New Zealand is one of the best places in the world to celebrate New Year’s Eve — mostly because the weather is so much better down here than in most of the northern hemisphere!
Week beginning 30/12
We’d hoped to go south and bring in the New Year with a group of friends, but for various reasons we ended up staying in Auckland. Luckily our other friends Geoff and Tila were throwing a Mexican-themed party, so we got dressed up (Craig wore a hat decorated with guacamole and nacho chips) and headed to their house for a barbecue.
A quick look at Wikipedia informed me that the Mexicans, like the Spanish, eat one grape for each of the twelve chimes of midnight, and I’d managed to convince Geoff and Tila to make this part of the evening. It was fun, but not as hilarious as last year, when we ended up laughing hysterically while grape juice ran down our chins. Good times.
On New Year’s Day we drove north to Russell for a few days with Craig’s mum (Mary), stepdad (Martin), and sister Stephanie. It was Mary’s 60th on the second and Martin had somehow managed to organise a surprise party without Mary catching on; it mostly involved food, but a bit of backyard badminton with oversized rackets did take place.
Week beginning 6/1
Student numbers were looking up, so my old boss asked me to come back to work for a few weeks. I started with just an afternoon class with adults on Monday, then went full-time on Tuesday, adding a morning class with young learners. Although it’s tiring, I’m really happy to be back at work teaching English — it’s satisfying and I find it quite meaningful.
Craig spent the week working on websites, and was quite pleased to knock off earlier than usual on Friday when we had a few friends around for a barbecue. Other than that, it was a relaxing weekend, spent with friends and family — Mary, Martin and Stephanie came back from Russell on Saturday, and we’re staying with them since our housesitting gig has finished up.