Beautiful weather, beautiful beaches... We are staying in a beautiful house... right across the road from the kids school.
Price-wise, things seem to cost the same as in NZ, except you get a nicer house for the same price, and if you are earning more, then comparatively things are cheaper... so are for us... and many other kiwis who come over.
One thing we have noticed over here is the standard of education is so much more advanced than NZ.
This has become startlingly obvious in just a few weeks at the difference in schoolwork that Josh was doing in NZ compared with here. Back in NZ he was doing 12 + 4 etc, but here the children in his class... which is a mixed class of children his age and a year younger are doing sums like 572+ 346. They also have done a lot more advanced work telling the time and using money... so Josh (and to a lesser extent Joseph), have a wee bit of catching up to do, but they'll get there soon.
Anna-Maria however will be off to a flying start... she has already got a lot of basic words and maths facts sorted out and she is so excited about starting school in the new year.
I am enjoying my job, but they keep changing my roster. Initially I was working 32 hours a week... but in december they have increased it to 44, and they seem to have rostered me to work every single weekend between October and December. I am going to try and talk them into rostering me sensibly. In the meantime, I have been looking into GP work for when my contract ends, and Tane has a few more weeks to wait for his practicing certificate... He is then going to apply for legal aid status and look for a job...
The kids are enjoying life here. Yesterday they found we have a large lizard living in our garden. I thought it was a snake, but Tane assured me it wasn't. Today straight after school we went to the beach. The kids loved it... Tane tried to teach Josh to surf... then Tane had a surf. Joseph and Anna-Maria played in the whitewash. All the kids dug a series of channels and holes in the sand, which Ella-Rose loved crawling into and sitting in. As we were sitting on the beach I said to Tane it feels like we are on holiday and yet we aren't. It's just the beach is so close we can be there in 5 mins after school is finished. We got home around 5.30pm and would have stayed longer except Ella-Rose's teeth were chattering and she was getting cold.
The girls and I went to Bunnings Warehouse today and bought a spade, compost, and plants (capsicums, red onions, hot chillis, cucumbers, coriander and tomatoes). So tommorrow we have to get out in the garden and finish preparing the vegie patch so we can plant them.