So, here I am at the end of my first week in this brave new world of New Zealand… I can’t really believe that I’ve been here a week actually, but it’s true – this time last week, I suspect I was somewhere in the sky somewhere over India. It’s an odd thought. But it’s been a good week, if something of a whirlwind.
It’s been the best kind of whirlwind though, one involving plenty of sunshine, wine, catching up with friends, meeting new people, eating too much and generally having a good time. There has been the small matter of a new job too, but that’s also been incredibly good fun. #
It’s very odd being the new girl after eleven years at the same company and not immediately knowing entirely how everything works is a strange feeling to get used to, but my new colleagues are absolutely lovely and helpful.
I won’t give you what could be quite a tedious blow-by-blow account of my first week, but just a few immediate learnings are below…
Marlborough crash course – week one’s learnings:
1) Birds are LOUD. Please don’t misunderstand, I love hearing them, but – for all my country mouse claims in the UK – I have never heard a dawn chorus as loud. Larks, blackbirds, australian magpies, sparrows a-plenty, it feels like they congregate on the roof of my cottage to wake me up. It’s a good way to wake; I hope I don’t ever tire of it.
2) I look ridiculous apparently, but I love driving a ute… I’m borrowing the work one at the moment, but am actively seeking my own now! I definitely want a truck!
3) I can fry to crisp in five minutes… I’ve never been very good with sun protection, but goodness me am I going to have to learn fast down here. I thought I was being quite good by wearing factor 20, but over the weekend it more or less took one look at the sun and handed in its resignation… I may be interestingly piebald for a while!
4) That cliché where I say that everyone has been lovely? Well, that’s definitely true. I have felt very welcomed. Everyone has been utterly lovely. From the ready-filled fridge to the dinner invitations, people have made sure that the transition has been as painless as possible.
5) It’s really hard being away from family and friends, of course, and skype/facetime/other-online-chat-facilities-are-available are no substitute for a proper cuddle, but they have certainly made it much easier than it might otherwise be.
7) I am apparently very appealing to the biting bugs of NZ
8) Setting off for an hour’s walk in the blazing sun without a bottle of water is foolhardy. I am a cautionary tale in the making!
9) It is possible for me to wear flat shoes for a week straight. Who knew?
10) Blenheim is not a huge town (according to the gospel of wikipedia it has 30,900 people), but it is completely possible for me to get lost in it. I’m not sure what it is, but I get hopelessly disorientated and end up going in circles. I’m going to claim some sort of northern hemisphere magnetic-programming, which is confusing my sense of direction… I suspect I’m just a muppet though.
Today’s stuck-in-head-song – Me and Tennessee, Tim McGraw and Gwyneth Paltrow
Today’s dinner – some sort of salad involving halloumi
Today’s drinks – Seresin Viognier 2011
Today’s footwear – white havaiana flip-flops (not calling them jandals)