Right we try again, after our lovely internet connection let us down last Sunday and decided to crash just as the blog was about to be saved, you can be "treated" to a two week blog. More fun for everyone!
So since last we updated, we have discovered that there are native wild parakeets called Keas (we think) and that a couple seem to be breeding in our neighbour's garden. Very pretty and colourful. There also seems to be a couple of Tuis breeding in the Tea Tree just outside our bedroom windows. Tuis are best described as the magpies (Skade paa dansk) larger slightly scruffy cousin, that are the life and soul of the party for their ability to immitate things, like car alarms, mobile phones etc and in general just being loud..... at about 4.30 in the morning. Luckily we do seem to be getting used to it and don't notice SO much anymore.
On the work front things are going well, I still have to ask where everything is and get used to all the new equipment and different kits, AND get used to the fact that we are NOT in a country with a massive scientific community so a lot of things need to be shipped from The States, Australia or wherever the nearest supplier / werehouse is. It's all good though and i'm getting used to it. The company is taking good care of us with free group lunches about every two weeks (ish) and Friday beers every friday in the coffee/tea room. Also when I don't get around to packing a lunch in the morning the choices in the neighbourghood where LanzaTech is situated is truly great, not just your dry sandwich from the Students Union or Boots.
On the social/ sightseeing front we have had a couple of good outings. Last Saturday (the 10th) we went with my work group out for lunch in a lovely little organic cafe on the North Shore and afterwards drove up to a place called Wenderholm Regional Park, which is a lovely little recreational area about an hours drive north of Auckland, where we had a nice walk along the beach and the river.
Sunday we went into town to buy the last of the absolute essentials .... a TV so we can watch the world cup :)
As usual the work week started quicker than anticipated and before we knew it it was Monday and my first cycle to work down here, nice bike, nice route so all good should be in shape in on time.... besides the fact that on Monday evening we all came down with a noro virus like thing and I don't think we need to eleborated on that. Besides that we are finally all back to normal now.
We also had some firewood delivered on Monday to see us through the rest of winter, and here is a lesson to you all; if firewood is sold for about half the price there probably is a reason for it, like it not being dried out ......... yea, we are having lots of fun trying to keep the old fire going!
Friday finally arrived and work finished at 14.30 (with a few beers at 14.00, of course) so that people could get home or get down to the harbour front to see the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup. We had planned to go down and see the 20 Waka's (long Maori canoes) and the 600 man Haka (Maori war dance), BUT.... a certain young lady decided that crying is lot more fun than sleeping, so those plans were quickly revised. As it turned out it was quite lucky that we did not go to the harbour front. They had expected 100,000 people but 200,000 showed up so most people couldn't see anything and it was VERY crowded, not really a place for Freya. Instead we had plenty of time at home before we walked down to Tamaki Yacht club ('s parking lot) to watch the massive fireworks display over the City, which was very cool and very beautiful. On the way there we stopped in Mission Bay for a lovely Mexican meal while overlooking the sea. Freya's facial expression when the mariachi band came to play for us was priceless, a kind of "WHAT ON EARTH IS THIS" type face.
Saturday we just spent at home enjoying the sunshine and doing bits around the house (what turned out to be some of the last of the sunshine for awhile). On Sunday some sort of weather front must have hit (and not left again yet) because it was a proper torential downpour. After the broadband man had been and gone (without much success, it is however working now) we decided that we weren't going to sit in and look at the rain so we went to Kelly Tarltons Underwater World. Kelly Tarlton's is a brilliant aquatic zoo type place. They have a great sub Antarctic penguin "room" which is a huge room where they keep the temperature and the light conditions as they are in the sub-Antarctic and have a fairly large colony of King and Gento penguins. You get driven around the colony in a little "snowcat" replica on tracks. Freya LOVED it and just stared out at the penguins the entire time. The rest is divided into the stingray bay, the shark tank, oceanium and fish alley. We saw the short tailed sting rays get fed, DAMN they are big and very graceful creatures. The Shark tank and the Oceanium are linked and you go through it on a conveyer belt so you see everything through underwater plexiglass tunnels, very cool to see sharks and other fish just swim all around you. Fish alley is just a number of tanks with various fish in them, including a large tank with the largest lobsters I have ever seen in, looking like something out of Aliens. All in all avery lovely day out finishing off with a walk along the windswept beachfront, before we got forced (by yet another massive downpour) into a Moevenpick shop for an icecream and a cup of coffee.
So all in all a couple of good weeks (if we decide to ignore the 3-4 days of feeling crap). We hope everyone at home (UK, Denmark, wherever you are) are doing well.
Hopefully more adventures to follow soon."