Post No. 26 - Leaving Auckland...Onwards and Upwards

Hi Peeps!

We leave Auckland today to head up to our tour of Northland. Looking forward to it! We have thouroughly enjoyed Auckland and will definetly be spending more time here in the future.

Over the last few days it has been a bit hectic hence the lack of posts! Now what do I need to tell you about?

On Wednesday we went to Auckland Zoo which was fab. We got the bus out there and spent the afternoon there. We saw lots of cool animals - mostly the same as the zoos in the UK although we did get the special pleasure of seeing some real live kiwi birds! Because they are nocturnal you go into a dark hut thing to see them and its quite difficult to watch them but we did catch site of them foraging in the undergrowth! One of the best bits at the zoo was when we went into the cafe for lunch and there was a chicken just scratching about in the cafe....fabulous!

Yesterday (Thursday) we got on the Auckland Explorer tour bus and made our way around Auckland. We got off the stop at Auckland Museum. There we met some real-life Maori's who put on a display for the public, they sang songs, told us stories and showed us their weapons! It was great and yes we did get our photo taken with them! They performed the hakka and I have to say when it is you they are staring at with their tongues hanging out it is pretty scary....starting to feel sorry for the Lions!

So sorry we haven't managed to get any photos up for you yet....hope to have this remedied as soon as possible. The internet cafes are fairly strict as to what you can and can't do but I am sure we will come across one more relaxed on our travels. I have some photos at the ready on a CD in my bag for when we do get the chance!

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone that has been leaving comments and sending us emails - it is so great to hear from you all! And if we are a little slow in replying to you,'s difficult to reply to everyone in an hour but we will keep trying!

Well should be updating you all again soon on our travels to Northland! In the meantime - keep smiling!

Post No. 25 - Still here!

Just wanted to let you know we are still here!
Been very busy seeing the sites - we went to the Zoo yesterday and Auckland Museum today.

We coach up to Whangerei (Northland) tomorrow lunchtime so hope to write a longer post tomorrow morning before we head out.

Still haven't worked out how to get photos on the blog as the internet cafe computers seem to be quite tightly locked down! Will keep scratching our heads with this one! We got our photo taken with a real-life Maori today so definetly want to get that up for you to see.

Hopefully post again tomorrow!