Thursday, August 31, 2006

Sunburn, the demise of the BOGOF and sanitary education

Well. Where to start? We almost entirely have a place to live sorted now, including offers of a bed and table and chairs to get us started on the furniture front. I have quotes for insurance, phone, broadband and, umm, something else... I have been a productive little bunny!
So now time for some oddments from the last few days, a few bits to tickle you...
Oddment 1: On Saturday it rained like I've rarely seen rain before. Yesterday (Wednesday), I managed to get sunburnt...lying on my bed, through glass, through my jeans, in under an hour! As Andy keeps pointing out, the sun is as strong here as Spain - if only the wind would stop long enough to let you feel it! (Being fair, we have had several days of glorious weather now which has been mightily helpful on the settling in front.)
Oddment 2: It's strange what you take for granted about the way "home" is. And strange what you miss! But one of the most striking things I've found so far in supermarkets is the almost entire lack of the BOGOF. Yes, it is true, I have not been able to buy my shampoo and get my conditioner free. Nor have I been able to get two bottles of wine for the price of one. And worst of all (though a slight detour from the BOGOF), book shops do not appear to have cottoned on to the all powerful, all splendid 3 for 2! (And books are really rather expensive here. However, a second hand book shop or two and the library will be doing well out of me!) Returning to the point, perhaps it is just that Morrisons has been our "local" for too long but I am rather startled by the prospect of having to do most of my shopping at full price!
Oddment 3: I'm afraid we have to briefly plumb the depths of what is acceptable for public consumption here to be able to tell you some peculiar facts I have gathered these last few days... The brand of sanitary towel that I am currently experimenting with in NZ (always has been one of the most distressing things about changing locale...if anyone wants to post me some Always...) have lots of little facts on the pull of strip. Todays facts included: An average woman's skin is an area of 17 cubic metres, expanding to 18.5 when pregnant; Termites go through wood at double the rate when listening to heavy metal music; When a glass breaks, the cracks spread at a rate faster than 5000kmph; A woman says an average of 7000 words a day, men weigh in at just over 2000!!! And that my dears was why you had to listen to the waffle about sanitary equipment. What would be more interesting was how many of the 7000 words were aimed at men and how many were aimed at women!! Answers on a postcard...
There endeth the oddments. I shall attempt to be a little more illuminating soon with tales of houses and churches and house groups and maybe even jobs. (I *might* get bored if I never did any work...)
Kiss kiss

Sunday, August 27, 2006


So you know when things go really, really right but it makes everything really, really complicated?!
Today has been a Good Day. We went to the local church near the hospital...we'd read their website and thought they seemed Sound and had also had them recommended to us by the woman in the Christian bookshop following my description of St Matthias ("Well, it is technically Anglican. But it's not."). So we arrived at 9am and went to the morning worship service. Which was good but a wee bit formal. But afterwards so many people talked to us that by the time we made it to the hall for coffee (as in latte! And five types of tea! And freshly baked muffins!) we were greeted with " Ah! You must be our new couple!". So we stayed for coffee and then stayed for the 10.30 family service. The children's ministry is amazing. Well over 100 kids all in this huge hall with different stands doing different things. So then the band taught the church "In Christ Alone", the final hymn was "Be Thou My Vision" (in 3/4 with original words no less!!) and a guy called Nigel Pollack that some of you may have heard of (I've heard him a couple of times at Word Alive - scottish student ministry guy) did the sermon. We were then invited to a couple's house for lunch, had a lovely time, went on a big walk with them (360 views over Wellington, the Hutt and even to South Island!).
So, the argh part. We want this to be our church, we are pretty sure it is right that it is our church. But we don't know what to do about where to live. The place mentioned yesterday is not close to the church. If we lived there we'd always have to "travel" to church. We wouldn't be able to just be there. Which would mean travelling to housegroup. Travelling to all the activities it has on that I want to be involved in. Travelling to any friends houses. Which doesn't seem a good plan.
I've also been reminded today that part of the plan for this year was for me to be able to take some time out, not feel compelled to work, be able to volunteer, be able to spend time with God, have some space. If we go with the first place, I'm going to have to work to afford. But if we don't go with the first place, well, we don't know what we'll end up with. And I'm going to have to make this decision tomorrow kind of single handedly while Andy is at work. I think I know the decision we will make but argh none the less.
Apologies all that this is perhaps not as jolly and uplifting as yesterday in terms of a post. But actually, I probably am more jolly and uplifted than I was yesterday. Although this increases our stress for a while as we don't know whether we have somewhere to live sorted or what will happen, it feels much more like the right decision to me. I am much more at peace with it.
And we might still get sea views.
And the coffee in Petone (our current favourite suburb of the Hutt - pronouced pe-toe-knee) (ish)) is as good as any in Wellington.
And it has ferries and trains and buses galore.
And Andy will be able to cycle to work.
So we just need to see what Monday morning brings now.
Hopefully there will be a silly post for you sometime tomorrow!
Mwah, mwah!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Adventures Begin...

Mostly the adventures begin with attempting to create a blog that a) others like using (apologies to those who have been distressed by the badness of the previous blogging landscape - let's hope this is happier) b) I like using c) is suitably reflective of the mood/nature of the times... And this is where I really hit my first problem. By having started out with a bold title involving adventures, I then baulked at whether I could really set up a pink blog. Adventure. Pink. Adventure. Pink. I decided no. For now!
You see, I discovered a month or so ago (and have been adding to this discovery ever since by means of telling people this story) that not everyone realises that I have a pink kitsch (sp?) side. And indeed, not everyone, once this has been pointed out to them, appreciates pink in the same way as I do. I'm not a girly girl. But pink kitsch. It's so good! Which is why, in San Francisco last week, I HAD to purchase the baby-pink hoodie with the baby-blue "San Francisco" across the chest. HAD to.
So now that the preliminaries are done, some of you might want to know what is going on in the world of Jen (and perhaps also the world of Andy) now...
We've arrived in the lovely area of New Zealand known as the Hutt. (MANY people have enjoyed all the various Jabba-related jokes/oneliners/brief asides that this can lead to...) We have had a week of exploring (there has been a lot of exploring of cafes and we have almost learnt that portions here are as big as the US and so we really don't need wedges and sour cream with a salad...) which may have led to a place to live. But may not. The paperwork isn't going to go through until Tuesday now and the flat can be stolen from under our nose at any time we gather. Which maybe it should be. It isn't the cheapest place in the world but it is perhaps the most beautiful flat I've ever seen. And if you crane your neck just right, there IS a sea view from the bedroom window! The flat is actually across the bay from the Hutt in Wellington (oh capital city, half the size of Leeds!) and the life looks good over there. But the public transport is not so good so Andy is definitely needing a car for work. Grr!
There does seem to be one thing after another that needs sorting with no sign of relief but I'm sure we will get there soon and start to properly enjoy this green and pleasant land to which we have escaped. (Major bonuses so far: lack of bureaucracy (except in rental market); hills, right there!; clear blue water in the it's freezing at the moment but it still looks good!; wine. wine. wine. wine. Lindauer for all of $10. Montana for all of $12. And then there are all the rest that we don't know yet. We've been introduced to Squawking Magpie wine which was very tasty and look forward to further forays!)
Which probably brings me to the end of the burbles for now. Apologies that for a while this is going to look a little stark. Until we've got our laptop hooked up again, getting pics on isn't giong to be the most straightforward thing...
Tally ho...