Yes you read that right, we are still furniture-less! In a peak of optimism we did rush out the other weekend to buy a new TV cabinet, thinking that the rental table we were using to stand the TV on would shortly be being returned, needless to say that's what I am resting on to type! However just having one extra piece of furniture has helped make things more homely so we can't wait until we finally take delivery of our container. The good news is the ship has docked, our container has been offloaded and inspected by MAF, we are just waiting for Customs to inspect it now before it can be delivered. Fingers (toes, knees, eyes etc) crossed that that happens before Lars and Signe (Ras' dad and sister) arrive in mid December.
Dave, a work colleague of Ras' from Nottingham Uni has also joined Lanzatech and is staying with us until he finds a place of his own (or until Lars and Signe arrive, whichever comes first) so we have been showing him some of the sights of Auckland. The first weekend he was here we took him to Cleveland Agriculture and Produce Show, I do love a good country show and this was no exception. Who wouldn't love Ba ba sheep racing, sheep shearing competitions, axe chopping competitions, chainsaw wood carving, sheep dog trials, marching bands and horse training? I think Ras was more impressed by the food and beer stands not to mention the vast array of farm machinery and Bbqs all gleaming to be purchased. Not sure what Dave made of his introduction to New Zealand but we had a good time. We followed it up the following weekend with a trip to Auckland Highland Games so Dave could connect with his Scottish Heritage (and I could enjoy burly men in kilts). Lots of Highland Dancing and Bagpipe playing but sadly no caber tossing, I was most disappointed. We still managed to have a good wander around, a cream tea and Freya managed to come away with Angus the Highland Bear (thanks Uncle Dave).
Siteseen have also included trips to the beach both local and the west coast beaches (black sand beaches) with a little detour via Karekare waterfalls.
St Heliers Beach
Karekare waterfall / beach / picnic area
It was Freya's first birthday on 25th November and we celebrated by going out for breakfast and a quick walk along the beach before Ras and Dave had to go to work. We managed to spread the opening of presents over two whole days. Freya is very pleased with Nessie the big green furry rocking horse/dinosaur (thanks again Uncle Dave), her little pink trike, pull along duck and furry monkey and we are all very grateful for the new books! Thanks to everyone that sent cards, presents and birthday wishes, they were all very gratefully received and made her first birthday away from 'home' very special. We had a 'birthday picnic' at Auckland Zoo on the Saturday with some friends from Lanzatech, silly hats, party blowers and birthday cake included.
On another Freya note, the little Munchkin is getting very adept at walking, which is great as we no longer have to mix our own drinks.
All in all there is not much to report, the weather is getting warmer and sunnier, and the days of rain further apart. Now we are just looking forward to the Christmas season as a few days off to enjoy some family time. So long for now and lots of drool from Freya.