for years we kept hearing about this real estate boom and decided it was time to get in on the action – hope it’s not too late?
after 2 1/2 years of looking and countless open houses (probably close to 100 for the jboss) we finally have a signed contract on a house. it will be great to have a place of our own. makes it all seem less temporary.
if you ask the realtor she will say the house is in island bay, when actually it is in southgate – a tiny neighborhood on the ridge overlooking island bay. but we think of it as an extension of island bay – just like the bronx is an extension of manhattan.
we are going to create the story of how southgate broke away from island bay – stay tuned for that.
- 14A Buckley Road
- settlement date: 14-JAN
- moving date: 15-JAN
- phone (unchanged) 04 971 6426
nice view from the deck
mini deck off the main room for coffee in the morning.
one large main room with kitchen, dining room and lounge (living room) combined.
main room with views out over island bay and the cook straight.
open modern kitchen.
another in our series of long city walks, today we did the “go the distance” walk along the wellington harbour, and then extended it by walking the rest of the way home via the southern coast. 16.93 km (10.52 miles) from start to finish.
there is common phrase said throughout nz that “you can’t beat wellington on a fine day” (partly a dig by the aucklanders given we are prone to frequent southerlies) and today was definitely one of those fine days.
the tramp started at queens wharf where one of the local hardware stores was sponsoring a fishing-off-the-pier day for kids. a common fixture at events like this is the sausage sizzle where you’ll get a sausage from the grilled wrapped in piece of white bread. usually free or $1 – today was free courtesy of carters. you can see the jboss standing at the zero marker with her pre-tramp sausage
the city council and several organizations have rescued the hikitia – the world’s oldest working crane ship from the scrap yard. built in scotland in 1924 it has been in near continuous use since and is currently going through a detailed restoration. the air new zealand employees volunteers are striping an old window using dental tools…
we had to make a quick stop at the “santa line” so jackie could add a few things to her list. telecom sets up a giant tree in one of the parks along the harbour and has 3 santa line phone boxes for the youngsters (and the jboss) to pass along their wish lists.
row of boat houses along oriental bay. all along the oriental parade is a string of tiny parks. just one of the little things that makes a great livable city.
the panorama is from the bench in the shade under the overhang.
view of wellington harbour from balaena bay. the council has recently rehabs the park at evans bay adding these wooden loungers. the jboss stops for a snooze.
great old build at the bus terminal. surfers, swimmers and walkers along lyall bay.
lyall bay is one of the all times dog friendly beaches. during summer gromit is not allowed on our island bay beach between 9am and 7pm. dad and a wee one scrambling on the rocks with the rimutakas in the background.
wedding ceremony out on rocks near waitaha cove. the surfers waiting for a wave at houghton bay. i’m always amazed at how close to the rocks they are.
with a population of almost 400,000 i have found wellington to have almost all the big city things i would want – arts, entertainment, sports, restaurants, shops, etc.
but what i’m really happy about is the small town feel. most weeks i’ll have some small town experience that will make my day.
- i’m at a family run shop in the cbd buying some preszzies (presents) for the jboss’ birthday. i take 3 items to the counter. the owner rings them up and says “oh my – that’s too much!” she has rung up the correct prices, but she then rings them up again but this time totaling $30 less. “that’s better!”
- there is a popular coffee shop right outside my office that i stop at a few times a week. within a week of me starting to get my coffee there victor the owner knew my name and what i always get – large flat white, blue milk (2%) and no sugar. note that there are hundreds of people who get their coffee from victor every day and victor knows them all and what they order.
- [note: i officially condemn the following unless it benefits me] i usually chat with victor the coffee guy while he’s making my coffee. i’ve noticed that if i show up and there are several orders ahead of me somehow victor gets confused and my coffee comes out first… bad victor, bad.
- one day i’m scooting along on my vespa and it just conks out. i call aa (the nz equivalent of the aaa in the states) and soon the aa truck pulls up and the aa guy starts trying to figure out what’s gone wrong. the service guy is a big dude with giant hands, and the engine compartment on the vespa is tiny, but he’s hard at it and within 10 minutes has me on the road again. he explains what he has done and suggests i take to the vespa shop soon to have then check over his fix. it’s been a long time since i had my vehicle actually repaired roadside. next day i take it to mr. skoot for a full checkup. when i pick up up he explains that my spark plug was cracked and that he replaced it and the connecting wire. he asks if $20 is ok? $20 for service including parts.
- maybe once a month i have lunch at a small family run malaysian cafe. none of the plates match. the paint on the tables is faded. mom & dad in the kitchen. daughter #1 at the register. they know what i usually get and when i walk in just gesture for me sit down and soon bring over my lunch.
- during our summer holiday last year i lost a small (but critical) part for my 10 year old mountain bike. i stopped in one of the bike shops near work and explained what i wanted. they guy pulls me back into the repair shop and starts digging through a big box of used parts similar to what i need. soon enough he finds one that will work. back to the register and he asks “is $2 ok?”
- i get my coffee beans at one of the 5 coffee roasters within 2 blocks of my office. the price is per 100g (3.5 oz) so i usually get 500g to last the week. i’m buying them directly from the coffee roaster dude who always fills the 500g bag so that not another bean could fit. he always puts it on the scale just to be sure it’s at least 500g, but i’ve never see it weigh in at under 600g despite him only charging me for 500. my experience in boston would be them putting the bag on the scale, it saying 510g and them then removing beans to bring it back down to 500.
- the bus driver waving to me as i step off the bus.
today we completed the longest and most challenging of the wellington city walks – the city to sea.
19.8km (12.3 miles) along the western ridge line from parliament to the southern coast.
except we did in reverse starting at our house, heading down to the island bay coast and then heading into the city.
5 1/2 hours after we started we arrived at parliament and caught a bus back to island bay – quite exhausted.
from the elevation map you can see that there was quite a climb.
starting our climb to the hills overlooking island bay. looking out at cook straight with taputeranga island in the foreground.
wildflowers lining the track. the jboss at the top of the ridge. many miles to go…
the jboss takes in the view of the island bay and the southern coast. in the unexpected category, a buddhist monastery in the hills overlooking island bay.
cricket and a kite
looking back to the southern coast – and then north towards the city and inner harbour.
the ultimate volvo with it’s own garden.
today we went for a tramp at queen elizabeth park along the western shore about a hour north of wellington.
we didn’t see the queen – but i’m guessing that she’s a bit harder to spot in her tramping gear.
we started in the middle of the park, walking north along the beach, then heading south on the inland path, before finishing with a walk north along the shore back to our starting point.
in the early days the shore was the primary highway for north-south travel in the region.
recently i’ve been using a gps receiver to tag the location of my photos. you can also get a great map of your tramp.
not the south part of central park – but a southern central park.
wellington has it’s own dog friendly small urban central park that has just been completed a rehab, so today we all went for a short tramp.
gromit was happy to see the water fountain has a built in dog bowl.
today was the first of our big city tramps – the southern walkway. 12km (75 miles) from island bay to oriental bay along the eastern ridge.
out starting point is shortland park, in island bay next to the coast. the old public toilets have been taken over by the dunes.
looking back on island bay and the cook straight from mount albert.
one of the many “workingmen’s bowling clubs.” this one quite secluded in the town belt.
the council has just complete a mountain bike skills area. i’ll say that we’ll be back to give it a try, but i should know better.
air new zealand has launched a series of commercials under the banner of “nothing to hide“
they’ve also made redone their preflight safety video.
you will not be seeing this on any us airline anytime soon.
[click on the image for the video]
all the videos are on youtube here including bloopers and behind the scenes
the guy with the grey hair in the behind the scenes video is the ceo.
friday was my last day at company “e2, an h2 company” and today my first day at company t.
not much of a change since whilst i at company e2 i had been on assignment at company t – so same job title, same location (one desk to the left), and many of the same people. but i have always enjoyed my time at company t and I look forward to working with them more as a member of their team than as a supplier.
i’ve taken a bit of a chance since i’ve moved from a “permanent” role to a contractor position, but i think in today’s economic conditions there is no such thing as a permanent position, especially at company e2 where the ceo is ruthlessly “repositioning” the company whilst collecting the largest cash bonus of any ceo in the states. plus company t is a new zealand company and has a more balanced view of profits-at-any-costs, and is much less likely to toss employees overboard to make a few more dollars for the shareholders.
one particular item during my new hire training that i found humourous. during my early days in boston my employer would frequently send out a memo with the spending limits for the senior staff: ceo: $100k, vps: $50k, directors: $25k, managers: 10k. me and my colleagues were not listed so we would update the list by including our names at the bottom: antony: $0, david: $0, sheila: $0. over the next 20 years i was able to break through the $0 barrier and be granted increasing financial authority. that all changed with our move to nz. during my induction training company policies were reviewed including that as a contractor i have no authority to spend company funds – my “delegated financial authority” is $0.
day 11 and the final stop on our trip is dunedin. founded in the mid 1800’s by scottish settlers and now home of nz’s largest uni, the university of otago, dunedin definitely had a university town feel to it.
many of early settlers came from edinburgh and the city has very similar architecture.
every saturday morning there is a large market day at the train station. heaps of great stalls – butchers, artisan break makers, bakers, fish mongers, farmers, flower growers, coffee (a nz must have) and my favourite – the garlic man.
the train station built in 1906 is fantastic – but unfortunately no longer being used for regular train service. it it is now occupied be several restaurants and art galleries.
we spent quite a bit of time at the otago settlers museum which is housed in the art deco former new zealand railroad repair shed. great exhibits on the early days. they had a early settler’s room with photos of the initial founding families. i’m guessing the foster’s below didn’t have have the same as much immigration paperwork as we did. they sure had it easy, eh?…
we next tried to visit the cadbury chocolate factory but the umpa lumpa’s union seem to negotiated the day off. hard to get a good umpa lumpa these days!. on to the speight’s brewery tour only to be turned away again. for some reason there was too much demand for free beer on a hot summer day.
more edinburgh inspired architecture around the cbd and at the university of otago.
baldwin is billed as the world’s steepest residential street.
we got a laugh out of these plaques in sidewalk about town. seems they have forbidden sitting puppies.
looking out over the city from the lookout