Thursday, November 24, 2005

introducing rose

but first... we went up the sky tower for dinner on monday - should have watched a sunset but it was cloudy and wet! this is the view from the observation deck - you can see the base of the tower in the centre bottom of the picture and my legs reflected in the glass. the cheeky monkeys have put glass flooring up there which I just couldn't stand on - there's something wrong when you can't see the floor between you and a 300m drop!

view from the sky tower

so, we got a van! we hunted around last week for vans in auckland, went to everywhere selling them and there was just nothing in our price range that took our fancy. we prayed, and felt like god said go to Hamilton on tuesday. Hamilton is 2hrs south of Auckland and had a few places to try. by 5 o'clock we'd been to 4 places and were trying the last which had 2 potential vans of interest - that's where we found her. rose.

she's a mitsubishi L300 '86 with a 1'6 petrol engine. the first van we've actually liked enough to test drive, and we've looked at a lot of vans. internally she's a bit chintzy but that of course is intended to change. there's a bed over the cab, cooking and storage area in the middle and u-shaped seating in the back which makes a 2nd bed. hot and cold water, fridge runs on 12v, 240v and gas, cooker and grill, porter potty in the bottom of a cupboard you slide out in times of need, oh yes and a shower on the outside which has a little screen goes round it. we had an AA inspection done and it passed everything except the windscreen wipers which only have 1 speed- everything which needs fixing the guy we're buying it from is doing for us inc in the sale price. and in nz when you sell a vehicle it has to have had an MOT done within 28 days so you know it can't be a wreck! we're really chuffed and blessed by god's faithfulness in his provision.

whilst we were waiting for the van to get checked out we went to raglan on the east coast, mecca of surfers and home of the left-hand break. actually the surf wasn't up to much but it was nice to see the sea and chill out. we tested out our new tent and sleeping bags which we'll be using between now and collecting the van next week when it's ready and our money's through.


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

contact details...

now we have mobile phones. you can get us on:

fran +64 210 2290 188
jen +64 210 2290 144

we get really cheap texts to the uk so if you want spontaneity in your communication with us, that would be a great way to do it. no idea how much it would cost you though!

meanwhile the campervan trail get's hotter....

Monday, November 21, 2005

lichen on the sidewalk...

that's how clean it is here, even in a city - lichen in the trees and on the sidewalk where feet tend not to tread. and yes, american words are creeping in more as there's just an american feel here, in a good way.

so something I wanted to post since leaving sheffield was this:

it will be hard leaving sheffield because there are so many amazing people squeezed into it. but that will make it easier too, because there are too many people I value and want to spend time with and unless all I do is see people it's just not possible to give value to all those people. I've so often felt there are so many people and not enough time to see them. so sheffield I will mourn you, but also I will be freer and able to enter a place of with a more normal level of people around me.

now let's see if I can go and persuade fran to take me to dinner at the top of the sky tower in the orbit restaurant. dinner at 290m, mmm.

Friday, November 18, 2005

good night's sleep

well as far as it goes anyway. we have the lounge/kitchen above our heads so there's a good number of bumps in the night. we went to bed at 8 and got up at 9, fran slept really well at least and he needs it the most. the place we're staying is cool. it really has every colour you could imagine - lots of yellow gloss, and pink, purple, green, blue with white paint all over the place. it's very ramshackle - sofas in the garden, bedding of every description, nooks and crannies. it's so like austin, tx, in the spring I feel really at home. coming in to the airport was wierd - not having been before or knowing the country but coming into the place that would be my home. I'm really looking forward to finding our camper so I can make home there. living out of bags isn't really my kind of deal, not without a nest to return to. the auckland bit we went into was nice. found a great cafe called mecca we had a late lunch of fresh bread & dips and olive/tomato/feta salad, beautiful, it's my first reccomendation. we also found a borders bookshop with as many floors as a rabbit warren. oh, and did I mention the cafes, cafes, cafes - endless cafes....bliss! got to try 'the strawberry alarm clock' nearby soon.

I have a cold, which really isn't suprising as we worked flat out for the last month or so and have been pooped. prayers for good sleep would be appreciated as sounds whilst I'm trying to sleep can really wind me up and I do need some rest. well, we have to go find breakfast now. love you england...

Thursday, November 17, 2005

we've arrived!

as I type my head is almost nodding off in my lap I'm so tried - we've had 2 nights very little sleep in transit, but hopefully that'll really help avoid jetlag. we had a GREAT journey - beautiful check-in by BA, who weren't able to book us onto our international flights leaving very little time at heathrow to transfer and book, but cathay pacific already had us in a pair of window seats so we got window and isle seast next to eachother for both long hops.

so we're in our little hostel, very cool, much like spiderhouse coffee place in austin for those of you who know it. our twin room has a double and single bed and is quiet and out of the way with fern and trees outside our window, and the so promised bright colour paint is everywhere. we got in at 3pm from the airport and went straight into town for some food & to keep ourselves going til bed-time (giving up soon, it's almost 8pm!). I'm really liking NZ - it's very American in feel on the roads which are wide and signed at all corners and continuously lush and green. the road we walked into town on had lots of coffee shops and funky boutiques. the city jut felt very fresh and alive and not at all concretey. tomorrow we'll return to town and take cheesy pictures by the big tower and contemplate going up tall things and then finding heh quickest way down again!

j x

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

high-ho, high-ho....

well, this is our final day in blighty. we start to fly 7.30 tonight and arrive in auckland 1pm thursday (or midnight weds uk time). we booked into a funky looking hostel, I wanted somewhere small & quiet and I hope we've found it. we've quite a lot of luggage and are hoping not to get charged excess - prayer for that would be great, and also a smooth journey and transitions. so I'll leave you with a picture of me & fran enjoying the fireworks at our family leaving do a week and a half ago.

keep in touch peeps - I've a feeling this may be a wierder than usual experience!

Friday, November 04, 2005

and now there are pictures...

hooray, thanks to petey bro we have pictures on the site. so here's a little story for you.

once upon a time there were jen and fran. they thought each other was pretty cool, so they got married. then they went through their house room by room pulling everything out and putting it back in loads better.

after 2 years they finished the house and decided to sell it and move to another land. look, here they are in their finished house...

once they sold it they packed up all their belongings and got on their scooter, ready to move to.... new zeland!