After bidding all of our belongings a fond farewell eight weeks before we left England, our shipping container has arrived! At long last Jeremy’s coffee machine is out of hibernation and Sophia has been reunited with her toys. The poor child had resorted to playing with spatulas and saucepans in the interim…At one point our container seemed to be in China for a long time but we later discovered that we were tracking the wrong ship and ours was indeed on its way to NZ…. phew! Despite bringing the coffee grinder and V-60 filter in his suitcase, Jeremy’s coffees didn’t compare with his usual espressos and I’m not sure he would have lasted much longer.
There were three days between us moving into our house and having the container delivered. No furniture, only us, our suitcases and a travel cot. We resorted to feeding Sophia in her car seat on the floor at one point just so that she would sit still long enough to eat her dinner. The neighbours must have noticed this and kindly brought us a box of toys and a high chair! We borrowed an inflatable mattress and sleeping bags from some other extremely kind Kiwis and just pretended we were camping! I have never been so overjoyed to be reunited with my bed. Other things, like the exercise bike, I wasn’t as pleased to see.
Unpacking day was a slick operation; the removal company was brilliant. We were given an estimated time of arrival for the container to be delivered to the house (the actual container that was at sea!) and I was like an overexcited child, running to the window to check every time I heard a lorry drive past. When they arrived, the guys handed me a itemized list, unloaded all 264 boxes from the van and reassembled our furniture whilst we frantically unpacked boxes so that they could take away the empties. ‘Good as gold’ apparently. Only a couple of boxes containing Christmas decs had been held back at Customs for scrutiny. It turns out that the word ‘artificial’ had been omitted from the contents description and they wanted to check that we weren’t trying to smuggle a real pine Christmas tree into the country…
Speaking of Christmas, it was like Christmas day, opening all those boxes! Clothes were still on hangers, picture frames and light bulbs all intact and polystyrene foam everywhere. As it would have been too tempting for our teething toddler, we banished Sophia to her playpen whilst we unpacked and cleared everything away. Although she was occupied, I think everyone was sick of hearing the slightly off-key musical toy version of ‘Old MacDonald’ on repeat by the end of the day. I had not missed that toy…By 2am the place was tidy, my ducks were beginning to line up again and I drifted off to the land of Nod on heavenly memory foam….zzz
Only now is it beginning to dawn on us that we are here for more than an extended holiday. Ever since we arrived we have been working our way through the Lonely Planet recommended Wellington sights and have been coffee tasting to our hearts content. It is only now that our ‘stuff’ is all set up here, on the opposite side of the world, that it is beginning to sink in that we are here for the next two years…..we could get used to these ‘sweet as’ sunsets 😉