One Year Down Here

One year since we moved from Auckland to Dunedin. I'd lived in Auckland my whole life. Steph had lived there about half of hers. We'd moved from mouldy Auckland rental to mouldier Auckland rental seven times since 2011 before flying down here on February 27th, 2017.

True to form, we've just moved house again. Barely around the corner (four corners/1.7 kilometres if u must know), so about 1500km less than our last move. Suddenly we don't constantly hear landlords through paper-thin walls. We have room to host house gigs. We've already been able to house a five-piece band for a night while they were on tour down here.

We have a proper music room. We've been talking about getting started for real with Hot Wizard since 2016, and in this time, we haven't had space to even rehearse properly. So, we're maybe starting to achieve some things we were hoping to when making the big move down here in the first place.

Also Steph and I started a podcast. We wanted to be able to just have a dumb conversation so pals could listen and pretend were still able to hang out. So we're watching and discussing the collective filmographies of the cast of Friends. The podcast is called Let's Just Be Friends. You can find it on iTunes or your usual podcast place, or stream/download from here if you don't know how podcasts work. 

Here's pics of what's been up since my last post. Happy first year anniversary, Dunedin!

We went to Wellington in August to see my Aunty Susan's artwork exhibited at the Robert Heald gallery.

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We checked out Tunnel beach in September. Which is actually only like 15 minutes drive away so it's kinda weird we've only been once.

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St. Clair beach has continued to be a local favourite

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I found this pet seal at Victory Beach and now we're blood brothers for life.

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These dumb parrots were fighting in October. I think this happened the same day that I went to the emergency room for mysterious pains in my tum tum.

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Speaking of which, I also started doing Unboxing Without Thumbs again. Here's one that features them tummy pains:

On Guy Fawkes we went out to try to get photos of fireworks. But I always forget that fireworks are pretty much all wrapped up by like 9pm because they're for kids. So this is the best thing I got, somewhere closer to midnight.

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Had a bit of a visit to Auckland in December. Here's me on a mountain with my little bro. And his little wife. And my little wife.

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January. 2018. Became friends with this bee.

Still Jan. I just really liked these layers of clouds.

Also hi Steph.

I also wrapped up my ongoing illustration project, of doing "weekly" (maybe fortnightly? Schedule was loose as) art for a lovely NZ podcast The Worst Idea of All Time. This is the longest project I've actually followed through with. You can find all the pics here, but this is my favourite - it's actually an officially commissioned poster they asked me to do for their live show in NYC:

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I haven't kept up with photos very well lately, as it's been a very busy start to the year, so this is the end. One of these days I'll relax into an entire summer that doesn't involve moving house maybe.

I get email fatigue in a big way but surprise me with a FB call or something if you wanna.

We miss everyone a lot. We miss you. xx

Home Made Me Homesick

I was doing so well! Nearly two months gone from my lifelong home city, and not a pang of homesickness!

Then we went back to Auckland for a long weekend to make good on our David Liebe Hart tickets. Been feeling a bit unsettled and restless since. Almost all of our friends are still there, despite the steady trickle out by people like us who can no longer afford the rent. For our short trip, we stayed with Ben and Alice - the same friends we went to America with last year. Constantly being around good mates was a stark contrast to the insular life we're living in a new town.

Things are not terrible. I don't feel unbearably lonely. I'm not crying myself to sleep. But I'm aware that I am now longing to upkeep the relationships I've had to put on hold. And that awareness wasn't there before. So I guess that's a change that bears noting.

Ok. I signed off the last post on April 9.

On April 10 Steph and I explored Jubilee Park. A nice lil forest. I hope it gets snowy in winter. I didn't take any photos, but I bloody well would if there was snow.

Easter was very chill. We watched Jesus Christ Superstar as usual. And drove out to Brighton on Sunday.

April 16. Brighton Beach. We like this place heaps now.

April 16. Brighton Beach. We like this place heaps now.

April 20. Flew to Auckland.

April 20. Flew to Auckland.

April 20. David Liebe Hart at Whammy Bar. As wonderful and strange as we'd hoped.

April 22. Coffee with these three dorks. I love these dorks and I'm glad I got to at least take one of them with me to Dunedin.

April 22. Coffee with these three dorks. I love these dorks and I'm glad I got to at least take one of them with me to Dunedin.

On April 22 my family had a farewell party for my lil sister who's made a much bigger move away - to Berlin! The timing was great, we could piggyback on it, because there's no way we would have been thrown our own "Goodbye forever to Dunedin" party.

April 22. Me testing the smart phone shutter for my camera.

April 22. Me testing the smart phone shutter for my camera.

April 22. Family photo, including a few extended family-folk that we don't see too often. V nice.

April 22. Family photo, including a few extended family-folk that we don't see too often. V nice.

April 23. Bathing and clipping disgusting chickens. The black one looked straight demonic.

April 23. Bathing and clipping disgusting chickens. The black one looked straight demonic.

April 23. Return flight. Found out in the nick of time that it was half an hour earlier than we'd thought. I can't believe we made it.

April 23. Return flight. Found out in the nick of time that it was half an hour earlier than we'd thought. I can't believe we made it.

April 26. Casual view walking to work. This is the kind of thing that stops me from feeling  too  homesick.

April 26. Casual view walking to work. This is the kind of thing that stops me from feeling too homesick.

April 29. Visited the Chinese Gardens in central Dunedin.

April 29. Visited the Chinese Gardens in central Dunedin.

April 30. Went to the beach with a storm brewing.

End of a month. I'll leave it there.

AK - DN

We flew down Monday February 27 2017.

Hired a Swift from Jucy without even booking. Bought a real Swift of our own within a couple of days. It's green. Or blue. Depends which paperwork you're reading. We had our hearts set on a Jimny, but as I write this, a few weeks deeper into a financial situation that reflects all too well how much we underestimated the cost of relocation, I'm very happy that we didn't qualify for the higher priced vehicle on finance.

Many trips to op-shops, K-Mart and The Warehouse later, we got our house filled with furniture and this kookaburra door stop.

Our address wasn't in any database, power luckily worked in the meantime, internet took about three weeks.

Steph finished reading the Harry Potter series while we lived out of boxes, offline.

Steph finished reading the Harry Potter series while we lived out of boxes, offline.

I'll back up. 2016:
Back in Auckland, a lot of folks were complaining about getting shaken off the home ownership ladder. Meanwhile we were slowly falling off the rental market. As rent continued to rise,we were growing tired of feeling like victims, and finding ourselves almost habitually complaining about being poor.

We decided to own our situation instead of being owned by it. We were simply going to make Auckland work for us, or get outta there. A big part of this decision was wrapped up in choosing to piggyback onto some friends' trip to the USA. You can't make such a financially irresponsible move as an overseas trip and still complain about not being about to afford rent, right? This trip was the point of no return, regarding taking charge of our lives. Also it was cool seeing big cities and big deserts.

During the trip, we found ourselves saying "maybe we could move here" pretty much every new city we visited. Even Phoenix. Phoenix. That was a pretty clear sign that it was time to work on moving away from Auckland the moment we got back.

So we did. Now we're in Dunedin. It's going well I think.

March 1. Signal Hill Lookout.

March 1. Signal Hill Lookout.

March 2. Started new job. View from the office.

March 2. Started new job. View from the office.

March 4. Cliffs by St. Clair.

March 4. Cliffs by St. Clair.

March 4. Ravensbourne. We wanted to go to Port Chalmers but were too tired so stopped here.

March 4. Ravensbourne. We wanted to go to Port Chalmers but were too tired so stopped here.

March 6. My birthday. This birthday watermelon turned out to be rotten.

March 6. My birthday. This birthday watermelon turned out to be rotten.

March 6. Cool mural on Otago peninsula. On our way to see some penguins.

March 6. Cool mural on Otago peninsula. On our way to see some penguins.

March 13. Filling our knick-knacks space pretty effectively.

March 13. Filling our knick-knacks space pretty effectively.

March 17. Started with a trip to the Emergency Room. Everything is fine.

March 17. Started with a trip to the Emergency Room. Everything is fine.

March 18. Finally made it to Port Chalmers. Found this spider making friends with this bug.

March 18. Finally made it to Port Chalmers. Found this spider making friends with this bug.

Oh yeah and then we turned around and had this cool view of Quarantine Island.

Oh yeah and then we turned around and had this cool view of Quarantine Island.

April 1. Winding old road on the way to Aramoana.

April 1. Winding old road on the way to Aramoana.

April 1. Aramoana: the place of New Zealand's only mass shooting and also this cool shaped rock.

April 1. Aramoana: the place of New Zealand's only mass shooting and also this cool shaped rock.

April 2. Field trip to Otago Museum, Steph met my workmates and also butterflies. This was one of the butterflies.

April 2. Field trip to Otago Museum, Steph met my workmates and also butterflies. This was one of the butterflies.

April 3. Steph has time to paint now because she's not a teacher. It's rad.

April 3. Steph has time to paint now because she's not a teacher. It's rad.

April 8. Went to the aviary and found this pheasant that we thought looked a lot like our friend Alice.

April 8. Went to the aviary and found this pheasant that we thought looked a lot like our friend Alice.

April 9. Today. Went up Mt. Cargill. Took this photo. Wrote this blog. I hope I keep it up. I'm not as cripplingly homesick as I thought I'd be, but I miss a lot of people right now.

April 9. Today. Went up Mt. Cargill. Took this photo. Wrote this blog. I hope I keep it up. I'm not as cripplingly homesick as I thought I'd be, but I miss a lot of people right now.