A Travellerspoint blog

Easter in Auckland

sunny 19 °C

Hmmm now what have we been up to since the last blog.....

My school celebrated it's 60th Jubilee in a variety of ways - all of which meant I didn't get much of a weekend!!! On the Saturday lots of the children performed for the parents by singing, playing ukulele, performing Zumba and doing the Haka amongst other things. Saturday night Gerald and I attended the jubilee dinner and dance and then on Sunday it was our jubilee mass led by the bishop. Luckily after such a busy weekend we only had 4 days of school before breaking up for the easter holidays!

Easter weekend was fairly quiet, Gerald and I decided to spend time at home 'sorting'. We spent a small fortune in the garden centre (well once the shops finally opened!! We forgot that NZ is totally different from the UK over Easter and that EVERYTHING closes on Good Friday and Easter Sunday) buying pots, plants, seeds and soil in an attempt to add a bit more color and life into the garden. The sweet pea seeds that I bought are already shooting up nicely and the little hebe cutting that was given to us at Christmas is now in full bloom. We also organized the garage as we still had a huge mountain of boxes of stuff that used to be hidden away in the loft at Andrews Close. The garage is now looking pretty good as we have put up shelving units and organized everything. We can finally see the floor!!

We have had a few nights out, joining friends for a quiz night in the city on a couple of occasions. We also joined our 'old' neighbours for a visit to Princes Wharf to use our 'Grab One' vouchers to get us entry and a cocktail in Freddie's Ice Bar. We had to dress up in huge coats and gloves before entering as it is freezing cold in the bar. We had decided to start our night in there before heading off for dinner and a bit of a bar crawl around the viaduct. As a result of getting there early we had the place pretty much to ourselves for most of the time which was probably just as well as the place is tiny! Although it was tiny it was a cool experience (no pun intended!) as the place was filled with ice carvings, even our glasses were made of ice. We weren't allowed to take photos but I took a couple of sneaky shots when the bar girl popped out for a minute!

The kittens have loved having me home so much over the last 2 weeks. This week we got cat flaps fitted for them. After initial reluctance to go through they began to explore and now their favourite game is diving through as fast as they possibly can and as many times as they can. They are easily pleased! They are growing so quickly, Roxie hardly looks like a kitten anymore!

I am back to school on Monday and finally get my own class. On Monday I will have the grand total of 7 children!!! Yes you read it right, just 7. My class will grow over the term to about 17. The children start school as they turn 5 so each week I will get one or 2 more. I am looking forward to having my own class after a term of teaching all the other classes in the school. It has been nice to get to know all the children in the school though.

That's all folks....

Posted by bumblebum 16:53 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Waiheke wanderings and Roxie & Rufus.

A purrrfect weekend!

sunny 20 °C

Friday night I left school about 5 minutes after the children, rushing home to catch the bus into the city. For Gerald's birthday I decided to get us a night away on Waiheke. We caught the ferry across to the island soaking up the afternoon rays on the top deck. After just 35 minutes we arrived on Waiheke and decided to get the bus to our accommodation. The bus took us on a scenic route looping around different parts of the island allowing us to admire the stunning sea views. We got off at the last stop and walked just a minute or so to the beautiful Heartsong, our B&B for the night. Once again Tripadvisor did us proud. Heartsong is run by the very friendly and welcoming Trisha and Robin and is set overlooking the boats bobbing up and down in Rocky Bay. The grounds are magnificent, full of native trees and plants with curiosities collected from their travels all over the world hidden amonst the plants. After being shown our beautiful room we headed straight down to the boatshed and jetty where we sat and watched the sun go down whilst we ate supper. Once night fell and the mozzies had gone to bed we decided to relax and unwind in the hot pool, stargazing as we chatted. A perfect way to spend a Friday night. The next day we woke to the morning chorus of Tuis, admired the sea views from our enormous floor to ceiling window in the wet room whilst we showered and then ate a breakfast fit for a king. Trisha grows as much as she can herself and makes everything from scratch. We had freshly baked croissants and bread, fruits, muesli and the best yogurt I have EVER eaten in my life. I had to keep filling my bowl it was so delicious.
After checking out we left our bags with Trisha whilst we went on a walk to the Regional Park just down the road. We wandered along the tree lined paths in dappled sunlight and when we decided to head back we chose to walk the route along the beach watching the fish leap out of the water and laughing at the birds who, thinking we were invading their teritory, squawked warnings at us to stay away! Waiheke was gorgeous and one night was definitely not long enough. When we return we will definitely stay at Heartsong again. By the time we caught the bus back into the main part of the island the weather was closing in so we decided to head back to the mainland. Half way back the rain arrived and we totally lost sight of all land! We arrived back home late afternoon and treated ourselves to a fish and chips dinner from our favourite place in St Heliers and had an early night in anticipation of the next day....
This morning we couldn't wait to jump into the car and head down the motorway as finally the day had arrived for us to collect Roxie and Rufus, our gorgeous new kittens. We filled out the required paperwork and paid our money to the SPCA for their microchips and vaccinations. Initially, little cries came from the carry box as we drove home but by the end they had calmed down and Roxie was even purring. We introduced them to their room and watched them explore every nook and cranny, Roxie being much bolder and braver than Rufus. Before long they were playing with their toys and Rufus was showing how very territorial he is by growling the entire time he had a toy in his possession. After just a couple of hours they had played, eaten, drank, used the litter tray and crashed out! However it was only a cat nap and before long they were tearing around the place all over again! They did stop occasionally and head over for a bit of a cuddle and attention which immediately triggered the purring. It is so nice to have cats again and now our house it truly a home!
Since the last blog we celebrated Gerald's birthday with his sister Jenni ,who was staying with us for a few nights, his brother David and 2 of his children, Alisa and Hugh and his mum and dad who treated us all to a lovely lunch. We were also treated to a delicious dinner cooked by Kirsten last week as we headed over there one night after work. The only other thing worthy of a mention was a night out on the town for St Patrick's Day. Our friend's Cheryl and Darren invited us out for drinks so we headed down to the Viaduct. As we got off the bus we were greeted by a sea of green. It is not often you see the city that busy, there were people everywhere and getting served was sometimes easier said than done! We ended up doing a bit of a bar crawl amongst the green wigs, green clothes and leprechauns and I lost count as to how many places we visited before finally hailing a cab home.
As I type this the kittens are exploring the whole of downstairs, it is extremely funny watching them chasing each other under and over the furniture at full speed. They are certainly going to provide us hours of entertainment.
That's it for another few weeks

Posted by bumblebum 21:36 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Our new home

And soon to be kittens....

semi-overcast 23 °C

At last we have moved into our new house and we are now home owners!

After waiting anxiously all morning around 1pm on Tuesday we finally got the call to say everything had gone through and we could collect the keys so we raced over there with a fully loaded van and car. We were greeted by Sheryl who had ‘looked after’ us from the beginning. She let us into our new home and presented us with golden keys in a black, velvet box and a bottle of Moet! We had seen Sheryl just a few days earlier when she had given us a presentation on how everything in the house worked – we do have some funky gadgets around the place and definitely needed teaching!
We spent all day Tuesday loading vehicles and then unpacking at the other end. Wednesday saw the arrival of our new fridge and after work we shifted a whole heap more stuff. New sofas and lounge furniture was delivered on Thursday and again we brought more stuff over after work and by the end of the night downstairs was looking pretty good. By Friday night we had brought over all our small stuff, leaving the removal men to grab the heavy items early Saturday morning. By midday everything was at our new place and we spent a few hours sorting cupboards, assembling beds, hanging photos and making the place look and feel like home.
Kirsten and a few other friends headed over on Saturday night to help drink the champagne and on Sunday our old neighbours came over in the evening for a BBQ as it was a beautiful day and we wanted to make the most of it.
So one week on we are nicely settled, as long as you don’t look in the garage! That needs a lot of organising still. Anyway here are some photos...

The next big thing for us will be the arrival of the kittens. They are still not heavy enough to have their neutering ops yet, they need to be 1kg and although the grey girl is very close to that, the tabby has a little way to go as he had cat flu and lost some weight.
As soon as they have their ops we can bring them home so meanwhile we will have to make do with another visit at my friend Nicky’s (their foster mum). We really can’t wait to get them, then the house will really be a home.

That's about it for now!

Posted by bumblebum 23:19 Archived in New Zealand Comments (6)

Festivals, felines, family and friends!

sunny 23 °C

Hmmm so what have we been up to recently? Let's see........

Well I am finally back to school after more than 6 weeks of summer holidays! I don't have my own class until term 2 because I have the second intake of new entrants. So, when we go back on April 23rd I will start with 7 children and the class will grow over the next few weeks to 17 and possibly a few more as time goes on. This term I am covering every teacher's release time so I will be with all classes from year 1 to year 6. I have also been given the task of running the cricket club and taking the teams to the Inter Schools Sports Day - which, quite frankly, is ridiculous as I don't know a single thing about cricket!!! I guess I will be on a crash course of learning! Ha ha!

We had a trip to the Chinese Lantern Festival in Albert Park to celebrate Chinese New Year. We had a wander around and, of course, took some photos. It was absolutely packed and became more so as the night went on. The night ended with a festival firework finale. There was lots of ooooing and ahhhhhing and then we made our way back home.

Gerald's parents and sister Jenni spent a few hours with us last weekend as they were taking Jenni to Auckland airport after her stay in Whitianga. We managed to get the keys for our new place and show them around. It turned out the building company were having a garage sale to get rid of some of the items they use for 'staging' the show homes so all of us went home with some absolute bargains which was a bonus!

Last week we were coming back from our fitness class and came across a cat that could barely walk. It managed to make it's way over to us and being a scorching day I put some water in my hand which it polished off in seconds! After doing this several times I started to stroke it and realised that it was just skin and bones. On further inspection we noticed it also had filthy paws and was covered in fleas. We felt so sorry for it that we decided to let it have refuge in our garden and carried it the short walk home. After drinking pretty much none stop for 20 minutes it seemed to regain some strength and jumped up onto the garden bench and then the table to have a little sleep. Whenever we stroked it it just purred and purred.
We decided that if it hung around we would take it to the vet the next day and see if it was microchipped and, if not, would get it defleaed etc and give it a home. Before long it was trying to come into the house but being covered in fleas and having a strict 'no pets' policy we wouldn't let the poor little thing in. After several failed attempts it decided to head off! It hung around the path outside the house for a couple of hours and then left and has not been seen since......

While we are on the subject of cats, a friend of mine is a foster mum for kittens from the SPCA. She currently has 2 which should be ready in a couple of weeks or so and we are off to meet them tomorrow night in the hope that we may be considered suitable to adopt them. We decided a long time ago that as soon as we had our own place we would get a couple of rescue kittens and so hopefully these 2 cuties could be ours one day if all goes well!
Fingers crossed the SPCA don't give them to anybody else.

One of my old college friends is in NZ at the moment as she is married to a kiwi. They have recently had a baby so decided she should meet the family on this side of the world. We enjoyed drinks in the sunshine down at our local bar on the beachfront whilst catching up on all the latest news.

Yesterday we spent a few hours on the green at the end of our road. Coca Cola decided to put on a free concert and so we sat in the sunshine on Vellenoweth Green with friends of ours for a few hours chilling out to the music, chatting and making the most of the endless supplies of free coke that was being given out! A very pleasant way to spend an afternoon.

Well I think that just about covers the latest turn of events!

Posted by bumblebum 12:40 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Auckland Anniversary Weekend Shenanigans

Red Pandas, Giant Bottles and Birthday Parties

sunny 25 °C

Today I had to go back to work after more than 6 weeks off. Luckily for me this weekend was a long one, Auckland's Anniversary Weekend (celebrating the founding of the province), meaning I have a 4 day week to ease me in gently! Gerald and I spent Saturday in the sunshine at Auckland Zoo. I had got Gerald a Zoom Tour for his Christmas present. We got to spend time with Maya the Red Panda in her enclosure and even got the chance to feed her grapes and apples! She took each grape really gently from our hands, occasionally reaching out with her HUGE paw to pull our hands nearer to her! For as long as we had food Maya was happy to hang around in our presence waiting for the next tasty morsel we would offer her. Once the pots were empty she slowly wandered off, making her way up into the branches where she spent a considerable amount of time washing herself. She was absolutely beautiful and it was a lovely experience.
Sunday found us making our way towards Paeroa - a small town famous for producing a soft drink called Lemon & Paeroa.
We were in the area for our friends' daughter's 3rd birthday party. The kids enjoyed swimming in the pool and playing in the sunshine while the adults ate, drank and chatted the hours away! After a hearty breakfast the next morning Gerald and I decided to head back to Auckland a different route for a change. We headed towards Miranda and followed the road along the coast, stopping off for a few photo opps and, of course, geocaches.
We got home around lunchtime and the weather was still glorious so we dumped our bags and headed down to the end of our road to St Heliers Bay for a bit of beachtime to finish off our lovely weekend.
Next weekend is also a long weekend - this time it's Waitangi Day so hopefully we will get up to more exciting things.

Posted by bumblebum 22:19 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

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