It's been nearly 18 months since we arrived, but we have finally got our hands on a car! It has been a little bit longer than planned, as the friend who was going to be selling it to us delayed a little while... (about six months!)
Whilst it has been nice to think that we have been kind to the environment in either using public transport, Shank's Pony or car sharing, it has started to get a bit wearing (particularly when yet another train is delayed or cancelled, or when you are trying to juggle four full shopping bags on a tiny bus), and there are only so many times that you can get someone else on the hockey team to carry the goalie kit to and from training and matches.
So, we are now the proud owners of a Ford Mondeo, and this last week has been brilliant. My 20 minute walk to / from TKD is now under 5 minutes; my journey to hockey (train and walk) is now 7 when on the way out, it would be 20 mins - half an hour (depending on how long I waited at our station), and on the way back it could be anything up to 45 minutes (as the end of hockey practice and the trains did not tie up at all) - I now no longer have to wait on a cold, dark station. This weekend, we did our shopping, including a trip to the library across town, in 2 hours (normally at least 3, and the library trip would usually add another half hour), and were then able to go up to Upper Hutt to the cinema (We went to see Paul, which was only showing late in our local cinema. It's a good film - full of geeky references, with some really nice touches.). Today, as well as the hockey match (which we won, 13-0...), we also headed out to the friend who sold us the car (a half hour car journey or an hour and a quarter on the train) for lunch and a quick spot of board gaming.
Whilst we aren't going to be overly frivolous with the car (petrol is not quite as dear here as it is in the UK, but it is getting close!), we suddenly now have a whole load more freedom to get out and explore some more of this beautiful country - I can feel some more photo heavy posts coming up!