A week has already passed, and in the emotional cycle of an expat, I’m in the ‘OMG everything is awesome!’ stage. I spent the first couple of days in Auckland, which I’m told is not strictly part of New Zealand, but for argument’s sake I’ll let it slide and tell you that having eggs Benedict and decent coffee for breakfast, followed by a visit to the bakers and walk along the beach does wonders for jet lag and the soul.

Having lived off a main road all my life, it was somewhat disconcerting coming to an area where birdsong is the main sound, and not police sirens. The pace has cranked right down compared with London, but it’s very easy to adjust to, if you let it. I’m a stone’s throw away from a lake which doesn’t get any tourists, which is nice (yes, I know I’m a foreigner complaining about foreigners) and while I can’t yet chop firewood, I do a good enough job of crunching up the newspaper, ready for lighting.

I’ve been asked if I want any creature comforts sent over, namely Marmite, but I couldn’t justify the carbon footprint, and I want to get to grips with New Zealand’s version of things. What is loooovely is walking through the fruit and veg section, and 99% of produce is local to the country. It’s winter so there are no red bags of water sold as strawberries. Deal with it and harden the f*** up.

Lake Tarawera


‘Harden the fuck up’ is actually the product of an Australian comedian, not the Kiwis. Please don’t hurt me