03.11.2011 18 °C
Thought it was time for another update.....
I had a lovely birthday....when I woke up the post box was stuffed full of cards so thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes! A friend of mine that I met when I was teaching out here last time came over for lunch and a gossip and then Gerald took me out for a delicious dinner in CAC restaurant in Mount Eden- a great place for tapas and cocktails.
The school holidays seemed to whizz by and before we knew it the weekend of the Rugby World Cup final was upon us! We spent the Sunday morning volunteering at Cats in Need, a rescue home with around 100 cats and kittens - some with very sad stories of how they ended up there. We were both needing a cat fix and so gave them a hand cleaning out all the litter trays and cages before we got to play! Within seconds of sitting down I had a cat laying across my shoulders, one on my knee and about 10 wrapping themselves around my legs and Gerald was similarly covered in cats! We plan to help out once a month to get our fix until we get our own house when we will give a couple of the cats a 'Forever Home' as they call it there. I am already in love with at least 10 of them so I don't know how we will ever choose!
Our next stop was Paeroa, in the northern Waikato region. Our friends Alwin and Daisy own a dairy farm out there and as Daisy is due to give birth in the next week or so we thought we would fit a visit in before things get a bit crazy for them. Daisy is an amazing cook and I'm sure we left there a stone heavier after all the goodies she baked! Dinner was early so we could all be plonked on the sofa ready for 'The Big Game'. I don't think any of us were doing much sitting though as it was such an 'edge of your seat' event! There was no celebrating until that final whistle and despite only being a one point win - it was a win and now ALL of New Zealand is happy! Sky TV had a visit from The Cup yesterday so Gerald was able to get his photo taken with it.
I now have my own little class in my own classroom and it is so lovely having just 11 children! This week the whole school has had a daily trip to the local swimming centre for lessons. We all pile on the school bus after lunch and I get to watch them while someone else does the teaching for a change! NZ schools are so different from the UK. In the UK we would never dream of leaving the school premises without spare uniform, a first aid kit, a list left with the office of who exactly is on the bus etc and the bus would have to have a seatbelt for every child otherwise we would be going nowhere! Here we walk the kids down the road, barefoot, to where the bus waits, they pile in 3 to a seat if necessary - not a seatbelt in sight and off we go!
The weather is slowly improving, we had a great weekend out and about which resulted in me getting some interesting strap marks having forgotten to put suncream on before we went out - oops! We went on a lovely walk around the Orakei Basin near Auckland city doing a little bit of geocaching on the way - we are getting closer to our 100th find now! Then in the afternoon we were well fed again as our neighbours had a BBQ and a lazy evening was spent eating, drinking and chatting to them and their friends.
Last night we met up with Gerald's eldest sister Alison as she was visiting from Wellington for work. We had a good chat over dinner at Gina's Italian restaurant- another fave of ours that is pretty well known in Auckland. Their speciality is barechested, singing waiters presenting a cake to any female who happens to be celebrating their birthday. No singing waiters yesterday though!
That just about covers the latest turn of events....