Sunday, November 21, 2010

Proud Galleries...

There was plenty of beer.... and there was also this:
Apparently the act was called "Wizard Sleeve" - not that it's important... 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

To Blog or not to Blog

So uh, its been a while... I don't really have much to say, that's probably a sign that I need to go out and do something interesting I guess.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Obligatory Superlatives in the South Island of NZ

Leaving behind the bright blue sky to be swallowed by the Bluebridge ferry did little to dampen the spirits because within minutes of leaving the car in the belly of the ship our view from the ship’s bar was clear and we were already one beer in to the trip. Next stop Picton!

Dan, Me, andn Paul in Picton

The waterfront in Picton was at its usual picturesque best, so with a bellyful of fish ‘n’ chips, shoes and socks were discarded allowing the calm and cool waters of the Marlborough sounds to gently lap around our sweltering feet. Once satisfied, it was onward to Nelson.

Sunny Nelson greeted us with an evening swim and an impressively photogenic sunset while motel owner Mark attempted to bamboozle us with his wheeling dealing accommodation deals. A few beers plus nachos polished off our night.

Under 35+ degree heat we made for Motueka – it was time to test our mettle in the age old Man vs. Gravity challenge! We were going skydiving! As predicted the first 45 seconds from jumping out of the plane Gravity was in complete control, Man had reached terminal velocity and was hurtling to certain death – but then, upon deploying the parachute Man began to fight back – for the next five minutes Gravity did its utmost to upset Man’s descent but it was Man who ultimately won the day suffering nothing more than mild nausea, fist pumps, and obligatory superlatives. Man had landed safely from whence he came. IN YOUR FACE GRAVITY!

Me and Dan after the jumpOnce the superlatives’ had all been spoken we  pushed on and with ice-cream in hand traversed the Motueka Valley Highway, pausing only in Reefton to fetch the Service Station owner off the golf course so we could fill the tanks enough to make it to Greymouth. Our meal at The Hong Kong Restaurant was polished off with a warm tin of Ranfurly Draught. There’s simply nothinglike a cheap meal and a crap beer to make you feel young again!

The following morning the world famous in New Zealand Monteiths brewery reminded us that all that beer is equal, but some beer is more equal than others. A sophisticated look at a brewery allowed us to see how far our beer drinking palettes have come since our Ranfurly Draught drinking student days. 

Fox Glacier was as huge and impressive as ever; and despite a brief dalliance beyond the safety ropes we survived and are still here to tell the tail. Later that afternoon we hit the Haast pass visitor centre where some intensive study on the surrounding rain forest took place, oh, and we saw this sweet Eel too! After some white bait fritters on bread for lunch we swam – or more accurately – got pounded by the waves at Haast beach – once refreshed we made our way towards Wanaka.

Multi-cultural signage in NZ
Dan Me and Paul - Haast beach

In order to break up the drive to Wanaka along the Haast Pass highway, we stopped at a rest area and undertook what was supposed to be a pleasant 30 minute return bush walk – what actually happened was quite different – it was a 20 minute dash through sand-fly territory – particularly perilous was the rope bridge where one simply could not spare a hand to swat away the marauding blood suckers. Still, what doesn’t kill you… 

The backpackers in Wanaka was holding a BBQ for the paltry price of $6 which included a two for one drink deal. Not only was this to our liking, it was just what we needed. A good five or six hours of drinking followed – just enough for us to really feel the effects while kayaking LakeWanaka in the stinking heat the morning after. 

The journey to Dunedin was largely uneventful although several rouge Riders of Rohan were claimed to have been spotted. We ate Thai food, coffee, dessert, and then proceeded to play games of pool before settling down on couches/floors of old friends for the night. The DunedinMuseum live butterfly exhibit occupied most of the next day before we hit Christchurch later in the evening.

Christchurch was a bit disappointing – but what do you expect from a city largely founded by the English, so we ploughed northwards sighting such wonders as the Kaikoura seal colony before setting up camp early evening in Blenheim. In contradiction to our basic camp ground accommodation, an extravagant dinner at an Italian Restaurant was devoured and enjoyed. 

Waking up with sore bodies due to minimal cushioning the night before did not depress us for today was the day of the Marlborough Wine, Food, and Music Festival! Needless to say, much wine was tasted, food eaten and music danced to. Happy times.

Me Paul Guy Andy and Rebecca at the festivalBut the trip would not go down in history as being complete just yet, oh no, not without a game of Mini-Golf! So before boarding the ferry back to Wellington, nine holes were completed with victors victorious and defeatists defeated.

The End

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

In Cricketing Heaven (Devon)...

As I wearily finished up a week-long and rather complex session on [insert complex insurance concept here], my mind wandered to the coming weekend – the sites, sounds and smells of leather on wood await! 30 minutes to go.

I droned on, my clients struggling to stay conscious as their mind wandered to their own version of the perfect and now rapidly approaching weekend. 15 minutes to go.

As I wrapped up, the obligatory thank yous’ and handshakes were gratefully interrupted by the horn of the waiting taxi.

“Well that’s me, best of luck!”


“Don’t worry, you won’t need it”

*cordial polite laughs*

The train grumbled out of Bristol parkway station, the aisles brimming with passengers like me unable to find a seat on the overcrowded train. Yet spirits were high, conversations jovial, it was the weekend! It wasn’t just any old weekend; in fact I was on my way to Exeter, to me an unheard of town on the south coast of England for my cricket club’s end of season tour.

Blessed with fantastic weather on the Saturday we trounced an under-strength Axminster Town CC, and in the gloom of the Sunday we bulldozed our way to victory over the hapless Farley CC.

As we downed our celebratory beers in the van back to London, our labours were amplified, and our journey grew epic, we had vanquished our enemies and returned home triumphant.

All photos can be found here:

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Sunday, July 13, 2008


I set off in search of a chilled out holiday, I found myself returning to Warwsaw, Poland...

This time I was in a five star hotel and this time I met up with the lovely Basia - she likes beer, this is a good thing.

See the Warsaw photos here:

Read what happened last time I was in Warsaw here:

And see the Warsaw pictures from two years ago here:

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Discovering Stockholm (Syndrome)...

As light snow started to fall I began to doubt the wisdom of Shay’s choice of city for our Easter break. Why couldn’t we go somewhere sunny and warm?

My fears were quickly put to rest the moment we found ourselves tucked up and warm inside everyone’s home away from home, i.e. a bar! Shay, Rony Vamsee, and I had come to Stockholm in search of many things, however what we found consisted of equal measures of beer and eye candy, and this was good enough for me!

What followed was basically a three day booze bender, and as such the memory is a little hazy but I’ll try to outline the highlights which included:

  • Seeing Rony (who is the owner of the worlds most dodgy Bangladeshi passport) try to explain to the border control guy that he only wanted to enter Denmark because he was hungry.
  • Vamsee spending 40 minutes picking up some Greek women in a museum.
  • A visit to a club called the ‘Spy Bar’ where the boys finally got a dose of the hip-hop music they were craving, and Vamsee despite his best effort failed to pick up the young woman manning the blackjack table, though in retrospect he seemed happy enough to just win lots of cash.
  • Me losing Rony at the most pivotal moment in the Spy Bar.
  • No one and I mean no one, understanding what the hell Rony was saying. ‘Nuf said.
  • Using the worlds worst pasta sauce to cook dinner and in the end stealing someone else’s from the fridge in the hostel just to make it edible.
  • Rony travelling to Stockholm in winter without a jacket.
  • Me farting loudly as an Italian woman walked past in the hostel.
  • The next ten minutes wondering why the Italian woman and her friends were looking at us and talking disapprovingly in Italian.
  • The numerous jokes at Rony and Shay’s expense at the time it took them to do anything.
  • The frequent misunderstanding of Rony, in fact to this day I’m still confused as to what I can get when I mix a fat chick and £2
  • Rony’s reaction to being in a gay bar.
  • Rony’s reaction to seeing two guys kissing in a gay bar.
  • And finally, Rony’s reaction to getting his photo taken with two guys kissing in a gay bar.

Until next time fellow travellers... photos here: