June 2018

 Landing in NZ at 5-30 am and then walking to the Domestic airport with the sun rising on my first day back for 6 months 🙂
 It was nice spending 3 days with Gary and family adjusting to the climate change from spring to winter.
 Then I spent a day with Kirsten in Sumner by the beach walking her new Pug dog.
 After a 6 hour drive I finally arrived back at Calum and Andrea’s just outside Wanaka just in time for dinner with the family, one of our friends Karl was also there.

Waking up the first morning to the sound of Bell birds and Tui’s was a joy to the ears.
 There was an inversion so the temp’s were about 10 degree’s cooler than Christchurch and 15 degree’s cooler than England about 4 days before that.
 The sound of Tui’s is a new sound for the area and we were lucky if we saw one.
 But now there are about 9 that are coming around for the sugar water that Andrea puts for the birds in the winter, photo of the Tui, above,ready to have a drink.

 I’ve been back in Wanaka three weeks now and have been settling in nicely.
 I’m not in the Barn yet as the couple in there have to find a place first, that suits them.
 I’m living in a self contained flat at the end of the main house.
 A week after I arrived back the opened they new swimming pool which we have been waiting for for 25 years in the town and between biking to Hawea and back three times a week I have been swimming, keeping my fitness up ready for the ski season to start which was yesterday. 🙂

 Even though Cardrona opened last weekend Treble Cone where I have a season pass opened yesterday.
 It was good to be back on my ski’s again, I went ski-in with my touring buddy Derek ( above ), by the time we got to the upper mountain at 10-30 the only good area’s that were good were the gullies where the wind and sun (crust) had not affected the snow since our last storm 3 weeks ago which dumped over a meter of snow on the mountain’s.
 So we went ski touring straight away, above is me hiking on my ski’s with the ski area in the distance with Lake Wanaka also in the far distance.

  It took about 15 minuet’s to get up onto the ridge to do our first run (left ), we were the first two out there and after we did our first run (above) we saw another 4 hiking out.
 The South and South East aspects were the best which didn’t have a sun crust on them and from the photo above we hiked back up towards the ridge on the left where the rocks are and did our second run down above with Derek in the photo.
 It was a nice calm sunny day and its the first time I’ve skied with Derek since the season before last.

 We then hiked back up onto the ridge and went and did our third run further to the left further along the ridge to the what they call the wedding cake which has the two big rocks on the top.
 Derek went down first to the skiers left of my run (out of the photo right) and took the photo of me coming down what is my favorite line off the wedding cake.
 So we did 4 hike’s including the hike back to the ski area and we did 3 nice runs on the silent and uncrowded slopes out the back of Treble Cone.
 It snowed all night and most of today up there, I didn’t go because the vis would have been bad, not like Canada here, there’s no tree’s to ski in 🙁
 Its supposed to snow tonight too and should be better vis tomorrow so will be going up for another ski tomorrow. 🙂

April 17th 2019  
 Having difficulties in editing my journey this last 12 months and google not allowing me to actually get to my editing page saying my password etc was wrong when it is written down in my files and after 3 attempts it made it harder for me to contact them and get it going again.
 I found another site that pop’s up every now and then with a different format which I used up until December 2018 then decided to stop.
 Going through my history on my computer I found the above editing page which I did when I came back from Canada in June last year.
 There have been 3 different formats over the last year which is confusing for those that want to read them and for me to edit stuff, so I’ve decided to call it a day with the site.
 Its been fun over the last 24 years editing and putting stuff on the site about my journey and experiences and sharing it with family and friends, if there is anyone still viewing the site for updates, thanks for your visits.
 The original aim of the site has lost its direction and that was to “Stayintouch”


 After a few months of trying to get into my Blogg I finally did it yesterday 🙂
 Don’t ask me how as I have tried so many ways and all of a sudden it just happened.
 It also seems to be the one that keeps appearing now and then so we will just let this one upload and see what happens 🙂
 The last time I blogged with photo’s was 27th March, a few days before the end of the ski season.
 After it closed I stayed for another week and two of the days I went for a hike to the top and had two GR8 days ski-in, the photo above, is down my favorite groomed run in Paradise, Ruby Tuesday. There was 10cm of fresh snow overnight, this section was the lower half of the run.
 I did 4 runs that day another one in Paradise, one up Mt Roberts and then one down Beer Belly, the North side of Granite back to the Base lodge and home.

 It was a perfect end to another GR8 season at red and it was my 110th day of the winter, the most I have skied there the best before was 104 days.
 Photo above, is of Dan my touring buddy on the right and Rex whose house I stay in while there and he and his wife Joy also live in Wanaka.
 We were in the local brewery having a farewell drink.

  I then headed to Vancouver for 4 days and as always while I was there I went to Stanley Park where the wildlife is a joy to watch and the next 4 photo’s I took on the three occasions that I went there.
 Photo above, is a Chip Monk who are fun to watch as they sit there quite calmly as the eat on there food but once on the move they are frittering here and there with lots of energy as if not sure which way to go.

 Right is the small chic a tee bird that feed out of your hand and the grey Squirrel on the ground comes up for some seed and nuts, but keep there distance.

 Left is a woodpecker which I have never seen in the park before but I do see them in Rossland where Red Mountain is and I also see them sometimes when I’m ski touring around the local mountain’s.

 Then right the Heron which are always feeding in Beaver lake at Stanley Park.
 Rex was also there for a few day’s before he flew back to NZ,  we got together and visited a few places, one day it was raining and we went around the shops on Granville Island,.
 The next day was sunny and we went to the Capilano suspension bridge park which is well worth a visit if your ever in Vancouver as is Stanley Park.

 Then it was a 8 hour flight back to the UK for a 5 week stay spending time with family and friend’s.
 Left is my Daughter Michelle and grandson Liam (who is 20 today), they live in a small village called Moulton near Northampton.
 The day the photo was taken was a festival day in the village.
 There was only two days of rain while I was in England, there was a lot of sunny hot days, which is rare.

 I would spend about 3 days with them then I would go off on the National Express coach and go to Norwich where my son Steven lives.
 Right is Steven with his hand glider which gets towed up as the country side around Norwich and East Anglia is quite flat.
 I would spend Three days there and then get the National express bus to Luton where I would visit my youngest brother Colin and my brother in law (now I’m divorced, brother out law ).

  Left is Colin who lives in Dunstable and he also plays the Ukulele, one night I was there was a Ukulele night, this night there was about 20 playing and it sounded very good, playing all the favorite songs of time gone by.
 They also have a meat raffle (joint of Beef) and believe it or not I won, I never win raffles so I was shocked and pleased, the rest were pissed off 🙂 especially when Colin said I was a vegetarian, which I used to be but haven’t been for a few years now 🙂

 Norwich where Steven lives is a very interesting city with a lot of very old buildings and cobbled street’s right.
 There is also a street with 11 old churches,  they date way back to the 11th century.
 They also have a very nice cathedral, on the spire there is a box which is housing a Peregrine hawk, this year there are 3 chick’s.
 To watch these chicks being fed and growing check out www.hawkandowl.org

 After visiting my brother in Dunstable and brother in law Andrew in Luton I went back to Michell’s at Moulton and I’d spend 3 days there and then I would continue the triangle between the three place’s using the National express bus.
 Mouton is a lovely village with a lot of old buildings with thatched roof’s.
 Above, is one with the lovely Wisteria vine which was in bloom, it not only looks nice it also gives off a lovely smell.
 It only blooms once a year for a few weeks and before I left we drove past the house and the flowers were gone.

 Early May I did rent a car for 8 days and headed to the west country.
 I have second cousin’s that live in Cornwall and a old army friend who lives in Devon and before we emigrated to New Zealand we lived on a farm on the Somerset/ Dorset border.
 I spent two days in Cornwall, on the last day  I went to Carlyon Bay for the sunrise at 6am, photo above.

  I walked to the far end of the beach and back again then I walked up onto the cliff and walked along to Charlestown Harbour.
 Photo above, is the beach and entrance to the harbour.
 It was a lovely walk especially early in the morning with the birds, singing in the new day.
 Photo below is further into the Harbour which has a couple of old sailing ship’s which they use for film’s and TV serie’s. Its a very small village and a very popular tourist attraction.

  I then walked back to Carlyon bay and got in my car and drove to Somerset.
 Left is Bere Farm where we lived for 18 months before we emigrated to New Zealand.
 I spent a few days in the area and walked all the old walks I used to love and unwind on after a days work.

 One of the walks I walked past a nice small lake where I used to fish sometimes and as I started the day with a sunrise at Carlyon Bay, Cornwall I ended it with a sunset in Dorset walking past the lake.
 Also all 8 day’s was sunny which is unusual because during our holidays in England we never had such good weather, in fact we stopped holidays in England and went to the Mediterranean for guaranteed sunshine.

  I spent a lot of time walking the countryside not just to be out there with nature which I love, I also like looking out for and watching the wild life.
 I didn’t see any foxes or badger’s but I did see the odd Squirrel.
 The one in the photo above was in my son’s garden in Norwich and I noticed him watching me as I was standing by the French doors of Stevens house,  I managed to snap the photo before it took off.

 Also on two occasion’s on my way from Northampton to Norwich I stopped at Cambridge to visit another old Army friend of mine from Scouse (Steve).
 He built his own house about 15 years ago.
  In the middle of photo above and at the bottom of his garden is the river Cam and he also has a boat, the bigger white one in the photo.
 Both times I was there we would head off up the river to a pub and have dinner and a few beers, they have a lovely lifestyle living by the river.

 I spent the last few days at my daughters in Moulton, I was supposed to be flying out on the 25th May but because Liverpool reached the final of the Champions league I changed my departure to the 28th so that I could watch the final with my grandson Liam (above) who is also a Liverpool fan, we watched it with Liam’s step dad Warren and another Liverpool fan Jim.
 Sadly we didn’t win but it was a GR8 day, after the game we drowned our sorrow’s drinking and dancing in a local pub to a live band.

 After three flights back via Shanghi and Auckland I am now staying at my brother Gary’s for a few days adjusting to the cooler weather 🙂 and getting over the jet lag.
 Above is a photo of Gary his wife Christine and son Neil out having some beers at the local brewery in Amberly, IPA.
 I’ll be back in Wanaka in a few days and getting ready for another ski season 🙂 and they already have a meter base and opens mid June.