Thursday, November 05, 2009

Finally got my New Zealand driving license in the post this morning. Promptly smashed a headlight in celebration.

At least the fireworks down on the harbour front were good.

Friday, September 18, 2009


It be Talk Like A Pirate Day on Saturday.

You are The Cap'n!

Some men and women are born great, some achieve greatness and some slit the throats of any scalawag who stands between them and unlimited power. You never met a man - or woman - you couldn't eviscerate. You are the definitive Man of Action, the CEO of the Seven Seas, Lee Iacocca in a blousy shirt and drawstring-fly pants. You're mission-oriented, and if anyone gets in the way, that's his problem, now isn't? Your buckle was swashed long ago and you have never been so sure of anything as your ability to bend everyone to your will. You will call anyone out and cut off his head if he shows any sign of taking you on or backing down. If one of your lieutenants shows an overly developed sense of ambition he may find more suitable accommodations in Davy Jones' locker. That is, of course, IF you notice him. You tend to be self absorbed - a weakness that may keep you from seeing enemies where they are and imagining them where they are not.

What's Yer Inner Pirate?

brought to you by The Official Talk Like A Pirate Web Site. Arrrrr!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Oh noes!

Apparently Terry Wogan is stepping down as breakfast show host on Radio 2. He kept me entertained on the drive into work. Funny man.

From here:

Even more new photos!

I've been getting some use out of my camera!

This Sunday R and I headed out to Ferrymead Heritage Village. It's very similar to the one we went to in Nelson (where we wrote our Christmas cards in the sun), but sadly lacks an on-site brewery. However, it did have steam trains! On the first Sunday of every month they get the steam trains, trams and electric trolleybuses out and you can ride around on them as much as you like. This Sunday also happened to be Fathers' Day, so we were a little out of place (being the only ones there without kids). But that's never stopped us before, and I don't think it ever will.

The actual village has the usual things like old shops, a church, a schoolroom (which we didn't venture into - wasn't feeling that brave!), but also serves as a home for a substantial array of local societies. We found model railways, with blokes busy making trains run around large models (the ground level of which were usually at my eye-height, making me feel like a child again and really annoying all the actual children who couldn't see a thing), historic aircraft restoration hangars, Christchurch Hansom Cab Society (I love those things - they should be brought back), even an amateur radio station which appeared to be set in 1977 (the DJ was happily reading out news of Elvis' death). All great fun to look around, and a good chance for the societies to recruit new members, I imagine.

Photos are, as ever, on Picasaweb.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

New photos

I've put some new photos up on the Picasaweb site. Some are older than others...

It's nice that the weather is picking up again. Yesterday I discovered that maybe sunscreen should have been on my list of things to do before going out. Nothing serious, I just discovered I had changed colour by the time I got home from walking on the Banks Peninsula. Summer is here again?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Time for an update

Which I shall do in bullet-point form, for brevity. I'm tired.

  • Christchurch has a strange mix of weather, from the really very cold to the sitting outside in t-shirt warmth. This often happens on the same day. I feel like I'm experiencing both hemispheres at the same time.
  • Job-hunting during a recession is a stupid idea. Especially when on a working holiday visa and competing with laid-off Kiwis.
  • Luckily R's old company needed researchers in NZ, so yay for proper work! Paid in US$ even, so we'll be rich. Comparatively.
  • I'm not sure why they don't pay in pounds, when it's a British company. Never mind.
  • With work sorted, we turned our attention to other fun things. Like snowboarding!
  • Pictures are on Picasa. Look to the little link on the left for photo and video action.
  • Or go here.
  • Kea are fantastic.
  • My coccyx hurts.
  • I'm not in hospital! This is an improvement.
That's all for now. Consider yourselves caught up.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Also want

Who in the UK would like to buy me this? It's a collection of 100 classic books on a DS cartridge. Certainly would save R and I a lot of money on reading material!

The problem with NZ is that games and books and things here are really expensive. Take the above item. On, ten quid. To buy here, getting on for $60. Even with the exchange rate, that's a lot more! Silly NZ and its being far away from... well, everything.

Thursday, July 09, 2009


It's ridiculous how much I enjoy these games. Sadly, R's laptop won't play them, so I've sent a "hint hint" kind of email to his brother in Chicago. There's a Wii there, just waiting for some Guybrush Threepwood...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009



(And am excited enough to use caps to tell you so.)

It's going to be cold. But great.


As for the job hunt, it's going slowly. I keep applying for things, though, so that's a start. I was going to apply to be the Hagglund driver at the Antarctic Centre, but the place filled too fast. Probably just as well - I'm not amazingly confident driving Daisy at times, let alone an Antarctic ATV with passengers.

Ooh, here's another exciting job I found:

Scott Base - Winter Science Technician
Listing #: 224045238
Company: Antarctica New Zealand
Location: Christchurch City, Canterbury
Listed: Fri, 12 Jun
Type: Full time, Contract/Temp
The Winter Science Technician provides technical support to science events operating in Antarctica, and reports to the Scott Base Coordinator.

Key tasks include the operation and maintenance of scientific equipment; collection, recording, and updating data associated with experiments or operations; computer administration and support for Scott Base personnel and science staff; biological monitoring of the waste water treatment plant; serving on the Scott Base Fire Crew; serving on the HAZMAT response team; and assisting in other areas when required.

The successful applicant will have relevant qualifications in electronics and/or computing; extensive post-qualification experience; experience in a science/laboratory environment; diagnostic and repair skills; network and computer support skills; strong time management skills; possess the personal attributes to be able to relate well with others from diverse professional backgrounds; demonstrate that they value safety, caring for the environment, teamwork, and delivering quality customer service; hold a full NZ motor vehicle drivers licence; a current work place first aid certificate and be certified as medically fit for Antarctic employment by Antarctica New Zealand's Medical Assessor.

This is a thirteen month role from September 2009 ? October 2010. We will also be selecting a "standby" position from the applications, to be available on call for the duration of the 2009/10 season.

Alas, I am woefully underqualified. Don't even think I can blag my way through the application form. Knew I should have learned to speak Penguin.

Anyway, back to it. Wish me luck!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Time stamp

Hopefully I've just set up the time stamp properly, so it recognises that I'm not posting at 4am.


EDIT: Success! At least on my end.


It's very cold here. For all their green-ness, Kiwis seem to have completely missed the revolution that is insulation. Or central heating.

Anyway, that aside things are going pretty well. R and I made our way down here from Hopewell, where we've spent May being super-cleaners. Not a hard task when the place is nearly empty most of the time, so that meant we got to spend a lot of time in front of the log fire. Oh yes indeedy. And baking (see previous post).

We came down via Hamner Springs, which is a thermal resort. There's something wonderful about going for a walk in the crisp coldness and then spending the afternoon/early evening soaking in hot pools. Top it off with a tasty dinner and some lovely wine, and you've got a perfect weekend.

Now, though, it's time to get job hunting and looking for a place to live. Currently we're at R's cousin's place, which is cool but we're thinking that a bit more independence would be good. However, flat-shares are much cheaper, so who knows. Depends on what kind of jobs we get, I suppose.

In other news, today was the day of blood tests and things to decide whether I actually have developed lactose intolerance. Crippling stomach pains at the orchard (when we were eating a lot of yoghurt, milk and cheese) would suggest so, as would the fact that the pains have stopped since I've cut down on those foods. In any case, I'll find out early next week whether I'll have to give up cheese for good (sniff).

And that's that, for now. Off to get CVs updated (our apple-picking credentials might land us that perfect job) and then get them sent to temp agencies, so that they can ignore us in favour of actual Kiwis... I'm so optimistic!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Domestic goddess

Today I made bacon and egg pie with peppers and mushrooms, and Mexican chicken soup, and some tasty oaty biscuits, all from scratch. And they all worked! \o/

To be fair, the biscuits should have had raisins in them and instead gained chocolate chips and dried apple, and some of the oats were replaced by berry muesli, but still. Yum. Even managed to poach eggs without making a terrible mess or a bland version of egg-drop soup, so that's something.

Only problem now is eating everything. Need more volunteers...

Oh, and R has been occasionally posting photos from his fancy phone to his blog. Have a look if you haven't recently.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Well, it's been a long time. Oops. In short, we've driven around a lot, crossed the country in just about every conceivable direction (at least the North Island), and run out of money. But fear not, intrepid reader! Jobs have been found, and you're reading the words of Hawke's Bay's newest apple picker extraordinaire.

However, this tease of a post will have to suffice for now, since the car probably has been checked over (Warrant of Fitness time - every six months here, boo) and so it is time to rescue Daisy from the garage.

Must just say congrats to F and G (your initials sound like I'm just writing the alphabet) on the birth of their beautiful daughter, also called Daisy.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Lots of driving to be done!

R's sister has come to visit, so we're taking her the length and breadth of the country. We're nice like that.

View Larger Map

... yeah. (For some reason it won't let me zoom out very far. Oh well, I'm sure you can manage it yourselves.)

Anyway, Christmas was good, if a little odd. Summer is not the appropriate time to be dealing with Christmas trees and stuffs. Salmon makes a nice change from turkey though.

After Christmas we headed up to Lake Heron for New Year with R's family, including four small children. We camped outside as the cottage was full, and got quite used to our wake-up call being "Helloooooo... I'm heeeeere!" Ah, three-year-olds. Do you ever sleep? But there were lambs to be fed, and calves to be kept out of the way of lambs while they were feeding, so that was all very exciting. Think I enjoyed feeding the lambs more than the kids did, but hey ho.

Now we're back in Christchurch with a big day of seeing people and places planned for tomorrow. Today we went to Akaroa, which is the French enclave (well, sort of). Swimming in the sea is great when it's 32C plus. In any case, I'd better go to bed so that we can go to the Antarctic Centre tomorrow and see penguins!