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So a little update from last week…. well Friday night was a heavy night out.. oh it was also a bank holiday for Christchurch… though from now on I will call it ChCh.. ‘cos that’s what they call it over here.. and we should be getting ‘hip to the lingo’..

Each city, or something like that, get to choose their own particular bank holiday – Auckland’s is in January I think…. strange but there you go..

The day – friday was pretty lazy really… spent it trying to apply for ‘pooter jobs mainly.. did manage to get in contact with a guy called Seth… see I enjoy the game backgammon a wee bit – so I searched on google to see if there was a club (there isn’t) but his name came up… so I mailed him to organise meeting up for a wee low stakes ($1 a point or something) match sometime… but also I figured it might be a way to get info on jobs.

Which it was… they have a pretty interesting and cliquey set up here.. the various companies seem to use a website called RealContacts.. and basically what happens is that engineers recommend themselves / join this network and it’s how the jobs seem to be advertised… which is great if you’re in on it… but not quite so if you’re not. There’s also a sorta pub meet every Friday where the techies all meet up. Sounds like a blast… but I’m still going along next Friday! and I’m going to drag Glynn along too…. hopefully.

Friday night was a late one.. Guinness tastes kinda weird over here (and no, we were mostly drinking the fine NZ beers. Of which there are many. Some of us came out slightly better than others.. but sure what can you do…. not that we needed to of course.. of course… but our taxi driver was kind enough to inform us, when we pulled over slightly before our destination… that messing up the car was a $300 fine.

So that was news… and something to be aware of.

Yes… defiantly interesting.

Saturday was spent pretty much entirely inside.. we did have some heavy rain.. but mostly it was just recovery.

Sunday – today.. well lazy enough start.. and then got into looking for cars… Walked to gazillions of showrooms.. I was slightly dreading that the others would find one they liked… as I don’t trust those places, and also that the prices were about $4000+, whereas the ones in the personals were about 800+.

And now that I’ve quit my lucrative job ( I quit today…) I want to be cheapy again… luckily nothing jumped out at us.. so back to the ranch (well house) after a weird greek falafel type chicken thing.. which was, well, ok but not my all-time favourite and we started ringing up ads.

A lot of them had gone already, but we did check out a couple of them… found a Honda that was quite nice, but quite old… so we didn’t get it, no harm really, probably best to have a good look around, sure you might miss the best deal, but you’ll get a good one.

So yes, quit my labouring job.. I’d also had a quick look at my insurance policy and it did exclude labouring so that was another good reason to quit. Course if I *really* can’t find anything… then I will get another one. But I’m not quite that strapped for cash. Yet.

Still… at least I don’t have to get up for 6:50, but I dread to think what they’ll be saying in the canteen (well container with a couple of chairs and a table, and a sink with lots of dirty crockery and no water..) about wussy irish boys who can’t hack the pressure.

However, thanks to Dec and Lorcan for their encouraging txts… Decs telling me to bend my knees and not my back or that I’d damage my spine…. and Lorcans telling me to loosen my belt a notch (I’m guessing so that I’d blend in!) and for all the other mails saying to a greater or lesser degree HAHHAHAHA :D and – nice outfit.

Personally I did think I looked quite dashing.

Oh – also made mums orange concentrate recipe… and it was a complete success, so for anyone who’s tried it and liked it… or wants to try :

3-pints water boil with 3 pounds sugar

when boiling add grated rind and juice of 3 oranges and 1 lemon (I did 4 oranges ‘cos I didn’t have a squeezer) and 1.5 oz citric acid.

return to boil for one minute



and it’s really good! :)

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So…. hehehe, twill be an interesting (to me anyway ;) post this one… So I wandered around the town on wednesday, getting CV’s printed off and photocopied and handing them in to different agencies… Most of which informed me that office work was not going to happen unless I sacrificed several goats and sheep to different spirits and slept inside a pentagon.

So that was a little annoying. Course Maeve pointed out today that I seemed to have applied to all the wrong agencies for getting office work… But sure I did get work as you will see…

Yup.. so after doing a word and excel test (and spelling and numerical tests) – actually for the record I’m ‘not productive’ at word… despite getting a 97% accuracy on the test…. in all fairness that’s simply concerned with how many shortcut keys you know…. Yes yes I’m making excuses but what they hey ;) come get me :D

So yes, where was I – ahhh yes – finished those tests and went upstairs to DKW personnel.. where I asked about office work and was again told that ‘it was quite slow at the moment’ Nice people though, two of them had toured Ireland and worked on Grafton St… so that was nice.. Funny really, someone told me that the Kiwis in Chch (yes, that the in acronym for Christchurch), are quite insular and not friendly… so far that’s defiantly not been what I’ve found.. they seem very friendly most of the time, and eager to help – I was wandering off to find my bike – oh yes – the puncture was fixed for free, which did restore my confidence in humanity somewhat… anyway – so I was looking at my street map, and a lady came up and tried to point me in the right direction…. you’d not get that in Dublin?! – or maybe you would and I’ve just not noticed..

So yes, DKW…. and I sorta kinda let myself get kinda enrolled as a laborer… ehem… they said that they didn’t need to contact my referees ;) mind you Adrian and Peter may even be reading this for all I know – if so – sorry you didn’t get the call asking if I am suitable for hard manual labour, just incase you do get a call sometime… by the end of reading this you can make up your own mind :D

And they even got me my IRD number – Revenue people… if you don’t have the number then they take 48Cent in every dollar off you.. which really isn’t great-smashing-super. Mind you, unlike OZ I believe we can claim tax back at the end.. which is kinda nice enforced savings really… So they got that sorted out, and my Hard Had, bright orange vest, and steel capped boots, – or steel caps to those of us in the trade. Which I currently am, and probably will for the next week until I decide that a weeks hard labour is enough for me…

So yes, back home, a bitta climbing – probably a dumb idea considering… and then earlyish to sleep for my 6:50am start the next day..

—————————Hard Labour Day Number 1—————–

So yes, today woke up nice and early so that I could get there on time… the place is a development up on a golf course called Clearwater.. apparently Tiger Woods played there a couple of months ago. As you do.

Actually they are going to be sweet apartments (well the ones I didn’t help build ;) when they’re finished. They have a huge garage at the bottom, and go up 1 flight of stairs to the front door, then a huge kitchen, looking over the lake (all the windows front onto the lake – oh and there’s a jetty out back), and then up again to a couple of bedrooms and a bathroom, and again the bath is right beside a window looking onto the lake.. very nice really…

So spent the morning movin’ stuff, and tidyin’ stuff and generally trying not to lift and twist, keep my back straight, and not carry too much. I can honestly say that doing these things correctly really isn’t trivial at all!, and also, that I really can now appreciate the value of a hard days work.. I know I’ve only done one, and I’ll try and stick it for a week and see how it goes.. but we’ll have to see, I don’t much feel like killing myself either…

So made neat little piles of wood.. though did learn one thing about stacking wood… if say you’re stacking a pile of 2*4s which are say, 8 ft long – something like that.. what you do is you pile them up, and then when it’s going to get unstable, you put two logs at right angles and repeat the process…. one way of stacking timber that’s a little more stable than making a big heap. So here you go readers… a bonus for getting this far if you ever want to stack timber ;)

Actually it was perfectly fine right up until Evil Carpenter Man came along. Well, he wasn’t strictly evil, though he did have the weirdest stare… – but this was after lunch so I had a bit of energy… oh yes, at lunch I learned that Kittry’s sister is 20 and has 5 kids…. I would protect identities, but I very much doubt they’ll be reading.. and anyway, it’s really something to be proud of, and she’s trying for a boy… So that’s nice.

Yes, so Mr Evil Carpenter Man came along with ….. yes….. some Real Work. Now I’m an honest laborer, but sheesh.. we could have used a third person in my humble opinion…. We were moving those Humungous Marble tabletops that people have in their kitchens, from down in a garage all they way up into the kitchen… the first few were fine, but goddamn… (sorry mum if you’re reading this ;) but they really were super heavy… and while I didn’t think of myself as particularly weak… I certainly know I’m not as strong as Aiden, the bloke who’s family left Kilkenny when he was 6 and was helping me lift these Things. He was completely sound, and I just felt sorry for him that he had to work with me for the day.. hopefully I’ve not completely broken the man… well, he’s probably about 23 actually.. most sound. Told me Auckland was the place to go for ‘pooter work, and that he’d just come back from working in Oz, and that he was totally on his way back after having to reside in NZ for 6 months (then he can go back and renew his visa)…

So yes, lifting those things (and yes I did bend my knees and not my back – for the most part anyway) was a complete nightmare…(so I hope anyone reading this who has marble topped counters Really Appreciates what they’ve got) I was ‘totally pumped’ by the end of it.. still, probably not a bad work out for finger strength as these things go, so that’s something to be thankful for… if it leads me to conquer the overhangs any easier I’ll be sorted… And I *think* I may be able to use my mp3 player too … but I’ll have to see about that one…

But, hopefully, if Maeve lands herself office work, and the ppl she applied to seemed to think that she’d not have to sacrifice anything to anyone, then I’ll defiantly quit the laboring and try to get work too… ’tis all a little mad really, but defiantly character building… I can feel my character getting bigger already…

My hands certainly have character

Nice people though, and that makes all the difference.

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Great, my second attempt at writing this entry as Opera managed to crash just as I’d finished it. Ahh well, so this may not be quite as witty and entertaining..

So twas a pretty productive day really, got a mobile (had to buy a new one as my old one was locked to O2, which was a little annoying, but not quite the end of the entire world, though it was looking close there for a little while. Still, it’s a nicer model, and I’ve now entered the world of Predictive Texting.. the excitement never stops ;)

Oh – the number : +64 21 1632139, still, this one isn’t locked to any network so as least I can use it when I get home..

What else.. yes – I might suggest seeing if you can get your mobile unlocked before leaving to travel.. might be a good idea… I’m sure there are people who know people who can do these things… respectable people ;)

So yes, the other large capital investment was a bike. Eventually found a decently priced second hand bike (this had nothing to do with the fact that when I got home I found I had a puncture…. ;) hehehe, still, the bloke selling it seemed descent enough so I hope they’ll fix it for free tomorrow. Hopefully anyway…

So yes, that was the main news, didn’t go climbing in the end of it, was too distraught after my bike having a puncture that ice-cream and maple syrup was the only solution. Mind you, the ice-cream isn’t too bad over here, which is defiantly a good thing!

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So left Dublin

(wonder if this will be ready when I get back ;)

at 6:30 pm on friday, and then an hour later to Heathrow. Then a 2 hour wait, and a nice long relaxing.. 12 hour flight… my favourite ;) To Singapore. Must say though, Singapore Air is a *very* nice way to travel. Hot towels for you when you arrive, movies on demand (so you can watch what you want when you want). Chilled out by a pond in Singapore Airport… (pics will be put up sometime!) for another hour, and then another lovely 10 hour flight.

Didn’t really manage to actually sleep very much, but sure that’s ok :) Did watch Bad Boys 2 (ok) Charlies Angles – Full Throttle (ok ish), Ever After (quite nice), Johnny English (need to be 10 to enjoy this), The Devils Advocate (quite good) and finally The Hulk (moderatly terrible, they really enjoyed splitting the screen up in that film!)

Then touchdown into Christchurch, reminded me a wee bit of Dublin actually, quite green, quite flat, with hills/mountains in the background… well, from the airport it reminded me of it.

Right up until the point that you had to go through immigration and customs.

Customs in NZ is no joke. Honestly. They’re lovely don’t get me wrong!, but if you want to try and smuggle an apple or an orange or somem cheese in – forget about it! I had 4 apples in my bag (and two bananas) for the trip over. They all got eaten.. however on arrival a lovely little dog (beagle?!) came over and sat down by my bag and took an avid interest in it.. I explained to the nice lady attached to the dog that I knew all about the fruit which had been in my bag, and that I’d eaten it all before arrival.. (which was actually true)… Story there was that a cousin of mine had visited a year ago, and totally forgotten about an apple at the bottom of her bag… they were kind enough to believe that she’d forgotten about it, but not kind enough to forgo a $200 on the spot fine…

I also declared 4L of duty free spirits and about a kilo of cadburys…. but they didn’t mind that at all…

Oh – then when my bag was being x-rayed they took me aside again… and said ‘sir, you have a strange ball like object in your bag, would you mind us having a look at it’. I said, no worries mate (well actually I didn’t say that)… anyway, turned out to be my well padded contact juggling ball… so that was grand, and finally through to arrivals.

Where Glynn met us and took us back to the house. It’s great. Really great. Really, it’s great. Big, comfortable, with a dishwasher (yes I know I’ve mentioned this already, but some things can’t be said enough). Will take a couple of pics later, now it’s time to get ready to head ‘downtown’ and see a wee bit of christchurch before finding a pub to watch the match in (Ireland Vs. France in the 1/4 finals – yes I know anyone reading this now will know what match…. but in the future it may not be so obvious!…. I’ve explained too much haven’t I ;) yes, too much time on pooters and too little time outside.. time to put that to right…

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