Monday, September 30, 2013

There's No Place Like Home

Last week (September 23-29) was the first is the post-tourist period, and the start of us looking to put down some roots.

On Tuesday we took a bus-train-bus journey up to Paraparaumu on the Kapiti Coast.  It's long been an area we've liked the look of and it was great to finally get there and walk along the beach, even if the weather wasn't amazing.  Kapiti might be where we call home one day, but I'm not sure if Paraparaumu will be the town, and I think we've decided we want to be in a 'burb around Welly right now.

So on Weds, with the rain falling, we took a wander to Seatoun which is our closest stretch of coastline.  I'd walked there the week before and wanted to show Tash the area.  It's a lovely place, but I suspect will prove to be out of our price range.

And so on Thursday (and then Saturday for an open home viewing) we caught the two buses to take us round to Island Bay.  It must take close to an hour via foot and public transport but it would only be a 15 minute drive if we had wheels.  We really like it there, a good family feel to it and a gorgeous bay.  The only downside is its part of the protected marine reserve area which means you can't fish from it's shores.

So we're now primarily looking at Island Bay and here at Miramar for our place to call home.  We've got lucky a Miramar, its a great area and as one of the few two storey buildings we get some amazing sunsets!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

There's A Tourist In Town pt2

Just a visit down the road to Kilbirnie to grab some groceries from Commonsense Organics.  Discovered Hey George, the most perfect lunch stop. Great coffees, wonderful kiwi pies, and super yummy cakes.  All well priced and homemade.

A trip to the City and Sea museum in central Welly.  Another great museum that we'll be visiting many more times over the years.  As someone who loves the sea it was great to learn about Wellingtons nautical history.  It's located in the old Bond House, and some rooms are still as the were when the building was used to store imported goods waiting for tax to be paid.  Also has an amazing map still hanging from the wall of the old meeting room.

A wet day.  Joined the library.  Had dinner at La Boca Loca, our local highly recommended Mexican and definitely the best food since we've arrived.  The food was just stunning, it's such a treat to have it on our doorstep.

For the second week running we found ourselves dropping in on a open house viewing. We like where we are, Miramar, and we like being this side of the centre.  I guess this properly signals the end of us being tourists and the beginning of us settling down and trying to make a life for ourselves in this amazing city.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

There's A Tourist In Town pt1

This week, as the kids adjust to a new life and overcome the jet lag, we're sticking to the tourist stuff.

We bought our Snapper card.  This is an awesome little thing. You preload it with money and you can use it to pay for bus fare, parking, coffee and loads of other stuff.

We then visited the Te Papa national museum of New Zealand.  It contains the Colossal Squid that was caught in 2007. It's a great place,  and I can see us coming back here loads as the kids grow up.

Weather was hit and miss.  Tash had a meeting with a recruitment consultant and in the afternoon Esme and I went for a walk around Miramar, Seatoun and around Worser Bay.  We're really liking being on the east side of Welly.

Cable car from the centre of town up to Zealandia.  It's incredible to think this place its just minutes outside the very centre of a capital city.  It's a project to return the area to how it would have been pre-human.  This is another place we'll be coming back loads with the kids as they grow up!  We finished up the day with food at the Fishermans Table and an awesome bus ride home that went around the Miramar peninsula.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The First Weekend in Welly

So we touched down Thursday.

Friday we took a little wander about and found our local shops in Miramar.  Then caught the bus into Kilbirnie to sort out our bank cards.

Saturday we jumped onto a bus into central Wellington.  It's a great place full of amazing places to eat and drink as well as cool looking vintage stores.  Gumbo at Sweet Mothers Kitchen was everything we'd hoped!

Sunday was a bit gloomy to start so we walked up to the Roxy Cinema.  Enjoyed lunch at Coco, the cafe within, and sat in the comfort of the couches at the rear and laughed till our sides hurt at Despicable Me 2.

On the way home we wandered past an open house viewing which is up for auction in a few weeks.  It's all research at this stage but I was amazed at the amount of space you can get for your money!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Our House, In The Middle Of Our Street

So here we are, 9A Bruges Ave, Miramar, Wellington 6022.  And this is our house.

Adios England!

So the weeks of non stop craziness just continued till the end.

Our shipping company spent Thursday and Friday packing and then our container ends up arriving on the back of the wrong truck, meaning we can't get it off the truck meaning its useless.

We get promised the right container at 8am on Sat (7th Sept) and so everyone disappears.  Only for us to receive a call a few hours later saying they can't get a crew together and it will have to be Monday morning.  Basically leaving us high and dry,  without any solution,  and in a house unsafe for kids.  And so late on Friday the kids were run down to Tash's parents and we ended up with Olive's baptism and our farewell BBQ taking place on Sunday surrounded by billions of boxes.  We got through it though, and massive thanks to all who came and especially those who helped clear our barn and loft space!

On Monday we filled the road with a container,  loaded the container (shit the bed, these boys were good! ) cleaned and tidied (again, thanks to those who helped!) took Harry to hia four month foster home, and finally at 8pm disappeared for Tash's parents.

On Tuesday I sorted all the jobs I was intending to have done Monday and admitted my day of relaxing was never going to happen before we leave.  Those shippers really fucked us up.

And then we caught a plane. 10pm from Heathrow to Singapore, a 12 hour flight.  Kids were great.  Alfie fell asleep on take off.  Esme shouted.  The airline was amazing, staff did everything they could for us, and of course everything was on the house.  I have erased check in from my memory, but lets say Esme hit 6pm over-tired meltdown right as we reached the front of the queue with us juggling 10 items to check in!  My Dad, Dawn and Dale saw us off which was lovely.  And then this shit got real!

We had a few hours at Singapore airport followed by a 7 hour flight to Brisbane, Aus.  I had prepared for a 10 hour flight so this was a right bonus.  Again we were with Singapore airways, and again Alfie fell asleep on take off and Esme shouted the place down.  Thankfully they had given us a middle row of four seats to ourselves on these flights, god only knows how we'd have managed in just our purchased three!

Again this ended up being an evening takeoff, and once more the kids were ace.  And when Alfie woke 'early' an on demand entertainment system meant he could watch Room On The Broom 8 times back to back whilst Tash sipped Singapore Slings!

And finally came a few hours at Brisbane and then a 3 hour flight to Welly.  Back onto proper cattle class small planes like those we're used to when flying to Gib.  And that wasn't the end of the Gib similarities as our landing, and more specifically the approach,  brought many heart in mouth moments from the huge gusts blowing across the bay.  We were squeezed into three seats, really missed our A380 luxury, but the journey had killed the kids so bad they both slept pretty much the whole way - Alfie falling asleep on take off,  something I'm sure he has now done on every single flight he has been on in his young life.

We squeezed into two cabs, took a five minute cab ride and arrived at our 10 week home in Miramar.  It's a lovely house, and will be perfect for us.  Although only two bed, the open plan layout gives us more space for the kids to run about in than we had in the UK.

Our NZ adventure begins here!...

Monday, September 02, 2013

4 - 3 - 2 - 1 Weeks To Go!!

I did honestly start this post four weeks ago.  It was meant to be a weekly update.  The fact I'm now finishing it four weeks later shows how ridiculously busy I've been of late!

Sunday (4th Aug), got my Grandads old pocket watch back from Seth who had repaired, serviced and cleaned it.  Looks amazing, I am so happy with it!  Just need a nice chain for it now.

On Thursday (7th Aug) we caught up with Abi, and her twins Zach and Sofia.  We went for a play over Rowney Warren and found the COOLEST Geocache!

Friday (8th Aug) was a date with Knebworth and the dinosaurs with Helen, Claudia and Amy.  Love that place, especially the drop slide ... which Alfie event went down.  On his own.  Which, according to the sign is strictly for kids aged 6 and up!

The following week was all Gathering prep.  We were down at Prescott on Wednesday 14th through to Monday 19th Aug.  The show went well, it killed me as ever, but the feedback has been awesome.  All of a sudden our little show isn't such a little show anymore and we have an awesome venue I hope we can call home for many many years.

That week of 19th-25th Aug was my post show recovery week.  I don't really remember what we got up to.  For me it was full of needles though.  Tuesday was my date with the Doc to get 'the snip' (which after a weekend of running yourself ragged, being given sedatives before the op had me on a wonderful fluffy cloud).

And then into Camden on Thursday (22nd Aug) for another day of ink to finish me off before we leave.  I had managed to get Tootall to stripe a 'Tattoo Removal' saw at the Gathering which I presented to Jeff before we set to work.  Photos are rubbish, but to untrained and unknowing eye everything looks complete now.

And we managed to squeeze in a final 'boys' fishing trip.  On Friday (23rd Aug) Alfie and I made an early start to Brightlingsea for a days worm drowning.  And that's literally all it was.  I cannot believe how rubbish we were, it was literally like someone had stolen all the fish from the sea.  Alfie was awesome all day though, I was amazed he wasn't bored out of his mind!

Last week was a crazy one, which included a trip to Tashas Mum on Weds (28th Aug) to make macarons in prep for the weekend, then a visit to Silverstone with Lewis and my Dad to see MotoGP practice on Friday (30th Aug).  We got in the stand at Becketts which was an awesome place to view, but a little breezy ... and so Tash and Alfie ended up with Tech 3 team tops to keep warm.  The noise and excitement of MotoGP was a little too much for Alfie and in the end he had to give in the to need for a little nap.

And then Claire and Jody's absolutely amazing wedding on Saturday.  Quite definitely the best wedding I've been to!  Massive congrats to you both, we all love you both so much!

Amongst all this I've been fighting the Benz.  A snapped front spring has wasted many hours, but now after buying replacement spring from America and driving to Daventry (from the wedding the wrong side of Bournemouth) to collect a set of coil spring compressors ... the third set I've tried on it!  Anyway, the Benz sold tonight on ebay and its a massive weight on my mind.  Now I can focus on packing our container Thurs/Fri and catching a flight in just 8 days!