Sunday, 5 August 2012

Week 12 - Wonderful Winter Days, frustrating NZ Olympic TV, & times when you miss home...

Winter Days in Wellington
Hey Everybody, I hope you are all well.
I'm really gutted to be missing the Olympic fever in England right now.. three amazing gold medals in an hour last night.. I would have loved to have seen full coverage but with no Kiwi's (New Zealanders) in these events, I had to settle for highlights... more of these frustrations later. I've also been a little sick this week which has really affected my usual plans, and made me homesick for the first time. I don't normally get too personal but I feel it's appropriate to share a little of my difficult week.

Winter Days...
So, where to start? I guess with the Olympic TV coverage on normal New Zealand TV, (Sky TV has 8 channels of coverage). At first I was really impressed to see almost every NZ athlete get some TV exposure, and it didn't matter if they have a chance of a medal or not. They seemed really proud of their sporting achievements. The 'prime' channel which is pretty much on 24 hours, has shown lots of events! Sounds good eh? Unfortunately, this means that if you want to watch something other than an event with a Kiwi in it, you are very limited! I really wanted to watch one of the cycling finals, as a British cyclist has a great chance to win gold. I was happy to see the event on the schedule. The 'B' Final was shown (with a Kiwi Cyclist), and with just seconds to go to the main final, the channel switched events! The other very noticeable thing here, is the rivalry with Australia. I know the Australians are too competitive at times, (and would have their 6 month old babies competing in crawling competitions given half the chance), but it's funny watching the Kiwi media gloating that they are higher up the medal table the Australians.  I've heard it mentioned lots. I do however love the fact that when a Kiwi athlete wins a medal, the media really makes a point of mentioning the home town of the athlete, (usually the rowing club - as that is the event they have done well in), and some little story of someone they might now... 

Wellington Waterfront
Now, this week's activities have been pretty limited due to getting a little sick this week. Wednesday I started with a blocked nose, followed by lots of eye watering & swollen eyes on Thursday. I went in work Friday (probably shouldn't have gone in), but was not wanting to waste 1 of only 10 sick days I'm allowed to take... I spent more time in the bathroom blowing my nose, than at my desk! So Wednesday through Saturday I have been stuck at home, trying to stay warm (not in easy in a country where central heating is rarer than a Stewart Downing goal for Liverpool)! It was during this time, having so much time I guess, that I started to miss home, because whilst people are really lovely here, I have found it difficult to really break into people's regular Kiwi lives. Some people have told me that from their experience, unless you have kids, it's hard to feel totally included here, as most parents spend their evenings / weekends supporting their kids in sporting stuff, and therefore spend time with other parents. From my own experience so far, I have to say that most of the people I have met and spent time with are not originally from New Zealand, and tend to be people like myself who have moved here for work reasons. There may be a whole host of other reasons, but the point being that during the times when you feel crappy, and sick, you want your good friends and family around, and it's the one time I have really struggled to not think so positively about being here. I did feel better after having some much needed Skype time with the UK & Colombia!
Enjoying the Winter sun...
Family day out....
And to end the blog on a positive note. I did feel well enough to go for a little walk around today. The sun was shining, and considering it is supposed to be the middle of Winter, it was warm and I couldn't resist siting by the ocean and having a read of my kindle... so here's a few pictures (including the pictures above), from today's walk around Wellington's waterfront! 

On another good note, my good friends Mark & Jenny are arriving for a couple of nights this week, and then will return a week or so later! I can't wait for their arrival, and one of my Australian mates got in touch to say that they might be coming for a visit soon too. So despite feeling a long long way from home this week, I've got plenty to be looking forward to! 
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Regards From New Zealand

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