Archive for » November, 2009 «

We were up at the crack of dawn. Louise woke up at 3am, I woke up when she was moving about. Louise managed to go back to sleep within the hour but I couldn’t, so I stayed up doing some Internet stuff and prepping all the paper work for our foray in to NZ to find somewhere to live.

Having looked over the TradeMe website and after grabbing the Dominion Post newspaper to have a look for properties, we decided to head off for Paraparaumu to make the 11am appointment with the BNZ to sort out Louise’s bank account.

We got there a little early and stopped off for a coffee and a quick look at the Professionals Real Estate office – very professional, not! As the woman in charge wasn’t there, not a lot seemed to be forthcoming other than a list of possible properties but with no further info – that carried on with our next visit, so we gave up on them!

We met up with Linda Smith at BNZ Paraparaumu – what a lovely, charming woman (and also a Sunderland lass of some 30 years ago). She was really helpful, set up all the accounts Louise needed and then helped me transfer the management of my account over and set up the other stuff that had become available since I had set mine up. Linda’s hubbie works in Tommy’s Real Estate and gave us a number for Cathy of Harveys Rentals.

Cathy was a star! We went out 30 mins after meeting her to view two properties. First was a small cottage, the second a bit of a shack – although bigger than the cottage. After much chatting between ourselves, we told Cathy we’d be back in touch. We went searching for other properties, although we didn’t find anything better – see bit on the Professionals above, she still wasn’t in and had now gone off up North to see a sick friend but leaving no info about any of her properties!!

Having sussed that the shack was bigger, though smelling a little damp which we couldn’t put down to the newly cleaned carpets alone, we also agreed that the more space we had, the more likely we were to try and fill it and the more costly it would be to heat it!

We came back to Wellington for a relatively early night – considering the early start!

We got off on the train from Bridgend. Mitch, and a very nice train staff bloke, helped us with the suitcases over the bridge to the platform. Not a sign of things to come however!

We got rushed onto the train when it arrived. The guard reluctabtly “”helped”” us put the cases on the train while wibbling about it being late – it must have been in the station for no longer than about 3o seconds! We recovered the suitcases by the carriage door, and Louise manoeuvred themn down 1 carriage to somewhere near our seats. Not a good advert for Great Western at all – the words mindless, cattle and jobs’ worth spring to mind!!

When we got to Paddington things didn’t improve, either getting off the train or getting on/off the Heathrow Express. All very good reminders of the complete lack of generosity or mere civility for which we both admire the UK for…………NOT!

The Air New Zealand staff at Heathrow however, were absolutely brilliant. Not only did they push us through the Business Class Check-In desk (no queue) and be really nice, but they also gave us free access to the Star Alliance lounge to calm us down a bit and chill out – Sweet As!

The flights were ok, Hong Kong airport again was a lovely place, even though they don’t take sterling for the obligatory coffees!

Getting in to Auckland airport and transferring the luggage on to the domestic flight was easy this time. We hardly seemed to have taken off when we were landing again. A swift taxi trip to the hotel, and then on to the car rental place (@£7.50 a day was a bargain!) and we’re here in NZ and mobile! Yippee!

Louise has been a star, as has my brother Mitch!

After waiting about 9 months, I finally got a date for my op to remove a lump on my chest. Bad timing though!! It meant that I was restricted to what I could lift and carry for the house move in to storage and what I could carry/pull on the trip over………bad Karma! However, I’d waited for so long that it wasn’t worth putting it off.

We moved out of our rented accommodation with very little bother, although Porters did seem to be doing a rather thorough job of checking the house – even though the landlords had got there 15 mins earlier and were happy! Finally finished about 1030am after a 9am start!

Over to Mitch’s to stay the night before we go. Bad News though, my stitches have slipped out and we spend our last night in the UK at Casualty. The Doc said she couldn’t doing anything about the wound though, so it looks like I’ll be taking a while longer to recover and there will be a massive scar – boo hiss!