Is it really nearly two years since I blogged. Where does the time go, everyday I plan to write a diary and most days I do not. I am LAZY, it is now 20 May 2013! In November 2012 I left Blighty having been given a two years residency visa to live in New Zealand. I retired from the NHS in 2010 and wanted some adventure so decided it was time for me to fulfil my dream of travelling the world. Well, I didn't get far really because I was offered some temporary work back with the NHS and decided that it would be worth doing as it would enable me to save some money for my trip to New Zealand. I can't believe that since 2006 I was about to visit NZ for the 9th time. Yes nine times in 8 years. So I guess I am really lucky to have been able to see my beloved family at least once a year.
On arrival at Auckland and leaving the airport one gets such a feeling of openness and space and the AIR, it is so different, the sky is so blue, the green trees against the blue sky are just so clear, obviously less pollution than at home.
My initial plan was to stay for 185 days as the requirement of my temporary residency states that I need to spend at least this amount of days in the first year and again in the second year to be able to apply for permanent residency. Alternatively I could stay for 18 months in one go and then apply but that isn't feasible really as I have family in the UK where I feel more needed. So at this moment in time I have spent nearly six months here but am staying until August 12th 2013 as Jo will be 40 on the 6th August and I want to be here for her birthday especially since I missed her Graduation.
I take my hat off to Jo and Dean and the boys surviving the three years Jo spent at Auckland University. It wasn't easy for anyone as she had to work extremely hard and study plus run a household with husband and three very active boys. However I am very proud to say that she not only graduated but was one of the top three students for the course and she now has the letters for Bachelor of Education after her name. VERY WELL DONE JO, I am exceedingly proud of you. I wanted to add a picture of Jo in her mortar board but......I don't have one on the computer so maybe add at a later date.
Well it is Sunday afternoon so it is Saturday middle of the night in the UK however our clocks went back last night and the other day the UK clocks went forwards so NOW we are 11 hours apart with NZ being ahead of the UK.
My time here (3 weeks) has flown by but has been fraught with knee pain...however having exhausted the chiropractor I went to see the GP (whom i now love) because she gave me magic tablets....yes only 3 days of tablets and I AM pain-free .......................God bless medication! Yesteray we went to watch two grandsons play rugby in two different venues....very clever, we almost managed to be in two places at once....Sadly NO BRAWN around as Noah plays in the under 10s See picture on the left.
Gabriel is playing in the under 11 who are supposed to weigh no more than 65 kg and Gabe only weighs about 46 kg.....they played a game against Papatoetoe pronounced papa..toe E... and some of those kids were HUGE well overweight...apparently what they do is get someone else to weigh in for them..... they knocked some of our boys for six and dragged them down the field....
THIS IS GABRIEL ON THE PITCH.....a normal healthy lad.... and below is some pics of the others.....Gabriel actually mounted one islander one and clung on his back...riding him like a horse as a tackle....
Gabriel and Adam needing a large drink....
I should be doing the iRoning but it is too hot....
am having problems trying to place pictures in the correct place, can anyone tell me how...
I thought having stayed in LA for a week I wouldn't suffer with the jet lag but tonight is the first night I haven't fallen asleep at some ridiculous hour...followed by getting up stupidly early...it has also taken my kidneys time to get over the jet lag....
I arrived in Auckland at 07:05 hrs kiwi time to be met by all the family and this time they were punctual...lol, much to my relief. 12+ hours on a plane is not my idea of heaven..i did manage however to sleep for about six hours so I guess I shouldn't complain.
I arrived at SCRAPHOLICS in Howick about 9.30 am to collect the kit I had ordered from the UK. The kit was being sold to raise funds for the CHRISTCHURCH EARTHQUAKE APPEAL..for $25 about 12 pounds 50 p in UK dosh. The picture is of my niece Lorraine and her husband Leigh with their gorgeous children, William, Eleanor and Annaliese...
so why not contact Scrapholics NZ via google and get the kit, it is for a good cause and we can see how many different layouts come from it.
Bye for now and keep safe.
PS. no earthquakes in Auckland only too many blooming hills, makes walking painful!!
I arrived in Los Angeles on the 3rd March after 11+ hours flight plus two additional hours sitting on the plane before it took off, why, i don't know why. We boarded early which I thought was a good sign but then sat on the runway for two hours....in the end leaving half an hour late. I got my upgrade thanks to my lovely nephew Richard who works for Virgin, larger seats, leather ones, more leg room....spoilt.
at 2.30 pm USA time (8 hours behind Greenwich meantime) we arrived in LAX...got off the plane easily but then stood for an hour while immigration took everyone's fingerprints and photo....great. It took ages...picked up my bags and staggered out to find Stanley waiting for me. As agreed he was standing in a red shirt with THE SIGN...Lyn. I didn't feel particularly jet lagged.
We drove for say 40 minutes or so and arrived at 309 Nancy Way to meet his wife Mary. Stanley and Mary are in their 70s and get up about 5 am...i did say i don't do that time of the morning but....anyway the first two nights i crashed anyway and was up early. As I settle in then maybe i will not be able to get up so blooming early....it is now 10;10 PM and they have gone to bed as they have been up for HOURS.
I suppose I should explain that Stanley Charles is a distant relative, from what I can gather from the family tree he is my mother's half uncle's son, so i guess he is my mother's half cousin. Anyway we met on Ancestry as we were both looking for information about Thomas Collingwood Chown of which there are two of them. The eldest TC Chown is my Gt. Grandfather and he is also Stanley's Gt GT grandfather. TC Chown junior is Stan's gt. grandfather. enough of that it will only confuse you.
Friday 4th March, Stanley and Mary took me to Santa Anita Race Course outside LA. it is a rather nice building in the art deco style. We went to the restaurant and had lunch and bet on the gigis....i won the first two races, lost the third, won the fourth of which I made about $20 profit...i also got another winner but didn't actually do a bet, so 4 winners out of 5 races was pretty good.
We went down to the paddock to see the horses and I took photos of which I would say two are really good the others ok. Anyway those two were satisfactory to me and I will upload them when i get on my own computer. Am sitting using Stanleys' Apple Mac and can't get my pictures on today.
Following my tradition of having a McDonalds in every city or country i go to how fortunate it is that there is one about 8 minutes walk away and i can get wifi there. Hence breakfast today was a sausage biscuit (yummy) so I could get on free wifi as stanley doesnt have wireless. the sausage biscuit biscuit bit is rather like a crispy scone and i must say was yummy.
It would seem that McDonalds senior coffee costing 55c (yes being aged i get cheaper coffee, sounds good to me) is going to be a daily routine whilst I am in USA.
Today Saturday i was taken to the penthouse restaurant in Santa Monica and we lunched and had a marvellous view of the ocean, sand and hills leading to Malibu. Unfortunately the walk on the beach didn't happen which I was a bit disappointed about but hey it doesn't matter.
About me, well, I am a bit older than middle aged, my son-in-law just says I am OLD. I don't take any notice, actually I am only 61. What do I like doing, I LOVE scrapbooking and card making but scrapbooking is my first love. It has become an addiction especially the shopping for it. I like walking in the countryside, swimming, travelling and now I have semi-retired my aim is to have a Big Mac in every country in the world. (A bit sad readlly!) So far i have had one in Delhi, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Rome, Paris, Brussels, LA, New York, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Auckland etc.
I have four WONDERFUL grandsons who seem to appear a lot in my scrapbooks, well they are so PHOTOGENIC and besides they grow up too soon.
I am very lucky to be able to visit New Zealand annually to see my daughter et al and I have a lovely son and family locally in Essex, so I guess I am very fortunate.
I also love music and theatre, i guess that is it about me.