Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ahhh Internet addiction


Looking for payday loan?

So very nearly a class full then!!

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Your Result: Dedicated Reader

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Three months and counting

We have been in NZ now for exactly three months. We touched down in Auckland at 6am September 16th and it is now 7pm December 16th.

Such a lot has happened: in short. Two weeks spent living in a tiny apartment in Torbay, dealing with jetlag, ants and house hunting. We thought we had found the perfect place ( a beautiful villa in Deidre Place in Laingholm) but the building report put us off. The next place we liked the building inspector didn't even bother to look at it as he knew the place and said 'walk away!'. Just as well as we have found a slice of heaven. Two weeks ago we moved into a six bedroomed ( room for visitors) brick and tile gem in a place called Parau, close to the kids' school, next to a beach and tennis courts, down a peaceful little road....

So the story so far. We looked at nearly 60 houses, maybe more until we found this one and even then it was fraught with problems. The council here has to agree everything in triplicate before you can even think about changing anything in a house. Think planning permission but for knocking in a nail or straightening a picture. Suffice it to say quite a bit of this house is 'illegal' but when you are in love you overlook such things.

Looking back the first two weeks were very stressful and we tried to do too much, finding houses, cars, our way around. We fell on our feet with regards to accommodation. The house we were warned off is owned by a lovely girl called Rachel and she lives there with her two toddlers, Chloe (1) and Ben ( a very loud 2). she'd bought the house with another couple four months previously but they'd moved out just before the birth of their second child and because their first and Ben didn't get on. They needed some way of covering the mortgage and Rachel suggested that we move in. Although far from ideal, we had a roof over our heads.

I am convinced the house had sick building syndrome. Everyone was ill, including Reuben! It was probably due to damp and to a lack of a good night's sleep!

On the plus side, we found the children a delightful school, Laingholm Primary- The greatest little school in the Universe, run by a head who understands that school should be fun and by an incredibly dedicated staff. Caitlin has the remarkable Miss W ( Wolstenholme) whilst Roo is with the very young Miss Guertz. Both have found their feet quickly- especially Caitlin and both have made some very good friends! I have been doing a bit of relief work there. I'm known as Mrs A and apparantly I'm 'cool!" I think that means a pushover though Room 14, the class from hell, have grown on me over the weeks!

The high spots of our first three months ( I use the term loosely)

The burglary; I met three strapping men coming out of our shared house, with Rachel's tv in the back of their car. I'm not sure what came over me but I tried to block them in the drive with my car but I got myself rather man handled and they managed to push my car out of the way. We reckon they'd only been in the house for five minutes and only took a tv a dvd player and probably one of our ds's ( we may have just misplaced it). The police came, the helicopter came out, the SOCO arrived three days later(!!!!), we all had to be fingerprinted ( in the cells) and I had to look at mug shots. Exciting really but a bit time concuming and no conclusion yet.

New cars! I have a blue RAV4 and Ant has a white Toyota MRS ( old ones but hey). He needed a boy toy for the many miles he was going to be travelling every day.

The thermal pools at Waiwera. Fantastic hot thermal pool resort, just the thing for over coming jetlag, including a pool with a cinema screen. Child Heaven!

Anton starting work; His first day was spent drumming and walking in the bush ( team building) His second day started with a formal Maori ceremony where we passed him over to the care of his workplace. Lots of nose rubbing and Maori chanting. Sadly work hasn't quite lived up to his expectations.

Reuben mastering the monkey bars in the school playground.

Roo never wearing any shoes

Caitlin getting to the final of the school speech competition with an oratory on 'Books'! And the semis of the geeral knowledge when most of the questions were on New Zealand

Both of them being fantastic tennis players, and making huge progress in their tennis lessons!

Guy Fawkes night in the rain

Rotorua; Ant was at a conference so we spent the previous weekend there. Hot springs and geysers in the middle of a city centre park. Phemonenal pools of sulphur, the smell of rotten eggs and one of the best brunches in the world (At the Fat dog cafe).

Going to the Netball world Cup competition at our local stadium, and meeting the English Team and getting C's ball signed.

Kitting out Roo's bedroom for under $150 dollars using Trademe ( like eBay).

Finding furniture from unlikely sources ( garage sales, Sally Army). Caitlin's Mackintosh chair is a major find.

The new spa, trampoline and barbeque...well why else are we here!

Ladies football at Laingholm on Tuesday nights. All that time spent watching John Terry was not in vain.

The container arriving and having all our stuff around us, after three months of living out of suitcases.

Putting up the Christmas tree after spending the day on the beach at Whatipu.

Watching Gok on Friday nights.

Caitlin being addicted to Shortland Street!