Kia Ora!

Welcome to Queenstown, New Zealand!

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Β A view of snow capped mountains & a lake from the balcony – perfect!

I think there should be a competition between airlines for the most original safety video. If I were to judge the competition, the Air New Zealand’s clip would be on the shortlist. I actually giggled out loud as the All Blacks rapped their way through instructions on how to fasten your seatbelt. I definitely paid more attention to the announcement, but am doubtful as to how much of the information I actually acknowledged and where I could find the nearest exit.

On the advice from friends, I flew into Queenstown on the promise of exceptional views. I didn’t check-in until at Sydney airport, and was consequently left with an aisle seat, sadly over the wing; a school-girl error and my view was obliterated. I did, however, enjoy watching the film, Eddie the Eagle.

This winter, and I keep calling it summer, I am working for NZSKI at Coronet Peak. This week has mainly entailed getting a bank account, an IRD number, a new mobile and number, signing a lot of forms, figuring out the buses, signing up to the gym, company training days, and eating.

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The famous Ferg Burger – the photograph doesn’t do it justice. It was the bomb. And this was just their ‘standard’ cheese burger. The choice was, again, overwhelming. I will be back.

I loved Japan, I really did, but how I have missed reading the back of packets in the supermarket. Yes, I am one of those geeks, and much to the annoyance of some! Whilst in Japan, the novelty of not having a clue what was in food wore thin, fast.

On my first shopping trip in New Zealand, I spent far too long selecting a jar of peanut butter. There were about six brands to choose from, as well as whether to go sugar free, salt free, oil free – I was overwhelmed but also just thrilled I could buy peanut butter once again.

Furthermore, I had a comprehensive list of all these Kiwi treats to try: Pineapple Lumps, Squiggles, Whittaker’s chocolate, Jaffas, Timtams, Perky Nanas, Pixie Caramels, Proper Milo.

And that’s just all the sweet treats. The supermarkets are thriving with ‘healthier’ options – coconut oil, milk & flour; almond milk & flour; chia, lin, sunflower seeds; quinoa; rice; mixed packets of different grains that are easy to cook and already portioned. It really is overwhelming! A lady came up to me and said ‘are you ok?’ I was embarrassed and sheepishly replied that I was trying to figure out how much I could carry home. I clearly looked shell shocked.

I’m slowly making my way through the list of sweet delights, but hoping to avoid heart palpitations and too high a sugar high by pacing myself; I do have all season.

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The Remarkables Sweet Shop. “Would you like to try any of our fudge?” “Yes, all of it. Please.” I felt obliged to buy some and settled for the dark chocolate, caramel and sea salt.

I wonder how many times I will say that before the season is suddenly over. Therefore I am jotting down a bucket list to ensure I have a good crack at all I want to do whilst I have these opportunities open to me.

To burn these sweet delights, I’ve been walking and started running again. It is stunning here and exploring on foot is sometimes the best way to discover a place. It is very reminiscent of the Lake District or Scotland, but with bigger mountains.

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Sunrise over Queenstown; up promptly for a morning run

Tomorrow we are walking up to the top of the Skyline (I thought it was a spaceship the other evening, with the lights just hanging mid-air). Towards the end of the week I’ll be back on snow once again, and hopefully working over the weekend.

In the meantime, if it could get a wee bit colder, at least so the snow canons can keep working, and maybe snow, just a little? I mean 10 centimeters will do, I promise. #japanwithdrawals

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