Wednesday, 1 March 2017

February 2017 Coffee Date

Wow, February has literally just whooshed past!  It started off with me preparing for and looking forward to my first big race in New Zealand, and two kiddos in kindy.  And now, a mere 28 days later, I'm the proud owner of a Cigna Round the Bays finisher's medal (and brand new PB!) and we have one kiddo in kindy and one in "big school"...  What an eventful month!  So grab a cup of coffee, and let's catch up.  (Thanks to Laces and Lattes for the idea!)

Currently eating

Ah, eating...  I must confess that the whole eating situation here in NZ has caught me a bit off guard.  For our first two weeks here I was in a complete daze: New shops, new brands, and a variety so big that it made my head spin.  Thankfully I've since reached a point where I know what I want and where to get it, but unfortunately one challenge still remains: Food prices.  Oy.  Food is expensive in NZ.  Hugely expensive.  And I'm not talking about fancy, organic this or all-natural that, no.  I'm talking about normal, everyday grocery items like eggs, veggies and bread.  Ouch.

And if everyday grocery items are that expensive, it goes without saying that the healthy stuff is even worse.  Double ouch.  In South Africa it used to be pretty easy to find a wholesome, healthy snack or treat for under R10 (NZ$1) in most of the bigger centres.  Not here.  I really battle to find healthy (or any, for that matter!) snacks and treats for under NZ$2 (about R20).  So, yes.  It's so much more affordable to just buy the sugar-laden, unhealthy stuff (and I sadly have!), but then again that's not me at all.  So I rather go without, but then I end up feeling so deprived that I splurge on the affordable, sugary stuff anyway.  Sigh.

Let's just say that it's a work in progress.  I must add that, thankfully, the harder you look, the more places you discover with affordable(-ish) healthy things.  So there is progress.  Here's to keeping on looking and discovering many more gems.   

On a lighter note, we were delighted to find that commercial-type dark chocolate is much cheaper here than in SA.  Awesome, right?  (Or not...?)  The artisan stuff (read: best stuff) is still expensive, but good old Lindt is at least R10 a slab cheaper than in SA.  Happiness. 

The good (but expensive) stuff.

Currently drinking

One other thing that is really affordable in NZ, is coconut water.  Wahoo!  It costs just about as much as normal fruit juice, so we pretty much buy it on a weekly basis.  We've also found that coconut water is consumed by a much broader market here.  It's commonplace to be offered coconut water as a beverage when visiting friends, where back in SA that would result in some pretty bewildered stares, ha!  

Currently reading

Am I the only mom with toddlers on the planet who somehow never finds the time to read?  I look at other moms (with more and younger kids) and their "book-a-week" posts and just shake my head in disbelief.  Definitely not happening in our household.

I do still love to read, though, but currently my reading fix is limited to short blurbs from the two weekly local community newspapers, and Runner's World Aus/NZ (which also costs a fortune, by the way).  But don't you just love discovering new international running magazines?  I do, and I devour this monthly splurge from cover to cover.

Currently watching

After five years of watching little to no TV (except for the odd kids' show with the kiddos), Will and I have officially become the last two people on the planet to discover Netflix.  Yes.  Heartland is our series of choice (good, clean, family stuff) and we're properly hooked.  I must say that, apart from an initial binge or two, we're pretty disciplined about it and stick to one episode on weeknights when the kids are in bed, and two or three over weekends.  It's become our much anticipated daily couple's ritual before hitting the hay and yes, it's even better with dark chocolate.    

Monthly high(s)

Looking back, February has actually been one big highlight!

Miss K turned five, graduated from kindergarten and started "big school".  She took it all in her stride, with no tears, and just keeps on amazing us with how well she's adapting to NZ and getting by in a new language.  So proud!  (J Bear is doing great as well, and is speaking English with a proper Kiwi accent.)    

Running-wise, the Cigna Round the Bays Half Marathon (and new PB!) was the perfect culmination of 12 weeks of training and preparation.  It was my first "big" race in New Zealand and my first half marathon in more than two years, and although the distance was humbling, it just reminded me again how much I love racing 21.1 km.  With the kids a bit older now, I definitely think that I'll start adding half marathons to my race schedule more often.

Another February high was discovering that I was eligible for finally claiming my (hard-earned!) parkrun Club 25 volunteer shirt after not being able to do so in SA.  I ordered it (free of charge!) from the UK Wiggle site and, sure enough, it arrived in NZ a week later.  It's perfect.

And then last, but definitely not least, I came home one (hectic) weekday morning to find the most amazing care package filled with parkrun goodies from two SA parkrun friends on our front porch.  What an amazingly kind and generous gesture - Marina and Hermien, you made my week!

Latest challenge

And then lastly, as shared on the blog earlier this week, I have a very unexpected and exciting new challenge in the pipeline: The Saint Clair Vineyard Half Marathon!  It takes place during my 40th birthday weekend in May, and I'm really, really looking forward to celebrating this life milestone with a running adventure of note.  Can't wait!  

Phew, what a mouthful!  How has your February been?  And how's your running going?  

Onwards now to March!


  1. I turn 40 this year as well! I have until November :) a half marathon would be a great way to celebrate turning 40! I have my first half marathon of the year next weekend and am not expecting to come close to my PB and am hoping the weather outlook warms a bit, but I am still excited for it.
    Love the great Parkrun gear you got both for volunteering and from your friends, always fun to get that kind of mail!

    1. It's the best kind of mail, ha! :)

      All the best for your half next weekend - hope the weather warms up a bit before then!

      Yay for '77 babies!! :)

  2. Glad you are racing in New Zealand too! I like the Parkrun suit, I have bought 4 items from England: very good to run in the night and in cold weather.

    1. Races here are much more expensive than in South Africa, but they're extremely well organised. I've absolutely loved the two that I've done so far!

      I love the parkrun gear too. I'm 10 parkruns away from earning my black Club 100 shirt - can't wait!!

  3. Only 40? I'll be 85 in May but wont be running any half marathon. More like a steady, enjoyable trail run, soaking up the sun on the island of Menorca. I'll think of you....

    1. Ahhh, we'll both be having an amazing birthday running adventure then! I'm pretty sure that yours will be much sunnier and warmer than mine, though - will definitely think of you too!


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