Back in the UK

Since I last wrote my lap top has had issues and has been out of action and will hopefully be up and running by the end of the week so

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

 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 🙂

 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 🙂

 This weekend I went to my friend Steve’s house in Cambridge and we went for a overnight cruise to Ely which is 21 miles up the river.
 Left is the very famous Ely Cathedral, the weather was very good on Saturday and on the way we stopped at a pub by the river and had some Aspel’s cider which is becoming my drink while I’m here.
 The pub was very popular with boatie’s and there was only one birth to pull the boat into and it was the same when we got to Ely.

 Along the way Steve had a problem with hay fever and had to lay down and close his eye’s so right he is chilling out on the front of the boat while I steered it along.
 By the end of the day I was getting good at steering the boat along following the river rules, as a boat came the other way I passed on the right of the river and when we passed moored up boats I had to slow it down because of the wake, not that we were going fast anyway as the max speed is 8 and 11 knots depending where you were between the lock’s.

 The bird life was beautiful all weekend, lots of Swan’s some with their young, left.
 There was lots of Moor Hen’s on the River Cam then on the Ouse it was Koot’s which are similar but with different coloured beaks.
 There was a lot of fish in the river and you could see them amongst the river weeds, occasionally we’d see a big fish but not very often.

 Of course there were Heron’s here and there and I managed to get a good shot of one taking off (right)
 I’ve tried this a lot of times, some have been good but the one right I think is the best one I’ve taken getting it just as it was about to leave the water with wings fully extended.
 When we got to Ely we went to a pub where Steve knew the Landlord, he used to run the local pub where Steve lives in Cambridge, we had some dinner  there which was very nice then we got back into the boat and headed off for another cruise along and another river which went to St Ives, unfortunately there were no empty births there so we headed back towards Ely.
 It was really nice just cruising slowly along the rivers enjoying the peace and quiet and watching the scenery and bird life.

  We decided to head back to the pub where we stopped on the way to Ely and birth up for the night.
 On the way we had this lovely sunset (left) and when we got to the pub we had another drink and then had a bottle of Pinot noir from Wairau cove, NZ and socialised with some other boaties birthed up for the night.
 Normally on a Sunday I lay in till 8-30 ish but this morning I was up at 6-30 enjoying the peace and quiet of the river and we set off back for Cambridge about 8-30.
 Then back at Steve’s house his wife Toni joined us on another cruise a few hours later into the city where we stopped and had a pub lunch.
 I then headed back to Norwich at 6 after a very enjoyable and relaxing weekend cruising the rivers in Cambridgeshire.