Monday, May 16, 2011

A dose of real life

A few followers have mentioned that they are disappointed that the flow of posts from this blog has slowed to a trickle. They have a point. April and May have seen a dramatic decrease in my posts. I averaged 7 posts in each of January, February and March, but only 4 in April and this is only the second in May so far.

As far as I can determine, there are several reasons for this.

First and foremost, we are traveling less. Coordinated with the beautiful sunshine of a late New Zealand summer and early fall, we traveled extensively during the first half of our trip. We were on the road for at least 2 of every 3 weekends. Since the beginning of April and our visit to Sharika Farm in central Hawke's Bay (the last blog post), we have been away only 2 of the last 7 weekends.

Sunday drive around the Manawatu 20 minutes from our house
The late fall weather has given us a lot of rain, somewhat on par with Montreal's spring. The weather has stayed warm varying between 10 - 20 C which is apparently very unusual for this time of year. I overheard a lady at the post office gleefully remarking to the clerk "We've had the longest summer." Indeed, flowers are still blooming and I was surprised to note that the gardens on the hospital property had all been cleared only to be replanted with pansies a few days later.

Fielding Dog Fair
We've been in New Zealand for 4 months now and have seen more of the country than most Kiwis. Palmerston North is centrally located and there are many places to visit within a couple of hours drive. And we've now been to most of them.

Easter egg hunting
Finally, we recently bought an iPad 2 and I'll admit to a recrudescence of a personal quality that most women tell me is the source of my animal magnetism: my unrelenting attraction to video games. I'll sheepishly admit that I've been spending my evenings playing Civilization Revolution rather than blogging. Sorry.

P90X Ab-Ripper X
So what have we been doing in the interim that I haven't been writing about? The remarkably unglamorous concept of real life: good days, bad days, sunny days, rainy days, kids laughing together, kids fighting, wife happy, wife ... less happy. The novelty of being somewhere other than Beaconsfield has worn off somewhat and the topic of returning to Canada has started to creep into our conversations more frequently. Yet we are all in unanimous agreement that it's too early to go home and there is a lot of exploring yet to be done. No one wants to return to Sidney-Cunningham without having had a crack at Fiji, Bali, Singapore and Australia. The desire to return home has further been dampened by the end of the hockey season and the sopping spring Montreal weather.

But I have two more adventures to relay in the next few days. In mid April, we spent a few days in Rotorua, the nerve center of Maori culture. We also went back to Wellington to satisfy one of the exit criteria for leaving New Zealand: seeing a rugby game played in the rain.

The kids' mother's day gift
And the next big thing is around the corner!  We're 5 days away from a glorious week on Fiji's coral coast. And I promise not to delay too long in showing you the pictures.

Post-script: Some (you know who you are) have asked me to confirm if the Coriolis effect is a real phenomenon. For those that don't recognize the name, it describes the effects of the earth's rotation on moving objects on the earth's surface. To cut to the chase, does water drain out of the toilet bowl in opposite directions in the northern and southern hemispheres? Lord Wikipedia tells me that the forces are apparently too small to account for any difference, but for what it's worth, clockwise in our New Zealand home.

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