That job I interviewed for before I flew to NZ? I got it! This is especially good news given that after 10min back at work on Monday I was pissed off. And I lost count how many times that day I said “I can’t wait until I leave this place”.
Archive for February, 2012
Or a lot
First up, some Feijoa vodka, picked up in duty free when I arrived in Auckland. Had to be able to pack it in my checked luggage for the trip back, because of all the silly liquid rules they have now, even when you’ve just got off one plane and haven’t left the secure area before getting on a new one (yes, I’m talking about you, Brisbane and Dubai).
And on the drink front, at the other end of the scale there is syrup to make lime milk, mmmmmm.
And some feijoa tea. Mmm, feijoa
And now the parade of sweet somethings. First up some original kiwi flavours, though those two cadbury milk blocks were released in Oz at the same time.
And a bundle of kiwi classics: pinky bars, pixie caramels, a choc fish, peppy chew and caramel chew, jaffas, pebbles, pineapple lumps and eskimos. There were two each of the fish and chews but they didn’t survive the trip home. Don’t worry, I gave them a decent burial in my tummy.
And Griffins biscuits. I was only able to pick up a few: sultana pasties, toffee pops, squiggle tops and shrewsbury biscuits.
Dark choc and nuts anyone? Of course Nestle make the real scorched almonds, but I thought I’d pick up some Cadbury copycats just to see if they compare. And when did peanut slabs start coming in dark choc? Better pick up some while I’m at it.
And some classic kiwi treats for easter.
Then there’s the treats you can get in NZ and Oz but seemingly nowhere else unless you want to pay a packet. Like picnic and cherry ripe
And tim tams
And of course peanut butter (haven’t found a comparable one here yet), vegemite and NZ honey.
Of course, no bag full of goodies is complete without the ingedients for the classic kiwi dip
And good ol’ Watties strikes again with yummy savoury must-haves
Since I knew I couldn’t get my favourite chilli sauce in NZ, I asked my brother to bring some with him (he came over my first weekend there). He kindly threw in some Byron Bay sauce as a bonus.
And before you ask, yes, the above is all for my personal stash. I’ll ration it out so it’ll last me at least 12 months. But I did pick up some small bundles for others.
But I know what you all really want to see is my impulse buy in the jewellery store. Here you go, two polar bears hugging.
Told you you couldn’t guess what I’d got
As promised, here is a post from the train on my way home. I should be home in about 1.5 hours, though the train has just been stopped for a while (we were told it was due to kids throwing stones at the trains from the railway bridge near Swindon), so maybe it’ll be later. Hopefully not by too much though as I’m really hanging out for a shower.
Thanks for the welcome-back’s I got from my last post. I’ve missed blogland and am looking forward to catching up with everyone. I’ll start replying to individual comments again from this post, now that I’m almost home and will have some more time.
So what have I been doing in my absence? Well aside from trying to grapple with some grief and a last-minute trip to NZ, I’ve been busy applying for jobs. I had a phone interview for one over near Cambridge just a few days before I flew out. Then a follow up phone interview for the same job the morning I flew out, and I got an email while I was away asking me to do a technical test. Basically this means write some code to do two tasks and email it to them. They knew I was away though, so I have until Wed to do it. Fingers crossed it all goes well. The tech test seems fairly easy, but there’s always the chance that I won’t solve it the way they want me to.
I’ve also submitted two more applications for jobs at the same place, so I’m waiting to hear whether I have any more interviews.
On the knitting front, my Feb plans for the spring shawl fell apart. First because I needed to quickly knit up a shawl using the second batch of wool I bought for Granny. It had to be finished and blocked before I left for NZ. Thankfully, I managed to get it done in time, and Granny loved it.
Oh, and yes, you will see the jewellery I bought at Auckland airport. I’ll take a photo this weekend and show you in my next post. I can guarantee that none of you would be able to guess/imagine what it is before I show you. Yes, I know, I’m such a tease. I’ll also share the huge amount of foodstuffs I brought back with me. Just imagine, a 12kg outgoing suitcase with lots of room, a 30kg allowance, an epic supermarket visit to stock up on kiwi favourites that I can’t get here or pay a huge price for.
And of course there were the things I made sure I had while I was there that couldn’t be brought back. Like fresh feijoa juice, hokey pokey tip top ice cream, boysenberry trumpet (also tip top ice cream), jelly tip (another tip top ice cream, what can I say, they make the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted and it was warm and sunny), mainland tasty cheese, and choc-mint milk (though I have an idea how to make that last one).
While I was in NZ I spent most of my time visiting Granny, but I was also able to catch up family members that I haven’t seen in quite some time. I stayed with one of my cousins. We’d only seen each other briefly twice since I was a kid, so it was great to be able to get to know her as an adult. And also to get to know her new husband. They seem the perfect fit – similar in ways they need to be, different in ways they need to be. Evenings were often very entertaining.
We also saw footage of Granny’s wedding for the first time. She was beautiful! And Grandad was very handsome! I wonder why the looks in the family didn’t pass down, ah well, lol. I spent one afternoon with Granny going through old photo albums, and so I’m also travelling home with a usb stick of scanned photos. Including one each of Granny and Grandad as chubby little toddlers . The wedding photos need to be scanned professionally though, so my cousin will get those done and send them to me.
So there you have it, my absence was busy, stressful, emotional and sentimental, but also with plenty of laughter, possibilities and food thrown in.
Thanks everyone for the supportive messages. It’s been a busy and stressful time and I’ve really appreciated knowing you’re all out there. I’m behind on reading blogs, but I’m trying to catch up. Mostly I haven’t been leaving comments but I’ll hopefully be back to normal online presence next week.
I’m now sitting in the Auckland airport waiting to board my flight back to the UK. Via Brisbane and Dubai. It’s been an emotional trip so partof me is glad to be on my way home. But a bigger part of me wanted to stay. I do however have a suitcase full of essential kiwi snacks to give me a taste of home. Literally
I’ll post again when I’m on the train to Cardiff on Sat. I have lots to fill you in on, but for now a word of advice…. Don’t go into a duty free jewelery shop when you’re feeling depressed.
Well, there’s the boarding call. That means if there’s no delay, I’ll be touching down in London in a mere 31 hours and 5 mins. ‘Til then…