What’s this you see? Yes an update! Well it had been four months and we have our excuses all carefully prepared and all that sort of thing, I will summarise them by saying we have been a) away, b) too cold, c) too sick and d) too lazy. Continuing in the style of point d) I will now hand the computer over to Nicola for the update itself, as always any comment in italics are the words of the editor.

So what have we been up to:

May was such a long time ago that I can’t really remember, though I think we spent a lot of time looking forward to our holiday. Well that’s a bit sad as it means that I am going to have to type. Nicola is pretty much right, though one thing out of the ordinary we did do was go to Dancing with the Stars. We packed in with the other 55 people and were coached on the intricacies of shouting ourselves hoarse as we tried to sound like a lot more then 55 people. It was all very silly but we did get to meet some of the contestant’s which was quite nice. Robbie hurt his foot during his first football game of the season so was hobbling around for a while, I was kicked in the ankle by a guy called Po because of his telly tubby like appearance. Ligament damage right ankle no sport 14 weeks, life was good. Winter started setting in and we discovered that our house gets quite cold without the sunshine.

In June we headed off on our much anticipated trip to Italy and the UK, with a quick stop in Tokyo for good measure. It was a thoroughly enjoyable (and totally knackering) holiday. We have decided that rather then gabbling on for ages about what we did on this page, we would set up a page for each country and if you are interested in finding out some more details you can just follow the links – Tokyo, Italy and the UK.

We were pleased to find that we managed to miss the worst June in New Zealand history. But when we got back to our very cold house on the Sunday after a 40 hour flight, the jet lag and the two grumpy cats was quite a struggle The house was a tropical 8 degrees and the peanut oil in the pantry had almost solidified – It was in a very unappetising cloudy state. The first few days of work were very difficult and went by in a bit of a haze.

When we got back we were all motivated and we spent the first weekend sorting out the house a bit. The old desk that sat in the sun room for the last 8 months has now been moved, although it only made it to the garage. Still at least, it’s not in the house. Unfortunately the motivation didn’t last long and we have reverted back to the usual pattern of lazy weekends, though we did manage to go see Ben Elton, the test match against South Africa and have been out for a couple of nice meals.

The sun has been out a few times and a couple of weeks ago we decided to make the most of the sun and the snow over the last two months by heading up to Whakapapa for the weekend to go skiing, unfortunately the sun didn’t last all weekend but I did remember how to ski and am now suffering from very bruised calves and shins. Whakapapa is the ski field on Mount Ruapehu – a slightly active volcano – so the scenery is mainly rocks sticking out of the snow and then a gorgeous view over the countryside.

Other than that, things have been fairly quiet, except for a very loud birthday party for Robbie’s niece, Tara. It was a pirate party and the entertainer kept them all busy while the adults watched. We’ve now experienced a full year in our house and have discovered the joys of home ownership, the never ending list of jobs to be done and just how cold non centrally heated houses can get… We’ve both got colds, which is not quite bad enough to stop us going to work, its just killing the social life! Spring is now just around the corner and our plum tree is in full blossom and on our dailky walk through the botanical gardens the tulips are just starting to appear.

And now for that most anticipated moment. Yes it is cat photo time…