The coffee is excellent and the wine is cheap.

It’s been such a long time since I wrote a blog post.  The weather over the autumn and winter got to me and I don’t like to admit it but I have been feeling really down. We both have, for various reasons.   We were miraculously rescued when some money fell out of the sky and hit us on the head and we booked tickets to New Zealand. We have friends over there – they sailed a yacht from Plymouth in September 2014 and via the Atlantic, the Panama Canal and many various beautiful Islands, arriving in Auckland just before Christmas.  They invited us to stay on their boat.

Setting off from Plymouth September 2014

We also have very new friends who are working over there for 2 years, just north of Auckland at Whangerie Heads, a vast uncrowded  area of headlands, sheltered bays, estuaries and surfing beaches. We were invited to stay with them too!   We had a wonderful time. Our friends on the boat in Auckland made us incredibly welcome and looked after us, sharing their space with us.  Our other chums went out of the way to entertain us and make sure we were happy, fed and watered (and wined!).  They organised a beach house for us. We felt very special.

The New Zealand people themselves are  welcoming, happy, friendly and non-judgmental and it was very refreshing. I could easily live there: it is very familiar and I can see why Brits have settled there easily.  The coffee is excellent and the wine is cheap. I developed a passion for Whittakers Chocolate. We were in dairy-land and there were buckets of creamy yoghurt and great slabs of butter. We didn’t have a mediocre meal.

But….we’re back now and getting our heads around the jet lag, the weather, the darkness and the finances.  I’ve also had to adjust to the difference in the sea temperature – around 20 in Auckland and 8 ish here!  I do like the crisp freshness of our sea though.  The South Pacific was a bit too salty for my liking.

Pause for a photo... by Kate Timony