11 November 2018
I was woken up at 05:00 by Cornelia, who was wide awake and cheery and ready to get up. I clambered into her bed with her, hopeful that she may let me fall asleep again, but no, she was definitely ready to rise! So I got up with her, and we played and chatted, while Ian enjoyed another lie in. I even made him a cup of coffee for him to enjoy in bed!
I was working myself up for going for a run. I hadn’t been for ages, and had piles on a few pounds over the last couple of weeks, which was inevitable really, with all the long hours of driving, inability to run and excessive food consumption (aka greed!). So I was a bit worried that I would find this first run terribly difficult, but in fact it was quite the opposite. Despite having to cut my run short, due to an urgent need to get to the loo (🙄), I had a great run and really really enjoyed it. My legs felt great and I think it must be that, although I only did a few runs in Africa, because most were in tough conditions at altitude and in the heat, there was an unanticipated training benefit.
After my run, I showered and we generally messed around until about midday. It was raining and although we had planned to explore Auckland Downtown extensively, we were now probably a bit late to do so. Instead, we drove to Queen’s Marina and parked up, crossed the bridge walkway to the foodie area and went straight to look for lunch. There were loads of bars but they were mostly not suitable for kids. We did however chance upon a a tasty-looking burger / hotdog bar. Bugs had chicken nuggets, I had an amazing beetroot burger, with halloumi, hummus and peanut, and Ian had a lamb burger. We had both ordered beers but I wasn’t a fan of mine, so Ian forced that down too.
The sun had come out now, and we had a lovely walk along the marina, eyeing up all the beautiful yachts and choosing our favourite. Cornelia went so far as to tell Daddy he should buy one for Mummy for her birthday, but apparently a toy boat is about as close as I’ll ever get!
It was so warm and Cornelia had been so much fun, that we decided to stop for an ice cream. Yum! Cornelia’s chocolate ice was probably the nicest one she’s ever had, and I had a grapefruit one. Double yum – all sweet and bitter. I also sampled the avocado ice cream and it was smooth and creamy and very tasty. Next time… (and just as well I’d been for a run in the morning!!)
We ambled back to our car and went back to the flat, to the sound of the fire alarm in the underground car park, with an automated recording “The fire alarm has been activated in another part of the building. Please await further instructions. You may leave the building if you wish.”
The lift was out of action, so we exited via the car entrance and walked around to the front of the building to see what was going on. There was a fire engine parked right outside the apartment block, as we were safe to go back in. We had just missed all the excitement, but I did momentarily enjoy the sight of the local firemen all kitted out ready to deal with the small fire in apartment 903.
I dropped off Ian and Bugsy, then went out again to the supermarket in the mall, to buy some more foodstuffs ready to go in our motorhome, so we didn’t have to do it tomorrow. On the way to the store, I nipped into Sparks, a mobile phone shop, in the hope of getting a NZ SIM for my iPhone, as I’d used up all of my data already. The chap there was very helpful, and even tested his own SIM in my phone, just to make sure it would be compatible, which it seemed to be. Having parted with $50, I asked him to put the SIM in and sort it out for me… and it didn’t bloody work!! He wasn’t sure why, and recommended I tried Vodafone (my UK network provider) around the corner. It took ages to refund the money, by which point, I was running out of time to get to the supermarket . 40 minutes not terribly well spent, but at least I managed to get my cracked screen cover replaced!
I raced around the supermarket and, with fifteen minutes before the shops closed, hedged my bets and nipped into Vodafone. He reassuringly said “No problem, of course it will work.”, sold me the SIM, slightly tutted when I insisted on checking it worked in the store, only to find that too wouldn’t work. Argh! He said my iPhone needed unlocking and all I needed to do was to call Vodafone UK and get them to unlock it, which they would be able to do immediately. I asked if he could just call them from here – Vodafone to Vodafone but apparently “We don’t really use phones to make calls like that!” REALLY???!!!
So I whizzed back to the flat, and called Vodafone UK. Their systems were down and I was asked to call back after 06:00 UK time. 🙄
With supper done, I rang on the dot and spent a long time talking to Aura from Vodafone. After some initial confusion and my insistence that I had handwritten notes in front of me giving the dates of previous calls I’d made about getting my iPhone unlocked, she finally established that it all stems back to when I transferred the phone from my business name into my personal name. Despite assurances from previous call handlers, this had never been properly completed and I needed to buy a U.K. Pay As You Go SIM, use that for thirty days (in the U.K.), then I’d be able to get it unlocked. Oh no, no, no, no. That was NOT the answer I was after! To be fair to Aula, she was doing everything she could, and has promised to call me back within the next 48 hours, hopefully to confirm that my iPhone has been unlocked and I can now use my NZ SIM. It was a very frustrating waste of my time!
I finished the call at about 22:00, by which time I was ready for bed!