Posted in daily diary

Day 4: Schools, playgrounds, driving & hot pools

Thursday 22 September

Finally we had a good night’s sleep! We all woke several times, but managed to get back to sleep easily. It was lovely to wake up and feel refreshed, rather than just being tired and cross.

Today we went to visit the new schools, and collect the enrolment forms. This also meant I was driving, and without any SatNav, as my new sim card hadn’t yet arrived. Luckily, the school is just round the corner, so I didn’t get lost or crash the car. The primary school sprawls over a large site, with lots of small, low buildings and separate playgrounds. The girls were amazed to see children running around with no shoes on!

The lady in the office was so friendly, chatting and befriending the girls, and we came away with a stack of forms to complete. S was put out to discover that she’ll be going into Year 4 for the rest of this year, and then starting Year 5 in the New Year. She perked up when I pointed out that after this term, she’ll have two full years at school without her sister, and then two years at the intermediate on her own again. She was quite pleased by this idea!

We were left to wander around the school (without signing in, or an escort! I’ve been in England for long enough to find this shocking. 🙂 ), bumped into a teacher who again, chatted to the girls to put them at ease. We peeked into classrooms and had a good look at the playgrounds and climbing equipment, and admired the pool. It turns out we can have a key to the pool over the summer holidays, so we can swim when we like. We counted the desks in one classroom and found just 25 – such a change from the 60 children in the combined classrooms we had a Freemantle.

We were also very impressed by the size of the library, which has its own building, and had to take some pictures for Mr P back in Southampton:



One major drawback is that they don’t offer hot dinners here, so we’ll have to actually make our own packed lunches most days. There is the option to order a lunch from the local sandwich shop, but I get the impression that this is usually just a treat, rather than a daily option.

Next, we headed to the Intermediate school which was a little harder to find without the satnav, but got there without too many diversions. Again, we saw kids running around in their bare feet, and some exciting play equipment, which the girls had a sneaky play on as we left. In the office, we met a lovely lady who had spoken to N yesterday, and received another large packet of forms. Then the principal came up and chatted to L, utterly charming her when he guessed where she was from, just by listening to her accent.

Then we headed off to Bayfair at the Mount, and the girls were a bit worried that I was winging the navigation, but we got there without any problems. We met my sister, N, and her husband, M, for lunch and a spot of shopping, before heading back home – again without the satnav. On the way home we saw loads of pukeko, so S has renamed the road “Pukeko Road.” They’re very cute looking birds.

To end the day, we went to the Fernland hotpools, which are, as the name suggests, surrounded by ferns and trees. The girls had a great time splashing and climbing over poor Granddad. It left them worn out though, and S snoozed on the way home, then fell asleep on the floor watching tv after dinner.

And to round off the day, our new sim cards arrived in the post, so I’m back online when out and about. And I have satnav again! Yay!!

And now it’s nearly 9:30pm and I’m still awake, which is quite exciting after the last few nights.


Kiwi, just returned home after 17 years in the UK. Feminist, wife, mother to 2 daughters. Strongly opinionated and very vocal. I'm wicked through and through.

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