Archive for October, 2011

A picture…

Monday, October 17th, 2011

…speaks a thousand words.

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A great photo by Fairfax Media’s Mark Taylor of Dagg escaping the clutches of Cooper.



Three Dollars

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

Three dollars

Just watched Robert Connolly’s Three Dollars and really enjoyed it.  The 6.2 IMDB rating belies a great Australian movie threaded with themes that many will identify with and characters that you care about played.  For Alfred Hitchcock fans or those who just love a nod by one director to another, there’s even a brief homage to North by Northwest to make you smile.

A Day Out

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

Had a great day out with Wendy, Maisie and her friend Alice today.  We saw a few things at Auckland Museum, checked out the view from the top of Maungawhau and had afternoon tea in Mount Eden before heading home.

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In the Aqua exhibition, Maisie tries fetching water as many kids her age have to do daily around the world.

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An exquisite 17th century Italian carving in the Mackelvie Collection.

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What all the trendy surfers were wearing in 1925.

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The Webb Ellis Trophy and an old mug.

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Successive RWC captains holding the trophy.

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Eden Park, the venue for this weekend’s semi-finals and next weekend’s final of the RWC 2011 – from Maungawhau.

The discovery of the afternoon was the Museum Library, tucked away on the second floor.  The library’s catalogue is available online contains all sorts, from the letters of aviatrix Jean Batten to a 1778 account of James Cook’s South Seas journeys.

Water Woes – update

Friday, October 14th, 2011


Yesterday, prayers were answered when we received an email from the mission team in Thailand.

They are all well and have moved from Mauk Lek back to Bangkok without incident and avoiding the areas worst hit by flooding.  From the brief email we have had, it seem that despite the weather and floods, they have been able to carry out the work in the slum schools and AIDS orphanage as planned.

The team will now head to a small resort area in the Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park (above) to debrief, rest and recuperate before flying home next week.

The last piece of paper

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Five years, four months and 25 days ago, I wrote a post entitled Two pieces of paper, in which I celebrated our family being granted returning residency in New Zealand.


Today, we each received a letter (above) requesting we attend a ceremony next month at Auckland Town Hall.  There, with just a twist of irony, we will swear allegiance to the Queen of the country we left six years ago and, by doing so, become citizens of New Zealand.

We are ‘encouraged to wear the national dress of [our] country of origin’ and I am currently favouring a curry and beer-stained England football shirt over a three piece suit and bowler hat.

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Needless to say, we are chuffed to bits and look forward to the day when, 38 months after arriving in New Zealand ‘fresh off the boat’ as they say here, we can, with hand on heart call ourselves Kiwis.

Water Woes

Monday, October 10th, 2011

Life’s full of irony.

Considering the impact that the weather is having around the PacAsia has given me reason to pause and ponder on how much I choose to ignore when I am not involved or impacted in some way.

Here in the rural north of New Zealand, we have thoroughly enjoyed the spring sunshine of recent weeks. Today’s rain is an answer to prayer as it is filling up our rainwater tank and postponing the almost inevitable need to pay a water carrier to top us up as supplies run low into the summer.

Meanwhile, our Pacific neighbours to the north on Tuvalu, Tokelau, Kiribati and Samoa are experiencing the worst drought for many years, brought about by La Nina.  In recent days, ship-borne water deliveries have been sent from New Zealand and a joint Anzac operation is flying desalination units to the worst hit areas.

This evening, as we said grace before dinner, our prayers are with the people of Thailand, as flooding brings widespread havoc and loss of life to the country and its neighbours.That said, I can’t help wondering how much attention we would have paid to this news were our daughter Robyn not in Thailand on mission with KingsWay School.

Having received texts from the team this evening, we know they are safe even if a couple of them are sick and we will continue to pray that things improve – but wouldn’t it be great if we cared as much without our loved ones being involved?

Waikato weekend

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

Just back from a great 36 hours down country.

Broke up the leisurely drive down State Highway 1 with a picnic lunch by the river in Mercer.  Took the opportunity to buy some great mature Gouda and nettle cheeses from the Mercer Cheese Shop and then headed onto Hamilton.

Once there, we settled into our friend’s place with a cup of tea and then crashed out for a much-needed nap.  Suitably rested, we headed further south to Te Awamutu Baptist Chapel to watch and photograph the Voice Dance performance of their standout show ‘Lifesongs’. Despite injuries forcing last minute cast changes, the team all put up solid performances and hopefully I got a few good shots from the 500 plus I took.

After the show, we enjoyed steaming cups of tea and watched the first half of England vs France in the church hall.  While there, we got a text update from KingsWay School to say their mission team (including our Robyn) were safe and beginning their first full day in Bangkok.  Drove back to Hamilton in time to watch England lose while eating some of the Mercer cheese and quaffing glasses of Sauv Blanc.

Enjoyed the lovely sunny morning and a slow breakfast before heading to Hamilton Gardens to enjoy a walk in the sun before heading back home in time to watch the last two RWC quarter-finals.

Gutted that the ‘Boks have just lost to the Aussies – really was hoping that their second half rally would be enough to see them through.