I am enjoying the wonderful absence of urgency and stress. We have had two weeks at home after the trip to New Zealand and there is plenty of time to do anything that needs to be done, but nothing seems particularly important. I love lazy mornings with slow starts, problem is my lazy mornings can easily run into the afternoon.
Make new friends but keep the old
One is silver and the other gold
This old refrain keeps echoing through my mind. These eight weeks have been full of precious new and old friends and family. The intensity of the delight in reconnecting with people has surprised me.
We have had many conversations with friends about how much you need to work at our stage of life. Could work look differently than it does now? Longer leave periods? Part time? Less stressful jobs? Can you retire too young? How much money do you really need to retire? How do you have Continue reading →
Whether we live in a small country town or a large city, we all have our favourite little restaurant.
You know the type I’m talking about. Those restaurants that you always return too….the ones where you are on first name basis with the owner or the chef……the ones where they know what you like to eat before you place your order……..the ones where you don’t need to look at the menu……..the ones where no matter what you order, or how many of you there are, the bill is never more than $20 per head…….and most importantly……the ones that allow you to bring your own alcohol “BYO”.
Henry is the Chef, and Fania is the front of house manager at Little Malaysia in West End, Brisbane – it’s their Restaurant, it’s their passion, and it’s their life. For us……it’s our favourite little restaurant, where we have spent many of our Friday nights in great company and with great food.
I have cycled many of these bike paths almost every day over the past 5 years as I made my way to the office, but today, they looked very different! Perhaps it’s because I had my eyes wide open?
Usually on my morning ride to work I am pre-occupied with what might be waiting for me, either in my inbox or on my desk, oblivious to the really important things around me, and how great they are. Not only the natural beauty, but how fortunate we are to have such well-maintained and positioned cycle ways and paths for moving pedestrians and bikes safely around the river city of Brisbane.
I feel as if I have fallen madly in love with New Zealand. I am now besotted with the place, and for the first time since I left forty years ago, I yearn to go back. I want to buy a campervan and inch my way around the country so that I can soak up the beauty. Alas that may still be some years in the future, so for now I must say farewell to my lover.
Before we leave New Zealand here are a few of my favourite things:
Funniest moment: When we were queuing to leave the inter-island ferry an announcement was made “Would the person who left Continue reading →
Our stay in New Zealand provided a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with a family who changed the direction of my life. I have altered their names in this story to protect their privacy, so let’s call this family the Smiths.
When I was 15 years old the Smiths moved to Wellington, they entered my life just as I was moving from childhood to adulthood. They were only there for a year but this family had a profound impact on the formation of my identity and the choices that I would make about education and work in the future.
I became close friends with Megan, the oldest of the four Smith girls and one Smith boy. This family was so different from my own. Dinner around our family table was mostly a quiet and sombre affair whereas dinner around their table was full of Continue reading →
We were fortunate to visit Auckland during the same week that the Volvo Ocean Race was in town.
Whilst I’m not a seafaring lad, I couldn’t help getting caught up in the excitement that such an event brings to a city.
1.42 million people, or 31% of New Zealand’s population reside in Auckland, and although it’s not the country’s capital, it appears to be the hub of business, nightlife and sport. In addition to the Volvo Ocean Race, the ICC Cricket World Cup is currently being hosted here.
The Volvo Ocean Race (formerly the Whitbread Race) is a yacht race around the world, held every Continue reading →
Cape Reinga is the northern most point on the North Island of New Zealand, and it’s off this coast where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean.
It’s one of those magical destinations that you see on a map, dream of getting to one day, but never quite make it. This has been true for Anne and I, but on this trip we did make it, and we are very glad we did.
Whilst we really enjoyed the vista of the rugged coast line, the lighthouse, and the meeting of the sea’s, it’s the Maori Legends which are worthy Continue reading →
Before Auckland and Wellington became the country’s hub of economic activity, it was Kerikeri and the Bay of Island’s that were the centre of European activity in New Zealand. The region’s history dates back to 1769, when Captain James Cook, the first European to visit, named it the Bay of Islands.
Kerikeri is also known as the “Cradle of the Nation”, having the country’s oldest surviving wooden building – Kemp House, built in 1821, and the oldest surviving stone building – Stone Store, built in 1832. If you are ever in the region, the Kerikeri basin and its Mission Station is worth a visit – make sure you take the guided tour. The stories of hardship and resilience faced by Continue reading →
We spent four relaxing nights with friends David and Ann in their beautiful home in Kerikeri. Not only were they wonderful hosts, but Kerikeri is the perfect location from which to explore the history and scenery that the Bay of Islands and New Zealand’s Northland has to offer.
The Waitangi Treaty Grounds is only a 20 minute drive from Kerikeri, and is considered New Zealand’s premier historic site. It was there, in 1840, that the country’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, was signed by the British Crown and Māori Chiefs. The Treaty established a British Governor of New Zealand, recognised Māori ownership of their lands and other properties, and gave the Māori the same rights as British subjects. Whilst at the Treaty Grounds, we enjoyed a performance by Continue reading →
It’s a beautiful stretch of sand on the West coast of New Zealand’s North Island, running from Kaitaia toward Cape Reinga, along the Aupouri Peninsula. The day we walked down on to the beach, it felt deserted, apart from one man and his dog, a fisherman’s 4wd, and one other vehicle parked close to the waters edge. Its occupants appeared to be enjoying watching the setting sun out across the gently breaking waves