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Thread: 4 years in NZ

  1. #1
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    Default 4 years in NZ

    4 years ago since we landed in New Zealand, having never been here and knowing very little about it (we came on a whim). The story so far – we arrived, I was very unsettled for a few months but felt better once we had bought a house and made the decision to stay permanently. Then we bought some land in the hills outside Cambridge, sold our house and built a house having done very little research again, and knowing pretty much nothing about building (although you can ask me anything about paint colours and interior tiles). We got away with it. We’ve been living in the house for 2 years and we’re loving country life.

    I’ve come a long way from the person that asked the B&B manager on my first day which national newspaper would be most like The Guardian – HAHAHA. I have become more hands on, and do a lot of stuff I never would have dreamed of in the UK – e.g. splitting logs with a scary machine, cleaning out sewerage filters and sewing and making presents (pity my friends). JoJo off this forum taught me to sew, and it has become an obsession.

    I think we have fitted well in to rural life – as long as there’s a decent coffee within 15 minutes driving distance of course. The people around us in this area seem to have accepted us (although they may roll their eyes behind our backs at our weird vegetarian ways). We know all our neighbours, and I love how helpful people are – e.g. one neighbour drags our long steep drive with a tractor-thingy every year to smooth it out. Every now and then, someone tries to give us “half a hogget” but they don’t seem offended when we can’t accept. We had a cocktail party last year and it was hilarious to see all these traditional farmer types clutching martini glasses with pink girly drinks in them and getting rapidly wasted.

    J (my partner) sometimes struggles at rural get-togethers. I don’t know what it’s like in other rural areas, but around here, parties seem to divide immediately into men and women. The women are great – women are the same everywhere I think and you’ll always find something in common, but poor old J is lost with the endless chat about cattle, grass, motor engines and other rural occupations. He always looks completely pained after ½ an hour.

    So all in all, things are pretty good. The kids are happy, we’re happy, life is normal.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam B View Post
    4 years ago since we landed in New Zealand...
    So all in all, things are pretty good...
    I am really happy for you!

    (Had I written a report at that stage it would have been similar - especially the summary.)

  3. #3
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    Congratulations on successfully building a new life!!

  4. #4
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    Lovely post, very interesting seeing as we did the move the opposite way round from rural life to city. Country conversations in the UK always seemed to revolve around septic tanks, so at least there appears to be more variety in conversational topics here... Thank goodness for the Guardian online is all I can say.

    All the best for the future.

  5. #5
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    Feb 2008
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    Wellington
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    Nice update, Sam. It's great to hear that everything has worked out for you and your family.

  6. #6
    Manks's Avatar
    Manks is offline Serial procrastinator and general busybody
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    Happy it's all worked out so well for you

  7. #7
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    Glad that it has all worked out well for you Sam. I know the rural conversation...having lived in Skye...and yes, septic tanks figured a lot..my OH used to tune out!

  8. #8
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    Nice one Sam from fellow rural dwellers

  9. #9
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    Congratulations on 4 years...we're not far behind you so I better start thinking about writing something soon too


    Quote Originally Posted by Sam B View Post
    although they may roll their eyes behind our backs at our weird vegetarian ways


    That made me chuckle! It always amazed me the number of people we have met in NZ who end up with what I can only describe as a stunned expression on thier faces when we tell them we're veggie. How to do deal with BBQ invites? That's always the trickiest one for us.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam B View Post
    J (my partner) sometimes struggles at rural get-togethers. I don’t know what it’s like in other rural areas, but around here, parties seem to divide immediately into men and women. The women are great – women are the same everywhere I think and you’ll always find something in common, but poor old J is lost with the endless chat about cattle, grass, motor engines and other rural occupations. He always looks completely pained after ½ an hour.
    Soooo true! And even in cities my OH find the blokey conversations (apart from with fellow IT bods) revolve around sport, fishing or boats, none of which he is into at all.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Familyofmonkeys View Post
    ... when we tell them we're veggie. How to do deal with BBQ invites? That's always the trickiest one for us.....
    Why?!
    My wife is a vegetarian for more than 20 years - I'm not. However we both attend "normal" BBQs (and also vegan dinners). When she is at such a BBQ she either does her veggies first or when enough space in a decent distance to meat etc. No issues at all!

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