Dog days

5 January, 2014

We have lived in New Zealand for five days. It took us three days to get here- we had the perfect trip, the girls were amazing on this longest of long haul flights. We welcomed in 2014 whilst standing in the queue for Immigration. (They let us in, phew!)

We have landed in the sultriest part of summer. It is stickily, drippingly hot. It is eyepoppingly, heart-rushingly beautiful.

It is very different to England. It is also very familiar.

We are sort of on holiday, finding our feet and catching up with family and friends. But we also need to think about getting jobs. And somewhere to live. Somewhere in New Zealand.

We’ve had lots of these kinds of conversations “So where abouts are you going to live?” “Well. In New Zealand somewhere.” “And what are you going to do, job wise?” “We will probably work, doing something.”

We aren’t being stally- we just don’t know the answers to these things yet.

(I’m currently pulling the “Don’t worry, Mum, it’s cool” kind of face I perfected during my high-risk teenage years.)

Our first step is probably to buy a House Bus. These are A Thing here- big coaches turned into tiny homes on wheels. We think this will help us feel settled and take the pressure off needing to find a house. You’d think having two major breakdowns in 6 months would put us off the idea of nomadic living, but it really hasn’t. The benefits (outdoorsy, simple life) tug on us too much.

And, well. That’s it. The main point of this post was really to show you this little dog I found in an op shop yesterday. (I know what’s important.) An Opportunity Shop is the absolutely brilliant name for Charity Shops here. We went with the whole family; 14 of us hit up these jumbly old shops. Which was a funny activity, because me and my family in England used to spend our weekends doing this together. *smiles bravely*

And then we all spotted him- and it turns out we all had a little Snoopy, exactly like this, when we were kids.


He’s a lot smaller than I remember him being- but it might have more to do with my own size.

He is a bit bashed up but his tail is the perfect size for Juno to pop in her mouth, and Ramona will love pulling him about once we find a rope for him.

So. No jobs yet. No house. But we have a dog, which means it’s serious.

PS- Linking up for the first time with Op Shop Show Off 🙂
PPS- For more parenting/ travelling / thrifty blogging follow through Facebook or Bloglovin

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  • Sonya Cisco 5 January, 2014 at 8:44 am

    SOunds like you are making a good start to your adventures- love the dog!

  • Stacey Corrin 5 January, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Soooo cute! I love little toys like that – they are the simplest things but yield the most pleasure in my opinion. Hopefully you’ll all find your way – these things have a way of appearing when you least expect it. Good luck!

  • Coral 5 January, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    A house bus, brilliant. We saw the programme Amazing Spaces http://scrapbook.channel4.com/programmes/george-clarkes-amazing-spaces/bookmarks/series-1/episode-1 recently and the idea of living on a bus really appealed to us (or a former mobile library), then we saw this http://www.majesticbus.co.uk/. We did see a bus on a camp site on the south island a couple of years back, wish I had asked to be shown around. Mind you, those windy roads in a bus? Brave. Have fun. Looking forward to seeing how you get on in my favourite country.

  • Deborah Crawford Poxon 5 January, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    oh, I love the name ‘op shop’ too….. and since coming back from Australia a couple of years ago I have continued to call them ‘op shops’ in the UK…… so much more exciting than charity shop……. all those opportunities to find treasure…… hope your ‘settling in’ goes well……

    • Coral 5 January, 2014 at 6:19 pm

      I agree, Op Shop is a term I brought back to the UK more positive than the term charity shop. Opportunity not charity, optimistic. I’m going to start using it again. Bring on a year of optimism.

  • Andrea 5 January, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Yes, get a house bus!!!

    I visited NZ in 2001 for 6 weeks on a midwifery elective. I left my husband in charge of my little girls and did that long journey alone. It was awful and by the time I landed in Auckland I was vowing to get right back on a return flight to be with my family. But I didn’t … I stayed with a wonderful midwife (lead maternity carer) and learnt so much from her & her earth mother, bread baking, chicken raising midwife colleague. I thought it was beautiful, like Scotland, but maybe before shopping malls became the weekend outing for families & alcohol sales got out of control. Pubs closed early, no Sunday opening of shops etc so families spent the weekend together at the beach, walking, talking. I discovered flat whites, Rimu and tiny ground birds that had no fear ( no predators) and the Marlborough sounds. I had a great adventure, learnt so much about midwifery & had a kind of sabbatical from motherhood. It served me well. Your blog, and Snoopy dog – because the girls lived him too – have reminded me if those times. Thanks.

    Andrea x

    • Lucy 5 January, 2014 at 7:57 pm

      You’ve just described my midwife Aunty Jude – was it her?!?
      Beautiful comment 🙂

      • Andrea 6 January, 2014 at 11:29 pm

        No, not Aunty Jude. She was a Sandra and the other was Lisa Errol of Eastbourne, near Wellington. Lisa went off to work as a midwife in a tiny South Pacific island, I think Sandra went too. Wonderful women in different ways. X

  • Nanz 5 January, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    Welcome to Aotearoa. Will we spot you at the gipsy fairs then?

  • ThaliaKR 6 January, 2014 at 12:11 am

    I just love those sweet eyes, all happy and loving and slightly guilt-tripping-you-WILL-take-me-for-a-walk-soon-won’t-you 🙂

    Also, is Juno (look at her LIPS!) wearing a Ramones t-shirt? Cos that’s extra fab.

    Once again: WELCOME TO AOTEAROA! I’m so pleased you’re here!


  • Teeny 6 January, 2014 at 1:36 am

    Oh yes the good ole op shops; I went out with the kids this morning to check out a couple that had been closed over the holiday period. Am on the hunt for things for your package! Oh dear, I feel for you being so far away from your fams; I’m glad that at least you’ve lived here before so you have that familiarity and sounds like Tim’s family is supportive too. x

  • Sian 6 January, 2014 at 8:35 am

    I’ve still got the one I shared with my brother : ) happy days!
    Looking forward to reading all your New Zealand adventures – Happy New Year!

  • Kate Williams 7 January, 2014 at 4:41 am

    Aww Lucy it sounds amazing! Don’t sweat the small stuff (yeah of course work and a roof over your head is small stuff!?!) it will come x

  • Angela 7 January, 2014 at 7:56 am

    Come to Wellington! When we were in London my husband and I met a couple who were planning to move to Auckland or Christchurch, and we convinced them to move here instead. Best move they ever made of course ; )
    I never knew we are a House Bussy kind of place – looking forward to hearing about it, they bring back memories of Europe for me!
    Welcome to NZ.

  • Nicola Hulks 7 January, 2014 at 3:27 pm

    I had one of those dogs! Major nostalgic moment!

    Lovely to read about your new adventure, hope settling in is still going ok. And plans? Pah! So much more fun to have the world wide open 🙂

  • rach 7 January, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    Welcome to NZ! Found you via Blackbird has Spoken. how exciting to be able to go anywhere in this great country – the choices are endless!.
    i’ve recently returned to NZ, but its my home so it isnt a tramatic thing – leaving dear friends in the UK was hard, but the internet closes the gap.
    i shall look forward to seeing where you settle and i’m curious about your house bus ideas.

  • Max 8 January, 2014 at 2:28 am

    Welcome indeed Lucy! Apologies for the unseasonable weather recently, though that probably helping to minimise any homesickness! Now, thrifting, gentle parenting and travelling- that’s my kinda blog and I am looking forwards to having a good look around here and following possible house bus activities. Where are you based at present?
    I cracked up when i saw your snoopy find. Our snoopy, also op-shopped is at the centre of a domestic battle at our place at the mo. i want to strip him and give him a cool, modern paint job, but the husband keeps clutching him to his chest shrieking “you can’t change snoopy, he’s snoopy”.
    Great to have you linking in lovely xxx