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!