Saturday, 29 December 2007

Moving House

It has been about 8 years, almost to the day, since we have had to pack up house but it all it comes back like a bad dream.

What I want to know is how anyone can collect so much rubbish... We seem to live in a society that is obsessed with consumerism: our parents lived must simpler lives buying only what they needed AND they made sure that things lasted. We should really take a lesson from them.

image I packed up about 12 large bags of surplus clothes but couldn't get rid of them. I exhausted the list of charities in Auckland, they all said that they had closed shop for the year and had more gear then they could get rid off. Eventually Lorraine from Tots corner put me onto the Samoan church just around the corner - saved me a trip to the dump and it was good to know they would not be wasted.

What I find most embarrassing is that we have more substantially more stuff to dispose of then to put in storage.

Anyway, after three days of solid effort we are finally getting close. I'm sorting through a huge collection of odds and ends in the lounge and Ange is working on finishing the kitchen. The downstairs room that we are using for storage is packed to the ceiling and is near overflowing. Some of the kids toys will need to go under the house,

We hope to be finished packing tomorrow and can get onto cleaning and the various odd jobs that need doing.

We have five days until James and George more in!!!!

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Visa Jitters

Received a phone call today from the French consulate in Wellington relaying a question that had come from Paris.  Our reply was that we had submitted the paperwork in question along with Visa application.
They confirmed this was correct and said that they would get in touch/ check with Paris to confirm that they also have the information at their end.

These things take time and patience is the key.

The good news is that at least someone in Paris is processing our application.  But time ticks on - the bottle of Moet has been chilling in the fridge for a few weeks and I suspect it will stay that way for a bit longer. 

I also confirmed that while we can get our passports returned at any time, we cannot enter France (metro) while our Visa applications are pending.


Plan A: Passports & Visa's arrive on or before 7th Jan - we leave on the 15th Jan
Plan B: Passports & Visa's arrive on or before 20th Jan - we leave on the 30th Jan

No Plan C yet

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

25th December 2007

Christmas2007 Happy Christmas all.

We had a great family meal last night: Ange totally outdone herself as usual.  Ros was over and we all watched a family movie on TV1. After the kids went to bed we had lots of preparation to do and we only got to bed just after 12. 

The monkeys were up at 6am, as can be expected, and we managed to hold them off until 8:30am. Mum came over and we opened presents and had breakfast. Then we raced off to the beach - which was very pleasant (took the adjacent picture of Castor Bay through the flowering Pohutakawa with Rangitoto island in the background). 

Had cold meats for lunch with new potatoes and salad. Kids are playing Buzz Junior Monster Rumble, which was a present for James. Ros is sleeping on the couch - I'm jealous.
Beach Christmas 2007

Saturday, 22 December 2007

France Update

Countdown: I've had to reset / remove the countdown.. see later post of 6th Jan. Still waiting for visas - so we are going to hold out for the end of January.
Visa Status: Still Pending - been nervous about this from the start
Anxiously waiting to see the courier van pull up in the driveway
Flights: Booked and paid for, open ticket on Emirates
Property in France: Rental agreement signed, deposit paid
Schools in France: The three boys have been accepted at Le Got school, 10 minutes drive away
NZ Property: We have rented property to my good friend James and his partner George(nia). They have stored all their stuff downstairs and move in on the 5th Jan.

We move into Trev & Lyn house on the 27th Dec and stay until the 15th.
Packing in NZ: We have 10-11 days get all our stuff sorted and packed up.
Car for France: We have decided to go with a 6 month Eurolease of a Peugeot 307 SW. We pick this up in Paris on 16th January.
Getting There: We have a luggage allowance of 100kg on our flights and will send surplus stuff via unaccompanied baggage.

Friday, 21 December 2007

Goodbye Tots Corner

Another family milestone. Today was James last day at Tots Corner childcare centre. Jack moved to Tots in 2001, Henry started there that same year in the baby room. It was quite emotional saying goodbye as we have built a special relationship with all the staff at Tots, the kids especially have great memories and have made some friends that I'm sure they will keep for life.

We cannot speak highly enough of the professionalism, commitment and quality of the early childhood education provided at Tots. Lorraine has a fantastic team of teachers, we hope to stay in touch with many of them in the years ahead. We may even get a visitor or two in France.

To all the staff at Tots, but especially the teachers we have had direct contact with, Lorraine, Fran, Bronwen, Kate, Bex, Amy and Joanne thank you.

with Bronwen & Joanne with Lorraine & Fran


Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Marathon De Paris 2008


paris_start The first event is now booked. Well almost. There is some paperwork involved and a medical certificate required for all entrants.

Angela is going to run the half-marathon on 2nd March. The two events of split owing to the size.

I was going to enter the Marathon but missed the cutoff, the event is now full!!

I will now also enter the half-marathon. We will just to need to find someone to look after the kids - or maybe they can run to:)

Saturday, 1 December 2007

David Beckham - By Jack

I think that David Beckham is the best footballer in the world.  David Beckham came to New Zealand for a soccer game La Galaxy vs  Wellington Phoenix. 

Beckham got a penalty goal.  It was cool seeing David Beckham on tv.

by Jack.


Bergerac, Dordogne

Bergerac is a market town and a sous-préfecture of the Dordogne département in France. Population (1999): 26,053.  It is between 40 and 50km from Saint-Cernin-de-l'Herm.

The region is often called the "Gateway to the Périgord". Bergerac is home to beautiful cobbled streets and greenery. Despite widespread devastation during the Wars of Religion when most of its Protestant inhabitants fled abroad, Bergerac is still an attractive market town.  The old quarter and the old harbour are particularly delightful boasting late-medieval houses and drinking fountains on street corners.   The town comes alive on market days (Wednesday & Saturday) when you'll see an array of excellent local produce on display.  Try to get hold of some of the white, velvety Montbazillac wine which is often drunk on special occasions.  For the connoisseurs among you head to the slopes north of the river where you'll find small wine growers producing some excellent red Bergeracs.

Bergerac is a useful stopover for the prehistoric sites & the Vezere Valley (see also Perigueux and Sarlat for attractions).

Bergerac is served by an airport (code EGC), which has internal flights, and routes to many UK airports including London Stansted Airport.  Bergerac has an SNCF station with regular services to Bordeaux and Sarlat-la-Canéda.