Sunday, October 03, 2010

This is how we do

You may be aware that I no longer live in Hamilton. I won't explain any further (your mad theories will be far more interesting than the reality anyway), but I now live in Wellington.

My first five weeks here I spent staying with my Auntie Cheryl - BIG INTERNET UPS TO CHERYL. We had a great time, no homicide or anything, but it was always my intention to move a bit closer to the city.

So, yesterday I moved into a flat in Wadestown, which for some reason has no entry on the Suburbs of Wellington Wikipedia page. EDIT: a Wadestown website.

Today I tested out the walk to work, so here it is (of course, click for big):

I start by heading north along the road:


Mere metres from the flat is this graffiti, which is something of a different class to that which I am accustomed to:


There is an illustration of "ur mama's hairy balls" next to it, which I didn't take a photo of.

A bit further down the road, this is the view to the left:


Those houses underneath the pylons are Chartwell - was Chartwell someone important in NZ history or what?

A little further along, also on the left, is Wadestown School:


Presumably the kids abseil in.

This is the other side, Tinakori Hill:


I need to climb over it. To do so, I go up Wade "Street":


This is Wellington's version of a street. If you look carefully to the right of the corrugated-tin garage, and the left of the little yellowish hedge, that's it. Wade Street. If you make the picture huge you might even be able to read the "street" sign.

It's not really for cars.

In fact, it's just barely navigable on foot. There are a lot of hairpin corners like this:


I don't know how many, as all my body's resources were diverted to my lungs at that point, nothing left for counting.

This hairpin has a water feature:


After a while, it turns into an actual street, with cars on:


My guess is that the cars are purely ornamental, as there's no way they could have been driven there.

I'm over the crest of the hill by now, and I can see some water:


I need to get down to near where that big ship is, but how? It says NO EXIT:


Ah no, just to the right of the NO EXIT sign is another one letting me know that there's some more Wade "Street", again, not really for cars.

Just at the start of that bit, I can see where I'm headed:


Just to the right of centre is a chimney, and just to the right of that is a greenish square. That is the building in which I work. Still a way to go then, although this point is only about twenty minutes' walk from the flat.

Just to prove that these are my photos, and I actually did this walk:


A bit further down and I'm on Wadestown Road:


I'm sure there was a city around here somewhere ...

Ah, there's the stadium, through the trees:


Wellington names a fair few of its steps - these are the Wadestown Steps:


The tree at the upper right is obscuring a building which some of you may recognise:


Some of you may even own parts of it.

Now, across Molesworth Street, over the motorway:


Looking back over my shoulder from the other side of the motorway:


That massive green thing in the background? I've just walked over that. Half an hour or so in now.

This is Thorndon now:


Old Saint Paul's:


I think they mean the church is old, but it could be that Saint Paul is old and that's what they're getting at.

At the end of the road (I think it's still Molesworth Street) is the Railway Station, a nice building:


I've been here for after-work drinks once, I'd go again:


On a work day, I'd cross the road from the Thistle, and go up these steps:


... which lead up onto the massive concrete concourse above the station, leading to the stadium, and also my work:

P1040443 Stitch

The top of the building I work in is just visible to the right of centre.

Behind all this, the Beehave (thanks E0n!) watches over us:


Last shot is of the inside of the railway station. It's no Grand Central, but it's still nice:


It's made even better by having a New World Metro inside it, which is one of the best things ever.

So, I will miss taking trains to work for the next little while, but I think the walk's pretty good too.

Tell/show me about your walk/bike/bus/train/drive/plummet to work.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


AAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHH it's the school holidays; what do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO?

Well, if you're lucky, you get invited to go fishing and you take your daughter along.

Gary and his daughter Gabrielle were going to have a fish off the Whangamata wharf, stay the night and have another fish in the morning, then come home, and they were kind enough to invite Ella and I to come along, so we did.

We got there about when it got dark, so after chucking our stuff inside, we got dressed up:


and headed down to the wharf. This picture doesn't really convey the awe-inspiring conditions:


It wasn't raining much, but I'd estimate 900-knot winds. The only reason Ella isn't blowing away is because of the sinker on the end of her line.

Nothing was caught except fish and chips at the takeaways. This was followed by some card games, giving Ella plenty of opportunities to call her father a loser:


I don't know where she gets this from.

The next day we woke up so early that EVEN ELLA WENT BACK TO SLEEP AFTER THE ALARM WENT OFF. We had a quick look at the wharf, but it was too EXTREEM even for us, so we had a bit of breakfast first.

Then it was back into it:


It was still windy, just not as windy as the night before.

Can you imagine the neverending gloating if Ella was the only one who caught a fish? Luckily, there's no need for me to imagine it, as this is exactly what happened:




Actually, she was just very excited - anyone who's ever caught a fish for the first time will know exactly how excited she felt.

After that, all that was left was some breakfast and hot bread for lunch, a couple more games for me to lose, and icecream on the way home in Paeroa.

Massive thanks to Gary, Gabrielle, and their extended family whose bach we stayed in.

Tell me about your first fish.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

I used to have a boss called Ski, true story

Even though I don't have income, I've already got a season pass for Ruapehu, so I need to ensure that the $350 I spent on it last November doesn't go to waste.

With that in mind, Ken and I headed down to the mountain on Thursday. At that stage, Whakapapa only had the learner slopes open, so we went to Turoa, even though it's a bit further.

Since one of their lifts is bung, Turoa only had two chairs operating (Movenpick and High Flyer), but that was enough for a first day.

Here's Mount Egmont/Taranaki in the distance (you might be able to see it if you click for big):


Here's what the field down from the top cafe looked like:


One of the reasons we went was to test out our gear, which included helmets each for the first time ever:



This will probably mean fewer head injuries, but more broken bones as the helmets will spur us to ski far outside our abilities.

Plenty of snow on the upper mountain:


. . . but we couldn't get to it due to the bung chairlift. They made good use of the nice day to get almost the entire tower rebuilt though. Here's the helicopter they use to ferry bits of tower up:


Here's a panorama:

P1040333 Stitch

A few people turned up, but the queue never got much bigger than this:


This here's pretty much what we skied all day - not huge, but just right for making sure we could still do it:


Bloody good start to the season.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Wacky like a fifties sitcom

Betty's school had a Wacky Hair and Pizza Day. Let me state right now that only the hair was wacky - the pizza was not wacky, nor was it wack.

Rach installed some pig- or pony-tails or whatever and sprayed some pink dots in. Betty looks a bit apprehensive - she was worried that no one else would have wacked out their hair.


Not to worry though, she was not alone (although it's a bit hard to tell in this photo):


Here she is again:


With her friend Maddy - parents went in for the pizza bit too, that's why Rach is there:


Very excited about pizza, although they ALL eat their bits of fruit first, without exception:


Why does she have her eyes shut?


Maybe because her dad was the ONLY PARENT with wacky hair:


The centre manager said I'd get a certificate for this, but I have yet to see it . . .