Sunday, April 10, 2005

Living the Goodlife - written in February 2005 (1st post)

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Our Home
dated February 2005
by Sue Webber

April 2004 saw big changes in our lives, we left the UK and all of our families and friends, in fact everything we had ever known, to begin a new life down under in New Zealand. As hard as it was leaving everyone and everything, we had got to a stage in our lives where if we did'nt make changes now then we never would. We didn't want to say to each other ten years down the road, "Oh I wish we had done it back then."
Joe's work seemed to have no future, things were changing in industry in the UK and not for the better. Joe having gained much experience in spindle maintenance in the engineering industry, decided that his skills may be needed elsewhere. New Zealand at this time were looking for skilled workers, Joe had relatives here, they speak English and drive on the same side of the road!!
I had a successful pre-school with a great team, and between us we had worked hard to get an excellent Ofsted inspection that ultimately resulted in becoming among one of the first pre-schools in Luton, Bedfordshire to be Accredited by the Pre-school Learning Alliance, we successfully applied for a New Opportunities Fund and we were able to provide extra care for our children around our normal hours, but I had taken it as far as I wanted to and was ready for a change.
Michael was the one we were more concerned about, would he be able to adapt to a new life here. He had his friends, as we all did, but as a child it's hard for them to start all over again. He was 11 years old probably a good age to do it, not too old and wrapped up in exams etc, and not too young to not understand. All our worries were unfounded and he settled into 'Kiwi' life quicker than us!! He started Rotokauri school the week after we arrived, he went to soccer practice and played for the school team, helping them to a 5-1 win, all before he was officially a pupil!! First day at school - Super Hero!! Not bad hey?
This web page is for all those people we left behind, a way of staying in touch and keeping you all part of our lives. You were all in it for so long we're not about to lose you all forever. I've never done anything like this before and it might just turn out to be a complete shambles. My aim is to keep you updated with newsletters and photos of the events in our lives. If you like what you see, then come and stay with us and explore this beautiful country.
We've already had visitors, our good friends Janette, Ian and their 2 sons, Matthew and Thomas, for our first Christmas in New Zealand. It was an experience, going to Raglan beach in the morning watching the boys in the surf and coming home for Christmas dinner, it should have been a BBQ, but the weather hadn't been up to much, but we still managed a drink on the patio in the afternoon. We heard some of you had snow!!!!
My mum and dad visited for most of January, all of February and returned home on the 9th of March. They brought the good weather with them and experienced a very hot summer, with hardly any rain at all! Dad has taken a multitude of photos, some of which I hope to publish on this site. If you want to see anymore you can always contact him, I'm sure he'll copy you a disc. Last count 300 pictures plus!!!!
I'll show you our home and the 5 and a half acres with it, known as a lifestyle block, small in comparison to many New Zealand farms, but it's just fine for us. We're growing our own vegetables and there are plans to plant a small orchard, I already have my own lemon tree.....perfect for the Gin and Tonics! We have some animals, the cats came with us of course, there are 2 dogs, another 2 cats, 8 goats, 3 pigs and lots of chickens!!! I'll introduce you to them later on. Joe's aim is to be as self sufficient as possible. I know some of you are already calling us 'Tom and Barbara'.

Well here it is.....................................The Good Life!!


  1. Yehaw...

    Good job.. Welcome to blogging.. Enjoy & write write .. write...


  2. I suppose it can only get easier...she said hopefully!!
    Thank's nutmeg & biscuit

  3. Glad you have all settled in down under. Crooky and I will see you in July. I'll be in touch nearer the time. We fly out 21st June.

    All the best

    Vauxhall Motors Rugby Club just managed to stay up and not get relegated. We finished 3rd from bottom. We had been 4th at the start of 2005.

  4. Sue..

    It's really grand the work you've done on the blog.. love all the pics.. You keep goin girl..

  5. Anonymous6:38 pm

    Having done a similar thing with my family this January, I can relate to a lot of what you have written.
    We are just about to buy a 3 acre plot up here in Kaitaia, and will be increasing the managerie.
    Our blog is
    We have found it a good way of keeping all the friends and rellies informed.
    Best wishes
    Mike Bryan

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  8. You have a lovely family Sue. Looks like you have made the transition well to life in New Zealand. It's a difficult one to make when you leave a lot of friends and family behind but in todays day and age it is so much easier to stay in touch so the transition is a lot easier I suppose.
    Been here 10 yrs and they didnt have the inty net as such when I came--just snail mail. :)
    Congratulations on getting through the first year and hope there are many more to come.

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  10. Thanks all for the comments and encouragement. Haven't had much time to update it recently but I'm working on it.
    Lots more to come so keep watching!!


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