Thursday, January 26, 2006

queenstwon to methven...

well, we're here. methven. we've moved into our lodge and think we've found two nice guys to share with us which is great because there's more company for me and the bills get halved. fran's had 2 days on his course so far and hasn't got home before 7pm, so I'm hoping that trend isn't going to continue, although on busy jumping days they can be in from 8am til 8pm apparently. right about now fran should be hanging in a harness in the hanger with all his course mates shouting at him and swinging him around while he has a repeat his malfunction procedure - just to check he can cope with the stress of the situation.

the lodge we're in is very cool. jenny, who owns it is a creative lady and there's lots of different colours on the walls/ceilings/doors - I love it! we have a communal kitchen & lounge with wood burning stove for cold nights and there's a lovely smell of wood smoke. there's 4 bedrooms, so fran and I have the biggest, I have one with lots of windows for my art room and our lodgers will have the other two. we have 2 shower rooms and 2 toilets & sinks so we're pretty well set up to be a sharing house. I'll tell you more about our guests when I've actually met them properly.

our address in methven is:
mr F and mrs J mickelborough
25 south belt
new zealand

no postcode, doesn't really apply here. I'd LOVE to get some mail. I have to work out how to find & make friends in this town yet (other than the folks on fran's course) and at the moment I'm feeling quite lonely. yesterday I made friends with a little boy at the nursery next door who's taken to waving and saying hi when I go past, a tiny fluffy white dog taking himself for a walk on the street and a lonesome horse!

so, queenstown... we really liked it. all the guide books say how terribly busy it is and you'll want to escape, but we didn't find it like that at all. it's surrounded by huge mountains, so no matter where you are they're towering against the sky. it's on a huge lake whose waves lap up against the beach and marina, quite impressively if it's windy/stormy as it was one night. the town is quite light feeling, very fresh. all together we definately liked it, and it'd be quite gorgeous in the winter all snowy.

righto, things to do, house to tidy, kitchen to organize, video club to join...

ps pictures will be coming soon, I just need to work out how to get them from the camera to the laptop, into a shared file and then onto the internet. the mystery that is apple mac's operating system I have yet to delve into.

Friday, January 13, 2006

now there's a plan...

fran's course starts next monday, 23rd january in methven. we went there at the start of this week to check it out and get an idea of what accomodation is available, which as it happens is not very much so we were quite lucky to go and get ourselves sorted. we're renting.... a backpacker's lodge! all to ourselves! as methven is a ski village, it's very quiet in the summer (now) so the lady wants to rest it for little fuss & work. so we have a very cool ex-vicarage funkyily painted sunny place to live. there's 4 bedrooms and we can have up to 2 lodgers which means I get an art room. and there's the huge lounge with wood burning stove and kitchen with 2 cookers, fridges, toasters, microwaves.... you get the idea. everywhere else we looked at was very characterless so we're quite chuffed with our deal. will get pics up in a week or so when we go back to methven.

meanwhile, we plan to cruise on down to queenstown to check it out as one of the potential places fran could work. I seem to have already decided I'll love it there so we'll see how it turns out in real life. big mountains and a big lake are already making it attractive, and that it's busy all year round with summer & winter sports.

I'm a little concerned I'm going to be sad and lonely when fran's off on his course and finding kayaking friends, but housemates will help. there's a few nice cafe's in the town. 1,000 people in the summer. and big big mountains in the background so maybe I'll become the roming painter and go on adventures in our funky little rose.

hope you's all well. jen x.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

hello & happy new year from sunny NZ!

but first - I'm going to be an aunty!! my brother dave & his wife win are expecting their first baby in july. I actually found out this great news on our first day in new zealand... <:s ... I'm going to have to work on being a cool aunty from the other side of the world.

so, we had a nice christmas in christchurch with friends from sheffield - emma & dan andrews, nail & natalie shepherd and matt & jo parkins. full roast turkey and the trimmings for lunch and the rain just made it all the more homely - none of us felt christmassy with bright sunshine everyday and our of place snowmen & santa claus decorations around. fran and I actually missed lots of the christmas build up without tv and shops around us which was really pleasant and bought each other a book for christmas.

for new year we went to arthur's pass, which cuts across the north-south mountains from christchurch to the west coast. there we played in narnia, or at least where they filmed mr tumnus' house and the battle scenes - amazing limestone boulders and rock formations. on new year's eve we did a crazy walk from valley bottom to mountain top of avalanche peak which involved 7km walking and 1000m ascent and descent, our legs were hurting for days afterwards but the scenery was well worth it. that meant we saw in new year sound asleep as we were so pooped, but not before we popped the party popper the hotel had provided!

now we're back in christchurch waiting for fran's course to start which is sometime in february, we're just not sure exactly when yet! in the meantime we plan on visiting queenstown as that's the 2nd main skydiving area in NZ and feels like a preferable place for fran to be working other than taupo which we weren't so enamoured by.

we've found an english shop to buy decaf typhoo tea in, they're not into decaf here yet really. most other food in the shops seems to be buscuits which just amused me, especially as there were no rich tea buscuits!

well, love to everybody & missing you. x