I advertised for a flatmate on TradeMe last night and have already had someone take a look. He's British and has only been in the country a couple of months. He knew exactly where St Ives was, because he graduated from Cambridge as recently as 2011. So he's a clever bugger. He now works as a geologist (interesting job) in town. He almost turned a blind eye to the whole earthquake-risk business (he missed the big quakes we had in August and September). It was funny showing him around. I feel a bit embarrassed by how big my place is considering I live here alone. I'm not sure about him: practically he'd be fine I think, but his youthful exuberance might get a bit much. A 32-year-old German woman, who works at the hospital, has expressed interest too.
I arrived in New Zealand ten years ago today. What an absolutely stunning day that was. Not a cloud in the sky; as we drove from Christchurch to Temuka the sun was mind-blowingly bright as it lit up the snow-capped Four Peaks. Perhaps being zonked from spending 24 hours on a plane actually enhanced that experience. Today has been quite the opposite (admittedly in a part of the country that experiences "the opposite" more often than Canterbury does). It started off grey and drizzly, just the sort of day you get when you land at Heathrow and go home via the M25. Then around lunchtime the drizzle turned into proper rain, and it's been properly raining ever since.
Ten years, or 3653 days, is a long time. I don't feel like I've achieved much in that time but maybe my own expectations are too high. In 2004 and '05 I gradually became more and more Kiwified, going on road trips and getting to know which rugby team plays where. But that Kiwification has since unravelled and I no longer feel especially attached to any country (I do however feel some affinity with Wellington now). I should mention Mum - she spent thirty years in the UK, got married and brought up two kids there, and when she came back to her old stomping ground of Geraldine to live, it was like she'd been away for thirty minutes.
Silvio Berlusconi has been kicked out of parliament after being convicted for tax fraud. My only response to that: Hooray! What a nasty piece of work.
Here a couple of recent Joe Bennett articles that I liked. There's this gem about people's smartphones being chucked in the Avon river, and this one about pronunciation of French words in English, a subject I touched on in this post last month.