Tuesday, January 28, 2014


My desire to learn the local waters has reached new heights recently, and any still weather has me desperate to get a bait in the water.

Last Monday I got a few hours trying a new bait on a new rig in a new spot and came home with a dinner sized Tarakahi.  Which was bloody gorgeous fried up in a Chinese dish the following night.  My rod was tapping away solidly for over an hour and I also caught another Spotty and even a little Snapper.  If I can bag his Daddy I'll be a very happy man indeed!

All That ... For A Box!?!

As always, weeks behind with this.

Anyway, when we were living at Bruges Ave we often passed a house with a bunch of guys out the front on makeshift seats drinking beer off an old crate.  It was perfectly Kiwi.

So when we moved here and was presented a deck with no furniture and a load of old wood that needed using/removing I knew I had to make a seat-cum-table (aka a box) for my very self.

And so after what seemed like endless evenings (free time in an evening is often only about an hour at the moment) of measuring, cutting, screwing, sanding, painting and varnishing its done.  And its just what I wanted.  Nothing more than a box really.  But it means I have a table for my beer when the beanbags are out and a seat for my morning coffee.  Perfect.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Just A Typical Weekend

Quick tale of our weekend.  The photos kinda do the talking.  Friday, zoo.  Sat am, fishing.  Sat lunch, teddy bears picnic.  Sun, footy.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Getting Out And About

A huge part of coming here was the outdoors lifestyle and being able to have so much seaside at our doorstep.

But its easy to dream such things, and another to live it.  I'm all too aware of that, and very conscious of how easy it is with three small kids to choose to do nothing and spend your day indoors cos it seems easier.

With summer in full swing I am determined not to let these nice days past by unused.  No matter how much like hard work it seems to shepherd three angry little monsters into our car I AM going to do it.

And so on Monday we took Alfie's bike and Esme's scooter down to the seafront for a ride.  On Tuesday Esme, Olive and I spent a few hours at the zoo and bought a year pass so me and the kids can go whenever we want, and then yesterday we went for a pre shopping paddle and chased some waves. 

Just being able to enjoy these things for a few hours is wonderful, and getting out the house is always preferable to staying in.  No matter how hard it seems when you first utter the sentence 'barefoot or shoes?'

Monday, January 06, 2014

Meatballs For Breakfast

Now I was going to start this post by saying we don't actually have meatballs for breakfast, but that Alfie has become obsessed with eating and making meatballs.  But now I've realised pork mince, cherry tomatoes, breadcrumbs, an egg, and some lardons and I basically havr a fried breakfast in a meatball.  Served on some toast with baked beans actually sounds like a pretty good brekkie!

Anyway.  Alfie has become obsessed with meatballs.  He made them with me last week, then with Tash on the weekend and then started telling me he wanted to go to 'our shop' (Commonsense Organics) to buy mince and ingredients whilst I stayed in the car and then make meatballs for dinner.  So we did a deal so that he could.  But I'd wait at the front of the store instead of in the car.

I love his confidence and love of food at the moment.  He bowled into the store, got his basket and set to work leaving some other shoppers looking a bit bemused.

I had to educate him a little, like pointing out he didn't need whole white peppercorn, ground white peppercorn and whole black peppercorns when we have pepper in a grinder at home.  But he got the veg he wanted, the mince, a few extras I asked him for, and then bowled up to the front of the store and asked for a box to carry it in.  It kinda reminded me of Home Alone where Kevin goes shopping.  But at four years old I wouldn't quite expect Alfie to be using coupons yet.

He carried the box to the car, put the ingredients he wanted into the meatballs and rolled them all himself.  He had the chance to fry them but by that point his attention was slipping and so I cooked them.

I hope this interest continues cos its a great way for him to learn about food and flavour combinations. 

And when I pick him up from school tonight I'm gonna propose we have meatballs for breakfast!

The Perfect Brew

As I've said before, the coffee out here is immense.  Absolutely amazing.  Like nothing else.

Obviously coffee shop coffee is based on espresso, something impossible to replicate at home unless you spend $1000 on a machine and master the art of stretching milk.  This also makes your home brewed coffee taste worse and worse as expectations get higher and higher.

So I decided to ditch my crude plunger and research the perfect way to soft brew coffee.  Much reading and many YouTube videos later I was returning home from People's Coffee with a hand held grinder, fresh beans and a Chemex coffee maker and filters.

People's Coffee actually sell coffee brewed this way so I had chance to taste before I bought.  And I am SO impressed.  It has saved me from becoming a tea drinker!

And I'm totally addicted to the 'occasion' of weighing and grinding beans, folding the filter, washing the paper, and measuring and pouring the water. 

So if you like coffee sack off your Cafetiere and get yourselves a Chemex!

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Learning Our Local Coastline

A very marine and acquatic based weekend for us, especially Alfie and I.

Yesterday,  Saturday 4th, everything married up for perfect conditions.  Apart from my alarm didn't go off.  Still, we awoke at 6am and were fishing by 6:30am. I hated where we were though and we didn't catch.

So we went back out for the evening high tide. With the wind getting up we found a sheltered spot, and before admitting defeat to the wind, rain and rocks we caught our first Kiwi fish! A little spotty. We also had three starfish on one flasher rig retrieval - Alfie thought it was brilliant!

And so onto today,  Sunday 5th January.  Tash learnt that the Island Bay Marine Reserve was open and so with the kids bouncing off the walls we went there to touch starfish, learn about the local marine life, and watch the octopus get fed. Its a brilliant place and the kids were fascinated!

This evenings fishing session was largely spent trying to escape the wind.  We ended at Breaker Bay, and although I have now learnt its a real rocky area and had situated ourselves badly, we did at least have a gorgeous backdrop and Alfie just loves being out and about, playing on the beach escaping and hunting dinosaurs.

I can just about manage blanking when the view is that gorgeous, and my boys having fun.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

The Post of Christmas Future

Since Christmas our life has very much been a perfect example of how I hope our short term life out in NZ will play out.

The other day we made a day trip out to Wairapa, an area just over the mountain range. Its wine country, check your next bottle of Kiwi plonk and there's a fair chance it will have come from that region.  It's also an area that we're considering for when we buy land and somewhere Tash really wanted to check out.

Our day out was a exactly how I saw us having day trips in NZ.  Drove for a while, stumbled across a beautiful rest point which was unsigned and alone for us, had a BBQ, and just enjoyed the life and country in front of us.  Complimented perfectly by the wine tasting at the Pallister vineyard on our way home. 

And then yesterday, New Years Eve, was how I could happily spend every day at home in Wellington.  The morning was spent making further progress with the veggie patch, and the afternoon tucked into a little bay doing a spot of fishing.

I may have been in bed by 10:30pm, but I was tired and wanted to be fresh for the first day of our first full year down under.

To me its just another day.  But to those who care, Happy New Year!

The Post of Christmas Present

Our first Kiwi Christmas.  By the time it rolled around I was well in the festive spirit.

Christmas Eve was spent messing about with the kids, Tash got off work early so we went to Chocolate Fish Cafe, and the evening was spent watching the likes of Home Alone and redecorating the tree.  I had given up replacing decorations removed/broken by the kids.

Christmas day was mayhem in the morning, a meal where Jamie's Christmas Bombe was a definite highlight, and an afternoon sat in the kids new paddling pool in my pants drinking beer. 

Boxing Day was a trip out to Wanganui for the road races at the Cemetery Circuit.  We had the most amazing day, and its an amazing event.  Next year we will definitely spend Christmas day having a BBQ and Boxing Day will be spent at the Cemetery Circuit enjoying leftovers and beer with bikes racing past just inches from my face!

On things for sure, Christmases out here are choice!

The Post of Christmas Past

First day of 2014 so a good time for a catchup and bring this here blog up to date.  Three posts, pre Christmas, Christmas, and post Christmas.

So, pre Christmas.  We had Tashas work Christmas do which gave us a very rare night without kids and also a chance to dress up all 'Gatsby'.

I got tattooed by Craigy Lee, my Do EveRYthiNg tattoo.  Something for Deryn, and a nice constant reminder not to wish my life away.

We took the kids to see Santa.  Alfie only just about saw him though, such was his shelter from around the corner of the grotto!

With Christmas in the sunshine not quite seeming real we bought a very fake white Christmas tree.  Although its really grown on me and now seems kinda appropriate.

I took Alfie for a Christmas story/pyjama party at the library where he made a decoration for our tree. 

And we spent a few meal times down by the beach, just enjoying life and what we now have on our doorstep.