Sunday, 30 December 2012

Sydney Part 1

Sydney is certainly starting to live up to expectations. We were so disappointed when we flew in the first time we decided to give the city a chance and on our return planned our campaign.
On the first day we decided just to walk as much of the city as we could so we knew roughly were everything was. This has paid dividends as we have the whole week planned out. On Sunday we decided to spend the day at Manley and we arrived early to catch the famous Manely ferry which is a cruise in itself. The crossing was just fabulous, and once at Manley we walked the scenic walkway to the north harbour which is beautiful. There it ends dear reader as Manley itself is like Clacton on a bad day, and as you are aware the Warden does not do sand so we caught the ferry back to Sydney Harbour and spent  the rest of the glorious day in the Botanical Gardens. We then had a pie peas and mash (not forgetting the gravy) at a famous market stall on our way home.
Today (New Years Eve) has been a highlight day, first we went to the exhibition of convicts in the Hyde Park Barracks which was excellent. Note the photo’s of the convict court no24 here you will see the defendant (the Warden) on trial accused of a life time’s complaining about the cost of Angela’s clothes, hair, and other essential girls requirements, and the presiding judge.....whose verdict was as follows, GUILTY AS CHARGED 30 years hard labour.....No change there then!!!!. We then had our lunch in the revolving Sydney tower. The views were to die for and the food tremendous, we really did have a lovely time. Let’s hope we get to see some of the fireworks tonight!

Our New Year's eve lunch

The accused. Guilty as charged

The Judge. Always fair ...well ish!!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Its Christmas

Things we have done today

1. Walked along this beach in our swimming things

2. Sat by this pool and read our books 

3. Cooked our Christmas lunch on the barbecue

4. Managed to speak to family on Skype

5. Received a fantastic gift from Mand and Rich, lunch on New Years Eve in Sydney Tower Restaurant

6. Missed our family and friends

Sunday, 23 December 2012

The Great Barrier Reef

What a day we have had. Me and Him have been swimming and snorkling around the Great Barrier Reef. This has to be one of the most fantastic things we have ever done, well apart from James and Mand of course.
Below is a picture of us in our wet suits just look how gorgeous we look. The first picture is especially for our 'Warden Boss' Michael, he knows why!!!! Anyway  i do feel i look at least a size 8 in the next picture.
Anyway back to the reef, the corals and the fish were unbelievable and me and him just spent all our time in the water, of course i had to keep getting out to run over to the boat to use the toilet, but i got quite nippy in my pink flippers (i kid you not), and we were quite amazed to find some people didn't even get in the water or ride in the glass bottom boats they provide.
Anyway the whole experience blew us away, and tomorrow we are going up in a hot air balloon over the rain forest so that will be different.
I was sorry to miss my little brothers 50th birthday party at home though, but we sent our Mand and she can party for all of us so i shouldn't think we were missed that much...............i wonder if any-one at the party wore a suit like mine?
Joe Cool

Me and Him

Just spoke to Mum and Mand on skype fantastic xxxx

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Down-under in OZ

What a hectic week we have had. We left Christchurch and flew into Sydney for one night before flying on to Ayres rock for a three day tour. We were quite shocked at Sydney as we had just left New Zealand with its fantastic scenery and gentle pace to life and we found ourselves right in the middle of a hectic city with all its traffic and people and noise. However we decided to give the city a chance and when we return to it next week we hope to plan our time to give Sydney the chance to shine.
Well next shock came as we landed in Alice Springs, this certainly is different again, but we met a wonderful lady on the plane who owned a bar in Alice who took a real shine to the Warden and when we walked past her place she dragged him in !!!!. So after one night we caught the coach to Ayres Rock, through endless miles of desert and bush and desert and more desert.
We  then spent three days charging about the same desert in a coach looking at three very large pieces of rock. They are Mount Conner, The Olgers, and of course Ayres Rock or Uluru as it is now called. It was very hot and i didn't manage some of the walks we had hoped to go on but the Warden did and was seen coming out of the desert with the rest of them.We are glad we went and saw the area, but i am not sure either of us would go again, and the trip was slightly spoiled by the cost of things while we were there just basic coffee in the morning required a large investment from the Wardens pocket money.
Anyway we are now in Port Douglas, all ready to look at the barrier reef and stuff, we have Christmas here and as we have a little house we have already been to the shops and got all our food ready to bunker down.The Warden cooked chilli tonight was smashing. Oh and we have a washing machine and i dryer so i have washed all the smalls and we both smell fresh and clean again.

Sunday, 16 December 2012


Me and him have been in Queenstown for 5 nights which is a bit of a shock as we have spent the last couple of weeks like a couple of old Dids moving every day or two from place to place.

What can i say about Queenstown? It is just fantastic i am sitting in bed with the Warden looking out across the most beautiful blue lake with a mountain range surrounding the whole are it is just remarkable (name of the mountain range). We have been on a coach trip to the Doubtful sound which took our breath away, shame about the coach loads of Chinese people we shared our experience with, the Warden became particularly attached to a girl in a pink coat who he felt was stalking him as every time he tried to take a picture she came and stood in front of him.........! 
We also met an elderly Indian couple from Sydney who had brought their four grandchildren to Queenstown so they could try all the activities (note to self, if i get grandchildren try and steer them to Willingham feast and the dodgems it will be a lot cheaper)
Yesterday we went up the cable car to watch the many ways young boys throw themselves off a mountain, both me and the Warden felt this was defiantly something our James would have done, so a little sadness crept in then. Anyway spurned on we decided to take the lugge, the Warden had done this before but on ice when he went ski-ing so was off like a shot down the track, i followed and the race began.......i did feel it was a little un fair that my photo at the end showed me with my crash helmet falling off and me holding on for ‘grim death’. I said to the young boy who took the photo and was from Harrogate (didn't know our Rich though) he could have at least made me look a size 8.
Anyway off to see where they filmed the Hobbitt today then back on the road in the morning.
Update. Didn't get to see where they filmed the Hobbitt as we did not have enough petrol to get there and back, so with a full tank of petrol we went to Arrowtown which was lovely and had lots of historical buildings and a complete restored Chinese mining settlement.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Earthquakes, helicopter rides and stuff

We left Wellington on Thursday morning and took the ferry across from the North Island to the South Island, well the Warden was quick to notice we were travelling on a old cross channel ferry. I just made sure it didn't say the Herald of Free Enterprise i figured we were going to be okay. The crossing was magnificent with stunning views of the coast line, islands and bays almost all the way there.

Leaving Wellington on the ferry

We then had a couple of days in Nelson, so we put on our walking boots and spent the day in the Abel Tasmin scenic park. Many people spend a week walking the trails but i read the information boards and it said 'for all toilet requirements keep away from water courses and take a shovel........this is not for me, so we went for the day, and i made sure we started and finished at the park cafe.

Then the morning we were due to leave the Warden and me were sitting in bed when the whole hotel shook, yes they said at the hotel reception we have just had an earthquake......we left soon after, to travel up the stunning west coast to our next destination which was Fox Glacier. I cannot tell you how fantastic the coast line along the west coast was. We just had to keep stopping to drink in the fantastic views which is why the journey took twice as long as it should have done.
The view from the toilets we stopped at along the west coast
The Warden having his picnic lunch (standing you much driving)

So now we are at Fox Glacier and unfortunately the weather has not been on our side. We had booked a helicopter flight up to the glacier but they didn't fly today as the cloud was to low, so we had to make the best of it and we walked up to the glacier which was great in its self. We also walked round the 'mirror lake' so all in all had a good day. We are going to try again though in the morning before we leave.

The mirror lake
We miss our Amanda a little today but with the wonders of skype we do get to talk to her quite regularly. Oh and i don't think we have won the premium bonds.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012


Today is Tuesday and we have travelled all the way down to Wellington, we are here for two days then we catch the ferry to the South island.
We enjoyed our time in Rotorua especially during the day when we spent our time walking and looking at lovely warm water gushing from the ground and some very interesting hot water pools and strange landscapes, including boiling mud, the hotel we stayed in was also good. However being there over the week-end was not so good, because everything closed by 4pm on the Saturday afternoon and nothing much at all was open on the Sunday. Just like England 30 years ago. Anyway we then drove down to Napier on the coast which was just lovely and we really wished we had spent longer there, especially as we found the RSA there and had a full roast dinner for less than £10 each (with a pud as well!!!).We spent our day by the beach and walking through the 'art deco' town buildings, and this morning we woke up to the sound of the ocean outside our hotel.....just lovely and it was lovely and warm
Anyway today we travelled all the way down to Wellington and although the journey took 6 hours it was great until we hit Wellington and we spent the next couple of hours trapped in the one way system in the town trying to get to our hotel, we finally found the hotel tucked behind a back street.........quite a bit of domestic discussion during that time, which resulted in the Warden questioning my education and me his parentage.
Anyway we are here now and yes its raining, yes its windy, and yes its cold. Off to the free museum tomorrow then, oh and the free tour of the Parliament building as well (the Warden cannot wait!!).
I wonder if we have won the premium bonds?
Oh and our old tenant wants to pay us the money he owes us over 12 months.....grrr... the Warden is many things but 'Littlewoods Catalogue' he is not.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

The Rugby

I need a bit of advice, on how i should manage the Warden and the recent win in the rugby, given the fact we are in Rotorua for the next couple of days, anyway as he is on his holidays he has been allowed to choose his own things to wear and dear reader you guessed it he is sporting his England cricket shirt brought by child no 2 as his outfit of choice today.
Anyway last night we went to a Maori concert which was just fantastic and we saw all the traditional dances including the 'Haka' i was just spell bound it was great. We also had supper at the venue cooked in the traditional way.....not sure about the tin foil covering the potatoes but perhaps they discovered it before Tesco's.
Today has been the grand parade with Father Christmas and as you can see from the photo he is here even in the sun. It is really strange to see all the Christmas decorations up while it is so sunny and warm. Oh and another worrying aspect is there does not seem to be any Christmas presents in the Wardens luggage.
Anyway off to see the hot thermal springs today.......Oh and bad news on the RSA's today is Sunday and they are not open on a Sunday so no cheap grub today.

He's here!!!

Okay i'm scared!