Sunday, April 24, 2005

*** No Pics for a While ***

Our digital camera is kaputt. So no more pics for a while folks, until Warren has found us a new one!

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Thursday, April 14, 2005

Helen's Headhunted...

As if one job wasn't enough, I now have TWO!

I have been headhunted by a Christchurch advertising agency to head up their Direct Marketing operations! It's part time and I can work from home so I am going to keep the surf-shop job too as I really enjoy it.

Warren is also working flat out with some work from the UK plus his full-time job. He also has a reallly exciting business proposition in the pipeline but shhhh, that's under wraps at the moment!

The work ethic here is so much more laid back than the UK. People here recognise that you have a life outside of work. The salaries aren't great though and the cost of living isn't that much different from the UK. Ok, house prices are cheaper but not when you are earning Kiwi dollars! So, don't come here expecting a life of luxury, cheap housing and good pay! But.. do expect a great quality of life, beautiful uncrowded countryside, safety and friendly people.

Put it this way - UK's population by mid-2005 will be c. 60million. Population of New Zealand is c. 4million - and it's about the same size as the UK! Only 1 million of the NZ population live on the South Island!!

Hence why we can drive for 3 hours and see just a handful of cars!

I digress...

So, as you can see we are very busy here on the work front!

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We've Bought a House..

Well, our roots are firmly planted in the sandy soil of Christchurch, New Zealand. We have now bought a house in North New Brighton. We moved in on 1st April (yeah, yeah, get the April Fools jokes out of the way...). The move went relatively smoothly - the removal van turned up 4 hours late. A removal van? I hear you say. Yep, we've gathered alot of "stuff" since arriving here in September with just 3 suitcases and 2 laptops! Our BBQ is the size of a small bus so that in itself warranted getting in extra hands!

We've been here nearly two weeks now and have settled in really well. Our sofa arrived a few days after moving in and all our white-ware is now in place. We bought a great bed from a friend and we are now just waiting for our gear from the UK to arrive. It left Tilbury in the UK on a boat bound for Lyttleton Port (just outside Christchurch). It arrives here on 8th May (hopefully intact) and we will then have to sort through all 58 boxes and re-home it all here! It will be like Xmas when it arrives - we can barely remember what we had! Strange that all that gear seemed so important to us when we were in the UK, but having been without it for so long it just shows that "stuff" isn't that important in the scheme of things.

Probably the worst part of "sorting" our lives, for me anyway, was having to throw stuff away. I do hate to throw away even the smallest, oldest, tattiest item! I was able to justify keeping the smallest piece of scrap paper but Warren managed to prise it out of the packing boxes!! But having had a real sort out before we left Scotland (including throwing out nearly 25 pairs of shoes!!!) it was actually very therapeutic.

Amazingly, the most treasured items were fairly worthless in monetary terms. My most treasured possessions being family photos and memorabilia, the scrapbooks and My Life album that my parents prepared for me throughout my childhood and my wedding chest. I know Warren has been pining for all his gadgets!!

Well, back to the move. We have now had a chance to explore the garden and we are totally amazed by the amount of fruit and veg we have:


to name but a few! We've already used some of them but Warren stood on my one and only courgette and mashed it..needless to say he hates courgettes..hmm suspicious eh!?

Summer has settled in really well, and has lots of cats to, errr, play with! She has lots of room to belt around the garden and loves lying around on the verandah in the sun (yes, it's still sunny even in Autumn!). Just down the road is the golf course and next to it is a lovely big park which she LOVES! The beach is further down the road so there's plenty for her to do!

Now, whilst it is sunny here in Autumn, it is also damned cold in the evenings or in the shade. We have both mastered the art of setting up the woodburner and it's lovely and toasty! We have ordered lots of firewood (macrocarpa) which should turn up in the next day or so. The woodburner is the ONLY form of heating here, and that is the case in most Kiwi houses. They don't seem to have caught on to the idea of central heating!! It is the most common complaint amongst immigrants. Coupled with the rarity of double glazing it makes for rather cold homes here! Hence the popularity of thermals and electric blankets! So, any budding double glazing salesman should book a flight to NZ pronto! New houses do allow you to choose if you want double glazing or not but woodburners are the preferred choice.

The house needs nothing doing to it except cosmetic work such as redecoration (the colour scheme here is decidely dodgy) and the garden needs taming. We're in no rush to do the interior until our belongings arrive so we're concentrating on the garden.

Photo's will follow!

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