Thursday, November 17, 2005

from ostrich to oven

Now my day started off as in a way that meant the 10,000 or so miles twixt here and archipelago where the majority of my life has been lived seemed totally insignificant. A phone call with my brother preceded by one to Si & Susie to plan our rugby tactics - the buying of rugby 7s tickets that is, don't worry I haven't succumbed to being a kiwi that much - didn't feel that much different from being in Edinburgh in many ways.

Then a trip to the shops - I have tried for years to buy 'local' goods, round here that means some rapid recalculations in terms of food miles I can tell you. But so much dairy free and wheat free stuff that is 'local' to here is made in Australia which brings up another issue - boycotts. Now I've nothing against those in the USA (well, the ones who didn't vote Republican...) but I've been trying to avoid buying goods from there 'on principle' cos let's face it as a country their politics are um, well let's just say they don't speak to my condition. Now I'm here with ooodles of Aussie stuff on the shelves and well, I'm not exactly John Howard's greatest fan either... boycotting Australian goods has never really arisen as an issue for me before as I've tended to rule them out on the food miles front so now I've a whole new set of deliberations to deal with (I gave up and bought something that had been packaged by the shop and didn't state country of origin - a cop out I know but I figured it had less packaging!)

Then home for lunch and listen to the news on the radio whilst I awaited the repair man to arrive... an article on the rural report about the Ostrich & Emu Standards Board! Ok, they did say that it was fairly new and finding it's own way along as it went but even so... hardly the Milk Marketing Board. Then my repair man turned up - to fix my oven. Now as far as I'm concerned my oven works perfectly well thank you (now I know how to isolate the automatic timer thingy which makes it sulk), but the front right hand ring had two settings, off or on full blast (and the darned thing is electric so it stays hot forever). But no - I had (yay, 'tis fixed!) a faulty thermostat in my oven - he even corrected me when I said 'you'll have come to fix my cooker' - nope, it's an oven - so that's me told. I'll add it to my list of kiwi words to remember....

There are a whole load of language schools here - teaching English to foriegn students. I do wonder whether anyone tells them that just because you know kiwi English that doesn't mean you'll necessarily be able to make yourself understood in any other theoretically English speaking country. I'm surprised the EU haven't managed to put restrictions on it yet - after all if Champagne has to come from the Champagne region in France and now Feta cheese has to come from Greece (Cheddar Cheese seems to have escaped so far, altho' there certainly used to be a very nice cheese place there - it's in Somerset (England) for the benefit of you furriners...), how come English doesn't have to be well, 'English' and German to be 'German' instead of what they pretend is German in Italy and Switzerland just to lure you into a false sense of security about knowing the local lingo (and quite probably to justify all those teaching hours of it in British Schools when everyone knows far more people speak Spanish, and the weather is better there not to mention Latin America being far more exciting - sorry Germany, no offence intended.)The thing is though, how would you define 'English'? To hear someone from Somerset, Yorkshire, Northumbria, Merseyside and London all talking they sound as diverse, if not more so, than hearing a Canadian, a US citizen, an Aussie and a Kiwi (altho' by saying that I've probably just blown all chances of getting Residency here!) . As for Ireland, Scotland and Wales; well that's a whole other ball game!

Anyway as Dad has just pointed out via Skype 'tis my bedtime. So, good night all, buenas noches a todos, la bonne nuit tout, gute nacht alles, καλή νύχτα όλες, Pō mārie ki a koutou katoa!

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