Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tough Bloke Challenge

Earlier in the year one of Michaels friends (Kirky) came up with the bright idea of all entering the Tough Bloke Challenge on the 2nd July. There were seven of us crazy enough to think this would be fun. However as the date loomed I was starting to think it was not my smartest decision with only a few casual runs over the previous months I got stuck into the gym for four weeks and prayed I would be "tough" enough to keep up with the boys.

The Tough Bloke Challenge was set in a scout camp down in Appin. An hour or so drive from where we live. It was a 6km bush track with 19 obsticles spaced in the run. The obsticles included basics like log hopping and flying foxes to the cold and dirty mud pool which left you 5 killos heavier afterwards to the one that challenged your mental capacity (for me the toughest) the 5 metre long narrow (even by a small persons standards) drainage pipe with little bit of stinky water in the bottom of it (it of course had been raining all week) and the deeper cold stinky pool covered in netting so you had to crouch along under it. I survived and even enjoyed it so much so we want to do it all again next year. My legs are still wearing the memento of a nasty scab caused by quite severe rope burn from the last obsticle but all and all an awesome day!!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Camping again

Alot of you probably think I have fallen off the side of the earth sorry for being so slack. However I would like to let you know that you are thought of often. I have attached some photos of Michaels and my recent camping trip. We took two days off work and heading up the coast an hour and a half from the city after work on Wednesday to a wee camping ground in the central coast. http://www.wildwalks.com/camping-in-nsw-parks/near-sydney-campsites/putty-beach-camping-area.html It was at Putty Beach in a national park. We had the luxury of flushing toilets, drinking water and one cold shower. We took along a trusty solar shower that in the afternoon we then topped up with boiling water, hung it from a tree put on our togs and showered very publicly. We seemed to have impecible timing that the wind started to blow as soon as I put on my bikini and atleast two cars would drive past whilst showering (they didn't seem interested in Michael). We had the camping ground to ourselves (and a few bush turkeys and migrating caterpillar) wednesday and thursday nights joined by a few friday and then over run by a big group of aprox 15 tents on saturday night. You will notice from the variety of clothing that we have some freezing weather at nights (especially the first two) and some absolutely stunning days!!! We spent our time relaxng, reading books, walking along the coast and exercising. It was a great few days away at such a convenient location. Bring on spring and more camping I think we are done for this autumn and winter.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Well being the true kiwi that I am no summer is complete without a camping trip. Michael's grandma had given us some money for christmas so we chose to put this towards a tent and some of the other essential camping equipment and organised a weekend away camping. After a bit of a process finding a camping ground with sites available we lucked upon a fantastic wee spot down the coast in Bulli. It had all the things we were looking for, a fantastic surf beach, a little cafe with great coffee and melting moments and a grave yard next door.

We were fortunate enough that Michael had the day off on friday so he drove down with a car load and I caught the train (1 1/2 hr trip) after work. Michael picked me up from the train station and we got busy errecting the tent whilst there was still some day light. Marco, Brent, Jay and Kirsten all had to work Friday as well so it was dark by the time they arrived and we all had a bit of fun putting up the other two tents in the dark.

The weekend consisted of relaxing, drinking, eating, swimming and a nice evening run on the beach. The water was so warm it was very easy to spend an hour in the water at a time. The camping ground was came complete with some tame wildlife consisting of rabits and lorikeets. The weather was very kind to us and it did not start to rain until Sunday morning when we had almost completed pack up. Pack up introduced some challenges of it's own with a lost set of truck keys requiring an unload and search in the rain. They were eventually found and we checked out and headed to the cafe for a nice cooked breakfast and great coffee. The camping trip as a whole was enjoyed by all and they are busy trying to find a site available to go again for easter weekend.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Moving On

Well time flys. It has officially been a year since Michael Jackson died and I was in the USA when the news broke. Since then I returned to NZ and then moved to Australia. September 11 will be my anniversary for having been in Australia for a year and I will be spending the weekend in Melbourne courtesy of Michael.

Well I am due to move to a new share house next weekend which I am looking forward to. It is one suburb closer to the city than where I am currently living. My room is smaller but the house seems really nice so I look forward to settling in. It is also coming up a year in my job of course which means I am due for review. I am about to start a work diary of the work I produce each and it's value so we have a base to review in September. This does make me a bit nervous as I am a little concerned that my performance as up to scratch but I know my skilled have developed alot over the past twelve months.
I am finally starting to get settled over here and starting to get familiar with areas in the city and the location of suburbs and shopping centres. Michael and I planted a herb box last weekend and it is already growing nicely so it is another task off the list of things to get organised. It's hard to believe I have been here so long and am only just getting things ticked off the list now. I guess I have been reflecting a little on the past two years and the journey I have been on to get me here. Got a new job and moved to Hamilton, studied in Switzerland, holidayed in London and Texas, spent time in NZ, moved to Sydney and holidayed back in NZ twice. I am looking forward to Hayley visiting in August, my weekend in Melbourne and then Lee-Anne, Jade and Zane in September and my return to NZ for a couple of weeks over New Years.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Been A While

I know folks it has been a very long time :-( It's too daunting a task to go all the way back from where I left it so a quick catch up. I now live in Sydney, Australia and have an awesome job at Masterwatchmaking http://www.masterwatchmaking.com.au/. I have met a wonderful young man called Michael and generally life is going fabulously (apart from missing family like crazy).

I returned to NZ for a holiday in March and spent a couple of lovely days in Hahei staying in a beachfront villa and walked through to Cathedral Cove drunk and ate lot's and had a merry time!! The main motivation for a holiday at this particular time was due to my friends Hayley and Niki getting married, ohh. It was a fantastic day!!

It was also my sister Lee-Anne's birthday so had a great night with friends and family. And of course got to see my ever growing little nephew Zane.

Love you all miss you amazing amounts!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Texas Part 1

Well after 15 years without a visit I finally arrived in USA to stay with my brother and his family in June. Once again airports and I just don’t seem to get along, after landing in Los Angeles I very nearly missed my connecting flight to San Antonio but after some negotiating I jumped the queue and got under way flying through all the formalities and straight onto the next plane with only time for a brief toilet stop. Not great after 11 hours on a plane but we got there. Easily spotted in the San Antonio airport I was welcomed by Rodger, Jennifer and Rayden with open arms. After 5 months of a wafer thin single squeaky bed I was living in luxury with a giant sized cosy bed not to mention the gym and pool on hand also. The weather was super hot with over 100˚F every day which was very warm compared to the yucky London weather with only 15˚C, not impressive (even Switzerland was better). Although in London’s defence apparently the weather had been quite nice the previous week.

My first experience out and about in Texas (other than the drive home from the airport) was off to the Tower Of America. Here we caught a glass lift up to a 360˚ walk way where you can view out over San Antonio, a very surprisingly flat city. It was extremely windy so we did not stay up and admire the view for too long. At the Tower Of America there was a great 4D movie about Texas, complete with 3D glasses, moving chairs, blowing air and squirting water. My nephew (2½ years old) Rayden thoroughly enjoyed the film and keeps asking for the movie with the spitting cow and helicopters, super cute! From here we made our way past The Alamo to the River Walk, the river walk is a man made canal that runs through the city and is lined by bars and restaurants. It has a fantastic ambience. We selected a great little cafe called the Rainforest Cafe to have dinner. The food wasn’t great but the whole cafe had a rainforest theme with running waterfalls and animals that came alive every 20 minutes, from snakes and parrots to monkeys and elephants.

The first weekend rocked around pretty quickly and we arose early and made our way through Fredricksburg to a place called the Enchanted Rock in a State National Park. It was a great big slab of Granite in the middle of nowhere, very strange. We climbed to the top which was a short steep climb with no official walk ways on the rock but the rock is very rough so has a lot of grip and we made it up without too much trouble. However on the way down we did seem to come a very awkward way and ended up doing a bit of rock hopping. The place where Rodger and Jennifer got married was very near the park so we couldn’t drive by without stopping in for a look, a stunning place and great wedding venue. On the way back we stopped in the town we had passed through Fredricksburg. Fredricksburg is a German town and we had lunch at a German cafe where I got to meet Jennifers brother and wife and try a Texan beer. When we left Fredricksburg we stopped in a LITTLE town Lucenburg where there is only a postoffice/bank/pub combined and is the only store in the town. It happened to be a day where there was a annual car show on and there was a great little band playing with a rooster in the tree crowing along, very amusing and hick townish.

On a Tuesday 23rd June one of Rodger’s work mates plays in a band Two Ton at another lovely old german town Gruene so we got Jennifers Dad to babysit and went out for the night. We had dinner at a lovely restaurant that has been converted out of an old mill. Great food and a fantastic setting with lots of bush and the river running down below. The band was also fantastic playing some great upbeat songs.

Thursday 25th saw some more extremely hot weather and we had arranged to go to a concert under the stars at the Botanical Gardens where we had pre-ordered a delicious boxed dinner and sat on our picnic rug listening to a wonderful live local band. Rayden wasn’t quite so keen on the sitting part but there was plenty to occupy him kicking up dirt and running around under the trees over the back out of everyones way.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Well I finally made my way through Heathrow Airport after a bit of an ordeal with immigration. Unfortunately the hold up at the airport meant I arrived too late to attend the live BBC show that Pam had scored free tickets for. This also meant that I did not see Pam at all during my visit to London. However it was a pleasure to spend time with Tim and Louisa and have a nice rest after my intense five months at WOSTEP.

During my visit I had a job interview and bench test in Southampton with a large watch company The Swatch Group. The day went very well even though five weeks later I am still waiting for any correspondence from them. Perhaps this is for the best as in the mean time I have had a couple of fantastic job offers in Sydney, Australia.

Of course we had wonderful home cooked meals with a combination of Tim and Louisa’s cooking. One of the finer days we took a fantastic picnic with salmon, salad and wine to Primrose Hill Park only to have the sun go behind the clouds when we arrived, however it always fun to people watch and all the dogs playing. I made a fantastic lasagne one night that would have tasted great had it not been for my little run in with the chilli, thank goodness still edible but on the border. Between us we managed to devour a fair bit of wine over the two weeks but wine goes hand in hand with good conversation and that is what detox’s are for.

I had visited London in January for a few days and got a fair bit of sightseeing out of the way but decided to do the free New Europe royal walking tour all the same to get the running commentary and meet some new people, wise decision, I did meet a lovely girl from Canada and afterwards we went out to lunch and I got to try the famous fish and chips with mushy peas. Also during the viewing of The Changing Of The Guards at the palace the queen just happened to depart so I saw her for the first out of the two sightings in the two weeks I was there. The second opportunity was to come during the Queens birthday celebration where they have the big horse and military parade, fly over and gun salute, it was certainly special to be able to see this. Tim and Louisa had been fortunate enough to get themselves tickets to the Queens Birthday so while Louisa was in France on Saturday 4th June Tim and I spent a very successful day suit shopping, had a great time traipsing the streets of London and tried Pork buns for the first time (delicious) and of course had to have a quick detour into the biggest toy store in the world.

What trip to London would be complete without a visit to the ‘Church’ so with Louisa’s wonderful planning we threw together some last minute costumes and met with Nicola and a couple of others for a fab afternoon at the ‘church’. We all met at Tim and Lou’s for a yummy croissant breakfast and Pimms (another first for me) before catching our black cab to the club. Of course no church visit would be complete without being followed by a trip to the walkabout where we devoured a pie and some more beer. We made our way home at a responsible hour and went to the Australian burger bar up the road for some delicious burgers for dinner and then an early night to prepare for a day at work the following day or for me an early start to the airport for my departing trip to Texas.