Why should you leave the UK for NZ?
You gather round the log burner, pull on another Skivvy and tuck up under a blanketPEOPLE leave the UK for a better lifestyle elsewhere. They imagine the petty rules, regulations and obligations will be left far behind in a green-less memory, and that any choices they make in the new country will be easy, successful and illuminated by sunshine.
But of course it's not like that. For a start there are plenty of people who find it difficult to navigate the sometimes obtuse immigration requirements, and there are other expats who find daily costs more expensive than they'd budgeted for. Moving money between the UK and New Zealand can be expensive, particularly at the moment.
Then the weather, though better in New Zealand on average, does not always behave in a predictable way. The blue skies are tremendous, azure, shimmering, awe-inspiring even, but they are often covered, not by drizzly-mist, but by ferocious storm clouds.
Add to this that the houses can be like cheesegraters with a tin roof and it's clear many newly arrived expats will fondly recall their centrally heated, double-glazed homes in the UK.
Things you have long taken for granted in the UK are surprisly missed when they are no longer available. One of my favourite moans is about the standard of news coverage in New Zealand. International news is almost non-existent and the rest of the time the papers are obsessed with traffic accidents, fires and boating tragedies. Thank God for the internet.
Time softens attitudes
You do however get used to many of these small details. After a while you appreciate the local feel of the news. In contrast Radio 4 - on the internet - fills you with horror and panic at the state of Britain.
You get used to the climate too, and on those few weeks of the year where temperatures drop to below 10 degrees you gather round the log burner, pull on another Skivvy and tuck up under a blanket.
Oh, and in New Zealand you can play football until you drop dead. That's as good a reason as any to move here.