Friday, 6 April 2018

Dunedin: Life in New Zealand. Part 11

One night in mid March we were woken up to cats screaming at each other outside the house, just by our bedroom window. Lucky it was near our time to get up anyway as it was 4:40am. It wasn't our cats. In fact when we let our kitties into the front room, Calcifer had a big bushy tail, like he wasn't sure what to expect in there.

March 17th, Sat-
This morning we called the landlords over as Sabine has been worried about the tumble dryer that she noticed was only hanging by one hook on the wall in the washroom. So both landlords came over and I helped Richard take it down to his car. It really was only hanging very flimsily by one hook. Kinda dangerous. We don't use it anyway. I hope the landlords understand. They were nice about the whole thing anyway.
Calcifer being squashed by Hermione

After that we went to the Ecosanctuary to see the family of Takahe get fed at 11am. It was cold but they were walking by our feet which was kinda awesome actually. Then we went to a few of the bird feeding stations. There were 7 Kaka parrots hanging out in one area which was nice to see. Oh we also ate in the cafe. That was nice. At this point I would call this cafe our most frequently visited here in NZ. It has a gorgeous view out the windows that stretches for miles across the hills and mountains in the distance. I had an interesting green tea with Manuka honey.

We were going to go to the butterflies for a bit to get some warmth, but there was no decent parking so we carried on for a weekly shop at Pac N Save / The Warehouse. After that we hung out at home and Sabine walked around with Calcifer in the garden. Hermione was trying to jump up on the kitchen surface so we put her in quarantine. She was meowing like crazy as I was doing the dishes. Well she needs to learn.

We watched Hotel Transylvania 2 tonight. It was not as awesome as number 1, but still a good laugh.

18th, Sun-
We spent this morning sorting out the spare room, decluttering and organising it. Hermione is jumping up on things, behaving like she was never taught how to behave in the first place. Its deeply frustrating.

We went to the museum where I saw a Glass Wing butterfly. Very small and unusual. Then we had a Re:Burger. Yummy! Then we walked to cat adoption day and saw more kittens. Sabine is interested in a third, more friendlier cat like Calcifer.
Glass Wing Butterfly

We bought a small cat tree from K Mart, and some other things. Then we drove to The Warehouse for bedding seeing as the bed is now usable in the spare room, and so the kitties can sit on it.

Then we went to see another kitty up around Costorphine, and we were suitably impressed with the situation there. All kittens were adorable, well looked after, happy, and playful around humans, including us as strangers. The tabby we saw was really cute and playful. Incredibly so. We have decided to take him on Wednesday. He will be 10 weeks old as of that point.

After that we went back to K Mart to buy 2 scratching posts.

This evening Hermione attempted to jump on the kitchen again, for the second time today. She was instantly banned to her room for the remainder of the evening.

19th, Mon-
I had an interview with the DCC in the Building dept today.
The landlady organised a builder to come over and actually fix our roof properly. Some type of thick water resistant paint was put down on the roof.
A beautiful sunrise this morning

21st, Wed-
It rained all day! Luckily the roof is fixed so no leaking anymore!
We picked up Yue, our 3rd kitty today. The residents of the household were kinda sad to see their "Tiger" go. Well he's ours now, and is named Yue after the character from Cardcaptor Sakura.
Sabine bought a huge cage to go in the spare bedroom but the little fellow can fit through the bars at the bottom so we can only open it up and hope he doesn't mess around with the room even though we have no choice for him to run loose in there. We cannot let our other two cats meet him so soon. They need to get used to each others smells first.
Yue- Our new kitty!
Pronounced like the letter 'U' and then 'eh'. Chinese for 'Moon', But named after the character from Cardcaptor Sakura 
Calcifer hanging out around me

23rd, Fri-
I didn't get the job that I was interviewed for on Monday. Regarding my current position I had to ask my managers manager because I've heard nothing, but he said that an extension is happening and that he forgot to tell me, and was annoyed with the financial manager in our department for not processing the purchase order for my extension with Select Recruitment.

24th, Sat-
We let the kitties play with each other today. Calcifer gets on fine with the little one, but Hermione is hissing and growling. Actually she isn't so bad. she seems to be making some progress.
We cleaned the house. Sabine wanted fish n chips so I went down and got 2 lots for us for lunch.
We watched The Lovely Bones this evening.
Mushrooms and Toadstools are everywhere at the moment

26th, Mon-
Otago day! I had a day off work, even though Sabine had to work. This was my first day off without Sabine around since September.
I went swimming today at Moana pool. Its a pretty big complex and it wasn't so crowded. I used a one off swimming ticket given to me by Dan, the guy whose job I replaced back in September. At the time he gave me this ticket saying he wouldn't be able to use it. I actually thought it was a pass valid until June, but it turns out it was just a one time pass.
After that I had a nice Subway sandwich.
Hermione seems to be getting more used to Yue today. They were even playing together, finally!

Midweek, Sabine got a cold. Lucky we got some Campbells soup in the house! I prepared one for her. This is the condensed kind that isn't around in the UK anymore.

29 Thu-
The singer Ed Shereen is in town and its as busy as never before. Its jam packed full of people. Its so weird how crazy this city is just for one pop act. Coming from Brighton in the UK you would have top pop acts all the time yet nobody would bat an eyelid at them. Sometimes I would come across a poster for a cool band and be like 'Oh, they are in Brighton hu?' AND THATS IT! Here, and the city is going nuts for ONE GUY. If anything it really makes you realise JUST how isolated this city is from the rest of the world.
I found Once Upon A Time Season 6 online on iTunes for a bargain price of £10 so quids in! Have it!
This is the mural of Ed Shereen that cost our council over $8000.
An awkwardly taken photo of our kitties sleeping on us

30 Fri-
Good Friday. Another day off work.
Today started with me cooking eggs and bacon for us!
After that we had a lie in, and spent the remainder of the morning playing with cats.
We went to the Ecosantuary, and had lunch there.
Sabine cooked an amazing Spaghetti Bolognaise for dinner.
Then we watched a movie called Nim's Island.
Lunch at the Ecosantuary
An NZ South Island Robin
Also at the Ecosantuary

31 Sat-
Hermione was sick this morning over the carpet. Poor kitty! We have no real idea why, though Sabine says it may be a reaction to the kidney in the new food can she is using. We both helped clean the carpet.
We visited a place called Shag Point, which was one of the shoreline landmarks we had yet to visit. The weather was bad so we headed back and had a hot choccky at the railway cafe at Palmerston.
After that we visited the Dunedin Botanical Gardens which had glorious weather.
This evening we watched Fly Away Home.

April 2018

1 Sun-
Easter Sunday.
The clocks went back in the night.
I cooked Sabine eggs on toast, and I had eggs and bacon. Sabine wanted the eggs and not so much the bacon. She says that eggs remind her of Easter time.
We went to the Ecosanctuary, where I saw a TomTit chase off a Black Morph Fantail. Quite a cool, rare little bird with white cheeks. If it were a Pokemon it would be a shiny.
After that we visited the peninsular to do some more bird spotting.
We watched Mulan this evening.

2 Mon-
Easter Monday so yet another day off work.
We went to Starbucks. We wanted to go to Re:Burger but they were closed, so we tried the restaurant at the museum. They had a lamb burger which we both had. The chips were good but the burger itself was naff. After that we visited the butterflies.
We went back to the peninsular to get more shots of birds. There was a beautiful kingfisher but the camera couldn't focus on it. It was just too far away.
This evening we watched Pocahontas.
A butterfly wants its close up shot.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Dunedin: Life in New Zealand. Part 10

I got frustrated at the end of work today because of pettiness. As I mentioned previously, at work I deal with taking down the mail trolley at 4:45pm. Well about 2 weeks ago the post delivery guy from DX told me he's been frustrated at how 'late' I am upon arrival. He told me that "One of these days I'm just going to go and leave without taking the mail so as not to be late for pickup with the next client(s)".

I'm supposed to meet him at 4:45pm and it only takes a short lift ride to the basement. Maximum time duration of 2 minutes. So he's saying this, getting frustrated with me being 2 minutes late. This is petty.

Whats worse is that today I was told off by my colleague for leaving at 4:40pm, like I've been doing since the DX guy told me off. "Oh No, you need to take it down at 4:45pm as thats company policy". A 5min difference is petty.

Both sides of the argument is petty. It just is.

I emailed my manager for a straight answer. She was ill so wasn't at work today. I hope this is resolved by the time I need to take it down tomorrow.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Dunedin: Life Over The Past 2 Weeks

Sabine bought an Olympus macro lens which can take close up shots.

On Tuesday the landlady organised her plumber to come over and inspect the roof situation. He says he cant begin to solve the issue as it might take a lot of effort and money, because the chimney construction is shot, basically. This is Dunedin housing for you.
Various mushrooms to mark the autumn season- seen on the way to work by Moana Pool.

On Friday my official birth certificate arrived- the one sent from Dad and not the expensive courier post one I bought this time last week. Anyway, thanks Dad it arrived!
In the evening we went to the Chinese Garden Evening Viewing! It was awesome! They had just enough interesting things happening to make it viable for for the 2 1/2 hours we were there, with activities for children, fire dances when it got dark, lanterns for the children to hold, water lilies with lights, interesting music, incense for wish making, palm fortune telling, paper fan painting, free Chinese tea, 20% off at the shop, and lots of people about. It got dark around 8:30pm and carried on becoming a better light show until closing time at 10pm. There was even a low hanging full moon towards the end of the evening that appeared, adding to the atmosphere. The children walked around in a parade of lanterns which was nice. The whole atmosphere felt right for this time of year, akin to a bonfire night parade or Walking the Clocks. Atmospheric night lighting is awesome!
This evening our bathroom door decided it didn't want to close anymore. sighhhhhh.
This lady painted a Chinese fish on Sabine's fan.

3rd March, Sat-
We went to town to deal with resending the immigration paperwork via courier post, now with my real birth certificate. Then we had a Chinese meal at the mall. The weather was nice so we drove to the ecosanctuary where there was a marathon happening. It was lucky we found a car parking space! The birds were not so interested in appearing today, apart from the South Island Robin! we saw 3 of them today and they were all curious in us. The second one we saw was not bothered by us at all, and enjoyed eating the bugs that we were turning over at out feat!
Richard came over to fix our Bathroom door. The mechanism is shot so he took it away to see if he can find something the same for a direct straight swap. I wish him good luck with this! (as I doubt it).
This evening we got drunk watching a movie called Before I Fall. I finally finished my bottle of wine that I bought about 6 months ago. Rum and coke is nice, and Midori and pineapple juice is sophisticated.
They have these limited Doritos flavours which is like lime and something else mixed together. Weird but okay. They even have another limited bag with Cool Blue and Hot mixed together. Such a shame these two UK staple flavours are only a limited run over here.

4 Sun-
We were going to meet up with Sabines work colleague who Sabine chats to, for the museum butterfly center. so at 11.30pm we were having a very tasty Re:Burger each when Sabine got a text from this girl saying that shes cancelling due to the nice weather, and doesn't want to be indoors. Sabine and i changed plans and headed to the ecosanctuary instead. Today we saw the robins again at the same places as yesterday, however today also stared tomtits, cutie fantails and lots of meanie riflemen which you could hear but not see very well.

5 Mon-
My birth certificate arrived. This one of two that I ordered from the UK. Interestingly, its a copy of the hand written version rather than a typed out version that Dad sent me. I didnt know when Dads version would arrive but I ordered this one especially as we needed it desperate.

6 Tues-
Sabine wasn't in the mood for our usual evening meals so I stopped by Subway on the way home to get her a salad.

7 Wed-
Cancelled my first birth certificate order. At least I hope so. It was an online cancellation form.
I didn't get an interview for the library job I wanted. Damn that's really disheartening for me. I put so much into my application. -_-

A Lan mobile!.. of sorts?
Kitties running away.
8 Thu-
Turns out I cant cancel my original birth certificate order. They gave me a stupid reason why they cant, even though its not being processed for a while.
Richard, the Landlord, came over to replace the bathroom door handle. Wood splinters got everywhere afterwards, and got on our newish purple fluffy mat. Its ruined :'(

9 Fri-
Hermione is using her claws a lot. Shes doesn't seem to learn despite the lessons. We need claw clippers for her. she uses them too often and they are always out.

10 Sat-
We went to town to the post office then to K Mart to see what the cat claw clippers were like. They weren't very good ones so we then had lunch downstairs, I had an interesting mix of curries. I saw a lady in front of me chose two flavours. I asked the guy behind the counter and he said you can chose up to two different ones. So I did! Even though this isn't advertised.
Then we walked to Animates to get the decent clippers.
We went to Aramoana for a walk along the spit. Its a long stretch of beach with the sea either side, and has amazing sand. Very tropical like. Sabine and I had our shoes and socks off for a time.
our footprints! XD

We then went to Purakanui to see if we could walk around the wetlands. But after arriving it seemed impossible due to very boggy sand. we headed home soon afterwards.
I let Calcifer out this afternoon using a leash Sabine bought online. Unfortunately he got stuck in a tree and I had to rescue him twice.
We watched Hotel Transylvania tonight. Was awesome!

11 Sun-
Even though the weather was nice, again, I really wanted to get the bathroom cleaned as it hasn't been done in weeks. So I managed to do that whilst Sabine struggled vacuuming. Cat hair in particular. We saw a Brown Creeper flitting around in the garden from the window during the cleaning. Sabine really wanted to get a new vacuum cleaner that can deal with cat hair, so we went to town to inform ourselves regarding them, starting at a shop called Harvey Norman, which deals with all types of things from furniture to electronics. After realising their lack of choices and high prices, we chatted to a store clerk and she suggested we try a shop called Godfrey's that only sells vacuum cleaners. So we went there, located near the Chinese Gardens. We were impressed with their ranges, and the fact you could try them out and see how they work. But the price for the decent one was.... youch. Unfortunately we need it. There are no two ways about it as cat hair is an issue, and we like a clean house. Our cheap vacuum cleaner is just not capable for the job so we had to come away with a decent one. $700 bucks. ouch. But as I said, we need this. For those that want to know what it is, its the Hoover Allergy.
After that we came home and I let Hermione out using a leach as I didn't let our out yesterday. She enjoyed pottering about. Sabine came out with Calcifer a little while later after he was apparently starting to complain about not being out with his sister.

After that we went to the Butterfly house (but not before having a yummy Re:Burger!).
This evening back at home we let our cats out again for a second time. I even cut the grass. Its grown a LOT over this week. It was really burnt this summer, especially the front garden. Its totally recovered now. :/
Sabine tested the hoover and it made the blue carpet come up like new! Its a really good ideal model for what we need. Lets hope it lasts and is well built!
This evening both cats of them were REALLY affectionate towards us. I even had Calcifer on my shoulder as I did the dishes, and they were both on our laps when we had ice cream. Cuties!

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Dunedin: This Week

It was raining both Monday and Tuesday. The same dripping happened again from our ceiling by the chimney. Sighhhhh. Tuesday night a cyclone called Gita went straight into the top of the South Island of New Zealand. Somehow Calcifer decided that this was the best night possible to somehow escape their bedroom via the window to get outside. Around 11:30pm we were both woken up by sharp and very loud meows. At first I just thought it was cute, but after a while we were both getting more awake and wondered if it was more of a calling for attention, or help. We got to the front door to hear the loud meows coming from right outside our front door. We unlocked it and opened it only for Calcifer to run inside, completely wet! It was only upon entering the cat room that we noticed the window was opened by one of them. The rain was getting inside and drenching the windowsill. Calficer looked pleased as punch to have had his little breakout adventure, but he couldn't have chosen a worse night to do it on. Cyclone Gita was getting worse at the time and it was already atrocious weather outside. The foul storm actually arrived around 3am. Maybe that will teach him a lesson to not jump out of open windows? We wiped Calicfer down and went back to bed.

The next morning Hermione was hissing at her brother like crazy. She didn't recognise his scent at all.
Poor kitty rejected by his sister but happy to be home- the morning after his outside ordeal
On Thursday in the evening the landlords came over to deal with the roof some more. We used this opportunity to let our cats outside for the first time, seeing as we were outside anyway in the nice weather. Calcifer LOVED it, running around not sure what to do. Hermione was shy at first and just stood on the rake head for comfort I guess. But even she started exploring around in the end. They never strayed too far from our sides and each had big bushy tails to show their excitement.

23 Fri-
Pogo released a new album called Ascend. Its really good!!
I nearly got run over today when coming home from work. I was near home actually, crossing the road by a playground, when from behind me to my left, a car was driving at speed turning right and ignoring my right of way (I had pressed the button, I wasn't J walking). He jumped a light at speed and very nearly ran me down. I was livid. He stopped and parked almost instantly and ignored me when I told him to apologise to me as he greeted his family playing in the park. I went home really angry and met Sabine with the cats playing in the front garden. She told me to go back and get the number plate, so I did. I went back to this car 2 mins down the road and took a photo (below). The owner with his wife and children or whatever was just looking at me. Its annoyingly frustrating as on both occasions they just had the attitude of 'if we ignore the weird guy, he will just go away'. YOU NEARLY KILLED ME YOU TWAT!
This prick
When at home again the first thing I did was report his car online. Not that its going to help much. These bloody NZ drivers are incredibly dangerous to themselves and everyone around them. Its not like England where you get the occasional twat. Here they are everywhere. Realistically I would say 1 in 5 drivers need their license revoked.
Anyway. Sabine received our rejected NZ expression of interest package with a note saying my birth certificate is invalid. Sigh... Turns out that's two places now that think my birth certificate isn't real. I bought a new one using a courier service as we need my proper one next week. At least I'm hoping its an official birth certificate and not a copy of whatever version of it I have. An official birth certificate has the parents names on it. Until now, mine has always been just this square shaped certificate with just my name and some basic details on it.

24 Sat-
We went to a mammals workshop at 9:00am at the marine science center at Portobello, where we were last time. We saw the itinerary for the day and realised that it was not a workshop but rather a bunch of lectures. We listened to the first which was about dolphin ecology. Then we had a tea break which was nice.
After that we skipped class to go do our own thing. We actually went bird safari again up the cost to where the Monarch boat trips leave. The mammals workshop said it was going to be a boat trip using the Monarch, but the itinerary said it would be for 2pm. We hung around a nearby beach where this stupid loose dog was running around, unfortunately. He had no obvious owner. Next we hung around the jetty and saw a sea lion in the water where the boat leaves, which was playing with a big octopus, thrashing it too and fro. Then sometime later I noticed a big octopus in the water missing a lot of its tenticales. Same one? Who knows...
Two terns were also sitting on the jetty.
The group joined us and together we set off on the Monarch boat. When we set off, within minutes we came across a Blue Penguin, sitting just bobbing about on the water. At Taieri Head we saw the resident albatross sitting on their nests, and another penguin on the shoreline. Then when out to sea, a huge albatross landed next to the boat, right next to me in fact, again just sitting in the water, then 2 Hectors dolphins got interested in our boat. We also saw a petrel on this boat trip.
After that we went to Pac n Save via Allans Beach road, the long way round.
This evening I let Calcifer out the house for a run around. He was cute in that he followed us around the two gardens. Hermione has a bad paw so we cant let her out today.

25 Sun-
Today Sabine wanted to visit the kitten adoption day at the pet shop that hosted it before. I was really surprised to find that she wanted a kitten that was in Animates.
Next we went to Mitre 10 for the first time to ask regarding what we can do with our windowsills that are currently scratched really badly. We bought a roll of carpet and adhesive tape so we can hopefully put it on without the cats scratching it further.
Next we visited the butterflies again. Afterwards we each had another nice burger at Re:Burger.
The landlord guy Richard came over to replace our lock which is playing up yet again (we've always had issues with it), and he also installed some uprights on the gutter so that it doesn't dip terribly like it was (water was gushing against the side wall- kitchen side)
aaand now its raining.
aaaaaand the drip is back. Sigh......
aaaaaaaaaand after texting the landlords, they say they will call their plumber. A PLUMBER?!?! Why not a roofer?!?!?!?!?! SIGHHHHHHHHHH..................

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Dunedin: Olveston, Bird safari, Chinese New Year and The Catlins

8 Thu-
Work occasionally have these day outings which I can sign up for. Today at 2:30pm I went to visit 'Olveston Historic Home' in Dunedin, along with others from work. It was interesting only because everything in there was 100% how it was in the 1920's. Nothing was faked or re-imagined to a state it could have been in, because it didn't need it. The house was left to the council from the original owner in the 1960's, who left it 100% as it was from the 1920's. Really interesting if you see it from its authenticity point of view. this goes from the furniture to silverware to wallpaper. Everything just as it was, and surprisingly kept in that time lock. Nothing looked old.

10 Sat-
We went to town to have a wander around. The town centre was having some type of event on with two stages on either end of The Octagon, and tons of stalls around with interesting things to buy. However Sabine was interested in visiting the camera shop, so we did that. After that we got a bite to eat- a burger and chips from the kebab shop. Only the burger filling was more like a kebab filling in a burger bun. Was expecting a proper burger with patties but alas it wasn't that.
After that we visited the peninsular for some bird safari. We drove the car around and went via Portobello to Allans Beach to find some interesting things. Luckily I managed to take a few great shots of Kingfishers! So i'm happy with that! We also saw 3 different species of shags which was awesome. We drove as far as the end where the Albatross centre is. Again we didn't go inside.

12 Mon-
Sabine and I attended a photography workshop in the evening. Shes always been a keen photographer and since we sorta got to know Craig McKenzie, a somewhat famous nature photographer in NZ who lives in Dunedin (who attended the marine photography workshop a few weeks back), we have got to know of a few things we could do as a hobby, this society being one of them. It was a hall in Mary Hill from 7:30pm tonight. However it was more like a lecture from ''famous'' guest speakers from Queenstown who belong to the Canon set of professionals. Hearing a lecture about how great these people think they are, and what their influences is, is not my sorta thing. Twas half falling asleep to be honest.
It was approaching 9pm and we decided to go home mid lecture.

14 Wed-
Valentines day! I got Sabine a card and a bottle of Vimto from the international sweet shop! I got a nice card too :3

16 Fri-
It is Chinese New Year! Tonight we went to the Chinese Gardens where they were doing non-traditional food stalls (even though the nachos tasted as good as they did at Anime Club). Next was the Dragon that arrived, only for them to pack as soon as it reached the crowd of people. The garden was open too, for $1, but it was packed solid and why should we pay extra when we are annual members anyway. Also the fireworks were cancelled due to the fire ban. It was disappointing.

17 Sat-
Today we visited the butterflies again, then headed out to Brighton for a few walks very similar to the previous time we visited in the spring. Today we spotted two Royale Spoonbills at Taieri river mouth. Amazing birds!

18 Sun-
Today we left around 9:30am for the Catlins! We had a sub at Milton's Subway before heading to Purakaunui Falls and Mclean Falls again. The weather was sunny which was ideal. After visiting those two waterfalls, we visited a lake for a short walk. On the way home we visited Sinclair Wetlands near Mosgiel. it wasn't really a good wetlands walk as its footpaths seemed to avoid the actual wetland lakes itself, but it was very green and flat.
We popped into a fish and chips on the way home. Yummy!
Purakaunui Falls

on Mclean Falls river walk

Mclean Falls

Sinclair Wetlands

Dunedin airport is nearby Sinclair Wetlands