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Thread: A year in Hawkes Bay ....

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Hawkes Bay
    Posts
    78

    Default A year in Hawkes Bay ....

    I'll save the usual 'I can't believe we've been here a year/doesn't time fly' type stuff, though it's true, it has flown by and it does only feel like yesterday that we left the snowy Cotswolds behind and landed in Auckland, all of us blinking like myopic rabbits as we drove down to sunny Hawkes Bay (the sun being an unusual sight for us all!) On the other hand the UK seems a very long way away, both geographically and in a time sense, just over a year of being here has softened the edges of the occasional pangs of homesickness and given us the time to feel settled and comfortable.

    We've bought a home, welcomed all our worldy belongings as they arrived on the container (no breakages and we only had to mourn the loss of a duvet that had gone damp and mouldy on the trip) we had a pet (RIP Snowflake, he only lasted 8 weeks before losing a fight with a car - he was the most wonderful animal but clearly his road sense was lacking) and, most importantly, we've made some amazing friends here. I've realised as I sit and ponder our big move that I'd be pretty torn if we had to make a decision to go back to the UK, both at leaving our new friends and uprooting the children from the life they have here.

    Anyway, we're here, we're settled and we're happy, so what can I sum up about our last year?

    Hawkes Bay is awesome, spectacular, breath taking and all the other words that are often trotted out when describing this most beautiful of places. It's also a whole new world of isolated that I hadn't come across in the UK. One road in, one road out and beautiful though that road may be, it can be a mighty pain in the arse to get anywhere in a hurry! Luckily we have the airport, so we're always only a plane trip from Auckland, and therefore the UK, should we need to get back in a hurry. We love it here, the beach, mountains, lakes and waterfalls are exactly where we wanted to see our children playing, no doubt about it, this place is a big outdoor adventure playground for kids.

    Having children made this process a whole lot easier from a making friends point of view. We now have two children at school and one at kindy and that pool of other parents quickly turns into casual friends and now, real 'count on us when the chips are down' friendships. I had to swallow my shyness and learn to smile at strangers again to get there, but I did and I'm so grateful to the people who have helped us settle in and supported us. The children have settled well in to school and have taken to the barefoot life here like ducks to water. They're doing well academically at school, have made friends and both play school sports (hockey and cricket) The youngest is at afternoon kindy 3 days a week and, after an initial wobble (she's only 2.5 and has only had Mummy, Daddy and her big brothers to supervise her for the last year so it was to be expected I think) she's happily trotting off without a backward glance now.

    Life's different here and I'm eternally grateful that I didn't come here with a 'it's like the UK but warmer' mindset. It's not like the UK, it's very different. It's been an adventure and we've enjoyed finding things out and trying new things to work out what we like/don't like. Life here is less stressful from a 'keeping up with the Jones' type mentality, no-one we know here gives a toss what car you drive, what house you live in or what clothes you wear, and we live in a supposedly more affluent part of HB so I'd been expecting a bit more snobbery. Refreshingly the kids have also stepped off the 'we need/want this latest gadget/games console' treadmill as well, they're outside most of the time and their computer games lie idle for the most part. I do miss shopping, because dammit I can be as shallow as the next person and crave Next, M & S and decent sales BUT all my favourites deliver here, yes I have to pay for delivery but it means that I can either sit and moan about lack of shopping or man up and order it from the UK.

    Last winter was hard, you've heard it all before so I won't bore you with my shivery moans, but the un-insulated wooden house had me reaching for an electric blanket quick smart - I went from centrally heated girl about town in the UK to a Nana in bed socks and thermals in the space of 6 months! We've caught on though and the house is being fully insulated next week, and a new wood burner put in (our old one is non compliant) We've also got lots of generous friends who, in exchange for a few mornings hard graft from the husband, have filled our garage with enough wood to see us through winter. This year winter can do it's worst .... we're ready for it!

    So, that's pretty much it - HB feels like home, I still miss my family and friends but it's not a sharp ache anymore, and I can even sit and think 'sheesh, I don't envy you' when I hear tales of snow and rain and never ending winter back home. I'll never stop missing my Mum, or seeing my nieces and nephews regularly, but it's an easier cross to bear when I watch the kids play in the Pacific, or paddle in a waterfall or see them barefoot and tanned running in the school cross country. I feel like this was the right move to make, however heart breaking it felt at the time, this is where we're meant to be for now, nothing's forever I know and we don't know what the future holds but for now, this is where we want to be.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    35,522

    Default

    Congratulations, and thanks for sharing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    3,697

    Default

    Congrats on your first year anniversary and your honest post

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Las Vegas----> Western BOP, NZ
    Posts
    112

    Default

    Love it... I have kids around the same age and I think that is going to be a huge help in getting to know people. Your post made me very excited for my move in SIX days. Thank you!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    UK to Christchurch
    Posts
    497

    Default

    Congratulations and thanks for sharing.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Western North Carolina
    Posts
    68

    Default

    Happy anniversary! Thanks for sharing your experience. I had a pang of longing for HB while reading it. My hubby is from there and, even though I've only visited, I can't wait to see my kids running around barefoot in the HB sunshine. Only a couple of more years until we're there I think.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    California to Tasman Bay
    Posts
    1,135

    Default

    What a wonderful read. Thanks for sharing.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Lincoln, UK to Rotorua, NZ
    Posts
    492

    Default

    Thanks for sharing

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Nelson, New Zealand
    Posts
    130

    Default

    Congtrats. Thanks for sharing and wish you more happy moments.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Auckland
    Posts
    28

    Default

    That was inspiring & encapsulated many themes that me & my wee clan have experienced.

    Not quite a year for us, but it's getting closer.

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