All work and snow play...

Trip Start Jun 04, 2009
Trip End Sep 06, 2010

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Flag of New Zealand  , South Island,
Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kia Ora Everyone! (see how my Maori language is coming along!)

Hope you haven't forgotten about us over here. Things have settled down a lot for us on a daily basis now that we both have jobs and the ski season is coming to an end.  It’s been a fantastic month though so I thought it was worth dropping you a note to tell you all what life in Queenstown is like so you can feel like you are here too.

First of all our house is almost perfectly situated a 10 minute walk from town, I say 'almost’ as that 10 minutes includes a very steep hill.  Against all odds however I have grown to love the hill as it means we have a beautiful elevated view over the lake and gives me a well needed exercise a few times a day.  As it’s the end of the ski season and the start of the summer season we’ve got a turn over of housemates at the moment and I’m not entirely sure who lives here and who doesn’t anymore.  At last count we were living with a very diverse and international bunch with representatives from Ireland, Scotland, Holland, Canada, Alaska, Brazil, England and even New Zealand!  The problem being that my ear really hasn’t tuned into the medley of accents (I blame the Scottish and Irish mainly) and I have to constantly ask people to repeat themselves, and then repeat again until I can guess a suitable answer that implies I might have deciphered what’s going on!  Everyone gets on very well though and we are all joined by the communal bond that is New Zealand television.  Instead of making their own programs it seems the kiwis buy the cheapest programs that other countries will sell including constant reruns of Jeremy Kyle, Wipeout, Home and Away, Extreme Makeovers, Oprah Winfrey and Dr Phil.  However there is one awful, yet strangely addictive, kiwi soap that we all watch called Shortland Street during which everyday Steve sits with the laptop pretending not to watch it but secretly can’t help himself glancing up every minute and commenting on the ever more ridiculous plot developments. 

So, as I mentioned, we both have jobs now but nothing really to get too enthusiastic about.  I’m working in a t-shirt shop with lot’s of cheeky/funny slogans which proved very amusing for my first day but now I just seem to grit my teeth every time people come in and read them out to each other in fits of giggles.  I have the shop to myself for most of the day so have been able to get through a fair few books (since I finally gave in and paid $40 to join the library) so let me know if you have any recommendations?  Steve has just started at Katmandu the hiking-wear store which seems to be a bit more of a social place to work with pizza nights and a football team but he doesn’t have the luxury of being unsupervised like I do so has to do a fair bit more work which doesn’t agree with him!

We’ve been tearing up the ski slopes as often as possible, while I was working for about three weeks before Steve he managed to ski everyday and I went a couple of times a week during the day and then two times a week for the night skiing which was always great fun.  We could get up the mountain in time to watch the sunset and then the flood lights came on and it all became a lot more of a challenge to get down the hill, especially after a few drinks and not skiing on the lit runs!  Stunning views of the valley below with Queenstown lit up always made night skiing a highlight of the week.  Unfortunately we had the last night ski last week as the snow is disappearing and they estimate only another 3 weeks left of the mountains being open at all.  I’m trying to upload some silly skiing videos we took to this page so keep an eye out for them – it’s a shame we didn’t think to do it earlier in the season when the snow was better, so you will just have to use your imagination a bit!  The other day we were going down a run and got stopped in our tracks by a couple of huge Kea, mountain parrots, they look like regular birds until they spread their wings and have beautiful orange and green feathers to show off.  A nice reminder that there’s going to be lot’s of beautiful things to see once the snow is gone for good.

In other news my waistline is still suffering from the stuffing I gave it in South America and treating myself to fancy lunches while at work, Steve on the other hand has managed to ski himself skinny in no time so we are quite the unbalanced couple at the moment!  It really doesn’t help also that we’ve started baking all the time, cakes, cookies, chocolate cornflake cakes etc which started as a cheap snack to take up the mountain for an energy boost and has now become a hobby of horrific consequences!

I’m so excited my Dad is now coming to visit for a week in October so have been doing lots of research into all the fun things we can do together.  I can promise you a much more dramatic blog to read after his visit.  (Everyone keep their fingers crossed for good weather for us!)  That’s all for now, if anyone else would like to look into last minute flights we would love to put you up and show you around town too.

Lots of Love

Amy and Shop-keeper Steve
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samsonite32 on

Thanks Leish
Ah Leish you flatter me too much! Thanks so much for reading though - gives me the energy boost to keep writing when I know you're enjoying it (although a book might be a way off yet!) :)

Can't wait to hear about all your adventures too when you get the chance to update me, I'm sure you're having an amazing time too - any chance of you ending up in OZ when we're there???

Miss you loads xxx

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