Friday, January 27, 2006

Post No. 96 - I forgot to mention....

...whoops, fairly big thing and yet I forgot to mention it yesterday

....our application for residency was submitted on Tuesday.

It is now in the hands of immigration.

Only they can decide if a Glaswegian and an Essex girl are worthy of residency.

Keep thinking good thoughts for us!

Manawatu Gorge

And we will keep showering you with tales of life in New Zealand and interesting (okay thats a matter of opinion!) photos!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Post No. 95 - Goodbye guest, Hello old friend

Isn't life funny?

Now don't all run off scared at the thought I am about to get won't last long, I promise!

We said goodbye to our guest today, he's heading back to the UK - at the ready with a jumper, fleece and closed in shoes (and socks!). He hardly felt like a guest anymore because he had intergrated into our lives and routines in the two months here and it worked (which was a little surprising). But home he had to go.
So now we are back to two. Strange!

So we left the airport having watched the tiny little plane (think it seated 24) take off and went to the shopping mall in town for some bits.
We were sat in the food court enjoying an early dinner when G started to stare very intently at the point beyond my shoulder and then started calling someones name.
I was a little surprised because we don't know all that many people just yet!

It turned out to be someone he knew from Glasgow who had come to NZ before us.
How strange, when this person hadn't been headed to Palmy when he left and we just so happened to spot him on a day when we had returned to living just with the kiwis and no-one from the 'home land'!

I'm sure you all think I am slightly mad but it made me think!
You can live on the other side of the world to where you grew up and lived yet still see someone from 'home' walking through the mall (sorry, should that be shopping centre!)

So there you have it. My reason for thinking life is strange....also it was 30 degrees at 3pm this afternoon and now we have a torrential storm...more strangeness!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Post No. 94 - Action Weekend!

Sorry its been a while since the last post. Its been a little busy round here.

'Stormy Point Lookout' - you can see why it is so named!

We survived the medical tests and got all our immigration stuff together. We were planning to take it to the Immigration office last week but there has been a slight delay and we are hoping to submit this week instead. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Today is a public holiday in Palmy - it's Wellington anniversary so myself and Graeme got the day off. Its been lovely to have a long weekend, especially as our guest leaves this Wednesday. We have spent some quality time with him before he leaves. I can't believe its been 2 months - where did that 2 months go?

The weather has been pretty great this weekend - it was almost up to 30 today - hot, hot, hot! Yesterday we headed an hour North of Palmy to Mangaweka where we went White Water Rafting! I had never done it before and it was so much fun! Only a Grade 2 but a great place to start. Unfortunately there are no pictures of us on raft but here is a picture of the Rangitikei River where we were rafting:

And today we went to the Manawatu Gorge and did about an hours walking into the track (plus the hour back to the car). It was absolutely spectacular and very steep a lot of the way.

So there you have it - what we have been up to this weekend. Nothing quite as exciting planned in the near future...except submitting our application for residency of course!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Post No. 93 - Back to work tomorrow

We have enjoyed a lovely 2 week break from work, lots of relaxing and chilling out!
This week we have stayed fairly close to home. We were hoping to get across to Hawkes Bay but the weather forecast hasn't been that great - some very strong winds and rain storms.
We still managed to get out and about on a few local walks, to the shops to buy a few things in the sales and today we went to Owlcatraz which is about 30 minutes from Palmy.

We were expecting to see lots of owls due to the name and were quite disappointed as we only saw about 5 (and there were only 2 different types). They did have some fabulous names though such as Owlvis Presely and Owl McPherson!


The whole park kept us amused for a couple of hours. We were taken on a tour where we saw some wekas, some ducks, some large cattle, an alpaca, some deer, the owls (of course) and we also did the glow-worm caves (scary! pitch black and you have to be quiet!)

Alpaca (looks like a llama to me!)

And so, its a quiet evening and then back to work tomorrow. Going to be tough getting back into the routine - up early and out the door by 7.45, home at 5.30ish. Will be very tired by the end of the week methinks!

Also, the big thing this week is that our medicals for immigration are booked - eeeeeeek! Those of you who know how well I do with needles and blood will realise that I am already in a high state of panic and will probably faint come Wednesday when they try and prick me with the darn thing! I will try my hardest to be brave and will update you after the deed!

Oh and on a final note, Elvis - if you are out there - Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Post No. 92 - Looking Forward to 2006


Wishing you all a very happy 2006!
Here's hoping it's a great one!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Post No. 91 - Looking back on 2005

So it's here, the end of the year!

2005 has been a rollercoaster ride for us, a very exciting year where we don't seem to have sat still for more than 2 seconds at a time!

What we did this year:
  • redecorated our flat in preperation for selling
  • sold our flat
  • moved half of our belongings to my Dad's loft
  • moved out of our flat to a room in the city centre
  • sat ACCA exams (Graeme)
  • left work
  • had a great leaving party
  • left Scotland
  • moved more of our belongings to my Dad's loft
  • had a leaving gathering in Essex
  • left England
  • arrived New Zealand
  • spent a month travelling around North Island
  • (during which Graeme had job interviews and secured a job in Palmy)
  • found a house to rent
  • started work
  • saw more of New Zealand (but only North Island)
  • submitted our expression of interest for NZ residency
  • learnt to play Squash and took part in a tournament (Graeme)
  • went to Australia to the Gold Coast to catch up with family
  • invited to apply for NZ residency
  • start new job (Kate)
  • receive our first visitor
  • enjoyed our first NZ xmas with a BBQ!

Wow! What a list - and I am sure I have missed heaps of stuff off it!

And I can honestly say that whatever happens I am so glad that we got this far and did what we did!
Coming to New Zealand has been an amazing experience, it's a beautiful country with a lot to offer.
It's not been an easy ride and there are some days when I have come close to booking a ticket back to the UK but I haven't done it and don't plan to in the near future.

We have a lot more hurdles to jump and bridges to cross (what other well-used sayings can I use here?!) but tomorrow is a new year and I look forward to a new set of challenges and even more adventures!

Wishing you all a safe and prosperous 2006,

Post No 90 - A couple of days in Wellington

We went down to Wellington on Thursday morning.
Checked in at a motel, walked up to catch the cable car then walked back down through the Botanic Gardens.

Had a bite to eat at the bottom and then strolled back to the city centre, past the parliament buildings and to the waterfront where we visited Wellington Museum - City & Sea - which was really good, quite a small museum but an interesting one. From there we headed to Te Papa - the museum of New Zealand before stopping off for a pub dinner on the stroll back to the motel!

We woke up on Thursday, checked out, headed out for some breakfast and then drove to Wellington Zoo. We had a great time and saw lots of interesting animals:
the monkeys were very laid back...

while the meercats were on full alert at all times...

The zoo is fairly small so we had some lunch before we left and took a slow drive home via a shopping outlet (that wasn't very good) and a garden centre. We were back home at tea time and exhausted so it was an early night!

All in all, another great couple of days in Wellington.