Winter in New Zealand

Trip Start Aug 20, 2009
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Flag of New Zealand  , Auckland,
Sunday, July 18, 2010

Life here has become some what more hectic over the last couple of months, hence the more sporadic updates to the blog!

After lots of paperwork - filling out forms, having documents certified and paying out dollars I finally got my New Zealand teacher registration which has allowed me to get out into the community, experiencing local schools on the relief teacher circuit!   Even after teaching for 16 years, I have never had the opportunity to do relief teaching and I can honestly say I have really enjoyed  'having a go' over the last few weeks.  I have now managed to secure a job at a local school working with the new entrant job up until Christmas which I am extremely excited and motivated about.  Here starts the next chapter of my career..........

So far winter has been kind to us, apparently milder and drier than the norm.  There have been many wet days, and when I say wet, I mean wet!  There have been a number of nights when we have been woken by the sound of torrential rain thundering down on our metal roof.  Over the last few months, I have grown to love the sound when snuggled up warm and cosy in bed, but it is rather a different story when trying to play netball while dodging the heavy 'showers' or running from classroom to classroom across the playground!   However, there have been many glorious days, when the sky has been clear blue with not a cloud to be seen.  The last two weeks have been exactly that while the children have been off school on their mid winter break, glorious wall to wall sunshine, if just a little chilly out of the sun.  I don't mind days of rain, if it means we can have days of sunshine.  Today was another one of those days, and the thermometer hit 18 degrees - we even got to sit out in the sunshine drinking wine for an hour or so, before the sun disappeared below the ridge of the ranges and it became chilly.

So what have we been up to so far this winter?

Adventure to the caves at Whatapu
A cave which was used to hold social dances in in the 1920s.  Apparently there is still evidence of the old wooden floor, buried some 3 metres under the ever moving black sand.

Parcels from afar!

Thank you so much to Aunty Caroline for the fabulous load of goodies that you sent...............Haribo, chocolate fingers, proper Cadbury's chocolate, Galaxy (which was devoured by Jeff and I before we even got back to the house after picking up the package!) tea bags, cuddly toys..........................the list was endless :-)  :-)

Social dos with friends
BBQs have been replaced with roast dinners!  Roasted pumpkin......nearly as delicious as roast potatoes and brussel sprouts!  We even enjoyed a mid winter Christmas, delicious food, crackers, presents, fairy lights and even Christmas TV!  It was such a lot of fun, even more so as we even had a frost (the closest we get to snow up here in Auckland!)  Lots of play days for the children as well as a couple of sleep overs, thrown in for good measure, oh and a couple of birthday parties/leaving party too.

Full time teaching work until Christmas
At a fabulous local school - finally my enthusiasm for teaching has returned :-)

Visit from Emma, Andrew, Mya and Tresco from Bangkok
A long awaited re-union after more than three years.  The weather was fabulous during their visit and we managed to take them to the Arataki Visitors Centre, Piha and the new Piha Cafe, Huia for fish and chips, Huia Point, All Blacks v Springboks at Eden Park, Mission Bay and Auckland City.

Adventure to Bethell's Beach

A chance to visit Bethell's again on a glorious Saturday afternoon.  As the tide was heading out, we clambered over the rocks to the dark and ominous cave which scared me and the children last time!

Netball matches
Lucy continues to play in her school team, improving week by week.  Their last match before the term 2 holidays saw a convincing win 4-0 after a dry spell!  I now play in a social netball league on Monday evenings with a team of other mums, some of whom haven't played netball for nearly 30 years!  We have worked hard, against the odds and against some very serious opposition, loosing every match until last Monday.  The tide has hopefully now turned!!!!

Inter-station Relay Race
Jeff took part in a relay race around a variety of fire stations in Auckland.  Me and the children drove around providing lots of encouragement along the way :-)

Newly Decorated Kids Rooms

Lucy now has a rather lovely Tinkerbell room in a delicious shade of pink whilst Dan has just moved back into his alien/space room, with lovely lime green walls.  Both of them are extremely happy with their new rooms and are trying hard to keep them tidy!

Bike Rides in the Bush
Riding bikes up to Huia Dam, admiring the beautiful views and the company of the sheep!  Dan and Lucy's favourite part of this ride is the reservoir overflow.  They lay on their bellies looking through a little hole at the giant 'toilet' below!

Piha

To watch the wild waves caused by the gale force winds and a climb up Lion Rock

Winter Weekend in Port Waikato

A welcome visit to the Port in the middle of winter.  Not the warmest and driest of trips but we had fun all the same with the Bullock family.  Walks on the beach, fishing, fish and chips, a climb up the hill and great views.

And more planned over the next few weeks.......................... a trip over to Waiheke Island and a walk around the outside of the Sky Tower to celebrate our wedding anniversary!  We will keep you posted :-)




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