Hi everyone, sorry its been so long since my last post, I've been to busy/ lazy to write. Well I moved into my flat about two weeks ago and its great to finally have my own space, unpack my bags and settle in one place. My flatmates are nice, all three are girls and there's a German, a Brazilian and a Kiwi. Life isn't very exciting at the moment, just working full time at Moore Wilson's and that's about it.
Yesterday I managed to escape Wellington to a small (tiny) village called Martinbourgh, to the north in the Wairapa Valley. It had small wooden building surrounding a the main square which were mainly shops and cafe's and it was very picturesque, like an Austin movie. The reason for me going there was a wine and food festival called Toast Martinbourgh which involved 9 of the many vineyards in the village. My friend and I (the last of those on the group flight left in Wellington) took the bus from Wellington and were dropped off in the towm square where we presented our ticket at a tent there. we were given a wine glass in a plastic holder on a cord so we could hang our glasses around our necks all day, these were our passes to get into each vinyard. they had lines engraved for 'taste' and 'glass' depending on whether you wanted to purchase a taste or glass of wine at each vinyard. We then went to a second tent to buy our 'festival francs' as only the monopoly-like money would be accepted at each vinyard. We decided as we had never been before to attempt to visit all the vinyards as we weren't sure what the best ones were and wanted to try a bit of everything. They also had different bands and musicians at each place and as we had never heard of any of them we wanted to find the best music.
So we looked at the map and figured out our route around the town, either walking or taking the free shuttle buses which our glasses allowed up to ride one. We would arrive at each vinyard and look at the wine list, both me and my friend buying a taste of a different wine so we could try each others. Tastes cost between $4-8 depending on the wine and we got one or two at every vineyard. Each vineyard also had its own catering team with some of the best caterers and restaurants in Wellington at the festival. We got something to eat at all except one of the vineyards, most of the time buying one dish and sharing it between us, otherwise we would have been even more full and even more broke by the end of the day. We also needed to food to soak up the copious amounts of alcohol we were drinking. The wine highlights for me were the Vynfields Classic Reisling and the Ata Rangi Celebre (pronounced Celeb). The best food was at Alana with the venison burger with beetroot relish being my favourite and music-wise there was actually a very good country rock band and a 70's tribute act which weren't to bad. at the end of the day we headed home on the bus, and as most of you who know know me will know, I am very prone to travel sickness. Now how I survived the journey while drunk, in a bus on a windy mountain road I will never know but somehow the contents of my stomach stayed there, and a good thing to because it was all very expensive!
One thing I have noticed about New Zealand which annoys me a little is that they abbreviate everything! and I mean everything! Yesterday no one at the festival asked for Sauvingnon Blanc, they wanted 'Sav'. Avacodos are 'Avos and San Francisco Sourdough bread is 'San Fran.' www... is shortened to 'dub dub dub' and chrissy is Christmas.They have weird names for things like flip-flops are called 'jandles,' a holiday home is called a 'batch,' 'cackhanded' means left handed, and they use the word capsicum instead of peppers. They also say 'ey' (pronounced like the letter a, or like hay without the 'h') at the end of a lot of comments to turn them into questions like 'This bread was baked today ey'? and they add 'as' at the end of things as well like 'that was sweet as' or 'that joke was funny as.'
So in general life is sweet as at the moment, just saving up to go travelling next year, hoping to find a batch on the beach to stay at!