Archive for » November, 2009 «

OK, time to sit down today and do some serious job-hunting! We’re just about settled in to the cottage now, we were never going to treat this as a major holiday time – and haven’t! It’s surprising what you think you remember about settling into a new home. You take many things for granted because you know you have them – well, we have, it’s just that they’re in store back in the UK!


Registered with a couple of agencies, backtracked to some job sites that I’d found in the UK – and some more suggested by a contact here – and e-mailed off to a couple of promising job prospects.

While I was doing this, Louise was sneaky and wrote all her Christmas cards. Sneaky or what! We popped out to Paraparam post them off and found that the last posting date for “”guaranteed”” for Christmas delivery was today! Sneaky and lucky all in one! Best I get a shift on this evening and get all mine done for the moro – if you don’t get one from me peeps, my bad, it’s on its way!!

Determined to catch up a bit today, the weather has turned a little windy and rainy although it’s still warm enough to be out and about in shorts and a t-shirt!

Caught up on some file tidying, wrote a couple of blog entries and then settled down to watch the new Star Trek film – no we hadn’t hired a dvd exactly, I just stumbled across a copy on one of my hard drives………… I’m only a week behind on the blog now, so hopefully I’ll catch up soon, LOL.

The av lead I’d brought with us didn’t fit the tv we bought, so we had the sound coming through the laptop. It was fine anyway, and always good fun to watch some Star Trek together, especially as they’ve done such a good job with the story and even managed to give a view of some of the historical “”facts”” we’ve all taken for granted for so many years!

Stopped by the Warehouse, a sort of mix between Currys, Do-It-All and a miniature B&Q again today to pick up some stuff and wandered over to Briscoes for some “”haberdashery”” – don’t ask me why, because I’m not sure what we were actually looking for! We did come out with a large flask though, which will be great for road-trips. At least we won’t have to worry about Louise missing out on the coffee fill-ups!!

I’ve decided I don’t like major shopping trips. I tend to go into “”Grumpy Old Man”” mode – not too surprising really I suppose! Unfortunately, as the cottage is unfurnished, we don’t really have much choice at the moment………….mutter, mutter, grump, where’s me wine glass……………..

We did, however, pop back into Warehouse Stationery – no relation to Warehouse as far as I could figure! – to pick up a “”Managers Special”” printer we’d seen there just in case we/I need to use a fax, do some printing of CVs or photocopying. It was an HP OfficeJet 5610 All-In-One at a steal for $59 (about £25), and was only missing the paper feed/output tray – as I would only be printing the odd one or two things, no worries at all! I may after all be a frustrated geek – oh woe is me!

We had our first lie-in for quite a while this morning. The weeks leading up to going, packing the house in to self-storage, cleaning the house up for handing back to the landlord, packing the suitcases properly, the operation, the trip to casualty, the trip over here, a week to get everything sorted for somewhere to live for the next 6 months……………it’s no wonder we were tired – Louise far more than me!!

However, waking up to have breakfast and a cup of tea out on the deck in the sunshine gazing out over the mountains………….priceless!

Up bright and early with the sparrows today!!

Dropped the hotel key in the letter box, as the office hadn’t opened yet, and off we went to Raumati South and our first “”house”” in New Zealand. For a change, Wellington is hot and muggy with hardly any wind. You can’t fool us Wellington! That’s a first!

We popped to the house and had a look around properly. We’re going to have to get some chairs for the decking!! Gorgeous view.

104arearbalconyne 104arearbalconye 104arearbalconyse

Stayed in all morning to get delivery of the fridge/freezer and washing machine and set up the phone/broadband. Huzzah!! We’re online!! We even get an NZ e-mail address, albeit temporary…….

We went back up to Coastlands this afternoon for deck chairs and food and more odds and ends. Back in time for 5pm to get the bed delivered – just as well as the carpet was beckoning otherwise!
Bliss! A glass of wine, a wireless Skype connection back to the UK, sunshine and a gorgeous view. What more could we want? Well, ok a job would be nice………

Back over to Raumati South this morning, after visiting the hole in the wall, to take over the house so we can move in tomorrow morning. I was cursing my UK bank for not letting me get cash out two days in a row, when I realised that it must be a 24 hr period between withdrawals and I’d tried 10 mins too early – doh!

An old hand at the rental inspection now, it was over in half an hour with every crack, paint spill and bad mark noted and recorded……………….Hurrah, it’s ours and we have the keys!!

After a bit more local shopping at Coastlands – little did we know that it is the 5th largest “”mall”” shopping centre in New Zealand! Cool, we thought we’d be going to Porirua down the coast for the bigger shops. We even found the cinema, just a pool to go now (although that’ll have to wait until my operation wound heals up in the next few week – those stitches really should have lasted longer Frown ……..).

We got back to the Wellington hotel very tired little bears. Louise suggested a chinese takeaway, I thought that was a great idea. How wrong could I have been!! There may be every sort of Eastern hemisphere restaurant/takeaway within 8 blocks of the hotel, but after 90 mins trudging the streets I can wholeheartedly stipulate that it doesn’t include a basic chinese takeaway!!! DOH!! I settled for an Indian takeaway around the corner from the hotel – settled, eventually!

Major shopping trips today as we race around looking for something to sleep on and cook with!

The white goods (Fridge/freezers, washing machines, microwaves, etc) are REALLY expensive for what they are. It’s no wonder the Kiwis mend and make do. Luckily MrRentals came up trumps with a fridge and a washing machine rental for about £10 a week – bargain! We’re going to have to look at buying some stuff back in the UK and putting it in the self-storage for bringing over if we get to stay.

The bed prices are on a par with the UK, but as we were passing a secondhand shop, we thought we’d have a look and picked up an almost brand new bed from a house clearance (the credit crunch hits families over here too) – another bargain! Mind you, the Kiwis seem to love their LARGE beds………….

Rather than spend out and replace everything we have in store back in the UK, we’ve been trawling the Kiwi equivalent of the Poundshops to keep us going for the next few months. Cathy also said that the landlords don’t mind if we store stuff in the house, so we don’t even have to trip over it back in the hotel in Wellington.

Up early this morning, and after a quick call to Cathy at Harvey Rentals off to Paraparaumu Beach to sort out the cottage rental. We got it all sorted in a couple of hours, mainly because we had brought most of the stuff we’d need for references etc.

Hurrah! We’re now sorted to take over the keys on Wed 25 Nov!! A six month contract with a rolling monthly rental after that. Not too bad a cost either – $260 a week. Considering where it is, how close it is to the sea and where we wanted to be, it’s brill!

Cathy very kindly let me use their phone to sort out the power connections and telephone/broadband stuff for the cottage. We then started to look in earnest for furniture and stuff. She also mentioned rentals place for a fridge/freezer and washing machine. Just as well! The white goods over here are quite expensive compared to the UK!!I gave MrRentals a ring and he promised a ring back with a cost for a 6 month rental at 12 month rental discounts – nice man…………

We’d popped in to the Sally Army “”Family Shop”” over the weekend to have a look at a settee, but it had been sold. As it turned out, there was a better one inside the shop, so we paid up front for it and arranged for a delivery on Thursday. At least we’ll have somewhere to sit! Setting up a house on a budget is the theme for today – at least until I get a job and we get some regular money coming in!

Quick trips to the Warehouse, Briscoes and Stationery Warehouse to start buying what we need to set up the cottage. Then back down to Wellington to do the same – found a Poundstretcher lookalike, called the $2 Shop which proved to be a goldmine for cheap stuff to set us up for a couple of months.

Off again up to Paraparaumu today to have a look at houses.

We stopped off at Woolies to grab a couple of rolls and stuff for a picnic on the beach front. None of the houses/apartments seemed very inviting so we’re going to go for the cottage we saw in Raumati South with Harvey Rentals.

We popped in to the Lindale Shopping centre for a coffee and a look around the shops. There was a car boot sale there too, but we didn’t pick anything up. The small animal farm there seemed to attract quite a few visitors. While we were there I texted Graham and we arranged to meet up for a chat at the Wellington Botannical Gardens cafe.

After a bit of a detour in Wellington trying to find the gardens by road rather than get on the cable car in the city centre, we met up with Graham for a quick catchup. Lovely to see him again, he seems to have had a bit of a time on his staff course! Hopefully, we’ll get to see Jayne and the kids soon too.

Quick trip to the ATM to start gathering enough cash for the bond and rent we’ll need for tomorrow.

We were up again early today – the fresh air must be getting to me!

We had a tidy-up in the room and unpacked a few more bits to keep us going for the week in the hotel. Didn’t really fancy unpacking it all, and we’re staying well away from the motorbike suitcase – it’s packed so well it might explode if touched! At least we won’t be tripping over suitcases now – hurrah!

We popped down to Wellington city for a looksee and to pick up some mobile phones.

Cuba Street was brill, we must have passed a restaurant for nearly every type of cuisine. We ended up in Dick Smith’s to pick up a basic 2Degrees mobile for each of us- good spot Graham! The prices seem steeper than the UK for a basic phone, but the pay-as-you-go rates for phone calls are pretty attractive, albeit for 30 days at a time………..

We had a good wander around the shops and ended the afternoon at Te Papa – lovely place!