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.