A Travellerspoint blog

Fings we done

like, that were, like, fun

rain 10 °C

what to do in new zealand? go places, thats what...

a few weekends ago was queen's birthday weekend which means its a long weekend (or bank holiday weekend for those in blighty). note that queen's birthday is celebrated on different days around the world. which means the queen must hold the world record for the number of birthdays in a single year.

anyway, it's early june, getting cold here in auckland, and the weather is turning - it's officially winter. so the best idea is to go further south and also gain some altitude to make sure it is even colder - so we went to taupo!

(note for those that don't know, taupo is a town on the side of lake taupo, a huge lake in the centre-ish of the north island, called the events capital of new zealand and where the a1 grand prix used to be held. the lake is the caldera of a stupidly big volcano that erupted a long long time ago, and is only dormant, so we are waiting for it to blow up again. best not to be around when it does)

so on saturday we hired ourselves a car (this was the weekend just after anita got hit from behind) and took off to the cooler south! it was all planned by me as a suprise for anita, a bit of a get away to see more of the country and get away from home for a bit.

we stayed a huka falls lodge in a little studio room. and man, was it cold when we got there! the room felt like it had not been heated for a while, but we got the heater on and closed all the curtains, and then went out to have a look around. now, since it was a long weekend, the weather was crap, as happens everywhere. so saturday afternoon and evening we took a look at huka falls and some of the geothermal sights around taupo.
Geothermal walk

Geothermal walk

and then the rain set in. the rest of the weekend we took a look at what was on offer from inside the warmth of the car or museum type places. we did drive up to whakapapa, to the top of the bruce, to see the sights, of which there were none as the clouds started before we got to ruapehu, and we did not leave it until we were on the way back to taupo again. but the chateau looked nice once we could see it.

and thats about it really. a relaxing weekend away, fully deserved after the stress of crash thursday!


Posted by Big.G 00:35 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

The End Is Nigh

Less than six weeks and counting

sunny 16 °C


It's been a while since I wrote on this blog thing, so thought I'd write a quick entry while Anita is at the Chiro.

So, we've not got long left now. Which is a shame, because it's been fun. But at the same time it will be nice to be on the move again. And there is the fact that New Zealand is bloody cold at the moment! Not as cold as we get in London, but it's down to 3 degrees tonight in balmy Auckland, and double glazing and central heating are not things in the standard building language here! Being in an apartment block is not so bad - the surrounding apartments help keep us warm, much warmer than other houses that we've been in recently!

I've been playing hockey while here, which has helped me stay in constant aching pain: practice on Tuesday at 9pm (cold!), training run on Thursday and game on Sunday, my poor aging body just doesn't have enough time to recover! And even though I'm playing centre forward, I have yet to score a goal. But the position does mean I spend less time running about, which is a good thing (both for me and spectators I am sure).

Our poor little Golf ('Kubes') has passed away, leaving us richer due to the insurance company thinking it was worth more than what we paid for it. Well, thats what we think they said - 5 grand is what they think and we bought it for 4.5k. Nice. We've decided to go with a cheap rental for the rest of the time we are here, costs only $19 a day. Much cheaper than buying, insuring, fixing, registering etc our own one.

And Telecom has decided they want me for the rest of my contract. They had told me it was going to be cut short, finishing the contract a couple of months early, the date was going to be the 24th June. But today I got the news that they want me right through to the 3rd September. Which is nice, a pity that we leave in July. :o) They'll get over the news I am sure.

What else? Plans for the next 6 weeks are underway. There are lots of people to go see and say good bye to, a rugby test in Hamilton to go to, a sisters birthday in Wellington (where we have booked to stay in a lighthouse!!), figuring out how to get all our junk back to the UK again, getting tax refunds and planning on what to do once we are back! We've already decided on a date for a "We're Back" evening in Wimbledon, and Anita is starting to look for a car to buy already. I guess it's almost time to start looking for a job over there too (any offers?).

I better go now - dinner needs to be cooked! Hope you are all well and enjoying the glow of NZ football team! Go the All Whites!! Wooo! (yes Pete, white is the new black, at least for the next couple of weeks)

Thats all for now!

Posted by Big.G 00:13 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Crash, bang, whallop!

sunny 14 °C


Thought I would send a bit of an update......

Well I guess the most dramatic thing that has happened since the last blog was an event from yesterday. I was coming home from a day's teaching in a decile 1 school (10 being the highest/best!) so that will give you an idea of what kind of day I had had......so I'm sitting in my car at traffic lights and the next thing I know BANG!!! Some idiot has ploughed into my car with enough force that neither of the doors on my side would open, the bumper is hanging off, the brake lights no longer work and the boot wont close. Luckily I am not really hurt, I just have some strained muscles in my neck where my head flew forwards and then bashed back into the headrest. So once I got home it was an evening of phonecalls to the insurance company etc - not fun! Today the tow truck is coming to take it to be assessed and we have the horrid feeling that it will be written off which is a HUGE pain as we only have 7 weeks left here so it is going to be a huge hassle if we have to buy another car for such a short time but what else can we do!!?

I have still been getting a steady stream of work and hardly ever get a day off now. G has been working hard and has had lots of overtime recently which is all good from the money point of view but working til midnight every night for a week was not good from the sleep point of view!

Last week we went to see a movie called Boy which is a kiwi film that has had great reviews. We both really enjoyed it, it had such great one liners in it, if it heads to your part of the world I recommend that you go and see it!

We had a lovely meal with Kirsten and Andrew the other weekend and it was good to catch up with them as we hadn't seen them for a while. We also had a birthday meal with a small number of G's family (20 if us!!!) to celebrate Gerald's nan's 94th, we left there barely able to move the portions were so good!

This weekend is Queen's Birthday weekend so Gerald has arranged a surprise weekend away for us - I have no idea where we are off to but I will find out tomorrow!

So that is about it from me for now

Posted by bumblebum 14:50 Archived in New Zealand Comments (1)

Update from Auckland

sunny 18 °C

Hello All!

The last couple of weeks have been quite busy, I have worked almost everyday and even got offered a job! When I arrived at the private school one day (after just 4 previous visits) I was called into the Principal's office and asked how long I was going to be in NZ for. I told her we were leaving at the end of July and she told me she was disappointed as she was going to offer me a job in a New Entrants (5 year olds) class. No application or interview, a job on a plate! Obviously I had to turn it down which was a shame as it is a lovely school and you can guarantee next time I am wanting a job it will not fall into my lap like that!!!

Gerald has had 2 more trips to the rugby and of course 2 more losses!!! So not a good season for The Chiefs at all.

On Tuesday we went to a burlesque show at the Town Hall which was part of the Auckland Comedy Festival, it was a very entertaining night with lots and lots of laughs from a very talented bunch of people.

Thursday my friend Nancy arrived from Sydney. It was great to see her and Gerald and I tried to show her some of the sights of Auckland as it was her first trip to NZ.
We spent a good part of Friday at the zoo in the sunshine and as it was so beautiful weather wise I then took her for a drive up Mount Eden for the awesome views over Auckland and beyond and the we went for a nice walk around The Domain.
On Saturday we headed to the West coast to Bethells Beach but just as we arrived it started to pour down so after a little walk we headed back home and did some retail therapy instead and followed that with a great night out on Ponsonby Road doing a bit of a bar crawl!
Sunday was a lazy day with another trip to the theatre - this time Avenue Q which was hilarious and Nancy treated us to a Chinese afterwards which was delicious. I have just dropped her off at the airport and now the apartment seems very quiet and empty.

I am back to work tomorrow and am already booked in for Friday, hopefully Wednesday and Thursday will fill up too.

Think that is about it for now

Posted by bumblebum 20:05 Archived in New Zealand Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Windy Wellington, Work and Wicked Wednesdays

but no WIN for the Chiefs!

semi-overcast 18 °C

Hello all!

Well Gerald continues to jinx any success the Chiefs may have, with a further 2 losses and a draw since my last email! Let's see if this weekend will be any different, he is off to Hamilton on Saturday night to see them....

Gerald has now taken up hockey as a way to keep fit, the first few sessions pretty much killed him and he ached for days afterwards (and moaned about it!) but he is enjoying it. The team are quite commited and expect everyone to run 9km every Thursday night as well as train on a Tuesday and play against other teams on a Sunday. Not my idea of fun!

Since schools have gone back I have been working loads! Last week I did 4 of the 5 days, this week I am fully booked and I am already booked in for 2 days next week - no rest for the wicked! All the schools are ones I have taught at before which is nice as I know how to get to the school, know the routines and lots of the children. I am now getting requested by schools as they all seem happy with me, a private school I have taught at said I was 'the best find in years' which I thought was very nice!!!

Last Wednesday we saw the Stereophonics at a venue pretty much on our doorstep (The Powerstation), it was a great night and they did all the hits we were hoping for. The venue only holds about 1000 so once they left the stage we headed out to walk home and amazingly were back in our apartment in under 5 minutes, life in the city is so convienient!!!

This Wednesday we were at the Civic theatre to see Rent. The theatre out here is a huge deal compared to in London where there are so many that you can just grab a great deal off the street at the last minute. We felt very under-dressed as everybody was in their 'best' clothes and the theatre was PACKED! I think the last time we went in London the theatre was so empty, despite being a big broadway show, we were upgraded to better seats much nearer the front! We really enjoyed it and it was another good night out. Shows only tend to be on for 2 weeks before touring the rest of the country so you have to be quick off the mark getting your tickets.

For the weekend entertainment we flew to Wellington to see both of Gerald's sisters and the children. Wellington is known for being windy and we hit some great turbulance on the way there, the wind definitely chilled things down but it was sunny most of the time. On saturday I was given a tour of Wellington with a nice drive around the main parts. In the evening Gerald and Kevin went to the rugby with the kids Nicholas and Kate whilst Alison and I went for drinks in the city. On the Sunday we had a family brunch and then we played 18 holes of crazy golf in this cool place called Carlucciwood. The place has been decorated with all these crazy sculptures made of scrap metal and the like. It was a really cool place and the more you looked the more you saw! The course was lots of fun even though I was absolutely rubbish at it!

So that brings us up to date with everything.....hope this finds everybody well and happy

Posted by bumblebum 21:48 Archived in New Zealand Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

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