Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Uploads of snaps from a couple of days ago...

At the foot of the cairn. All of the neices and nephews are present aprt from Josie (who was feeling sick at the time)
Queen of al she surveys (but myopic)
Victoria devouring one of her birthday presents

This is a shot before reaching the top of the mountain

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Raining today

Climbing Puketapu was quite fun yesterday and today there had been plans for a hangi but not only has it beeen raining for the last 18 hours there is a total fire ban in the Wainakarua district.  The next door neighbour had promised to put down a hangi as an early birthday for mum and we had all been really looking forward to it. Alas even a barbie might be out of the question today. This rain is also threatening to scuttle the plans to ride from Hampden to Palmerston tomorrow.  This is the last day in Hampden for my brother Peter who lives in Singapore with his wife AiLee and his kids Anna and James.  We may see Anna next year if she attends boarding school in Dunedin but she is also interested in going to Polytech in Singapore. Where she goes depends on the results of her GCSE (the Singapore equivalent of NCEA Level 2)
I have plenty of snaps to load but being a plonker I forgot to bring the lead thingie which attaches to the computer.  Looks like there with be a massive photo dump when we get back to Dunedin next week. In the meantime we are going to spend the day inside eating too much and playing board games. If the weather breaks I will rush out with the chainsaw and chop up some wood for a quick barbie.  Fingers crossed.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Here are some shots of our trip to Puketapu near Palmerston with Richard and Peter's families.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


All the Dunedin Williamsons slept in the tent on the side lawns at nana's house and woke up to a warm and slightly overcast Christmas day. The girls all got a sack of lollies and presents and I got my Napoleonic figures from Santa.  All of my brothers and my sister made it back for Xmas and there were 7 grandchildren running around for my mum to dote on.  Everyone got on really well and we ended the evening with a BBQ and a nice Havanan cigar and a cup of tea!
Today we are driving in convoy up to Timaru to meet with other members of the extended family for another BBQ and a trip to the Caraline Bay festival. It should be a great day. This first week of the summer hols has been really great. On the 27th we are planning to climb Puketapu and in the next few days we (Josie and I ) are planning on riding to Parmerston via the Horserange road. When I get back to Dunedin in a few days I will load up some photos of the event.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Walk. (prt2)

On a 10 second delay- the poor old camera was on a signpost and in danger of being blown off by the big wind gusts.

Looking further inland from Warrington (famed for hippies and other alternative lifestylers) Somewhere in the photo State Highway 1 snakes its way over the big hill on the left heading north.

Mari gets hayfever so she had to be meded-up for the walk. This track gets pretty nasty pretty quickly in winter so for us it is a summer walk.

Same photo as the first I think but with a slightly higher elevation.

Looking inland west of SH1. Not sure that there is too much out there  except for wild animals and mountains. This area is great for pig hunting and there are a reasonable amount of deer as well. 


Taking a breather

To get to the track you have to walk through a lowland forest of native bush. It is very ferny and the trees have the unique NZ green about them. This coastal forest is different from the beech forests of central and western Otago in so much as the trees are a lot smaller and the lower canopy seems to be a lot for dominated by trees which seem to grow in people's gardens around East Otago. I have no idea what their names are but they aren't classically beautiful.

Poppets in the ferns. Taken from about one meter from the track. Not a place I would want to get lost in during winter. 

No Run

An attempt at a panorama shot.This is looking north towards Warrington beach

A little further along to the foot of Mnt Cargil

The repeater at the summit of Mnt Cargil

Dunedin obscured by some scrub

 Google maps struggles with this area because there is only one road. At the bottom right lies State Highway 1 at its highest elevation in New Zealand and it is the starting point for the track. I am not too sure of the elevation but it took us about 2 hours of walking uphill to get to the top.
Today it was the aftermath of the big nor-wester that we had yesterday. Branches and leaves were scattered all over the city and the arborists all had their hands full dealing with clearing the roads. We got off pretty lightly with only our recycling bin deciding to head off down Glenpark Ave. It was still too windy to go for a run so we slept in an extra half hour.  At about 9 we decided to walk the Glenleith track which heads inland from the top of State highway 1 at the top of the Kilmog. It was a really lovely day so we decided to take the camera to record the event.

More photos coming...

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

On Holiday

On the first day of the holidays I ....
1) Got up for my run and went all the way around the course again.
2) took the bike to the bike shop for an overhaul ( Two new tyres+tubes and a lookover)
3) Mowed the lawns
4) Played handball with the kids
5) Went shopping for groceries and presents
6) Rented three shitty DVDs for the family but ended up played Call of Duty (Modern Warfare) while they watched

The weather was lovely all day even though it was supposed to be unsettled. This morning we slept in until 6.30 am and went for a run again. It was windy and overcast but the run was ok. Now I am going to make breakfast and maybe sweep the garage. Our garage serves as a mega storeroom since the 8 seater People-mover we have is too high to fit in the garage door. Rather an embarrassing oversight  on the part of the purchaser of the van :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I managed to jog around my entire circuit today without stopping! It took me 25 mins and I am especially proud of getting to the top of the gutbusting hill without stopping! It is 3.7 kms according to Google maps but they don't include the hills.
This is at the bottom of the gutbuster. A gentle but sapping incline.
Once the incline has finished there is a nasty rise designed to take the will of the casual jogger and turn it to bitter heartbreak
The Gutbuster in all its infernal glory. Seldom conquered and scattered with the bones of many a casual jogger.

The entire map

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mari's Grade 6 Exam

 On Sunday Mari went for here grade 6 Violin exam which she passed with a merit. Not bad for someone who just picked it up four years ago.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Finally got a Christmas Tree

Not bad for $10. One of the local Maori Trusts must have a large stand of trees that they harvest every year. They do a roaring trade for a few weeks and then disappear off the radar.
The girls are buying presents for the family from the money that they have raised from busking. Really quite cute!
Yay! IELTS is finished and we are heading in to the last week of school. Everything is looking increasingly Christmasy and all the shops are doing a roaring trade. At least for a month the recession will go away.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Santa just arranged 7 boxes of Napoleonic infantry on Trademe. I think the Easter bunny will arrange about 7 more.  That should be enough to balance my Russians.  Should be a hell of a table top when I am finished by the end of next year.  I am going to get the Christmas tree today as well today so it is all busy busy. Josie has her sleepover party on Friday and that is the same day as my end of year party which should end up being a drunken pub crawl (with any luck) Just one for IELTS examining on Saturday and it is nearly over!!!!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Saturday again and I have got to mow the lawns and give the kitchen some TLC. I went jogging again with Mari this morning and I managed to get up the big hill on Glenpark Ave quite easily so when I do my big run tomorrow I will see if I can get all the way around the circuit with only one stop. I will have the whole morning to myself so I hope I will be able to get a few hours of online gaming in. I also have some bids in on Trademe for some new toy soldiers which will be my new project over the winter.  I have decided to revamp my Napoleonic French army with some of the new Hat figures.  It will involve painting about 500 figures if I am lucky. Hear are some shots of my Russian army which I finished a couple of years ago. Unfortunately a greasy front lens made for a foggy picture.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

This is the start of the Sunday Walk to Port Chalmers. We stopped off at the new Dunedin stadium which is under construction.  It is really shooting up and should be well ready for the World Cup in 2011.

Josie took these snaps so they are a bit random. They do show the size of the construction which is directly and indirectly pumping millions into the regional economy. There was a good deal of controversy about the project since it is funded by the Dunedin city council with limited central government input. I am glad to see that the old council pushed it through - even at the cost of Peter Chin's second term!

This might be the place that houses the new language centre which will relocate from near the clock tower.

On the way to Port Chalmers. I think we did about 12 Kms. This was Tory's first long walk and she handled it really well.

yours truly in one of his rare photos

We made it just in time to be picked up! We got a nice ice-cream at the port which bucked the girls up no end.

Here is a test of linking to my Youtube channel.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Student loans.

I hate student loans. I have been under the millstone of a student loan ever since I restarted my uni studies about 10 years ago. The IRD insist on tacking 10% from my PAYE every fortnight which means that I am taxed at over 32%. If you include 15% GST the total money which goes to the government is over 40% of my take home pay. I have about $2300 to go on the loan now so I should be finished by the end of the year all things going to plan. I am looking forward to having just al little more left in the bank account next year if I can finally slay that horrid little leech.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Mine Tragedy and Jogging with Mari

Everyone was quite sad yesterday with the news of the 2nd blast in the mine over on the West Coast.  Hard to imaginne that the lives of 29 people could be snuffed out so quickly just as they were doing their daily jobs. The PM has ordered all of the govt flags to fly at half mast and he will fly down tomorrow to meet the families of the victims. According to the mine officials the levels of flammable gas in the mine mean that it could continue to explode regularly for decades to come meaning that the miners may never be recovered.

At 6 every morning after Mari has finished her meditation we have been going jogging together. So far it had been quite fun and Mari is quite good. Today we did 25 mins which even though is pathetic is a good set up for the day. I will walk down to school today which will take another 45 mins.  All up that makes about 1/14th of my day in some sort of exercise.

Friday, November 19, 2010


I think that when I breathe out my lungs don't empty well prompting my to breathe in a lot deeper. I winder whether that is related to the pneumonia that I had during the winter... Lovely morning this morning though. The weather is warm and overcast with a gentle rain. And what's better it is the last day of the working week. Today the students are going to put up the Christmas decorations.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Jogging Improvement

I hate the first kilometre of my jog. Afer that it is quite enjoyable. Strangely enough I enjoy running up hills. Maybe it is the sadomasochist in me. Josie ran in the finals of the Otago Athletics yesterday and got a fourth. Actually her relay team got fourth. Mari is back applying for jobs and she also picked up a $50 electric piano from Trademe which is now sitting happily in Victoria's room. The school is waiting for a Tsunami of students due in the next few months but in the meantime I don't need to do much more than just turn up and watch hours of YouTube. I am sooooo hanging out for the Christmas holidays! On Friday apart from the IELTS results coming out and the staff party we are going to get the students to put up the Christmas decorations. A clear signal of the holidays!!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Looking for a new premises for the school

Our lease is up in early 2013 so I thought it would be a good idea to go looking for cheaper premises. Unfortunately there is not a lot around which is as good as what we have now. I looked at the purchase price for a section of building that was mildly ok and the guy said he wanted a million dollars for it. He was dreaming considering I can't remember that building ever being fully tenanted. Looks like we will stay where we are.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Back jogging

Fingers crossed for a return to semi-fitness. Today was forecast  to be about 21 degrees but it dawned overcast and the cloud doesn't seem to be wanting to burn off any time soon.  I have got to mow the lawns and clean out the garage while everyone is away at Saturday Morning Music. I have a nice bottle of Irish stout as a present to myself after I finish so it is shaping up to be a pretty pleasant afternoon. Josie and I might go on a walk to Port Chalmers tomorrow while Mari is at her meditation class. Victoria will probably stay with Mari since the walk could be quite epic.  If we go I'll take the camera for a few shots of the new stadium which is being built over by the port. It seems to be on target for completion before the World Cup next year.

Friday, November 12, 2010


5 fillings - not including my wisdom tooth $1000. Fuck. I heard somewhere that some random scientist had intended a process where teeth could be re-seeded into the gums. I am too lazy to google this but am more than happy to repeat this probably fictitious story as truth on the internet.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fitness Failure

Well it lasted less than a week and that was a month ago. I really need motivation pills. Christmas is coming and I really want to go biking with the girls somewhere along the rail trail. The only problem is my extreme laziness and my love of beer.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Labour Weekend... and a sad realisation

Oh my god... I only post about my kids and my work. Nothing else exists worthy of a blog. I really have to get a life. Anyway. In keeping with the above here are the kids washing the van and playing in the creek.