British Expats

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-   -   11 & a bit year update :) (https://britishexpats.com/forum/nz-update-146/11-bit-year-update-905779/)

Gra.B Nov 13th 2017 3:25 am

11 & a bit year update :)
 
Long time no post :lol:

Just been here looking for my old friend BEVS & figured I might post an 11yr update. It’s gonna be a tad boring for some/most, we lead a relatively quiet life, but for the equally mundane it might be interesting..

Brief background – at the time of moving here I was doing furniture restoration, previously repairing fruit machines, shop work etc, so no real trade/skill or anything, & my wife was a croupier. We were lucky enough to qualify under the family category as my bro-in-law was a citizen here (not sure how it works now) in Oamaru & we just had to find jobs to gain PR. We were just gonna all head out (3kids) on spec but thankfully a few weeks before we left a friend of bro-in-law said they looking for people to work on their dairy farm..

We’re from Southsea (Portsmouth) & never been near a cow, or a farm for that matter, but said to ourselves (& the employer) that we would commit to it for 1yr & see what happens. Job included a nice enough house, I worked full time & my wife part time, mostly just milking. Crazy hours & hard work but we just really enjoyed it. Ended up staying there for 2yrs, then moved up to a 2IC position on another farm for year, then moved again to manage a 700 cow farm & followed that by sharemilking on same place.

After 6yrs farming we kinda got as far as we initially wanted..but we were pretty drained by then. I’d say that farming was a major part in us having a successful move over here. Such a complete change of lifestyle plus we got lucky with most of our employers.
Anyway said we’d move to town for a year (still Oamaru) & go back farming if we missed it. Had a bought a house previously (with a full mortgage) we were renting out so moved in there. Racquel got a job in supermarket & I did delivery work for a bit….but then our favourite pizza place came up for sale! Bank surprisingly lent us the money & we’ve now been here 5yrs! Was intitially a franchise, kinda, but we recently managed to get out of that so are now independent.

Honestly can say we’ve never been happier. We work 7days, always together, make stuff all money & barely get by, our house is cold, 80’s kitchen/bathroom that we can’t afford to change, lovely garden though…but yes we actually love it & don’t care too much about the bad stuff..

We love Oamaru. Perfect balance of everything for us, good schools, great people, quirkiness, plenty to get involved with if you want but equally can just live life under the radar like we do! Life is just easy.

Our 2 oldest boys now in early 20s, enjoyed school & got through quite happily but didn’t excel, very much like me. Now living together on the West Coast, one working in a supermarket, other in a motel. Again loving life over there.
Youngest is now 18 & did excel in school, just done first year at Otago Uni & you could say he’s a world class guitarist and making a name for himself. Something I think may not have happened had we stayed in Uk, not sure, but living here certainly allowed him to focus on things. He’s our retirement plan.

Other reasons it may have worked for us? Small town NZ really worked for us but yeah probably not for most! The family thing with Racquel’s brother & family being here., & me not having much back in UK. Was a little harder for the older 2 boys as their mother is still in UK. They did get back a few times though & she came out but they are still very thankful they came.
We’ve never been back though, & have no real intention of it, and no plans to leave Oamaru.

So yeah that’s about it.. No doubt not everyone’s cup of tea but it suits us perfectly.

:p

BEVS Nov 13th 2017 5:30 am

Re: 11 & a bit year update :)
 
Hey ! I'm here Gra. Right where I left myself :eek:

Sounds perfick for you and your family . It's a fab area I think and perhaps we should have moved there - except it had to be where the work was.

Yeah. For reasons I can't now remember I checked out your youngest a bit ago ( years) & thought he seemed to be doing well on the plinkety plink front.
I very nearly raised a teeny weeny smile from him once upon a time over a decade ago.

We were down in Oamaru a while back. September last year. Steampunk and penguins . Rented a place for a few nights.

Then down in Dunedin a couple of months back as I won a competition.

Gra.B Nov 13th 2017 7:54 am

Re: 11 & a bit year update :)
 
Yeah it's pretty cool here. Wish I'd kept in touch...will catch you next time passing through :)

BEVS Nov 13th 2017 7:23 pm

Re: 11 & a bit year update :)
 

Originally Posted by Gra.B (Post 12380795)
Yeah it's pretty cool here. Wish I'd kept in touch...will catch you next time passing through :)

Yup. 'We'll connect' as they say these days.

We're still up here in Mapua doing our thing. Sky popped up a bit ago. Still around the Rangiora area with a bit of a lifestyle block. Fooferfish ( the roofer) is somewhere south of Dunedin. Obviously Southerner is still in Dunedin . His Mum lives near to us.

bearskin Dec 11th 2017 11:05 pm

Re: 11 & a bit year update :)
 
Hi Gra!
Glad to hear its all going well. :thumbsup:

southerner Jan 9th 2018 11:35 pm

Re: 11 & a bit year update :)
 
Hi Gra
Good to hear your update.
We will have to find a good pizza next time we're in Oamaru (normally get up for a day or weekend at some time during the summer), and will look out for your son too in the Dunners music scene (my son is also getting into Rockquest and all that, although a few years younger).

Gra.B Jan 15th 2018 9:40 am

Re: 11 & a bit year update :)
 

Originally Posted by bearskin (Post 12398091)
Hi Gra!
Glad to hear its all going well. :thumbsup:

Haha long time! Thanks, hope you're well too :)

Gra.B Jan 15th 2018 9:49 am

Re: 11 & a bit year update :)
 

Originally Posted by southerner (Post 12415105)
Hi Gra
Good to hear your update.
We will have to find a good pizza next time we're in Oamaru (normally get up for a day or weekend at some time during the summer), and will look out for your son too in the Dunners music scene (my son is also getting into Rockquest and all that, although a few years younger).

Thanks Blair, hope things are all good with you guys.

We might not be in the restaurant much longer if all goes to plan, might have to do a new update.. but yeah drop in if it's still 'Oscars'! (opposite farmers).

Rockquest is pretty cool to get into, Joseph did it one year & made the national final, came second in the end but meant they came down & did a few days recording of him around town etc. Plus he did some recording up at Neil Finn's studio, so yeah def worth doing!


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