Sunday, October 28, 2012

Spooky Goings On!

I love Halloween. It was never big in England when I was a kid. I remember one party with apple bobbing and carved pumpkins but there were never many Trick or Treaters and we never really celebrated it as a family.

The only significant Halloween event occurred when I was about 16 when the great BBC in their wisdom transmitted the film Ghostwatch. If you ever see a copy of this grab it! It was a made for TV film which was presented as if it was a real, live documentary investigating a haunted council house inhabited by a single mum and her two daughters. It has only ever been shown once on TV as it caused so many complaints. People took it seriously and believed that one of the presenters had really been dragged into another realm!

It is hosted by the distinguished Michael Parkinson and ends with him becoming possessed. I watched it around a mates house and remember clinging to my then boyfriend for most of the evening. Its very scary and convincing. Unfortunately the 90s clothing takes some of the fear factor away now but its still worth watching.

In New Zealand Halloween appears to be growing in popularity with most of the discount shops becoming full of scream masks and witches hats. So this year I thought I would hold my own Halloween party.

In preparation I painted my nails Thursday night and headed into work with trendy black finger nails. I received several comments on them including one lady who on hearing I was intending to have a Halloween party launched into a description of how it was a horrible tradition involving the burning of bones and the sacrificing of kids. A bit shocked by this I mumbled something about just intending to wrap kids in loo roll and bob for some apples, and I quickly changed the subject.

After some research (or googling and chatting to friends) I have found that there are still people who appear to think that kids running around dressed as bats and witches is dangerous and meddling with the occult in some way. Well I respect everyones views and certainly did not challenge this persons viewpoint. However I do find it hard to see any danger in eating donuts hanging from a piece of string and kids running around wearing false plastic fangs (even though one over enthusiastic five year old apparently did try to suck the blood of the three year old).

We had a great party and I am already planning next years night of horror :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

You know you are becoming a Kiwi when...........

You start wearing shorts as soon as the slightest bit of sun appears ..... even if it is blowing a gale and bloody cold!

Your kids (and occasionally even you!) start going around the supermarket without shoes on.

Wellies are no longer Wellies they are Gum Boots and Flip Flops are Jandels. You also develop the ability to wear said "Jandels" in all weathers.

Your kids can demonstrate how to curl into a ball during and earthquake and point your bottom (or butt as my five year old likes to say) at a window.

Everything is "Awesome" and "Sweet As"!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The cost of keeping in touch.

About three months ago we took a momentous decision as a family. On the spur of the moment we bought the two animals shown below. About a week later, and following many solo trips to feed them in the rain I came to the conclusion that maybe this had been a rash and unwise decision.

Unfortunately by then we had already fallen in love with them and so I am stuck making twice daily trips down the back garden to feed them in all weathers. I am sure standing in the pet shop it was not made clear to me that it would be my sole responsibility - but hey ho this is clearly just one of the many unwritten responsibilities that you take on when becoming a wife and Mum. Personally I think it should be in the wedding vows - to love honour and care for any small animals that may be bought on a whim by your husband when he is ganged up on by your daughters.

I think the addition of pets into a family is one of the most significant indicators that we are in this country to stay. Apart from the commitment to look after the little fur balls (for at least the next two years anyway, as far as the Guinea is concerned) we have had to invest in all the bulky equipment needed and figure out who will look after them when we visit the UK.

We have been planning a visit back for the last two years or so but the cost of transporting all four of us to the other side of the world is proving a huge obstacle. The sooner they invent transporters like they have in Star Trek the better!

To get all of us back for this Christmas it is likely to cost over eleven thousand NZ dollars. Possibly more as we have yet to book the tickets and apparently the cost increases the closer you get to December. I think we need to get organised fast.

So if you are reading this blog and thinking of moving to New Zealand please take into account the cost of visits to family. We will probably be fine to fund trips back to the UK in the future as soon as we sell our house in the UK. This year has been a real trial trying to put money aside each month but we have not seen some of our family for four years and we are over due a visit home. I also missed my sisters wedding as we could not afford the trip back.

I really just want anyone reading this to consider the cost of trips back when emigrating. If you have read the other posts on my blog, you will know that we love life here. Life in New Zealand is worth the cost and distance. Please just plan your visits to family better than we have.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Real Stonehenge!

It's the school holidays over here and since we are currently saving for a visit back to the UK we are rather unusually staying at home this half term. So we are exploring locally and decided to take trip over to the Wairarapa for the day. It poured with rain and having had lunch and been somewhat disappointed with Martinborough we ended up at Stonehenge Aotearoa.

I assumed that this would be an attempt to reproduce the original motley collection of scattered stones as they appear next to the busy A303 in Wiltshire, only in someones back garden in New Zealand. I was wrong. The New Zealand version is truly a labour of love.

Not only is it set in stunningly beautiful (and on the day we visited spookily mist covered) landscape it is constructed to accurately track the stars and changing seasons.

The website below explains it far better than I can. I would really recommend a visit and spending a good hour or so chatting to the owners (providing you don't have a fidgety five and eight year old with you). They are experts in this area and have a wealth of interesting information to browse through. We will be returning for the mid summer solstice which should be quite spectacular.

Stonehenge Aotearoa

Looking up to the heavens - unfortunately it was way to cloudy to see anything!

We will be returning along with the Druids and other fairy folk to see the henge perform in the way it is meant to in the sunny weather.