I think I may have jinxed us with my Springtime post last week. Yesterday afternoon we were unexpectedly enveloped in a snowstorm. Out of nowhere the temperature dropped, and the rain – which has been falling non stop for days and days and days – suddenly turned into snowflakes.. it was pretty spectacular actually. Unfortunately I was only able to get a couple of photos before my camera ran out of batteries, so I didn’t get to take any shots of the storm in full force but here are a couple of pics anyway:

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A not so nice side effect of the strange weather was finding a mouse in my kitchen today. It’s pretty usual really, considering we live in the country, and it’s been raining for a week, and I’m sure that a regular person wouldn’t find it all that troublesome but I am not a regular person when it comes to mice. When it comes to mice I am a fully fledged scream-like-a-girl-and-jump-on-a-chair lunatic. The way I feel about rats and mice is almost bordering on a phobia actually and I’m ashamed to admit that when I saw the mouse I didn’t just scream like a girl and jump on a chair, in fact, I screamed like a girl, jumped on a chair and then ran away and locked myself in the bathroom for half an hour. I’m not really sure what the logic behind the bathroom escape was, but what can I say? Fear is not rational!

I haven’t been back into the kitchen yet, when I finally managed to coax myself out of the bathroom I was only able to get as far as the bedroom and that is where I have been for the rest of the afternoon. Luckily my laptop was already in here otherwise I’m not sure what I would have done with myself, although I have to say I’m starting to get a bit hungry!!

On the up side, I have managed to spend a lot of time researching happy vegan ways to get rid of the mouse. I did consider trying out Hugh FearnleyWhittingstall’s method of burning sage and asking him to leave, but I can only spend so many afternoons locked in the bathroom before I start to lose my mind – and to be perfectly honest, I’m kind of afraid he will smell my fear and decide to get his friends to gang up on me if I take that approach – so, as an alternative to the sage burning hippie method I have ordered myself one of these.

It fulfills my requirement that the mice don’t die, and it’s non toxic, chemical free and environmentally friendly (aside from the small amount of electricity required to run it I suppose).. and Michele, the customer service lady has assured me that she will mail it tomorrow so that I can come out of the bedroom and start roaming around the house as soon as possible.

It’s just a pity that tomorrow is Friday.. looks like I’ll be spending my weekend in bed!

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I was pretty disappointed when October ticked over and I still hadn’t managed to see my first snow. Each morning I wake up and check the mountains to see if there has been snow overnight, and over the last few weeks it was really starting to seem like the winter was actually over. It doesn’t snow a lot here in our lovely little town. At 1028m above sea level, we aren’t quite high enough for regular snowfalls and I’d given up hoping. But then last night, at about 1am, my phone rang, it was Luke, calling from the car, 100 metres down the road on his way home from work.. he’d already phoned when he had finished work to do the “how was your day/I’m on my way home” conversation so I knew it could only be 2 things.. either he had had a horrible accident and driven the car into the lake (This thought plagues me most nights).. or, it was snowing!! I looked up through the skylights above the NikkiNook and sure enough there it was!!

So, naturally I rushed outside in my pyjamas, camera in hand. I didn’t manage to get any good photos of the snow, it was dark afterall and the cold was making my camera temperamental but here is what I did managed to get:

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It was so beautiful!! We stood outside for ages letting the snow fall in our eyes, I caught snowflakes on my tongue and danced around in my pyjamas in the moonlight.. Eventually the cold became too much for us and we migrated inside and huddled by the fire and watched it fall from there but I have to say that it was one of the most fabulous nights EVER! I’m so easily pleased aren’t I?

Since Luke and I don’t usually go to bed before 2 or 3 we generally sleep really late, but this morning I made an effort to get up early to take some photos:

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Anyway that’s all from me for now.. I’m off to light the fire and hope for more snow today so I can take some daylight photos!

Back in Sydney.. we flew in yesterday morning. Strangely enough the temperature inside our Sydney house is colder than most of our NZ adventure despite the average daily temp being 10 degrees warmer here. I suspect it has something to do with the terrible insulation in our flat and hope – desperately – that our house in NZ will somehow be warmer.

Yesterday was a bit of a write off. After getting up at 4am for our flight I spent most of the day in bed. Today promises to be just as unproductive, there is so much to organise before the removalists arrive on the 23rd that I barely know where to begin.. so I’m a bit in denial about it all. Hubby is starting his new job tomorrow though, which means that he will be working nights, leaving me with lots of hours in the day to get things done while he is at work. Hopefully anyway.

During our little holiday I was able to finish off another one of my “1o1 books I own that I haven’t yet read” (#60). I read Monster Love by Carol Topolski. It was pretty interesting and I enjoyed reading it a lot, but I have to say that the last part of the book was intensely unsatisfying and the ending pretty much sucked. Up until that point I could barely put it down and even managed to read a good chunk of it in the car on the drive from Twizel to Christchurch, and I have to say anything that manages to tear my attention away from the breathtaking scenery of New Zealand is doing a damn good job of being entertaining! I’d recommend it – the book I mean – even with the sucky ending.. I think the rest of the book makes up for it.

That’s all from me for now, just wanted to add some photos of the last bits of our trip, including some more strange rock piles (even stranger than expected considering we were on the opposite side of the country than the last lot!), a beautiful stone church in the country with a glass window looking out onto the mountains instead of an altar/stained glass windows, rays of light beaming onto a snow capped mountain and a few others as well…

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Our New Zealand holiday continues. We arrived in Queenstown yesterday afternoon and today we saw our new house for the first time. It’s exciting, and terrifying all at once. I am no longer worried that the house will be falling to pieces or will have rats in the bedrooms (I worry about some strange things – I know!) but now I am worried about not being happy here. It’s a silly thing to worry about, happiness is so subjective and so dynamic too. It’s not really something that can be measured or compared. I’m just a worrier I guess, always have been, and that’s not likely to change overnight!

I was able to tally up a few partial completions on my 101/1001 list today which is great. Hubby and I ate burgers on the shores of Lake Wakatipu today. It was bitterly cold, but wonderful and refreshing at the same time.. we discussed whether or not the meal could count as a picnic (Hubby thought it could – his definition of a picnic being a leisurely meal outdoors, but I decided that it was probably cheating.. a picnic for me includes either one or both of the following: a meal eaten outside on a blanket, or home made meal eaten outside: our meal today included no blanket and was burgers and chips from the local Fergburger restaurant), in the end it was decided that since it was my list then my interpretation of ‘picnic’ was most valid and so lunch today didn’t count as a picnic, meaning it couldn’t work towards #22 on the list (Have 2 picnics by lake Wakatipu, one during the day and one by moonlight), but it did still count against #99 (Eat 101 meals outside)so I’m still happy with that. Once we had finished with our meals we fed the ducks which was fun, they swarmed around us fearless and flocking.. it was eerie and delightful all at once.

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Today, I was also able to put a mark against #42 (Visit the ocean at least 4 times) when, while driving from Franz Josef to Queenstown yesterday afternoon we turned a corner leaving lush green rainforest behind us and found ourselves face to face with the most turbulent ocean I have ever seen.. it was a gray day yesterday, overcast and rainy and windy, and the dark beach with the gray waves crashing violently on the sand really was a sight to behold. Strangely enough the length of coastline, about a kilometre in length was framed with piles and piles of pebbles and rocks, columns balancing precariously in spite of the crazy wind and the crashing waves.. it sure was something! I like to imagine that it is some kind of strange freak of nature that puts them there, the wind picking them up in the black of night and stacking them high.. though more likely it is bored children and thoughtful travellers. Either way it was quite beautiful and absurd.

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Tomorrow we head to Twizel, and then on Friday back onto Christchurch for our flight home on Saturday. I thought I would be feeling sad about going home, but I’m feeling quite good about it. Not much need to be sad I suppose since we’ll be back in a matter of weeks. In the meantime there is lots of packing and paperwork to do.. I think that is the main thing to do when it comes to an international move; packing and paperwork. I’ll probably get a bunch more photos in the next couple of days, but until then, here are a couple of my favourties from the past couple of days.

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