Tuesday, 29 December 2009


[Dinner at a waterfront restaurant in Nelson]
[Somewhere between Hanmer Springs and Springs Junction I]
[And II]

[Beach at Wainui, on the opposite side of the bay from Akaroa]

[Same beach, now from the garden of Catherine's bach]

[Me and Catherine in the garden on a balmy evening]

[Near Kaikoura]

[Somewhere between Picton and Kaikoura]

Sunday, 27 December 2009

.... just arrived in Nelson

Thursday morning on the ferry to Picton - surely every man and his dog took the same ferry as us; no spare seat to be found!! In Picton we stopped by at Mina's new place. She's a very proud home owner now, with a cute little house, which will be an ongoing improvement operation for the next couple of years, but that's okay. Apparently she's done a lot already, especially clearing the site from lots of car wrecks and other rubbish!!

After a lovely lunch provided by Mina we travelled further to Wainui, on the opposite side of Akaroa, to meet up with Catherine, my colleague (and Manager). Another proud home owner, this time of a real kiwi batch, built by her father over a period of 20 years of something like that. This time not a weatherboard home with wooden floors, but brick and terracotta. Lovely garden, and great weather too! I particularly enjoyed the wood pigeons - they are just too big for the branches they sit on!

On Christmas day we've been to Diamond Harbour, met with Wanda, Ellery and the girls, and with Anne and later on also with Geert. We had our first swim of the season at Purau Bay, and back in Wainui an outdoor Christmas dinner, home-cooked.

Age was a lucky guy on his birthday the 26th, with presents in bed, and coffee as well. We had a slight water supply problem at the bach, which meant that I was the only one who got the chance to have a shower in the morning - Catherine and Age missed out! Luckily with some scientifically deduction of the problem we found out what happened and why and en passant we also fixed a leak in the water pipe. After a great breakfast with smoked salmon and poached eggs on bagels we said Catherine goodbye and went off to Christchurch, to visit Wanda & Ellery. We originally had the plan to go to Jacob & Hanka, but they were already on holiday.

As it was 27 degrees we just collapsed in Wanda's garden, with drinks and nibbles, a book, and later on a bbq. We put our tent up in the garden as well, as that would be more convenient for us (not waking up from small children at 6am), as well as for them (not having to provide a bed and stuff).

Today we drove to Nelson, where we tried a few camp sites - all full. So we found a brand new motel instead :-)
Tomorrow two appointments to view the top-2 properties of our shortlist...

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Ready for summer I guess

In the middle of packing for our 2.5 week trip to the South Island, so just a quick update:
  • looking forward to reading a few books, just snoozing on the beach, our first swim of the season, and viewing a couple of properties;
  • another possible lead to a rental property presented itself today via a future colleague in Nelson, whose Dutch neighbour is going back to Holland for 6 months;
  • just discovered that our sleeping bags are mouldy (beschimmeld). We probably haven't used them here in NZ, which means they have been sitting in their bags for nearly 4 years. Trying to save them now by putting them in the washing machine. We'll see...
  • we haven't booked anything, will throw the tent in the car and off we go. One of our self-inflatable mattresses is also challenging us by slowly deflating, by the way. Anyone willing to bet how long we'll be camping?????
Well, that's it really. Have a great Christmas!!!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Starting to make some progress

We really needed to make some progress now, with only 1 week left before we go away on holiday and moving out as soon as we return early January. So we've created a to do list from hell and number 1 on the list is to get a removal company. Two quotes are under way and representatives from another company will be on our doorstep for a conversation this Friday.

Trying to find a rental for the first three months isn't going to be easy in peak season in Nelson and Tasman, even worse, just seems insane, but we've touched base with a property owner of a house in Ngatimoti - okay, it's a 45 mins. drive from Nelson, but Ziva is welcome, the house looks great, the owners seemed interested in having us (although they need to bump a family off their books I believe), it's reasonably priced, and we can give rural living a try.

Age also found a campervan totally upholstered with red velvet, and we both thought of renting a boat - all in case we can't find anything suitable to live in. Who wouldn't love a hippie lifestyle in summer?!

Friday, 11 December 2009

The plan

After having our house on and off the market in the last year and a half, we noticed a strong increase in interest in the last 2 months, resulting in a sale last week!

Things are rolling fast now for us, as we need to be out by 14 January. With the holidays and all, that hardly gives us 2 weeks to contemplate what to do next. No worries, at least we're moving forward again! This is the plan:
  • We'll be moving to Nelson.
  • We'll probably find something to rent first, although we have made a list of interesting properties that are currently on the market, ranging from 2ha blocks with a nice cottage and 2 sheep and a few chicken and fruit trees and olive trees, to houses with gardens conveniently located in town....
  • Age resigned from his job, and has a new adventure lined up.
  • Effectively this means that we'll be more or less gone from Wellington by the 24th of December, if everything goes according to plan, which is approaching very fast!!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Another mystery pic

And to bring an end to the guesswork whether the mixer is a wanna-have or not: it's mine - it's mine - it's mine - and it's sitting on the bench top looking pretty!!

Referring to the mystery pic above: exciting times ahead for us! More information coming soon - watch this space!

Monday, 7 December 2009

Tuesday, 1 December 2009


Yes, truly remarkable. In the mail today, a reminder addressed to Ziva, to bring her car to the garage for a WOF (Warrant of Fitness)....
Don't know which idiot thinks Ziva would be able to drive a car, although you might be surprised to find out what she's capable of. Ziva is our cat by the way.

Then yesterday, something interesting at the front door! A small box... from one of our Sinterklazen from Holland. So well timed! And just what we needed: 2 big chocolate letters. The 'E' still in one piece! The package had been opened by MAF, they may have snapped Age's 'A' to check whether no drugs were concealed in it perhaps???

Then today, another interesting looking package at the front door! Another Sinterklaas has been busy for us. Stuffed with presents, thanks very much Sinterklaas, greatly appreciated, lovely presents!!
When we opened this box (also opened by MAF previously) we found the following alarming letter:

To us it seemed that something inside was broken, that something has been leaking, that some food in the box was all over the place and that we might be lucky to receive the box at all, as it appears that the box was totally torn apart. Goodness me!

Well, the box looked fine to us... we didn't find any wet stuff, the package with pepernoten was open, and there was a glass angel with loose wings. Then we found out that only the broken ornament was ticked off on the letter, and that the rest of it probably didn't apply to our box. Otherwise it would have been quite a drama :-)