Welcome to my little slice of life, where I enjoy blogging about our family adventures, holidays and experiences at home and abroad. Often the best fun of all is that which can be experienced in one’s own back yard, and we are very fortunate to call Wellington, New Zealand our home.
My husband and I met way back in our University days, in 1992, in Southampton, UK.
A work opportunity gave us the chance to travel to New Zealand in 1996 and so began our love affair with the land of the long white cloud – ‘Aotearoa’.
After an amazing experience we headed back to the UK, in 1998, enjoying a month travelling up the East coast of Australia. We had taken our relationship to another level in February of that year – when Dan asked me to marry him at the Marlborough Food and Wine Festival, on Valentine’s Day.
We were married on 29 May, 1999 and three months later… (no I wasn’t pregnant) Dan was asked to return to New Zealand and take up the position of CIO for an electricity market company. It was really hard for me to leave my family after just a year living back in the UK, but this was an amazing opportunity for Dan and we still wanted to explore more of the southern hemisphere, so – with the blessing of our families – we headed off.
This time we became New Zealand residents and in the year 2000 we bought our first home, in Brooklyn, Wellington, New Zealand.
I found a job with a much loved organisation – the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-NZ), based in the beautiful Botanical Garden of Wellington.
In 2001 I became quite ill, with glandular fever, and then, in early 2002, I was diagnosed with depression. I left my job and worked on getting myself back to good health… which then led to my first pregnancy!
Our first daughter was born in the winter of 2003, with snow on the distant hills surrounding Wellington.
Two and a half years later our second daughter was born, just after Christmas, in 2005.
Our town house in Brooklyn started to feel small and impractical (with 20 steps to the front door and then another 10 or so to the living area) and so we began looking for a home on a flatter section (not easy in Wellington). In early spring, 2006, we moved into our second home, on the south coast of Wellington. We no longer had a view, but we had a flat section, a lovely home and garden, sheltered from the wind and a short walk to the beach. Perfect.
A year later Dan set up his own service management company, along with two friends, ‘You Do’. A spin off of that was ‘Beetil’ which came to the attention of US firm ‘Citrix’, who ended up buying Beetil in 2012.
In the midst of this our third daughter was born in February 2010 and completed our family.
Over the years life has thrown us some unexpected surprises (as it does). Our second born daughter didn’t settle into school well at all (at the age of 5, as is the norm in NZ – though legally children do not need to be enrolled in school until the age of 6).
We made the decision, at the end of 2011, to home educate her, and then continued to do so when we learned about us potentially moving to the USA as part of the sale of Beetil to Citrix.
In August 2013 we left our home in Wellington and flew to Santa Barbara, California, USA to live. Our children were aged 10, 7 and 3 at the time. We didn’t know how long we’d be there for. My husband had a 3 year work permit with Citrix.
In the end, we stayed there for 15 months, returning to live back in our home, in Wellington, New Zealand, in October 2014. I home educated all three of my daughters during that time.
We have now been back in Wellington for over a year and all three of our daughters are happily settled in an amazing private-girl’s school. They are so happy and very proud to call themselves, ‘Kiwis’. They loved their experience in the USA, but New Zealand really is their home and the reason we felt such a big pull to return. We feel very grateful for the opportunities that have arisen in our lives and it has been worth all the hard work and the logistics of moving.
Our daughters growing up in a beautiful country with lovely friends. This is their home, without a doubt, and holds a huge part of our hearts too, though – for us – we shall always feel the tug of living so far away from our own parents, siblings, cousins, Aunts and Uncles.
That’s our story, in a nutshell, so far!
I started writing this blog when my first child was born in 2003 (before Facebook, Twitter and Instagram), wishing to keep a record of our lives and keep an online diary – of sorts – that family in the UK could easily check in on. Over the years it’s become a wonderful treasure chest to look back on and a way of keeping our adventures ‘alive’. Everyone has a story to tell and as a child I loved listening to older family members telling me stories from their youth. I write this blog for my children, my family and for me – to keep the memories alive.
Over the years I’ve met some wonderful people through this blog – even a few that have visited New Zealand, from the UK, and ended up emigrating!
If ever you are visiting Wellington then do say ‘Hello’. I love a good Latte, a good wine and a good run (not in that order!).
Thanks for stopping by,