Friday, 5 December 2008

Google Streetview - amazing!!

Hey all

Just to let you know, Google Streetview has now been completed for New Zealand. So you can now see the streets we pound on a daily basis.

Here’s the entrance to our house (97B, down that driveway), if you turn 180degrees you can see the fish shop!

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This is where we catch the ferry to the city

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This is where I work

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This is where Jody works

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View from the harbour bridge, crossed daily on my bus to/from work

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Thursday, 4 December 2008

The Final Mo

Was it all worth it? No! Look at that pathetic catepillar above my top lip. And none of you sponsored me!! I had to donate $10 myself, just so I didn't come last in the company! Still, can't wait for next year.....

28 days later (well, more like 30days, but I couldn't think of any refernce to that)

Say booyaaaah

The obligatory comedy Hitler cut (not that he was ever funny)

You wanna get cut?!
So, thanks again for all your support, hope you're all enjoying the british winter. Just a quick note, it's 24degrees over here. Definately no snow or ice in sight.

Sunday, 30 November 2008


Ok, James has told me it's up to me to write this one as I have not written a blog in ages. So here goes!

Well back in England way before we left James was getting giddy because he'd worked out we would be down-under by the time the rugby league world cup was on (the best sport to watch ever). So months in advance James had looked up when the matches would be on and with his old work colleague -Jamie, had arranged to meet at the England v New Zealand match in Australia on Saturday the 8th of Nov and go together. Jamie and his girlfriend Michelle are big Leeds rhino fans as well and since quite a few of the rhino's player are in the England squad and my favourite player ever Rob Burrow was playing, I was very keen to go.

Luckily due to great bosses we were able to take Friday off as well and pop over to Oz for a long weekend. (It is so weird thinking of popping over to Oz. I still think that it should be the other side of the world). We arrived on Friday morning and checked into the backpackers hostel - It was very good and clean! So far on our travels i have not found a hostel I didn't like. It was also very central in Sydney, which was fantastic as it meant everything was within walking distance (not so good for James, who after the marathon had found that he had badly sprained his foot and although the adrenaline had masked the pain on race day he was in masses of pain for 2-3 weeks and it was especially painful walking round Sydney for 3 days). We went and met Jamie and Michelle straight away and walked to the port and took photos of the bridge and opera house and then went to a bar and had a lovely lunch. We walked over the bridge and checked out the other side and just enjoyed catching up with friends (the first people we've seen from our life in England) and being tourists in a new city. It was hot and i managed to burn myself even though i was wearing sun tan lotion. That evening we went to a pub with live music which was very good and James in his cheerful state took loads of random pictures of the the band.

Saturday arrived and we did some more sightseeing and went to a market then we got on the coach to go to Newcastle to watch the match.

The match was good and I loved the build up and picking out some of the Leeds players. I had never been to international match in any sport and it was a great buzz. We were in the stands mixed together with the Kiwis and there was a friendly atmosphere and banter. There was a couple and the wife was a Kiwi and the husband was English and they bickered throughout the match and made everyone laugh.

England lost the match but I think James and me didn't find it too sad as what better team for them to lose to than our new home team, and they went onto thrash the Ozzie's in the final to take home the world cup, yay!!

We said our goodbyes to Jamie and Michelle after the match. They were moving on up the country to Cairns in the morning, so they would be in place to watch the next game on their world cup tour.

On Sunday James and me caught a ferry over to Manly and had fish and chips on the beach and probably burnt ourselves some more while watching people surf and skim board (James particularly like one lads skills and took some sneaky photos) before catching our plane home to New Zealand.

All in all a good weekend, but we're both in agreement we made the right choice moving to NZ instead of Oz and we're glad to be home!!
Met Jamie & Michelle in Sydney, stood by fountain, someone took picture
That be proof of where we were - Australia's Gay capital!
Jody jumps, James mistimes photo (Sydney Harbour Bridge, not Tyne Bridge!)
What a lovely seafood platter
Scary face pointing at a scary face!
Same bridge, different angle. Same Opera house, know what I mean!
What's that, Jody's let herself go? I've tried to resist eating them pies, but they're so yummy!
Spot the odd one out. It's Jamie, he's wearing sunglasses!
In the stands in Newcastle for the Rugby. Nice sunset eh?
That bunch of losers! What a set of let down larry's!
Fush & Chups - aussie style (ie-on a beach, in the sun!)
James swears he was taking a picture of me and not the surf girl in the background
Manly, nice place
That be that bridge and opera house again
Can you guess what it is yet? It's just from a different angle, silly!
The evening sky on the flight home. Don't tell me I'm not good at taking photo's!
Take care all

Thursday, 13 November 2008


Now then, I’ve been meaning to write about this since the beginning of November/Movember, but I’ve been busy, lazy and distracted, etc. In any case, throughout November I’m growing, and grooming, a moustache for charity. Yes, a moustache! It’s an annual event down under, which I think is now taking off in the UK also? It’s basically a bit of fun and raises money for mens charity for mental health and cancer, etc. It’s also a chance to see what you’d look like with a ‘tache’ whilst having an excuse and not standing out too much as loads of other blokes are attempting the facial growth at the same time!

So, here’s the link to my donations page -

Also, if I raise over $30 I get a free razor – so dig deep ladies and germs.

Week 1 - Freshly shaved (I had to remove my sub lip growth, boooo!)

End of Week 1 - Showing the beach how not make your 'tache' join up with your beard

Midway Movember Mo - it's annoying me now! (taken a cople of weeks ago)

(Pics of the final creation to come tomorrow - how exciting!)

Here’s some spiel about the charity, etc:

The money raised by Movember is used to raise awareness of men's health issues and donated to the Cancer Society of New Zealand and the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand. These two charities will use the money raised to fund research and increase support networks for those affected with prostate cancer and experiencing depression.
Did you know:
Depression affects 1 in 10 men....Most people who experience depression make a full recovery. The first step is seeking help.
Last year in New Zealand 2,700 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer and more than 600 died of prostate cancer - (that's nearly two each day).
For those that have supported Movember in previous years you can be very proud of the impact it has had and can check out the details at: [Fundraising Outcomes].

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Auckland Marathon

Well, the day of reckoning finally came around. Running a half marathon at 6:30am on a sunday morning, the complete opposite of a perfectly comfortable Sunday morning lie in. Why spoil it? I still don't know the answer to that!
I (James) finished in 1:54, under the 2hour mark I was aiming for so I was reasonably happy, considering the pain in my legs. Jody managed to complete in about 2:31, longer than she would have liked, but her knees were giving her some right 'jip'. Think she's worn them away for good, hobbling about the house at the moment.
Now we can say, "been there, done that, actually got the t-shirt" (as proof), etc. Not really tempted by another long distance slog, once is enough.
Pics below, will send a link later on to the official pics.

Arrive to the starting line about 10mins after the starting pistol, mainly due to long toilet queues and a cruise ship docking in the harbour which delayed our ferry crossing. Spent the first 2km overtaking loads of fatties!

Just before we went our seperate ways (not exactly, did the same course and all that). It was a bit of a hilly course, as you can make out.
Some nutters ran around in the flintstones mobile.
Not many marathons will take you past a beach.

On the harbour bridge (not normally any pedestrian access). Hazy view of the CBD.

Jody's long slog up the approach to the harbour bridge pinnacle (much easier in the car)
The finsh area, proof we made it. Also, it's pretty hard to take a photo in Auckland without getting the Skytower in the background.

But I managed it here!

The aftermath, Sunday afternoon in a hammock.
Evidence of some cheeky walking going on from Miss Page! Not sure why I've only got one photo, the others must have been a blur due to my shear speed!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Some recent photo's

Hey all,
Just a few photo's from my camera phone from over the past few weeks, mostly of a walk we went on last Sunday down near Cambridge with Kieran and Nic. Just like the Yorkshire Dales, except for the tropical stuff and amazingly crystal clear river.

A Maori carving up in a place called Omaha. Huge designer houses line the beach up here, showoffs!

A fern ready to unravel - NZ is covered with these things.

We'll be back to swim in this one day.

On my ferry home last night, the NZ Americas Cup yaughts sailed past. They're pretty big, about 40m high!?

We're hoping to get some of the Thailand vids up here soon, been a bit lazy recently!

Until then,



Sunday, 5 October 2008


Well it's not that exciting but we had our first visitors today, Ki and Nic. Since we don't know anyone here it was nice to have someone round and to show them the pad. We had a relaxed lunch and a play on the wii it was just fun to have friends round. Ki and Nic have to travel 2hrs to get here so it's not like they can pop round anytime so we loved that they made the effort.

It's a bit up in the air here about how much longer we'll be living in this property. We've been offered a lease to october next year but our desire to have a puppy is making us think of looking around, we love it here so ultimately i think we'll end up staying. It's so close to the transport links to James' work it's only 15mins from mine we're close to the sea and the bush, there are shops within walking distance and loads of cool relaxed cafe just opposite our drive it make you feel like you're living in a resort. It would have to be a dream property to encourage us to move!

Been speaking to lots of people in England this weekend which is cool and makes it seem like we're really not that far away.
Heard it's raining in England today. Hope it's not too depressing!!
(Really not missing the English climate i have to say)


Weezer are back!

Not really relevant to our New Zealand experience, but I just think that everyone should see this video -

I couldn't actually embed the video in to the blog due to copyright stuff, but hope you can follow the link. Sorry if I'm behind the times with this, but I've only just heard this song over here and I'm going to go buy the album asap.

The mighty Weezer return!


PS-some Thailand videos to upload next week, ooooh yeah!

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Hong Kong Videos

Quite a shock landing in a typhoon, plenty of wind and rain, just like Yorkshire then!

We didn't quite eat the freshest food we that was available.

Epic show, can't believe they do this every night! And it goes on for about 20minutes. We watched it from Kowloon side, where the accompanying music is played.

The rain was so heavy it was actually exciting to experience. The Buddha was pretty good too, and big!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Work and Running

Sorry it's been so long since i wrote a blog - i've started work and unlike James i can't pop on the blog willy nilly.

It's nice to see James has been keeping you up todate. I found a job one week after i started looking and it came with a car so that took a big finicial strain off us. It was my first interview as well so not too much mucking around. It is for three children two girls and a boy all under 5 years. I've nearly finished my third week and it's going really well.

Working closely with a family and other kiwi's i feel i finding so much about the culture and way of life-
-Children barely wear shoes (it's safe as it is clean)
-The Kindy's (pre schools) are fantastic loads of outside space i'll just have to take a picture but believe me these are the kind of places you want your children going to.
-The value are amazing too. Their curriculum has parts called 'Mana Whenua' Meaning belonging and about children learning, where there place is in society and connecting links with family and the outside world. Also 'Mana Tangata' Meaning Contribution where they are learn they are value as individuals and how they can contribute and make a difference. With these things being learnt from an early age you can see the children would be less likely to go off the rails later on as they would feel part of the community and hopefully respect it.

I could go on forever about my new job but it would bore you to pieces

I have notice James has forgotten to mention HE signed us up for a half marathon, (20ks) I would have happy attempted another 10k but 20 is way too far i think James thought for some misguided reason it would be good for us to run together to bond (he misses football and the football lads i think) unfortunately at 6am i'm not at my best (We've been training before work) and the whole way round our 4k route i'm silently cursing him for getting me into this. I don't even know when it is but i think it's in november -watch this space, Any way James said we're going to do 2 laps tomorrow which might kill me before work. I know your thinking hey that's not far but when you live 10 minute walk from the sea nothing is flat and the route we've been taking goes down to the sea though some bush and then back up again along the road and it's the UP part that is killing me.
But if you don't hear from me and James again it might be because i died on the second lap or kill James for getting me into this.

We've got our first confirmed visitors coming so we're really really looking forward to that (Hooray for the Richardsons) And i'm hopeful that Mum and Dad will find someone to Farm sit so they'll be coming soon too. Also i think they might be some other people in the the pipeline. Just let us know if you're are interested in a stay at Chez JJ.

I've loved reading all the comments you've been leaving us so keep it up. Missing you all but still loving it here.


Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Sunday at the beach

So, it's early spring over here now, and the weekend forecast was for the first time since we got here absent of rain. We decided to visit a popular beach about an hour away, Piha, which could turn out to be our nearest surf beach (once I get a wetsuit and board!). The drive was really nice, seriously lacking in any real traffic (compared with UK seaside routes). The beach was relatively busy, by New Zealand standards, that is there were other people other than us there. This beach actually is quite notorious for dangerous rips, and has a dedicated life guard team with boats and quads, etc. There's actually a TV program called 'Piha Rescue' on over here, but it's hardly Baywatch action, just a few surfers getting too close to the rocks or swimmers getting beyond their depth, etc.

Anyway, here's a couple of pics and a video, yes, I've finally discovered how to upload videos via youtube! Expect more in the future posts. In the middle of the beach there's a huge rock called Lions Rock, which was just asking to be climbed. Actually, there was a path anyway, but I would've attempted it either way.

All in all the weather was great (about 20degrees).


Looking North from Lions Rock

Looking South from Lions Rock (the surfing bay)

Bit of an in joke regarding the bag/packed lunch. When we came to NZ last year we had to leave a remote paradise like beach due to my incessant hunger, and it was a bit of a trek to get back to civilisation!

Monday, 8 September 2008

New Zealand is.........

..........strangely brilliant.


Socially, everything is more relaxed over here. There's mild swearing on the radio, political correctness is no where near as bad as the UK, and people just seem to be able to speak there mind without the fear of getting sued.

The other week was 'Boobs on Bikes' in Auckland, where topless women are part of a parade down Queen St (like Londons Oxford St), as part of a promotion for a local erotica expo. There was some mild protests, but most people just enjoyed it for what it was. It was a Wednesday lunchtime, kids were around, people were on their lunchbreak and it was just a good laugh, nothing sleazy at all.

Now, can you imagine this happening in england? Busybodies in england have trouble allowing mothers to breast feed their babies in public!! Ooh, how disgusting. Get a life! Rant over....

In our first few days over here we caught their parliament TV, which was brilliant. MP's werebeing sarcastic, the 'speaker of the house' was cracking jokes, no one was asleep in the back seats. Kiwi's tend to be more intune with the politics of their country than us Brits, and I think this is one of the reasons. Their MP's are human.

Anyway, back to work for me.


PS-If anyone has an Xbox 360 and play's online, I'll be available soon. Just need to sort out my modem thingy. I'll put my 'gamer tag' in ablog when I get it.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Was it all worth it......?

........Yes! The ability to drive to the slopes on the weekend is an awesome feeling. The drive itself was beautiful; clear blue skies, the rolling green NZ landscape, and the slowly growing view on the horizon of the snow covered volcanoes.

The drive up the mountain was a new experience entirely. We're used to the jagged steep approach roads of the european alps, but this was practically one gradual ascent. The surroundings were different too, travelling through a lush forest for the first half of the ascent before emerging in to a volcanic moonscape for the remainder.

The resort itself wasn't what we're used to either - this was just a place to park your car and get on the lifts, any accomodation is found at the base of the mountains over here. I suppose it's not practical to live on a volcano?! The conditions were really good, a bit icy in places, but generally good snow. The base is up to 470cm, which is about 270cm more than european resorts normally get. It is a record covering over here, and we should be able to still hit the slopes around Christmas time - which is the middle of summer!! One thing instantly realisable is the ratio of skiers to snowboarders. It's at least 50/50 over here, whereas in the european alps borders are still in the minority, probably about 70/30 at most (depending on the resort). Another reason to come to NZ then!

The drive back to Auckland was a bit of a hike, but definatley worth it. I'm sure we'll trim a few minutes off the journey with a bit more practice.

Jody liked it that much that she's gone back there today (wednesday) with Kieran's girlfriend Nic. Jody starts her new job next Monday, so is making the most of her free time, especially now that our gear has arrived!! We'll write some more about that once we've got round to unpacking all the boxes - it's like Christmas, as we can't remember exactly what we packed.

Anyway, lunch is over, time to get back to work.
I'm out for dinner with work tonight.......more free food!! "I'll have the steak please". Need I say more?


One of the snow covered cones

That's Mt Ruapehu

View from the top

If those clouds had cleared you can see the coast!

L-R: Nic, Kieran, Jules, Jody (all borders!)

Get out of my shot, skier!!

Friday, 29 August 2008

Our pad

Here's some pictures of our current residence in Auckland, which I know a few of you have been asking for.
We're not sure if we'll be here for long though, as the landlord may be putting it up for sale soon, which means we could be moving in late November time (all depends on the property market, etc). Hopefully we can stay here for a while cause it's pretty nice, and will be a good place to house all those people who said they'd be coming to visit us!!!!

Open plan living - cooking and watching TV simutaneously, brilliant!

Dining area, waiting for its baptism as yet.

Yes, that's Jody's mess all over the floor. How did you guess?

We've got a wrap around deck (yet to be used also -damn rain!)

View of the bush from the deck - good eh?

The hot tub (again, yet to be used)

Anywho, it's the end of my first month at work - so I'm off to get a little battered at the company's end of month party (free booze and food!). I could get used to this, in fact, I think I already have!

Love to all