Monday, 30 March 2009

Motutapu - Rangitoto Traverse

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Wow! Hard to find the words... Had a great half-marathon on Saturday... it was really hard work. I wasn't expecting a fast time but three hours was somewhat longer than expected.

Narrow tracks and big hills = very sore calf-muscles today.

As promised I took the camera along and managed to nab some great shots and even a bit of video footage.. note however that I am not using this as an excuse for my slow time. Check out the 3 minute video insert below for a snapshot of the event. I have edited out the wobbly bits where I almost lost it completely - thankfully no injuries.

I have also included a higher quality link below for those with fast Internet connections (P.s. Mum that is not you).

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I will certainly be back next year.. this is by far the best off-road event in the Auckland region. I especially liked the wide range of event options, the mountain bike option looked really cool. P.S. I'm not planning an attempt on the marathon course - it looked deadly serious.

Thanks to Ash for talking me into entering this event and to Brent for the cheap ticket.

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The event was organised by Total Sport in conjunction with the Motutapu Restoration Trust. The trust are keen to raise the profile of Motutapu Island in support of their vision which is to replant large sections of Island with native trees. The campsite looks inviting and I'm definitely going to drag the family over for a visit sometime - it would be rude not to.

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Friday, 27 March 2009

The Dual

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I've entered into a race tomorrow.. it was a bit of a last minute decision (thanks trademe.co.nz). It is only a half (21km) but the terrain should make it more interesting: its starts from Home Bay, Motutapu Island out and loops up and back across Rangitoto Island. I'm going to take the camera along and will post should pics shortly.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

A likely fishing story

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Sunday dawned bright and sunny.. we split the biscuit bunch up: Ange took the boys to the BMX track only to find they had an event on (which proved interesting to watch) and I took Ross for a kayak around Waitemata harbour.  We then converged back at base camp for some lunch before sending Ross off on his long drive home.

Then Ange raced off to take Henry to football practice before heading out on his much anticipated wharf fishing adventure. I took Jack and James for a off-road bike ride (as they had missed out early) but it wasn't long before my assistance was required at the wharf to resolve some mechanical fishing line "issues".  Then we stumbled across the Walkers who were testing out their new kayaks..  talk about being knackered after a full-on weekend.  Sorry Ange - don't expect much painting to be done on Monday!

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Saturday, 21 March 2009

Time Travel

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A bunch of us travelled back in time on Saturday night.  It wasn't  as hard as they make out in those sci-fi movies.. all it took was some beer, mixed with some wine and combined with some special BBQ mushrooms.

Our trip took us all the way back to 1989 to Montagu Street, London; just around the corner from Marble Arch.  Here we all are sitting on the bench outside our old residence.

It was great to go back and re-live old times but unfortunately we didn't revert back to our younger selves and it wasn't long before Trevor realised he had left his 'old man' pills behind and we all had to travel back to the present with him.

It was agreed that this exercise will have to become an annual event in the future (or is that the past?) Its confusing - like an episode of 'Lost'.

North Head Tunnels

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One of the nicest spots to visit in Auckland on a sunny day is North Head, an extinct volcano just outside Devonport on Auckland's North Shore. From this great vantage point you can look out over the harbour taking in all the eastern beaches from the city all the way around the coast.

North Head is home to some interesting tunnels left over from its military past.

The boys and I took Ross for a bit of a wander through the tunnels.. I think he enjoyed himself but he was pretty scared in some of the dark tunnels.

We had a good morning before heading home to get ready for the evenings BBQ.

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Saturday, 14 March 2009

Saturday Update

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Northcote Primary had their sports day on Wednesday afternoon.

It was a fairly low key event: races and other fun events for the kids,  sausage sizzle and cake stalls for mum and dad.. ah nothing like a bit of fund raising.

The weather wasn't great but the rain mostly held off, thankfully.

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Bit of an interesting week, Ange went to an interview on Monday and was back working at her old (2nd last) company, TelstraClear by Wednesday.  Although it is just a short contract things seem to be warming on the job market front for both of us.

Today we went for our obligatory weekend "tramp" through the Highbury bush just up the road.

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The boys were keen to check out the bike track (left) that some local teenagers have built on the edge of the bush.  Jack: " Cool but it looks a bit hard - I think it is only for teenagers dad".

We saw lots of bird life, check out the photo's above.

Otherwise nothing to report, house painting is progressing nicely.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Biscuit Update

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Not many posts this last month... I could use the excuse that life back in Auckland is somewhat simpler than the big adventure in France but a far better excuse is that we have been very busy. All the same an update is now well overdue. The big news of the week is my brother, Greg and his wife Lana just had their first child, Matt. Well done team.

Ange and I are still working hard on the job seeking front.. The market is very slow and the jobs that are out there are just harder to get.. it is really a waiting game. The house painting is progressing well, the paintwork along the back side of the house was quite bad and I'm having to strip right back to the wood which is pretty time consuming. At least the weather this last month has been good, a few rain storms here and there but not enough to disrupt progress.

The kids are enjoying school - especially with all their old friends around. Having no language barriers must help somewhat. Football season is just starting and our boys are signed with a new club, Glenfield Rovers.

The latest craze around our house is the North Harbour BMX track. I friend took Jack along and now that's all he is talking about. It is good outdoor fun and will help them all build up their confidence.

Ange and I have been doing a fair bit of off-road running on all the tracks through the local parks.. it is easy to forget just how beautiful and accessible these local tracks are. I've included some photo's from our family walk on Saturday through Little Shoal Bay Reserve and up into Le Roys Bush.

I took Henry on a one-on-one father son treat yesterday to see the Auckland Blues play the Natal Sharks at Eden park. We both had fun but the rugby was pretty disappointing.. the Sharks ran circles around the Blues, who tackled badly and generally played like they had left their brains behind in the changing rooms.

The garden is looking good. I have removed a few truckloads of trees or shrubs and have installed a large compost pit. I'm planning to extend the vegetable garden which has been churning out heaps of fresh produce.. we now have more tomatoes then we can eat - well almost.

That's it for now.. until next time.

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