Sunday 15th Sept, 2013
Two weeks ago today, we arrived in New Zealand.
And although we haven’t yet worked up to a full-blown adventure – in some ways every day has been a short series thereof.
There were the three ‘exciting’ (tr. horrific), jetlagged nights after we arrived when little man, now nearly 11 months old, decided sleeping was for wimps. And took us along for the ride.
There was the moment we discovered a trampoline in the garden…albeit perched on a fairly precipitous ledge – looks sort of like the opening shot in an episode of Casualty.
And then there was this morning, when I totally saw a parrot outside.
(Not this parrot – this is a stock image. But one much like it.)
I should probably clarify now: I’m no parrot expert. But I know a parrot when I see one. This was a living, breathing, call-the-paper-to-report-it-lost (if we’d been at home) parrot. Basic research on Google images revealed it as most likely a kind of parakeet – it was predominantly green coloured and was the right sort of shape (did I mention I’m no ornithologist?).
I’m not even sure whether this is going to be a regular occurrence here or whether it was a rare/lucky spot– but it certainly heightened my sense of being far from home and from the very different experience of living there.
It’s easy to feel ‘at home’ in NZ. We (mostly) share a language, the surburban gardens aren’t crawling with life-threatening wildlife (as in neighbouring Oz) and the climate here in Auckland – while obviously much warmer and sunnier than its British counterpart would be at the end of winter – is temperate and hospitable enough to feel familiar.
Yet little things pop up all of a sudden to remind you: “we’re not in Kansas anymore Toto”. Of course, there’s the stunning bay winking at us in the sunlight; the fact that I don’t recognise the names of any of the fish varieties on offer at the chippy and the small matter of having a pool in our garden (gloat!).
But a parrot perched in a treetop outside your bedroom window is almost as high on the list as it’s likely to get. Until we start our PROPER adventures, that is…
“We’re not in Kansas anymore Toto”
The awesome view from the park at the end of our road. You can see the bay and Rangitoto Island (the cone-shaped one) from our house. Birchgrove it ain’t.