Monday, 26 July 2010

Weekend at the mountain

First weekend down at the snow this winter. Turned in to 2 lads weekend as Jody had to work,unlucky for her! Perfect weather for us,needs a bit more snow though. Uploaded this from my mobile-int technology brilliant! James

Monday, 12 July 2010

Sunday, 22 November 2009

The New House

Yes, we know it's been a long time since we updated the blog. So what, we've been busy and lazy all at the same time. Anyway, we've bought a house over here - thought we might aswell, stop paying someone elses mortgage and get our own debt!

Here's some pics - it's all work in progress of course.

The washing line (wow!). Jody's replaced the line itself, which was a project which she was rightly proud to complete successfully

This is the location the veggie plot (before we attacked it with spades and forks and aggression)

The veggie plot all ready to be planted in.

The deck - it was a nice black colour when we moved in due to years of neglect. A water blasting and a fresh coat of deck protector has given it a new lease of life.


Other end of the deck

The kitchen - needs a complete overhall, but will do for now.

The living room - it's not actually cold, Jody's just got a fever which is likely to turn in to chicken pox!

Kitchen and dining room, and my mirror which has come with me to every house I've lived in since I was about 15.

Again, it's not that cold - poor Jody.

Our herb planters - ex wine barrels. I'm guessing this one stored red wine?

That's it for now, my mum gets here this Tuesday for just over two weeks. Really looking forward to seeing her and my Uncle Martin and Aunty Sandra. Kinda weird to think we haven't seen them for nearly 18months. Probably not so bad due to Skype being so good these days! Hopefully Jody doesn't develop chicken pox so she can come away with us all as I show my mum this beautiful country.
inabit ya'll.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

First snow trip of the season

So, been a while again since our last blog. Ah well, this one's interesting.

We took a couple of days off this week so we could spend a long weekend down at the snow, at Mt. Ruapehu (pronounced Roo-a-pay-hoo) ( Had some brilliant weather for three days, blue skies, good snow, not too cold.

The last afternoon, after lunch, we'd decided we were going to hike up the mountain from the top of the highest lift to the volcanic crater. It's about a 400m vertical climb, estimated to take betwee 1.5 and 2 hours. The weather was pretty fine, so we went ahead and started climbing.

At our first stop, after about 30 mins, we discovered it was going to be harder than it looked. We were both feeling the burn already, and less than a third of the distance was covered. There were footholes from previous hikers that day, which made it a lot easier than what it would have been if it was an untracked route.

Rest number two was about two thirds the way up, again, feeling more burn in the legs! By now a weather front was moving in and the wind was picking up. The footholes were quickly being filled up by snow being blown in to them. We could still find and use them, but it was getting a little harder to ascend. The final quarter of the hike was the hardest. The wind was blowing hard now, meaning we were having to stop and crouch to avoid the snow being blown in to our faces and blowing us off balance (not helped by the snowboards on our backs acting like a sail!). It was also a little tougher to find the footholes, and we mostly had to make our own, digging our boots in to the 40degree slope.

We made it to the top eventually, I got there about 5minutes ahead of Jody. I celebrated my achievement by making some yellow snow, which I'd been holding for nearly 1.5hours. The top was the only spot where I was out of site for long enough!

The view was awesome, something we'll remember for a long time. It's our first experience of a volcanic crater, and to then snowboard down the side of the volcano, in nice powder made it all the more worth it!

We'll add some photo's up here when I find time, but for the time being, enjoy the videos.




Sunday, 10 May 2009

A blog from Jody at last!!

OK so first I have to say sorry, I have meant to write a blog for ages and just haven't got round to it. Maybe because I'm having too much fun or because I'm lazy - most likely a mixture of both.
So sorry.
News Flash!!! I'm in England 29th May until 18th June, so if you want to meet up book yourself in now. In case I don't blog again soon- Congrats to Lou and Darrel who will tie the knot on the 6th of June

Well I know James has updated you a little but he did miss out a major event in our New Zealand lives, and that is my Parents came to visit for a month, Yay!!! Hopefully I can persuade James to put up some photos so if there are photos, great, if not it's all James' fault. I put the photos in my self. Yay for me!

Hopefully Mum and Dad had a great time, I did, other than I was a little bit ill on one of our mini breaks. I'll give you a run down on the activities that we did together and you can see the fun you'll have if you visit us. We like to call ourselves 'Club JJ'

Well, when they first arrived I was working so I met them at the top of the drive where they were sitting outside a little cafe having a coffee in the sun. Me and the kids welcomed them and showed them round the house and facilities and caught up a little, before I left them so they could rest.

I have to say having anyone to stay is exciting and I was like a little kid cause it was my Mum and Dad.
That weekend we went to a bustling farmers market in a very pretty town north of Auckland, that is touristy, called Matakana. On the way we discovered Dad's secret obsession - he likes to take photos of sign posts, which over the holiday progressed to car number plates.
We had lunch there and mum and dad seem to be coping really well with the jet lag.

In the afternoon we drove a little further to a beautiful beach, Omaha, where they are currently building lots of Bachs (holiday homes) by the beach. James loves these buildings as no two are the same and some are very cool. My Dad on the other hand didn't like them at all, and called them boxes. It was an interesting conflict!

We sat on the beach and we all swam in the sea (well Dad didn't exactly swim more of a wade) Mum and me were convinced that if we just floated a while the waves would eventually bring us in. So that's what we did, the experiment back fired a little as when we decided to see how close we were and realised we further out and could no longer touch the bottom. It was a great day which ended in taking Dad the lobster home (burn burn burn)

Back to work for me but due to really cool bosses I was able to meet up with Mum and Dad in the week at the zoo with the kids in tow, and we even had a bbq in the evening with my bosses and their parents, plus they lent Mum and Dad their car. Mum and Dad did lots of exploring as well and went to lots of beaches and I think Mum managed to swim in the sea everyday and did lots of walking.
Now luckily while Mum and Dad were here there were two bank holidays and James and me took a few days off as well and we all decided to go somewhere new- the Bay of Islands. It is further north so everything should be even warmer and it was.

We did lots of things: we went Kayaking down a mangrove river to a waterfall with a guide which was beautiful (this is where I felt ill so James and me had a two person kayak and he did most of the paddling - I'm a lucky girl). We also went dolphin watching for a day on a sailing boat and swam from the boat to an island. Mum and me on another occasion decided when we were swimming at a beach (while Dad was snoozing and James was reading (Boring)) that it might be quite interesting to see if we could swim to an island so we set off . We realised half across that there was quite a current as we were aiming at various markers (boats and buoys) and getting dragged slightly around, but we made it safe and sound after a few incidents with sea weed (agh). The island was uninhabited so we explored a little (but with bare feet it wasn't ideal) and we found a little bird nest (can't remember what type - you'll have to ask Mum) just in amongst the rocks. On the swim back we noticed a figure on the rocks in the distance - James! apparently he was worried, and we shouldn't just swim off without telling anyone blah blah... I think he was just jealous that he didn't get to go on the adventure. Dad on the other hand said he had been worrying but as we found him exactly where we left him you have to wonder how worried he was and whether if James hadn't mentioned it he would have even noticed we had gone.

On the way home we stopped at Whangarei and went to a massive waterfall and along a tree top kauri tree walk (massive trees). It was a great break, fantastic to go somewhere new too.

Back to work for the JJ's. Mum and Dad continue to explore the north island and went to Hobbiton and glow worm caves. We met them on the weekend at Hamilton Gardens and introduced them to Kieran and Nic in Cambridge. We left them in Cambridge with a list of places they could visit and headed back to Auckland and work.

For the 2nd bank holiday we met them on the Coromandel peninsula (one of our favourite places in NZ) at Hahei. We had a lovely few days there going on walks, swimming in the sea - this time when Mum and me went on an adventure James was keeping an eye on us and as quick as a flash he was in the water with us. We all swam (minus Dad - snoozing on the beach) around an out crop of rocks to another bay and clambered up onto a rock island and jumped off (Mum couldn't climb up without losing her bikini top, it was quite funny). We also had fish and chips on the beach which just has to be done anywhere in the world.
Photos of us post chips We headed home in convoy and that was pretty much it for our month with Mum and Dad.
It was so great having them here. I'm so glad they came and now they know a bit about my life here, makes me feel more settled and I now have lovely memories of them in New Zealand. I know James will love the feeling of having his family here too when they come.
Oh it's the first holiday I have had with my Mum AND Dad since I was five which also made it super cool.


Monday, 30 March 2009

I canny wait pet!

Does this make anyone else wish they were 5 years young again? Mum, hope you haven't thrown my book out! Pretty sure I used to have nightmares about it though, hmmmm, maybe not so excited anymore........

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Quick update

Eh up everyone

Told you I probably wouldn't keep up with updating the blog regularly. Suppose it shows how well we've settled here that we don't rush to the computer to let everyone know what we did today. We're taking for granted the fact that we get to go surfing most weekends on amazing beaches, and that we're constantly surrounded by beautiful scenery.

Anyway, quick sumamry of what we've done over the last month:

-Surfing, getting better, but I've just got an ear infection from 'cleaning' my ear too much and not letting the wax protect my ear. Hurts like hell at the moment.

-Went to see Billy Connolly a couple of weeks ago at the Vector Arena. He was brilliant, as expected!

-Went to see 'La Clique' ( friday, as part of the Auckland Festival. This was awesome, and highly recommended if any of you ever get the chance in your neck of the woods. It won awards at the Edinburgh Festival last year, and is now touring round worldwide festivals. It'd basically a variety of acts, in a small intimate tent, some burlesque, music, magic, trapeze, etc. Really fun atmosphere, only about 200 people in the audience, etc.

-Went across to Waiheke Island to see an outdoor sculpture exhibition dotted along its coast. Nice walk, new view of Auckland City from their, art descriptions doesn't impress me at all when artisit try to make their creations more than whet they are - just a lump of material that can sometimes look cool. Get a real job!!!

-Ran a relay round Lake Taupo in a team of 15 people, covered 160km between us. Our legs were at 4am and 5am, so running in the pitch black was strange indeed, like sensory depravation I suppose.

-Got rid of a huge spider in the bedroom, no poisonous spiders here, but all the same, BIG!

-Laughed a lot at these videos! Quite possibly one of the funniest thigs I've ever seen. Time to get a dog me thinks!!

So, that was something like the last month, maybe not in that order?!

Take care ya'll


PS-oh yeah, there was Jody's birthday too - oops!