Sunday, December 16, 2007

It's been so long!

This blog has been utterly neglected this year. Maybe because we are settled in NZ now and it's not as much of an adventure although we love it!

I don't even have the time to write a long post now because I am heading out to the pub with a friend who is getting married in less then a month!

On the news front - we are heading back to the UK for a holiday in less then a week. In fact we will be very close to Heathrow in a week's time. It will be strange going back for a holiday and seeing how things have changed or stayed the same. It is also very exciting because we haven't seen some people in 2 and a half years and I have a niece who was born since I've been in NZ who I am very much looking forward to meeting.

I have been considering lately creating a personal blog for me and my boring (!) life which I may do in the new year to make me accountable for some of the goals I will be setting myself for next year. I don't think this is the place for it but I will also try much harder to do at least a monthly if not fortnightly update on here too which will be more NZ orientated!

Well, I will try hard to leave you with a picture (if I can get it to work!) before I go an tart myself up for a night on the town!

Merry Christmas and all the best for the festive season to anyone reading this!

And here's another as that one seemed to load fairly straightforwardly!

The Thinker

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Testing, 123

Melbourne, at dusk, March 2007
hello? can anyone see me?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Here, there...everywhere!

The latest excuses for not blogging are 2 fold:
1) I don't have time!
2) The couple of times I did try about a month ago - I couldn't upload photos and got in a strop!

So I have switched to new blogger which is connected to our joint gmail account and keeping my fingers crossed I might be able to get some photos up for you.

After an almost 18month drought from flying I found myself on a plane 3 days in a row last week and will be on one later this week too!

I am loving the new job and that's the reason I was away 3 days last week.

I am working for and we arrange voluntary placements for 18-25 year olds overseas. It's such an exciting place to work. We are currently taking applications to go in 2008 and applications close on March 30th.

We (me and the Manager - it's just us as staff in NZ plus we have some volunteers from all over NZ) have been trying to promote the scheme to schools and this means talking to teenages...very scary!

I flew up to Hamilton on an 18 seater plane (they put me right at the back obviously sensing I was likely to be a trouble maker...I was also across the aisle - if you can call it that - from a guy that was not a happy flyer!) It's only a 45 minute flight so it wasn't long before I was in the rental car shack (to be fair it was a portacabin as they are developing the terminal building at the moment) debating whether it would be safe to let me drive away in an automatic tuscan (big four wheel drive thingy) when I am used to driving a manual astra! Most people happily grab the keys to an upgrade but I protested and found myself in an electric blue MANUAL focus - yay! Then I navigated my way around a city I had never been to (only driven round and it wasn't me driving at the time!) and pretended to have an in depth knowledge of everything that we do! It was great - completely out of my comfort zone but fun!

Then on Thursday, I flew to Auckland with my manager where we talked to various schools and stayed overnight in a motel with 2 illuminous plastic light up palm trees (we are talking real class here!). The highlight of this trip was seeing Matthew Ridge (who I had never heard of - sorry!) and Rebecca Loos in the Chinese restaurant we had dinner in. Of course, I only realised who it was once my Manager had pointed out Matthew (NZ rugby player) and we had seen a brunette in denim cut offs right up to her you know what...I then text Graeme and he told me who Matthews girlfriend was. Wow - starstruck! Or maybe just daft!

The talks seemed to go well. We did some more on Friday and I was back in Palmy for tea time.

On sunday we drove up to Mt. Ruapehu - wow! Fantastic views...I will try and upload one. Obviously it's NOT ski season so it was extremely rocky and I can't quite imagine it with snow all over it! We took a ride in a couple of the chairlifts and then sat and had hot chocolate in the cafe near the top!

Yep, no - it's still not letting me upload photos. I will not go in a strop this time though. I am sure you will all be happy just to read my beatifully well chosen words!

Heaps more to tell you but no time to do it! Will try and get back soon.
Take care

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Update - 18th January 2007

Dad's visit is drawing to an end - it will be sad to see him go but I'm sure he'll be over for another visit before long.
Our trip to Kaikoura seems a long time ago - even though one of the postcards I sent whilst there only just arrived at it's destination!
We are looking forward to out next travels now - it's a long weekend with a bank (sorry - public!) holiday on Monday (the day I am posting this blog) so we are hoping to go across to Napier for the day with Dad before he goes. (Yes, we did make it over to Napier on Saturday where we went to the National Aqaurium of New Zealand, had chips on the beach and played mini golf in the hot sun!)
And Graeme and I also have a few days booked in March to go to Melbourne, Australia. It will be our 2nd trip to Aussie and 1st to Melbourne and we are looking forward to it.
The biggest new to announce is my new job! I have recently been offered a new position and start early February. It's an admin/finance type role with a UK based charity and they have an office here in Palmerston Noth (it's a small world isn't it!) I will tell more once I've started and got my teeth into it!
Hope you are all taking care of yourselves!

PS - Apologies for the lack of photos - it's not letting me load them for some reason - will try again in a few days!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

2006 Ta da list

Here for public viewing and amusement is my 'Ta Da' List for 2006!

 Got through the immigration medical including blood test which I was absolutely terrified of!
 Tried white water rafting for the first time (and looking forward to a higher grade river next time!)
 Got New Zealand permanent residency (thanks Graeme!)
 Bought a house
 Bought furniture for new house
 Started a course on Freelance Journalism (which is ongoing and I hope to have completed by end of Feb 07)
 Started working permanently at Recruitment Plus
 Moved into house
 Got a dog (and I love him even though he is a complete and utter nuisance!)
 Learnt to scrapbook
 Gained my New Zealand Drivers license (by completing a scratch card theory test!)
 Bought a kick-ass ‘proper’ BBQ
 Made lots of friends
 Completed Basic Dog Obedience lessons with the mutt!
 Had Mum here to visit
 Had a housewarming/birthday./Mum’s here BBQ celebration ~ in the rain!
 Zorbed (it was so much fun!)
 Luged (again, lots of fun!)
 Lost 6kg (more next year!)
 Tried Go-Karting (which was painful and I had bad bruises to prove it – they are just disappearing now! But I’m willing to give it another shot once the painful memories fade away!)
 Had a Christmas BBQ ~ in the rain (can you see a recurring theme here?!)
 Visited South Island
 Went on the Inter-Islander ferry
 Swam with the dolphins (and I can’t wait to do it again now I have worked out how to snorkel!)
 Learnt to snorkel (but no diving yet!)
 Watched whales
 Wrote this list and realized that I have achieved a lot this year and am quite content with the way life is panning out in most areas!

So there you have it - I have also written some goals for 2007 which I may share if I don't have anything better to talk about next time!

Does anyone else do crazy stuff like this or is it just me?!

Welcome 2007!

Hi all,

It's about time I got some updates on here as well as some photos.
One of my goals for 2007 is to make sure I keep in contact with family and friends more often so as part of that I will be trying to update the blog more often so you can see photos and what we are up to. I will try and get it updated every 2 weeks or so - please keep visiting when you have the chance and leave comments so we know you are reading!

My last post was November 13th just after Mum left and it seems like a lifetime ago! Dad is now here for a visit so we get to play tourists again. We got back at the weekend from a few days down on South Island (our first visit) in a place called Kaikoura. It's a beautiful place and we got to do and see some pretty amazing things. We saw gazillions of dolphins (and swan with them!) and a few whales, some albatross and some seals. And I swear I saw a lone penguin but both Dad and Graeme are still disputing that and believe it could have been a sea-gull instead! I know better! We enjoyed tasty seafood and some local wine to go with it. And on the last night we drove out to the local viewpoint and watched the sunset (which is where we took the first picture on this post). If you are coming to NZ - I definetly recommend Kaikoura!

As for what else we have been up to, hmmm...
- Graeme was up in Auckland for the latest round of exams and now has the long wait for the results.
- Graeme and Dad have been busy in the garden sawing and chopping. It really was getting out of control but is starting to get a lot more manageable now.
- Christmas Eve we had friends over which was lots of fun
- we bought ourselves an early Xmas present of a PS2 and a whole heap of Singstar games and have been crooning our hearts out!
- Santa was good to us this year and we have had some lovely gifts.
- New Years was very quiet but good and we watched movies. Actually, we watched a few films over the festive season (some older then others) and I can definetly recommend Click with Adam Sandler, Elf (hilarious! :Santa's coming! I know him!") and The Notebook which is a total weepie chick flick!

So there you have it - a very quick update!
I am going to post my list of things I did in 2006 in my next post - hopefully tonight if I get round to it.

And to anyone reading this - wishing you all the best for 2007!