27th October

It’s almost Halloween which you may know is Chris’ favourite day of the year. On Sunday morning there is a reenactment of Michael Jackson’s Thriller dance in Cathedral Square as part of Thrill The World. They have run workshops for free for people to go along to for the past few weeks. As we are not organised in terms of wardrobe or make up so we won’t be the living dead on Sunday but will be watching to get ideas for next year.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/christchurch-life/art-and-stage/98201417/zombies-set-to-thrill-christchurch-city

 

We went to the Canterbury Home Show at Horncastle Arena. For only $6 each we had the best part of a day looking at fancy hot tubs, barbecues, solar panels and plans for new houses. For all the moaning we do about the price of things building a brand new house in NZ is a much better venture than in Scotland. It was an interesting day out with plenty of dreaming to be done, we bought our first lottery ticket that afternoon and won $53 so I guess it’s a start.

 

The Kea was voted New Zealand Bird of the Year. it’s definitely a favourite of Chris and I. The Kea is widely regarded as the most intelligent bird in the world and the colours of this alpine parrot are amazing.

 

Well there is now a Prime Minister and a Government. After four weeks of negotiations the parties that were 2nd and 3rd in the election have formed a coalition government. Jacinda Adern is the 40th Prime Minister and the second youngest at 37 years old. The Labour/First National government have made pledges to focus on child poverty, cleaner rivers, reducing immigration levels and invest more in mental health. They have planned an increase in minimum wage to $16.50 for January 2018 and aim for $20 per hour by 2020. As a country that doesn’t have a deficit to deal with it will be interesting to see what happens over the next three years, they are talking of increasing police numbers and the word “austerity” is never mentioned. The NZ dollar has went from $1.86 to $1.92 to the pound which is not good for NZ but good for us transferring money from the UK. Normally it’s about $2=£1 so should be back to that level soon enough.

 

Chris had an interview for a more permanent job at Christchurch a couple of weeks ago, everything looks good for him getting the job so it will be time to get another work visa which involves getting a medical amongst other things. Once Chris has this visa I will be able to apply for my own work visa – yay! There is an immigration office is town so we went there this week to check out what we need to do, thankfully it can be done online and is reasonably straight forward if you are good at following checklists. All those years working for local council are good for something. I have been studying for my PRINCE2 Project Management exam this week, I sat the foundation exam in April and now have the practitioner booked for Wednesday. Fingers crossed this will help me get a job when the time comes though I see jobs every day I would like to apply for.

 

We have our tickets bought for the A&P Show and currently looking at the Addington Races for Cup and Show Week. We have also decided to go to Hanmer Springs where we can relax in the hot pools so November is shaping up to be a good month. We’ve both lost a bit of weight since getting here so I was very glad when we found the outlet mall on the other side of Christchurch, it’s similar to Livingston Designer Outlet but not nearly as big.

 

We were both woken at 5.30 am this morning, Chris thought it was an earthquake and sure enough there was a weak earthquake about ten kilometres from the city centre at a depth of seven kilometres. It’s only once you look into it you realise that there a multiple earthquakes every day across New Zealand but almost all are too weak to notice. https://www.geonet.org.nz/earthquake/2017p807261

 

 

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