On Friday the husband went on his work Christmas bash. As befits a group of Kiwi carpenters this involved going fishing all day and drinking lashings of cold beer. In his absence I invited a few girlfriends round and we sat on the deck eating cheese and drinking bellinis (a meal in itself). We were a mixture of New Zealanders, English and German. We got to talking about being ambitious and working. Most of my friends here don't have office jobs. In fact, barely anyone does which is in direct contrast to my friends at home in the UK who nearly all do.
Five years ago I was travelling round the world and met the husband in Queenstown (he was living in Wanaka). I was staggered at the number of people himself included who, when I asked them what they did for a living (a standard opening line if you live in London as I did then) told me they were carpenters in summer and skiing instructors in winter. What a bizarre combination I thought. How strange in a land of so few people (about 4 million) that so many people would be combining two such jobs. Now I have lived here for a while I don't think it's strange at all but almost obvious! Ha! How quickly I have morphed from highly strung city girl into slightly less highly strung beach girl.
Many of my friends here in Mount Maunganui look after their children full time but also have found the time to create their own businesses completely from scratch and without a vast amount of support. They are an impressive bunch. Some of them are extremely ambitious and think about ways of building and multiplying their business interests and some have opened their business in order to almost 'buy themselves' a job. When my parents were out here visiting us my Dad picked up very quickly the impressive range of skills the girls have. He reckons the women will be running every aspect of the country soon. They have opened their own businesses, run their households and bring up their children, dress super glam and this is all sewn up in a package which offers sophisticated social skills and confidence.
An inspirational crew.
Here are some of their businesses.....
Sisters (featured in the picture)