Getting To Grips With Everything

Trip Start Aug 20, 2009
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Some motel!

Flag of New Zealand  , North Island,
Thursday, October 22, 2009

Well it has been an interesting couple of weeks.........................lots of highs and lots of lows, however, throughout the children have stayed positive and are having a ball :-)

I dread to think how many hours have been spent in front of the computer looking at houses to rent and buy.  The original plan was to rent for 6-12 months and then buy...............as it stands at the moment we change with the wind.  One hour we are looking to rent, then 10 minutes later we are going to buy, our heads seem to be in a complete spin!

We have learnt very quickly which areas are for us and which ones we should stay well clear of and have got the hang of the open houses which occur every weekend.  The knack is to collect lists of open houses during the week and then create a programme to get around the properties as quickly as possible in the time given! 

You certainly see some sights while going around these properties.  Some folk go to a lot of trouble (just like we did) to dress their houses, whilst others make absolutely no effort at all.  We have experienced dirty washing, the smell of dirty bedding as well as piles of papers!  A property we looked at last night was the worst one yet!  The only thing it had going for it was a lovely view of the ocean , neither Jeff or I could find anything in the slightest positive about it!  We walked back to the car laughing..............................

What is proving more difficult is working out how much houses are expected to go for.  At the moment there seems to be very few being advertised with a price and they are all up for auction - very difficult when new to the NZ real estate market.......how much is it worth???

I think we are being too picky and are finding it VERY difficult to find the perfect house - we have an image in our head of our dream, however, due to the strength of the dollar at the moment things are not going quite to plan!

We have now found a great house which we love and the children love.  It's a pole house in the forest completely surrounded by bush/trees.  But guess what...................it's up for auction!  We are currently getting things together for the auction, which is at the beginning of next month - fingers and everything else crossed!

We are slowly getting used to the 'New Zealand way.'  Considering how alike we are in many ways we are so different in others!  Driving, speaking on the telephone, music, meals etc etc.

To raise money for the Samoa tsunami appeal, Auckland held a music concert, made up of 25 bands/solo artists from Kiwi/Pacific music.  The only music we recognised was from two blokes from Crowded House!!  There was some great music and some not so great rap but absolutely everyone in the crowd seemed to know the words to most of the songs.  It was like they were listening to songs which were old favourites.  Jeff and I felt like we were aliens in a bubble listening to something being sung in a foreign language!  We just sat there and laughed.  I do wonder how long it will take before things become more familiar!  The evening was good fun and a good Kiwi education, Angela who was in our group was pounced on by the News TV camera, thank goodness it was her...............Jeff and I would have just stood there like idiots when asked which bands we were looking forward to seeing!  I want to appear on TV but not look like a complete idiot in the process!

After spending two and a half weeks taking over Larissa's house we moved into a motel last Sunday.  The place has two bedrooms, a kitchen, bathroom and a lounge - clean but basic. Yesterday we had to go out searching for more kitchen equipment, it all became too much for me when I had to cut the rind off bacon using nail scissors!  Once again I just stood there and laughed!  I had to, otherwise I would have cried.  I think the secret to get through the next six months is to try hard not to think about what we have left behind and concentrate on starting again.  I came out of Briscoes (very much like Dunelm but without the fabric!) with a large slow cooker, baking trays, two pairs of scissors and chopping boards!

Yesterday we also went to watch the All Blacks train in preparation for their World Tour which I think begins in Japan.  Daniel had a great time and took lots and lots of photographs, Lucy on the other hand didn't seem to be impressed.  I really enjoyed it, they were so fast and extremely clever with their tactics, although I had no idea who was who!  After the training session we had the opportunity to get autographs, however, we decided against it this time, I think we will wait until our All Black rugby knowledge is slightly more comprehensive!

Jeff is working hard and is beginning to get to grips with everything.  He has already got trips to Rotorua, Christchurch and Wellington planned.  He has also finally found the motorbike that he would like, so we should have that soon, which will help our transport issues now that we are a one car family.

All in all we are getting there.............we just need time, we need to be patient :-)
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