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Thread: 6 months in NZ

  1. #1
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    Sep 2008
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    Default 6 months in NZ

    This seems to be the weekend for sit-reps, so here's mine!

    Good
    • Our house survived the 6.3 pretty well, as did our suburb as a whole (though many nearby came off worse in the 7.1). Subsequent aftershocks have created more cracks - the 5.3 on Tuesday morning gave us a lovely 3 foot line up the living room wall, for instance - but chances are that it's all cosmetic rather than structural for now. We are so far down the EQC inspection list that we'll be lucky to see anyone before Christmas.
    • The house comes with a lovely old overgrown veg plot, which is being weeded by some very useful chickens. Turns out that we'll have to rebuild the coop at some point, but that's ok because the last owner also left us oodles of planks and even chicken wire in the loft! I need to learn how to prune 8 different fruit trees too...
    • People are lovely, they really are, though we have yet to form any real friendships - even DD. I'm not sure why. Possibly because we're both working 5 days a week here and I have yet to find a playgroup that runs on a weekend.. Anyone know of a billy-no-mates club for parents of small kidlets?
    • Skype is wonderful, as if we didn't know that from before when chatting to MiL every other weekend. So much better than the fortnightly phone calls I use to make to my parents when we lived in Sydney (back in the pre-Skype era). I shall detest Microsoft forever if they mess up my Skype!
    • We are close to hubby's mum and his brother's family, which is just what we were looking for after my parents' vagabond ways, though the fact that MiL has started talking about retiring to Blenheim and FiL (currently in Dunedin) wants to go back to Whangarei isn't helping.. I guess itchy feet runs in the family!! But either way we are set on staying here until I can get citizenship, because I refuse to deal with immigration paperwork ever again!
    • Steak & cheese pies. (hubby's contribution to the list)


    Bad
    • Earthquake! Nuff said.
    • Hubby found work within a month of landing, and it paid well (more after conversion than his UK job), however it was a temp-to-perm and guess what, the company has failed to make any sales since the earthquake and so hubby's contract is up next Friday. He's had a couple of nibbles for new jobs though, so fingers crossed. Regards professionalism, the ranting I hear most nights suggests that the managers are of the variety who change their minds every 5 seconds.
    • I'm a bit nervous about my job too. It was always going to be a temp contract - maternity cover, in fact - however Chch City Council are seeking to redeploy 150+ staff elsewhere within the business and I suspect that admin temps are high on the "unnecessary expense" list. That said, most of those in question are gym & swim tutors, so hopefully there won't be too many ex-PAs among them! Regards professionalism, well I like pretty much everyone I work with.. but communication from management to staff and back again is an issue. And there is an ENZer in my dept, so I shall now zip it
    • Aldi! Lidl! TESCO!!! Come over here!!!
    • Unless I'm willing to part with $100 it seems like I'll be asking my parents to send DD shoes for her birthday and Christmas.. The soles on most kids' shoes here is just dense foam and the arch support is rubbish. (NB: hubby's family have tendency towards flatfeet, hence my wish for a nice Clarks shop to open over here!).



    Other
    • I would like to petition the BBC for a BBC NZ channel. They have BBC America, so why not? Most of their shows end up on NZ tv anyway, just a whole season out of sync. Alternatively - or additionally - a sci-fi channel would be good
    • My parents, brother & SiL all plan to visit at the end of the year, probably with a 2-week overlap. Someone will have to sleep in the tent! They all want to go "somewhere nice, like Queenstown" the week before Xmas, but confirmed dates of arrival have not been forthcoming. I don't care if SiL doesn't like camping; she's going to have to do it the Kiwi way if they don't hurry up!
    • What is this obsession with putting breakfast cereal in biscuits? I can forgive the oats in an Anzac biccie, because they make sense, but cornflakes in an afghan? Seriously? (and why call them afghans??)


    Overall I think we're doing good so far. NZ is not perfect, but we knew that anyway, and for all that we've started dodgily as far as work goes I know that the UK is hardly rosy either. When we left, hubby was working in a place that had strict rules about cups of tea (after months of travelling 70 miles each way to another job), and I was waiting on a redundancy notice (which has since hit my old colleagues). Ok, so the UK doesn't get much in the way of earthquakes, but here we have a bigger house and garden for less money.

    Not everything is directly comparable; you have to gauge these things by how happy you feel and you know what? I'm happy
    Last edited by sophiedb; 15th May 2011 at 11:25 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    was Oxford nr Chch, NZ now UK
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    Default



    Good post - sounds like you have found your home for now.

  3. #3
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    Apparently I have to spread some reputation around

    Great post Sophie

    Karen x

  4. #4
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    Feb 2008
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    So glad you're happy. And here's wishing you some more stability with friends and jobs in the near future. +++++++++++++++++

  5. #5
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    United Kingdom
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    Default

    Thanks for the interesting post, nice to hear that on balance you are enjoying it.

  6. #6
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    May 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by sophiedb View Post
    ...
    Other
    [LIST][*]I would like to petition the BBC for a BBC NZ channel. They have BBC America, so why not? Most of their shows end up on NZ tv anyway, just a whole season out of sync. Alternatively - or additionally - a sci-fi channel would be good
    ...
    They already do, its called UK TV

    Ian

  7. #7
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    Nice read, I am still not sure if I would like to have Aldi here, though...and Lidl is even worse. Can't comment on Tesco.....

    Again- I am always surprised how expensive Germany seems to be in comparison, I can remember spending easily Euro 80.00 to 100 on children's shoes! Times four..., and twice a year at least!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by newarrival View Post
    Nice read, I am still not sure if I would like to have Aldi here, though...and Lidl is even worse. Can't comment on Tesco.....

    Again- I am always surprised how expensive Germany seems to be in comparison, I can remember spending easily Euro 80.00 to 100 on children's shoes! Times four..., and twice a year at least!
    Ouch on the shoes!!!! That sounds very painful indeed...

    Regards the supermarkets, it's competition that I'd love to see more of.. Tesco are like the evil empire of UK food shopping, but they do it well The closest I know of to Pak n Save is Aldi or Lidl, hence their inclusion.. I remember when Aldi first opened in Sydney: fun to see people's reactions.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanW99 View Post
    They already do, its called UK TV
    I didn't realise UKTV was owned by the Beeb!!

    Which means they are voluntarily keeping NZ a season out of sync *grrrr* BBC America doesn't have this problem..

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Edinburgh>Cambridge>Auckland
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    Glad to hear things are going well Sophie. You certainly arrived at a challenging time.

    I agree re Tesco's, or any supermarket to increase competition. I'd kill to have M and S here too. There are days when it would be lovely to shove a decent frozen pizza in the oven for tea but I haven't found anything edible here. And don't get me started on the Belgian chocolate refrigerator squares.

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