Autumn is here. Its getting dark by 5.30 in the afternoon and we can no longer go round in just t-shirts and shorts (although a significant number of rather odd people seem to be immune to the cold and wear flip flops and shorts year round).
This week has been extremely busy. Having put in our Expression of Interest a few weeks ago, we have now been invited to apply for residency. So I have been organising medicals, police certificates and all the other information that immigration needs to check that we are who we say we are and we are not going to cost the health service loads of money.
All these things cost loads of money. If you are planning to apply for residency be warned! It will be a significant strain on your bank account. I was shocked to be quoted over $1000 for our medicals. This does not include the cost of the X-rays that are needed to check we have not caught any nasty diseases in the time we have been in the country. We had all this done only 14 months ago just before we arrived in New Zealand but apparently it all needs to be done again.
I have been repeating the mantra - "It will all be worth it in the end!"
New Zealand is a long way from anywhere else. Although I knew this when we first moved here it has been driven home this week.
Any visits home will always cost a fortune. We accepted this when we moved here and planned for it. However the unexpected always happens. I have a very important family occasion this September that we had been planning to go back to the UK for. However we need to apply for residency sooner than expected and the cost of it has been a bit of a surprise so we have had to postpone our visit.
It has been a really difficult decision and I know that we have disappointed a lot of people but it appears that these are the kind of decisions you face when you move this far from everyone you care about. It is, I guess, one of the biggest pitfalls of living in New Zealand.
We introduced the girls to the joys of Wagamama and a bit of Japanese food. They weren't very impressed with the food but they liked the chopsticks.