Friday, September 30, 2011

Day 3: Slip sliding away

Day 3 was actually a travelling day but we decided to drive up to Whakapapa on our way home. It was another great day and we decided to hire a toboggan for an hour. It was good, cheap fun – compared to skiing which, when you have three kids, leaves a gaping hole in your wallet.

I even had a go but didn't get any pics. Ruby told me not to laugh too loud as I was going down otherwise I'd embarrass them all. Sorry Ruby; it was fun!

Day 2: Clear and sunny

The mountain was closed on Sunday but the good thing about that was they had more snow! As we drove up on Monday morning there was a light dusting of snow on the trees. The other good thing was, being a Monday, there were far less people on the mountain. No long queues; no crowded trails, no fighting for a table at lunch time.

Again, we booked the girls into a lesson. There was less resistance this time because they knew it was fun. Then we headed to the top! We had so much fun and even though my confidence was building, I still couldn't catch Steve.

I'm also too scared to do the jumps but I think I'll try next time.

Everyone's happy!

And exhausted.

Day 1: Cold, windy and wet

As you can see, our first day on the snow was a bit of a white out.

We booked the girls in for a two hour lesson at the start of the day. They complained a bit but from past experience we know that they come back with smiles of their faces and more confident. That fact that we get two hours alone to do our own thing is merely a bonus [yeah, right]. As soon as we hand them over to their instructor we head straight for the lift that takes us to the top. Only today the visibility was poor up there making it almost impossible to judge the slope. They ended up closing the top lift in the afternoon but we still managed a fun filled day and didn't let the ensuing rain dampen our spirits. As anyone who likes to ski/snowboard knows, you have to make the most of whatever comes your way.

A somewhat unusual action shot from Eadie!

Cold, wet but still smiling [mostly] at the end of the day. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

What are you doing today?

It's a cracker day at Turoa. Wish you were here.

Monday, September 19, 2011

What a production!

Last week was the girls' school production of Vaudeville! Here are some snap shots...

The year 6 girls "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" dance was a great hit!

Eadie's class did "Singing in the Rain".

Whilst Ava's did "Give a Little Love" from the movie Bugsy Malone.

Then Ruby's class did their number which was, oh, I seem to have forgotten, but it was all good!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

There's no such thing as a sure thing

We got tickets. Donned war paint. Were psyched up for a triumphant game.

Then had to walk home eating humble pie. It seems there is no such thing as a sure thing. But the wallabies still have time to prove they really are the best rugby team in the world!

You've got to give it to the Irish, they really are a spirited crowd. We were surrounded by them and although there were quite a few supporters wearing green and gold, they didn't have too much to cheer about.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

World Cup fever

Once again I am about a week behind events. I have good intentions of blogging but life just seems to get in the way.

The RWC kicked off last Friday with a "Bang!", closely followed by a "Booo!". The booo was mostly due to transport issues which left some would-be spectators stranded resulting in them missing the opening ceremony – not happy Jan. Let's face it, it's not like the organisers haven't had enough time to plan for it!

Steve went along to the opening ceremony which was followed by the somewhat dull NZ vs Tonga game. The girls and I joined hundreds on the top of Mt Eden to view what was referred to as "the best fire works display NZ has ever seen!". It was nice but Eadie summed it up nicely with "If that's the best fire works NZ has ever had, they haven't seen much.".

Waiting for fireworks!


The excitement still reigns though, and it is contagious. We have shown our allegiance to the Wallabies, (I can't believe some of you had to ask!) and are wearing our hearts on our sleeves.

Some of the year 6 kids at school painted some Ruggers which are displayed along the school fence line. Ruby did the USA Rugger.

Friday, September 16, 2011

A land before time

On Father's Day, we spent the afternoon exploring the fossil remains of a forest at Takapuna on the north shore of Auckland. As the story goes, 200,000 years ago red hot lava from Lake Pupuke volcano flowed through a forest flattening and incinerating everything in its path. The result of which is a unique fossil forest.

Low tide allows you to clamber over rocks and wander through the cold water – who knows what you might find. This is one of our favourite past times.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Last night the girls and I went to the dress rehearsal of the opening ceremony for the Rugby World Cup which kicks off tomorrow. I don't know what the topic of conversation is in your part of the world, but in NZ it's the RWC. I really don't know what people are going to talk about when it's all over. They'll probably have to revert back to the weather and sheep.

Tickets were pretty hard to come – you had to either live in the Zone A area, attend the nearby intermediate school, or be a RWC volunteer. We didn't fall into any of those categories but I had people on the look out for me and my friend Helen managed to score some tickets from a neighbour. The luck few 100 people who received tickets were also required to sign a confidentiality agreement to ensure the opening ceremony surprises weren't leaked before the event. This really is a "Top Secret" operation. So as much as I'd like to tell you all about it, my lips are sealed.

OK, I never was very good at keeping secrets. I will tell you this much, Petra Bagust and Scotty What's-his-name were the MCs. Scotty is a sports commentator (and possibly a notable sports man in a previous life but don't quote me on that) whilst Petra is a TV personality who has transitioned into a journalist (I use that term very loosely). Petra isn't exactly loved by the public here but that doesn't really matter as she is quite in love with herself which makes up for it. She is one of the face's of NZ tourism ads however, which screen in Australia and most likely other parts of the world, which makes her somewhat recognisable. Anyway, Petra and Scotty were rather boring but I don't think you'll actually be seeing them on the television coverage – they're main job is to warm up the crowd.

The ceremony has been masterminded by David Atkins Enterprises, which staged the opening ceremonies for the Vancouver Winter Olympics and Sydney Olympic Games. And I have to say, I was quite impressed. It had the usual pasifika theme, tastefully done. The history of rugby was commemorated as well which was nice seeing as it's the reason for all the fuss. We have also been promised the biggest fireworks display New Zealand has ever seen – I might even be tempted to drag the kids up Mt Eden for that! OK, that's it, I'm not going to say anymore.

Of course, no photography was allowed at the rehearsal so this pic was the best I could do with my phone camera – the outside of the stadium from the car park!

PS. For those of you who are lucky enough to be coming to Auckland for a game or two, I hope you don't end up in one of the temporary stands at Eden Park. Although we've been told they're safe and apparently the view is quite good, to me they look a little too much like giant Meccano constructions.

Friday, September 2, 2011

I won't be fooled

The sky is blue. The air is warm. Flowers are everywhere. But I won't be fooled. I have learnt that this is not in fact, a sign of better things to come but really just a tease. We might be peeling off our layers but we are also being lulled.

Last weekend the girls had a fabulous time running around the neighbourhood in their togs with other kids; water balloons in hand. We even had our first barbeque in months. But I've been here before...

We first moved to Auckland in September 2009 and being naïve, I fell for the ol' blue sky trick. I'd look out the window in the morning and the Martha Stewart in me could say: What a great day for washing! After the clothes went through the cycle and the last peg squeezed down onto the line, the skies would open. I'd be left madly unplucking them all, with no other option than to shove them into the dryer. Oh, how many times did I have to do this before I learned spring is not a season to be celebrated in Auckland.

Well, I may be a little harsh, there are the flowers after all.

I've also been trying to have more plants in the house as they take in bad stuff and turn it into good stuff. If only there was a plant that could do the same with kids.

I cut a leaf off a lush, green plant the other day and put it in my trunk vase. That prompted Steve to ask: Why is there a spinach leaf in the vase? [I think he meant silverbeet actually.]

The answer was: Because!