During the evening we treat ourselves to NZ TV channel 1 news, which follows Bradley Walsh in The Chase (they obviously don’t like Pointless here). The news is always delivered cheerfully in very direct language. Following the new year there were some very sad news stories of people being drowned in dangerous seas off the coast of North Island. There was flooding and storm damage as a result of Cyclone Hale. Then news of a horrible helicopter crash on the Gold Coast of Australia (a favourite holiday destination for Kiwis).
Harry and Meghan and a stray UK walrus made star appearances. The release of “Spare” had quite an impact in New Zealand, and was often referred to by newscasters as “The Harry Hoo-ha”. Quite accurate I think. The news is interspersed with adverts for expensive household paint, sofas and insurance. New World is also advertising its online delivery service. Good luck to them! I cannot imagine their delivery service will extend to some of the sparsely populated farms and cattle stations in the Southern Alps.
As we don’t follow Coronation Street, Hubby resorted to Prime and those perennial US favourites about locker pickers and pawn stars (no, not THAT sort of porn). Then it was Police Interceptors in Derbyshire. Who watches that over here? Answer: we do. Hmmmph. The kindle came in handy, and thank goodness Hubby has accidentally stumbled on my Netflix account.
One day, soon after new year, a slightly abrupt email arrived. The solicitor could not reach me on my mobile number. The buyers want to exchange and complete on our house TODAY. Emails and messages fly through the stratosphere. International calls are enabled just in case our fee stretches to such extravagance. The next morning is devoted to oil bills and estate agents who are either on holiday, just back from holiday and not concentrating, or part time. Hubby is at work or asleep, the in-between phase being devoted to pickers or interceptor cops. We manage a late night Skype call to a happy solicitor in Bungay who finally sorts everything out.
Hubby was chuffed to get a winning raffle ticket at work. This is a great example of Kiwi positivity and pragmatism. Every Christmas the company gets a number of gratuitous items donated by associated companies. These include hampers, bottles of wine and other lovely things, all clearly marked with the donor’s advertising logos. The items are put into a big works raffle and one employee’s ticket is drawn out every day over the Christmas period. Great idea! Good advertising. Nice little fun bonus. Simon choose a wooden cheeseboard, which came with a handy bbq apron and a 2023 diary extolling the efficiency of Catalyst Performance Agronomy. These were presented to me triumphantly because I had casually made a comment that I had not got a diary yet. So now I have all the NZ bank holidays and a useful selection of year round tips to help me make the most of my land. I shall certainly be considering the timing of foliar fungicide on fodder beet this January. What happened to the wine and hampers?