Tag: Ingleton

Oh woe and misery!! (or it never rains but it pours) and “anyone want a house!”


Well, we have had a bit of a depressing week this week. From hope and happiness to doom and despair in a few short days!

I’ll set the scene – a promise of a whole term’s worth of salary was announced by the arrival of a payslip on Monday after several long phone calls to Payroll in Wellington the previous Friday. We should expect the money by Wednesday at the latest! Hooray! Aonghas has been patiently waiting for his Nintendo Wii (the money for which he had saved up from Birthday and Christmas) since we got here. But as we had no television and we had spent his money (dreadful parents that we are!) we said that he would have to wait. The television problem was solved when his friend Hong’s Mum and Dad lent us their old one but we still had no money! We promised him that we would buy it when I got paid which we thought would have happened weeks ago!! So he was very excited when it looked like he would be able to have his Wii this week for the holidays. Not so! No money on Monday, no money on Tuesday, checked the bank account just about every hour but still no money on Wednesday! On Thursday I phoned Payroll who said that the money had gone from there and should be in my account, so they suggested I phone school. On phoning them and checking my payslip more carefully we found that the account number was wrong by one digit – so my money was somewhere in the ether – possibly in someone else’s account! Several frantic phone calls later by the wonderful accounts staff at school to Wellington and I now have a promise that the money will be in MY account by the end of today. I won’t hold my breath!! Just keep checking the account….

We have spent a few pleasant mornings in the museum this week keeping busy and being entertained. What’s wrong with that, I hear you say? Well, nothing really except when you come out and go back to the car to find that someone has got into it and stolen all your CDs! No apparent sign of forced entry (I had checked that it was locked before leaving it but as it has central locking I only checked the drivers door trusting that the central locking worked), and fortunately no damage to the car. They also took the registration documents and the insurance details from the glove compartment. What else was in there I don’t know – my sunglasses, and other bits of junk. My guess is they just tipped the contents of the glove compartment in a bag and ran. Not sure if it is worth making a claim but when you count up the cost o 20 or so CDs you suddenly realise that that is quite a lot of money. Had to phone the insurers to ask them to send out a new policy document so will see what our excess is and work out whether it is worth claiming.  Spent the next hour at the police station reporting the theft and getting the car brushed for fingerprints.  Nothing positive came up so I’m guessing it’ll just be another one to put down to experience!

As I have already blogged we have spent the last couple of weekends getting excited about looking at houses and even found one we think we could put an offer in for once our sale comes through. But – yes, you’ve guessed it! Six weeks after making an offer our buyer has pulled out – SIX WEEKS!! He claims it is because builders reports state that there is too much work to do. However he had builders round there BEFORE he put in his offer. We know that because in the course of doing that he switched the water on, left it on and as a result caused a leak which luckily our friends found when they went to open the windows to air the house. It resulted in our friends having to fit a new water tank and clean up all the mess. It also caused our next door neighbours problems, but I won’t go into that as it is far too complicated! We suspect that he has had problems getting a mortgage and is using building repairs as an excuse. He was already getting the house for considerably less than the market value even given the depressed state of the market. How can he decide now after 4 or 5 months (he first viewed it back in Feb.March) that it is not what he wants? Grrrr! VERY frustrating! Okay, rant over ….

So if anyone out there knows of anyone who wants a substantial Victorian family home in Ingleton North Yorkshire please make us an offer. (3 bedrooms, large living kitchen, large living room, copious amount of boarded out, dry cellar space, mature garden (probably quite overgrown by now but it is lovely underneth!!), 2 garden sheds, outdoor ex-toilet now shed! Off road parking. It is the former mine manager’s house from when Ingleton was a thriving mining village. The three cellars are dry, centrally heated, and used by us as a children’s play room, a study and a storage area for all our caving, climbing, camping, walking gear so there is plenty of space! The kitchen is the hub of the house – we unearthed a big hearth and stone lintel before we left but had no time to do anything with it so there is scope to devlop that. But the kitchen is big enough for a large dining table so we spent most of our time in there! The sun pours in in the afternoon and late evening making it a really sunny spot to be. The living room is the same size as the kitchen and again the light comes in afternoons and evenings. Upstairs there are three bedrooms and a bathroom, the master bedroom has fully fitted wardrobes. All looking a bit sad now that no one has been living there for six months so it desperately needs a happy family to keep it company again! We look forward to being inundated with offers!!

Mount Pleasant - front door
Mount Pleasant - front door
Mount Pleasant, Ingleton

Mount Pleasant - garden
Mount Pleasant - garden Mount Pleasant -doorway

Part 4 Blasts from the past


Looking out over Chapel-le-DaleMonday was strange as I returned to QES to say hello to former colleagues and also to sort out a letter to prove that I have actually worked as a teacher in the UK for the last 17 years! It’s crazy the detail required by the Salaries Assessment Unit in New Zealand so that they can actually work out what pay scale I should be on. So far I have been paid on the basic scale of $27,000 which is just peanuts. At least when they sort it out it will be all back dated which should be good.

How weird though, being back in the staffroom at QES – most people did a double take when they saw me – walked past and said “Hi, there” and then looked again and realised that I shouldn’t be there anymore and stopped to ask me how things were etc…. Going into the Dining Hall for lunch was the strangest though – I was mobbed by hordes of my ex-pupils which was lovely – made me feel missed, quite sad really! Shame I didn’t get to see any of my wonderful form though as they were all on Study Leave, some of them keep in contact via Facebook which is great so I do hear occasionally what they are up to!

On Tuesday I had a hair appointment booked at Tangles in Ingleton but before that I surprised my friend and co-Windermere Lake swimmer Liz by inviting myself in for a coffee! In the afternoon, as it was a wonderful day I decided to walk up Ingleborough. It was quite breezy and as usual was pretty chilly on the top but the views were fantastic if a little hazy. I felt quite sad as I walked up there thinking that it may be the last time I see the familiar views of my beloved Dales. However there are lots of new places to discover on the other side of the world and I have had the good fortune to live in and explore a beautiful part of the world for 20 years so I mustn’t complain! It is time to look forward!me on top of Ingleborough!

Late afternoon and evening was hectic as I met up with Jo to catch up with all her news and then over to the B & Q’s for tea. Seeing all our friends is lovely but having to say goodbye again is hard – quite an emotional rollercoaster really. In fact I am starting to feel quite tired as I have moved around from place to place – a few days here and night or two there … being in one place for a few days will be good though there will be plenty of things to do, I am sure!

We have furniture!.. and stuff!!


unpacking the container

I am writing to you all now in a room full of “stuff!”. Wow! All our familiar bits and pieces transposed from Ingleton to Hamilton – it feels really weird but also very comforting!

New Zealand Vanlines arrived on Thursday morning with our container that I had last seen in the wind and lashing rain of a Yorkshire Dales winter.

container on A65

saying goodbye!

When we waved it goodbye as it set off down the A65 we couldn’t really comprehend what it was going to be like to greet it in NZ. We had no idea where we would be living, what sort of house we would have, what the weather would be like – so many unknowns, but things have a way of sorting themselves out. So, in the scorching heat of a Waikato summer our belongings were carried out of the container which had been their home for 8 weeks by a couple of burly Islanders. Where it took two Englishmen to lift my dining table into the container, it was hoisted single-handedly onto Mac’s shoulder and passed over the fence to his mate on the other side! They made short work of emptying the container and we were left with a house and a garage filled with boxes and packages.

the garage!We have had a busy few days, as you might imagine, unpacking boxes and discovering the delights of our belongings. It has been like Christmas! Mind you, we have also opened boxes and wondered why on earth we spent money on transporting such junk half way across the world! Having lived with the bare minimum for 8 weeks you realise just how much useless paraphernalia we collect as we go through life and how much you can just do without. However, all that extra paraphernalia is now with us and we will just have to work out how we can dispose of it before the kids notice we have thrown out all their toys! It’s a good job that boxes …there is a large garage here as the house is considerably smaller than Mount Pleasant and the attached photos show just how full it is! I think a garage sale is needed! the “al fresco” living roomThe weather here is really conducive to outdoor living at the moment and so we have created an extra room on the patio by the pool with a settee and table. It is lovely to sit out there in comfort and relax with a book and a glass of wine watching the children play in the pool! One of the particular delights of unpacking was finding the stash of alcohol the packers (I didn’t know anything about it, honest!) had deposited in the boxes! Zoco, 43, Champagne, Glenfiddich – (actually we haven’t found that yet!).

Brian & Nige hard at workAny way, many thanks have to go to Nigel’s Uncle Brian for the two 10 hour days he put in moving boxes from one side of the garage to the other (and then back again) to unearth the shelving units, rebuild them and then put all the boxes on them, braving a shower of ants, and still maintaining a sense of humour! Chris and Brian along with George and Barbara were our first real visitors and it was lovely to see them. Hopefully George and Barbara are now enjoying themselves in Bali before heading back to sunny Edinburgh. I say hopefully because their saga of cancelled, postponed and non-existent flights is a definite holiday scare story! (Avoid Quantas!)Lachlan having a break!

Lachlan spent a happy day reacquainting himself with all his belongings – it’s the first time he has voluntarily tidied his room anyway! Mind you he had to keep stopping to admire his work and have a rest!

To escape the mountain of boxes, C, B, G and B took us out for dinner on Thursday evening. We went to a place called Gengy’sGengys’s (Ghenghis Khan) where you pick the ingredients for your meal and then take them to the chef who cooks them on a hot plate. The kids thought it was great especially as you can keep on going back for more – George thought it was pretty good too! Aonghas was particularly impressed because he could have as many pancakes as he wanted for pudding! An interesting place to go if you happen to be in Hamilton (apparently there is one in Wellington too so I guess it’s part of a chain), good food, friendly staff, a pleasant though bustling and somewhat noisy ambiance and reasonably priced too.

By Saturday evening we had a reasonably functioning living room and kitchen – and we had found the Champagne so we duly cracked open a bottle and sat in our “al fresco” living room for an aperitif. Thanks to Chris and Brian for all their help.

Since then we have continued to “discover” all our treasures – Aonghas was overjoyed to be reunited with all his teddies!’ Nigel has got the computer up and running – not without some glitches but what’s new? Lachlan found his kicking tee so has been out practising his kicking in the park and I was pleased to get my bike so now I can get out and about on that.having fun in the pool

We still have a garage full and it is starting to look more organised however I am sure that much of the stuff will stay there until we move again.

Easter weekend coming up and now we have our camping gear (which, along with the caving gear was all passed ok by the man from MAF) we are hoping to get away somewhere, probably to the beach. Because of the organisation of the terms the boys only have a long weekend (Thurs to Tues inc) but it’ll be great to explore a bit further afield. Will let you know how we get on.

Saturday Eve


Have arranged a going away party at Ingleton Community Centre for Saturday evening. Not been very efficient at getting invites out. Did a joint mail with our Christmas cards but harder to get in touch with folks whose addresses we don’t have. The old caving grapevine doesn’t seem to work as well as it used to so apologies if you didn’t hear about it in time. Lots of you did make it though and it was lovely to see so many folk and we hope you all had a great time too and had a safe journey home. We’re really sorry if we didn’t get the chance to talk very much to you all. We have sat and played back the evening in our heads and think that one or the other of us spoke to everyone, so we hope we didn’t miss anyone. Thank you also for all the kind gifts both for us and the children.

Have uploaded some pictures from the evening to http://www.flickr.com/photos/easegill/sets/72157603851691832/show
If anyone has other photos from the night please send to easegill@gmail.com or add links here in the comments.

We do hope that it’s not the last time that we see all our friends. I’m sure that at some point we’ll come back for a holiday but NZ is a really cool place for a holiday and we’d love to put any of you up if you visit. The only problem you’ll have is not having enough time to see it all!

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