March 2005

Kia Ora

We have been trying out the restaurants in and around Hamilton. So far we have tried Cook’s, Ziglini’s, Lone Star and Indian Aroma. For Ann’s birthday we went to Narrows Landing, a hotel just outside Hamilton.

 

Small servings at Narrows Landing !

 

The office block where Peter works is at the river end of London Street, right in the heart of the city. The river is about 1 minute from the front door of the office through Kirikiriroa Park.

The office block from Kirikiriroa Park

Kirikiriroa Park

 

We drove out across the Kaimai Ranges to the beach at Mount Maunganui to do a ‘recce’ – as Ann is taking a group of students there to support her topic ‘Summer’ (covering English, Maths, Science & PSHE). It was beautiful. Gorgeous white sand, lots of space and hot, hot sun! (even though it’s officially Autumn)!

 

Payday comes around a bit quicker out here. The norm is to get paid fortnightly, this means that every week it’s payday for one of us.

We have been on an outing with the Bonsai club to Thames on the Coromandel Peninsula. The outing consisted of calling at a couple of nurseries, a walk in the bush (our first), collecting stones from the riverbed and collecting driftwood from the beach. A very enjoyable day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ann looking at an immature Kauri tree whilst walking in the bush at Kauaeranga

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Looking for rocks in the river

 

 

Collecting driftwood at Thames

 

Driving standards around here are a bit ‘Hit and Miss’, most of the time they just manage to miss. We have seen several incidents at roundabouts and traffic lights. Tailgating is a big problem and there are quite a few letters in the newspapers regarding driving standards. This may be due to allowing 15 year olds to drive.

On Wednesday 16th there was a power cut affecting the whole of Hamilton and the surrounding districts. Ann drove over to pick up Peter and found traffic actually calmer than normal!!! Peter had gone over to the pub as they couldn’t do any work at the office (makes sense).

Shopping hours are strange, either they are open for long hours or close down early. One supermarket is open 24 hours a day – except Christmas day, another is open from 7 am till 10 pm every day. Other shops may only open from 9 am till 12 pm on Saturday. Shopping trolleys are called Trundlers.

There are a lot of personalised numberplates, the usual plate is 2 or 3 letters followed by 3 or 4 numbers, but with personalised plates anything goes.

The postman is a very trusted individual over here. Because the mail delivery is early morning (not like the UK) postmen have keys to all buildings/offices/schools etc so they can drop the mail into reception! Private homes have a post box at the end of the drive for mail or it can be delivered to a post box in the local post office where you can collect it any time of the day or night.

 

 

We’ve been for a drive to Tirau, a village about 30kms past Cambridge (south of Hamilton). The town is famous for using corrugated iron in interesting ways. The Tourist Information is in the shape of a sheepdog and the woollen shop next door is in the shape of a sheep. Many of the other shops have signs on the roofs done in corrugated iron.

The sign outside the church at Tirau – next door to the Tourist Information centre,

 

 

 

Some of the shop signs at Tirau (ever seen a cow shopping? – you have now!!)

 

For Easter we went to another restaurant. This one, Tables, is right in the centre of Hamilton on the banks of the river. The food was superb and we didn’t feel over-dressed like we did at Narrows Landing. We shall definitely be going back there.