Thursday, 28 January 2010


I always knew that emigrating would bring mood swings, and it hasn't all been me bouncing around like a little puppy. There have been moments where I have wondered whether it was all worth it, and what we were really doing so far away from friends and family.

Fortunately, those moods don't tend to last very long...

Yesterday was really a euphoria day :-D I got into town ready to meet up with my new colleagues. Whilst I'm not going to be starting until the 8th Feb, Kerry is leaving on Friday, and wanted to introduce me to Kevin, my new boss, who started on Tuesday, and also the lady who is doing my job at the moment, and who will be moving on on the 18th to study in Oz. I also had to meet up with my HR rep, who needed to get some paperwork from me, and also get me to correct a mistake I'd made on my tax form (it really is confusing until you've had it explained to you!)

I arrived a tad early, and so had a bit of a chat with the receptionist whilst I waited for Fiona to come downstairs. She's just finished learning level one of the NZ sign language, so it will be interesting to see if we can get together and find out what the differences between OzLang and BSL are. Then I headed into the break-room with Fiona to go through my paperwork. This was the first "bounce" point. Most break rooms have a kettle and toaster, a microwave if you are lucky. This one, with a floorprint of at least three quarters of our house, not only had the above, but two huge fridges, a dishwasher, a toasted sandwich maker, an oven and an outside patio with a BBQ! One of the team was about to get married, so they were going to have a celebration morning tea for him, and someone was making scones - the smell was amazing! I'm actually going to be working on the twelfth floor, and this was on the second, so I think I will need the exercise on the stairs just to work off all the extra goodies I'm going to be eating! (plans already afoot to take pre-mixed cookie dough in...)

There were a number of conversations regarding the fire drill that they had just had, and I was able to talk about the Innogistic fire drill which had actually included a real fire... Cue being jumped on with excitement at the thought of another fire warden on the team, so I might have accidentally put my hand up for that... But only if I get paid to go on the First Aid at Work course - the receptionist is also about to go on one, so I might get to sneak on that with her (I am missing my First Aid qualification - it lapsed in October, and I don't like the fact that I'm not longer qualified). Not even started yet, and they are going to pay for my training!

Then the next major bounce point - Fiona had talked to the payroll team, and had got me a definitive statement of how much I am going to be paid, both for my first week, and then on a fortnightly basis. There was a little bit of confusion on my part; I had got the fortnightly one almost bang on (not bad given that I was working with last year's tax figures), but the first week was quite a way out. Then Fiona pointed out that I'd miscalculated the number of days, and I'm actually going to be paid for two more days than I had anticipated. So we are going to be nearly $400 better off in that first pay packet! It still doesn't get us out of Challenge 3 (below), as we are still going to get quite close to the bottom of our bank account before I get paid, but it does mean that we shouldn't ever hit the red.

Then Kerry, Kevin, Julia and I went out for a coffee, and we just yacked in the coffee shop for an hour. We did occasionally touch on work (in particular, some of the team building and social events that happen on a regular basis - the last one was that each floor had to create their own golf hole - my team won the best overall, with a map of New Zealand, which included a (full) paddling pool as Lake Taupo; the testing team used some of the computer equipment to rig up a mechanical device which randomly spat the ball out in a number of different directions! I'm waiting to be sent over some links to information that I need to read over the next week so that I'm not going into it completely blind on the 8th.

After we'd finished, and they'd all gone back to work, I took advantage of being in Wellington to go over to the Central Library. Now that I have an employer here, and have my offer letter to prove it, I can have a library account that I don't have to pay for. And I got out two books on playing the accordion - whilst I'm having fun footling around, and am starting to get the hang of some of the key jumps, I'm also aware that I could be picking up some very bad habits, and I want to see if I can stop those before I start.

By the time I got home, I was almost bouncing through the ceiling, and, as it was a glorious day, I decided after lunch that I wasn't going to stay indoors, and instead went off for a little walk up the Hutt Valley River. Well, little. It ended up being about ten miles and took just under four hours. But it was brilliant!

The flowers were out,

the butterflies were flying, and occasionally landing long enough for me to get a decent shot of them

and the view down the river was amazing!

Sadly, I didn't get very far along the river, just between the Kennedy Good Bridge and the Pomare Rail Bridge - the two lines above where it says "Lower Hutt".

Next time I do the walk, I will definitely make it an all day, and probably catch the bus to the start of the river.

It's not as peaceful as the scenic reserve or the hills, mainly because the trail runs between the river and the main road into Wellington! It's also more densely populated; not only are there housing estates dotted along the first part, but also people are naturally taking advantage of the gorgeous weather to go for a swim. But it was very enjoyable for all that, and had the distinct advantage of being pretty much flat all the way!

My legs are punishing me today, though, so I've been a bit quieter, getting some writing done (an attempt to get a short story written before a competition deadline on Sunday), and I may even get the third Maori lesson done :-)


Wisewebwoman said...

Interesting about the accordion, Jo, as I miss my piano so much I've been seriously considering accordion playing. We can exchange tips, perhaps. I know very little and only played piano-accordion a few times when a teenager under the tutelage of an uncle who played it well.

Jo said...

That would be good :-)

I am really enjoying playing - I've found a piece that I love (from a book of piano music - a piece called "The Road Goes Ever On" from a song cycle written by Donald Swan based on poems from Lord of the Rings - Swann and Tolkein knew each other, and Tolkein loved the music that Swann wrote :-) ), and, whilst I don't have that much problem with the right hand and the piano keys, it is taking a while to get the jumps on the chords right. (and I'm having to skip a few as they are ones that aren't on the single button - I know that you can get other chords by combining two or more, but I'm nowhere near that advanced yet!) But I have found that starting off with the ability to play the piano and therefore have both hands moving independently has helped :-)

R J Adams said...

I'm so glad your settling well in NZ, Jo. As you know, I've been rather busy of late, but I'm now finding the time to catch up on blog reading. You certainly have some lovely countryside around you. I do miss not being able to walk outside in the summer (too hot and humid here in Illinois) and my love of gardening has suffered as a result. Keep the photos coming - and maybe get some work done, in between designing golf-holes! ;-)

Jo said...

Thanks RJ :-)
I will definitely keep the photos coming, though there may not be so many of them now that I'm starting work and can't get out during the week...
The scenery round us is just amazing - even looking out to the hills behind our house gives a different view every day, depending on the weather. And all this is within a short train ride of the capital city!