It's been an interesting week. I have now accepted a job offer (after a rather gratifying round of bidding from the two prospective employers), and will be starting work in about a week and a half. I'll be working at ACC, in their IT unit, doing something odd involving their standards and procedures documentation. I was greatly tempted during the interview - but managed to restrain myself - to mention the time I fell asleep during a Quality Processes training session and only woke up when I heard the presenter say "No, he's definitely asleep." Fortunately, at no point during my interview process was I asked the cunning question "What is your greatest weakness?" Presumably because the interviewers were sick of people claiming to be workaholic madmen who just didn't know when to go home to the wife and kids! I'd already decided to be fairly honest and say that I have a tendency to fall asleep in meetings, and that it's a particularly bad idea to schedule meetings between 1-3pm (i.e. just after lunch), especially in warm weather.
So I'm going to be a public servant again. Yay. Still, we get a cheaper mortgage rate as a result: nice.
Which is handy, as our mortgage offer was accepted last week. We went unconditional on Thursday this week. I handed over our 5% deposit yesterday. That means that come hell or high water we will shortly be the owners of a rather nicely renovated 1930s bungalow in Newlands Road. Right beside the bus route, near the dairy, and bang on for a sub 25 minute cycle in to work. So we're well chuffed, and will be even more chuffed when we eventually bloody get to move in. This will be five working days after the renovations are finally signed off by the council - this in turn will be, erm, "sometime in January". Could be a wee bit interesting, but the important thing is that the house will indeed be ours soon, and we've even managed to talk the shipping company into hanging on to our stuff for another few weeks so they can deliver it directly to the new house, without charging us any extra. Plus, in what I can only interpret as a stunning vindication of my "spend an entire day in the freezing cold in the garden scrubbing every inch of all four bicycles plus all your spare tyres with a toothbrush and disinfectant" strategy, all of our shipment passed MAF inspection first time, no fumigation/steam cleaning required.
So on the whole, I'm feeling pretty chuffed about life at the moment. And mum's even stopped making comments about how some people - but not her, obviously - would assume, based on my personal appearance, that I was a heavy drug user. Or at least, she's making them less often, which is a start.
Merry religious festival to you all; and to all, a good night.
|14 Dec 2005||15 Dec 2005|
|Number of job offers I have||0||2|
|Number of houses we are purchasing||0||1|
Tables are neat. They make everything clear.
So the vendor on the house has accepted our offer, and I've been offered two jobs. Nice.
When we first heard that my mother had moved to Newlands, our response was "Is she mad?". When we visited her, we wondered why she'd chosen to live in the back of beyond. When we decided to move back to Wellington, our spec for where we'd like to live was "anywhere except bloody Newlands." Talking to estate agents, our brief included "at least 3 bedrooms, preferably with a garage, definitely not in Newlands."
Keen students of human nature should be able to see the next bit coming.
So tomorrow morning we're making an offer on a property in Newlands Road. In our defence, Newlands actually has excellent transport links from central Wellington, the Hutt and Porirua, plus there's a surprising amount of amenities. And the house is well nice. Of course, we're both still without full-time work, which makes signing up for a mortgage a little nerve-wracking.
I'm sure it'll all come together.
And while I'm at it, what's with the NZ estate agents' inability to use the word "bungalow" properly? Anything built between 1920 and 1940 is described as a bungalow - no matter how many floors it's got. I've actually seen the phrase "three floor bungalow" used. Honestly.
Anyway, what's Newlands ever done to us? Except to bore me a bit when I was a kid (we used to do manual classes - classes where you learn to actually do stuff, like cooking, woodwork, metalwork, sewing, etc. - at Newlands College). And, y'know, nearly destroy my wife's knee-cap. All hail to the good members of the Wellington Free Ambulance on that one, by the way.
We are now officially card-carrying members of the Karori Sanctuary. This is one of those fun projects that combines being worthwhile with being pretty impressive, and which you're able to walk around in. Basically, they've taken an area of wilderness (a large valley separating some of the outlying suburbs of the city) and ring-fenced it to keep the nasty stuff out. Quite literally: New Zealand's native fauna are very vulnerable to introduced predators, so this organisation has created a predator-proof fence (note that in this context, "predator" includes animals such as mice, which eat eggs - ever tried to make a 9km fence that can keep mice out?), and then spent a considerable amount of time wiping out all the introduced species inside the remaining space. And voila: a sanctuary for the native species. They reckon there's over 20 species of birds nesting there (including one of the world's rarest species of duck), plus fun other stuff like tuatara. An excellent to support - and indeed to visit. We had a nice stroll around, and saw a kaka. Nice.
Saw an excellent message on the motorway sign today. It said:
Today's hilarious revelation: all my mother's Maori colleagues refer to the Warehouse (large chain of shops selling anything you could ever need, cheap) as the "warewhare" - as in, pronounced "wah-reh-fah-reh". This is easily the funniest thing I've heard all week. For the foreigners amongst us, "whare" is the Maori for "house".
When we shipped our stuff from the UK on the 12th October, they reckoned that it would take between 8-12 weeks to arrive. So we were quite surprised to get a letter yesterday informing us that the stuff would arrive in Wellington on the 3rd of December - tomorrow, in fact. The local handlers reckon it normally takes around a week for customs and MAF clearance, possibly more if MAF want to spray stuff, and add on the fact that there's a lot of stuff arriving in-country at the moment as stock arrives for Christmas. So it's looking like we should have all our stuff by early-ish December.
Job hunt still going well, albeit slowly. Getting a few interviews, but it's all taking the time. I'll say this: you sure notice when you're wearing a 3-piece wool suit around the place in a Wellington summer.
So between the torpid pace of the job hunt (no-one seems to want to make decisions before the New Year) and the imminent arrival of our shipment, it's looking like we might be able to hit Makara Peak, off-peak, without having to rent bikes first. Which would be nice. I can't wait to get on my bike and have a crack at some of the tasty riding available around here.
Rebecca is loving staying with her nana. She's running around the place, playing with the vast array of toys that have been laid in "just in case", pulling things out of drawers, and grinning like a loon. We've only had one case of minor mangling so far (or: some things from the kitchen drawer have blades). She's also spending a lot of time playing with a set of giant plastic lego-style blocks. We have a simple MO: I build something, and she destroys it. Complementary styles, you see. Today, I built a hanger for her toy aeroplane - basically, a simple U shape. "Look, Rebecca!" I said. She took a good look at it, then said "Glasses" and tried to put it on her nose. "No, no - for your plane," I said, showing her how the plane fitted inside it. She considered this for a second or two, and then looked up at me and said quizzically "Plane's glasses?"
Planes and boats are a big feature of her life. She's really into vehicles and machinery - the other day at the library, I had to read her a book about cars - and since Mum's place is high on the side of a hill overlooking the harbour, there's a lot of scope to see both. The ferries come through the harbour regularly, prompting cries of "Boat! Boat!". If the wind's right, the landing approach comes not quite directly overhead (roughly over the Ngauranga gorge), so there's a plane going overhead every fifteen minutes or so. Rebecca's loving it.
quality words since last century
it's deliberately lo-fi
And she doesn't have an email address.
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