Published: March 30th 2007March 30th 2007 Hamilton highlights
Peter & Ylaine
Dinner with my current adoptive family!!
I have been very slack at writing the blogs recently, and I do appologise to the few of you that are still keen to read what I am doing. My excuse? Well it is that I am working so hard that I don't have spare time to write witty and amusing things for you. In actual fact the truth is I do have time, I just don't have the energy or the imagination!
I arrived in Hamilton in the beginning of February, to work in a mixed vet practice. There are 3 other vets (all male), rangeing in age from early 30s to early 60s, all with kids at varying ages. As a consequence the out of hours socialising with work mates has been restricted to a couple of polite dinners!
Hamilton itself is a big city by NZ standards, but probably doesn't even compare to the size of Northampton. I live one end of town, and work on the other (see map), and it takes a good 25mins commuting, which compared to cities back home isn't too bad. However it also compares to Northampton in terms of excitement, ie not a lot going on! It's
I'm piling on the pounds with Ylaine's great cooking - NZ mussels are so cheap compared to back home, but still a real treat.
surrounded by fairly flat green pastures, ideal for cows, but not too inspiring. Saying that it's not far from the coast, and I've had a couple of great weekends by the sea. There are also plenty of lakes if you like fishing or watersports...read on
I'm staying with the company director (there are 4 practices under the same umbrella), who works at one of the other practices. He has just announced his retirement, which gives you an idea of his age. However Peter and his wife have been fantastic at putting me up. I feel like I'm being very spoilt - I have fantastic veggie meals cooked for every night, and I have a huge comfortable bed to sleep in, in my own room! Quite a luxury after months of dorm rooms and small hard beds.
As well as food and accomodation, Peter has been showing the delights of the Waikato region. On only my second weekend I was taken off to the nearby lake to play about in the boat. New Zealanders with families (from what I can gather!) tend to spend their money on buying boats for fishing and watersports, rather than airfares to France like
My first weekend in Hamilton, Peter took me out on the nearby lake on his boat - even got a go waterskiing!
we do at home. This means far more outside activity close to home, understandable when you consider that the nearest other country is Australia, and the beaches in New Zealand are generally pretty good, even if the weather isn't quite Ozzie standards. So I managed to get up on a pair of waterskiis and had a great time being whizzed around the lake, taking turns with the kids and grandkids!
If that wasn't enough, I then got taken to Ylaine's brother-in-laws, John, who has a 'lifestyle block'. These 'blockers' are very common, especially in this area, and consist of a small house and varying acres of land, where people raise a few sheep or cows, have some chickens, and generally have a bit of a play at being part time farmers. Certainly provides plenty of work for us vets, as these animals are generally treated more like pets, and as such have more sentimental attachement. Only this morning I had the unenviable task of putting down a pig. Never an easy task at the best of times, but with a grieving owner it was doubly hard - sedation, ear veins and tourniquets all required!
Anyhow, back to the
Waikato from the air
A trip in the microlite of Ylaine's brother-in-law gives a great view over Waikato area - lots of green fields and cows!
point, John has converted his land into a small airfield, and the barn is now a shed for his microlite! Called flying lawnmowers in my house, these light weight motor planes are increasingly popular here. I can understand why, it was an exhilarating experience to feel the wind in my hair and look down on the beautiful green fields below, who needs bungy jumping?
So that about sums up my life right now, I'm hoping to add my exciting weekend side trips as alternative blogs. I leave here on Thursday, and resume my travelling again, so you never know, the blogs might (I did say might) become more regular. Thank you to everyone who is still writing to me despite my lack of contact, it's appreciated!
There are more photos below