A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Big.G

Fings we done

like, that were, like, fun

rain 10 °C

what to do in new zealand? go places, thats what...

a few weekends ago was queen's birthday weekend which means its a long weekend (or bank holiday weekend for those in blighty). note that queen's birthday is celebrated on different days around the world. which means the queen must hold the world record for the number of birthdays in a single year.

anyway, it's early june, getting cold here in auckland, and the weather is turning - it's officially winter. so the best idea is to go further south and also gain some altitude to make sure it is even colder - so we went to taupo!

(note for those that don't know, taupo is a town on the side of lake taupo, a huge lake in the centre-ish of the north island, called the events capital of new zealand and where the a1 grand prix used to be held. the lake is the caldera of a stupidly big volcano that erupted a long long time ago, and is only dormant, so we are waiting for it to blow up again. best not to be around when it does)

so on saturday we hired ourselves a car (this was the weekend just after anita got hit from behind) and took off to the cooler south! it was all planned by me as a suprise for anita, a bit of a get away to see more of the country and get away from home for a bit.

we stayed a huka falls lodge in a little studio room. and man, was it cold when we got there! the room felt like it had not been heated for a while, but we got the heater on and closed all the curtains, and then went out to have a look around. now, since it was a long weekend, the weather was crap, as happens everywhere. so saturday afternoon and evening we took a look at huka falls and some of the geothermal sights around taupo.
Geothermal walk

Geothermal walk

and then the rain set in. the rest of the weekend we took a look at what was on offer from inside the warmth of the car or museum type places. we did drive up to whakapapa, to the top of the bruce, to see the sights, of which there were none as the clouds started before we got to ruapehu, and we did not leave it until we were on the way back to taupo again. but the chateau looked nice once we could see it.

and thats about it really. a relaxing weekend away, fully deserved after the stress of crash thursday!


Posted by Big.G 00:35 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

The End Is Nigh

Less than six weeks and counting

sunny 16 °C


It's been a while since I wrote on this blog thing, so thought I'd write a quick entry while Anita is at the Chiro.

So, we've not got long left now. Which is a shame, because it's been fun. But at the same time it will be nice to be on the move again. And there is the fact that New Zealand is bloody cold at the moment! Not as cold as we get in London, but it's down to 3 degrees tonight in balmy Auckland, and double glazing and central heating are not things in the standard building language here! Being in an apartment block is not so bad - the surrounding apartments help keep us warm, much warmer than other houses that we've been in recently!

I've been playing hockey while here, which has helped me stay in constant aching pain: practice on Tuesday at 9pm (cold!), training run on Thursday and game on Sunday, my poor aging body just doesn't have enough time to recover! And even though I'm playing centre forward, I have yet to score a goal. But the position does mean I spend less time running about, which is a good thing (both for me and spectators I am sure).

Our poor little Golf ('Kubes') has passed away, leaving us richer due to the insurance company thinking it was worth more than what we paid for it. Well, thats what we think they said - 5 grand is what they think and we bought it for 4.5k. Nice. We've decided to go with a cheap rental for the rest of the time we are here, costs only $19 a day. Much cheaper than buying, insuring, fixing, registering etc our own one.

And Telecom has decided they want me for the rest of my contract. They had told me it was going to be cut short, finishing the contract a couple of months early, the date was going to be the 24th June. But today I got the news that they want me right through to the 3rd September. Which is nice, a pity that we leave in July. :o) They'll get over the news I am sure.

What else? Plans for the next 6 weeks are underway. There are lots of people to go see and say good bye to, a rugby test in Hamilton to go to, a sisters birthday in Wellington (where we have booked to stay in a lighthouse!!), figuring out how to get all our junk back to the UK again, getting tax refunds and planning on what to do once we are back! We've already decided on a date for a "We're Back" evening in Wimbledon, and Anita is starting to look for a car to buy already. I guess it's almost time to start looking for a job over there too (any offers?).

I better go now - dinner needs to be cooked! Hope you are all well and enjoying the glow of NZ football team! Go the All Whites!! Wooo! (yes Pete, white is the new black, at least for the next couple of weeks)

Thats all for now!

Posted by Big.G 00:13 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

Working For a Living


overcast 23 °C

Righto! It’s not been too long since the last update so this will either be short or very detailed. Which way would you like it?

First off, thanks to everyone that voted for my photo. In the end it was a close race, I ended with well over 300 votes I think! But, I didn’t win. No, on Saturday we gave up after seeing two others (one of them the Panda photo which I think was the best one there) was gathering votes like they were something easy to gather! In the end one of them had over 2000 votes! Crumbs! So we didn’t win, but after the competition ended we found out the rules said multiple votes from the same computer was OK. Next time I’ll write a script to give me a vote every 5 seconds. That’ll make me win! Ha!

Last week wasn’t only “Vote For Gerald” week, it was also my first week at work. All week long. So it was also “Have To Iron 5 Shirts” week and “Wear Proper Clothes” week. And, of course, “Get Up Early Every Day Of The” week. It looks like it is going to be a challenging job, and I’ve already had to stay late one night to sort out a problem. The guy who I am replacing has already left (a one-week-handover) so it’s jump in the deep end time. Lots of fun!

Anita has had LOADS of work. Three days last week, and worked today too! She got through her wage details from the Ministry of Education, so now we know how much she is worth in this country, and it’s not too bad. A positive for the future!

Last Friday we went down to Hamilton again for the rugby! Another loss. Boo. But we met up with my friend Matt and went out on the town for the evening. The day after we went out to see my Nana and then over to my brothers for lunch and to tire his children out for him. Back home to Auckland in the afternoon and then a relaxing rest of the weekend. Although on Sunday we went to the gym and did a Pump class! Anita has given up on the running, not her favourite way to exercise. So classes are the way forward, and if she gets any days off work then she can go exercise to her hearts content. Lucky for some!

All in all things have settled down nicely now, we’re into a routine which is almost fun after the past months of doing whatever whenever. Almost fun. Almost.

That’s all for now, this time I’ll leave you with a quote that will be stuck in some of your heads for the rest of the day:
Butt Scratcher? Butt Scratcher!

Me :o)

Posted by Big.G 01:04 Archived in New Zealand Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Don't forget to Vote!!!

so i can win a $250 dinner!

sunny 24 °C

I forgot to tell you the prize for the photo competition! It's for $250 towards dinner at Sky City, and Anita and I are really looking forward to it, so fingers crossed that we win!

So remember to vote for my photo, Dog Guarding Sheep! And you have to vote before Sunday night, or Sunday lunchtime for those of you in the UK..

URL: http://chinesecommunity.org.nz/chinese_new_year_2010/topics/show/148-2010-digital-photo-competition
or click here

and choose the last photo on the list, Dog Guarding Sheep!



Posted by Big.G 00:32 Archived in New Zealand Tagged photography Comments (1)

Time to work...

is it about time too?

sunny 26 °C

Well… it has been a while now since I have written anything (as Anita keeps reminding me), so here I am, typing away while watching Melrose Place (there is nothing else to watch at the moment – honest!).

Oh, and there is a double reason to write an entry now – it’s another way to remind you all to vote for my photo! Ha ha!!
So, in case I’ve missed annoying you about this over the past couple of days, here is what I’m talking about!
Auckland held a Lantern Festival for the Chinese New Year, so we wandered down to Albert Park to take a look and took some photos. The week after, Anita’s sister pointed out that there was a photo competition to enter, so Anita and I posted a few photos each. To our surprise, one of mine was short listed! So, in case you have not done it already, here’s what I’d like you to do, and to tell all your family and friends to do, both from your work computers and your home computers! (yes, I can be pushy when I want to)
Go to this web site and vote for the last photo called Dog Guarding Sheep. At the time of writing I am in the lead, but only just, and the others are catching up! Don’t delay, vote now!! Ha ha!!

Right, what else have we been up to? LOADS!

We joined the Uni Rec Centre last week, it’s a cheap option, is just down the road, and has Zumba classes for Anita to enjoy (she has given up on the running lark). We sort of joined at a bad time tho, as last week was a busy one! After having many interviews for about 6 different jobs, with no one seeming able to make any decision about who to hire (me or anyone else), I got an interview for a contract job at Gen-i, a part of Telecom. The interview was on a Thursday, I had the job offer that night and the contract signed the next Tuesday! Since I was not starting until the following Monday, Anita and I took off to Waihi Beach for a couple of nights. We met up with Alwin and Daisy, staying with them, and also meeting up with an old friend of mine – Matthew Fulton. I also went out fishing one morning with Alwin and his dad, catching a good amount of fish! And not getting sea sick! Ha ha!

So, I’ve been working all this week (yes, every day!) but I’m not the only one! No, no, no!! Anita has now had four days of relief teaching, in four different schools. In fact she has now taught for three of the last four school days! If this keeps up we will be rolling in the cash!

I’ve decided to get myself a season ticket for the Chiefs this year, since I am actually in the country for the season, and it gets me a ticket to see the All Blacks play Wales. Last Friday was their first home game, so Anita and I went down to Hamilton – me to go to the game with David and Anita to carry on to visit Eriko and the kids until us boys got home. Nothing needs to be said about the game tho, right? It’s not just me getting a season ticket tho, the above mentioned Matt and a couple of his friends have done as well, so Anita and I will be spending a bit of time in Hamilton over the next month or two!

Last weekend was such a busy one for us. After the rugby on Friday, we had dinner with Tim and Renee on Saturday night, at a nice place across the road from where we live – our first dinner out in this country! And on Sunday we drove up to my Aunt Bev’s place and had lunch while I installed her wireless internet. Um, oh and we also looked after my cat, Starr, for the weekend while my parents were off looking for a place to retire to. Which leads onto bad news as Starr is now at the vets with sudden weight loss, a temperature and dehydration. Poor Starr!

Right, that’s about all for now. Maybe I should write these a bit more often, to make sure they don’t get too long or lack any amount of detail! I’m sure Anita agrees with me too ;o)

That’s all for now…

Posted by Big.G 00:28 Archived in New Zealand Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 26) Page [1] 2 3 4 5 6 »