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The ups and downs of our planned new life to NZ, warts and all!

Wow, its been a while!Sun 4 October 2009
Goodness, where to begin...I've made a few references to the Wairarapa in my blog, specifically Martinbough.  We always have a good time in this Wellington wine region, and on one sunny day as were driving out, I saw this cottage for sale.  I said to Steve, hey why don't we buy a little weekender here?  Its close enough to get use out of, we'll make a good return if we rent it out during touristy times, and the mortgage will be so small, we won't even notice the monthly repayments.  And so, the idea was born.  We looked at one idyllic little cottage, Citrus cottage, so called for its orange tree.  We made a low offer because of issues relating to the title.  The issue being the vendor had built this cottage on his land, but neglected to tell the council.  The real estate agent was all blase about it.  It'll take a few weeks to sort out she said.  Steve wasn't buying it and we got a good lawyer, who warned us these things could take years.  We could essentially be paying a mortgage on a property that didn't exist.  Furthermore, the council could refuse it and we'd lose everything.  Wow!  Then we settled on another fruitful cottage, this time lemon.  Did it leave a bitter taste in our mouths I hear you ask?  Simply, yes!  We put in a bloody good offer.  The vendors were English - so we knew they'd be difficult.  The guy wanted to speak to his wife who was in the UK.  One week passed, and still not word on our offer.  We started to look around at other potentials, and found another little cutie for the same price, only marginally larger, this time with a ridiculous name after vermin?  Anyway, after two longs week we got the feedback that whilst the guy wanted to sign the offer, the wife couldn't part with the cottage just yet.  Bleugh.  Annoying.  This other cottage, 26, was for sale privately.  Simple?  Hell no, I would never buy privately again.  We relied heavily on our lawyer as you do when the property laws mean zilch to you.  These vendors didn't want to pay lawyer costs, so they kept faffing around, breaking property laws and all that.  FInally, at settlement day, they decided that whilst we should go ahead and put our money down, they'd like to keep furniture in there to sell.  So, I said, let me get this straight?  You want us to pay the mortgage, pay rates, etc while you swan in and out?  Yes, she said, we'll give you spare keys and everything!  Oh, the cheek!  When I said no that wasn't acceptable, she turned into a first class spoilt bitch.  Turns out she's in the film industry - don't want to make stereotypes here, but...Anyway, we had to delay settlement for another week because they weren't ready.  Finally the day before setttlement 2, we do our pre purcahse inspection and there's a cracked window.  The vendors admit liability, but don't want to pay for it!!  To be honest, we've been so sick of the stress and the ongoing drama, that we just said in the end, fine, sod it.  And thus, we now happily own 26.  We've ordered furniture will arrive in two weeks, as its got wooden floors, we're going for a modern contempory look.  The girls love it because its got a big garden.  Its not been landscaped, so we're going to put a lot of work into it.  There is a mirror image cottage next door and we met the owners of that.  Like us, its a weekend property, they're based in Wellington and they're really nice.  Phew!  We're having drinks with them in a couple of weeks, they have a five year old, so Moons will be chuffed to bits. 

In other news, I've just dotted along with my degree, it was my intention to become internal in year 2, but the local campus have cancelled this degree internally, I'll be forced to finish my next three years extramurally and its really bloody tedious.  So many people have asked what its like studying extramurally and whilst its good that I can have spare time to work, look after kids, etc, its also really hard to stay focused.  This end semester has proved particularly difficult because once you slip behind, it becomes a mountain to overcome and there's no one really to ask questions to.  The other degrees offered by the campus are not of interest to me.  So, I looked at another university here, and it turns out I have enough credits to apply for law school.  There are some great benefits to this, internal lectures, an onsite creche for Egg, some fantastic papers on offer.  Plus I'm already way ahead with my cross credits from Massey.  But on the downside, I'm anxious about studying something so complex.  A few years ago, I would have said, meh, law, easy!  But as I've gotten older, I've grown increasingly more aware of my limitations and what with my tendancy for highs and lows - how will I cope with the pressures?  I need to make my decision in a week!  The streams are capped to keep classes smaller.

Everyone else is well. Egg has undergone further tests on her kidney function, the first one was fine, but we're awaiting another one.  The last couple of weeks she's been more like herself which is lovely.  Moons is loving 'big' school.  Although I've still not learnt to stop saying God and Jesus all the time.  Even to her teachers.  Her reading ability has put her way ahead of her peers, which I'm really proud of.  Unfortunately, she now needs glasses, so she's inherited her Father's useless eyeballs.  Pip is still, well, Pip.  Stubborn, cute, diva, but she's loving her new early learning centre.  She'll be three in a week.  Gasp! 

Well, its school holidays here, so I'd better go and assess the damage downstairs...

Pip Three already OMGTue 6 October 2009
Damn doesnt time fly. I just realised yesterday that on Nov 5th we will have been here 4 years!

Well you sound much happier and more settled I'm pleased for all of you.

Well done on the degree studying, I used the Open University in the UK, you have my RESPECT
Posted by Dave+Jules

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