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Well, our container has left Bluff on its way to Dunedin!

E-mailed the agent in Wellington again, this time from work. No news by about 3.30pm, so I gave them a ring. Turns out they’d e-mailed me home 2 hrs previously! Logged on and downloaded a load of Customs and MAF (Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries – they carry out the Bio scans) which Anglo Pacific hadn’t sent me…. long night filling out more forms tonight then…….


Louise had finished off the corridor in colour when I got home, it looks wonderful!

It was a late night indeed…….inventories, insurance lists, customs regulations…………..

Up early this morning to help carry out some server software upgrades and in to work for 5am…………..deep joy!

Louise is a little bit more into finishing the hall today methinks – once she gets the bit between her teeth!

Played 4 aside football today, so lots of running about (and a bit of falling over once the legs start giving out!). The game ended up in a draw, but as we all work in ITS, then it doesn’t really matter anyway……. just a way of taking note of the time spent running about!

Finally left about 4.20pm after lots of discussions around the forthcoming mail server migration.

Got home to find Louise has done really well in the hall. The heater was on to encourage the ceiling paint to dry before its last coat. She should then be able to put colour on the walls too then…. yippee! The paint works out at about $10-16 a litre (about £5-10), so not exactly the cheapest product in the world.


Another day in wet’n’windy Wellington, having left a gorgeous spring day on the Kapiti coast……..

I left Louise psyching herself up to start painting the upstairs hall today, I don’t think she wanted to get back into it this week.

Our container should be getting to Bluff tonight at about 11.30pm – nearly in NZ waters!!

Louise managed to steel herself up to do the undercoating, it looks very bright now – lots of doors though. I think it would have driven me loopy!

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Ok, so I suck at keeping up the blog when the going gets a bit busy.

Decision made!

I’ll start filling in the blog again, from today, and backfill as I go along and get the time……….

As you may have gathered from the fact that you haven’t seen us around in the UK, we’re still in New Zealand! We both now have work permits, we’ve bought a house and car and I’m working in Wellington while Louise is donning her decorators garb nearly every day to “freshen up” the house!

We’ve just had a lovely weekend. Watched a few films in bed on Friday evening, and on Saturday we visited the RSA (Returned Services Association) in Paraparaumu and signed up for membership (cheaper drinks, a restaurant, snooker tables, carpet bowls, cards, big TV, trips away, housie and very friendly patrons), went shopping to Otaki where Louise found some boots she’d seen back when her Mum was here on holiday in March for a mere $50 per pair – they’d been sale in March for $310 a pair. Bargain!

We went shopping to Mitre 10 Mega in Petone today. Mainly for paint, but also lunch and a few DIY knick-knacks……. We left there a few hours later and popped into Wellington to see the film “Inception”. Our heads were hurting when we got out LOL, but a great film! On the plus side, despite being a capital city, we’d got a parking place on the opposite side of the road to the cinema complex and whats more, for free!! Long may Wellington be so easy to visit on a weekend…..

Back this evening for a quick chat with Louise’s parents and a watching eye on Skype to see if Mitch gets online………no luck so far Frown

Our container is now on board the MSC Martina heading towards Bluff on South Island. We should actually have all our stuff sometime in the next two weeks! Hurrah!

It was a real hardship leaving the hotel this morning, the thermal pool last night was glorious!

But, leave we did, heading for Rotorua and some Maori tradition, arts and culture….Te Puia. First of all a visit to the village entrance and to the Marae

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We got welcomed to the Marae, well, ok, there were quite a few of us in the audience!


After the welcoming (the karanga), we were treated to a performance inside the Marae including many lush harmonies, the seductive poi dance, the ferocious haka (war challenge) and the complex tititorea (stick games).

“Someone” – no names no pack drill – was volunteered by the Willis representation (and admittedly because it sounded a hoot!) to take part in a visitors impression of the Haka!


After making a spectacle of myself (although one of the Maori – the warrior in front of the Marae – congratulated me on my attempt at pulling a face at the end) we took a walk around the thermal park.

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We headed off suitably exhiliarated to Taupo and Huka Falls. Not really sure how Louise and I missed this the first couple of times we visited New Zealand, it’s quite impressive!

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After watching the equivalent of an olympic sized swimming pool flowing past every couple of seconds, we headed off to find a cafe in Taupo, or alongside the lake, for a very welcome cup of coffee. I’m pretty sure John pinched some of my chocolate fish when we did stop, he did get told off by Margaret and Louise though – teehee.

We stopped by the South end of the lake, a bit of a mission to get there though, so the girls could have a paddle.

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We then headed up to Ohakune for our overnight stay with a view of Mt Ruapeho at the Ohakune Court Motel.

Off up to the Coromandel Peninsular this morning. We won’t mention the trip over to Thames, as apart from the river bridge towards the end, the trip was undeniably Auckland and fairly boring. Luckily, we had plenty to talk about!

We stopped off at Coromandel for some lunch at Umu Restaurant. We made the mistake of having individual toasted sandwiches – they were HUGE!

We then toured around the peninsular and stopped off at Tairua for a coffee on the beach.


Down the coast then to Katikati for some afternoon tea, and a quick look around their historic farming collection, before heading down to Tauranga for our overnight hotel – Bennetts Tauranga Motor Inn.

The large family unit was pretty Kiwi but spacious, but it also had our own lovely thermal pool in the small courtyard out the back. We got everything in from the car, quickly got changed, grabbed some drinks (the alcoholic kind, of course) and jumped in the pool! We must have stayed in there for about 3 hours! It was brill! Margaret also found that the mineral properties of the pool worked wonders on the skin, which we hadn’t realised, but were pretty impressed with!!

Up and out of the house by 6am today – off up to Auckland….

We stopped at the Flat Hills cafe for some breakfast after a leisurely trip up country – nice “rustic” spot for a break. It has a maze and a few farm animals to look at, but it had started spitting rain so we didn’t bother having too much of a looksee.

As we left, we passed Mangaweka International airport. A DC3 had obviously over-run the runway and they decided to set up the airport around it! Not quite sure how international “International” is, as a grass strip seems a bit limiting!

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We arrived at Auckland airport just after 2pm, in good time to meet Louise’s parents arriving at just gone 3pm, so we parked up at the airport and went for a coffee.

We popped up to the viewing area after coffee and saw their aircraft pulling off the runway into the pans – trouble was we didn’t know it was theirs at the time Big Frown

Once the aircraft had been advertised as landed, we rushed down to arrivals to meet Margaret and John as they came through the Arrivals door…….

A bit of an emotional reunion – but nothing we weren’t expecting! A fair number of hugs and tears followed….

We packed everything into the hire car and joined the rest of North Island traffic making its way into Auckland in the late afternoon – note to selves, we REALLY don’t like Auckland still. So many people, so many cars!

After finding the hotel (Note to self – must get road maps of the major cities!), the Barrycourt Quality Hotel, and unpacking the luggage quickly, we went out in the car to visit …… Torbay! We got an Indian on the way back, a takeaway meal one, which proved a little difficult as parking isn’t quite as easy as Wellington. However, it was gorgeous, and a lovely accompaniment to the evening views of the harbour from our very spacious hotel room!!

A bit of a lie-in today….

We got packed up for the trip up to Auckland tomorrow morning so that we can just load the car and go.

Excellent news this evening!! I passed both the Fujitsu exams 70% and 76%!! They’re going to set up a phone call with the boss in Australia so he can give me a phone interview.

Relatively early night to bed, as we’re leaving before the birds get up in the morning!!

Phew, a restful day today after the previous swatting sessions.

We took a good look at the itinerary for Louise’s parent’s visit today and got it finalised!

Contacted Louise’s parents during their stay in Singapore, they’re having a great time! Louise, however, is now on pins!! Can’t wait to see her parents on Friday!

Up early for sprucing again today!

Geek attire once again donned……

Louise drove into Wellington again and dropped me off at the Terrace entrance to Fujitsu. I was in no uncertain terms that I was early – 10 mins – and that the guy I was seeing wasn’t currently in the building. Now I sort of expected a wait, but this was almost tantamount to being told off and sent to sit in the naughty chair for having the temerity to turn up early! Having said that, the receptionist did relent and got me a coffee after a couple of minutes.

The guy turned up, smelling distinctly of “I’ve just been outside for a sneaky cigarette”. He sat me down and produced two thick sets of papers – the Fujitsu doctored Microsoft exams. So much for the advent of technology!!

Anyway, I fought my way through the amended questions, which seemed to be even more convoluted than the normal Microsoft ones! I’m pretty sure I did ok, not a brilliant passing score, but I would be upset if I don’t pass!

Louise and I took advantage of the Wellington cafe scene and did little bit of shopping at the same time before heading home and a rest from Microsoft learning for hopefully a short space of time!