Success is getting what you want; happiness is liking what you get

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Cinderella On Ice

How about an afternoon playing hooky from work and a free ticket to see the show "Cinderella on Ice"? That's the exciting prospect that Jenny had.

It happened like this. Jenny had a phone call from the Cancer Support Group facilitator who said that the Cancer Society had been offered free tickets to a matinee of the show. "I can't go", was Jenny's initial reaction, "I have to go to work". Then she thought, "Why not, what a wonderful opportunity". So she arranged to have the afternoon off work, and car pooled with three other ladies to drive into the big city.

The Imperial Ice Stars are a group of 23 Olympic, European and World Championship skaters. The well known story of Cinderella has been modernised and has extra characters included in this spectacle. As well as the glorious skating there is a little of the "Circe de Soiel" with an amazing display of twisting, turning, hanging up side down on a length of fabric. The skating, the costumes, the effortless lifts, it was all amazing to watch.

Imagine Irish dancing on skates. First the lead man, Prince Charming does his Irish jig, then Cinderella joins him, then character after character until there is a long line of Russian skaters across the stage doing their version of Irish dancing on ice, absolutely wonderful to watch!!

Thanks to the generosity of the producer of this show many cancer survivors, and cancer volunteers had the opportunity to have a magical afternoon enjoying a top class show.

Monday, 28 July 2008

10 Pin Bowling

Sunday was another wet and windy day and we spent the morning with our friends from the SLG at Strike 10 Pin Bowling at Petone. The original building had been demolished for roading works and the bowling lanes are now occupy brand new purpose built accommodation. As well as bowling lanes, the more adventurous can have a go at Laser Strike, a variation on the paint ball game.

We were split into 2 teams and the fun began. Some found that the lighter balls had finger holes too small for the more mature fat fingers . Others found the heavier balls almost impossible to lift, let alone swing and hurl along the lane. We finally found balls to suit and settled into the routine. Unfortunately "Gutter Balls" seemed to happen with regular monotony for some of us. But a surprising number of "Strikes" and "Spares" were achieved. The professional bowling teams have nothing to fear from our lot!! It was good to see lots of family groups there having a fun time out too. And we marvelled at the strength and speed of some of the more accomplished players on other lanes.

Strike 10 Pin Bowling Alley

After all this activity we went for lunch to the "Jetty" at Petone, previously known as both the Seaway and the Oarsman cabarets. Delicious food and reasonable prices, what more could a hungry group want. The restaurant looked out over the Petone Beach in all it's stormy glory on this wild and woolly day.

Then it was off to the Wainuiomata Museum at Homedale School for a peek into the past. We particularly liked the recreated old schoolroom, and managed to squeeze our mature frames into the tiny desks for a photo shoot. It was interesting to note that out of the 10 people in our group, 6 had lived in Wainuiomata at some stage of their lives, most of us as young marrieds. Wainui wasn't called "Nappy Valley" for nothing!!

Pam invited us back to her home for a delicious afternoon tea to finish off the day. It was a great day's outing spent with good friends

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Day trip to Palmie

Today we took a trip up to Palmerston North. We travelled the back way through Shannon and Tokomaru, drove past the turn-off to Linton Army Camp, and skirted around the entrance to Massey University. It was yet another wet and windy day and we saw plenty of horses standing dejectedly in the rain. The Manawatu region has excellent conditions for dairy farms as attested by the many herds of dairy cows we saw. Gambolling around a few paddocks we spotted some early Spring lambs. We arrived in Palmerston North and a sign announced "Welcome to Student City", a reflection on the many students, both local and overseas who come to study at Massey University and the English Language Schools.

Spring has sprung

The reason for our trip was to visit grand-daughter Megan who is still in hospital recovering from her operation following peritonitis. It was nice to see some of her young friends from High School coming to visit. Unfortunately it was very difficult procedure when her drain was removed but once the pain killers kicked in she was feeling much better. All going well, Megan should be home in a few more days.

The wind and rain was getting stronger on the trip home. A "Weather Bomb" had hit the Auckland region during the day and caused a lot of damage, with flooding, and gale force winds ripping roofs off houses. A large area of Auckland had lost power to homes. Let's hope that the weather bomb doesn't travel down the country to Wellington!!

Friday, 25 July 2008

A busy week

What a week we have had, it was full to overflowing with appointments and trip preparations. As well as diligently going to work each day we have:
1: Visited the podiatrist to ensure our feet are in good condition for all that walking and sightseeing overseas.
2: Gone to the bank and collected some overseas currency.
3: Had a vet appointment for Muffy for her annual vaccinations.
4: Robin had a doctor's appointment to get his prescription renewed to cover our time away.

What else to do? Haircuts booked for next week. Check our lists and cross things off. Start to put things in our new suitcases. Start to panic (only joking)

Not long now to go, a week and a bit at work then we will be on our way, we can't wait!!!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Get Well Soon

We spent time with grand-daughter Megan last weekend, when she seemed fine, but now she is languishing in hospital. Megan was admitted to hospital with suspected appendicitis, and while getting ready for surgery, the appendix burst. Nasty. We are pleased that she came through the op quite well, but will be in the ward and on strong antibiotics for the next week while recovering.

All this drama didn't occur till the school holidays were over and she was back at school, how is that for good planning.

No more riding horses for Megan for some time, we expect. Get well soon.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

A Weekend in the Country

This weekend we travelled with our caravan to stay at "The Manor", the country property of our friends Geoff and Eileen. Robin had to back the caravan down the long driveway, once he had cleared the gate posts it as no trouble at all. Our hosts had a full house as their son, two grand-children and dog were also visiting. Little Katelynn was right on the ball when she announced that we were all "having a sleepover" at Nan and Pops place.

"The Manor"

Friday night's rain came with us on Saturday as we travelled further north to the Manawatu to visit our own family, daughter Nicky, son-in-law Robert and grand-daughter Megan, at their small farm. It may have been pouring with rain outside, but the cats Murray and Fanta were in the best place curled up right up beside the crackling fire. Horses are a way of life to this family and they spend a lot of their time competing in various horse events.

Robert in his horse truck

Murray & Fanta

On Sunday morning we took over Eileen's kitchen and whipped up a Sunday breakfast of bacon and eggs for everyone, which was much appreciated. We said our goodbyes, hooked up and drove off home in even more rain.

All this rain must be good for something. The farmers certainly appreciate it, and Geoff and Eileen's water tanks are full to overflowing.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Tickets in hand!!!

We are one step closer to the Big OE now that we have collected our various tickets from the lovely Petra of House of Travel. However, air tickets certainly aren't what they used to be. In the past we remembered getting a little folder of flimsy carbonised tickets that the check in people ripped off one at at time. You had to hope that there was the final one left remaining in the booklet so that you could get home again after the holiday. These days E-Tickets are the norm, which is just a sheet of paper printed with all sorts of airport and airlines codes and dates. Certainly not as romantic as having the actual tickets in your hot little hands!!

We also received our vouchers for hotel accommodation and various transfer tickets to and from the airports. And a handy little booklet outlining our whistle stop coach tour of Niagara Falls and Washington DC. Things are certainly moving along quickly now.

Today it is damp, rainy and cold enough to need the heating on here at home so we are really looking forward to some exotic Singapore sunshine followed by an English Summer. We'll be on our way in 20 days!!

Tickets in hand

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Rallying in the rain

We have just returned from a "rally in the rain' at Paekakariki Motor camp with our friends from the Heretaunga Caravan Club. Paekakariki Motor Camp was used during WWII as an American Marine Army base. Our sites were over the old parade ground hence making it very difficult to hammer in pegs for awnings, (they kept bending!!).

9 vans attended with two of them being visitors, which made for a good turn out. Don and Pamela's rellies from New Plymouth joined us, and David and Rae from Wairarapa also rallied with us, great to catch up with both couples again. We skipped the obligatory Friday evening catch-up as we had a surprise birthday party to attend at Waikanae. This was held at the Eastern Egret Restaurant, a Chinese restaurant serving absolutely delicious food.

Saturday was very wet again, but that must be expected in winter. The rain made the grounds very soggy so it was a matter of tip-toeing through the puddles and slush and being careful where we placed our feet. After a free day to go shopping, catch up with friends or just chill out, our usual 4zees got us all together again. Then we all met again in the Lodge after our evening meal. The plan was to bring a dessert to celebrate the mid year Christmas theme and to wear our Christmas hats. Later in the evening Robin and a couple of fellow conspirators departed the festivities to watch the All Black/Springbok game on TV. Sadly, no win for the Kiwis this time.

Sunday dawned clear and sunny, so at least we didn't have to pack up in the rain. As Graeme was carefully manouvering his car and van off the site there was an almighty "bang". That certainly brought everyone running to see what it was that he had hit!! Luckly the only damage was a broken part of his stabiliser, it had just snapped in two. "No worries", said Graeme, "I'll just make a new piece".

This will be our last caravan rally for a while as our overseas trip is now just over 3 weeks away, yippee!!

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Buy Before You Fly

London Tickets - yeah!

While planning our Big OE we discovered . They offer free travel information and advice and kindly sent us some of their brochures. We particularly liked their "Buy Before you Fly" offers and ordered the following tickets.
The Big Bus Sightseeing Tour of London (includes a complimentary Thames River Cruise).
Tickets to London Eye and Madame Tussauds. Plus 2 Oyster Travel Cards that will take get us around London on the Underground, buses, trams and Docklands Light Rail.

We remembered that we had some coins from our previous trip tucked away in a drawer. Wonder how much there is???. After counting we can report that we have the vast sum of 3 pound and 45 pence in English coins, and $5.00 American in assorted coins. Wonder if all this will buy us a coffee?

Sunday, 6 July 2008

There's Snow on them there Hills

Snow on Mount Climie

It's weather conditions like this that has us looking forward to our trip away in 4 weeks time to sunnier climes!! What a weekend we have had. Snow fell down to low altitudes over a large part of the country, bringing freezing temperatures, rain and sleet. A good weekend to stay indoors.
The bad weather didn't put the All Blacks off their game. They played the Springboks at Wellington Stadium last night, which is fondly known to locals as "The Cake Tin". The All Blacks soundly beat the Springboks in appalling conditions by 19 - 8. Robin spent his Saturday evening warm and cozy in front of the TV barracking for the home side, while Jenny was busy at the sewing machine making a bag to take away on holiday.
Let's hope the weather improves for our caravan rally next weekend.