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Thread: One year in!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    Poole, UK to Chch, NZ
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    Default One year in!

    Yesterday was our first anniversary in New Zealand!!

    It's been an interesting year, but a good one overall. Hubby and I are both in permanent jobs now, after one temp job each, and DD sounds more Kiwi than hubby.

    GOOD STUFF:
    • Christchurch - it's still a lovely place, no matter what's happened. The rebuild itself is going to be interesting, though I'm certain I'll blub if we get on one of the red zone bus tours and will definitely need industrial-size tissues for "When A City Falls". The locals are also pretty friendly, once we get out of our own busy list of to-dos and attempt socialising I could do without the Canterbury winds though!
    • Kids - the ultra-safe drama llamas are circling NZ, but so far kids still seem to be allowed to be kids. DD is allowed to swing a hammer at preschool, and I only get an accident form if she bangs her head. Playgrounds are plentiful and not covered in "beware" type signs. PE and playtime are practically sacred, and not withdrawn as punishment for bad behaviour.
    • Lack of Christmas craziness- maybe it's just me, but in spite of their being far too many ads on tv and ginormous billboards all around, I'm just not seeing the same commercialism here. Halloween is creeping in, but not widespread, and Christmas hasn't been evident in the shops for long. This, I like. Being faced with cards and decorations at Tescos in August was not so good!
    • Coffee - but thank goodness I don't work too close to a coffee shop any more!


    BAD STUFF:
    • Work/life balance - not as easy to achieve as we'd like. I have found p/t jobs very thin on the ground, though I do have a full-time school-based job that will give me holidays with DD *whoop*. Hubby has found a good employer, but with a lovely clause in the contract stating that he is to work a minimum of 40hr per week.. and lets just say that the minimum is kept to a minimum. Shouldn't complain about not being unemployed too much though!
    • Cost of pretty much everything - frequently mentioned here, so I won't go into too much detail.. other than my current OMG moment, which is the cost of tyres. $1000+ to put new 4 tyres on the car!!! Oh, and the need to WOF said car every 6 months *grrr*. Insurance is going to go through the roof next year too, but that's what you get for living in an earthquake zone
    • Missing friends/family.. and their birthdays - I really need to get my calendar alarms sorted!!! 4-6 weeks' notice, or I'll be late for everything next year too! Skype is a blessing though, and Microsoft will be hearing from many irate families if they mess it up


    All in all though: good

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland, NZ
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    409

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sophiedb View Post

    [*]Kids - the ultra-safe drama llamas are circling NZ, but so far kids still seem to be allowed to be kids. DD is allowed to swing a hammer at preschool, and I only get an accident form if she bangs her head. Playgrounds are plentiful and not covered in "beware" type signs. PE and playtime are practically sacred, and not withdrawn as punishment for bad behaviour.


    All in all though: good
    Great post, I look forward to putting our own up next year.

    I knwo exactly what you mean about hammers, it wasn't long ago Mrs G picked up our 4yr old as she was banging 6 inch nails in to rough sawn timber next to a small boy wielding a hand held drill (manual, not electric!). And guess what? She still has all her limbs and eyes etc. Amazing.

    I do love the pros and cons posts - keeps it real.

    cheers!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Very pleased for you all.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    Congratulations!!!

    I was going to give you some rep, but apparently I have to spread it around a bit first

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    North Canterbury to UK
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    Default

    Nice one

  6. #6
    Manks's Avatar
    Manks is offline Serial procrastinator and general busybody
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    UK->CT, USA->Wellington, NZ
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    Default

    Congrats on your first year. I can relate to a lot of your comments. Overall it sounds like you're very happy tho. Really pleased for you

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Herts, UK to Palmy, NZ
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    Default

    Congrats, it is great to hear you are enjoying it. We've been here exactly 1 year as well. We're loving it and have no regrets about leaving the UK but have also found the same thing with the work/life balance - we'd planned to get this sorted once we came to NZ but have found that we are working harder than we did in the UK plus have 2 weeks less annual leave entitlement each year. However we are now more familiar with our jobs so they'll hopefully be more straightforward next year, and have a 2-week holiday planned for February which should help even things up!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    NZ
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    Nice one Soph

    Another agree on the work/life balance thing. Sitting in my office staring out at the gorgeous sunshine right now I wish I could tip the balance more towards the life end. So much gets crammed into the weekends here. On the plus side we have no hankering for a holiday away. We’ll be very happy to have a holiday right here when the time comes.

    RR

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Wellington
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    109

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    Hammer? As in the-heavy-tool-to-knock-in-nails?
    Do the little ones even have the strength to hold them?
    I know my DD will have some difficulty even trying to lift them up!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Essex, UK
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    Good to hear you've been having a good first year

    I have not found the work/life balance here to be any better than in the UK but rather worse (and I do work in comparable work environment).

    It is one of the oft repeated sentiments in our house: 'but the weather is better here than in the UK' to which I reply 'what difference does that make to me in the office?'

    As far as kids being kids, I won't go into that, but I do feel like I need to point out that our school does very much use lunch time play time withdrawal as a punishment, nothing 'sacred' about that. I would hesitate to generalise the idea that limiting playtime is not used as a sanction.

    Daniela

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