Dear Auckland Transport . . . Part 3

Dear Auckland Transport,

My faith has been restored in our relationship, and I am glad there are a few nice people in Auckland after all!

I have had an emotional few hours in Auckland, getting wet and lost etc, and then my phone must have fallen out of my pocket as I got off the bus!


My phone also has my cards and room key in it!


I look at the bus stop for some way to contact you and there is a phone number but I no longer have a phone! I note down the number and splash my way back to the motel reception to ask for help, feeling very sorry for myself.

Thankfully I was the only person I have seen on all my rides that has paid cash instead of HOP card and therefore have a receipt with bus ID details on it.
The young guy at reception then rings and is put through to someone who contacts the bus with details of where I was sitting etc and will ring back soon.
He then lets me into my room using the master key. I put dry clothes on and think about what I can buy for dinner with the $5 cash I have in my handbag, with no way to contact my husband who I had just been texting on the bus.

Only a few minutes later, reception rings and says my phone has been found safe and sound!
As I have no idea how to find the bus company, let alone enough money to get another bus there, someone from the bus company is willing to drop it back to my motel at the end of their shift in a few hours.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, lovely person at Auckland Transport, someone really does care about customer service after all.

From a very thankful customer.


Dear Auckland Transport . . . Part 2

Dear Auckland Transport,

Oh why are you so hard to use?!

I have just spent the last half an hour splashing about in the rain trying to find a ride home (to the motel).
My map of Auckland is now soaking wet and is of no use as I don’t even know what street I am on!

I have passed bus stop after bus stop in central Auckland trying to figure out what bus  I need to catch in order for me to get back to my motel, and your bus stop signs are NOT helpful. I have also asked a few bus drivers which bus I need to catch and none of them had any idea.

I eventually sat down outside a cafe to see if I could connect to wifi and try and use your website again, and a waitress came to my aid. She went back inside and gathered information from staff and customers and directed me towards a bus stop outside a stripper bar next to a kebab shop. Yes, I was surprised to hear that.

So I splashed my way over a couple more streets and eventually got on the bus I am now on, and hoping it is going where I need to go to.

From a very wet and annoyed customer.

Dear Auckland Transport . . . Part 1

Dear Auckland Transport,

I do not like you.
I am writing to say I am very disappointed with the service I did NOT receive this morning.

Our relationship soured when the first bus I tried to catch drove right past me.

I started off confident and prepared as I had used your website to plan and print out my journey, and was at the bus stop across from my motel 7 minutes prior to ETA of the bus. A bus passed a few minutes later that was not the one I wanted and as it was pouring with rain (as it did most of the time I was in Auckland) I sat down to wait for a few minutes.

Imagine my surprise when soon after the bus I DID want to catch drove right past me 3 minutes before the scheduled time! I did not know that I was expected to wait on the roadside and wave my arms to attract your attention in order to catch a ride.

I had not written out the Plan B I saw on the website so I ended up walking in the rain for about 30 minutes to my destination.

From a very disappointed (almost) customer.



My son turned 13 on Monday and I am in denial as I don’t feel old enough to be the mother of a teenager. But, as I will be 40 in a couple of years I guess this is not a realistic idea.

So teenagers, hmm not looking forward to having a grumpy, smelly, sleepy, and unhelpful young man in my house. But as he’s so far been a 99% lovely child I hold out hope that he will continue to be so.

I find it terrifying and exciting to be responsible for helping him to become a great man and hope my ‘village’ still helps along the way.

Medical dramas

I’ve had a dramatic start to August with my husband being very ill on Tuesday morning and paramedics (including our students – so proud!) diagnosing him with vertigo. Possibly caused by a mix of having a cold and flying to Auckland for work last week, or some other inner ear infection thingy. Either way it’s been very unpleasant for him and is on anti-nausea pills just to walk around the house.
He has one eye looking in one direction and the other follows slightly behind and a bit wobbly which is very odd to look at! He went back to work on Friday morning then I took him to his doctor at lunch time, the only appointment we could get all week!
His doctor was a pretty laid back fellow who agreed with the paramedics and said we would pretty much have to wait it out and it should get better on its own. When we asked if he would benefit from physio as the paramedics suggested, he said we could learn the moves of some of the exercises from Youtube! Wow that surprised me!
Anyway that’s all for tonight. Take care people.


Mt. dishes

Yesterday afternoon mr almost 13 and I (ok mostly I) tackled Mt.Dishes.


Two and a half hours later, fingers wrinkled like raisins, we had reached the bench and then had a few minutes to ‘dry’ off before making brownies and then dinner. So for a few minutes there ALL the dishes were done!

I should mention here that yes we do have a dishwasher in our (not so) new house, but a lot of baking bowls and other stuff can’t go in there. #firstworldproblems I know LOL

Red puppy bikkie day

One of the ways I help out NZ charities is by selling baking to help them.

Today is one of those days #bikkieday:

Red puppy bikkies 20160711

Mr almost 13 and I spent the weekend baking puppy shaped cookies for Red Puppy Bikkie Day.


This is one of the charities I bake for, others are SPCA cupcake day in August, NZBCF pink cupcakes in October, etc.

So instead of just donating money to charity (not that there is anything wrong with that!), I spend some time creating something yummy to share with others, and generate awareness of the charity with my colleagues and others who I sell the baking to.

Do you help charities fundraise money?


4th of July

I was in the USA on the 4th of July 2002. Wow 14 years ago, I had to re-count!

I was surprised by the lack of celebrations at the camp I was a staff member at.
I am not sure if this was because we were busy with preparing the camp for the children arriving soon. Or that it was a fairly conservative kinda place, or just that it was mid-week and we didn’t really have any time off to ourselves.

It was cool to see so many homes displaying the USA flag on their properties, one of the things that pointed out I was most definitely not at home in NZ! And of course I had to buy some mini flags to display around the place when I got home so I didn’t miss my new friends so much.

Anyway just wanting to say Happy Independence Day to all my American buddies, I miss you all🙂

Cold last day of #BlogJune

It’s mid-winter here in NZ, and while we have had a few freezing mornings, it has been quite mild so far.

Having said that, I work inside with a heater under my desk! And the thermometer says 21.9deg C.

My workplace is an award-winning building designed to be eco-heated with natural materials or something. In reality it is too hot in summer and too cold in winter, like most other buildings.

At home we have an HRV system, which is supposed to circulate clean warm air throughout the house, and dry out ‘weepy windows’ from it being cold in winter.
As we were still getting these on the few really cold days we had, I bumped up the power setting on it and haven’t noticed any since. However as we haven’t had any more really cold days, it’s hard to say if that is what has helped or not.

We have gas central heating which is quite old and expensive to run, so we only put that on for an hour or so on really cold nights or mornings. The rest of the time we load up on blankets, or put a heater on in the lounge only.

How is the heating situation at your work or home?