Sunday, February 27, 2005

I must be moved in, we have had a house warming party...

(Disclaimer: some of this was previously written in a letter to a friend. Hi Donald!)

So after a week of University I feel a need to take stock. I'm liking getting to mooch around in my pyjamas in the morning and very carefully selected tutorial slots to be no earlier than 11am. (Joy.) My cat has finally arrived (see below), the weather has been gorgeous although is today overcast and windy. For the weather I'm blaming Alan who is visiting for the weekend - he must have brought it down with him. Also, we now have a broadband internet connection so I don't have to trek all the way into town to get access to email. (Double joy.)

Last night we had a house warming party so I guess that officially we're moved in. ;-)
Babe finally made the last two hour car journey to Wellington yesterday. She's coping pretty well, although a bit grumpy about not being allowed outside. We went out for a sniff this morning and I accidentally let her get out of sight for a couple of minutes and then found that I couldn't find her - she'd dissapeared into the undergrowth somewhere. After about 5 minutes she turned up again, so I delayed having a heart attack for the moment.

University has been good. I get to read the Chronicles of Narnia as homework (my Gran didn't believe me when I told her), manicly trying to memorise Latin vocabulary, and reading Middle English to Elizabethan love poetry, some of which is extremely smutty. The first couple of art classes were a bit dull, but hopefully they'll liven up a bit. I've also found that there's an SF group and a Gaming group on campus, so I think I shall be wandering up to their events and seeing what they're like.

I'm learning to navigate like a Wellingtonian. That means working out the easiest ways to gain altitude (like crossing the street, going into a building, taking a lift up 2 floors then crossing the street again via an overbridge) and maintaining altitude once you've got it. Unfortunately, the maps don't contain topographical information, so you pretty much have to 'know' the streets in question. However trust me on this one - you do not want to go down into a valley unless you absolutely have to.

Love to all,


Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Watch Out Wellington ... Again

So the movers gave me trouble with when my stuff was going to arrive and I finished all the errands that I needed to run so I ended up going back to Palmerston North to visit Catherine again. I'm back now, the weather is great, my gear is finally here and I had a reverse negotiation with my landlord over rent.

Me: "Y'know, I rechecked my finances. I'm not as poor as I thought I'd be. Do you want me to raise my rent to X?" (previously we'd negotiated my rent at a discount because I'm a poor student.)
Norman: "I had a look at prices around here. Do you want to lower it to Y?"
Me: "Sure. Aren't we doing this the wrong way around?"

I will leave you all with the mystery of why packing materials take up more space when the things that they've been packed with have been removed even when I'm taking care to stack them in neatly.

Missing the Auckland contingent heaps,

Love to all,


Thursday, February 10, 2005

Watch out, Wellington

So I finally made it here.

Taking the train down from Palmerston North I remembered again how beautiful the hills are. I somehow always forget when I'm away from them.

I'm living in Kingston. Even native Wellingtonions don't seem to know where that is - a bit south of Vogeltown and a bit north of Happy Valley. Norman (me landlord) is a nice guy, but I get the impression that he will be out a lot in the near future - I think he's busy at work and that.

This is my first full day and I've been doing important things like:
1. Finding out about bus and train timetables. I went to the train station counter and asked for bus timetables. The nice chap pointed me in the right direction. Then I asked about train timetables. To Waikanae. He slumped in defeat so I hastily changed it to Paraparaumu which he could help me with. Apparently the commuter trains all stop in Parapaumu which is only about 5km south of Waikane. Go figure. (Waikanae is where my gran lives.)
2. Getting a map (which promptly lost itself, which is a bad start. However, it turned outself in, so I'm letting it off with a warning.)
3. Getting a library card. The library is where I am now, actually, they have internet access and everything.
4. Inviting myself to my brother's house for dinner. It's good to let him know who's boss, early. Then he invited me to the Botanical Gardens to watch an open air viewing of Amelie. Maybe he's trying to show that he's boss. Hmm. I must think on this. ...

More later.


Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Watch Out, Palmerston North

I'm here.

It's gone pretty well so far. Babe made an ill-judged dash for her food bowl about half past 11 and found herself unceremoniously stuffed into the bathroom for the rest of the day. She seems to like her new cage, which is reinforced plywood and very enclosed. At least, she spent most of her day hiding inside it. Was highly unimpressed about the plane trip (OK, so I might have told her that she was being sold for medical experiments), but took it pretty well and is very relaxed about wandering around Catherine's house.

Watching a cat explore a new house always make me think of a Feng Shui dragon. She keeps making circuits around the house checking out all the nooks and crannies that she can find and checking them for fit and smell. She has been very quietly and gracefully trying to ooze herself out through a window so I'm guessing she's not hugely worried about life right now.

(I should add that I found when travelling to South Africa for a holiday that having Catherine along meant that I had someone to fuss over, which was a good outlet for travel nerves. I think that Babe has taken over that role, hence my obsessive detailing of her movements. ;-) )


Monday, February 07, 2005

Up, up and away...

OK, I'm moving tomorrow.

My life has been condensed into 4 cubic metres of stuff (or at least that's what the nice people at the moving company are charging me for), a suitcase of clothes and a cat. My pot plants are on long term loan to a friend, I have purchased an industrial grade cat cage that the airline will accept, I have purged a lot of books I don't read anymore and clothes I don't wear anymore and my room is almost down to remnants of furniture with set squares, miscellaneous CDs, a padlock, a letter holder, unused envelopes, scissors, hair stuff and all the little bits and pieces that just don't pack up easily.

Most of my forms have been filled out, the movers turn up tomorrow at lunch time and my sister is expecting me and the cat. Her name is Babe by the way. Somehow I suspect that with all this, she still hasn't worked out that we're moving yet. She's purring far too much to have pre-move nerves.

More later. (Wellington, here I come.)

^%*^%$ I can't find my cat!!!

I guess she's figured out that something's up after all.

I have six hours and twenty one minutes to lay my hands on her scruffy little neck.