Thursday, January 27, 2011

We've got a house!!

So one of the first things James (my new boss) said to me was 'now, i know you'll be tempted to go and get a big house, because you can, but just make sure it has central heating and is well insulated cos it gets cold in winter'!   Definitely I replied and Ed and I sat down and decided upon a list of attributes we'd not compromise on, including gas hob, bath, heating, decent insulation etc.  Then last Wednesday we went to see a house and all that was forgotten.   It failed on so many accounts; downstairs it was painted dark red.... you could hear and feel the wind whistling through the ancient window frames, and no bath!  But it was pretty cool.  

So, where it is? This is on our walks home. Left to right -  Roseneath / Oriental Bay / Mount Vic

And check it out!!  In fact the building by the marina in between the blue huts is Martin Bosley's.

The little room to the right of the picture is actually our bathroom and the loo has the best view I've ever seen!

So very exciting.  It is 18 Mcfarlane Street, Mount Victoria. Wellington. NZ!  And we'll be moving in next weekend; we'll borrow plates, chairs, pots and pans from work friends and camp out until all our stuff arrives in a few weeks.  We're off tomorrow morning to buy a bed and some white paint to make the place a little smarter and we'll deal with the winter as and when!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

And then it rained...

Theoretically the weather system in Martinborough, being over the western hills, is generally dry.  However not on our visit; having had no rain for months, it poured!

This explains the lack of pictures.

But despite the weather, we had an amazing time and met some very lovely people.  We had emailed Ryan's Dad (who we met at Martin Bosley) and he said he'd be happy to show us round his vineyard, Escarpment.

We borrowed bikes from the hotel and cycled out to meet him there; the hotel staff evidently had not done this before because it was not quite as flat as they had claimed!  

However, it was well worth it - the vineyard was tres beau and the terroir, manifique, and not a French git in sight. The vines sit above old flood level of the river - alluvial loam over alluvial gravel if anyone cares. So we were then treated to a great tasting from the barrel, and from someone who has reputedly done more for New Zealand Pinot than almost anyone else. A great treat, everyone look out for "Kupe" from Escarpment: a gorgeous drop.

He very kindly gave us a lift back to the hotel - threw our bikes in the back of his Ute with his lovely chocolate lab - via of course a couple of prime fishing spots for Ed. Wouldn't get that service in Burgundy.

We also met a very lovely hospitable couple, originally from the UK, who now grow olives. He has just retired from PWC! They gave us a long list of foodie places to visit and restaurants to eat at in Wellington, and we had a fascinating time being shown round their olive groves. 

Finally, we had dinner at a little French Bistro, whose daughter lives near the BP garage in Stoke Newington.  How about that!

No fishing or riding thanks to the rain but we don't need much of an incentive to return.

Rivendell - yes, Rivendell!

All our maps include either ring or film camera symbols which signify Lord of the Ring scenes!  Less than 3/4 hour from Wellie is Rivendell!   Brilliant and yet again, hardly anyone there.

And not too shabby either. Although, it's a bit like having the Lake District next to the M1 at J9 for Luton. It's seriously beautiful though, and we only explored for an hour or so in flip-flips. Again, another excuse never to be bored on a Saturday night, another stunning campsite less than 30 mins from the city centre. Oh, and did we mention it's Rivendell, as in the movie.....

Friday, January 21, 2011


It is a bank holiday weekend  - thanks to Wellington Day!  We are driving north east to martinborough - our closest wine region.

Photograph of Escarpment Vineyards

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My first day at work

 Rather different from the BRC, have already met everyone at the NZRC on my first day!  During my nearly 4 years at BRC I did not even know all the people on my floor! My team seem nice enough but will meet them properly and go for coffee tomorrow.  Also, I do not have to put up with varying degrees of grey hues from the window anymore. trees from my window, the harbour from across the room.

We are still house hunting.  We want to live in a suburb close to the sea and work, being quite fussy, so we'll just be patient and wait and see what comes up in the next few weeks.  What we want is totally affordable compared to London but it is a smallish area so not many come up.

We are now in our serviced apartment which is quite pleasant with a back garden - unfortunately shared with a few other flats and currently occupied by some rather loud NZ woman, eating too many sausages.  For a country that seems on the one hand obsessed with sport and very healthy, there are a lot of fat people.  Gran would be horrified! 'I don't think you need another one', she'd probably say! Snorkers for porkers.

My desk

the view from my window!
On my way to meet eduardo - the view is actually where we want to live, so this will be my walk home.!


40 minutes drive from the centre of Wellington. Total Kiwi wilderness. Beautiful waves, more stunning scenery and three other people. 

Also fantastic campsite just up the road, with a pay as you go gas BBQ! Also empty, no reason to ever be bored on a Saturday night. 

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Blown Away

Nina, check this out for LV luggage! Shanghai pictures

Martin Bosley

Last night we went to Martin Bosley's for dinner which was incredible.  We had the seafood degustation to start which consisted of 8 courses; sashimi, sushi, osyters, tempura prawns, all with an interesting slant, such as smoked sushi rice.  Definitely recommend it!

Our second day in Wellie

We headed out to Owhiro Bay, about 10 minutes drive from the centre of Wellington. You can see seals there from May to October and there are signs asking you to drive slowly as there might be penguins crossing!  But we did not see any this time. 

Extraordinary you can be somewhere so wild so quickly.  Really beautiful - we dipped our toes in the ocean.  Definitely need a wetsuit! 

Our first week!

We arrived in Wellington to sunshine and wind.