Ok it has been a while since our last post and much has happened whilst staying with Shirley, Ian and Leanne. Katie managed to sort out a job working in the "cbd" of whangarei in Credit Control for an Australian Media company! We then sorted out a 2 bed place to rent, which was a bit grubby when we moved in but it's amazing what you can do with a few throws and some paint samples, it's now starting to feel a little bit more homely. After a few days hunting for jobs, and after failing a drug test for having too much Ibruprofen in my system, I found some work installing data cables into schools on a 2 weeks temp basis and I will prob be kept on after xmas. We got lots of homely things from the charity shop and also all our Christmas decoration for like $15 (£7.50!)J
Kate's work is very social and even has monthly BBQ's and beer which is really weird and we were also invited to her work xmas party, we both went and got rather drunk the food was awesome. Both of received a Christmas ham (they are massive like 5 kg each) but Kate decided it was too much so we gave one away to the Women's refuge so hopefully somebody else will enjoy it. Kate's work is about 2.5 km from our house so she walks to work and back most days but works Austalian hours so doesn't start until 10.30 and then finishes at 6.30. Alan works really long hours sometimes 11 hours a day... but we try and get home at the same time.
We have sorted out our xmas shopping to each other, the presents are under the tree unwrapped -we are trying to save on money and paper. So far we have got Alan a guitar so he can learn whilst we are based in one place for a few months and Kate is getting a really cool portable BBQ so we can take it to the beach but also have BBQ's here. We also got some Tennis racquets but when we got to the courts we couldn't decide on the rules so we just had a rally! We have also tried to fit in some exercise (to counteract all of Kates baking) so we decided to go for a run the other evening and ended up at the top of a bloody mountain (Alan's fault) but by that time it was getting dark and the path went through some dense tropical forest so we have to sprint all the way down to avoid getting stranded in the dark!
It is currently Christmas eve over here and it really strange as we have just got back from the beach (photos will be added)! The weather has been rubbish but it is starting to improve and today was mainly sunny J however it suppose to be getting really hot through Jan, Feb and March and we have something like 55 beaches to explore within a half hour drive which is cool although Alan has just discovered he doesn't really like sand... TV is also rubbish here although there have been some weird and some wonderful films on recently.
Our plan now is to stay here for about 5/6 months whilst we both have jobs and save as much as we can then go to Fiji for a week then travel around the rest of New Zealand for a week or two (avoiding Christchurch) then finish in Queenstown for a week or two for the snow season which will be cool then head home stopping in Sydney and Hong Kong for a couple of days.
We hope you all have a great Christmas - we are going to a Hawaiian beach party and we write again after New Year!
Lots of Love
Alan and Kate