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Published: October 27th 2008
Picture perfect :-)
Well, I'm not sure if anyone out there is still reading these blogs except for Glynn's folks (hello Mary, hello Keith!) but for those of you who are, here's the latest news from Kiwiland!
It's been busy in the Harris household of late with some new friends and new adventures to enjoy. About 2 weeks ago, we had our second ever visitor to stay, a girl called Ali from Germany. Ali is a friend of my most excellent German friend Andrea and stayed with us for a few days before heading off to explore the rest of New Zealand for a couple of months.
The weekend after Ali left, I finally set about getting my veggie garden up and running. I have to confess though that Glynn did most of the work, cutting down some wooden crates he managed to salvage from the scrapheap at his old job and loading them with bags of compost ready for me to get sowing. So far I've planted tomatoes, broccoflower (a broccoli-cauliflower hybrid), cucumbers, silverbeet (a bit like spinach), radishes and leeks. Thanks to the amazing micro-climate here, my veggie garden is doing very nicely indeed. Check out the photo to see
Walking on Wood
Glynn and Mayuko take desperate measures to avoid getting their shoes dirty.
just how much the radishes have grown from seed in just 2 weeks!
3 weeks ago Glynn also started his new job at the hospital and I'm pleased to report that things are going swimmingly. Some last minute offers of pay rises and promotions weren't enough to tempt Glynn to stay with his old employers and he's not regretted leaving at all. Now he gets to travel to work by train, has a salary instead of clocking in and can have lunch with me every day! What more could a man want? We both work slightly different hours so travelling to and from work together isn't always possible but it's nice to see him pop up to my floor to drop off a delivery every so often :-)
On the immigration front, things have been quietly moving forward. We had our first stage application, the Expression of Interest, accepted a couple of months ago and have now received the paperwork to apply for Permanent Residency. There's a lot of things to organise like proof of employment, qualification assessments, police checks and medicals so it's going to take a while before we can submit our application but we'll keep
Jish gets friendly with Mayuko down on Karioitahi Beach.
you posted on any progress.
This weekend, we have enjoyed the first Bank Holiday in a long while thanks to Labour Day and despite some hefty rain on Saturday and Sunday, we've managed to get out and about a little to explore some more new corners of Auckland. Better than that though, we also got to do it with our new Japanese friend, Mayuko. We first met Mayuko about 3 weeks ago and this time she came to stay with us for the weekend.
On Saturday, we all braved the wet weather to enjoy the hustle and bustle of Otara Market. Otara is an Auckland suburb where many people from the Pacific Islands like Samoa, Fiji and Tonga have settled and the market there reflects their culture quite beautifully. You can buy coconut bread, taro and kumara by the kilo and even traditional Island dress complete with flower garlands and colourful sarongs. In many ways, it felt a bit like being in Hawaii! In the afternoon, we managed to make the most of a brief break in the rain to take Mayuko to Hunua Falls and the waterfall was as thundering and spectacular as ever.
Life's a Beach
Allard refuses to succumb to the madness of silly posing but Liz and Glynn give it their all.
took Mayuko along with Liz and Allard to the west coast to a black sand beach in Karioitahi, just west of Waiuku. We were really lucky with the weather as it had been throwing it down with rain all morning but by the time we arrived at the beach, the skies had cleared enough for the sun to shine through. In fact, if it hadn't been for the fierce wind, it would have been perfect beach weather!
The black sand beach is so named due to the high concentration of iron deposits all along the coastline. The sand glistens metallically and feels hard and grainy to the touch. Apparently it gets scaldingly hot in summer and isn't so comfortable for bare feet! The beach stretches for miles and miles and as we walked, it was a surprise to find that we covered a fair old distance without even noticing! Along the way, we saw some huge driftwood trees, a selection of Maori-style faces carved into rocks near the crumbling cliffs and even a pretty little waterfall.
Mayuko had to return home yesterday to study for an up-coming test so today Glynn and I had the day to ourselves.
Jude and Mayuko seal their friendship with a jump, as all friends do!
The sunny skies enticed us outdoors again and we decided it was finally time to climb One Tree Hill, a volcano in the centre of Auckland which we have been meaning to climb ever since we first came to NZ on our travels. Alas, half of Auckand had also decided to head to the same spot so it was busy busy busy when we arrived at the top.
One Tree Hill no longer has a tree at the top as the name would suggest. A few years ago a disgruntled Maori chap took a chainsaw to the last surving tree in protest at some political decision or other (sorry, my knowledge of this is a bit vague!). All that remains is a stump and a huge obelisk which serves as a prominent war memoral and geographical point of reference as you can see it from almost anywhere in Auckland. The weather was against us again when we reached the top as despite the lovely sunshine, the wind was bitterly cold and fiercely strong. We stayed long enough to enjoy the beautiful views across the city in every direction and the flocks of sheep grazing on the steep grassy slopes.
Jumping, Matrix Style
Mayuko and Glynn demonstrate bullet-time jumping, Matrix style.
So, that's about it from us. How are you? What have you been up to lately?
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