Monday, 17 October 2005

The Biscuit Bunch

This is us.. the Bisset's. Angela and Don, with our three boys: Jack; Henry and James. 
So what is all this adventure and blog stuff about.
I borrow part of an early post just before we set off to France. It is still very relevant and explains the motivation (or madness) behind it all.
The Biscuit Bunch - 2005

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Adventure
What is this adventure all about?  Why France? Why a blog?
Our motivation for setting out on this (french) adventure is quite complex. This is the abbreviated version:
Reason 1:  Life is too short.  Our boys lost both their grandfathers in recent years. Ange's dad passed suddenly in the night and I lost mine after a one-sided battle with cancer.  Their passing prompted the realisation for both of us that life is far too short to be wasted away in an office building.  Now is the time to live.
Reason 2:   We have always dreamed about taking a year off and going somewhere interesting.  The south of France has always been at the top of this list.  I fell in love with France during my OE adventure in 1988/89. We also toured Southern France on a holiday in 1998 when Ange was pregnant with Jack.  Returning to Europe some twenty years on after our first big adventure, where we meet and fell in love, sounded like a great plan.
Reason 3:  Our three wonderful boys are growing up fast, too fast. It seems like it was just yesterday when they were just a tiny ball wrapped up in my hands. We felt this would be a great opportunity to spent more time together as a family and share memories that will last forever.
Opportunity:  We had been saving for a number of years to undertake major renovations on our home back in Auckland.  When the time to act finally arrived and first cost estimates rolled in, it just wasn't worth it.  We had already moved on.. we now want more from life than some fresh paint and art deco furniture: Living is an outdoor pursuit.
So we took the leap: quit our jobs, rented our house and here we are.
Blog: The initial intention was that this blog would serve as a record of this adventure, of our memories, for when the kids get older. It is also proving to be very useful for keeping in touch with friends and family. The "Biscuit Bunch" is continually evolving and I'm not sure where it will end up. It is great fun!
If you are visiting this blog for the first time, I recommend having a look at the next menu: "Story so far" which has a high-level, monthly summary of all posts.  You should also look at "Highlights" which will list all the most popular posts as selected by our kids and other readers.

Other posts that provide a bit more insight:
Origins of a Biscuit?

Adventure Maps

Google is just GREAT! I used being using Google Maps quite a bit to trace out our adventures to provide a graphical index of posts and pictures. There are currently two map sources to choose from:

Dordogne - France


New Zealand

View Our French Adventure in a larger map


View New Zealand Adventures in a larger map

I have a bit of catch-up work to get the NZ Map up to date..

The adventures of the Bisset family

Big or small life is full of adventures.  This blog is dedicated to recording the adventures of our family.

Big Adventures:


Click on links for more info

1988   Lets go Europe
This is where it all started.. Ange and I met in London and spent many good times drinking our way around Europe. Fortunately we still have some photo's to remind us what we got up to - unfortunately not to many are posted on this blog (yet).


  France 2008
The challenge was to spend a year in the south of France absorbing as much of the culture and language as we can. It was the best adventure ever - it will be hard to top.
2010   Abel Tasman Great Walk
We get our share of crap weather in NZ.. which we can put up with because it is a beautiful county but this does not count for much if you don't spend any time exploring all the beautiful parts. The Abel Tasman is one of the best tramps around and it will be good practice for those shorter legs.
2011   Whanganui River Challenge
A 4-5 day canoe trip down the Whanganui river through this very remote national park. James will be eight and just old enough to make this trip but we all need to get back into swimming lessons.
2013   African Safari
The rough plan is 6-8 weeks over Christmas school holidays.. check out the old country, retrace Ange's trip through Tanzania and Keyna. Cover lots of miles, see some gorillas, climb a mountain in the Drakensberg. Catch with some old school friends.
2023   Europe 2023
Thirty five years since the first big adventure of 1988 - it will be time to head back to Europe for another year long sabbatical.  Would very much like to set France as the base once again... like to spend 6 months in a bigger city, I really like Lyon and then 6 months back in the South West or South coast.  The kids are welcome to visit for a week or maybe two (max).. and P.S. our Auckland house will either be rented or sold!

Other Adventures:

2007   Coast to Coast Challenge
2008   Europe Road Trip
2009   Ange's first Marathon