I have learned a few more things today about local life.

I emailed the local agents re houses to rent, got no answer. I called the same agents, got SOME answers. I texted the same agents, got many more answers! So, ‘flick them a text’ is the way forward in southland!? It certainly seems so!

Storage heaters are still in existence here. Avoid!

Wood burners are good, but combi burners are better. With the absence of central heating in the ‘deep south’ it’s essential to have the coal option for the slow burn overnight to keep the house warm. Hard to come by in rentals.

Something that is described as ‘just around the corner’ isn’t, by English standards, its way further!

Real estate agents don’t tart up houses to do the hard sell on the rental front, so be prepared for ANYTHING!

If you are into fitness consider a 24 hour gym. No, not because you want to go in the middle of the night, its because ALL gyms in southland close at lunchtime on Saturday, for the rest of the weekend!

Don’t think you can go out on the town and ‘shop till you drop’ like they advertise – town is closed on the weekend, and what is open, only remains so till 12 on Saturday!

Southland supermarkets do not stick alcohol. You need to go to a separate liquor store.

Southland supermarkets also do not stock pick-&-go style packed sandwiches etc / stuff you might want to grab quickly for lunch on the move / at work. For that you need a bakery.

The library in the Deep South isn’t a really Dweeby place to be, it’s a well used resource which has been reasonably busy each time I have gone in to borrow their wifi! They even lend e-reader books!

The locals are NOT PHASED by the helmets are a law rule. You still see all the range of people you would expect to see in the UK cycling about, helmet and all. Bikes are a popular mode of transport, and cars give you plenty of space on the road.