That is Merry Christmas in Maori.
Actually I am back in Australia for 10 days and I felt the humidity yesterday. Thankfully today, Christmas Eve, is milder.
This is essentially the Christmas message I sent to friends either by email or snail mail and now being sent to anyone else who may read my blog.
Merry Christmas from Dunedin.
It has been a very eventful year for me.
On January 22nd I migrated to New Zealand and within a month I owned a house in Dunedin. Moving in took another month as my furniture came by slow boat.
I continue to be amazed and thankful that such a big step in my life has worked out so well. I love Dunedin, have made lots of friends, am kept busy with walks, lunches and musical performances and am financially much better off. The house is basically sound with a view over parts of the city and the ocean as seen in the photo.
I have had a lot of work done on it to make it more comfortable but the difference in price from my Woodford home has easily covered the costs. I am now starting to landscape the garden. People talk about the heat if it goes over 25’C but we had a mild winter with only a few light snowfalls (unfortunately while I was away). However scraping away the frost from my car windscreen was a new experience. (I bought a new Ford Fiesta when I arrived.)
I was able to travel for 3 months from August to October. I blogged about that journey.
First I went back to Sydney for 12 days and then on to Europe where the highlights were a 10 day cruise up the coast of Norway, you can decide which is me and which is the Troll.
Over to the UK and the Prom concerts in London including the Last Night in Hyde Park, walking in the Lakes District and attending the Oberammergau Passion Play.
I flew to Chicago and New York and then travelled by train up through New England with the Fall colours. I met a number of internet friends while there. It was great to meet up. Then it was on to Canada with a flight from Boston to Halifax, Nova Scotia and by train from there to Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Niagara .
Finally a stopover in San Francisco before the flight back to Dunedin. It seems a bit of a dream now that I have been home 7 weeks.
I am now planning to visit Spain, Portugal, UK and Ireland in May-June next year after spending Easter/Anzac in Sydney.
I am flying to Sydney next week for 10 days over Christmas. Bev and Russell are coming here in February and we have planned a trip to Wanaka, Milford Sound, Stewart Island and the Catlins. Bev was here for a few weeks to help me move in over Easter. We spent much of the time in Mitre 10 but did manage a few days in Queenstown and Christchurch.
I am glad I did not choose to live in Christchurch, the earthquake was only felt as a gentle rocking here in Dunedin. However I was in Norway at the time.
The final photo was taken in July and shows Harbour Cone which I climbed two weeks ago as well as the entrance to Otago Harbour.
I hope 2011 is happy and prosperous for you.
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