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'Normal life' starts today

'Normal life' starts today

Old Nov 10th 2013, 8:05 pm
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Default 'Normal life' starts today

So, after upping sticks and coming to Auckland normal life starts again today.

The last part of our familys jigsaw puzzle went in to place this morning, as my wife starts work with the Immigration department (NO I CANT GIVE ADVICE).

So I suppose this is where we start the clock running on seeing how and if New Zealand works for us.

So far, definitely, so good.

As a family we are happier, largely because we the quantity of our quality time has increased. It's been the little things, like being able to cook meals together, instead of one or the other. Doing the food shopping together is another one - things that were difficult to do in London when we had to spend more time travelling about to get to work, etc.

What also settles me is that we've now had a few months of paying the mortgage and paying bills and if (god forbid) one of us lost our job, the other would be able to support that OH until a job is found - obviously with some belt tightening.

I'm enjoying work. I'm enjoying my leisure time. I'm enjoying the fresh food that is available here, seasonal shopping is something I'm still getting used to!!

Most of all, I'm enjoying my family. Not rushing home to be with them all hot and bothered. Life has slowed down for the better for the stage I'm at in life. This was timed well, there is no way I'd be giving this sort of report were I single man in my mid-20's!!

Hopefully, I want to now give this three and then review. This time scale would also mean my daughter has been in 'big' school for a year. It's still early days but I'm pleased we made the decision to come to NZ - whatever happens from here, regrets are extremely unlikely.
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Old Nov 10th 2013, 11:34 pm
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Default Re: 'Normal life' starts today

Good on ya TL. Glad to see you're settling in well.

We moved out 9 months ago now, time certainly flies! We have also settled in well and enjoying life in NZ. I find your points about leisure time and a slower pace of life to be true. I mean at the end of the day work is work and bills are bills no matter where you live. But for us being able to enjoy the activities on offer in NZ in evenings and at weekends definitely puts a positive spin on living here. No more wasting 2 hours of my day in traffic. Instead it's a cruisy 20 minute drive home, a game of tennis or bike ride and then slap some food on the barbie for dinner.

Take it easy

PS - could your wife possibly check on our residency application?
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Old Nov 10th 2013, 11:48 pm
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Default Re: 'Normal life' starts today

Originally Posted by Pom_Chch
PS - could your wife possibly check on our residency application?



Yeah, pretty pleased.

I also like that the shops are open for more than a few seconds on a Sunday.

A typical Sunday usually involves going to a relatively quiet supermarket around 5pm/6pm.

We shop for fresh stuff so do food shopping twice a week with bits picked up as necessary (by chance, I work next to a New World). This means rather than two evenings a week, or dare I say early morning shops of a week - we can do one evening shop during the week and then a Sunday 5pm/6pm shop.

This time on a Sunday in London, unless you had Monday off and were down the the pub, was usually dead time where you couldn't be all that productive.

If the weather is any good this is preceeded by a trip to the beach, as it was yesterday. The Hauraki Gulf is a bit fresh at this time of year .

Plenty of youngsters (from toddlers to teenagers) in the water mind you, who must have anti freeze pumping through their veins!!

Last edited by TommyLuck; Nov 10th 2013 at 11:51 pm.
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Old Nov 10th 2013, 11:56 pm
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Default Re: 'Normal life' starts today

Originally Posted by TommyLuck
If the weather is any good this is preceeded by a trip to the beach, as it was yesterday. The Hauraki Gulf is a bit fresh at this time of year
Oh yes, just a bit fresh! We cycled to the beach along the river yesterday. I got as far as dipping my toe in the sea. That was enough for me! I even did that girly thing where you run away from the waves coming up to the shore!

We are also loving the freshness of the food out here. My partner actually eats veggies now without sulking

Just kidding about the residency app. Should be done and dusted in the new year
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Old Nov 11th 2013, 12:15 am
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Default Re: 'Normal life' starts today

I know you were

I hope you get good news soon.

To be fair once I was in it was ok enough for me to swim out to one of those floating pontoon thingys, sit around for a bit and swim back to shore. I dare say further down south the water is fresher still.

Shopping;

I've been weighing things up on the shopping front. Whilst I accept that a food shop is more expensive there isn't as much in it as I was anticipating and what I spend in extra is more than made up on in quality, am I'm all for spending a bit extra for exponentially better quality.

Minor complaints would be that you can only buy certain things in large packets, like flour - we might treat the little one to pancakes every now and again (usually within a few days of being hounded for pancakes after a certain Peppa Pig episode) - but the smallest bag I can find is 1.5kgs, I'm after a little 500g packet. We're talking once every couple of months and otherwise have little need for flour.

But it's flour. And it's pretty cheap.

Decent cheese is hard to come by as is decent Salami and Chorizo - but I shouldn't be eating these all that often anyway so it's no great loss as I've started seeking out decent quality 'beer sticks' and have found a few vendors to satisfy my processed meat urges.

Sausages are improving. Slowly. It seems to help if you find a British butcher.

Last edited by TommyLuck; Nov 11th 2013 at 12:17 am.
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Old Nov 11th 2013, 12:54 am
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Default Re: 'Normal life' starts today

Agree with those points about shopping. My partner is a bit of an Excel spreadsheet boffin. We have a spreadsheet from living in the UK and living in NZ (don't judge!) One of the columns is groceries. We used to spend about 45GBP on food shopping per week in London, we now spend $100 per week in Chch. Not a lot in it for us, but as you mentioned the meat and veggies are of much better quality. We also eat a wider range of food like salmon and lamb now. These items were just too expensive in the UK. I've also enjoyed trying different food here like kumera, yum!

cheese prices! If you want a bog standard 1kg block of chedder or edam then the price is right. Venture outside of this and it is a case of re-mortgaging the house to buy it. We do treat ourselves occasionally, but it's not a regular on our shopping list any more. Perhaps that is why I have lost 3kg since moving here - less cheese and more bike rides!

On the subject of finding good sausages I tried "Thai chicken sausages" the other week. Delicious! I picked up the pack thinking "no, that can't be right, chicken in a sausage?" I gave them a go and quite like them now. It's literally like having Thai chicken curry in sausage form! Novel!

I don't know about you but I definitely shop differently in NZ. I get my meat from the butcher, veggies from green grocers, milk from the Dairy and most other things from supermarkets. In the UK it was one shop in Tesco but I find one shop in Countdown/New World/Pak n' Save adds massively to the cost. I find it much cheaper to get the majority of groceries outside of the larger supermarkets.

In a roundabout way I think UK prices for grocery shopping wins. But the price vs quality wins hands down in NZ. Despite the additional costs I feel it is much better value for money.

Really fancy cheese and crackers now
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Old Nov 11th 2013, 1:15 am
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Default Re: 'Normal life' starts today

We shop as you do;

Green grocers for Fruit and Veg, Butcher for meat and Supermarket for the rest, because we can.

A similar exercise in London would have been descibed as onerous at best. And it wouldn't have provided good value for time and effort as well as money, so the supermarket was the all and everything.

Funnily enough, for the first time in my life, I gave Chicken Sausages a run out on the BBQ this weekend. These one were Piri-Piri, I was sceptical too but nicely surprised. What surprised me more what that the sausages kept their size, which is always a sign of a resonably constructed banger.
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Old Nov 11th 2013, 3:19 am
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Default Re: 'Normal life' starts today

Originally Posted by TommyLuck

Green grocers for Fruit and Veg, Butcher for meat and Supermarket for the rest, because we can.
+1

When we lived in Auckland, I used to have to drive over the harbour bridge at some point of the day and would often stop the Auckland Fish Market on the way back to the Shore for Friday nights fish fry. I love the fresh fish available in NZ. Even better when you get it yourself!
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Old Nov 11th 2013, 7:31 pm
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Default Re: 'Normal life' starts today

Originally Posted by Catchafire
Even better when you get it yourself!
Totally.

I'm part of an angling club and I go fishing once a month, usually for Snapper. Leisure, fresh air, good laughs and dinner in one fell swoop.
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Old Nov 11th 2013, 8:56 pm
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Default Re: 'Normal life' starts today

Great Post Tommy!

We got our visa's confimed last week so arrive in ChCh in Jan so really refreshing to hear, it's not that different price wise.

Loving the fact you think the quality of life is better also.

Despite earning decent ££ in the UK, it's not all about that for me and I want to see my kids (ages 3 and 2 - Also Peppa Pig obsessives!) grow up and not on the London underground + Trains for 4 hours a day.
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Old Nov 11th 2013, 11:31 pm
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Default Re: 'Normal life' starts today

Originally Posted by TheCockneyKiwi
Loving the fact you think the quality of life is better also.
The best way I can put it, is this;

Here in New Zealand we still get up earlier than we like. We still go to work for more hours than we would like. We still have to pay bills, buy food, cook food and put it on the table. We still have to buy fuel for the car. There are still only 24 hours in a day and things just don't get done.

We are not living in a perfect world in NZ, because that doesn't exist anywhere.

They say its about 'quality' not 'quantity' - I get bet better quality out of my spare time and I get more of it.

Also - good luck for the move!!

Last edited by TommyLuck; Nov 11th 2013 at 11:34 pm.
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Old Nov 11th 2013, 11:34 pm
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Nice article and associated video from Nelson yesterday. Kind of sums up why living in NZ can be so amazing.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/oddstuff/9390...-draws-a-crowd
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Old Nov 12th 2013, 2:07 pm
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Default Re: 'Normal life' starts today

Cheers Tommy!

Originally Posted by TommyLuck
The best way I can put it, is this;

Here in New Zealand we still get up earlier than we like.
You have kids mate. That ain't changing for a while
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Old Nov 12th 2013, 7:25 pm
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Default Re: 'Normal life' starts today

I know that feeling, we get up at 6:00am as that's the perfect time for our son to wake. At least the wife is in work for 7 so it's not too bad for 4 days a week

By the way, could you ask your partner how long a residence from work application takes? I handed mine in yesterday afternoon.
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Old Nov 12th 2013, 7:40 pm
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Default Re: 'Normal life' starts today

Originally Posted by Tom1983
By the way, could you ask your partner how long a residence from work application takes? I handed mine in yesterday afternoon.
We ended up doing a visitor one in the end Tom, as would have held up my application otherwise. NZ immigration were really helpful on that not actually. Could have easily been arsey and rejected, but common sense prevailed and they gave us a polite call.

From what I remember, if it is a standalone one, 25 days.
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