The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

It’s Not Just Phil Collins Who Survived Against All Odds …

A year ago today, Jill, Otis, Rosie and I left our beautiful family home – that we only had bought and moved into 6 months earlier – to get on a plane for the first time in over a year and fly to the other side of the planet to start a new life in New Zealand.

Now of course, because Kiwiland is so fucking far away from everywhere, it took us 2 days to get here which means we’ve not officially been here a year … but if you will excuse the early anniversary, it still something I wish to celebrate.

Despite having moved countries more times than anyone should be allowed to … the build up to this move was the most stressful we’d ever had.

Of course, the reason for that was bloody COVID … but with changing rules, changing flights and changing timelines, it felt like an impossible dream when we boarded the plane 12 months ago today.

Then there was the 2 weeks of quarantine we had in Hamilton.

While it was restrictive, it was actually an amazing way to settle in a country because whether we liked it or not, we were not allowed to do anything.

Normally when we land in a country, it’s mayhem trying to learn the areas, find a house, buy a car. But this time it was easy, mainly because – in a moment of madness – we had bought a house and a car when we were in England.

While that might sound mad, the car was easy because it was simply the latest version of the car I bought in the UK. Which was the same as I bought in the US. Even down to the colour.

As for the house … OK, that was bonkers, but sadly for our bank manager, that wasn’t the first time we’d done it.

But it all worked out.

Not just in terms of house and car, but life.

We’re settled.

Otis loves his school.
Jill loves we live in the trees.
Rosie loves she can watch birds all day.
I love the talented mob I get to work with each day.

Colenso has done some lovely stuff – but it’s only the start – but we’ve won some global business, awards and a bunch of friends [not to mention the odd bitter enemy] but even more importantly, is that I’ve lucked in with the people I get to work with each day.

What a top bunch they are … with a special mention for my wonderful team who are a bunch of beautifully opinionated, creative and interesting assholes.

Just as I like them. [Most of the time, hahaha]

In fact the only thing that has been horrible has been the timezone … which means when I’m doing my Metallica duty or Gentle Monster duty, it ends up being so early or late I could cry.

Actually, for the first few weeks I probably did in shock … but now it’s second nature and they’ve all been ace. Hell, even the 4+ months of lockdown didn’t dampen our spirit.

Sure, we had travelled half way around the World to end up back where we started … but COVID here was very different to COVID in the UK.

Here there was a plan with clarity and communication.

And while people here say there’s a bunch of stuff the government could have done better – which, in some cases, is fair – compared to what we experienced in the UK, it’s all A+.

While we know we won’t be in NZ forever, we do love it here.

We are so appreciative of the chance we have been given … even more so when so many Kiwi’s have found it so hard to come back. NZ has been generous, supportive, open and encouraging. Hell, not only did they let me meet Noel Edmonds, James Cameron and brilliant Jacinda, they even looked after us when we all individually found ourselves having to go into hospital. In terms of ensuring you can deal with the sadness of not seeing friends and loved ones, NZ did it with absolute bloody panache.

I hope in our time here, we are seen as contributing to the nation. We want to do that so much. Celebrate it. Honour it. And – where possible – help it. Not just so we can learn and know more about this special place, but so we can say thank you for letting us be here.

Happy [almost] anniversary NZ.

You might wish it hadn’t happened, but we’re glad it did.

22 Comments so far
Leave a comment

and then kiwiland went into lockdown and told you it was because of fucking covid. the second smartest thing the fuckers could do after not letting you in.

Comment by andy@cynic

Hahahaha … that’s soooo true.

I literally went to the other side of the world to be back where I started. Kinda.

Comment by Rob

how come a year has gone so fast but when we worked together every day felt like a fucking year. of winter. with no fucking heating?

Comment by andy@cynic

Yes. Because working with you was obviously all rainbows and unicorns.

Comment by Rob

Fighting talk.

Comment by Bazza

hook a duck is fucking harder.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by DH

happy for jill and otis. and the cat.

Comment by andy@cynic

Beautiful post Robert. You embrace change better than anyone else I know. Except maybe Jill, Otis and Rosie.

Comment by Lee Hill

Oh Jill, Rosie and Otis are miles ahead – because I get to go immediately into an infrastructure to help me settle. They have to do it all by themselves, and I don’t take that for granted. I’m very lucky.

Comment by Rob

Love the first photo Robbie. Hugs to all of you.

Jemma xoxo

Comment by Jemma King

“In fact the only thing that has been horrible has been the timezone … which means when I’m doing my Metallica duty or Gentle Monster duty, it ends up being so early or late I could cry”

My heart bleeds for you Rob.

Comment by Bazza

The art of moving by Rob Campbell.

This is a great post. I am so happy for all of you. I did notice your point about not being there forever. I wonder where next. And when.

Comment by Pete

I would not be surprised if he ended up living on Necker Island.

Comment by George

My money’s on Staten Island. Or Alcatraz.

Comment by John

its where the blagging fuck will end up not where he belongs.

Comment by andy@cynic

If you could organise that for me George, I’d be grateful.

Comment by Rob

Moving overseas is always challenging so of course you decided to do it during a pandemic. I am so glad it has worked out brilliantly for you all. But then there was never any doubt.

Comment by George

hes the jammiest fuck of jammiest fucks. more proof the prick sold his soul to satan because no one from nottingham deserves anything but prison.

Comment by andy@cynic

Got more than I deserved from it.

Comment by Rob

This is a beautiful read.

Comment by Mary Bryant

Please, help Ukraine!!!


Leave a Reply