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Thread: One and a quarter year post.. its quite long!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Default One and a quarter year post.. its quite long!

    Hi again folks. Long time no speak!

    Where do I start...

    You're not going to anticipate what I am going to say about our first year
    here. No-one has a crystal ball, and before I say anything else, I am glad we came here and would do it all again... without hesitation.

    As many of you know, it took us, all in all, nearly 5 years to get here.. what with Ewan wanting to finish his degree, get experience, get residency, sell flat, etc. I would have been here straight away, but we like to play safe... ironic really.

    We arrived in Aug 2009. Very very bad time to try to find work. We managed to get temp jobs, sometimes working 2 temp jobs at a time. Ewan, always the professional, did his best in whatever he was doing, but hated working in retail again (tho he enjoyed his colleagues and met up with a lass he used to work with in Aberdeen).

    We bought the Delica he'd been after (the interior of which he had had planned out over the previous two years). Tick

    We bought two new(er) motorbikes (again, one he'd been drooling over for at least the last two years). Tick

    I had accepted the first permanent job I was offered (out of desparation), and he was finally interviewed for a role he was qualified to undertake. Tick

    We had attended a couple of Christmas functions, had made heaps of biker friends, joined kayak group, but our gear had only just arrived mid-Oct (should have arrived in August).

    The day after my manager's Christmas BBQ my soulmate, best friend, lover and husband, was killed whilst riding his motorbike. I was with him, I was riding mine right behind him. I saw it. I was with him till the helicopter arrived. I was with him while we flew to the hospital.. He didnt make it.

    I heard that he was going to be offered that job when he was due back for what he thought was going to be his second interview the following Wednesday...

    Most folk would have run a mile... gone 'back home'...

    Me? No! I'm staying put. I asked that no-one come for his Celebration of Life.. it was the week before Christmas. It would have cost a fortune, and folk would only have stayed a couple of days... I insisted they all save their leave and pennies for a long-stay holiday.

    Well, since then I've bought and been doing major renovations on my own house.. Really really major, like new roof, new windows/doors, hauling out fireplaces and chimneys, closing off patio doors, making new openings, hauling out kitchen/bathroom, living in a friends campervan in the back yard thru May to August. No hot water for first 5 weeks, showering at work and at friends.. only just put our ikea kitchen units together for going in a couple of weeks ago. Only just got sinks connected and gas hob hitched up. Bedroom floors sanded. I've done nothing but sand and paint for ever... ... I know its distraction.. I'll be finished the inside in 2 weeks, I have to, I get the flooring down then!

    It works most of the time... the distraction theory.

    We had 10 years together. We never argued, EVER. We made it here, where we wanted to be. Some folk only ever dream.

    This place and its people are an inspiration. They've acted as a buffer for me... They pull together and support each other (and total strangers) in times of need. The earthquake here has proved that beyond all doubt.

    This is my home now. Its where Ewan wanted to be. I'm arranging to have a wee service to scatter his ashes in the most beautiful place in the world, and I will remain here with him always.

    I'm looking for another job now. I need to up the anti salary-wise. I've discovered its not what but who you know tho.. its a bit of a closed-shop, but hopefully now I have NZ experience on my CV it will be easier.

    Its tough.. I miss him like crazy....

    You'll be fine if you come here for the lifestyle.
    Dont expect miracles overnight.
    Things take time.
    You get frustrated.
    Some things are expensive.
    Some are actually quite good value... but it depends on what your priorities are.
    Be flexible.
    Dont expect to slot into the salary range you were on in the UK. It wont happen unless you are being shipped over here by current employers as an expat on an expat salary... (again depends on your priorities).
    Enjoy the outdoors
    Enjoy the food
    Enjoy the people
    Enjoy your life....... you only get one shot at it...

    Grey Granite

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008


    Wow! I'm so sorry for your loss, it must be heartbreaking and I am in tears reading your post. You sound such a strong person and if you are happy to stay here where you knew your partner wanted to be, then good on ya and I am sure that's what he would be so proud of all you have achieved. Good luck for the future and Kia Kaha, stay strong.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    SG > Wellington, Raumati Beach


    Hi grey granite,

    Thanks for sharing your story. I am really sorry for your loss...

    some people search a lifetime for a soulmate and never to find one.

    i wish you all the best in whatever u do and do stay strong.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    M'side(UK) - Welly - Waikanae


    Grey Granite - how sad and how tragic.

    Not easy reading but you show great inspiration and strength - to be bold, to carry on and to continue the dream you shared.

    No doubt you will never forget him and always miss him - but time will bring some healing - and I hope that your life will blossom and be lived to the full.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Poole, UK to Chch, NZ



    We're riders too, and I have no idea what I'd do in your position. I have nothing but the utmost admiration for your determination and hard work, whether or not part of it is a distraction

    Many best wishes for the future, and maybe see you out in Chch one day *hughug*

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008


    Sending my utmost respect, and sympathy, and good wishes. You are showing such strength - may it keep on coming, with comfort from your memories, as well as from the realization of some of your dreams. (((()))

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    at the bottom of the top bit


    wow. its not often i read something so affecting yet so inspiring in the same breath. Ive never met you but you sound like the sort of person i'd like to one day.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Napier NZ


    Your post has left me gobsmacked.

    All the best for the future. (although it looks like you've got that sussed)


  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009


    You are a very brave person..., I can only second what all the others have said before!
    I am very sorry for your loss, it must be heartbreaking to see what is happening and not being able to do anything about it. I've got goosepimpels all over while reading your post.

    Take care and stay strong!

  10. #10
    Manks's Avatar
    Manks is offline Serial procrastinator and general busybody
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    UK->CT, USA->Wellington, NZ


    Ditto what everyone else has said. Your experience has been so bittersweet, your dreams have been tainted, yet your bravery and courage is inspirational.

    We are also riders and just looking at getting a bike here. My one greatest fear is hubby not coming home

    I take my hat off to you for the life you have given yourself and the determination with which you are living it.

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