Sunday, 30 July 2006

Ski Photos Part 2

Sorry not to have posted part 2 of the ski photos earlier, but all my free time this week has been spent compiling Oi!, an anthology of poetry by members of my writers' forum, The Write Idea. I'm hoping to have it finished within the next couple of weeks. I'll let you know when it becomes available to buy, in case any of you fancy purchasing a copy (hint, hint!). ;-)

Okay, here goes.

Photos from our skiing trip

'Happy Valley' beginners' slope on Mount Ruapehu - this is where we went skiing

a view of Mount Ruapehu from the central plateau

Mount Ngauruhoe (AKA Mount Doom), Mount Ruapehu's nextdoor neighbour

Non-skiing photos (warning - may contain traces of cats)

Pookie in tree-climbing mode

Mo in fluffy mode - her hair just keeps on growing!

The dreaded trench

Drain Blokey is hopefully coming to replace the dodgy drain some time next week, and then we'll be able to start putting the patio back together. I can hardly contain the excitement. ;-)

Bye for now,


Monday, 24 July 2006

Ski Photos Part 1

Iain carves up the slopes

Helen in action

Monday, 17 July 2006

Ski Sunday

Remember Ski Sunday?* Well, we had our very own Ski Sunday yesterday.

Yesterday, on our fourth attempt, we managed make it to the Whakapapa skifield on Mount Ruapehu, New Zealand's most active volacano. Our previous attempts have been scuppered by adverse weather conditions, virulent viruses and landslides. When we got up early yesterday morning we were half expecting to hear news reports that Ruapehu had erupted during the night. Fortunately, the mountain was still intact and there wasn't even a hint of black cloud rising from it. We decided it was probably saving the show for when we got there. The road north out of Wanganui was still closed due to landslides, so we had to take the long route to get there, and the journey took three hours instead of the usual two.

Iain had never skied before, and although I had it didn't really count. It was during a trip to France with some school friends at the age of 17. Everyone else could ski, so they went on up the mountain and left me on the kiddies' slope for three hours. I probably only managed about three minutes upright.

Yesterday Iain and I had a two-hour lesson to introduce us to the basics. It was great fun, but I was a bit alarmed when our instructor said we'd finish the lesson by skiing all the way down to the bottom of the slope. It was about twenty times as far as we'd skied so far and at least three times as steep. We all fell over several times on the way down, but amazingly no-one got injured.

Over the course of the day our skiing superhero personae** revealed themselves. They are Random Flailing Man and Abject Terror Woman. It struck me that we approached the challenge of learning to ski the way we approach life in general. I'm overly cautious, overly analytical, and need time to recover after a knock. Iain's less timid, more relaxed and gets up again straight after a fall. Guess who made better progress with skiing?

There was one after-effect of skiing that we weren't prepared for. The smelly feet. After spending five hours in plastic boots that had previously been worn by hundreds of other people, our feet stank. I've washed my socks three times so far and they still smell. I'm seriously thinking of throwing them away.

We took some photos of our skiing adventure with a single use camera, and we'll post some as soon as we get them developed.


*I bet you'll have the theme tune playing in your head for days.
** The Burton crowd will know what we're on about!

Thursday, 6 July 2006

Only in New Zealand

We had to smile when we spotted this story in our local newspaper The Wanganui Chronicle.

Pie Stops Traffic in Wanganui


Wednesday, 5 July 2006

Fun weekend

Last weekend we trooped off to Wellington for the day to see an exhibition, and catch a show.

The exhibition was a Lord of the Rings display at Te Papa museum. Very cool it was too. For the sad anoraks amongst us who've watched all the 'making of' dvds, it was amazing to see all the costumes, props and models in the flesh. The detail and quality of the set props is just incredible. They had the models of Minas Tirith, and the Two Towers as well. Minas Tirith was HUGE.

After Te Papa we went to see Stomp, the dance/drumming group who use junk and scrap metal to make sounds. I'd seen the odd tv clip of them in action, but didn't know what to expect - the first routine involved the group sweeping the stage with brooms, gradually making more and more complex sound patterns with their brushes & hobnail boots. I thought "Very clever, but an hour and 45 minutes of this is going to stretch my limited attention span to the max". 1 hour and 45 minutes later I would have gladly paid another 75 bucks to watch the whole thing again - right there and then! Hugely impressive. How they sustain the physical effort & coordination needed for the show I don't know. The drumming/dance routines were neatly mixed in with a healthy dose of comedy (no words though - throughout the whole show) and it was a truly exhilarating spectacle to watch. We left the theatre on a real high.

Stomp in action

This week was supposed to see a visit to the skifields, but I'm currently nursing the mother of all colds, and got sent home from work under strict instructions not to come back until after the weekend. Fortunately the students are on recess & I'd blitzed all my paperwork before the lergy got a full grip. Not looking good for skiing though.