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Monday, September 04, 2006

Going native

Starting to settle in to life here in the Wellington region, and I'm quite liking it. Spring is now clearly on its way and plenty of social opportunities abound. Spent the weekend at Andrew and Vicki's house in neighboring Greytown, on the "other side of the hill" as they say around here. Andrew is another vet I work with and Vicki is his wife, whom he met while doing his O/E (overseas experience) in England several years back. Next weekend I'm off to have coffee with Nicky and her fiancee, whom I have not yet met. Nicky is another vet from work but unfortunately she's leaving in a couple of weeks. Still it will be nice to make more friends and she and her husband will be staying in the Welly area when they come back from their honeymoon.

I'm going to see my first opera the weekend after that ("Faust") and I'm soon to join a tramping club (what we call hiking back in the States). I'm also looking into doing some volunteer work, perhaps doing a writer's workshop, and - if I can find it - an acting class! I've also just joined the local gym, so piece by piece my life is starting to resemble what it was before I left the USA, plus a little bit more. I'm 'getting on to it' as the Kiwis say.

Nothing could replace my good friends back home, and I look forward to being back with them someday, but that won't be for another few years yet if I can help it. I've come too far and sacrificed too much to just stay here the one year. Three to five years sounds more like it! I really hope some of you can make it over here at some point, there is so much here. The pictures and my droning on and on in this blog just can't do justice to what it's like Down Under.

Getting back to Andrew and Vicki, it turns out Vicki trained as a nurse but she grew out of it after six years, which is not hard for me to understand because I've seen how difficult the life of a nurse can be. She's turned out to be quite a talented painter, as she and Andrew have turned one room of their house into a gallery and she has paintings up in two different art galleries. She's also part of an exciting new 'art trail', just making its debut in their little corner of New Zealand. Greytown is right in the midst of some of the north island's best wine country, with the de facto wine capital Martinborough just around the corner from it. There are 20 different artists, all from several different disciplines, featured along a lazy crawl through this valley. It's being touted as the Main ARTery, and here's a link to it:

Wairarapa Art Trail

Her full name on the site is Victoria Cassells. When I get more money (and a place to hang up things), I'll certainly be buying some of her art!

In the sporting news, unfortunately the All Blacks lost this weekend, but they did very well against Australia and South Africa overall and still look like one of the teams to beat for next year's rugby world cup. Before long I'll be making my way to the 'cake tin' to see the Wellington Lions play, and several AB's play for them so it'll be a good deal.

Pretty much that's it for now. I can't wait to break out the camera again and go on some of these walks around the harbor, but so far I haven't had good weather or the time and I need both. Stay tuned.
*Image of painting by Victoria Cassells used with her permission!


Blogger michelleva6 said...

Brooksie!!!!! It really sounds like you are settling in. We still miss our "Uncle Dr Brooks"!
Don't forget to keep taking pictures.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Thanks very much for your kind words in my online art portfolio. Your my first commenter. I hope you're enjoying NZ. Cheers.

2:41 PM  

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