A Travellerspoint blog

Time to work...

is it about time too?

sunny 26 °C

Well… it has been a while now since I have written anything (as Anita keeps reminding me), so here I am, typing away while watching Melrose Place (there is nothing else to watch at the moment – honest!).

Oh, and there is a double reason to write an entry now – it’s another way to remind you all to vote for my photo! Ha ha!!
So, in case I’ve missed annoying you about this over the past couple of days, here is what I’m talking about!
Auckland held a Lantern Festival for the Chinese New Year, so we wandered down to Albert Park to take a look and took some photos. The week after, Anita’s sister pointed out that there was a photo competition to enter, so Anita and I posted a few photos each. To our surprise, one of mine was short listed! So, in case you have not done it already, here’s what I’d like you to do, and to tell all your family and friends to do, both from your work computers and your home computers! (yes, I can be pushy when I want to)
Go to this web site and vote for the last photo called Dog Guarding Sheep. At the time of writing I am in the lead, but only just, and the others are catching up! Don’t delay, vote now!! Ha ha!!

Right, what else have we been up to? LOADS!

We joined the Uni Rec Centre last week, it’s a cheap option, is just down the road, and has Zumba classes for Anita to enjoy (she has given up on the running lark). We sort of joined at a bad time tho, as last week was a busy one! After having many interviews for about 6 different jobs, with no one seeming able to make any decision about who to hire (me or anyone else), I got an interview for a contract job at Gen-i, a part of Telecom. The interview was on a Thursday, I had the job offer that night and the contract signed the next Tuesday! Since I was not starting until the following Monday, Anita and I took off to Waihi Beach for a couple of nights. We met up with Alwin and Daisy, staying with them, and also meeting up with an old friend of mine – Matthew Fulton. I also went out fishing one morning with Alwin and his dad, catching a good amount of fish! And not getting sea sick! Ha ha!

So, I’ve been working all this week (yes, every day!) but I’m not the only one! No, no, no!! Anita has now had four days of relief teaching, in four different schools. In fact she has now taught for three of the last four school days! If this keeps up we will be rolling in the cash!

I’ve decided to get myself a season ticket for the Chiefs this year, since I am actually in the country for the season, and it gets me a ticket to see the All Blacks play Wales. Last Friday was their first home game, so Anita and I went down to Hamilton – me to go to the game with David and Anita to carry on to visit Eriko and the kids until us boys got home. Nothing needs to be said about the game tho, right? It’s not just me getting a season ticket tho, the above mentioned Matt and a couple of his friends have done as well, so Anita and I will be spending a bit of time in Hamilton over the next month or two!

Last weekend was such a busy one for us. After the rugby on Friday, we had dinner with Tim and Renee on Saturday night, at a nice place across the road from where we live – our first dinner out in this country! And on Sunday we drove up to my Aunt Bev’s place and had lunch while I installed her wireless internet. Um, oh and we also looked after my cat, Starr, for the weekend while my parents were off looking for a place to retire to. Which leads onto bad news as Starr is now at the vets with sudden weight loss, a temperature and dehydration. Poor Starr!

Right, that’s about all for now. Maybe I should write these a bit more often, to make sure they don’t get too long or lack any amount of detail! I’m sure Anita agrees with me too ;o)

That’s all for now…

Posted by Big.G 00:28 Archived in New Zealand Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Gigs, museum, zoo, beaches, interviews...

...a lot can happen in a week!

sunny 27 °C

The last week has been a mixture of busyness and laziness! Friday night Kirsten gave us free tickets to a gig at the zoo and then afterwards we went to see her boyfriend Andrew play with his band at a gig in the city. We had a very entertaining night!

Sunday we drove to Piha Beach on the west coast and Gerald did some kite flying while I did a bit of sunbathing, when we first got there it was quite overcast but it turned out to be a scorcher and I got a little pink despite the high factor suncream!

Wednesday we headed to a beach just a short drive away – St Heliers – and spent a couple of hours enjoying the sun and sea breeze after Gerald had yet another interview. He is becoming a pro at interviews now and keeps applying for more jobs as the whole process here is soooo slow, he is still waiting to hear back on ALL but one job as to whether he has got the job or not. The one job that he didn’t get was because he was overqualified and they feared he would be bored and leave.

Thursday we took up the offer of visiting Auckland museum for free because we are residents of Auckland, so we spent time wandering around the exhibits as it was raining and we thought it would be a good way to spend some time. Gerald got offered another interview so headed off after lunch to that and within half an hour of getting home had the call to say the job was his!!!!!!!! Hooray! So contracts need to be signed and it is likely he will start work on the 8th March.

Today we went to the zoo. We get to go free (are you seeing a pattern here yet?!) as Kirsten works there which is fab as it is a great place to spend the day. We spent most of the time watching the tiger cubs (who are now pretty much HUGE) playing and lazing around in the sun. I went a bit photo crazy as they were right by the glass of the enclosure.

Tonight we are off to the Auckland Lantern Festival to celebrate Chinese New Year. We have heard it is really beautiful so thought that we should check it out. They put on loads of entertainment and it is pretty much walking distance from our place so easy to get to (oh and it’s free of course, ha ha ha!)

No other news for now

Posted by bumblebum 19:55 Archived in New Zealand Tagged round_the_world Comments (1)

Back to work.....

well for one day anyway!

sunny 23 °C

Yesterday was 4 weeks since we arrived in New Zealand and I had my first day of work! As you know my visa was approved on Friday, I received my confirmation on Saturday and on Monday I informed the teaching agencies who in turn told me that there was very little work on at the moment and it was unlikely I would get anything until March. So it came as a bit of a surprise when the phone rang at 6.30am to ask me to be in a school for 8.15am that morning!
I ended up in a ‘new entrants’ class which I guess is the equivalent of our reception classes. Unlike the UK, where we have the whole class of 30 start in the autumn term, these children start as they turn 5 and because it is the beginning of the school year here I had a class of 10 children and a teaching assistant!!! The school teaches predominantly in Maori although majority of children seem to be fluent in both languages, I seemed to have more trouble than they did – the vowels sounds are different than in English so I find some of the names difficult to pronounce.
The children were lovely and well behaved and the school had a lovely feel to it. They all go swimming everyday for 20 minutes and I had to take the lesson – a first for me so I kind of blagged my way through it!!!
I was checking out the school’s website and noticed that under the uniform policy, shoes are optional! Shoes are not worn in the buildings and majority of children arrive barefoot and remain like that throughout the day, just 2 out of the 10 put shoes on for the playground!
The day zoomed by and I enjoyed it but I was knackered by the end of it as I haven’t worked in 7 months!
Gerald has been on several interviews this week and is now in the horrible position of waiting to hear back. They do seem to keep you hanging on here and it is very frustrating!
I don’t think there is much else to tell!

Posted by bumblebum 18:36 Archived in New Zealand Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Another busy week

semi-overcast 24 °C

We are now all moved in and settled in our new place and love it!
As well as moving in last week we also became the proud owners of a 1997 VW Golf! We have inherited a bit of a boy racer car as one of the previous owners put on an interesting exhaust that changes the sound quite a lot, but it is a good little run around and is perfect for our needs.

Sunday was the first day since arriving in NZ that we really felt that we could relax and not have to be rushing around doing stuff that needed doing. The morning was spent doing a 4km run – Gerald has talked me into doing the ‘Round the Bays’ 8km fun run along with 70,000 others so we started our training.

After the run we drove the short distance of 3km to the top of Mount Eden to see the views over Auckland. It was a nice clear day so we got to see everything including our new place! I've circled it in red....

Today I had good news – my visa has been approved (so thanks again for all the testimonials!) and I can start work immediately – well, when the agencies give me some!!!

Gerald had an interview this morning that seemed to go well, they are short listing for round 2 next week. He had an interview yesterday and has got through to the 2nd round of those and has his interview on Monday so fingers crossed!

Today we will be off for our third run, I was much better on Wednesday, didn’t need to stop til about 2km had passed! There is hope for me yet!!

That’s all for now!

Posted by bumblebum 14:38 Archived in New Zealand Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Our new home

semi-overcast 26 °C

Today is day 12 of our time in NZ and time has whizzed by as we have been soooooo busy! Since the last blog days have mostly consisted of scouring the internet and papers for flat rentals and then making appointments to see the places. Each day we seemed to get nearer and nearer to what we wanted. The first lot we saw were right in the city centre but the downside was they were very tiny and we soon realised that we were going to have to move out of the centre a little if we wanted more space. We spoke to agents who told us that houses are all unfurnished over here and that we would be better off looking at smaller apartment blocks which have more space and are usually furnished.
Some we saw were definitely bigger but the furnishings were sparse, others were filthy, some we didn’t like the surrounding area but today we found the one we love and we move in on Thursday!!!!
It is in a good location close to the city with good transport links and we have shops and restaurants on the doorstep. It also comes with secure parking for 2 cars which is a bonus as lots of the places we saw would have meant that we had to pay extra for parking.
It is only a one bedroom place but the living area is big enough for us to set up a temporary bed for any visitors that we hope will stay! We had seen 2 bed places but none were anywhere near as lovely as this place and we figured for the majority of the time it will just be us 2.

Our next job is to find a car….and wait for my work visa to come through so I can work. Gerald has been applying for jobs all weekend, he sent off about 8 applications by Sunday night so hopefully something positive will come out of that.

That’s all for now

Posted by bumblebum 15:46 Archived in New Zealand Tagged round_the_world Comments (2)

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