It was only when I was on my second St Patrick’s Day Guinness that I realised why the date of the Paddy’s Day posters looked familiar – March 17th was the expiry date on the original visitor’s visa in my passport meant that we have been in New Zealand for exactly six months. I thought I’d ask the rest of the family to say what they have liked the most and least about the last six months and here’s what they said.
MOST: Seeing the children exhilarated by outdoor activities; driving to school through rolling countryside rather than city streets.
LEAST: Not having old friends on hand to share great experiences; missing Radio 4 – and our old milkman.
MOST: Lots more opportunities at school and home like softball, sailing, cheerleading; swimming with dolphins; lots of new friends.
LEAST: Being away from friends; the mosquitoes.
MOST: Swimming with dolphins; the great weather; the views; athletics and swimming
LEAST: Seeing lots of roadkill; the dangerous roads and drivers.
MOST: Watching sunsets; feeding roosters and cows; going to Kindy and friend’s houses.
LEAST: “Nothing’s bad about New Zealand”.
MOST: Seeing the kids reveling in their new surroundings; more time doing fun family stuff outdoors; laid back attitudes; beautiful countryside.
LEAST: Lack of cycling buddies, old friends and trusted colleagues; no old stone buildings; favourite pubs and The Lahore restaurant.
However, the fact that No.1 is in her room, hates me and is generally exhibiting all the teenager symptoms of parent-itis proves that, regardless of what country we are in, some things don’t change. That said, the last six months have seen our family grow and change in ways that means that we look forward to the next six with hope, excitement and expectation – and just the occasional look over our shoulders.
A midweek teatime picnic – one of our new family activities
There is another noteworthy event this weekend – SWMBO is launching her own blog. Whilst she is certainly not a Luddite, SWMBO is not an early adopter of most technology and has a pathological aversion to reading instruction manuals of any kind. This combination means that it has took the insertion of 12,000 miles between SWMBO and her friends to prompt her to embrace email as quick and effective way of closing that gap. A few weeks back, to support her first business venture, she put up a branded web presence and added a separate email address. This week, she has decided to put up a blog. Like me, she tried to keep friends and relatives up to date with family news and adventures with emails but has, I think, found it difficult to ensure that she gets the same news to everyone who wants to know and remember who has read what. I have just managed to sneak a quick preview and I can see that I am going to have to raise my game. So, if you have always wondered what SWMBO has to say for herself or why on Earth she puts up with me, head on over to A Word From Wendy to find out – and now you know what her name is!