Saturday, January 15, 2011

How to all started...

My life had a rhythm and a flow. It was predictable but it was a good life.  All that changed when my husband Richard lost his job last October.  They say most people can last on their savings for 1-2 paychecks and they are probably right.  It was incredibly stressful and a time that tested our relationship in so many ways.  After countless job interviews and almosts and then thanks but no thanks, we had to question what we were doing.  One night after a very small bottle of wine, I threw a stupid question out there - "Why are doing this to ourselves, maybe someone out there is trying to tell us something." Now I am not one of those "the universe is talking to me" kind of people, but it seemed like this was an us as a family at a cross roads in our life where we had an opportunity to make a change. 

That comment made by a very tipsy woman was taken literally by Richard and before I knew it he was looking at jobs, houses, schools, commutes ect.  It started to sound good - a life slower, relaxed and in a stunning environment.  Why not, I'd be stupid to turn it down and before I knew it I was getting excited about a life in New Zealand. 

We researched Auckland and realised that was just moving from one large city to another (I know it is smaller).  If we were going to make this change - why not make it a big one.  We chose the South Island and Christchurch for its' beauty and location to everything in the South Island, it is small and friendly and seemed like a complete change to what we were used to. 

Without either or us ever having been to Christchurch, we applied for jobs, looked at schools and made appointments to view houses and flew over at the start of December not knowing if we would love it or hate it.  Of course, like most people we loved it - it is a beautiful city with friendly people and so much to offer.  We secured a house and school and decided we would move - the only thing we didn't have was a job. 

Luckily, that was our new year's present.  Richard had applied for a job with Christchurch City Council and after completing a very long online application knew he had no chance of success.  A week later, he was informed he had made it through to the second stage and had to complete an online test.  Even more convinced of failure after completing this mammoth exam, he made it through to the final stage and was offered the job.  What a surprise and a great one at that.  This amazing city is aiming at zero landfill and the job is to work with the company that gives new life to the masses of rubbish that plague any city.  Turning glass, plastic and other waste into something useable again and educating companies on how they can follow suit. It is so nice to get paid to do something you are passionate about and it good for our planet.

Now was the hard part, to leave an amazing group of friends, an incredible school that the kids and I loved and my family.  We moved to Lane Cove at the start of 2010 thinking it would mean being closer to the school but never believing it would be a life changing move.  I don't think it would have been if we had moved anywhere but Cogan Place, quite simply the best street on earth!  Even writing this makes me sad thinking of the street.  It was one of those streets where your neighbours turn out to be great friends and a Saturday afternoon can end up with everyone sitting on your front lawn, having a wine and nibbles and playing street cricket.  It was incredible and the best 11 months I have ever had living anywhere!  So leaving was very, very hard and I haven't even touched on Currambena or my parents!

Saying that, we did get on the plane of the 14th January and fly 3 short hours to start our new life.  And here we are.  All this rambling bought me to this point. We arrived yesterday and knew instantly that we had made a move for the better.  I bought a car on the internet (stupid I know except this is Christchurch we are talking about) and was sure my deposit had ended up in Nigeria or we would be driving away in a wreck, instead we were met by the most wonderful, honest and generous used car salesman you could ever meet and were given the keys to a fantastic, almost new Subaru Forester (pronounced Su-baar-ru).  Amazing, it restored my trust in humanity! 

The house we rented sits above the small, seaside village of Sumner.  A stunning town that looks out over the ocean with quaint little cafes (serving the best coffee Rich has ever tasted) and has a perpetual holiday atmosphere.  From every room in the house we have a view down the valley to the village and the ocean beyond.  Even the kids have not missed the beauty with Mia commenting that going to the toilet is so special because of the view you get when sitting on the toilet. 

Today was spent running around getting all the necessary ingredients to set up an empty house.  You know it's going well, when after 5 hours of trudging around the city and different shops with the kids in tow, they aren't whinging "When are we finished, I'm bored".  We are all set up and now all we need is the furniture.

So I am sitting here writing the first of many blogs, watching the sun setting over the ocean.  The light is touching the water and highlighting the mountains, the clouds are swirling in, forming amazing images and I have a glass of Marlborough Sav Blanc in my hand.  My life has taken a massive turn and I am, right now, loving it!  I will let you know how it goes....


  1. I've come to believe that a decision made with courage and love can never end up being a bad thing.

    I'm looking forward to following all of your adventures, and wish you all the love in the world.



  2. Hey Amanda,

    Thanks once again for the gift of confidence you gave Grace in swimming! While we'll miss you, if things are falling so easily into place, it can only be the right thing.

    All the best,


  3. We have just arrived back from camping and already the street is just not the same without you. I already miss the impromptu street parties and the great energy you guys brought with you. Sounds like you have made the right decision and I can just see you at your desk with that wonderful view you have to suffer daily. Tell Richard I had a Summer Ale every night and thought of you each time I opened one - now that's a great legacy! Will be following your blog to see how you are doing and hope you will drop in and see us soon. xx :)

  4. Welcome to Christchurch! :)

    I hope you don't mind a random comment from a total stranger, but I was looking at blogs from some Chch, NZ people last night and yours popped up! :)

    I could not imagine just up and moving to a completely new country, but, you did pick a good place to move to...not that I'm biased or anything! ;)