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January 7th 2008
Published: January 9th 2008
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The Poppelbaum ResidenceThe Poppelbaum ResidenceThe Poppelbaum Residence

We love the houses in Takanini, especially Liz and Allard's. It's like a Tardis inside and has loads of garden all around it.
The first couple of days here in Auckland have been a mixture of hard work and lots of fun. After sleeping off the jetlag, we were out and about on our second day with a view to finding an apartment and sorting out all the official stuff we needed to get done. It is all too tempting to stay with Liz and Allard while we're here, especially as the food is soooooooooo good and we have use of the neighbours' swimming pool, but Glynn and I are both craving our own space again after a year on the road and 7 months in the box room in Birmingham.

First off, we got our bank account sorted. Glynn had been very efficient and set everything up online so all we had to do was take some ID into the right branch and hey presto. It really was as easy as that. Next, we made arrangements to view a couple of apartments and we were chomping at the bit to find out what we might be able to afford.

Walking around Auckland city centre again made us both feel very happy. It's so clean here and the roads and pavements are
Home GrownHome GrownHome Grown

Liz and Allard grow loads of fruit and veggies themselves, including blueberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and this grapefruit tree!
wide and well maintained, giving you a real sense of space that I just can't associate with any location in the UK that I've ever been to. The people really are as laid-back and friendly as we remember and we can't wait to become part of it all ourselves.

We first looked at a one bedroom apartment and were horrified to see just how small it was! There was just about room to walk all round the bed in the bedroom, reminiscent of the last box room we lived in, and the lounge/litchen/dining area wasn't even big enough to swing a kitten in, nevermind a full grown cat! To top it all, the view from the window was of the car park below and building site ahead.

The idea that this might be what we could expect to get for our price bracket left us feeling a little gloomy but then the next day we got to see a 2 bed apartment in the same complex and you wouldn't have believed it could be in the same building. Both bedrooms are a decent size and the lounge/kitchen/dining area must be twice the size of the other place. Not
Big SplashBig SplashBig Splash

Jude plays in the neighbours' pool with Ethan, Liz and Allard's hyperactive 5-year old grandson!
only was this a big improvement already but this apartment had a real wow factor - a balcony with views of the harbour and harbour bridge. The fact that the rent was just 10 dollars more per week than the tiny flat was astounding. I swear, we almost ripped the contract from the agent's hands in our eagerness to sign up!

That all happened on Friday and we could have moved in the next day if it weren't for the fact that we couldn't withdraw all the deposit and agent fees in time. Instead, we arranged to move in on Sunday and found ourselves the newest tenants on the 5th floor of the Zest Apartments. It's a huge complex with 512 flats occupied mostly by foreign students and young professionals. There's a decent-sized swimming pool and basic gym downstairs for sole use by tenants and we're just 2 blocks away from Auckland's most famous landmark, the Sky Tower. It's a 10 minute downhill walk to the high street and main transport hub for the city. Perfect!

The apartment is only partly furnished so we have 2 double beds, a big desk and all electrical equipment like washing machine,

The little kitchen area in our new apartment. Compact but with everything we need including a mini-dishwasher!
cooker, microwave and hoover. Our first task on Sunday was to pick up some basic kitchen stuff as we had no crockery, cutlery or pans. We could still do with a small sofa and some less uncomfortable chairs. It took a couple of days to get hot water installed (so we were a bit skanky for a while) as well as internet but everything else was sorted straight away. So this is it, home sweet home for at least the next 3 months :-)

Additional photos below
Photos: 9, Displayed: 9


Balcony ViewBalcony View
Balcony View

The view from our lounge area. Not bad, eh?
Sea ViewSea View
Sea View

Yes, that really is the sea you can spot in the distance! This is only one part of a 180 degree view we have from the balcony although the rest just overlooks houses and the hills. Nice enough but not worthy of a photo.
Harbour BridgeHarbour Bridge
Harbour Bridge

A close-up view of the harbour bridge taken from our balcony. Not that I'm trying to make you jealous or anything!
Giant ChefGiant Chef
Giant Chef

Glynn gets to grips with our teeny kitchenette.
No Place Like HomeNo Place Like Home
No Place Like Home

Jude & Glynn celebrate their first meal in their new home. Sorry it's a bit dark, folks!

9th January 2008

well done
well done both of you !!For not letting the dust settle under your feet. love the Blog Keep it up

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