Friday, 31 August 2012

NZ5 - Rasa for dinner

A couple of nights ago we went out for dinner in Cuba Street. The restaurant was Rasa, a tiny Malaysian & South Indian place. It doesn't look like much, lots of tiny tables crammed together, BYOB with corkage fee and a walk through the really small kitchen to get to a toilet! But the food was absolutely delicious. 

These are the curry puff starters. The sauce is like a peanut Satay. Probably so bad for you, but so tasty! 

If I'm honest, I can't remember what this is. It was Dean's food. But the potatoes round the edge were yum! 

This was mine. The chicken Dosai. Just spicey enough, like a curry wrap! I want it again now just looking at it. Apparently it's what they are famous for. Look how big it is! 

I'd recommend this place to anyone looking for a good value night out in Wellington, no frills but really sweet little place and I'm soooo going again! 


Sunday, 26 August 2012

NZ4 - My first proper Wellington experience

Yesterday, I got a day off work, Finally! I had a lie in, woke up in a very good mood to sunshine, and skyped London, where my friends were all having a party and were very drunk. It was a bit weird seeing their tipsy faces peering through the screen to me at 8 in the morning!

I jumped out of bed and into the shower and packed my bag for a day of adventures. My good camera came with, extra cardigans for later in the day, and my shades for the stunning sunshine which we had for most of the day! Nick was to keep me company playing tourist for the day, and we left the house and walked down the hill into town. We didn't want to drive as the views are stunning on the way down, the sun was shining, and we intended to drink later that day! 

We walked down Barnard Street from Wadestown, and came into town via Molesworth Street, past the parliament buildings. 

Above is the Parliamentary Library. It's a Victorian Gothic style building, and the earliest part dates back to 1883. Nick who is an Architect by trade, has brilliant knowledge of buildings and remembers all sorts of facts about them, so he was the perfect tour guide for me. 

 Above is Parliament House, and next to it, what is called The Beehive, for obvious reasons! There is a lot more History about the buildings on this website here, Click away!

A war memorial next to Parliament, it's a shame they built the office block behind it! 

We had a lot to see as this was my whistle stop tour of the city I have been living in for nearly two weeks now, so we trotted onwards and the next stop was the famous Wellington Cable Car. I love cable cars, I don't know why! I think it's very pretty! 

This is the car in the station as we entered to get on and go for a ride. 

Up we climbed, past the university. These are the playing fields you can see on the right. It doesn't actually go that far or high, so quite quickly we were at the top! At the top, there is the Carter Observatory and Planetarium, (which I'm saving for another day) the botanic gardens and the cable car museum. 

This is me, being a sundial. I thought it was telling me the wrong time, but it turns out, the sun goes the other way here! It was correct! How confusing! 

 Some interesting plants in the botanic garden. I have no idea what they are, but the orange one was very soft!

The observatory above is also in the gardens and has equipment inside which measures seismological activity. Basically earthquakey stuff! There are a lot of earthquakes in New Zealand. 

Above you can see the windsurfers down in the bay. Below is one of the original cable cars inside the museum. Note that people were allowed to just sit on the bench on the side with nothing to strap them in, that wouldn't be allowed today!

We went back down in the car and headed further into town. Over the crazy little bridge you see below and onto the sea front. We had lunch in Wagamamas, I was starving and when I saw it, I just thought of Katsu curry and how happy it would make me so we stopped in! 

I should probably explain the next photo. Our friend Amanda was moving into her new flat at the same time as we were out and about being touristy. We had already bought her a little gift each, but I spotted the equivalent of a London "pound store" where I thought I might pick myself up a cheap Iphone case for my new work phone. As we entered, I spotted this beauty below. 

I haven't seen one of these since I was little at my Grandma's house, we got very giggly about it and decided it had to be bought, especially as it was such a bargain! It was the equivalent of about £2.00. I mean, who wouldn't want a "High Class Carpeting Warm Seat For Toilet?!" Clearly an essential item for any new home! Check out the weird guy behind me too! This shop sold the most amazing crap!

Then onto Cuba Street. I liked it here, it has lots of funky little individual bars, shops and restaurants. 

The mural above is the front of a Tattoo studio just off Cuba and below, a little bit of street art which I thought was kinda cute! 

After Cuba street, my feet were starting to hurt. We had walked a good 4 or 5 miles and needed to get over to the new flat to meet our friends and give our presents. It was mid afternoon, so we popped to the supermarket, purchased a couple of bottles of Sauvignon and went to meet our friends. 

We went to a football match. One of my colleagues son's and a few others I have met, play or are involved with the Miramar Rangers. Only in Wellington would you stand on the sideline of a pitch with a glass of wine in your hand cheering the players on! Lovely!

After the match, it was time for more sports as we headed for The Gasworks, the local pub to work, where we watched the All Blacks beat Australia for the second week in a row! Great atmosphere and loads more people to befriend and also people I knew already from work. Everyone is so friendly here. 

Below is a nice bit of Graffiti outside The Gasworks. 

After the Rugby, I was pretty drunk! We had been on the go for hours and hours, and I was doing well at topping up with carbs, but still, there's only so much wine a little person like me can take! It was 11pm, really not late, but I wanted to go home. I downed a glass of water the the disappointment of most people, and ordered a cab with Nick. 

We never made it home. In the cab we got a second wind and we asked the driver to stop off in Cuba Street at a gay bar called S&M. It all gets a bit blurry from here! Literally! My photos are crap and we consumed a lot more alcohol! Played pool, danced, met a friend of Nick's called Marcus and adopted a small goth called Heather who had lost her friends. 

I don't know how we survived! 

After this we headed to probably one of the worst bars ever! (or best if you're as wasted as we were!) A karaoke bar called The Fringe (Or Minge!) There is actual video evidence of Marcus and I doing Elton and Kiki Dee. It isn't pretty and you can't see it! Look how Funny it is in these photos!! The people in there were ridiculous! 

At 3am we stumbled out in search of food. Nick said I had to go down the kids slide in town. You can see the video of this. It's lame! Click on it!  

Today I was lucky, I escaped a bad hangover. Goodness knows how! I didn't blog anything. We did go to a market in town for food, which I might tell you about if I go again next week. 

I have mainly been cooking roast chicken and wedges, cleaning and comfort eating. These are my New Zealand comfort treats purchased today. Note the orange cake on the left, home baked from a lady on the market. It was delicious! 

Happy Sunday everyone! See you in my next blog. 

Lots of love! 


Thursday, 23 August 2012

NZ3 - I'm sorry!

Since my last blog, I have pretty much done nothing but work, and have a few bevvies of an evening. We went to the local pub near work the other night, The Gasworks, I found a new flat with some lovely workmates, which I move into next week, I opened a bank account, and went for lunch with my old boss from London, who is from Wellington and works down the road from me now, (surreal and really lovely! Thanks Marie, made me feel at home!) and I worked, and worked, and worked. I went for a very small walk on Sunday to the supermarket, but that's about it! I intend to get out an about this weekend and am booking some more theatre tickets, so hopefully I might have something to report home about! 

So, Here are a few photos of New Zealand things which I have discovered, and I swear I will get out and about this weekend. 

My new favourite drink to replace Rubicon.

Apparently, smoking causes you to turn into Gollum here. 

The gorgeous pug Libby. She belongs to my workmate. 

The view on the night of a storm from my good camera, I'm trying to use it, but it's tricky when you don't get out of work much! 

I promise to post something more exciting soon! 

Leave me a message! 

Lots of love. XXX

Thursday, 16 August 2012

NZ2 - Weta Caves and a visit to the theatre

Since I’ve been in NZ it’s all been a bit of a whirlwind! I decided it was best to jump straight into work and after landing Monday night, went in on Tuesday morning.

I can’t talk about my job on here, if I did, they’d sack me! However, I’ll just say that I can see why films are being made out here. The facilities are the best I’ve ever seen, and I’ve worked for some big post houses in Soho. Words cannot describe how overawed I was being given tours of my new offices yesterday and getting to look at the stuff I’m working on. I hope I can live up to it all!

After lunch, we went for a short walk down the road to the corner shop, or "dairy" as they call it here,  which is right next to Weta Cave. The cave is a mini museum and shop, linked to the studio, offering a behind the scenes look at characters, props and displays from some of the biggest movies. You can find out a bit more here on their official site.

Here are a few snaps I took, we weren’t in there long, but I’ll definitely go back for some limited souvenirs to send home! Hobbitses feet keyring anyone?!

I thought I had escaped the inevitable jetlag after sleeping so well on my first night, I was proven wrong though! After my first day I was so tired, I retired to bed at 9pm, only to wake multiple times in the night, having bizarre dreams about being back home! I gave up at 3:30 the morning and spent the rest of the night chatting to friends and family back home in the UK! This gave me the opportunity to stand out on the deck as the sun came up, (even though it rained I didn’t mind!) I talked on skype to Dave, Ali and Sian and showed them the views. It was so lovely to see their faces peering back at me through the screen! So here is a photo of the first ferry leaving for the south Island in the morning! I promise I’ll get my better camera out this weekend when I do some exploring! There is so much to see.

In the evening, I went to The Circa Theatre after work. Dean had bought me a ticket to see, The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. It's an account of the year following her husband's death, John Dunne and her daughter. I struggled with concentration having been up since 3:30, it's quite an intense 90 minute monologue, but the role was beautifully portrayed by Catherine Downes who is a very famous actress here. It was moving and very beautiful, I really liked her. 

So that's it for now, I'll leave you with the sign that we drive past on the way to work every morning, pretty cheesy, but I do quite like it, and it reminds me how lucky I am to be working on such a fantastic film every day. 

Hopefully I won't have to work too much this weekend, and I can go on some adventures with my better camera, I'm supposed to be watching my first All Blacks game tomorrow night. I'll let you know how it goes! 


Monday, 13 August 2012

NZ1 - Journey to my new home

Kia Ora from New Zealand!

So my brother and mum took me to departures at Heathrow Terminal 1 on Saturday night, I went in a tad emotional, downed a large JD and coke and got on the plane. Then I inhaled my complimentary sparkling wine and a further 3 glasses of Sauvignon… that could be why I thought I might throw up just before we landed in Hong Kong!

Flying to New Zealand is ridunculous! It just takes so long! I am so happy I didn’t have to fly economy on this occasion. The constant top ups of wine, decent food and a bit more space made it all worthwhile! I even nicked the little bag with flight socks, an eye mask, some Clarins products and a toothbrush a toothpaste! Bonus!

The food on the plane was ok, pretty nice on the first leg, a bit wrong on the second! I won't bore you too much but here are some photos. There's not a lot to do on 12 hour flights! 

 Tasty brownie and smoked salmon above. Rank chicken below! I made the wrong choice! 

On the stopover in Hong Kong, I snapped this picture out of the window and took advantage of the wifi to chat to my Miranda and Ali on Whatsapp, my new best friend! Finally built up the courage to open my card and present from Miranda! I had saved it because of my new found over emotional side!

This it the beautiful bracelet she bought me. I shall wear it for protection at all times!

I landed in Auckland on Monday morning, even though I left on Saturday night and had only travelled for 24 hours! It was still Sunday night in London. I was very confused! I couldn’t remember if my friend was meeting me at the airport or not, and I met a lovely lady called Rebecca, who also lives in Wellington, who took me to the First Class lounge on her husband’s gold passes for a drink when we landed. She was so sweet!

In arrivals there is a large wooden sculpture arch which you go through. This dude needed to be photographed! 

My friend, Dean called and said he was waiting for me at arrivals. (We had landed early so I hadn’t seen him!) We were going to spend the day in Auckland before flying to my new home in Wellington in the evening.

We drove into town to meet everyone, half of them were my new colleagues and half were other friends that they knew, and we went for breakfast. They had all been to a gig the night before and were pretty funny and hungover! Then we went to a Butterfly farm and petting zoo that they had seen and wanted to visit! It was such a bizarre way to spend a day after 24 hours on a plane! It was just what I needed though, and a good way to spend a day before yet another flight.

Dean got attacked by a butterfly, which we think wanted to masturbate on his neck, and we saw the lamest crocodile exhibition ever! Run by a Scottish man who we named Boring Bob.

Butterflies coming out of their Chrysalides. (I just learnt this is the plural!) 

When we finished here, we went on to get some food and back to the airport.  Although I haven’t photographed my food, as I usually do! EVERYTHING here looks and seems to taste amazing so far. Even the food at the farm. I think I could get very fat!

So, we got on the plane down to Wellington, I really tried hard to stay awake and write this blog, but I passed out! We got back into Wellington, had a drink at my new colleagues house, and then went on to my temporary new home…. Ahem… Can I stay there?! It’s the most incredible house up in the hills.

This is the view from my new bedroom window when I woke up for my first day at work this morning. It was dark when I got there last night, so I took this photo as the sun came up out of my window. 

And finally, here I am, reunited with Deano after 18 months. I can't even begin to describe my first day at work today, all I can say is, now I know why films are being made here. I thought I had it good in soho, but this place is something else. More on that later! 

Hope everyone back home is well, I miss it already. Comments box below to send me messages! And keep whatsapping me everyone! 

Lots of love! xxx