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!