Not Long now

We are now both unemployed!!

We have finished work and are now starting to get things packed up (well, Karen is trying on all her clothes) ready for the shippers to descend on us next Thursday. The following Tuesday we are off to Singapore for three days and we arrive back in the UK on Wed 11th June.

We had our last gathering in the house last night, much food drink and laughter, we will be sorry to leave Vista Place but times change and we are moving on.

Karen has a job lined up when we get back, but I am going on the Job hunt. I tried to persuade Karen that I might spend some time fishing etc – I was only in A&E for three hours! I am going to take the opportunity to finally get my CCNA exam done when we get back so at least I won’t be sat around – honest Karen.

Cheers for now.

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Look out UK – here we come (back).

It’s official – flights (one-way) are booked – we are moving back to the UK.

It’s time to make public the decision we made several months ago. I am giving in my notice on Monday and the Hospital know that Karen is leaving.

We will be back in the UK permanently on June 11th.

We made the decision last December and put the house on the market in January. The Earthquake has probably scuppered the sale now so we will probably end up putting it out for rental till things settle down again.

The reason for our return is missing the family and the increasing number of grandchildren we appear to be accumulating ;>). We have had a really great three years in New Zealand but the family is in the UK and that is never going to change.

So now it’s like the move out but backwards, shifters to organise, belongings to sort out and we have a lot more “stuff” than when we arrived, so that’s going to be fun!.

So after three years away – UK here we come.

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Christchurch Earthquake – Quick update

We are back in the house. We have power but no water, could be weeks before the water is back on. Many cracks in plasterboard and a few outside but nothing major I think.

We have been staying with good friends Ben & Clare out of town for the last few days so have missed being without power at least.

Getting battered by aftershocks but that has been a way of life here since last September.

Karen is back to work tomorrow and I am waiting to see what happens at the shop.

Love to all

Jim

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Earthquake update

Hi all
We are both OK, still very shaken, with lots of major aftershocks still going on.
Karen was very lucky, she and her friend were in a cafe in the square and had to run out while chandaliers and debris was falling and just got out into the square as the Cathedral collapsed beside them. I was in my office under my desk till the shaking stopped, then got out pronto.
Karen had left her handbag behind when she got out so I could not contact her which had me really worried. I walked home and then had a 2 hour wait until Karen arrived safe but shaken. I had left my bag behind as well so we had no keys, had to climb onto the roof and get in through the broken bathroom window.
Jo – Karens friend – contacted her husband and arranged to get picked up and heard that her kids were OK . We have spent the night with Jo and family on the outskirts of town. Not slept much due to the aftershocks. Have to try and get home now to start clearing up.
So, safe but shaken, but our thoughts are with those less fortunate today.
Love to you all, Jim & Karen
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YouTube – My Blackberry Is Not Working! The One Ronnie.Christmas Special Preview Funny Ronnie Corbett HQ Clip

Really funny – clever take on new gadgets

YouTube – My Blackberry Is Not Working! The One Ronnie.Christmas Special Preview Funny Ronnie Corbett HQ Clip.

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Happy New Year

Welcome to 2011 !!

Well, what a year 2010 was, so many things happened, from one extreme to another.

We started off in Feb with a weeks trip to the Catlins Coast, at the bottom of the South Island.

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Then in June we were off to the UK for Julie & andy’s wedding which was really great.

After the wedding we went off to do the Dales Way which we both really enjoyed.

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Then, just to prove that you never know what life is going to throw at you we lived through the 7.1 Earthquake in September, something that we will never forget and we are still getting large aftershocks even now!

Then in November Josie cam to stay with us for three weeks and while she was here we all went to OZ for a week to go to Annabelle & Tom’s wedding! We stayed with Allison & Peter and had a great time going round the vinyards.

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To round the year off we went to Lake Tekapo for Christmas and had a really good time in the sun.

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Who knows what the future will bring, but 2010 was a year neither Karen or I will ever forget!

We hope that you all had a really good New Years celebration anf that the New Year will be a truly good one for you all.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Weddings, Wine and a bit of Landscaping

Lots going on recently…

Things are starting to get back to normal after the earthquake. We are still getting aftershocks but they are getting smaller all the time. If you are interested in seeing how often they happen you can look here

We have been to OZ for a week to go to Annabelle & Toms Wedding but the week before we went Josie came to stay with us for three weeks so she could have two weeks in NZ with a week in OZ in the middle. Poor lass she did not know which country she was in most of the time. She had a great time here and saw an awfull lot in a very short time.

We stayed with Peter & Allison in Adelaide and they made us very welcome with trips out to the beach and some of the local wineries.

The weddings went really well and here are a few pictures – but not of the wedding itself! Annabelle aand Tom have asked us all not to put up pictures as they are having a wedding party back in the UK in Jan and don’t want to spoil it for the brits.

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The beach near Adelaide

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One of the wineries – you might recognise the name !

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And apart from all that I mamaged to get the new “Terrace” finished

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Phew……

We are off to Lake Tekapo for a few days over Christmas, so just want to say a Happy Christmas to one and all.

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Christchurch Earthquake – Update

Just as we thought things were starting to calm down…..

I was about to go out the door for my first day back at work when there was a massive 5.1 magnitude aftershock.

Power off again, alarms going off everywhere. Not going anywhere now. More of a concern was that Karen had gone to work a couple of hours earlier. This was the first time we had been apart during a major shock and I was worried she was OK. Text messaging to the rescue – all was OK. Apart from another vase smashed and a small piece of flaking paintwork the house has again come through with flying colours. More shakes through the day and the nerves are starting to show now. Every sound makes you think that another shake is starting. Ballantynes is going to stay shut again tomorrow cos of the aftershocks and the intermittant power cuts.

Still, compared to many people we are very, very, lucky and our thoughts are with those who were not so fortunate.

Added:

If you go to this site www.christchurchquakemap.co.nz/ You can see just how many aftershocks we are going through – it’s quite amazing.

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Christchurch Earthquake – Day 2

Just a quick update from here at Earthquake +2.

In our area of town things look pretty normal. If you look closely you can see a few fallen chimneys and minor damage. We were bl**dy lucky!!

As you have probably seen on the news, in the centre of town, older brick buildings have fallen and that is some of the more historic stuff. Places closer to the epicentre have fared very badly, Kaipoi has been nearly flattened and there is major damage to roads in that area. Power is on here but the phones and internet are a bit flaky. Water will be an issue for quite a while I suspect as there is damage to water and sewer pipes. That there was no loss of life is utterly unbelievable considering the size of the quake. We are getting aftershocks all the time, some quite large, but nothing like the original. The centre of town is still closed off while they assess the damage.

Click here for the local paper story

Love to all

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Christchurch Earthquake 4th September

Just a quick note to let everyone know we are OK.

Got woken up at 4:30am by horrendous noise and vibration – almost impossible to describe. The main shock lasted for about 40 seconds, then there were a number of smaller shocks soon afterwards.

House is undamaged, which I found almost impossible to believe after the pounding it went through. We were very lucky, hundreds of homes in town are damaged, many completely destroyed. Power was off till about 2pm and, due to damage to sewer pipes etc, we will be boiling water for a long time I think.24hrs later we are still getting aftershocks which rattle the house and there is still the potential for another “big” quake.

One of those times to count your blessings I think.

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