3 months in

Old Oct 2nd 2013, 4:03 pm
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Default 3 months in

Sorry I've not been around, busy, busy, busy and this place can get a bit addictive at times. A bit like checking your phone or facebook or twitter for no real reason. So have allowed myself to forget about for BE for a bit.

Anyway, we have these titbits;

Moved in to an apartment that we bought.

Found a Kindy for the little one, who incidentally turns 3 next week and gets those 20 hours 'free'.

I have a job, which came with a car and fuel card, with 'reasonable' personal use. This job is initially until the end of February, although nothing is set in stone, I reckon I'll be here for good after that. Noises are being made. Positive ones.

Life on the whole is pretty good, although my wife is yet to find work. But to be honest a good kick up the botty from someone (other than me) would be useful. She doesn't appear to be in a rush and is enjoying her Yoga mornings rather too much for my liking.

Observations;

The humdrum of life is still the same as anywhere I guess? We still have to pay the bills and rent/mortgage. We still have to provide for the family. We still have to get up when the alarm goes off for work. We still have ONLY 24 hours in the day.

However, I am spending far more time doing family stuff. The car for instance allows me to pop to the supermarket at lunch time, drop it all off back at home. I work perhaps and hour more a day, but I spend approximately 90 mins a day less getting to and from work (it's a 10 minute walk, each way). We're also doing much more in spare time as a family. All whilst I still get to gym and get to ride my bike, the wife still gets yoga 3 times a week (and has the time and ability to do more) and we spend more time with friends with youngish children.

I suppose you could say we have found some balance and my wife and I are getting on much better. Not that we felt we got on badly before, it was just what we knew - but it's somehow different now. We're happier. There seems to be a lot more time to talk to each other about stuff other than the life admin (bills, food shopping, getting the kid ready for stuff).

It's been really nice to just sit down of an evening and watch TV on the sofa. It sounds lame typing it, but we NEVER did this in London, simply because there was no time to do so. So whilst there is still ONLY 24 hours in a day, I'm filling those hours much more on my terms, although there's still now enough hours in a day

I've played Rugby. I've joined a Cricket Club.

These have been crucial to settling in. Making friends with locals who have similar interests. Both groups have been absolute gold for me settling in to Kiwi life. There's people from all walks of life that have been magnificent about understand what it is to be 'Kiwi', how they treat each other and how they treat us expats.

I IMPLORE ANYONE WHO MOVES ABROAD, NOT JUST TO NEW ZEALAND, THAT THEY MUST MEET LIKE MINDED PEOPLE WHO ARE LIKELY BE A MIXTURE OF LOCALS AND PEOPLE WHO ARE, OR HAVE BEEN IN YOUR POSITION. AN EASY WAY TO DO THIS IMMERSE YOURSELF IN YOUR FAVORITE HOBBIES.

I can pretty much guarantee that if you find a group of people who have the same interests as you, you will make some mates pretty damn quickly.

Rugby, Cricket, Stamp Collecting, Sheep Shearing, Book Clubs. Get involved, it's the best way to start your new life.

Also, I've had some alone time (stop sniggering) on my bike. Few experiences in my life have been as pleasurable as cycling a coastal road with the salty air filling my lungs as the sun rises. It's just pure enjoyment.


I can't think of any major downsides. Food shopping is more expensive I reckon, but it doesn't break the bank (based on buying pretty much like for like shopping as we did in UK). The counter to that is that Supermarkets are open late on Sundays, so you're not screwed if you forgot to pick up some gravy. Or beer, for lunch.

Also childcare is damn cheap $175 a week for 40 hours v 250 GBP per week for 40 hours.

Also I bought a Samsung Galaxy SIII with me to NZ and got a SIM card have have spent approx $20 a month on my PAYG thus far - so both of those pretty much counter the differential of the shopping trolley.

Also, in Auckland we've been having 'spring showers'. I call it Monsoon Season, although it's looking lovely out, as I type. But when it rains, it RAINS!!


So there it is, so far so good. I pretty much do all the same stuff I did in the UK but it's better, as I said earlier, more on my terms.

I suppose the cynics among you might say that I could have that anywhere, if the right parts were there to make it work. But the fact is it that it IS working for me and my family in NZ, not anywhere.

One last thing; after missing out on the UK summer, I'm gagging for some proper sunshine. BRING IT ON!!
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Old Oct 2nd 2013, 7:37 pm
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Default Re: 3 months in

Great update. So pleased that things are going well for you and that you are settling in ok.
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Old Oct 2nd 2013, 7:53 pm
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Default Re: 3 months in

Magic Join the happy crew NZ.
p.s last summer was 10 UK ones all in one go...
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Old Oct 3rd 2013, 6:56 am
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Default Re: 3 months in

Cheers Sue.

Originally Posted by Stormer999
Magic Join the happy crew NZ.


Originally Posted by Stormer999
p.s last summer was 10 UK ones all in one go...
Too true. The last two summers that were of any note over there were 2003 and 2006, typical the ways it's worked out.

C'est la vie.

Just hope I haven't put the mockers in a reasonable NZ summer
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Old Oct 3rd 2013, 11:21 am
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Default Re: 3 months in

Congratulations Tommy! Sounds like you are all settling in fantastically.

Family time and alone time are so much better than work time. Have you had any weekends away yet? My first job had a car with a fuel card, took us all the way around the North Island and the boss never blinked an eye. It was Ace!

Ahipara is very special place.
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Old Oct 3rd 2013, 11:40 am
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Default Re: 3 months in

We popped down the Wellington in August for a Bledisloe Cup game, obvs didn't drive down for it.

We did have the opportunity to got to Whitianga this weekend for a bit of a party, just assumed kids were invited they weren't, so with childcare too costs started to spiral a little so decided against it given the wife is not working at the moment.

Next time.

But yeah, I'll be getting out and about in time and am keen to take recommendations such as yours!! Thanks.
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Old Oct 3rd 2013, 11:41 am
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Default Re: 3 months in

Nice one Tommy, glad it's all shaping up for you.

Can I ask if you are still using your wife's late Grandmother's car ? Also, if I'm not overstepping the mark, what's to be done with her house. You remarked that it was old to the point of dilapidated.
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Old Oct 3rd 2013, 11:43 am
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Default Re: 3 months in

Originally Posted by Snap Shot
Nice one Tommy, glad it's all shaping up for you.

Can I ask if you are still using your wife's late Grandmother's car ? Also, if I'm not overstepping the mark, what's to be done with her house. You remarked that it was old to the point of dilapidated.
Good questions and not overstepping the mark.

The car has gone to a friend for now. Would rather it were used than sitting there doing nothing.

The house(s) have been sold off now, so we (or more accurately my wife, as it was her inheritance) decided to cash in on it and buy something else.
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Old Oct 3rd 2013, 11:44 am
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Default Re: 3 months in

Originally Posted by TommyLuck
We popped down the Wellington in August for a Bledisloe Cup game, obvs didn't drive down for it.

We did have the opportunity to got to Whitianga this weekend for a bit of a party, just assumed kids were invited they weren't, so with childcare too costs started to spiral a little so decided against it given the wife is not working at the moment.

Next time.

But yeah, I'll be getting out and about in time and am keen to take recommendations such as yours!! Thanks.
Good on ya ! My husband has a friend of long standing that lives in Whitianga. Very nice place, we were there in February for a holiday. We stayed in a holiday park and had a nice time. To bad we set the barbeque on fire at the holiday park, but that's a whole other story !

Buffalo beach is beautiful.

Don't be put off by the name of the beach, 'Sailors Grave' it's a nice small beach. A sailor fell into the water and drowned back in the 1800's. The story is at the museum in Whitianga, which in itself is excellent. Cooks Beach is great but isolated. There's a vineyard at the Coromandel which was great for grown ups but not for youngsters your kid's age.

If you go, visit Thames as well. I enjoyed it. There's also a ride-on small gauge railway that's good fun. Your 3 year old might like it. IIRC it's open air carriages.

We drove from Wanganui to the town of Waihi (it's a gold mining town, has been for nearly 100 years, it trades on it's history a little bit, it's not a crappy mining town, well IMO anyway.) at the base of the Coromandel Peninsular. We stayed the night in a motel. We walked over to the gold mine. Wow ! It's huge ! The sandy coloured soil that has the gold in it made me smile as it's just the right colour for a gold mine ! What is now the open cast mine, was once a hill. So much of it has been mined that the hill has gone. We continued on to Whitianga the next morning.

Last edited by Snap Shot; Oct 3rd 2013 at 12:00 pm. Reason: gold mine
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