Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Winter - Kiwi Stylee

OK.  I hold my hands up.  I've been utterly rubbish at blogging recently.  A combination of enjoying where we live coupled with Retro Rides Gathering preparation seemed to eat all my time.  So i'm planning to cover the entirety of winter in this post.  Strictly, thats July/Aug/Sept, but this post covers June to Mid Aug.  Then I'll post about our trip to England, and Gathering stuff, in a following post.  And finally a September blog will bring me about up to date.  Hopefully I can then find a routine that will allow me to blog more regularly.  I doubt it, but I'll try.  Anyway, here's winter, introudced by Alfie!

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Give Me A Minute And I'll Give You A Month

So this way May.  Storms blew through, the sun shone, the swings swung, we tramped up Mount Vic, ate lots, the kids discovered Frozen, and a guitar to play along to it with, and Rach came to visit!  And all that in the next 60 odd seconds, enjoy the photos!

Friday, May 23, 2014

A Snapshot of Autumn - April 2014

LOVING Autumn in New Zealand.  In England the nights got dark, the skies greyed over and I only had the excitement of Christmas to keep me going.  Sure, here the days get shorter too, but the sun still shines and its actually been stiller than much of summer!  Most days are short trouser friendly which is good by me!

So here's April.

A trip for Tash and two very tired kids on a kayak around the harbour (whilst I saw with a baby asleep on my back and a beer in my hand!)

With evenings getting cooler Harry has loved having three kids who enjoy him and his cuddles.

Tash put me onto the Bhakti Lounge where every Wednesday I now pay $12 (£6) for an evening of Yoga, Kirtan, and a full Krishna meal.  I was sold on the food, but I've fallen in love with Kirtan!

Caught some fish.  To answer Alfie's question, which always gets asked, no its not the right sized fish!  This one lived to get caught again another day.

Went to a day out at a 'natural learners' group.  These guys live off grid and open up their home to these guys once every few months for organised outdoors activities.  The kids loved foraging and cracking open hazlenuts.  It also made me realise our land doesn't necessarily have to be by the sea.

Been to the cinema.  Our little local cinema has actually been voted the best in NZ.  You can take your food and drink to your seat, and its a wonderful place.  Its fair to say Alfie and Esme are big Lego Movie fans!

We took a 4 hour drive out to look at some land.  We stopped at a cafe (which we always stop at when going that way) and Alfie mastered balancing a spoon on his nose!  Kids got skillz!

The land was great.  The kids loved it.  We've put in an offer which has been accepted and we'll see how it all pans out.  Its ten acres, loads of tree, and the river alongside it.  Its pretty much perfect for us to go off grid in the future, and the river is ideal for a hydroelectric power source.

With Olive taking a liking to those chunky 'space' lego wheels Alfie and I built a little table from the crate our TV was imported in.  This is him with the air gun blowing the sawdust away!

Finally got my push bikes out and had a lovely ride around the bays of the Peninsula.  I feel so at home by the sea, I always have, and it wonderful to ride with the sea alongside me the whole way.  And a little way round at Breaker Bay I got to see a seal playing close to the rocks.  Things like this are just magic!  

We've been to the zoo a few times.  Alfie has a membership, I use it for Esme too though.  Esme loves the tigers, but especially the giraffes!  The heigh chart thing shows how crazy fast shes growing up!  Now 2 and a half, and just a few steps behind her big brother.  She started basic counting, is toilet trained (days), and is even more fearless when it comes to jumping off things!  She does have absolutely no sense of her own mortality though so perhaps her being the height of a dingo is quite appropriate!

With the end of May just a week or so away I'll probably end up doing another monthly update then.  After that point I'm determined to keep this regularly updated.  If you are on instagram follow me on there (@keithbatsford) as thats where all the good photos end up!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

March 2014 - Ammie's Visit

This is the giant post/photo upload which has caused me falling so far behind with blogging in recent weeks and months.

So, on March 3rd Ammie landed.

And in as chronological an order as I can manage ...

Took her to the beach to meet the neighbours.

We had an afternoon our with one of the Natural Learners groups at one of the DOC parks.

We went to the waterfront and watched some Dragon Boat racing and hired out one of the four person cycle car things.

We road tripped up to Taupo.

With a fair few stops en route, especially as Harry was with us.

Lake Taupo is one of the major holiday destinations for Kiwis, and is a very active volcanic region.  The lake (which is the size of Singapore) is an old volcano crater and there are three main volcanic peaks in close proximity.

Went to Huka Falls.

Visited the 'Craters of the Moon'.


Watched the sun set over the lake.

Took a dip in a volcanically heated natural spa pool.

Took a drive up Mount Ruapehu, and saw what will become the ski field in a few months time.

Stopped in Bulls.  You see what they did there!?

And stopped at the same beach (Foxton) on the way home.

We took Ammie to Wellington Zoo.

Had an spur of the moment lunch on the beach.

Made Tash a cake.

Took Ammie to the snorkelling trail at Island bay.

And found her a plate of Oysters at Chocolate Fish Cafe.

And before she left we made her have the kids for a couple of hours so I could take Tash fishing.

There was also lots of food eaten, drinks drunk, beaches visited, shops shopped, viewpoints viewed, museums visited and I suspect much more.

All three hundred and something photos can be found here

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My Birthday

The end of Feb was my birthday.  My first ever in summer time!  The day itself was fairly rubbish, rounded off by Alfie stealing all the Oreos from the top of my cake the following night, but the few days around it were suitably awesome.

About a week before I managed to get an appointment with Max Fecondo before he disappeared back to Australia and collected a cool little shark tattoo from him.


 A few days later and we were out to Lower Hutt to see a super cool busker circus.  The kids loved it.  It was brilliant to enjoy a circus which was zero animal but maximum entertainment.  It had such a super Kiwi feel to it too, the whole 'outdoor entertainment, pay what you can afford' seems pretty commonplace and I really like it.  Alfie loves doing his 'tricks' at the moment, and he came away from here just wanting to do more and more!

My birthday was on the Monday - I got cake!

And then the following weekend I was out on a boat to the famous 'trench' to catch fish.  Called the trench because the seismic activity has created a massive drop off which goes down to around 1000 metres!  For my liking the boat was a little overcrowded, and this meant that when I had a big fish on it was brought aboard further down the boat and was dealt with before I had any chance to see it close up or get a photo.  However, it was awesome - simply for watching dolphins play in the boats bow wave, and getting to watch a sperm whale splash about.  The biggest fish I caught was the Hapuka (Groper), and you can see from the photo of them in the crate that they were a damn good size!

Fuck Seaworld, nothing beats seeing these incredible creatures in their natural environment.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

When The Fog Rolled In

Lots to come, but I've been meaning to post this for weeks.

Shows just how quickly weather changes here, and how truly bizarre it can be.

This was back in the middle of Feb.  Its still summer, and after a lovely day we took dinner down to the beach to enjoy.   All of a sudden the fog rolled in.  The photo I took looks virtually black and white!

The next day the fog slowly dispersed.  With the exception of the airports runway!  The second photo shows the fog hanging on, and it sat above that runway all day long!