Friday, December 28, 2007

New Additions

Well Kitten season is upon us and we have adopted 2 very handsome fellows from the Cats protection league. Pebbles and Thomas (ginger).

I forgot to post anything about the races - loads of photos on the other website have been uploaded from that and xmas day. These two are late birthday presents - te he.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Not quite Christmas on the beach!

We had a not quite Christmas on the beach today - first nice day for a while so despite a heavy cold we went to the beach - loads of sun cream and the sun still got me!!!

The kids had loads of fun, a great picnic and finished off with ice cream from the Kapiti cheese shop! yum Yum.

Hope the UK weather is being nice!!!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I finally felt one - nearly 6 months in and a lovely 6.8 magnitude. It is about 383kms to the North East of wellington - in the Gisborne region. They have lost power, phones etc etc. I just felt the table and myself wobble a fair bit!!! But hey the earth moved!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Happy birthday India (and mum)

In her new tinkerbell outfit - with sparkly lights and dolls house.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

For christmas I want....

Too late but we know what he is going to want for Birthday/Christmas next year!

They all had fun, loads of sweets, sausage sizzles (sausages in a slice of bread!), Ice Cream, Ice Blocks (lollies), a visit and present each from santa. Josh managed 3 goes on the quad bikes. The girls had face painting, bouncy castle and fairground rides. hopefully they will be early to bed!!!!

More parties


India enjoying her birthday morning tea with a few friends.

its been a busy day again, morning birthday tea at the short straw cafe followed by a dash home and then on to the GNS (work) kids christmas party.........

Sunday, December 9, 2007

2 Parties and a Christmas Palm tree

On the grounds that the garden centers examples of Christmas trees are fluffy leggy anorexic things which you can only get 4 baubles on we decided to decorate the PALM TREE in stead - well the kids did it all!! very impressive!

India has managed to get to her friend Heathers 4th birthday party and to the playcentre Christmas party - where we sang Christmas songs at the wrong tempo, watched a very hilarious panto of what the 3 bears did after they found Goldilocks followed by afternoon tea and a visit from Santa. we then decorated the house and palm and put up some lights. It the rained - its been very muggy all day so needed to! so 3 very wet and bare footed children had fun running up and down the drive getting very wet, splashing in the puddles and loving it.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Arghhh - Spiders

This is a Black tunnel web Spider - found 3 or 4 webs in the garden all within 1 sq metre - next to the garage! arghhh

I killed one and captured another! How brave am I!

Ok not poisonous - but big and ugly and not something I am comfortable about at all!!!!

apparently its these little critters that Peter Jackson took his inspiration for Shelob! Yep big and ugly.

ho hum..........

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Early Rudolf express delivery

Apparently its too big and heavy to fit in the sleigh! Luckily for the Junior Junipers mum and dad managed to assemble it in just 1 day!!!

Thanks to everyone who sent xmas money for them - this is what it went towards!!!!

New House

Well we are in, sorry for not posting for ages - its been a pretty hectic few weeks!!!!

we are getting the boxes unpacked slowly and getting the feel of the place. must find time to buy a tree. I can not believe its xmas already! The sunshine and light nights at xmas is just not right!!!

I will upload some photos to the photo website later, but this one is the 4 monkeys in the garden.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

First visitors

Our first Visitors have arrived in Frontier country! We allowed them just 2 nights to get over their jet lag before dragging them off to Te Papa for a look around there and a taste of the earthquake house. Today they had a trip over the Rimatakas down to the Waiarapa and Martinborough. As expected the loved it and are already planning a stay there next time. We then drove down to Lake Ferry, a new experience for us too and mu Goodness it was AWESOME!

The geology was cool and the surf was excellent. the colour of pure bright turquoise blue and waves breaking that were 8 feet plus!!!! It was very cool and the sea air has had a great effect on the kids they slept all the way back - they will still be awake at 10pm tonight well after we are asleep!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bank Holiday weekend

So far we are having a great bank holiday weekend.
Sunday turned out to be a great sunny day and we spent the afternoon at the zoo followed by a trip to the beach. Despite it being spring the kids were in the water as though it was the middle of the summer. Good job I came prepared with spare clothes and a towel!

Saturday was so different - it was too windy for the planned picnic so we just had a walk around kaitoke regional park with friends. We quiet like the swing bridge trail and then the terrace walk back to the car.

Tomorrow will have to wait to see what the weather brings, it is supposed to be gales overnight !
We have now also gone unconditional on the purchase of our new house, so its ours. Just need to wait till settlement day to pay the remaining money and get the keys. It is looking like 23rd November for this. I have a job interview on Tuesday too. So its all going well.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Scorching Bay

Scorching Bay! I expect it is when its not blowing a gale! We had a lovely lunch out at the famous Chocolate Fish cafe. very nice! Its just the other side of Wellington bay. Nice view of Eastbourne.

We then drove round breaker bay and past the airport - glad we were not landing or taking off today. A very nasty northerly! Great for getting the washing dry though! Plenty of fresh sea air for the kids. It has been a very wet couple of weeks over the school holidays and it is great to get back to routine! And as typical the weather has improved!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Kapiti Coast

We have had a good couple of days seeing the area again. Friday was the first nice day of the school holidays so I took the kids to staglands, wildlife centre up in the Akatarawa hills between upper hutt and Kapiti Coast. Today Sunday although the weather was overcast we took a ride up to the Kapiti coast - above is a view looking up the coast to Paraparaumu (the jutty out bit) from the Paekakariki Hill road (just don't ask me to pronounce them!). to the left off camera is Kapiti Island - Possum free paradise! The beach at Raumati was great, loads of shells and drift wood and what look like giant Mesembryanthemum (Livingstone daisy). As usual India got wet!
From there we went to Lindale centre - great farm place - saved for another time. We had lunch out and tried the very scrummy Kapiti Ice creams and have purchased some Kapiti Cheese to try!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Kaitoke Park

A lovely sunny day again and we discovered Kaitoke Park and Rivendell! No Hobbits left or elves! They do have a scary bridge and I braved it! here is the proof. It is fine as long as you don't have a joker jumping behind you - Mr Juniper!!!!!

See photo site for more pics.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


A Kea Scout

Well josh is now officially a Kea Scout.
He was invested as a Kea tonight. In to Silverpine scout group. He is enjoying it and has been proud of his Beaver uniform as Keas don't have a uniform or do badge work here.

I have been swimming again while Saffron was at creche. We are still house hunting - the market is dead.

Holiday booked - we are off to the Boxing day races - Southern TT at Wanganui. We drive up christmas day and have a BBQ on the beach christmas day. Staying 3 nights in Wanganui - big paddle steamer to see too then will travel on to Taranaki and take the kids up a real volcano!

Andy is off till 3rd Jan so plenty of time to sight see. I am looking forward to it!

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Well after 12 very long and stressful weeks the simplest of sales has finally happened. At 3.30pm Friday we finally completed on our house sale.
The money was in our bank account a few hours later and we are now debt free and mortgage free.

We can now look at buying a house outright n New Zealand and looking forward to our new lives in a more financial secure future. YIPPIEEE.

The dream begins.........

Thursday, September 13, 2007

2 steps forward 3 steps back

A Weta in case you didn't know!!!!!

Well it has been a hard week, no sleep and lots of calls back to the UK.

Our current buyer failed to meet the 3rd and final exchange date last week and after organising everything was ready to go Monday for exchange and completion this Friday but he is now refusing to exchange over some stupid excuse that is not related to the sale. Enough is Enough he has been told exchange and complete Friday else goodbye house!

Lucky for us we had already started to re-market on the QT after he failed to exchange and it looks like we may have found another buyer. But we have to start again from surveys etc etc. I dread to think how much money we are loosing every month that the house goes unsold. Let alone the huge rent we have here while waiting for the money from the house so we can buy here. I flinch every time I hear the kids banging the doors, running up the stairs dragging some toy or see raspberry kiss marks on the windows!

The good news is I have 2 fab friends I need to hire out as garden SOS workers. They have donated a morning to go and mow the lawn and trim the bushes and tidy it up. I appreciate it load - thanks girls!

Other positive news - I had my first phoenix order as a NZ trader - yippee!!!! The first of many I hope! I have been leaving posters everywhere and doing leaflet drops in the letterboxes on my walk to school.

Saffy had her first session at her school! Cope out really as the swimming pool has a creche and I have booked her in for 1 hour every Thursday while I do some lengths and have a wind down in the spa pool and sauna for 45 mins! It is one of my good days while India is at Kindy and Josh at school I am getting to do some me stuff finally!
And saffy gets to play in the sandpit and on the slide and have lots of fun too.

Right off to get some tea before another round of calls to estate agents!

Oh Josh gets invested as a Kea Scout next thursday - NZ equivalent of a Beaver Cub.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Slugs and Snails, Wetas and Whales

After receiving 'The Dangerous Book for boys' for his birthday he has been making friends in the Road where we currently live and they all disappeared into the bush behind the houses building dens and being boys. Which is one of the reasons why we moved here, he can go off cycling and playing and you feel a little more secure than in the UK.

I am sure it will not be long before he is out catching Wetas and other scary insects.

Anyway Rugby is one and I am off to watch the replay of the AB (ALL BLACKS) game.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Big is Good

New Zealand's Strongest man Levi Vaoga and the front man for the Mitre 10 stores was ding demos on Sunday for the opening of the new Upper Hutt Mitre 10 store. His catch phrase is ' BIG IS GOOD'

Josh was impressed watching him lift the bikes.

We also survived his party that afternoon 6 lads running riot - all good fun!
They had a macdonald's tea treat and plenty of fun. they were even too busy to eat their cake!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ticket to Ride.....

Today it was a $5 ride all day special on the rail, so we all had a ride into wellington.

Only 45 mins on the train - slow stopping service.

From there we took the kids round the shops, on the cable car and down through the botanic garden - they have a great playground.
It was very strange re-visiting the botanic garden and to think it was only less than 5 months ago Andy and myself were walking around the botanic garden deciding if we liked NZ enough to move the whole family. It certainly has been a very quick 5 months.

We found a nice cafe for lunch in lampton square and a great toy shop on the way back to the train station. We also discovered where the Intercontinental Hotel is. Very Posh!

Thursday, August 23, 2007


So who else wants to know what a Pukeko is?......

A very nice neighbor of ours, the colourful NZ marsh Hen.....

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My Garden

I have had my head in a few boxes for the last 2 weeks - hence no updates!!!
Well there we go my vast colour co-ordinated garden all 2 Tugs of it!!! What they call potting compost - urghh.... Thats going to take some getting used to!

The house is straight at least now, just unpacked the last few boxes in the house and carted a load more back out to the garage which is now looking like a warehouse. I have only to re-arrange the boxes to find something in the bottom one at the back a couple of times a week!

The kids have toys - well some of them - they make enough mess with the few they have without them having everything!

DVD player got wet in the move??!!!! so doesn't work. The container leaked so a few boxes were clearly water damaged, but other stuff - electricals have got damp too and stopped working - DVD & small TV. But no breakages - found yet anyway!

Normality is taking place - my phoenix cards are unpacked and life moving on......

A few hick ups with the house sale - like the buyers not having their mortgage in place on the day we had asked to exchange!!!! ho hum..... so we are still waiting for that to happen!

Josh and India's school is 2 kms away from the house - I walked it yesterday with Saffron. Josh and India only had to walk it one way! I doubt I will do that too often - I still ache today!

Apart from the distance from school it is in a flat area with plenty of green land. Very quiet and pleasant. Close to Military base, Prison and dog training school. Home away from home then!

We have plenty of local wildlife - lots of Pukeko's, a pair of paradise shelducks who much around the green in front of the house most of the day and a randy mallard with his two female companions!!! No foxes etc so all rather safe for wildlife etc.......

Still sampling the wine - oh such a never ending task!

Right must go do some tea and chase estate agents/solicitors etc.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Moving Day

Well it is finally here, it is 4.40am and very windy and now just started to rain, but hey ho it is moving day! I can not sleep, excitement and having been woken by India on a night time expedition again and then the windy was very strong so I am up check emails and stuff.

The container arrives at 9am along with the keys - don't panic! It is deciding what goes where as it is much smaller then Brandywell, so a lot will stay in the garage I suspect!

I have won my first item on trademe - NZ equivalent of ebay. A ladies push bike! for $20 a real bargain! I just need a helmet - compulsory here and I am off - well at least I can keep up with Josh now! Andy has his bike, India on hers and Saffron in the seat I will fix on to mine - Don't think she will fit in the basket!

I can not believe how much we have accumulated since arriving in NZ. It will be 6 weeks tomorrow! where has the time gone?

I will post some more pics tonight of the empty and then filled house - I expect it will be cluttered! Oh well maybe I need to get into another de-cluttering mode!

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Well it's Thursday evening, another week almost over.
Josh is busy in school, plenty of homework which is the cause of a few upsets of volcanic scale!
India has a fun filled Kindy week and a great bath tonight. And Andy now has his head in HP. I finished about 11.30pm Tuesday! I couldn't put it down once I got to last 150 pages or so! there was a huge Flash Gordon moment near the end - Andy didn't get it - hope you lot do!

I went into Wellington today - Job Interview. Interesting company - lots of opportunity for growth in the next few years. Will have to wait and see if anything happens, so 1 month in and 2 job offers. Plus I got my pack for starting up Phoenix here.

While in Wellington I discovered the Lush store - oh what a treat! A got the girls a new butterfly bliss ball. Turns the bath pink and has 2 cloth butterflies in the middle - they loved it!

I have also been out doing other shopping again - oh its such fun. new toaster as we didn't bring ours. Got a whole $10 off. And I have got 10 plugs ready to swap on Fridge, kettle, Washing machine, tumble dryer and extension leads for TV lot, computer stuff and stereo stuff etc. I am sure I will need a lot more too - oh hoover - mustn't forget alarm clock too.....

I am keeping an eye on the second hand freezers and will also need a new single mattress for top bunk bed for the girls. And a cheap pushbike for me!

We are also having fun with some great books from the library - Wolves by Emily Gravett. I think Andy enjoyed it more! I wanted Meerkat Mail but it was out. A lovely book on Pukeko's too - purple marsh birds - they are fun.

Interest rate has gone up to 8.25 here today - ouch, but exchange rate is high - especially against USD$. We have lost $30,000 in exchange rate since April! Ouch - we may have to put it all in UK premium bonds and wait for better exchange rate! Still on target for mid August completion. The survey was done 13th July and as yet we have not been asked to reduce price for anything so fingers crossed nothing has come up in surveys that they feel they want to try it on with....

Josh also had a lovely email from Mrs Duggan - she is off traveling this summer - sounds loads of fun. Now comes the fun - getting him to reply!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Harry Potter and the deathly Silence.

shhh.... I am reading....

Yes I have my copy and desperately trying to finish it before anyone tells me how it ends - so no spoiling it!

Although finding time with 3 loud and bored kids is not easy - We took them to the zoo yesterday - very useful these annual passes. It was a glorious afternoon and we meet Tahi the Kiwi (Maori for one - he has one leg thanks to a mantrap!) and a load of spiders - yuk. They did a talk on local spiders - was good to see the different sorts that live in the gardens here - they are not little ones! But only one that bites - White tailed spider - small and nasty - but if you have daddy longlegs you don't have them! Oh and keep your house around 19 degrees in winter - they live in 20 plus - so come inside in winter. Nothing a boot or rolled up paper will not sort! Its the wolf spiders in the garden - only about 4cms and fast - yul yuk yuk!

I have uploaded some more pics of the animals - was too wet last time we went. They also have a nice cafe there and we could see the Wellington phoenix players training in Newtown park next door - they are the new and great soccer team - pondlife compared to The Arsenal!

The kids had a good run around and then we had fish and chips for tea - I had picked up a huge piece of Tarakihi. More like Cod, a nice white fish not the yuky Hoki you get in the fish fingers!
And oven chips - the kids loved it - especially Saffron!

Post from my parents has slowly arrived, My first attempt at post home took 14 days! I thought they said 4 days to the UK? Oh well glad email is quicker.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

First Day....

Well he has a great day, we collected his stationary kit, Book bag and Chair bag and off he went to class.
Mrs Stenhouse is apparently from Brighton! And he has made friends already with Tom from the East Midlands. They sat next to each other. In fact he was so busy being the centre of attention and the newest boy and chatting to some of the lads he didn't even wave goodbye to us or miss us!
There has only been 17 new pupils in year 2 so far this year! they have 3 classes all getting full for year 2.

He came home with a big smile, homework already and 2 library books on motorbikes, plus a load of new friends. I am glad as he is a much happier boy this evening having got back to a 'normal' routine.

I have also been nusy and had a visit from a rep of the local government funded childminder group. They will have no problems getting a placement for the girls!

Andy has come home with news that he is off to Texas in September for the SEG and probably a follow up in November/December time.

It is quick, but we expected him to have to do some traveling. At least by then I will have the kids in a routine, in rented with our own stuff and I will have made a few more friends and contacts.
Hopefully he will take the chance get some Christmas shopping!!!!

The only no smooth aspect is that we have been unable to register with the local family doctors - they are full and not taking any new patients on for a while! Other lcoal GP's are in the same position - its like the uk and dentists!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Silverstream Schhol

Josh is happy, he starts school tomorrow - Wednesday. He is chuffed to have seen around the school and is excited about it all. 8.50 tomorrow morning start and we are all very happy. He will be in Class 12 with Mrs Cathie Stenhouse who is also Junior school team leader.

He finished school at 3pm and they have a late lunch at 12.30-1.30 - due to taking morning tea. Cake and juice or snack time!
He is yet to discover what after school activities there are, but it looks great and comes very highly recommended - best in the area apparently.

India is happy and kindy and is off there again this afternoon and again Thursday afternoon.

Some one is coming tomorrow to chat to me about childminders in the area. Andy's section manager has requested that I pop in and see him this week - they have a job they want me for and are willing to work around me in terms of days and hours etc.

So all good news this end. Just waiting to get my own bed back and stuff. Missing my bed lots!!!

Monday, July 16, 2007


Well today was India's first day at her new Kindergarten. She attends Monday, Tuesday and Thursday afternoons 12.45-3.15 at Silverstream Kindergarten. She loved it, She has obviously missed a Step ahead as all we have had all weekend is 'is it time to go to my school yet?'.

We also had an email from the Headteacher Mr Gunn at Silverstream School and he has arranged for us to go tomorrow and take Josh for a look around. He is being great and said he is happy for Josh to start even though we haven't moved into the rental. We just need to take the rental agreement forms with us. Great - Josh so needs to get to school and run off his excess energy and have a constructive and solid structure and routine.

So after all that I chased the rental agency and they have had another one of the properties come up in a different block - so we are now going to move into 64 Evergreen Crescent, Heratunga, Upper Hutt, Wellington. We take up the rental from monday 6th August. It is a semi rather than end of terrace and next door is also another British couple with older children - he also owns a motorbike!!!! Our new friends here that I got to know on the Internet Sharon and Matt know them already! Its a small world! 3 cheers for Kiwibiker!

I will take some photos nearer the time we move in.

I also did my shopping - $215 plus $15 for meat from the butcher.
Josh, saffron and myself had a treat while waiting for India to finish school- cafe in Silverstream for hot chocolate (and of course a chocolate fish), coke for Josh and Orange for Saffron - $10 the lot. we had planned to go to the Staw Cafe, but got there to find it was closed monday and tuesdays - oh well another time. It was a nice drive down Whitemans valley never the less.

Right tea time - must go sort it out.


Friday, July 13, 2007


Everything here is Awesome!

Well thats what everyone keeps saying when talking to people!
India starts Kindergarten on Monday afternoon - 3 hour session and its free.
She gets up to 20 hours a week free.

She is starting at Silverstream Kindy, opposite the school I hope to start josh at next week and in the village we are going to rent in. We stopped there today and picked up free paper and purchased some popcorn for the cinema treat tonight.

So far so good - I will update photos soon as we drove (in the new car) over to Porirua and Titahi Bay. Kids were giggling as there are far too many little roads that go straight onto beach - we went down one to be confronted with sand! arghh not in my new car!!! Reverse Reverse!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

To the Zoo we go....

We have just collected our car - nice 1999 Subaru Lancaster - Japanese and what became the outback the year after - can not wait till see in in daylight again tomorrow - its 6.30pm and very dark! Very wet and cold!. In fact it has been wet all week - no different from there by all accounts!
I took them to the zoo today, I brought annual passes for us all, cheaper in the long run and they get a newsletter and 2 free passes for family/friends. I just got very lost getting there as its the other side of Wellington. Lucky I have a good map - just can not drive and map read - so lots of comments - this isn't the zoo as I pulled over to read the map again! We found it and enjoyed a wet walk round seeing monkies, lions, tigers, zebra, giraffes, wild dogs, wallaby's, Servals, Cheetahs and some disgusting chimps who much to the kids amusement ate their poo, wiped it straight from their ass and liked it off their fingers - YUK

Found a nice butcher yesterday - nicer cuts of meat and very good price - 2 large breadcrumbed chicken fillets - schnitzels ????(New word on me but very common mean product here), 300g mince and sausages for $10 ~ £4.00 ish.

Right Thursday night and I am off for a nice bath this evening I think. One more day to survive and cinema tomorrow tea time. GNS (Andy;s work) have their very own 150 ish seater cinema straight out of the 0's. very early 70's decor. Anyway they are doing a surprise kids film there tomorrow night - free social club thing. I will find a corner and ask the kids to wake me when its over. Hope there is some beer for the adults!!!

toodle pips for now.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Last $16

well I am now down to my last $16. Arghhh. I have just been shopping - the weekly shop has cost me $170.50. Hopefully it should keep us fed till the weekend when Andy gets paid.

I am now meal planning - difficult when all the kids want for lunch is tuna mayo and then clean me out with grazing through all the fruit and snack stuff during the afternoon.
They are still going through milk like there is no tomorrow...

I also spent $33 on reserving Harry Potter when it comes out at 11.01 am on Saturday 21st July - Looks like world wide same time - oh well the kids better amuse themselves for the rest of that day! Funny thing is that I get to enter 2 competitions - 1 for a Hornby rail set 2, trip to the UK - ho ho ho that would be soo funny.

We went to play today at another expat's house, Carol. She has a son Fin the same age as Josh who is in the same year at the school Josh will hopefully start in soon. Her daughter is Kira is 4 and in the kindy India and saffron plan to join. It was great for josh to have someone to play with, even if it was just 2 hours of restbite. He has become a very horrible boy, constantly demanding, screaming, being a bully to India and Saffy, answering back at Andy and myself. And always constantly bored. It has become very trying for myself - normally by 4pm he is obnoxious and unbearable. Poor Andy gets home and has that most nights. I know it is a big change, but it is making my day very unhappy with him like this. He acts like a big girl and I just don't know how to deal with his tempers and screaming. he is so sly and malicious in intent towards the girls. He often has India in tears while I am in the next room changing Saffron's nappy, he uses any chance he gets when I have to go out of the room or am driving to push them to retaliate. No wonder I am getting through the wine and whiskey once we have collected Andy from work!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Sunday evening......

I have updated a few more pics tonight on my photo album site. We have had a busy Sunday, after a very luxurious lie in - I didn't get out of bed till gone 8am almost unheard of. We are lucky here no dog to walk and paper delivered every morning, so stay in bed and watched Fifi with the kids before getting up. yes they have some good TV that we recognise:
weekdays 6.55am Pingo Show, 8.55am Bob the builder, 9.10 In the midnight Garden. Weekends thomas on saturday morning and Fifi on Sunday morning. Other than that we have to put up with naff Disney channel.

Anyway we are trying to convert myself and the kids to porridge. It was a very cold heavy frost this morning - so porridge is good. Long way to go with the kids though.

We then went to Upper Hutt Maidstone park and had a tramp - walk into the bush - fairly tame walk as they go, but great to see the kids getting exercise and fresh air! We then discovered the big playground there. Josh was impressed with the skateboard park. They had loads of great stuff and a flying Fox - aerial runway. Amazingly Josh went on it - 3 times and loved it!
We then had lunch at the motel - yep tuna mayo sandwhiches...
Sunday is a good day - park free in certain car parks in central welly. So parked at the civic centre and walked across the main square and bridge to Te Papa (museum). They have some great things there and did a few odd bits and the poisonous creatures exhibition - who do it for kids to solve! We restrained from popping into Mac's Brewery for a quick pint - this time.

So thats our Sunday.....

I guess I have some catching up to do.....

We have been in Lower Hutt now a whole week, NZ less than 2 weeks after arriving on the 26th June. We flew in to Auckland and collected a campervan in winter - Yes we expected them to be laughing at us mad Brits (Poms)- but found rather quiet a few doing the same.....
We drove straight Rotarua. We spent 3 nights there and visited the Kiwi Experience - a conservation program where they rescue eggs from the wild, hatch, rear and release them. Apparently Kiwi's are naff mothers, father hatches them and once they are born they are on their own. Only about 5% in the wild currently survive. They think the numbers are halving every 10 years. Also went to Rainbow Valley Springs - Rainbow trout farm and nature reserve - Gosh they are big fish....
We also dragged the kids for a walk around the town centre thermal park - lots of hot water springs and mud pools - wiffy according to the kids. Oh and boring..... I wanted to do the spas but it was cold and saffy had developed a rather impressive rash - the non descriptive viral rash... So that was out.
Another day we went to Te Puia. a Maori reserve which now is a tourist place where they perform the formal welcome ceremony and a 40 min cultural show of singing, dancing and of cause the Haka. We then have a guided tour and shown around the Thermal park they have - lots more wiffy mud pools and 2 geysers (not geysers!!!). It was a cold day so nice to sit on some hot rocks!!!!

We also had a drive out the Blue Lake and Green Lake. Loads more to do but some not with kids or certainly older kids.

After that we drove along a lovely long staight road past pine tree forests to Lake Taupo. Great if you are into water sports. Lovely village - they are all pretty much small town American look to them. From there it got very hilly and windy roads though the hills/mountains to Hawks Bay area and into Napier.
Ok it is winter and blowing a gale but looked very much like any out of season seaside resort. The campsite was great and that wasn't just because it has wifi!!! We had a drive about the net day - couldn't see much of the charm in the wind and rain... There was a small aquarium that the kids loved - plenty more to do - like the museum - but 3 restless kids dictated not this trip!
So I dragged them to the Mission Winery (vineyard) instead. At least we managed to open a bank account and get that sorted.

From Napier we drove straight down to wellington, fair old hack but a nice drive. getting used to a campervan was not that bad. I enjoyed the driving to be honest.

So here we are. 1 week on and I have hopefully sorted out a house for when our container turns up in August, sorted my self out with a car - I got my Subaru!!!!

What else, made in roads to getting Josh into school and Kea's (Beavers). Will start on pre-schools next week....
The kids are on their winter break at present - they don't go back till 16th July. So another week before I can get Josh into look at the school.

What am I getting used too still:
top loader washing machines,
being winter when my body thinks its summer - the change to short days is scary!
Hot dogs being battered sausages on lollipop sticks!
Not having and proper ham or pork products.
Cadbury's Chocolate tastes so funny - different. So does the nestle stuff too and coco pops.....
Pasta sauces and Ragu etc being soo sweet and sugary
The Fish - fishfingers etc are all hoki - yuk. Tarakihi is much nicer but more expensive - ask for that at the chippy.
The weetabix is just not the same.......
Supermarkets are all meat....

at least they have plenty of wine......

Sunday 8th July 2007

Well, This is my first Blog - I thought I would give it a go so that I don't end up repeating myself 15 times over in emails, and I can write when I have the time to drone on about the boring everyday kiwi stuff we get up to!
Important news today - the tooth fairy has located us here in NZ. After an evening of vigorous wiggling Josh lost his 4th tooth todate. He was left a whole NZ Dollar!