Friday, March 27, 2009

Take me bak 'ome

Gregarious G-string rightly took me to task for the lack of a song title on the last posting so who sang this one Greg?

Okay well I'm back! An epic journey around the world in 10 days. The return leg started with a trip to the Highbury tube station (Cosmin gave me a lift as it was showering), tube to Kings Cross on the Victoria line, change to Piccadilly line train to Heathrow Terminal 3, London to Singapore on the humungus airbus. Dad now informs me that it's made in France, completely too big and that I'm braver than him for riding on it!! Thank goodness he didn't tell me that before I got on it with the other 839 passengers!). This bit took 13 hours, 2 hour stop off in Changi airport Singapore, then a 10 hour flight to Auckland, another 2 hour stopover there before a 45 min flight to New Plymouth, and finally a 30 min drive back to home base in Stratford. Wow. I have to say I'm a little tired at this point. Still the blog must be completed! I did watch some movies on the flights - Happy Go Lucky is a Mike Leigh film that I loved - laugh out loud stuff at times and how many Mike Leigh films can you say that about? The Coen Brothers Burn after reading - Brad Pitt is hilarious and George Clooney is brilliant in it but John Malkovich is unbelievable. I don't usually like him but he is stunningly good in this. Slumdog Millionaires everyone knows about - I liked it too! No surprises there then. Body of Lies is a Ridley Scott film that I could hardly understand but it looks great and Leonardo DiCaprio is terrific in it (Russell Crowe also).

Tomorrow Jacky and I are off to a Principal's conference in Hamilton (3 and half hour drive north). We aim to see dad, Keegan and Adam while at the conference so pictures will follow. What a bizzy little bee I am.

I've added a link to Keegan's new blog on movies (go left to blogs I'm watching section). Next posting will contain some more UK photos including the oppulent rooms in Randy and Pat's house. Caio for naio.

Love and peace out - W

Monday, March 23, 2009

Live from Islington, London

Yes indeed I'm in London again after visiting my spiritual home - greater Manchester where my grandad came from. It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks - first finding out I had to come to England for family business, making plans and actually getting here was intense. Luckily I'm married to a doer and Jacky made all my arrangements while I got leave from school and made sure the school and my classes were covered. And so here I am. Where exactly? Randy and Pat's house in Islington (the Romanian builder 'Cosmin' is pictured in the doorway their back garden has scaffolding to put in a balcony and this was where I'm sleeping - on the 4th floor, up 41 steps from the kitchen - I counted them), north London to be precise. They are in Austria on a skiing holiday and they tell me they skim my blog so I won't dribble on this time. Just share some highlights - of course Fopp (3 pound, 4 pound CDs - amazing), a walk down the Mall towards Buckingham Palace(the daffies and horses) and a great view looking back to Westminster The trip to the Emirates stadium was immense - it's only 30 mins away from the shire where Pat/Randy have their house - they can even hear the faithful chant 'we love the Arsenal, we do'from their place.
I walked across the Westminster bridge for Jacky and took this picture of St Thomas's and its view of Big Ben.
The best though has been seeing all my friends at King John, spending time with Randy and Pat and their amazing wonderful friends, and seeing Christine and her children (Tom, Lewis K, and Fran)at the pub watching Liverpool absolutely destroy Aston Villa 5-0 (Tina should be sweating!).
and finally the new inspiration picture - this is on the walk Christine and I like to take towards the Peel monument that overlooks Ramsbottom and Holcombe Village. The white dog ahead of us is Sam - Christine's dog chosen by Tom. Inspirational? Oh Yeah!!

Love and peace from Highbury/Islington - W

Monday, March 9, 2009

I waited for you on the running boards, near the cypress trees, while the springtime turned slowly to autumn

I mentioned in a recent post that we'd delivered some stuff to Samantha's Wellington flat. Here's a picture that shows said flat - right hand door leads up to her room which is the one with the windows (blinds closed - means it's Samantha's!). Groovy huh!
We have a blast of cold air from the Antarctic currently making us feel very much autumnal. Jacky and I spent the weekend mowing lawns, trimming trees, repairing leaks. The aim being to get ready for winter when we can't do much. It was a holiday on Monday - Taranaki Anniversary, so we did that work and also lazed around a lot.

Some more snips from Adam and Jenna in Japan arrived.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

London calling to the faraway towns

Go the 'Dale - second in the table! Wahoo!! I have no songs with Rochdale in the title so I'll stick with the Clash for this entry - have you noticed how I use song lyrics for the titles now...? No one has sent me a comment saying - 'Oh yeah - I gettit - Ringo right' - which is disappointing people!! C'mon!! See if you get the next one. Apologies too to the Silent Alliance brigade - they'd be there as well in my last post but I don't have a copy yet of the album. How do I get one Tom/Lewis?

Jacky and I spent the weekend in windy (and wet) Wellington at a posh hotel - The James Cook on the Terrace. OO ER. For those non Nu Zilders I've thoughfully supplied a map. Basically we travelled down the left hand coast to Wellington. Here is a nice picture of the coastline-
We were there cos Fanfa needed her set of drawers and other possessions for her room. She's back in Wellington for her second year at Victoria University. You will all be glad to know that I didn't crumble like a marshmallow when we said goodbye. I did that last year. This year I know we'll be seeing her quite a bit - so it didn't feel final like it did somehow last year - weird.

Wellington itself has a special spot in my heart - it's where Jacky and I went for our honeymoon in April 1984. I'd never been before and I loved looking around the central Wellington area - the botanical garden and Alexander Turnbill Library, as well as the shops.

It was equally as good wandering around in Wellington's CBD this time - Slow Boat Records and Real Groovy provided some relief from the rain (noteworthy purchase - Mostly Autumn's 'Passengers'). We went for lunch at Fidel's on Cuba Street, checked out the impressive sights (lots of younguns in tats and piercings), we (J and I) had dinner together (not often that happens) almost went to a Beer fest by mistake (not us Tina) and crashed a wedding party having their pictures taken along the waterfront. All good. On the left is a view of the area we walked along.

All up a good break from routines (the lawns are long though). Last week also saw our 26th anniversary on the 26th Feb. Twenty-six years ago I saw a vision on the dancefloor at a fancy dress party and the rest is history.

Love and peace - W