Bike riding and work

  It seems to be monthly now that I post on this blogg. A few reason’s is I’m still using this site which is not my original blogg, it just appeared from where I don’t know and the people that have looked at my blogg over the years do not know of this one, I’ve told… Continue reading Bike riding and work

 Spring is well and truly with us now, not just with the weather but also Treble Cone ski field is closed and yesterday I went for my first bike ride for over a month which there will be more of each week.
 Even though Treble Cone is closed Cardrona is still open till the 21st.
 I went there last Friday and at the moment it is school holidays so it is very busy and I will probably do another couple of days after the school holidays from the 15th.
 Closing day at Treble Cone was on the 23rd September and as always we dress up in fancy dress and above is a photo of Lynley, Lilly and myself in our fancy dress gear, I was a punk in Hawian wear, Lynley was a butterfly and Lilly was a Fairy.

 The weather was good for us this year, last year it was a cold cloudy day. The ski-in was very good and we had GR8 spring conditions and right is me coming down Bullet in the saddle.
 We only managed to get 3 runs in the saddle before they closed it as the Temp’s were rising and the snow above the track to the saddle was becoming dangerous for avalanche which they did every day for the last 4 days of the season, one day they didn’t even open the saddle.
 The rest of the mountain was fine and it got too soft and sticky pretty quick and we only skied till 1-30, and that was the end of another good season at Treble Cone 🙁 🙂

  Meanwhile back down in the town I started to work 3 days a week for the last two weeks and the deck I had been working on during the winter was starting to take shape.
 Above is a photo I took yesterday after finishing off the decking up to and around the pond in the center of the photo.
 The next stage is to batten out the side walls and then clad it with the same decking.
 Calum and his son Angus have a pond liner and will be lining the pond with Steps along the inside of the long walls to create a platform for soil to grow lilly’s and other pond plant life.

 Right is another photo looking back towards the house and along the front and soon the vine that is over the Pergola is a Wisteria vine and the flowers are just starting to bud out so it will look and smell very nice.
 Another job maybe before the Pond gets clad ed and lined is to seal the decking to protect it from weather and walk wear.
 Also work wise I’m starting to build a house for a friend next week, so there will be some new work photo’s of the house in progress.
 I’m working 3 days a week from now on and no more.
  My friend and his partner are OK with that, they are not in a hurry to get it done as they live in a very nice House bus on the property, photo’s of their bus and work done around the bus appeared on this blog last year before I went to Canada.
 Craig who has been our handy man on all our projects over the last 10 years wants to build it with me so all the non restricted work he can do when I’m not there.
 It is a steel Core house in a kit set form so its going to be an interesting project, the foundations have to be spot on for this type of build, which is one of my pluses in building.

 As I said earlier in the post yesterday I went for my first bike ride for over a month and I did my usual ride along the three rivers, The Cardrona, The Clutha and The Hawea river up to Hawea for a Mocha and a muffin at the sailz cafe.
 I rode against a strong wind on the last half of the ride up to Hawea and it took me 67 min’s, 10 min’s longer than my average ride up to the cafe and on the way back with the wind behind me it was a effortless and enjoyable ride of 53 min’s.
 Above is a photo I took about halfway along the track with Treble Cone in the center of the photo still showing a lot of snow still covering the mountain.

 Since my last post its been the same as same as, a few days work and 3/4 days ski-in a week, with a few rest days in between.
 A few Saturday’s ago Derek and I went for our first ski tour for 4 weeks, its not been a GR8 winter for touring especially when I compare it with Canada when we were touring 4/5 days a week, because of the tree’s the snow is more protected from the wind and the sun and conditions stay good longer 🙂
 Here in NZ we don’t have the tree’s to protect our snow so the conditions for touring aren’t always good.

That Saturday Derek and I went touring from our other ski field Cardrona which is the first time in 3 winters since I last skied there.
 But this day it was one of the best conditions we’ve had on the south and south east aspects which can be icy or wind affected.
 As you can see by the photo’s it was a beaut of a day and there was about 12cm of fresh snow with no wind affect which is unusual.
 Above is me ski-in on our first run and the next photo is lower down the run where we stopped and hiked back up to the ridge in the center of the photo.

  Then we skied from the ridge down for our second run (left).
 Even though we only did two runs it was a very good day’s ski-in in very good conditions and it was also a long hike back to the Cardrona ski area where we skied back to Derek’s truck.
 With only three weeks now till Treble Cone’s closing day the ski-in there has been good with the snow softening in the warm sun as we now enter spring time, the sun is higher in the sky and the day’s are warmer. 

 As for work, I’m still working two days a week on the fish pond and proposed deck.
 I have got most of the joist’s down and fixed to the old concrete patio and the concrete footings we built in place for the joists.
 There is still about a days works before I’ll start laying the hardwood Quila decking.
 The two photo’s above and below show the area to be decked out around the existing house.

 Other than the work and ski-in the rest time is very enjoyable .
 It would be nice to not work at all but I do enjoy it especially when its only 2/3 days week.
  I did go swimming in our new pool this last week and try to go there once a week and have a soak in the hot pool after my lane swimming.
 I also went for my first bike ride on Wednesday for two months which was nice and look forward to doing it more regular when the ski-in is done.

 Its been 3 weeks since I last did a post which was a week after the photo left was taken.
 Calum is on the digger and Craig whose house I start to build in September is standing in what will be the bottom of Calum’s new fish pond.
 Around the pond will be a new deck covered with hardwood decking.
 The pond is 500mm into the ground and as you can see from the next photo it will be 500 above the ground too making it a meter deep.

The three of us have been working two day’s a week on the project.
 After the hole was dug out we prepared the base with steel mesh and starter rod’s for the walls in 100mm of concrete for the floor and then in the photo above we started to shutter the sides on top of the floor.
 First we concreted up to 50mm above the ground with a 200mm thick wall and then when that had gone off we built the outside shutters to the finish wall height.

 The photo left I took today after we had stripped the shutters yesterday and cleared the area ready to lay the joists for the decking, the above wall is 150mm thick which leaves a 50mm thick plinth 50mm above ground level for the decking joist’s to sit on.
 Laying the joist’s will be the job for the two days work this week coming.
  Calum mixed all the concrete and Craig barrowed it into place for me to finish off, we also did all the 200 wide x150mm deep footings around the area to take the joist’s at required spacing’s.

 While we were doing all the work, in two of the tree’s, one at the far end of the pond in the photo right Andrea Calum’s wife had put sugar water feeders for the birds during the winter and as I said in a earlier post the Tui’s have been coming in numbers for the first time this winter, occasionally we had one or two but not very often, this winter we have seen as many as 11 here at one time and mostly there are 9 and they don’t seem to mid us being around, they love the sugar water, photo right.
 The Bell birds and silver eye’s also feed with the Tui’s and they take it in turns to feed without any aggression which is interesting.

 That’s the work section and the play time has not been that GR8 the last two weeks, I did ski 9 times over the last 4 weeks which is just under the required 3 day ski week.
 Only 3 powder days and one touring day. Its very different from ski-in BC, in Canada.
 The last two weeks we’ve had a lot of bad vis day’s too (miss the tree’s).
 Photo above is of course on one of the epic day’s we do have, it was on the way home after ski-in some of the mountains in the photo across the beautiful calm lake Wanaka at Glendu Bay.

 The second mountain from the right (above photo) in the shade is Treble Cone where we ski and the lower sunny ridge to the left of that is where I’m walking in the photo above to the top of the shady section at the end of that sunny area and Derek and I skied down the other side to the valley floor and hiked up to the Saddle lift which takes 45 min’s.
 The saddle is on the left of the ridge in the photo where I’m hiking and the Home Basin is to the right.
 We are on our way to our 2nd run of the day ski-in the back country around Treble Cone.

  Photo left is me coming down the top section of the run, the snow was very nice here about 10cm deep on top of a firm wind packed base.
 It was like that till we got to the steeper section about a quarter of the way down and the lower section which you can see in the photo below with me standing on the valley floor was a bit wind affected and on the edge of the shallow gullies was about the best parts to ski, there was also small balls of debris snow under the fresh snow, they were like small obsticals to ski around.
 The last week we had a good top up each day of fresh snow given us about 30cm of new snow over the week, but the viz has been very bad, I did ski on Tuesday and only had 4 runs where the viz was good and it was wet snow so I got quite wet and spent two hours of the day in the base lodge drying out 🙂

 Our ski season finally got under way on the 23rd June and after the first day where Derek and I went for a hike which I posted last, the following Monday was our first powder day and there was hardly anyone on the hill which is unusual for a Bluebird powder day.
 There is now a free bus service from town and it also stops in the valley at the bottom of Treble cone.
 So I parked up and got the bus at 8-30 and was at the base lodge at 8-45 and I was on the first chair with no line up, which never happens.

 My first run was in the Powder bowl (above) and I was ski-in fresh line all day long which again is very rare for Treble Cone.
  The next day Derek and I decided to go for another ski tour and we headed to the same area , right is me walking with the beautiful view of Lake Wanaka in the back ground with the town under the white cloud inversion layer on the other side of the lake.
 Just realised I put this photo in the last post, oops.

 This time we skied the south face of the Wedding cake which we can’t see from the ski area.
 Left Derek took the photo of me just heading down on our second run with the first run to the right of me going down onto the sunny ledge before it drops away into the valley below and then we hiked back up onto the ridge where Derek is taking the photo left.

 Since I arrived back from my 6 month trip away they opened the new swimming pool ( right)which we’ve been waiting for for many years and I brought a 10 day swim pass and have been 5 times now since it opened, its a GR8 exercise for suppleness and breathing strength and I swim 40 lengths (25 meter lengths) now compared to 30 in the past.
 I also went for a bike ride today the first since the first of July.
 Talking of pool’s in my next post I will show some photo’s of the Pond we are building here at Calum’s house which will be surrounded by a deck.

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

 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.

Finally I have got back into my Blogg and I’ve just landed back in NZ after 6 months away
 good to be back and as I’ve just landed photo’s etc will follow of the last month 🙂

 I’ve lost my editing page for my blogg but I do have another blogg which came about by accident some years ago so I’ll try and get this out to some of those I know look at my blogg. 
 Last week Danimal and I went for a hike up Roberts and skied the Dog leg (third photo down the long left chute) its the first time I’ve skied it this winter because every where else being good.
 Above I’m at the top standing to the left of the pole in photo below.
 Behind me is Red to the left and Rossland where we live to the right of Red.

 The photo right I took from a street near where I’m living later that day as the late afternoon sun was hitting the slope, we skied down to the tree’s at the bottom of the photo  where you can see the figure of 8 then dropped into the dog leg third of the way down the ridge from the top in the photo below.
 Some of the cornice’s are sticking out a bit as you can see (above) we keep well back from the edges as they can break especially with the warmer weather we have been getting.

 We’ve only had three powder days in the last two weeks.
 Its been mostly sunny and we’ve had some nice spring ski-in.
 The last 3 days the freezing level has been above the mountain at mid day, making afternoon ski-in low down very sticky.
 Roberts (above) has been a GR8 mountain to hike up this winter and I have hiked up there 73 times during the winter and had awesome runs down the North face mostly in the thick tree’s to the right of the picture.

 Some of the runs have been down the Gun Barrel where I went 4 days after we skied the Dog Leg.
 This is my favorite run on the mountain.
 Photo above is the top section of the Gun Barrel which is to the left of the thick tree’s on the right of the photo above, it comes down into the center chute at the bottom where the photo below was taken before the short hike back up to the lift.

  Tomorrow is closing day, its come round so quick the last few weeks and after a lot of good days ski-in its hard to believe there’s only one day left.
 Because of the warmer weather the back country hasn’t been on the last 4 days and still won’t be until they get the Freeze and warm weather to harden up the slopes and create some good corn ski-in.
 I’m off to Downtown Vancouver on Tuesday for a few days it is one of my favorite cities and then onto Vancouver Island on Thursday for 10 days before I fly out back to NZ.