Wednesday 20 February 2008

Catch ups...

The school year has well and truly started, and we are nearly at the end of the third week. I have been pleasantly surprised by the amount of relief (supply) teaching work I have been able to pick up, with 4 days a week at a time when I wasn't expecting anything at all, to be honest!

It's not even the time of year for coughs and snuffles, but then, of course, some schools have banked staffing to burn off and teachers do need that CRT release. I have picked up a few other spots as well and have enjoyed a variety of teaching as both secondary and primary schools have called. (Long may it continue!)

Today I was thumbing through the diary, and I was looking at a quiet week next week with no bookings - and then, just this afternoon, I received a request for ten days this term from three schools. Very satisfying! Looks like I will be able to pay the phone and power bills after all... (Just kidding...! They are covered - but I can now also pay the finance bill on the car! LOL)

Elsa is hard at work and her hours seem to get ever longer and longer... I'm actually looking forward to a day off over the weekend - maybe we get get out after some of those blue cod skulking around the coast! 

Jack is back at university, with a more satisfying placement in his flat with a larger room, and the prospect of a year's academic study looming... heheh! Sarah and Rob are starting to think more of the wedding and Jen is feeling her way into her new job.

Sorry, I haven't yet won the Lottery, but I will keep buying tickets! I look forward to winning enough to travel first class back to the UK in the next year or two (yeah, right...!)

Drop me a line or a comment through the blog if you feel so inclined. Keep in touch!

Friday 1 February 2008


Well, it all seems a bit of a blur, really! Kind of hard to believe that it all happened! The jet lag is (slowly) fading although the sleep patterns will take a while to settle yet (not that I had great sleep patterns in the first place!)
However, it did happen, and one certain thing is that I WILL go back!

As this will be my last Welsh Kiwi blog entry, I want to thank all those who took me under their wings during my stay, and who spent so much time organising my trip.

Julie & David, Anne & Pat,  Sandra & Alun, and Glenda & Mike in particular, as they hosted me in their homes, took me round their home areas (and beyond), giving up their own time to make sure I met family, and saw my parents' "home" as much as possible, and gave added value to the trip as they introduced me to other parts of life in Britain.

Thanks to Alun and Sandra for their patience as I tracked down a slice of history through the castle ruins I visited; to Julie & David for that wonderful trip to Paris; Marilyn and Len for the dinner in Cardigan - a lovely way to meet people.
There were lots of others involved in small ways - Mavis and Edna for their knowledge of the families immediately spring to mind, and Ceris for your help with the artwork - but if I haven't mentioned you by name, please don't be offended.
My appreciation of the trip will never fade. Thank you!

I'll be back!

Keep in touch via email! It's wonderful knowing you now!
...And do let us know if you are coming out to New Zealand - there's a bedroom here at our home for you too!

Home again!

The flight to Dubai was easy, and I had the company of a very amiable passenger in the seat next to mine. The arrangements that had been made for my stopover went very smoothly and a short time after arrival I found myself comfortably ensconced in the Pearl Residence. 
Arabian Adventures had a lovely contact person arranged for visitors (Dounia) who was quick to listen to her clients' needs, and signed me up for the Sundowner Safari (otherwise known as the 'Dune Dinner Safari'). This involved being picked up in mid-afternoon by a wonderful driver (Kalid) in a very comfortable 4 wheel drive and I joined 5 others who had signed up. 

An hour out of Dubai, we joined the convoy of about 39 other vehicles (I had been mentally picturing about 6 vehicles, not 40!) and drove out into what I consider REAL desert - sand, sand and more sand! Here we drove over and round and up and down sand dunes to a meeting point for photos and a drink, then on to the camel farm for the next break. All great fun - although they had asked me to sign an indemnity form because of my back troubles. However, it wasn't a problem...

The next stop was seemingly in the middle of nowhere to watch a lovely sunset as the sun disappeared behind the dunes (hence the name of the safari) and then on to a bedouin camp setup. Here we had an opportunity to ride camels, drink Arabic coffee (I'm not a coffee drinker, but those who were said it was very good!), and we sat under bedouin tents eating a lovely meal, watching a belly dancer and drinking wine. Some of those on the safari tried the 'hubbly bubbly' pipes (apple flavoured tobacco?) and then it was away and back to town. (if you are going to visit Dubai, I seriously recommend this evening!)

Dubai has construction happening seemingly everywhere! Kalid did say they were building, amongst other things, a theme park that will eventually be bigger than even Disney World!

A wake up call at 5:45 the following morning had me stumbling round to find the shower, then I was whisked off by bus back to the airport for the long haul to Sydney, and then finally back to Christchurch, where Kevin and Andrew met me...

A short stay later and it was away on the final flight home, where my family met me and a short time after that I was sitting back comfortably in my own home, wondering where on Earth the last 5 weeks had gone!