Ann & Peter

in New Zealand

NZ Links

Our travels

Haere Mai Everyone

January has been very hot over here, we regularly had temperatures in the high 20s / low 30s, a bit better than the below freezing in the UK. The heavy snowfalls made the news over here - poor POM's!

Peter went back to work on 5th January for a couple of weeks before having a few days off whilst we went away on holiday.

Ann is very excited – she’s discovered that M&S now do international deliveries – new knickers it is!!!

We started the new year off healthy but light of wallet. Maxie got an eye infection which then spread to her other eye so we had to have an emergency visit to the vet (it was still a public holiday) – just the vet call out to the clinic cost $200 – then there was an injection, eye drops and a course of antibiotic tablets on top!!! Just trying to keep her head still while we clean her eye and put in the drops was a challenge, then we had to get the horse pill sized antibiotics down her too. The vet suggested wrapping it in cheese – no good as she just spits the tablet out and scoffs the cheese. Try crushing it she said. Same answer – Maxie patiently sorts each crumb of tablet out and then scoffs the cheese. So we bought a large tin of dog food and mixed the crushed tablet in it.
Of course it cost us twice as much in dog treats/food as we had to give Jaz the same food (minus the horse pills). If we so much as give one dog one extra treat the other one wants to know why and where’s hers?

One day, half way through her course of tablets – wrapping it in a piece of brie (only the best for our pets) and throwing to Maxie for her to catch and swallow before she realises what's inside - Jaz leapt gracefully through the air and snatched it!!! So she’s quite healthy at the moment too!

Peter’s dog is definitely the expensive one at the moment.

Ann has had three call back days so far – with another one Tuesday 2nd Feb before term starts on the 3rd. Teacher training days in NZ have to betaken in the holidays - no keeping the kids home on those days!

Several of our friends back in the UK have commented on how happy we seem to be here in NZ. This is so true – and we only wish we could move all our family and friends out here so they could see how good life is with warmer weather, more outdoor activities and generally less stressed people which in turn means they’re happier to do things for you – without the grumpiness, tutting or moaning.

For our holiday we spent a few days just north of Kerikeri. Ann found this holiday home on the internet.

In Waipapa we found a great pub with good food and lots of rabbits on a nearby walk - giving Jaz huge excitement as she tried to chase them!

On our first evening on holiday Jaz managed to gash her leg trying to leap a ditch - forgetting that she was still attached to the lead! A visit to the local vet was unhelpful as they said there wasn't anything to worry about which we weren't happy about so as soon as we got home we took Jaz to our vets who said she should of had stitches! Still, her leg is slowly healing and she seems none the worse for her adventure.

On the Friday we went into Kerikeri and had a look round the Stone Store - the first stone building in New Zealand, now a museum. We also visited a chocolate factory, a fudge shop, found a great bakery selling delicious pastries and four wineries - so lots of free wine tasting and some wine buying!

On the Friday evening we went to Paihia to see friends Dianne and Noel.


Saturday we spent looking around Mangonui, a coastal village with some great history. We had a walk with the dogs and found another winery.

Northland is very dog friendly. Several of the restaurants were very happy for us to sit outside and eat with the dogs lying beside us. In fact at the Italian restaurant they walked straight past Ann, who was trying to ask about the menu, and made a huge fuss of the dogs!

Sunday we visited Russell via the ferry (the dogs were suitably unimpressed with their first ferry ride).

On the way to Russell we went through Kawakawa. Here there is a vintage railway which runs down the centre of the main street. Kawakawa is also famous for its public toilets. In 1999 the rundown 1960's block was given an overhaul by internationally known artist and architect Frederick Hundertwasser. If you watched Billy Connolly in his touring of New Zealand you'll have seen these toilets.

Before returning home on Monday we picked up three Pukekoes and a Tuatara.


Well the month certainly finished with a bang - we had 3 days of very heavy and long thunderstorms - at one point there were over 90 lightning strikes per minute.

We only got hit by very heavy rain once but it was enough to push the lid off the water tank - this time of year we normally have less than a quarter of a tank! It also messed up our water treatment system and we had to call out the service engineer. Luckily it was a simple filter problem which he fixed quickly and kindly didn't charge us for.

News from Home

Ann's Dad returned from a wonderful, but VERY cold holiday in Colorado with John, Allison and the kids.




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