Monday, 20 September 2010

Daylight saving!!

Next weekend we're leaving the darkness behind us as we're going to daylight saving!!! That means an extra hour time difference with NL till you guys go to winter time in October.

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Life besides being pregnant :-)

We've had our week off, which was really nice. For me our holiday ended with a 2-day golf tournament, where Age had a lot of time for himself. Can't remember what he did, so it must have been good :-)
I played golf, but now and then it looked more like a swimming competition, my god how wet it was! Another wet start on Sunday, but suddenly the sun broke through and it got really hot and muggy. I was very glad to have a t-shirt in the car, as I thought I would die in those Singaporean conditions. Okay, it was only 18 degrees, but hey.

Then another week at work, Age in Wellington and I had my team over here for a few planning and strategy days. And now the start of yet another week, just dropped Age off at the airport. He'll be in Wton, then in Canberra and Sydney, and then in Wton again. Won't see him for 2 weeks!

He'll be in Canberra for work, but also..... to do some major shopping at IKEA in Sydney!! Yes, we have to go to Oz for IKEA, there's none in NZ and we desperately need book cases, bar stools and what more. You can't order online with IKEA, have to pick the items up in person, so that's what Age will be doing. Then he'll deliver the goods at a shipyard in Sydney, where everything will be shipped to NZ, all organised by ourselves. And yes, all this is still cheaper (I hope) than buying book cases here in NZ. There's not much choice, it's all crap and expensive too.
There is a 'company' called MYKEA here in NZ which advertises with exactly what we're doing, but then they'll be doing it for you - getting IKEA stuff in Oz. Well, we tried our best to do it with them, but they didn't deliver to their promise of replying within 3 days on our quote requests to start with, it took almost 4 weeks I think to get an incomplete quote, and after that the communication stopped altogether. That was a waste of time really, so shame on you MYKEA.

The book cases are the first things on our list of things to organise. This will set a chain of events in motion and finally we'll end up with a nice baby room at the end of the chain. But that's months away.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Quake is still big news here

Still in the news is the earthquake of last Saturday in Christchurch. There have been numerous big aftershocks, causing mainly anxiety amongst the already pumped-up population. But what becomes clear now is that almost two-third of the buildings in the region are affected by the quake, and demolition on a big scale has begun. Especially older brick structures, like cathedrals and churches have been damaged, but I've also seen seemingly undamaged houses being demolished - looking closely it becomes visible that the whole house was leaning over 10 degrees, or had been lifted during the quake and put down 2 meters further, rocked from its foundations.

It'll be in the news for a while and the aftermath of the quake will probably be a huge boost for the slow going building industry!

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Wednesday, 8 September 2010

We are enjoying our holiday

We both have this week off, and after some discussion decided to stay at home, do some work around the house and explore a bit more of the area we live in. Thus far it's quite a success :-)

I played golf on Saturday, and Age tennis. I can't remember what we did on Sunday, which probably is a good sign???

On Monday we went to Nelson to have a look at a certain van (a people mover which converts into a campervan). But the van hadn't arrived yet, so we drove off and headed to Cable Bay, just north of Nelson. We made some pretty pictures, but we have no idea why it is a bit of a destination, as we couldn't find much of interest there.

Then yesterday we decided to walk a part of the Abel Tasman track, so we drove to Marahau and were just in time for the last water taxi of the day (we didn't plan it this way to be honest). That was quite a lucky coincidence, as we don't really like to walk for 2 hours and then walk the same route back. Now the taxi dropped us off in Anchorage Bay and we walked the 4 hours back to town.

It was the most stunning weather, 18 degrees or so, and being on the water in a speedy water taxi is not bad at all. After we'd been dropped off at the beach we started with our sandwiches, sunscreen and DEET.

The track is pleasant and well maintained and both Age and I were enjoying ourselves. But then, not even halfway, I suddenly got some huge blisters on the sole of my feet! And I was wearing Teva sandals - never experienced anything like this before! Pregnancy related??? Anyway, this made the walk even more interesting...
The last hour felt more like crawling than anything else, and standing still was not an option, that made it even worse.
But we made it back to the car, just when the sun started to set.

And today was a day in and around the house: vacuuming (I think the last time we vacuumed must have been over 2 months ago - full bag if that's an excuse)
We did some weeding, mowed the lawns, and....found the perfect spot for the hammock: on the plum tree. I've tried it out and it was just as if I was back in my student room where this particular hammock served as my bed!! Well, I've still got it, haven't used it since, but it looks like it gets a new lease of life:-)

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Monday, 6 September 2010

In and around the house

Huge rainbow on one of my lunch walks in the neighbourhood.

Ziva makes sure she's safely secured to Age's knee.

I asked Age repeatedly to make a picture of me and this is the least stupid one out of a gazillion attempts. Still a bit of a weird angle though.

My yellow rhododendron is flowering!

And it is all yellow....(coldplay)

Ziva helps out in the garden, near the new little magnolia tree.

The plum tree gets leaves again and has tiny white flowers.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Earthquake in Christchurch

As the whole world would know by now, a 7.1 quake hit Canterbury with most damage reported in Christchurch. We both woke up because of it, around 4.40am this morning, while the house and the bed were shaking. To us it felt like a 5 on the Richter scale or thereabouts. But when you find out it happened 500 kms from home, you can understand it was quite a jolt.

Although it's a mess in Christchurch, no casualties have been reported so far. Most damage was done by brick chimneys falling off and through roofs. And as usual it's the older brick buildings that show the most damage: especially the town centre of Christchurch shows some badly damaged buildings. And these are the pictures that you would see on the news or Internet.

People are most worried about the sewage and water systems: the damage to those is not immediately visible. But since some roads have craters and crevices in them, you can imagine what may have happened to the piping systems underground. That is also going to take the longest to fully restore.

The most damaging earthquake since the one in Napier in 1931 - but definitely not as bad.

Here are some links to news stories if you want some more information:

And if an earthquake wasn't enough, today nine people were killed near Fox Glacier when their plane crashed at the end of the runway. Not a good day for New Zealand.

-- Age & Evelijn