What Do You Mean Easter Was 2 Weeks Ago?

Oops it appears we blinked and it is now April. So what have Nicola and I been up to for the last 3 months? Well it is my turn to write this time and Nicola’s editorial comments are in italics.

Well Nicola started her new job at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand in a team with a decidedly international feel as her boss is Finnish and co-workers from Singapore and one lonely New Zealander respectively, I will leave it for her to type what she thinks about the job but all I can say is that any job who’s induction involves you holding 1,000,000 dollars has to be a good one!

The new jobs going ok, I seem to be moving from one report to another which is a bit frustrating as those of you who know how I felt about DM can guess. But there are a few perks, free drinks every Friday and a lot of social drinks as well as giving NZD300 a year towards keeping fit, not to mention the flexible leave (it basically unpaid leave, in fact slightly worse than that as its a deduction of 2% of total pay for each week, but the cost spread over the entire year so it means I’ll still get paid during our month off).

We live very near the botanical gardens of Wellington and during summer they do free concerts every night where you can take down a picnic and sit and enjoy a lovely summer’s night. With good intentions we planned to go on various nights but only made it down there properly once, for a drag cabaret act, it was all good fun though.

The drag concert was fun and really good to take a bottle of wine and picnic down, and we could even hear some of the concerts from our house. Summer evening’s here aren’t quite like the UK, it gets dark and cold earlier, so we were wrapped in the rug for most of the concert, all the same we should have gone more often and it was pure laziness that we didn’t.

We also spent a bit of time at Wellington’s cake tin, the affectionate name for the main sports stadium, where we watched Fiji win the international sevens and I even watched a day night game of cricket. I actually enjoyed it, though that might have been the fact that it was a beautiful summers day and I got to sit in the sun!

In February Nicola’s parents arrived and we started our world tour of New Zealand, unfortunately as Nicola had just started a new job and I had just booked 24 days leave for another holiday later in the year we weren’t able to get any leave, so the touring was limited to the weekends.

Rather then stealing anyone’s thunder and talking in too much detail about the weekend’s away I will mention briefly the trip to Taupo and Rotorua, the highlights were obviously the thermal park as shown to the left, Nicola zorbing (if you have no idea what that is just follow the link) I would have love to have joined her but managed to hurt my leg /arm /foot /pride that day and so she went with her mother, also the joys of walking around in Rotorua during the middle of a Corvette festival / Upper North Island bagpiping contest cannot be underestimated (and what a piece of marketing genius putting those two events together is).

Realising that the red letter day that was my gift upon leaving my job in London was near expiring the next weekend involved travelling around on the horse and cart to the right going from vineyard to vineyard on a lovely hot summers day in Martinborough. There’s not much more you can say about that.

The other weekend away saw us going to Kaikoura to go Whale Watching, this was the second attempt for me and Nicola and on the Saturday it was raining and windy and there was no way we were getting out on a boat, but when we woke up on Sunday it was a beautifully fine day (the photo below is the view from the bed and breakfast lawn) and so off we went through the 5 meter swells to see some whales. Its quite a bizarre concept really as you spend the day rushing about to see Sperm whales sitting on the surface breathing and then everyone stops and takes around 8,000 photos, the whale dives and you are off to find the next one. It’s all quite good fun.

So we had five very enjoyable weekends home and away and then it was time for Nicola’s parents to head off to Central America for two months in the sun. As it had been a while since we had seen anyone we decided to organise a pub quiz / wine tasting night, this may have been a little on the ambitious side, as the requirement of drinking a small glass of wine each round of questions started to become a little tough on some of the competitors and I have a sneaking suspicion that the drinking demands may have some small effect on the quality of the answers in the later rounds.

It was great having mum and Paul here, though a little bit tiring as work during the week and exploring at weekends did take its toll. Since then we’ve taken it fairly easy, a few 30th birthday parties, a couple of quiz nights and catching up with friends. We spent Easter up at Robbie’s parents place in Waikanae, leaving the cats to wreak havoc at home and are now having a lazy day off for Anzac day. Not much planned over the next few weeks but can’t wait for our month off.

April appears to have just flown on by, I can’t think what we have done, I am (well was) playing soccer until I got kicked in the ankle with enough force to have stopped me walking on and off for the last 3 weeks, we are still doing the great hunt for the number one songs (what’s that you ask? Well as we are trying to collect all the number one singles from the UK since the charts started. Why you ask? I don’t have any idea really, it just seemed like a fun idea) we have now got around 650 of them and so are down to the last 400 which in some cases are a bit more obscure, if anyone can be any help the list is here. (now complete!)

It’s not me collecting number ones its Robbie, but I will make full use of whatever he does collect, I just don’t have the patience/geekiness (oi!) to do it. Beck – am counting on you for some of the pop and Christine I do expect you to have the bob the builder stuff, so we might be raiding a few cd cabinets while we in the UK.
Well I will leave you here now, in case someone out there doesn’t know we are heading to Italy and England in June and so we would love to catch up with those of you in that part of the world and we will attempt to do one more update before we leave. There are some more photos up in the recent photos section which you can view by clicking here or through the menu and I almost forgot to post the obligatory cats of war photos!