While we managed to catch up with most of the Andersons in September, we decided it wasn’t quite the same as a trip back home for Robbie. So 36 hours after leaving Norfolk on 27th December, we arrived in Taupo surprising most of the family thanks to a little help from Dave.
We spent a wonderful two weeks in NZ, with a couple of days around Wellington and one in Auckland, enjoying what Robbie remembers as a traditional summer holiday – sunny days and warm evenings, cricket on the beach, enjoying Lake Taupo, dinner and gossiping with extended family (there were 24 of us one night).
More to follow, see some initial photos here
Christmas has snuck up on us this year. Work has been tough, I can’t shake this cold, the UK is going through a very warm spell and my family seemed done in November with a plethora of coordinated lists before I could even begin to think about Christmas. All in all I’ve not been feeling like my normal Christmassy self. But tonight we went to the local panto and thankfully I now feel like I can forget the day-to-day rubbish, remember to not take it so seriously and enjoy myself. A real thumbs up to Greenwich theatre, with a mix of tongue in cheek, old and new, and a fabulous cast. I’m looking forward to seeing my family and remembering what’s important.
Best wishes to you all.
We were lucky enough to have an Anderson family holiday in Hawaii in September to celebrate three significant birthdays. We decided to break up the long flight and took our chance for stopovers in San Diego and Las Vegas – where Robbie completed one of his 40 things to do when he’s 40, to put £50 on red (we lost!)
I’ve included a link to some favourite Photos.
The definition according to Robbie: buying a scratching post and a bottle of whisky while out on our weekly shop.
Apparently there is a rumour going around, not that I would give it any credence, that one of Nicola and I have recently turned 40. I guess that, maybe, there may have been some bizarre rearrangement of the calendar so this happens to be the year 40 years after my birth but surely I’m not actually 40 years old!
Before I start transitioning into anger, or god forbid acceptance, what I really want to write about is that for my birthday Nicola got me a wall chart with 40 things to do while I am 40. This includes items like 4: Try to break a world record (inadvertently complete), 24: whale watch off Wales, 35: Put $50 on red at the roulette table (complete and lost boo! hiss!) but the subject of today is item 9: Cycle Around the Kent Coast.
For those who don’t know I started cycling to work last year and have ended up quite enjoying it and so now I also cycle in the weekends when we aren’t away and have cycled in two 100km events. I have been talking for a few months now about riding the Kent Coast and it appears that Nicola has called me out on it, so over the next 11 months I have 1,011km of riding to complete. This weekend I did the first leg (I suppose technically I actually started last weekend, however after 3 hours I had only managed to go 6km and spent the rest of the time fighting flat tires before my pump broke and I ended up walking home rather dejectedly) the short summary of the highlights of this trip are
- Nicola and I have walked most of the London part of the Thames Path but never the part between Woolwich and Erith. I discovered why this section is so unpopular
- the barbed wire on the industrial estates went from being on the outside (i.e. keeping you out) to being on the inside (i.e. keeping something in) and the estates themselves went from supermarket storage yards to scrap dealers or similar / worse
- the main ‘human methane’ plant, otherwise known as a sewerage treatment plant, for South East London takes up over a kilometer of the route. While the smell isn’t that unpleasant the warning signs about the highly flammable atmosphere and the dangers of the high methane content in the air don’t make you want to hang around
- It was quite interesting going through a part of the Thames that technology had left behind, the factories had massive jetties and loading bays (up to 10 stories high) for deliveries by river but these had clearly not been used for a number of decades and were quietly rusting into oblivion
- I had assumed that National Cycle Route 1 would be a major cycle pathway, simply as it was number 1 (you know a bit like state highway 1 is the main road in NZ), but as you can see by the photo below, around 10km of it was quite agricultural and not the ideal environment for my road bike.
I am pleased to say that it is one leg down and I got away without a flat tire this time, had a rather pleasant 17 degree day (which was a nice surprise for the end of October) and as a enjoyable change compared to my normally solitary rides ended up riding the last hour with a very enthusiastic father of 4 boys (who explained that while he rode 50km a day it wasn’t that he loved cycling per se, it may have something to do with having 2 hours of no fighting children time).