Friday, September 24, 2010

We're back in Wellington!

We've been back in Wellington for almost 4 weeks now, and loving it. B has had his first week of work this week, and I've just signed the papers for a new job (just waiting on references). Steadily catching up with family and friends has been fantastic, including the simple pleasures of running into people you know on the street on any given trip into town.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Under da sea!

Yesterday we took one last look around our empty and now extremely clean house, locked the door, and gave the key back to our landlady. This was it - nothing now tethering us to the UK except our train ticket out.
(Look! It's mostly clean!)

Right now we're in a hotel in Gent, Belgium... more photos to come!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

2 days to go...

It's 2am, and we've finally finished packing. All the furniture has been sold or given away, and the house is mostly empty.

The movers, when pressed, gave an arrival time of "between 9 and 11am" which means either 8am or 12 tomorrow. Hence our semi-allnighter.

Special thanks to L & G for dinner tonight, and S as well. We're really excited about getting to Germany... if the car makes it. It is not well.

And a special un-thanks to the babyfood-yellow slug I stood on earlier tonight in bare feet, while walking outside to get something. I think my foot just skimmed it as it kept moving, but I was traumatised. I will not miss you, oh UK slugs of doom.

Monday, July 19, 2010

And then there was one....

Oops. We've already packed away or given away all our crockery, bar a set each. Earlier, I dropped one of the coffee mugs, which shattered completely. I'm still picking bits of melamine out of my feet. Lucky Brendan barely drinks coffee, then.

Leaving on a jet plane....

Or in this case, the Channel Tunnel, which my work friends tell me is called the Chunnel. :) On Thursday. (!!!) These next few days are going to be a whirlwind, but I'm really looking forward to travelling. I left work at 5am on Friday just as the sun was coming up... home at 6am and off to London at 12pm on Sat to see friends who flew down from Edinburgh. (Photos to come!)

Right, more packing. We have to re-show the house tonight - think the last one fell through. Eek. Missing the fishies already.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Planning... The Return

It's official - I have told most of my clients, with some sadness. We're leaving the UK in July!

We'll likely be back in Wellington in September. I hear there are tables practically booked at certain restaurants already. :)

Right now I have just under a month left at work, and so does Brendan. I've already started packing, but I keep having to unpack things I want again so probably not the best idea!

Very much looking forward to seeing you all when we get back.

Friday, June 04, 2010

A guide to British-isms of the white middleclass variety

A quick guide to some phrases you may encounter....
  • "I'm not being funny but..." = I'm about to complain or say something negative
  • "yeah" = quantifier similar to "innit"/"eh", one rung up the social ladder
  • British place name pronounciation: "ces" = "s", "thw" = "v". Or just say it fast and you'll be right.
  • "You alright?" = How are you?
  • Lush = nice

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Running the half-marathon!

Here is me, before we left....

I'm very pleased with my time- 1 hr 50min 30 sec! I was estimating I'd be around the 1:55 mark, so to knock a whole 5mins off my estimated time is awesome. I was pretty shattered afterwards, though.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


Another gratuitous photo for your viewing pleasure.... taken yesterday from work. The river was unusually smooth and calm, and the weirdest shade of green I've ever seen it to be. Gorgeous!

I've been training with Carrie two nights a week recently as we get ready for the Reading half-marathon (and she does the Shakespeare Marathon!). It's good to have someone else to train with, and probably safer overall given that we tend to run at night when it's dark. :S

Only a week left - and I've been a bit slack this week while she's on her skiing holiday. I've done a number of 10-milers though, and plan to do 12 tomorrow, so I'm not too bothered.

Goodbye Vauxhall!

Brendan's car has failed its MOT (WOF equivalent), and it's not worth fixing, so we've decided to scrap it. I've kept the licence plates, however - apparently the Netherlands are the only other country where the licence plates can be yellow instead of white.

It's a bit sad, but Brendan says he's not as attached to it as he was to the Fiesta, which died last year. I still felt sad as I watched Brendan drive it around the corner and onto the car ramp. A couple of photos to come!

On the other hand, I now have the sole car as Brendan's going to carpool with his friends. I forsee a lot more shopping trips in my future!

The mechanics at the car yard were a father-son team. I'd bought a car stereo for my Renault there a few months before. We talked about our travels and about NZ to them - where LOTR was shot (South Island), what the weather is like (just like Britain but without the snow that fell in Basingstoke - which is apparently extremely unusual), what we like about the UK (how old it is!) and the best places to go in America on a once-in-a-lifetime trip (LA or Florida).

A lot of British people think NZ is hot, which makes sense I guess given that it is next to Australia, Fiji and other tropical/dry/hot places. The father ate chips out of a paper packet balanced on his lap while he talked to us, with black, greasy hands.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Finally spring!

It's been a long, cold winter - the coldest on record for 30 years, according to various radio and TV sources. So I'm pleased that the past few days have been gorgeously sunny, even if not that warm yet. Bring on summer!

I'm doing the Reading half-marathon in 2 weeks... I've been going for twice-weekly runs with a friend after work, which does a lot for motivation! She's doing the full marathon so I'm running more than I need to, but it's all good practice. Especially as I've only been training "properly" for two months, and have only done three long runs of 10+ miles recently.

In other news, Brendan and I are starting to look at the next steps and future travel plans... we're very keen to visit more of Europe over summer.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Reading in the evening can be very nice

The River Thames as it runs though Reading.... post-shopping with Liz R.

Friday, January 01, 2010

NYE in London!

It was New Years' Eve, and we were in London. It was bitterly cold. We stood on the side of the Thames, watching the fireworks go off from the London Eye and hearing the whoops of people celebrating. After the fireworks ended, we walked back towards Blackfriars Bridge. It started to snow. Perfect.

Walking back into Waterloo Station, we hit the queue of people being herded around and into the station - pushing, jostling and mostly standing in the same place or only slightly shuffling forward. It took us about 1.75 hours to circumnavigate most of the streets around the station and get into the station itself, where we missed our train by 2 minutes 27 seconds. So we had to wait at the station until the next (and last) train 2 hours later, at 4:05am. It was a long, cold wait, but we listened to stories and ate chocolate muffins so it wasn't all bad. British women seem to have evolved some sort of imperviousness to the cold, judging by the number of tiny skirts/ shorts / dresses - and I counted nine women with bare feet!