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April 24th 2008
Published: April 24th 2008
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Giant SpannerGiant SpannerGiant Spanner

On a tour of the factory where Glynn works, Jude couldn't help but notice the shiny, new, enormous spanners. Anyone need their nuts tightening?
Ok, are you ready for some big news? Well, Jude has finally landed herself a job! Hip hip hooray! It only happened yesterday and I don't think it's sunk in properly yet but with both of us working, we'll be onto a winner :-)))))

I'm going to be working as an Information Systems Trainer for a family-run company that manufactures concrete pipes. Doesn't sound very exciting, I know, but I will be running the entire training department all on my own and will get to travel all over New Zealand as the company has lots of small branches on both North and South Island. How cool is that? I have also been offered an even better salary than I was on in Birmingham - and that was the best paid job I'd ever had! I can't quite believe it. I still have to wait for my work permit to come through but if all goes well, the next step will be an application for permanent residency. Who would have thought all this could happen in just 4 months?

We've settled into life in the new house well. Glynn's been busy at work as the new factory was officially opened
Samoan DancersSamoan DancersSamoan Dancers

These weren't employees but a group of local college students prudly presenting their Pacific Island traditions. The music and signing was beautiful and the dancing very sexy by both males and females.
last Friday. The grand opening was attended by none other than NZ Prime Minister Helen Clark although Glynn didn't get to meet her. Glynn's company did, however, throw a fab family party last Saturday and all the staff were invited to bring along their partners and kids. It was loads of fun meeting all the mad people that Glynn works with and the party was pretty cool too. There were my all-time favourite party attractions in the form of a free bar (poor old Glynn had to stay off the booze as he was driving), face painting, a pirate, a bouncy castle and dancing.

The dancing in particular was really entertaining as performances were given by dancers from the different ethnic groups representative in the workforce at Glynn's company. There was a lovely traditional performance of Samoan song and dance and I even found myself up on stage having a go. I was gutted not to have a grass skirt and seashell bra to wear but it was a lot of fun anyway! Later on there was Bollywood style Indian dancing and a bit of line dancing that came along when most people had had a bit too much
Dancing QueenDancing QueenDancing Queen

Jude strutts her stuff, Samoan style. It was hard work dancing with all those semi-naked, coconut-oiled, nubile young men, you know!
from the free bar!!

After the kiddies had all had their faces painted, I sidled up to the lady doing the painting to see if I could join in. I've been itching to have my face painted at just about every fete and party we've been to in NZ but this time I got lucky! I got a fab painting of Harold, our pet praying mantis, on one cheek and a cool gecko on the other cheek. It looked awesome and I was very sad to wash it off before bedtime.

We had a great time getting to know people and I think we must have made a good impression as people have been inviting us to other events ever since. That's despite Glynn being on the losing team for the staff versus managers tug-of-war! I just wish I had worn my pirate hat (yes, I do own one!) so that I could have joined in with the fun looking piratey activities. I was too grown-up to be allowed on the bouncy castle too :-( The food was fabulous too - Glynn's work really did pull out all the stops for a cracking good party. Wish you could
Heave!Heave!Heave!

Glynn gives it his best shot but his tug-of-war teammates aren't quite beefy enough to pull off a victory this time!
have been there too....


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Hooray for Face Painting!Hooray for Face Painting!
Hooray for Face Painting!

Jude has her wish come true and gets a funky lizard painted on her face.
Is that you, Harold?Is that you, Harold?
Is that you, Harold?

The face painting lady had never drawn a praying mantis before but I think she did a grand job. It looks just like our very own Harold!


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