Thursday, 31 January 2008

Aéroport de Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle

image
image
We have arrived, all in one piece, minus luggage.

Yes, Unfortunately my blog on the Dubai airport must have caused offense and they decided to not to put our luggage on the plane. Or maybe they were disorganised.

The good news is that they know where our luggage is and will forward it on the next flight.

We are all too tired to worry about this - Emirates will sort it out. Lets pick up the car and find somewhere to sleep.

Dubai

After a long flight there is nothing like touching down in one of the best airports in the world. Unfortunately I would not give the Dubai Airport this rating, or least of what we saw of it. Its was over-crowed, had no seating space and gates that seemed to stretch on forever.

We made a quick transit through the terminal and straight into the waiting lounge for the Paris flight.

The flight from Melbourne was good, we had space to stretch out and all the kids were able to get some sleep. They have been really well behaved considering. Paris beacons.

IMG_0823

 

 

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Melbourne Airport

image Cheers New Zealand, G'day Australia.

We are in transfer in Melbourne, next stop Dubai, some 14 hours away. 

So far the boys have been good, they really enjoyed the in-flight entertainment. James in totally hyped up - must be all the sugar.  He sat next to Ange and talked to her the whole way, one of the stewards took a liking to him and she kept him well stocked on lollies, chips and coke.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Curry to Go

Tick Tick Tick,  less than 24 hours.

We took my mum out to her local restaurant  tonight. Came home and finished the packing along with a bottle of French red. Off to bed now. I will try and get in another post before we leave NZ, it will be tight. 

We are all very restless and keen to get this adventure started.

Curry to Go

Sunday, 27 January 2008

T minus 48 Hours

Kick off is getting closer. Still pretty busy and we have a truck load of last minute things to arrange and tomorrow is a public holiday - great@!

Ange got back to Auckland yesterday, the kids had a great time with their nana in Timaru. We are now all staying with my mum in Torbay.  It is a bit crowded but it is only for a few days.

The weather has been so hot these last few weeks, great if you are relaxing on the beach but not so good if you are moving two metres of top soil, digging trenches and gardening.  I have been working through a list of odd chores on 'James' House" while Ange and the kids have been in Timaru.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Passports Returned

image And they visas in them.  What a relief.  By this time next week we will have left Melbourne and be on our way to Dubai, probably somewhere over Western Australia.

Je suis très heureux.

AMBASSADE DE FRANCE EN NOUVELLE-ZELANDE

 

Important Information

You have been granted a long stay visa but you should be aware that you might need to reproduce the documents, previously submitted to the Embassy, if requested by a French immigration officer. Failure to produce these documents could result in a refusal of entry into France.

Your visa shows 2 durations :

  • the validity of the visa, within the 2 dates specified, is the period during which you have to enter France ;
  • the length of stay is, in the case of a long stay visa, written as  << xxx >> and is fact determined by the carte de sejour can be issued for a maximum of one year and then renewed by the Prefecture upon application.  You must apply for the carte de sejour within 2 months of your arrival.

The number of entries indicated on your visa is multiple because the caret de sejour that you will obtain will give you multiple entries.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

VISAS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, finally!  Our visas have been approved.

image Ange chased up the consulate this morning and they confirmed that our Visas have been approved.

In fact they were issued in late December, however there was some glitch in the Paris computer system which meant that Wellington were not notified.  

I cannot describe how relieved we are to finally get this news - everything else is not important. I'm off to courier our passports to Wellington so we get these long awaited stamps in them.

The Biscuit Bunch are heading to France!

Monday, 14 January 2008

Parlez Vous Français

I started an intensive beginners course through the Auckland Alliance Francaise tonight.  I was keen to sign up earlier but would have missed the course based on our initial departure date (would have been tomorrow). The course goes for two weeks, two hours each night.  There are 10 of us in the class, the average age is about 26 but this would be 18 if it were not for myself and two other students.

The Auckland branch of the Alliance is good and I would recommend joining if you lived in Auckland and were interested in anything French. http://www.alliance-francaise.co.nz/

 

Phone call from Consulate

First time my phone was not in its special slot in my handbag and I missed a call from the French Consulate!!!!

Very frustrating I was driving along and could hear my phone ringing but when I went to grab it, alas I could not find it. Anyway the Consulate left me a message saying they had contacted Paris on Friday to check on the visas and were still awaiting a reply but suggested we should hear this week.

Yahoo, I feel we are close.

Friday, 11 January 2008

Sir Edmund Hillary: 1919 - 2008

image As I was driving over the bridge today on the way to pickup Ange from her last day of work, I noticed the flags were flying at half-mast.

I immediately thought of Sir Ed: he was easily the most worthy recipient of this recognition and as a frail 88 year old, also the most likely.

Surely his famous remark on conquering Everest could just as equally apply to his life. He lived it: in grand style.

For every New Zealander his passing is a loss, for the man himself and the era he represented. Perhaps we can take some comfort in the fact that he can still buy each of us a drink - I hope I can remember my thoughts and emotions of today each time I use the $5 note in future.

Goodbye Vodafone

image Other milestone today: Ange's last day of work at Vodafone.  Sounds like it was pretty busy, she spent the most of the morning arranging the cake and biscuits, then a last jog around her usual track, followed by lunch with the close mates and what was left of the day was spent packing up.

Cool. Now I have a full-time partner of crime to help with the packing and planning of this adventure.

One of the first tasks I have assigned her is to use her newly setup blogger login to publish a blog or two of her own. 

She needs a big of encouragement, so if you are reading this why not submit a comment on this item and encourage her to add her  female perspective to the Biscuit Bunch blog.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Fun Times

tree monkeys In between all the packing, planning and pondering we have been managing a few outings.
The little tree monkeys have not have the best school holidays - but the fun times are not that far away. It has been really hot in Auckland over the last few days and we have been taking every opportunity to get to the beach.

Caught Ya
Above: The kids and I had a good day yesterday at Castor Bay, this was taken on the bluff overlooking the beach after we had changed.   Above: On Thursday night we were invited over for a BBQ with the new tenants. It was a good night.

Visa Search

Today was hot, lots of sun: a "UV index off the scales" type of day.  So with nothing else to do the Biscuit bunch went on a search for our French visas.

Searching for Visas

After all they seem to be coming via sea - so we figured that they may have washed up on the beach. 

The hunt started on the Takapuna foreshore.
IsthisItDad

Is this one of them dad? 

It could be, James. It looks old enough, lets see if we can find four more.
Dadcanwehavearest



Ok Dad - we are getting tired now. We need a rest.
Afteraharddayswork

After a hard days work there is nothing like a kiwi spa pool to rest weary muscles.

This visa hunting is hard work!!

 

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Postponed

We have reluctantly delayed our departure to the 30th of January... Still no visas. It's not all bad, we are still frantically busy and the extra time will be put to good use.

Since we are pretty much homeless now, Ange is going to take the kids down to Timaru on the 16th to spend ten days with her mum. I'm going to stay behind in Auckland to get all the loose ends sorted.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Moved Out!

I'm relieved to report that we are finally moved out of Belle Vue: James and George moved in yesterday evening. Over the last week we have had a marathon run of 12 & 14 hour days of storing, cleaning and fixing. It is finally over - phew.

While there are still things to be done - they are mostly outside in the garden and around the house.

image

This picture was taken back in 2001, it was all I could find doing a quick search of the photo library.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

French Lessons

This entry is well overdue and it should be in both English and French. But alias you won't see any bilingual entries for a while yet.

One of the key objectives of this adventure is for the family to learn a second language. The benefits of being multi-lingual is undervalued by the NZ educational system and we believe that it will be very beneficial for our kids to be multi-lingual.

The kids have had a few lessons on how French sounds and have been learning key words, days of week etc. Mum and Dad have been learning about grammar basics, for example: verbs, which has been very interesting. Note: in this context "interesting" should be pronounced "difficult" or when applying to the masculine as "really difficult". Mona, our teacher has been very patient with us - she is a real star.

To give you an example of what we are up to, here is the basic context that I'm still trying to memorise:

to have

avoir


to be

etre

I have j'ai
I am je suis
you have tu as
you are tu es
he has il a
it/ he is il est
she has elle a
it/ she is elle est
we have nous avons
we are nous sommes
you have vous avez
you are vous etres
they have ils ont
they are ils sont
they have elles ont
they are elles sont






to have not

avoir


not to be

etre

I je n'ai pas
I je ne suis pas
you tu n'as pas
you tu n'es pas
she il n'a pas
she il n'est pas
he elle n'a pas
he elle n'est pas

Well we have 11 months - lets see what happens!