Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Searching and Planning

I have a plan.

But, I'm not whispering a word just yet in case I jinx it, and anyway I cant put it into action until I find a blinking source of steady income.

I seem to spend my days trawling through listings on seek, applying for jobs, fielding calls from recruitment agencies, giving phone interviews and thinking that maybe this one will lead to the end goal.

There have been a few interviews, and to be honest to have got that far has been great for confidence - but brutal when of two candidates in a holding pattern at the point of final decision, I am not THE one.

Everything happens for a reason I believe (even when I might sound grumpy and despondent to my friends) so it will all fall into place when the RIGHT opportunity is offered. I just wish it would happen soon - this side of Christmas would be beneficial :o)

I've also been making a nuisance of myself highlighting "issues" with our rental property to the property manager, with mixed results. So we still have an oven that has two temperatures; stone cold and searingly fiery (is that too much superlative ?) and now we appear to have little bugs which live in timber. Oh yay. But we do have clear drains and smoke alarms fitted - although with the state of the oven, I'm always anxious I will set them off while cooking dinner each night. 

For a couple of baking fanatics like us, the unsatisfactory kitchen facilities has been a real gripe. We feel grumpy that we felt slightly pressured to this when offered as we had seen others (better) but people kept telling us how terrible the rental market was, and how competitive etc. Then the property manager wasn't as upfront as she could have been either. Grrr. And to top it off we have a stupid fixed term the moment.

Never mind though, I've become quite adept with "managing" the stove and haven't killed us yet with uncooked dinners, or set the place on fire. I even baked yesterday - and was quite successful.

I've started planning and making for Christmas too, since it is my favourite time of year.

And I have been spending an untoward amount of time contacting potential DNA matches since receiving our test results and updating and expanding my family tree database.

Aside from all this, I'm finding my way around - sometimes without the help of my TomTom, the traffic is just traffic, I'm enjoying the rain - such a novelty after 12 months in Christchurch !

Saturday, 7 November 2015


Since hearing about these cafes overseas I have pondered jumping into the business - but someone beat me to it !! 

The Cat Lounge opened today in Glenfield, so we had to go. You need to book, and you get an hour to spend with your new feline friends for just $10.

Remember to share the love though and don't hog all the kitty limelight - there are a maximum of 20 people per session and they don't just go to look - they want to play and cuddle too.

Today was opening day and the kittens especially seemed pretty tuckered out from all the adoration and attention. 

We'll be going back again, and also to BaristaCats when they open in the CBD. So, anyone interested in exploring this business venture with me ?

Friday, 6 November 2015

Sunsets and Fireworks

So it was Guy Fawkes last night - actually you would be forgiven for thinking it was Guy Fawkes week though. I don't understand why we still "celebrate" this. It is an English thing - we weren't even a colony when Mr Fawkes decided to try to blow up Parliament. 

In Australia, sales of fireworks to the public Cracker Night ended 29 years ago, Big organised professional displays are the best and safest way to experience pyrotechnics - but not in New Zealand. we still have people selling them from the back of vans, and poky little corner stores. 

Admittedly you can only get them for a few days now, but that doesn't stop people spending far too much money buying them up and then letting them off for nights on end and saving them for Christmas, New Year and whatever else. Kids still get hurt, and animals too, and scrub fires take up precious time for our fire-ys.

Aside from all this, it was an experience to be able to see them all across the suburb on a gorgeous evening, with no wind last night. That was a bit of a novelty.

So here are some pics - plus some of a couple of pretty cool sunsets we've had in the last week or so.

Rewiring the neural pathways in my mind

Forty or so years of living in Wellington, and then in Christchurch has subliminally trained my mind to be ever on the alert.

Now, I have to keep reminding myself that every time the house creaks or I hear a low rumble in the distance from a truck or train that I don't need to be on full alert for the inevitable. Earthquakes don't happen in Auckland - or if they are felt they will have been centred far away, and much more devastating for those near the epicentre.

Tsunami could be a risk here, although the Gulf Islands may act to dissipate some of the effects. Tornadoes too seem to be a weather related risk in some parts of the greater city, infrequently.

Volcanoes though...the entire city is built on them. Extinct they say, and definitely dormant since some time before the arrival of european settlers. But the evidence is everywhere. Mt Eden, Mt Wellington, Mt Roskill, Mt Albert, One Tree Hill, Rangitoto, Lake Pupuke, Orakei Basin...

So, forgive me if I'm jumpy - but I still forget

Friday, 30 October 2015

October is almost over

It has been a month, since we moved into a new home for "now". This house is not as great as our Christchurch home. In fact the owners seem to be like chalk and cheese. Where our Christchurch landlords loved and cherished their former home, and were quick to address any problems, this one seems to be a moneymaking scheme and no pride is taken in it's appearance. For less rent than we were paying in Christchurch this one has been a bit of a disappointment so far.

Still, we are comfortable enough - even though the kitchen is a nightmare (ONE power outlet and a rubbish oven), and the water pressure in the bathroom is pretty much a joke. I just don't get landlords who spend nothing on their property. Don't they realise it would increase resale value, and maybe even get better tenants in the future ?

Psst, been here a month and only just realised we can see this from where we park the cars. Doh !

Also have noticed a few other things about life up here in the big smoke:

  • The traffic isn't as bad as what everyone tells you
  • There are amazing parks - everywhere !
  • Public transport is pretty good, so far
  • Farro is like Moore Wilson but there are more of them
  • There is an ACTUAL Park and Ride (at the airport) - like a real one as in "they are everywhere in the UK"
  • The dawn chorus is really noisy - it is ages since we've been woken by such chatty avians
  • There are birds everywhere, I'd forgotten how noisy Mynahs are since there are none in Wellington or the South Island
  • It rains - we've had more precipitation in a month than we had in the whole year we were in Christchurch. Mostly only drizzly showers, but a few proper heavy downpours. I've missed that.
I would just like to say as well, that job searching is not my favourite thing.

Saturday, 10 October 2015


I'm being a bit rubbish about keeping up to date with all the happenings lately.

So, here goes:

1. Christchurch is no longer my home - it was great while it lasted, but circumstances made it hard to want to try and stay. Jobs with a predetermined end date, rents which were out of my reach if it was just going to be me.

2. I think Marlborough/Nelson/Tasman could be my home one day - so much amazing scenery.

3. Auckland is my home now. Just as expensive as Christchurch for not as great quality, so we are still housemates for as long as it takes to get on our feet separately.

4. There are new places to explore.

5. My life is still in boxes...

So anyway, today we went on a bit of an explore because we have to go driving to get used to the traffic, and check that the Navman can cope with it even when we can't.

So first we went to Parnell for Pizza. At Sals. We'd tried it once before on the Shore, but this was closer, and we just wanted one slice. 

'Cos that is all you need believe me.

Then we went for a walk up through the shops. It still has that village feel which is nice, so close to the craziness that is the CBD. We happened upon these guys painting a mural. SO clever.

 then we had us some gelato

and went on a l-o-n-g drive to find the lighthouse at Manukau Heads. 

It would have been prettier on a nicer day, but it was on the list of free things to do in Auckland - so we have done it now. It was free (well a donation to go in to the lighthouse) but there isn't anything else much to do once you get all the way there...and then there is the cost of petrol. Hmmm.

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Winds of change

Well gosh darn it - I haven't been here for what seems like eons.

I have been taking photos and making mental notes to update life's happenings, but woops.

This time last year I was an emotional mess which resulted in making what now seems like the dumbest decision in my life. However, life goes on and in the past 12 months I have experienced many new things. New jobs, new cities, new journeys, new friends and new beginnings.

But those winds of change have blown in again and unsettled barely formed plans. Christchurch has been farewelled, and home looks like it could be further north than ever before - in this country at least.

Sometimes this seems like a half baked idea, but then I think..."My job was just not doing it for me anymore, and the likelihood of my contract being extended past the end of the year felt pretty remote. So best to cut bait and run now ahead of everyone else hitting the job market" I also don't think I ever considered that Christchurch would be my forever home - though I am open to returning if the time was right.

We had some winter weather - even a teeny bit of snow - not enough to cause chaos, or even to hang around for long and look pretty, but snow after all. Another new experience.

We had a spur of the moment road trip to Dunedin (for lunch) as you do. If I had realised how close this great city was to Christchurch I would have made many more regular trips. We found this yarn-bombed tree.

and this on the way back

Spring was definitely in the air over our last few weeks in Christchurch, but we ended up missing the best part of our beloved rental property's garden -the Magnolia tree and Cherry trees coming into flower.

...and definitely going to miss this drive to work,

and the fun times with new friends. It's been great. What will the next 12 months bring ?