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Kia ora New Zealand!

So, this is what it’s all been about – the resigning from our jobs, saying good bye to family and friends and to my beloved city, the packing of boxes, the travel plans – all for our final destination, New Zealand.

Auckland Harbour

Auckland Harbour

We are staying courtesy of my in-laws while we search for a car, endeavour to find jobs and await the arrival of our shipping boxes.  We had hoped that the boxes would arrive just before us, but annoyingly not the case.  This is unfortunate as we are in the middle of a Kiwi winter and the summer clothes for Argentina are not cutting muster!  It’s FREEZING!….  And when I ask Freedom Shipping where the ship is specific answers are not provided, …. getting nervous!

Actually, as winter in Edinburgh goes, it’s not really freezing here at all,…it just FEELS like it is freezing.  It seems that Kiwi’s are not convinced they have cold winters, so their open plan homes with many a glass door and plenty windows all single glazed and walls lacking any insulation mean the houses feel like caravans on the coldest nights in the middle of no-where as they have no central heating either!  Everyone looks at me like I am mad when I say I am cold, as they consider a Scots lass like me must be used to it.  But in my home in Scotland I would have the heating on and be comfortable walking around the house in a top, with no need of possum cardi on top of numerous merino wool layers, then when heading out I would wrap up as required.  Meanwhile all the way down here the main source of heat seems to be oil heaters and free standing gas bottle heaters – flash backs to my childhood ensue!

Fortunately the in-laws are getting a log fire stove installed and once up and running it will produce a lovely, dry heat.  But the condensation, chill air and cold hot water bottle greets us each morning for the moment.

The government is introducing a grant scheme to assist householders to install sources of heat, like heat pumps (to those with gas central heating, a heat pump is like what we would call an air-conditioning unit, pumping out hot air), and insulate their homes.  In a recent newspaper article it stated that  “New Zealand has one of the worst winter mortality rates in the developed world. About 1600 more people die in winter than summer, an 18 per cent variation”. Apparently “the average internal temperature of a Kiwi home in winter is 16 degrees celsius. The World Health Organisation standard is 18C.”  Bbrrrrrrrr. The Government scheme will officially be called “Warm Up New Zealand: Heat Smart”.

Meanwhile, after the initial cold snap we faced on arrival in Auckland, we have actually had some lovely days where it has been a sunny 17C, which is not at all shabby for winter!

Update – the in-law’s fire is up and running…. and toasty warm to the point of being too hot! 🙂  Unfortunately the heat rises, which doesn’t help the bedroom we are using which is downstairs! 🙁

Posted in Life, Travel.

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