Wednesday, 27 November 2013

The next move

It's all coming together. I have my Mac back, fixed and with a much bigger hard drive and no lost data. Thanks to Service Plus in Christchurch. They really were service plus a lot more from the welcoming Michael to the fix it chappy John and the lovely young woman in Wellington who was a little late closing because of me. John phoned me a few time and he was so patient as he explained what was wrong, what he was doing to fix it and how much it would cost, much less than I thought actually. He answered my questions, he needed to be patient with them!

I have a new place to live, one where I can unpack my suitcases.  Signed the lease today. It's a lovely little two bedroom place right near the Botanic Gardens, close enough to walk to work as well. Briscoes had one of their magical sales yesterday and I managed to over fill a big trolley with all I needed. I saved a heap, when I did the add up of the discounts they were more than the cost of the goods. I smiled at the young man at the counter's face when he saw me coming. A bit deer in the headlights.

We chatted away as he rung up and packed, I didn't flinch at the bill, it was so much less than I had expected. Tomorrow I will get to unpack it all and make this place my own, I can't wait really. I did buy an air bed, a just in case air bed that won't be needed. Beds are us in Thorndon Quay are delivering my new bed tomorrow at lunch time, now that's service. They were lovely folks, very helpful as I made my quick purchase.

I'm amazed how easy things are to do here. I got my place, signed it up and still need to pay the bits required. I hooked up the power and Internet on the phone, after hours, and with very helpful customer service people. Things have really improved here, it was just so easy.

It's tiring this being back at work lark. I suspect my time off has set me into a different work ethic. A more relaxed way of being. The new job is interesting, learning the ropes and engaging in the culture of the place has been great.

Now the Mac is back I will load photos over the weekend and post some here. I may even be inspired to write more about my trip, hopefully basking in the sun in my new living room. Best I get on to buying that couch very soon. 

Saturday, 23 November 2013

On a good day

Wellington is outstanding. And today has been a fantastic day. Cooling off a bit now as I sit watching the light change over the harbour, over Eastbourne, over the city. I'm really lucky with my accommodation, seems to be a familiar theme so maybe it's not just luck. I'm staying in a lovely Airbnb home with Brenda. It's so handy to town and easy to find. I've been out and about today looking at apartments. Getting the lay of the land in this new city of mine.

I found where I'm starting work on Monday so that's a really good start. I'm surprised at how compact Wellington really is. There's a lot of apartments for rent or sale within walking distance of my work. A bit of a bonus as I don't want to have a car for now. In saying that, today's exploring would not have happened if I hadn't rented a car, a wise move for this week of searching.

I came back to Brenda's place for a break a bit after lunch and what could I see, a yacht race out on the harbour. Spinnakers flying and a gentle breeze. I did get photos, the view from the balcony was amazing. I'm very inspired to join the sail club here, a piece of exploration for when I'm a bit more settled. Brenda did comment that the sailors are all decked out in jackets and warm clothing so a bit different from tropical sailing. I'm sure I will cope.

Tomorrow I'm out looking again, the goal to get a place by Thursday. There are plenty to rent, if I buy that might be another story.

A small PS. I should be able to upload photos soon. My computer is currently getting a new hard drive, seems the old one had some damage and needed replacing. I'm so relieved, the cost to fix my lovely Mac is much less than I expected and they should be able to save the bits I didn't manage to back up. The technician has also promised to fix my Aperture photos programme and possibly rescue the photos I can only view and not save or print. Fingers crossed. Oh and best of all I should have it back next week. I'm really excited about that.

Last day

It's my last official day of holidays today. It's off to Wellington this evening, my final leg and then it's work on Monday. A new city, a new job and hopefully a new place to live after the weekend. Finding an apartment has been interesting, not knowing Wellington that well doesn't  help. I have a few to view, including an awesome character home that's available until the end of February. A perfect start if it works out.

It was fun being reunited with my goods when I arrived. Boxes of treasures to explore and re-sort. Repacking for freighting to my new address when I have one. I now have two suitcases, my ridiculously large one and a smaller one so I hope I have all I need for the first few weeks in my new place.

Tim, Sarah, Noah and I went out for dinner last evening at Valentinos. I thought we were heading in the wrong direction but of course, Valentinos had had to move due. Earthquakes do tend to shift things around a bit and Christchurch has sure been shifted. It was a lovely meal and because of our young diner we arrived in time for happy hour. It's so lovely having a relaxed and easy time with Tim, Sarah and Noah, knowing that I'm only an hour's flight away so we can do this again anytime.

It's been so fantastic knowing that there's no long haul, multi airport journey to go on soon. Nice to know that this is not just a holiday, a short stop but a more permanent one where I'll get to see my lovely family, minus the jet lag, when ever I want. I will be able to attend those important milestones and celebrations that families have.

It's time and it feels good.

Saturday, 16 November 2013


It's hard to believe. I'm going to be in New Zealand on Monday. Starting work the following Monday.   I'm enjoying my travels still, my time in Brisbane with Eve and Sasi is fantastic. Eve is such a treat of a child, her grandma is allowed to say that of course. We've had a nice time together doing things that two and half year olds like to do.

She has a great sense of humour and is fine with discussing the stuff that makes being two and a half easier. Like what she's going to wear today in her multiple changes of clothes and who is invited to the tea party on the living room mat. And where they are going to sit of course. I will miss the morning cuddles and the day time fun.

This morning we got up bright and early and went to the Brisbane markets for breakfast and to get some supplies. Coffee and gozleme and little Dutch pancakes with syrup and orange juice. Fresh from the juicer. There's a small kids sized Ferris wheel that Eve enjoys with a nice man who know the kids names and makes sure they are safe and enjoying themselves. Surprising in a city this big.

I took photos and downloaded them this evening. I can't load them from here so they will have to wait. Photos of a little girl with a new dress and shoes; photos of swimming at South Bank; photos of riding the Ferris wheel; photos with mum and the new addition; no photos yet with grandma. That may happen tomorrow.

Today I got my hair seen to by Ash at a nearby hair salon. I'm thrilled with the results, it's a bit longer than it was after it was cut in Antwerp and the colour is good. Good enough to be seen in photos again. I suspect time will be short in Christchurch, as well as family time, I have boxes to sort. What to take now and what to send up later when I have somewhere to live.

That's in hand too with some appointments to view made for next weekend. Ticking things of my tick list like finally booking my flight to Wellington and cancelling the final leg of my round the world ticket. I don't think I'm going to want to fly to LA anytime soon. I will get back to writing here too,  once I'm settled and have my computer back and photos properly downloaded.

I got to view some today, reminders of my trip to Portugal with Sara and my road trip with Di. They made me smile, wonderful memories like looking over the mist on the water to the island on Lake Bled or the sunset at Cascais or the floating city in Brunei or the fishing boats at Kota Kinabalu. There are many I'm hoping to print from this selection, some big enough to feature on my new walls. 

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Catching my breath

It seems I've got a bit of catching up to do here. Not having photos to publish takes away a little from my motivation to write. That and being extremely tired right now. Not jet lag tired, social life tired. Excitement tired, travel tired. It's a great tired actually, a relaxed tired. Into my fourth month of living out of a suitcase, I'm still so very much enjoying myself.

It's been fantastic catching up with friends along the way, stories I will return to write about. I've just left the lovely Sarah and her family in Perth. Her kids are gorgeous, the oldest I've met before and the youngest a new addition. What fun two and three year olds are! Energetic, full of talking and action. Sarah showed me around Perth, a place I'm impressed with. A life style place with beaches, a great climate and coffee. Yes, coffee and the food I've missed for a while.

Sadly I didn't get time with my cousin there. Maybe next time. Having an unreliable phone is a pain, my next one just might be a smarter one. So here I sit in Melbourne at Nick and Liberty's place. Winston the cat has come to join me, checking out the strange person in his house. Tomorrow I'm off to explore the city a bit, hopefully finding somewhere to get my hair back in order.

As we bumped along in turbulence above Melbourne, I counted the number of flights I've been on lately. Eighteen was the total so far with two more flights to go. Not a bad effort. That and various other modes of transport, public and private. All part of the fun of traveling.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Girls weekend

In Kota Kinabalu, what a treat. Massages each day, later in the evening to relax after dinner, karaoke and a few quiet ones. The waterfront was a bit smelly, apparently it comes off the sea on certain tides and in certain winds, so we enjoyed eating inside. Eating Indian while in Malaysia drinking beer from the Philipines. A multicultural evening for two kiwi girls.

I have so enjoyed Malaysia and Brunei. Peaceful places with friendly people. It's been great catching up with old friends and making new ones. On my last day in Brunei I got to attend international day at ISB, a feast of cultural activities from the many countries represented at the school. So many kiwi kids attend and their haka and waiata were fantastic. Imagine the surprise if the principal when I said hello.

He was one of the principals I worked with in Cayman, recently moved to Brunei. A small world this one of education. This evening it's on to Perth to see Sarah and her family, another education connection. It will be nice to be in Aussie, so close to home.