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-   -   A year later..... (https://britishexpats.com/forum/new-zealand-83/year-later-377803/)

SarahB Jun 6th 2006 11:03 am

A year later.....
 
Oh gosh, we left UK to come here a year ago tomorrow. Thats gone pretty quick. I remember it all so well..... all the lists.... all the organising.... trying to remember everything.... trying to fit in visits to see everyone to say good bye and not managing it. All the different emotions... excitement to be going and sadness to be leaving everyone behind.

So what have we done in the last year. Well, we had a stop in LA on the way here for 3 days....hmmm.... less said about that the better although I picked up some nice trainers and a new watch.

For the first 2 weeks we stayed with OH's boss in St Johns. They lived in a lovely house.... my son enjoyed playing with their older daughter. OH went off to work the very next day after arriving here and I was left all alone with my son in their house.... I wasnt too happy about this as I had no transport, even the shops were miles away. I started getting really depressed and wondered what the hell we'd done.

He managed to get a day off work and bosses car.... and we went house hunting... all the houses we saw were on tiny little plots... I hated the way all the houses were in each others gardens. I never expected Auckland to be like that and neither did OH.... hes lived in Oz and for some reason expected it to be more like where he lived there. I got more and more depressed as we saw more and more houses and they were either next to filthy industrial sites or on the side of State Highway 1 or in somebodys elses garden and totally overlooked.... a good fenced garden was a priority as we had a 19 month old at the time... we just could not find one. In the end we agreed to rent a house in Wattle Downs.... the road it was on was well kept and smart.

We bought 2 cars from Esanda, Mount Wellington. A small runaround Honda tin can thing for me and a newish Mondeo for OH to go to work in.

After 3 days in that house we decided we just could not stay there. The house had a few problems that the Rental Company said they would sort and they just didnt. The cooker didnt work and was falling apart.... the waste disposal squirted mashed up crap everywhere into the cupboard beneath it.... yes I rang them but it was never fixed. The house seemed very damp all day and we bought a dehumidifier at The Warehouse and left it on night and day... we also bought oil-filled radiators as suggested to us.... big mistake.... first leccy bill was over $200 for just a week!!! :eek:

All it seemed to do was rain.... I was left at home with DS and just ended up walking around the shops trying to find him some toys he might play with. I didnt know anybody and when things went wrong I felt I had nobody to turn to and got so depressed I remember writing emails back to my friends in the UK, they were worried about me... I sounded so unhappy.

OH rang me and suggested I go look for somewhere else to live.... I had to hurry as I knew the container from UK would be with us in a few weeks. I drove out East to Beachlands and Maraetai, I walked into the local Estate Agents and luckily the rental lady was there to speak to me. She gave me several addresses to go and drive past to see if I liked the look of them. I saw several houses in Maraetai but they didnt seem too toddler friendly. I drove past the house we are in now in Bell Road, Beachlands and thought... wow thats nice. We agreed to look at it at the weekend even though the rent was a lot more than we really wanted to pay. We loved it when we saw it and arranged to move in a couple weeks later..... just 3 days before our container arrived.

I met a lady with a little boy down at the park on the beach and she gave me the details of the Playgroups in the area. I went and immediately got introduced to a British lady who has become one of my good friends here. Strangely enough the coffee group that we have is made of British people. I have met some lovely kiwi women but I really think that they have their own friends and family here and dont really need any more in their lives. So us British tend to stick together and we have a good old "whinging pom moan" .... we laugh at a lot of the things here. We are all friendly and welcome others into our group as we know what its like knowing nobody here. We help each other through the different stages of Culture Shock too.

After a few weeks here I knew I wanted a horse again.... I had a horse in UK and had to leave him behind as he was photosensitive and had rain allergies.... no good for this climate! I secured some grazing and then went to see a lady who rescues ex racing Standardbreds from petfood fate. I rode a couple and decided to buy the naughtiest liveliest one who tried to chuck me off.... mad yeah I know! He's only a baby but hes turning into a beautiful kind natured horse who Im proud to own. The riding here is pretty limited but I get to ride down into the sea near Whitford which was always something I wanted to do.

We havnt really got out and about too much to be honest. We've been and done the touristy things in Auckland... we've been to Piha and Waihi... we stayed in Papamoa for a couple of days. The countryside is beautiful and the beaches are all amazing and all so different to each other.

OH moans about the driving into work.... the roads really are a nightmare around Auckland! I dont see it as its pretty quiet out here but I can see why he gets frustrated.

We suddenly decided the other week that we dont want to rent anymore. Its time to buy a place in Beachlands before we get priced out. My house sale in the UK is going through, the tenant is buying the house off me.... Im so glad she likes it so much. We are buying an older style house here but its on a full section (1/4 acre) and has plenty of room for all our still yet to be unpacked boxes!

My parents came out here to visit us in February.... the weather wasnt that great for them but a lot warmer than UK. They have decided they wouldnt want to live here as they are too old now to make the move which is fair enough... they have a good life there. It was good of them to come out and see us.

Ive just found out that I'm pregnant again so I'm to have a little kiwi this time.

Everything is so different here... it takes time to get used to it and along the way you experience so many different emotions and thoughts. Ive hated this country and everything kiwi to start with...... then I kinda got used to it a bit and laughed at the funny way they say things or moaned to my friends about the cost of things or the lack of choice here..... eventually you get through this and start to prefer living here to UK.... I certainly do now. Ive had extremely difficult times where Ive cried my eyes out, specially when my parents left to go back to UK, I was just a wreck.... but everyday I just marvel at the beautiful place we live in... I wonder if I could ever get fed up with the views here? People seem generally friendlier and less stressed.

The hardest thing for me is missing my family. I dont really miss UK that much and I cant imagine we will move back there but we do still own a town house there so we could go back if we really wanted. I still have days that are quite difficult.... I feel very alone most of the time as OH is out of the house for 12 hours a day because of the busy roads. There are pros and cons to living here but we are making the best of it. I'd love to be able to see more of New Zealand but money is tight right now.

Good luck to everyone whos moving here. Its a huge adventure and you will have ups and downs..... ride it out and give it a chance... its a lovely place to live.... and the weathers not too bad either! :)

waynepfry Jun 6th 2006 3:18 pm

Re: A year later.....
 
[ :)[/QUOTE]
hi sarah,
lovely to hear you are settled after only a year,enjoyed reading your experiences and thanks for sharing them with us .
i hope my family will be as happy as yours.
good luck with the move .
jane

shepslady Jun 6th 2006 4:00 pm

Re: A year later.....
 
Wow Sarah Cant believe its been a year already.:eek:

Can remember the days just before you were due to fly out, how anxious you were & who could blame you. Ive loved reading your updates & am so thrilled to see how well you are settling in.

Congrats on the pregnancy...how exciting to think this baby is going to be a Kiwi Brit. That really is something special for you & hubby isnt it.

Im happy to know you have made friends there but it saddens me to think that none of your friends are Kiwis....seems so sad & selfish that none of them have taken or made the time to get to know you. Obviously its there loss. Its hard educating some people that its really good to broaden your outlook on life by bringing new people into your circle.

Anyhow Happy 1st Anniversary.

regards & best wishes to you & yours

Cindy

Nice Guy Jun 6th 2006 7:11 pm

Nice post!
 
Congratulations SarahB on reaching your first birthday.

A lovely post epitomising most of the emotions, trials and tribulations that most of us experience one time or another.

We are into our 5th year and are still so grateful that we wake up in this wonderful land happy (although I’m by nature a miserable individual).

annaerb Jun 6th 2006 7:53 pm

Re: A year later.....
 
Sarah, That was a lovely read.

Congratulations on your 1st year in NZ and hope you have many, many, more happy years hear.

I came to NZ when I was 3 and have just celebrated 40 years in NZ. I know nothing else really and am proud to say I'm a Kiwi, yes I probably do say Fush & Chups plus say numerous other things that would make you laugh and I would probably laugh at things that you said also.

I came on these sites to find info for my cousin who is looking to move to NZ, anyway I thought if I could help someone coming to NZ that would be great.

I have now met a few people from these sites and have made some great UK friends.
I have some new arrivals coming over today for a visit. They have only been here a week and have put an offer on a house already.

I know you only live up the road but maybe we can meet for a coffee sometime.

Keep you chin up,

Carol

Jude J Jun 7th 2006 12:50 am

Re: A year later.....
 
I have been here almost 4 years and i'm sad to say that I dont have many kiwi friends either! The couple I have are lovely and I enjoy being with them but it is nearly always me that has to arrange for this to happen.

I also have my own 'baby kiwi' born December 05 and I honestly think that if we didn't live here we would never have had another baby. She was a complete suprise as I have two older teenagers and we were enjoying some freedom as they were getting older, a weekend away in Bay of Islands, another weekend in Taupo, then wow! another baby on the way! Its different here though, we have a lovely relaxed life even though we both work, every day in the summer I took her to the beach, she had been for her first dip in the sea before her first birthday! It truely is a great place to bring up children.

Like you Sarah, I really miss my family. My parents and youngest sister came in Feb, it was fantastic but very emotional at the airport saying goodbye. I have never wanted to go back to England but right now is a difficult time as my oldest sister who lives in Germany has breast cancer and I wish I could be there for her and my parents.

kathm Jun 7th 2006 12:51 am

Re: A year later.....
 
Hi Sarah,

So glad it is all working out so well for you, and huge congratulations on your pregnancy!!!

I remember you posting about Beachlands when I was in the UK asking about Auckland areas as I was convinced that as hubby is an IT business analyst we would end up in Auckland. I showed my mum pictures of your house that you sent me at the time and she thought it all looked so amazing.
I guess at the time you had only been there about 3 months. We have been here 5 months now - in Papamoa - and love it. Hopefully it will continue to go well for both of us.

Thanks for your support and advice when I needed it - next time you're in Papamoa, get in touch and come for a coffee!!!

Bye for now - Congrats again
Love Kathryn

SarahB Jun 7th 2006 4:34 am

Re: A year later.....
 
Wow... thanks for all your replies. I never realised I typed so much but in a year theres a lot to tell isnt there.

Annaerb.... when I got here it was like I spoke a different language... people couldnt understand me at all. You get used to the kiwi accent after a while although the odd thing on tv still makes us giggle sometimes. Yes, we ought to meet up one day, preferably before I get too fat to fit behind the wheel of my car.... :scared:

Congratulations on your little kiwi Jude J.... I had a friend back home who was in her 40's and had 2 grown up and moved out sons.... she had a 3rd baby with a new partner, a little girl and loved it so much this time round.

I wouldnt even go with my parents to the airport.... I just stayed at home and cried my eyes out for about 3 days!! Its all just so painful. I was fine once I got back to normal and did all the usual Playgroup stuff but even whilst they were here it kinda puts a dampner on things knowing they had to leave. My DS is their only grandchild and I feel so mean to have taken him away from them. Mum has already mentioned coming out again next year when bub is here but I'm not going to mention it again, I'll leave that up to them.

My best friend told me she had breast cancer right before we left UK and that was so difficult leaving her so I kinda understand where youre coming from. She has had treatment all last year and was doing well but a couple of weeks ago they found a lump in her neck and now she is waiting for the results of tests.

You are so lucky to live down there Kathryn!! It would be perfect for us as there was plenty of fields for me to keep my horse and those fantastic beaches!!! I cant see us staying in Auckland indefinately anyway.... ideal for us is to buy a lifestyle plot and keep a few animals.... but its just the problem of living where the work is.

Beachlands is lovely, the surrounding areas are nice too.... its an ideal place to bring up kiddies..... no more for me though after this one!! As I keep saying Im way too old for all this!!! :eek: :scared:

poppets Jun 10th 2006 4:07 am

Re: A year later.....
 

Originally Posted by SarahB
.....My DS is their only grandchild and I feel so mean to have taken him away from them......

Hi Sarah,
know what you mean on this point, i am an only child so my 2 kids are the only grandchildren my parents will have. Mum & Dad are coming out at Christmas (& she'll probably drive me nuts) but i'm fairly confident that they will come over for good one day.
I hope your friends ok, that must be hard for you both to deal with, i miss my mates awfully, but they should be out soon too.
Take care

westies Jun 14th 2006 7:16 am

Re: A year later.....
 
Hi Sarah
What a fantastic story, we have been here since March we arrived and after reading your threads headed off for Beachlands, my daughter is horse mad, and I would love to get one, it seemed an ideal place to own a horse, however hubby wasn't convinced, too far from the city where work is so we ended in Titirangi, and we love it!!

Would love to come and see you 1 day, remember you sent some piccies of your horse to our daughter Aby, she is 8 and our youngest 3, so it would be good to catch up! Aby has just started horse riding again, and loves it! I would love to get back into it again but am quite nervie at the moment.

Congratulations on the pregnancy too!!

Tracey x

bookemjano Jun 14th 2006 9:50 am

Re: A year later.....
 
Great update Sarah, and fantastic news about the pregnancy, congratulations.

SarahB Jun 14th 2006 7:18 pm

Re: A year later.....
 
Thanks everyone.

It is pretty quiet out here at Beachlands, I could see why older kids would get bored here.... its great for toddlers though.

We thought about looking at Titirangi area the other month but I really didnt want to leave my friends that I've made here and start again.

I like the livery yard my horse is at too and hes looked after even when I cant get down to see him. Theres plenty of grazing and its not too expensive too. I can ride in the sea and theres a couple of nice bridleways. Glad to hear Aby is enjoying her riding..... she'll end up wanting a pony!! lol I pestered my parents for years when I was younger but they never gave in although I tried every trick in the book to get what I wanted.

Poppets, still not heard any news from my friend.... fingers crossed XX I had wondered if my parents would come and live here but they say they are way too old now to make the move... they have a nice life over there and have loads of friends and relatives so I dont blame them.

mumomonty Jun 17th 2006 8:13 am

Re: A year later.....
 
Hi Sarah, You've got a good attitude; I admire the way you've settled so quickly. It took me soooooooo long, wallowing and strugglilng. it's refreshing to hear about your year.
Well done :-)

Originally Posted by SarahB
Oh gosh, we left UK to come here a year ago tomorrow. Thats gone pretty quick. I remember it all so well..... all the lists.... all the organising.... trying to remember everything.... trying to fit in visits to see everyone to say good bye and not managing it. All the different emotions... excitement to be going and sadness to be leaving everyone behind.

So what have we done in the last year. Well, we had a stop in LA on the way here for 3 days....hmmm.... less said about that the better although I picked up some nice trainers and a new watch.

For the first 2 weeks we stayed with OH's boss in St Johns. They lived in a lovely house.... my son enjoyed playing with their older daughter. OH went off to work the very next day after arriving here and I was left all alone with my son in their house.... I wasnt too happy about this as I had no transport, even the shops were miles away. I started getting really depressed and wondered what the hell we'd done.

He managed to get a day off work and bosses car.... and we went house hunting... all the houses we saw were on tiny little plots... I hated the way all the houses were in each others gardens. I never expected Auckland to be like that and neither did OH.... hes lived in Oz and for some reason expected it to be more like where he lived there. I got more and more depressed as we saw more and more houses and they were either next to filthy industrial sites or on the side of State Highway 1 or in somebodys elses garden and totally overlooked.... a good fenced garden was a priority as we had a 19 month old at the time... we just could not find one. In the end we agreed to rent a house in Wattle Downs.... the road it was on was well kept and smart.

We bought 2 cars from Esanda, Mount Wellington. A small runaround Honda tin can thing for me and a newish Mondeo for OH to go to work in.

After 3 days in that house we decided we just could not stay there. The house had a few problems that the Rental Company said they would sort and they just didnt. The cooker didnt work and was falling apart.... the waste disposal squirted mashed up crap everywhere into the cupboard beneath it.... yes I rang them but it was never fixed. The house seemed very damp all day and we bought a dehumidifier at The Warehouse and left it on night and day... we also bought oil-filled radiators as suggested to us.... big mistake.... first leccy bill was over $200 for just a week!!! :eek:

All it seemed to do was rain.... I was left at home with DS and just ended up walking around the shops trying to find him some toys he might play with. I didnt know anybody and when things went wrong I felt I had nobody to turn to and got so depressed I remember writing emails back to my friends in the UK, they were worried about me... I sounded so unhappy.

OH rang me and suggested I go look for somewhere else to live.... I had to hurry as I knew the container from UK would be with us in a few weeks. I drove out East to Beachlands and Maraetai, I walked into the local Estate Agents and luckily the rental lady was there to speak to me. She gave me several addresses to go and drive past to see if I liked the look of them. I saw several houses in Maraetai but they didnt seem too toddler friendly. I drove past the house we are in now in Bell Road, Beachlands and thought... wow thats nice. We agreed to look at it at the weekend even though the rent was a lot more than we really wanted to pay. We loved it when we saw it and arranged to move in a couple weeks later..... just 3 days before our container arrived.

I met a lady with a little boy down at the park on the beach and she gave me the details of the Playgroups in the area. I went and immediately got introduced to a British lady who has become one of my good friends here. Strangely enough the coffee group that we have is made of British people. I have met some lovely kiwi women but I really think that they have their own friends and family here and dont really need any more in their lives. So us British tend to stick together and we have a good old "whinging pom moan" .... we laugh at a lot of the things here. We are all friendly and welcome others into our group as we know what its like knowing nobody here. We help each other through the different stages of Culture Shock too.

After a few weeks here I knew I wanted a horse again.... I had a horse in UK and had to leave him behind as he was photosensitive and had rain allergies.... no good for this climate! I secured some grazing and then went to see a lady who rescues ex racing Standardbreds from petfood fate. I rode a couple and decided to buy the naughtiest liveliest one who tried to chuck me off.... mad yeah I know! He's only a baby but hes turning into a beautiful kind natured horse who Im proud to own. The riding here is pretty limited but I get to ride down into the sea near Whitford which was always something I wanted to do.

We havnt really got out and about too much to be honest. We've been and done the touristy things in Auckland... we've been to Piha and Waihi... we stayed in Papamoa for a couple of days. The countryside is beautiful and the beaches are all amazing and all so different to each other.

OH moans about the driving into work.... the roads really are a nightmare around Auckland! I dont see it as its pretty quiet out here but I can see why he gets frustrated.

We suddenly decided the other week that we dont want to rent anymore. Its time to buy a place in Beachlands before we get priced out. My house sale in the UK is going through, the tenant is buying the house off me.... Im so glad she likes it so much. We are buying an older style house here but its on a full section (1/4 acre) and has plenty of room for all our still yet to be unpacked boxes!

My parents came out here to visit us in February.... the weather wasnt that great for them but a lot warmer than UK. They have decided they wouldnt want to live here as they are too old now to make the move which is fair enough... they have a good life there. It was good of them to come out and see us.

Ive just found out that I'm pregnant again so I'm to have a little kiwi this time.

Everything is so different here... it takes time to get used to it and along the way you experience so many different emotions and thoughts. Ive hated this country and everything kiwi to start with...... then I kinda got used to it a bit and laughed at the funny way they say things or moaned to my friends about the cost of things or the lack of choice here..... eventually you get through this and start to prefer living here to UK.... I certainly do now. Ive had extremely difficult times where Ive cried my eyes out, specially when my parents left to go back to UK, I was just a wreck.... but everyday I just marvel at the beautiful place we live in... I wonder if I could ever get fed up with the views here? People seem generally friendlier and less stressed.

The hardest thing for me is missing my family. I dont really miss UK that much and I cant imagine we will move back there but we do still own a town house there so we could go back if we really wanted. I still have days that are quite difficult.... I feel very alone most of the time as OH is out of the house for 12 hours a day because of the busy roads. There are pros and cons to living here but we are making the best of it. I'd love to be able to see more of New Zealand but money is tight right now.

Good luck to everyone whos moving here. Its a huge adventure and you will have ups and downs..... ride it out and give it a chance... its a lovely place to live.... and the weathers not too bad either! :)


England Girl Jun 23rd 2006 7:35 am

Re: A year later.....
 
So glad you have settled and are making a good go of it - I remember reading your posts last year when you were a bit down. It's great to see you have come out of it on the other side.

I hope you get to make some Kiwi friends soon - nearly all my friends in NZ are Kiwis (been back in UK for 15 months but heading back in September and I can't wait!). But i do remember when i went to a farewell and out of 13 people only one was a Kiwi, and I was only one of three Brits (rest were Israeli, American or Malaysian).

Congrats on your pregnancy and good luck for the next 12 months.

Alison

NZ_Narbetts Jul 11th 2006 7:30 am

Re: A year later.....
 
Congrats on baby kiwi! Your read made me cry! I've been here a week and i feel like we've made a big mistake. I know i have to give it time. We have 3 children and know no- one. My hubby starts work next week and i'm scared i'm gonna be down and depressed


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