Apologies to readers of this blog – I haven’t published any posts for a while.
There is, however, a good reason for this. I moved to New Zealand in December.
In some ways, this is not as big a move as you might think, given I am married to a New Zealander and have visited this beautiful country a number of times. However I’ve moved from living in London for more years than I care to remember to a tiny town of c. 11,000 people. I feel like I’m living a completely different life.
I still like to think I’m on holiday, and no doubt will do for a while yet, which is no bad thing. I’m living in one of the most beautiful parts of the country, right next door to the Abel Tasman national park which is regularly listed as one to the top holiday destinations, due to its beautiful golden beaches, pristine native bush and beautiful turquoise seas.
I can’t go into too many raptures about my new home with my friends back in the UK, because the country is suffering such terrible weather at the moment and it makes them all far too jealous. But I’m loving the wide open spaces and the ease of getting around and fitting more into the day. I can be riding my bike in the countryside ten minutes after leaving the house, which takes some getting used to. It feels like a luxury after so much of my life living in cities.
For such a small country, New Zealand is also very aware about food and it is a fantastic place to be if you are gluten free. Most coffee shops will have at least one cake which is gluten free. Everything is clearly labelled and the waiting staff are knowledgeable about ingredients, which gives you confidence. Often there are also savoury options too – New Zealanders like a good frittata, which is essentially a large vegetable omelette stack. Often they’ll make sandwiches with gluten free bread as well.
There is also a prescription scheme here for confirmed coeliacs which subsidises the cost of some gluten free products – gluten free flour mixes and pasta. I still need to sign up for this scheme. You can order directly from the company that manages the prescription scheme and have it delivered directly to you, once you’ve spoken to your GP and been registered for the scheme.
I’ve been undecided about what I should do with the Down With Gluten blog. I’ve loved writing the blog and connecting with fellow coeliacs. I feel a lot more well informed now than when I started the blog! In some ways I’d love to continue, but with the majority of my readers in the UK, Europe and the US, you’re not going to be that interested in whether a cafe on the other side of the world serves gluten free food.
So I’m going to take a break for a while and may pop up in another guise, you never know.
I’d like to thank everyone who has read and commented on Down With Gluten over the last 18 months. I’ve really enjoyed sharing ideas and thoughts, and hints and tips with the GF community.
In the meantime, here are a few photos taken in and around my beautiful new home. I hope you enjoy them.