Monthly Archives: December 2015

Windy Wellington

 

DISCLAIMER: this post was meant to have a lot more photos but the wifi is shocking and I’ve given up trying to upload them.

And so we hit the road once more.

Windy Wellington welcomed us with open arms after a five hour bus journey. As the bus trundled away from Hastings, I felt a bit like James Mcavoy in the final scene from “The Last King of Scotland” when he shrinks into his plane seat as he leaves Uganda. Anyway, there was no “STOP THE BUS!” that my overactive imagination had dreamt up, and we weren’t dragged back to the orchards. Phew.

We are still waking up fairly early, and also still achy and bruised, but we’re free!!! What an amazing feeling! We arrived into New Zealand’s capital and checked into our box room in the YHA. After dumping our bags, we had a wander round the city, and treated ourselves to a roast dinner. We felt that it wouldn’t quite be Christmas without one! After that, we went to bed and I was unconscious about thirty seconds before my head hit the pillow.

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(Very happy with his roast NZ lamb)

The next day, we decided to check out the city’s cable car. The pedants among you may wish to know that it’s not a cable car, it’s a funicular railway, but oh well, you can’t win them all!

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The cable car was actually pretty cool because they had installed a load of fancy lights in one of the tunnels and I got all excited thinking it was going to be like Space Mountain and we were going to fly up the hill at 100mph.

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Must stop getting so carried away.

It was a lovely sunny day, but we could feel that it was cooler and windier than Hawkes Bay, so better for sight-seeing really! The cable car takes you to the top of the botanic gardens, which have loads of themed areas, which we got thoroughly lost in, but we were so happy to be back to having no schedule and it not mattering! We wandered aimlessly down to almost the bottom of the hill, but then realising we’d paid for a return ticket on the cable car, we walked back up again to ride it back down the hill. We found a Henry Moore sculpture on the way so it wasn’t all bad.

After that, we went for a guided tour around the NZ equivalent of the House of Commons. Luckily it was only a 30minute tour which was perfect for my attention span. It was interesting to learn that any kiwi residents can go to parliament with a query. How funny is that?! I’d love to go to Westminster and strive to have macaroni cheese outlawed. Anyway, I digress. There was a really cool Maori room covered in hand wood carvings. Unfortunately I couldn’t take any photos as it wasn’t permitted, but here’s a photo from outside. It’s called “the Beehive,” or as Tom preferred: “one fuck ugly building!”

We went to the modern art gallery that was free entry (Wellington is great for free tourist attractions!) Tom got thoroughly pissed off by the contemporary art saying “it makes me furious! What’s the point in it!?” I told him it was there to cause a reaction and he replied “well I never want to go to an art gallery ever again!” Which made me howl! We also saw a Grayson Perry tapestry…. In the Deane Gallery. Spelt correctly and everything! Unfortunately I couldn’t take a photo because it was privately owned.

That evening came what we’d been waiting for……

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SO GOOD

The the next day we did a bit of shopping – my clothes are all a bit knackered so I treated myself to two new dresses. Tom really made me laugh because I asked him to get me the dress I was wearing, but in a different size, and he came back with a completely different dress. Love him.

It started to rain so we headed to the Te Papa museum, which is the biggest museum in the city and was bloody rammed with everyone’s kids. I came to New Zealand to escape everyone’s bloody kids but oh well it’s the summer holidays and all that. We spent a lot of time peering at this “collosal squid” which freaked me out a bit because I used to have a reoccurring nightmare about a huge octopus when I was a kid.

Thoroughly fed up with the ankle grabbers, we headed into the Gallipoli exhibition which was fantastic despite the amount of people in there. I didn’t know anything about New Zealand’s involvement in WW1, so found the exhibit really informative. It was titled “the scale of our war” and featured gigantic models of six of the people who died at Gallipoli. The statues were made by the studios who did Lord of the Rings and the hobbit, and were incredibly powerful and lifelike.

The rest of the day was spent in and out of the tourist office and department of conservation offices trying to book what we will be doing on the South Island. Yawns.

Today, we woke up in a fit of panic because we had a very important appointment to attend at 11am. After a catch up on FaceTime with Jacob and Charlie we headed to Sinatras Tattoo Studio. EEEEEE.

We had decided a few weeks ago what we wanted doing “don’t worry” and “be happy” in each other’s hand writing… Something to tick off the bucket list and a reminder to stop stressing would do me some good. All in all it took about ten minutes each and hurt about as much as I’d expected. I love the result!

 

The rest of the day was spent buying camping gear, a laptop bag and a replacement lens cap. Exciting stuff! Tomorrow we’re up early to get the 9am ferry over to the South Island for Christmas!

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Some proper photos from New York

Well hello,

We’re off to Wellington today!

On the cheapest/worst laptop ever, we’ve managed to get the photos off our big camera, and Tom has started putting them in online albums.

Here’s the first one from New York!

https://flic.kr/s/aHskrazTB2

Weirdly, New York feels like flipping ages ago, like reminiscing on an old holiday. Today I’m feeling like we’re going travelling all over again! Yippee!!

 

 

 

 

“Another day, another dollar.”

Well hello there,

You find us entering our eighth and final week of fruit thinning. There’s a lot of people muttering “another day, another dollar” around here. Catchy.  I’m just amazed that we’ve A) come this far and I haven’t yet fallen off the ladder and died (there’s still time…) B) I haven’t lost my temper and been sacked.

Nothing new to report over here. On a sunny day last week, our Kiwi friend Rochelle took us to the river, and we took some “flagoons” (takeaway beer) with us, so that was a nice change of scenery. We discussed how the supervisors are always yelling “check your tree before you leave!!” And how this might be, in fact some kind of philosophical life motto. Check your tree before you leave. Check your tree before you leave… Mind blowing!

We cycled to the supermarket and discovered that Whitakers chocolate was on offer!

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I also found this banana that was so big that I couldn’t leave it there.

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(I’ve added my passport for scale.) We later discovered that it was a plantain, not a banana. A bit disappointed, but eating plantain was one of my new tasks to try before my birthday, so it’s good to tick one off!!

I’m so delighted that next time I post on here we won’t be in Hastings!!!!!!!!!! Yes!!! It’s been a long week. So long, that Tom invented the “biscuit salad” in order to get us through.

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We’ve bought a laptop, so we should be able to start posting some decent photos for your to see soon. It also means that tom has been able to do some sound stuff, and he’s made a post of all the music we heard in Central Park! Takes me right back. Www.samplingtheglobe.wordpress.com

The majority of our evenings this weekhave been taken up with a Star Wars marathon. I have not watched a single of the six films all the way through without falling asleep. So tired. But very excited for the new film, which we plan to see in Wellington next week!

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So yes, as I said, not much to report, so I’ve decided to compile a list of things I’ve learnt over eight weeks of fruit thinning:

1) I can’t eat apples anymore.

2) The apples we are thinning are exported around the world, and sold in the UK in…. Wait for it…. HARRODS. Harrods daaaaarling! Only the best apples for us, oh yeah!

3) I HATE LADDERS.

4) If there is a god, he/she is responsible for creating audiobooks, the Women’s Hour and Serial podcast, Buffs (for holding your speaker and phone to your neck whilst you work, like a poor man’s hands free device) The Beatles, Newton Faulkner, and rubber palmed gloves. Speaking of audiobooks, I have never felt more British than when a weird sex scene happens on the book I’m listening to, and I have to cough loudly and shuffle around on my ladder so my colleagues won’t hear! Ha!

5) The cure for insomnia is a stress-free, physically tiring job.

6) Yoga is the answer to sore backs.

7) Wear Sunscreen. (Thanks Baz Lurmann.)

8) You will develop a comedy tan involving white hands and feet, which is really useful if you want to be some kind of weird mime artist in a bikini.

9) Pesticides are revolting, and make you sneeze constantly. And if you’re pregnant, you can’t work in the orchards – so it must be pretty harmful…. Which makes me even more glad to be leaving soon!

10) I can complain and whinge as much as I want, but in the end, I’m a lucky lucky person to be able to travel, and leave the job when I want. There’s plenty of people working here who have a family to support.

11) Shit jobs give you a drinking/chocolate consumption problem.

As a final note, here is a selfie that I accidentally took on my phone. I think it’s hilarious!!!!! HA

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When people discover that we’ve been working here for seven weeks, they are really surprised that we’ve survived this long. I like to respond with “yeah I used to look like Kate Moss before we started working here.”

Now I’m like this version of Mossy:

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And then there were two.

Hello there from sunny Hastings.

It is actually sunny. Unbearably sunny on some days. We’ve only just discovered that Hawkes Bay is the hottest area in the entire of New Zealand, so well done us! At least we’re finally working through the kilos of suncream we brought with us, so our bags will be lighter. We’re both getting browner despite larding up with factor 50 every break time at work.

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The observant amongst you may be questioning the name of this post. Well, let me explain. Our lovely friends, Philine and Kerry, and Max and Mathilda were sacked from work, and have had to leave our house. So it’s a little quiet over here. We’re abandoned, miles from the supermarket,  with a distinct lack of chicken parties.

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We’ve arranged to meet them in the South Island in January for a dolphin party, so that’s good.

Work has started at 7am each day this week, leaving us all with thousand yard stares at break times. My tiredness results in me repetitively closing the ladder on my head and also thinking I’m on the bottom step when I’m not and having a mini heart attack when I step off into the air… I’m not spacially aware at the best of times.

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(Above is my bastard of a ladder. He has sharp bits on the reverse of the bottom rung that cut the back of my leg every time it swings shut on it. I’ve got a delightful pair of very bruised and cut up calves now! )

Another highlight of the last week was the meeting on Friday, where the health and safety officer came and shouted at us all for standing on the very top step of the ladder and blaming our idiocy for the three people that fell off the ladders. I had to put my head between my legs and do some yoga breathing to prevent myself from commiting GBH… The supervisors had screamed at us when we were terrified and told us we’d be fired if we didn’t stand on top of the ladders!!!!! ARGHHHHH!!!!

Okay! A few happy things to lighten the mood:

1) Only fifteen working days left until we are free again.

2) We’ve booked flights for March: from Australia to Bali, Bali to Malaysia, and Malaysia to Hong Kong. We now only need to book Hong Kong to Tokyo, Tokyo to Bangkok and then our flight home from whichever South East Asian country we find ourselves in! I’m so excited to be on the move again. I’ll be so happy to leave Hastings.

3) Yesterday I saw a possum in the garden. I was really excited by it, and was telling my backpacking friends at work, when I realised some of the Maori guys had overheard and were absolutely pissing themselves at my excitement. They’re a pest here in NZ…. HA

4) The birds nests. Sometimes they have eggs, or little birds with open mouths waiting for the return of mummy bird. I like to shout “Do I look like your mother!?” at them.

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5) Another funny story… At work we have to remove the russet apples that have orange powder on them because they can’t be sold. Margot, a fellow backpacker from France, was dancing away to her reggae music whilst working, when the supervisor came over and said “there’s lots of russet over here Margot!” (implying that she wasn’t doing a very good job) to which Margot replied, “Yeah, I know, do you like it?!” the supervisor said “no!” and stormed off, leaving Margot puzzled. It turns out, Margot misheard and thought she was talking about “rasta” not “russet.” HA

6) Made friends with Maria, the lovely supervisor from Fiji. She’s working to save money to continue her studies. She’s learning to be pilot and flies here every Sunday. So cool to hear about it!

7)  Starting at 7am this week is leaving me completely exhausted and in bed by 9pm (tiny violin please) but it means I get to see the ducks sleeping on the lawn in the morning.

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8) I’ve just found out that The Corrs have got back together!

9) Chocolate is on offer at the supermarket.

And, my farewell gift to you: please enjoy this very hairy apple I found at work last week:

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