Although it was April Fools Day the Department of Internal Affairs made sure that my Citizenship Ceremony was in the afternoon – meaning it was unlikely to be an elaborate trick.
Yes, after 20 years in the country I can now officially call myself a New Zealander. (It was purely slackness on my part, it usually doesn’t take that long.)
Here is a rare glimpse of Pigalina with Mayor Dave Cull.
We headed out to the end of the Otago Peninsula to investigate what is there, as it has been many years since we did.
Pilots Beach held a wealth of seals and they were not scared of humans – sunbathing on the rocks within feet of the many people. Living at the site of one of Dunedin’s most popular tourist attractions (the albatross colony) will do that to you.
The other side revealed steep cliffs with a view of the lighthouse and numerous nesting birds. We didn’t spot any albatross but I can confirm you can see some good sights at the end of the peninsula without spending any money.
Saw the largest jellyfish I have ever seen today. As if it wasn’t hard enough to get in the sea with its less than pleasant temperature!
Pigalina is British but has lived in New Zealand for 20 years next month. I already refer to New Zealanders as “us” and “we” so time to make it official.
This could have happened a number of years ago when the rest of my family were applying, but we all got way-laid and it was delayed for a year or so. Then, once it was back on track, I was informed that the previous offer to have the fee paid for me was rescinded – “You earn enough, you can pay for it yourself.”. Oh.
So, four years or so after the rest of my family, today I went to my appointment. I was out of there after ten minutes. I had expected it to take longer, especially with the questions in the form about if I have ever manufactured chemical weapons or been a member of a terrorist organization. Although I had ticked “No”.
Today we went to Tunnel Beach. Tourists were swarming; we had to remind ourselves how lucky we are that it is just two minutes drive from our house.
The “Tunnel” in the picture is not the tunnel you are looking for. The real tunnel was hand carved out of the soft rock about 100 years ago and takes you down to a little beach. It is pretty cool and if you are ever in Dunedin you should definitely visit, be prepared for a very steep walk back to your car…
A combination of me leaving the written directions at home, a lack of phone coverage and me eating a messy pie while driving, led to Mr Pigalina being driven 18km more than necessary on gravel road on his birthday. I had planned a scenic route home from the Catlins but bungled the turn-off so backtracking was required.
We did however get to visit Toko Mouth.
We headed to the Catlins for Mr Pigalina’s birthday, to relax and do nothing. The goal was achieved.
On our Labour Weekend holiday we ventured out from our base in Riverton to explore the bottom of the South Island of New Zealand.
The first sight we discovered was a bra-covered fence, not unusual in NZ, with a sign declaring it to be “Tom’s Tit Stop”. We tried to get a good photo but the scary dogs barking at us and the presence of (we assumed) Tom, looking at us from his caravan, led us to conclude that the bras were souvenirs of unfortunate victims of Tom – like Wolf Creek.
From there we visited Cosy Nook, Monkey Island (pictured, top left) and Gem Stone Beach. While we didn’t find any gem stones we did discover a little house tucked behind a cliff and trees above the beach (bottom left).
Lunch was sausages in Tuatapere (right) the sausage capital of New Zealand. Now, I am one who usually prefers their sausages made from fungus (Quorn) but man oh man I cannot stop thinking about those Tuatapere bangers. I need to find a supplier.
From there we headed to Bluecliffs then onto the Cliffden Suspension Bridge, once the longest of its kind in the country.
A very satisfying road trip, ticking off many new places we never knew existed.
Pigalinas went to the beach and had sandwiches and beer. There were about ten other groups of people around and we commented on how busy “our beach” was.
It is days like this that cement my not moving back to England. There would have been 10,000 people.
Mr Pigalina went to work and, being a Saturday, I was determined not to spend the time he was there eating and watching TV like usual. The dog and I instead went on a walk as far as we could in one direction until he finished work.
I can’t tell you exactly how far we walked as I forgot to restart my app after stopping to check a map, but it was about 12km. We saw lots of sights that were new, enjoyed the sun and wore down the dogs cat-like claws on the footpath along the way.
Then we both had a nice nap at home.