Friday, September 22, 2006

only in new zealand

here's this week's local paper.... ah, new zealand media is great! this article's about the bush fire we had in the last week (see post below). regularly on the main news do we hear reporters saying 'bugger' and once we even had 'ugly bastards'. being PC just isn't a much of an issue here. on a kind of 'if you can't take it, don't watch it' basis. also quite nice is that cause there's only 4 million people here, the news just isn't that bad all too often. last week on the headline bulletin between programmes the 4th item was that someone who got shipwrecked's collie dog had made it safe to dry land too. aaaah. then there was the fish farm that broke free of it's moorings disrupting the inter-islander ferry - worthy of a 20 minute expose apparently. makes you smile.

pampas grass haloed in setting sunlight

so we need skype people. if you want to talk to us, or use instant messaging, get skype. it's free to call other skype users. I was just in the middle of a call to pol in christchurch when bea and andy in sheffield called and then we made a conference call with ant too. flippin fantastic. skype church has started! I like it.

cotton wool bud blossom

Thursday, September 21, 2006

my computer just started ringing like a telephone and I have no idea why!!! it's like being on the crystal maze. <:s

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

tra la la!

he he! I've just had the best morning... I'm sure to coffee's helping but I'm buzzing quite a lot! I met up with a guy called david who runs the rungway - a QT based company that does via ferrata and other rope based activities. they're going to take me for a trial session and if they like me sign me up as a casual instructor or posibbly more permanent. I'm so excited at the thought of instructing - being in the glorious outdoors and helping people do fun and exhilarating stuff. doing other jobs for a while has helped me realise how much I love instructing, so I'm pretty stoked about the possibilities here!
I'm also excited as I have some upcoming trips. one is to texas at the end of october, which will also allow me to see friends in methven and christchurch we've not seen since coming down here 3 and a bit months ago. then my parents arrive in NZ for a visit and we're planing a holiday in fiordland with them where we'll get to go kayaking on milford sound, horseriding/quad biking and see/walk round lots of beautiful wilderness.
right - got to go and finish fran's birthday presents now... bad weather has kept him at home and in the way of me making things! I wonder when the coffee and this buzzing feeling is going to wear off....? xx

Monday, September 18, 2006


last week we had a scrub fire on the remarkables. my first view of it was a large cloud of smoke rising from behind deer park heights - the hill opposite our balcony and directly between our unit and the dropzone... but I figured drop zone fires would be thick black smoke so fran was probably ok! I was on my way to the airport to drop some friends off for their hols and had a good view of the fire, including when the helicopters started taking off to do water drops. that evening we went to our first small group (or PCG - pastoral care group) meeting, which was up in fernhill and gave us great views of the fire at night. it had been a small controlled burn off when the winds picked up and whisked it up the mountainside. the view was amazing at night with the lights of queenstown nestled down by the lake and the fiery mountainside towering up above it. here's my pretty naff version...

we've been along to church again - fran was able to come due to poor weather, and are hopefully having blair and christine round for tea this week. it was blair and christine's I went to for the BBQ and blair who ran the explosive boy's night out last week which fran went along to and enjoyed. they've been extremely friendly and welcoming and we've felt very blessed by them.

lulu - latest edition to our fleet of aged motor vehicles!

other big news is that we were in court this morning! nothing too major - it was a hearing to settle our dispute over compensation for the 8 weeks we couldn't use our bedroom. we've been awarded about a quarter of our rent back which is great. the tenancy service here is amazing - everything is free, funded by the interest from bonds which are held by the same agency, and all landlords have to use the tenancy agreements provided by the national body so you can't get screwed over by someone dodgy. we were a little miffed with our landlord's sidestepping & creative presentation of facts, but at least it's sorted and out of the way now.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

my desk has wings!

see, it really does! I finally have my art space sorted - a 2nd hand desk which fran put extensions on either side so I have lots of work room. now you may expect a little more to be happening on my art blog...

and just to show you how gorgeous the colours are here at the moment - this is the lakefront in town. look at all those colours in the trees - orange, green, mauve, blue - with no digital enhancement! sorry if you think my blog's become rather like a coffee table picture book, I can't help myself, especially now my camera is so handy all the time!

Monday, September 11, 2006

sunday strolling

went to church yesterday and then walked home along the lake track. took quite a while and I got to see different stuff than when I go on my bike. it was nice. the sun's really warming things up here and it's quite summery if you can find a spot out of the wind!

stopped in the park to watch a canine-bullet do ball fetching

tropical look war memorial on the lake front

aaaaaaah, peaceful. there's a little boatshed area next to the park and with people sanding & painting boats I almost felt like I was at the seaside

splash of colour - bright green willows

lakeside track smelling of pines and blossom

blossom pooofs in the sunlight

so do you like my new-look website?

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

why I love americans

rainbow from the lakeside track

so not everyone's perfect, but there are some things I really really love about americans. there's so much generosity and freedom of spirit. we just watched 'extreme makeover home edition', definately not to be confused with 'extreme makeover' where a person with low self-esteem is given masses of cosmetic surgery to feel better and ends up a fouffy lipglossed clone - happy, but not in the best way by far.

so what they do on this programme is find a family in really hard circumstances eg, single father of three on low in come adopts 2 kids when their parents die so they don't get institutionalised & split up or family of 8 siblings lose mother suddenly, and they give their home an extreme makeover which normally involves demolishing the existing home and building a new one (in a week, whilst the family holiday!) and because of the publicity the public donate lots of nice stuff like the rest of the mortgage. the one we just watched was a family of four - both parents deaf, 1 healthly 14yr old son and 1 blind & autistic 11yr old son. the deaf parents have a really hard time communicating with their blind son and the 14yr old has lots of responsibility taking care of him and helping the family run smoothly. dad works on a car production line so doesn't earn masses. so the makeover included visual communications in each room, door keys pads to prevent the younger son leaving the home at night (when he hears interesting noises), smoke alarms that strobe and vibrate the parents bed, educational development toys for a blind/autistic boy, and a college fund so their elder son will be able to go to college. the family was so so so blessed, the autistic sone will develop masses more and communicate with his parents through a computer to brail system, and the father completely overwhelmed that the things he wasn't able to afford for his sons were provided. it's a totally over the top and totally amazing program. that blew me away today.

the orange trees have lime green buddies now

and my other big up goes to tyra banks. don't know if you get the tyra show wherever you are, but I've seen it a few times and I have big respect for her. first of all because she really does care for her guests and does things for them, and secondly because she's honest in a way not often seen. she shares her intimate vulnerability. and most favorite of mine, she showed herself on national tv without a bra - to be exact whilst wearing a t-shirt took off her push up bra to show where her boobs really were at. amen! we recieve so many images of completely unrealistic breasts. I think there should be a real boob guide every woman can see to put things like extreme makeover plastic surgery edition in whopping perspective.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

suncream season starts

today I may have finally made progress on finding friends in queenstown! I felt like I was meant to go to the bapitsist church today, so plucked up the courage to go on my own (necessary on pmt day!) and I really liked the church. first impression was lots of young adults - always a good sign. actual welcome wasn't so great, I had to introduce myself and was just feeling a bit wibbly, but I met some nice people and christine & blair invited me back to their's for a BBQ. the weather was beeauuutiful - sunny and warm, hence the suncream - and the location stunning, by far the beast I've seen around here. I got to chat to lots of nice people, I think it may be the church for us. also a good sign is blair's 'testosterone ministry' which in a fortnight's time involves and fire/BBQ and 'blowing stuff up'. I like men doing their thing. so that all looks promising.

cartwheel at millbrook resort - holiday village for the rich and famous

and on more of a what we're doing in life level, that feel like we're finding our way too. fran getting the packing job at NZONE means he'll be earning enough to support us both with a wee bit spare. when I finished at the real estate place I was asking god what I was meant to be doing and really felt that it was art. now don't get all clever with me and say you always knew that(!) just clicked for me in a new way and I felt really able to embrace it and extremely endorsed by my fabulous husband to follow that path. so that's what I'm going to be doing, whatever that looks like! I'd like a part time job too, and as previously mentioned options include a local fashion designer and a local outdoors place, the latter of which I'm favouring more at the moment. it felt like finding people was an important part of deciding to do art as it's an unsocial job and I'm an extrovert girl, so I'm really glad for today's development.

Friday, September 01, 2006

spring is in the air

it's september 1st and and officially spring - the last 3 days have been really sunny, mild and warm, and very blustery, it feels so nice. I may actually be adjusting to southern hemisphere seasons now!

hotel mickelborough is now officially open! and here are a few pics now that the work on our place has been finished and we've properly moved in.

the lounge with views out to the remarkables mountains

our living space - top floor

and another sunrise one morning this week

I've also finally experienced my first 'morning tea' - tradition new zealand wide comparable to elevenses. most work places have morning tea everyday or on special days like birthdays, but today was my very first time after 9 and a half months here! we sat in the sun drinking tea and eating baked goods. nice idea, so long as you do an active job!

I'm now just about recovered from my cold and no longer have to carry toilet roll wherever I go, so thanks for your prayers. I'm now assessing job options - I have an application in with a local fashion designer which would be interesting and take me in one direction, and there's also a local outdoors company which I'm quite interested in which would get me back outdoors.

but most excitingly, I'm going for a flight in a 4 seater plane tomorrow! my friend fabricio has a friend who flies and has invited me along. I'm so thrilled, fran's shown me footage of the ascent before jumping out of perfectly good planes and the scenery is stunning, so hopefully I'll have some good pics and some fun stories to show you in the near future.

and news literally in (5 seconds ago) ...fran has a contract with NZONE as a packer which is just fantastic - onto the 2nd rung of the ladder with a better paid (and more introvert suited) job for my man. halleliuah!

hope you're all well out there, lots of love from lil' ole me, jen xxx