Wednesday, 26 April 2017

gone racing!

The World Masters Games have begun...we survived hunting for reasonable/free parking in Auckland (ha ha!!!!!) and the delights of trying to sleep in the Backpackers in downtown Auckland. Impossible til about 3.30 am!! Even the staff were phoning the police about cars cruising around with Boom boxes on full blast, shaking the very fabric of the building!
We rode our criterium races around the tank storage off Wynyard Quarter on the Saturday, and the 20k time trial early Sunday morning on closed roads along the Waterfront and back to Queens Wharf. We both did good times but won nothing.
The Cloud exhibition Centre was full of an exhibition of Maori traditions and crafts and singing and chanting on the stage. Fantastic!
Now we are staying in Hamilton and racing on the Avantidrome. Pursuits this morning..I was first off! I qualified fastest, so now I have to ride the final at 6pm. More different races for the both of us over the next two days, then back up to Auckland.
We'll be staying with a friend that I haven't seen since 1971!
The road race for the Pirate on Sunday, then we head back South to return borrowed bikes and make our farewells to friends before flying back up to Auckland and away home to Scotland.
Hoping meanwhile that the cold weather hasn't devastated the garden at home, and that the workshop has stayed watertight....

Saturday, 15 April 2017

quiet weekend

Our friends where we stay have bought a campervan, so they are away for their first stay away.
We have our last weekend here, looking after house and dog.
Easter is a time of contrasts. Everything is closed, even the small shops, on Friday and Sunday. Apart from that, the Easter sales are on and the Warehouse shop is heaving, the main street busy as if everything will be closed down for a week!
We have collected the hire car that I'll be driving for the next two weeks. I'm getting used to driving an automatic again..and now even the most basic car has all these extra 'bells and whistles' !!
Out for a drive today to catch up with more friends in person instead of online. It will be interesting to see a small town, to where they are in process of moving, on foot instead of passing through on the Intercity bus!

Friday, 14 April 2017

and breathe easy....

Cyclone Cook veered to the east, so mainly missed Auckland, although a horrendous amount of rain preceeded it.
Thames, Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty got hit..,again,.then Wellington and down the east side of the south island. Apparently this cylone followed the track of cyclone Giselle in 1968 which led to the loss of the Wahine ferry as she came into Wellington Harbour and 50 people were drowned. So naturally people were concerned about this one.
Today has been absolutely beautiful. Sun, light breeze and totally relaxed...after a night when it was hosing down with rain, and at 3 am the pool by the house had 6 inch waves from the wind!
We were lucky to join in on a training session on the velodrome, only shortened by 5 minutes by a light shower.
Now it is a beautiful evening, sitting here with a few birds singing, the sound of children playing further down the Mount and traffic noise from SH4 at the foot near the river.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

just a bit wet, again

Wet again...Cyclone Cook is on the way, and it looks like the storm will track the whole length of  New Zealand. Hold onto your hats, again.

Monday, 10 April 2017


I'm still concerned about going to Auckland for the world masters games. There will be 35,000 competitors, plus officials and volunteer helpers.
Auckland has a serious homeless problem, plus it has been hit with flooding three times in the past few weeks. Some homeless people live in motels and the like, and are being pushed out, offered fuel money to go elsewhere if they are lucky.
Normal daily rates start at about 200 dollars a night for a bed. Who knows what will be being charged now.
We can get digs two hours away..but with one event starting at 7am.,..a quandary.

one of those beautiful days

A day starting with fog, slowly thinning out through mist then haze to a beautiful sunny day, with just a light breeze .
A day off the bike, so walk into town, meet for coffee, an early lunch...then a mooch around town just enjoying the atmosphere.
Luckily a lift was available to save walking back up the hill!
It is as if the weather has been taking a breather and relaxing before the next storm rolls through.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

sunny..just for the weekend...

The sun is back and it is a relief!!
Our little group of riders are taking advantage of this to have three days in a row using the velodrome to train. The World Masters Games are not far away, starting on 22 April in Auckland therefore we must use the local velodrome when we can.
We aren't the only ones glad of the weather, after a short road ride this morning we saw vintage motorcycles heading out on a rally, and across the river in Aramoho, cars converging on a local pub for "petrolheads breakfast" !
Back to rain by Tuesday we have heard. Ah well, its nice while it lasts.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

wet Whanganui

With a sigh of relief, the River City got back to normal today. High water was at 8am, roads re-opened by 11am. We're still getting rain showers, but the danger so far a can be seen, is over. The weather is set fine for the weekend, so perhaps we can get in some outdoor cycling for a change!

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Another wet day....

I've done a bit more work on the cards, done some time on the home trainer (aaargh....but better than getting soaked out on the road bike).
We ventured out for milk, muesli and dark chocolate this morning, essentials of course! The river hasn't come over the banks in the ease in the rain this morning could help matters.
Landslips have closed the state highway 4 through the Paraparas again, just after they celebrated its 100th birthday with a vintage and veteran rally from Whanganui with a horse and cart preceeding them into Raetehi...where the road is also closed.
The river road up by the Whanganui River has also suffered more landslips after recently reopening. The Pirate rode up there with friends last Sunday, fortunately.
Now everyone is arriving home at midday as people leave work early to get over the bridges before they close. The worst shoukd hopefully be over by tomorrow morning, but there are twohigh tides before that. A big problem is the whole trees and huge branches that get brought down the river and get stuck against the bridges.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017


new handmade business cards...I intended to print, but drawing with a fine pigment pen has worked nicely.

Bar none!

Monday, 3 April 2017


The tail end of Debbie, first cyclone then storm , down the east coast of Australia, has now whirled her way to the North Island of New Zealand.
It has been raining for most of today...and the next two or three days will be very wet and windy.
Good thing we're not staying anywhere low lying....

Saturday, 1 April 2017


It has,at last, landed in my bank account...nearly four years late, due to political goalpost moving, nearly two weeks late because of beurocratic bungling.
Now I can get on with Life and breathe a little easier.
Getting that kiln going again once we return to Scotland will not be so much of a worry!

We have been offered the chance to house sit while the friend of a friend goes on his we must do the maths and work out if what we save in bills will be greater than the cost of changing the tickets....

River City #2