December 31, 2002

New Year's Eve

To the neighbours Philip and Jane for drinks at 6.00 p.m. We left at 10 minutes to eight as we had a table booked at Oriental Thai. It was a lovely restaurant but we hadnt realised there would be so much food to eat at the neighbours and so we could not do justice to the meal, although it was still delicious. We were going to walk into the centre to see the New Year in but we were all so full decided to get a taxi and bring the New Year in at V & G's.

December 30, 2002

Historical Wellington

Walked into Wellington around Thorndon looking at the houses that were historical to Wellington. Next it was St. Pauls (Wooden church). Then to the Parliament buildings to book a tour. This was at 2.00 p.m. It was very interesting and the guide Diane we had was excellent. We then decided to visit the new Cathedral. Very spectular inside. A gentleman came and showed us around and told us how it was a sister Cathedral to Coventry in England. The stained glass windows were made in England. The bells were from Northamptonshire. He then took us into an annexe which was a small church that had been rebuilt there as they had run out of money to finish it where it was originally.

December 29, 2002

Picnic on the patio

Packed up a picnic and walked down to catch ferry to Soames Island. Unfortunately it was full. We could have booked for the 2.15 p.m. but decided against as there would not have been much time on the island and Eastbourne across the harbour. We sat and had drinks at the Chicago bar and then set off to walk up to the town belt. We stopped at the Shepherds Arms for more drinks and then walked back up the hill to V & G's and ate our picnic on the patio.

December 28, 2002

Te Papa

Te Papa Museum Welington. Jazz band playing in the foyer. Long queues for Lord of the Rings exhibition so we looked at the Natural History, then section on earthquakes, in this there was a small house showing and feeling what it would be like in an earthquake. Next the Maori section. Very interesting and enlightening museum.

December 27, 2002

Lord of the Rings

We all went to the Botanic Gardens. Walked up to the cable car. Wonderful views of Wellington. Back home for tea then taxi to cinema for 8.00 p.m. for Lord of the Rings. Could not get in so had to wait for the 9.00 p.m showing. Went and had drinks at Molly Malone's Pub. Enjoyed the film very much. Taxi back to V & G's.

December 26, 2002

Happy Valley

Vida took us round showing us houses they had looked at when in the process of buying. We then went down the coast to Happy Valley and then the Quarry. Graham sorted out our computer with the photos. They had a Webcam with Pam and family.

December 25, 2002

Christmas Day and . . .

. . . it is raining !! Graham working until 1.30 ish. Had late breakfast, Eggs Benedict. Enjoyed very much. We were supposed to be having a barbecue but it was raining too hard so cooked inside. Excellent Xmas dinner. We then opened our presents. Mine was very special as it was tickets to the Cliff Richard Show at Napier in February and a weekend stay in the County Hotel. Had a Webcam with Sheena, Steve and boys who gave us a concert with their new Karaoki. We then telephoned Emma and spoke to her for a while.

December 24, 2002

Buses and BBQ regulators

Graham working. V & D went swimming.
Late breakfast/brunch. Went then to change regulator on barbeque and look at a motorhome converted bus. Very good value for money but very low in height, no shower/toilet etc so we would have had to use big sites. Wasn't what we really wanted. On way back. Vida saw material she liked for curtains. D & M went for a drive along coast around Wellington. Saw all the little islands and bays. Lovely coastline. Weather not too bad.

December 23, 2002

Vida's vanishing purse

V & D Swimming. Graham working. When G came home from work we went to Moore & Wilson's to get fresh vegetables. We hadn't been in long when V realised she had lost her purse. Searched, to no avail. They went back to contact the bank etc. We did some more shopping then V & G came back and we called in Regional Wines for wine and beer etc. Phone call when we got back. Lady in Upper Hutt had found her purse and taken it back home as they were in a hurry. V & G went to get it.

December 22, 2002

Picnic in the bush

V & G had a Webcam with Gareth. It was a beautiful day. We went to Wiltons Bush, Otari, for a picnic. Lovely spot at a picnic table by a stream. We then did the walk a circular one up to the Waterfall and Wild Garden, then back to the car. Next travelled up the coast to the beach. Sat on rocks and enjoyed the sun and watched the tide coming in. Good day.

December 21, 2002

Shopping, beer, Turkish food and snooker

Walked into Wellington to do last minute shopping. Vida and Graham met up with us around 4.00 p.m. Bought Vida her birthday present. We then went to the Maltings Pub where we tried out the beers. We left around 7.30 p.m. and went to The Cafe and had Turkish food. Stuffed ourselves with food and drink.
Very good though. Went on to Snooker Pub. Had 3 or 4 games.
Very enjoyable. Got taxi back.

December 20, 2002

Home Brew and Barby

Council came to cut down some branches from the trees. Vida put up the Xmas tree and decorations. Went into Wellington after lunch and bought G's Xmas present. Tried some of the home brew very good. In the evening we had a barby. Very good. Mandy came in and had a drink with us all. They were off to the UK on Saturday for Xmas and the New Year.

December 19, 2002

Up the Kapiti Coast

Vida had a dental appointment at the hospital 9.00 am. We went along with V & G and went to look at the Brewery Shop. Later in the morning Vida had a meeting in Plimmerton so we went along to look at the motor home place there. We were not impressed by what we saw and the prices they were asking second-hand. Vida picked us up at 12.20 and we followed her friend to the Holistic centre shop where we bought The Ear Candle for clearing wax from ears. We then drove along the coast to Piorari and had lunch at a small cafe. Toasted Paninis and Smoothies. Had a look at the beach. Drove further along the coast. Saw the national tree of New Zealand. It's covered in red fluffy ball flowers looks lovely in full bloom. Vida then took us to craft centre where there was, cheeses, olives, honey etc.
Bought some of each. We had Kapiti icecreams double scoops. Delicious. Lovely day. Weather hot.

December 18, 2002

Curtains and chairs

Got up 9.00 am. David and Vida swimming so had a bath. Graham working today until 12.30. V & D picked up the office chair. We mooched around and then after lunch went back to the hardware store to get a small hacksaw and toggles. D putting curtains up in the bedroom we are using. Weather not too good. Curtains look good up. Read books. Had fish for tea, whole Tilaka and Teryaka fish fillets. V & G set up Mandy and John's Webcam as they are off to UK this weekend until end of January. Watched Paul McCartney on TV. Went to bed 11.30 ish.

December 17, 2002

What no guinea pigs?!

Rainy day.
David and Vida went swimming. When they got back we had breakfast. Graham was out at 1.30 p.m for Xmas lunch with work colleagues. Called first to Hutt where they had a look at office chairs. We then drove back to Wellington and we dropped Graham off. D, M, V, found the Mower shop.Parking at a meter that had 38 mins left on we took their office chair to be welded. We then had a look around at the shops, first a DIY then Animates Pet Store. V is looking for a long haired guinea pig. There were none. It was still raining quite hard so we made our way back to V&G's. Graham called Vida later to pick him up and they went shopping to the supermarket. We had baked potatoes, sweet corn, avocado and pepper, salad. Very good. Went to bed around 10.00 p.m.

December 16, 2002

Vida's Birthday

Today it is Vida's birthday. Vida got lots of cards. David and Vida went swimming and I slept in. We then walked up behind their house into town which took about 1 hour 20 minutes to Fords cafe where we had a lovely lunch. We were going to have brunch but they were only doing lunches. Walked back up the hill to V & G's and then set off for the Quad Bike Adventure at 2 pm. We had a guide called Duce. Had to learn how to use the controls and do practise runs around tracks. I could not manage the grips on the handlebars with my fingers so I sat on the back of Duce's
bike and he took me around. Great fun, wonderful views, a lovely afternoon. We stopped on the beach and he made us a drink of tea and we ate biscuits. We all thoroughly enjoyed it. Had drinks in the bar when we had finished and then back to Wellington. We all had showers as we were all very dusty. Had a drink of bubbly. Called a taxi and set off for a bite and then the cinema. Found out that we should perhaps have booked a table as everything was full anyway we managed to get a table in cafe Bastille. Mandy & John had recommended it. The meal was excellent, fish soup for (m), fish of the day (d), Did not go to the cinema as it was too late. Will go another time.

December 15, 2002

Webcamming

Got up at 8.45 a.m. Had breakfast then at 9.30 a.m.had a Web cam with Sheena, Steve, Emma, Jamie, Rickie, Ashley & Curtis. It was great talking to them and we are going to do it again Xmas Day. Had lunch on the lounge patio. Very hot day. Mooched around for rest of p.m. then at 6.00 p.m. went up to Raewyn and Tim's for drinks. John, Mandy and Callum came too. They were expecting Lucy from the top house but she did not come.

December 14, 2002

Kiwis thrash India

Today we went to the Basin, Wellington's cricket ground to see India v New Zealand. We took sandwiches, water and bought cans of beer there. The atmosphere was really good and although India did not play as well as was expected it was a really enjoyable day and the first time we have ever been to a Test match !! We went down to Courtney Place on a bus but coming back got a taxi. We went up to the neighbours for drinks, Mandy and John. Callum their little boy has red hair. He was really trying to tell us all something. David and John talked about electricity. Really nice couple. We left around 8.30 ish and then had a barby, then to bed. Graham was working on the Sunday.

December 13, 2002

Wind Turbine

Got up earlyish. Went to watch David and Vida swimming. Called into the organic shop on way back and bought Omega 3 capsules. Had a late breakfast when we got back then went up the path behind V & G's home and went a 2 hour walk. By the time we got back Graham was home from work so we then went in car to the Wind Turbine. The views up there are quite spectacular even better than Mount Victoria, also on walk in the morning we had some lovely views. It was very windy though. Called into Moore and Wilson's for groceries and fish.
Played 'Shut the Box' after dinner.

December 12, 2002

Dear diary . . .

Up today just 8.00 a.m. David and Vida swimming. I am catching up on my diary.

December 11, 2002

Mount Vic and monkfish

Didn't get up until 11.30 a.m. David got up at 10.15 a.m. Had a late breakfast/brunch and just lazed around. Waited until Graham came home from work, Vida got all her Xmas cards written and then we went out in the car to Mount Victoria to take a look at panoramic Wellington. Marvellous views all around and we could see why when coming in to land on Monday the runway did not seem that long. Cooked Monkfish and scallops which we had got from supermarket. Had it with noodles. Excellent Tried out internet with chip card on our laptop computer. Bed around 12.30 a.m.

December 09, 2002

Leaving Perth

Got up around 8.15. Had breakfast. Washed up. Started to pack. Had a struggle getting everything in but eventually managed. Gary came in for lunch and heated up some vegetable soup. We went back to the last of the packing then decided to go into Perth to Kings Park. Caught the Cat bus (blue). Changed to the red and walked rest of way up the hill to the park. Spent most ofthe afternoon walking and sitting, stopped for coffee, took photos. It is a beautiful park nicest one we have seen. Caught bus after walking back down hill. Stopped and bought a hat (M) then got on Cat bus (blue) back to G & L's. Gary made us all toasties for tea and we sat and watched a bit of tele. We said our goodbyes to Lara just after 10.00 pm and Gary drove us to the airport. Dropped us off and we checked in only to find the plane was going to be late by 1 hour which changed as time went on to 1 hour 40 minutes. Eventually left Perth at 1.20 am. Arrived in Sydney with only 1 hour left. Finding out which way to go, catching bus to transfer to International Terminal meant that boarding had already started by the time we got through immigration.

December 08, 2002

More food and more drink in the Margaret River

Set off around 9/30 a.m. Called in to the Sunday morning market in Margaret River. Small market lots of craft items etc. We then went to Leeuwin Estate and looked at the ground. Saw an artist Hobart making a sculpture of a girls' face which he was commissioned to make for some clients (welding metal plates together).
He had a good chat with Gary and Lara. We didn't sample any wines here but the grounds were lovely which is the reason they took us there. Moved on then to Happs Vineyard where there is a pottery as well. It was time then to go for lunch at the Bootleg Brewery, Gary had booked a table for 1 p.m. Excellent meals, beautiful setting and we were serenaded by a guitarist while we ate.

December 07, 2002

Eating and drinking around Margaret River

Today its the wineries, olive oil, chocolate factory, brewery. Had a good breakfast out on the verandah. Muesli, melon, boiled eggs, toast.
Set off around 9.30 a.m.. Went first to the olive oil facory, bought some Kalamata olive oil. Next stop the Candy Cow, where we saw a demonstration of the making of brittle. Bought some chilli and ginger nougat. Then on to Woody Nook where we bought port. Next Willespie wines, bought a bottle of red wine, then it was on to the chocolate factory, bought coconut rough chocolate. Stopped off for lunch at Udderly Divine. We had cheese foccaccia and a coffee. Called in next at Wood be Good this was on to the Wicked Ale brewery. I tried a light beer, David wheat beer, Lara Ginger, Gary ....driving.
We then made our way home to the cottage stopping off on the way to watch the surfers. Had a short walk along the beach took some photos then headed back to Isaacs Ridge. Cooked steak and fish on the barby. Had a salad with it. Very good. Washed up then sat and watched DVD Oceans 11. Bed around 12.15 a.m.

December 06, 2002

Down to the Margaret River

Set off for Isaacs Ridge at 10.00 a.m. On the way down we stopped for lunch in Busselton for fish and chips. Enjoyed the fish and chips. Sat on deck chairs on grass by side of beach when we had finished eating we carried on again to the cottage which Gara and Lara had booked at Margaret River. It was a lovely setting, the cottage had 2 large bedrooms, lounge, toilet, bath/shower room, laundry sink, washer. A large verandh with a barbecue. We arrived at 4.00 pm and then went into Margaret River to do some food shopping. We had a cheese platter for the evening meal, washed up then had a game of scrabble. Went to bed around 12 o'clock. Had a good sleep. Saw the kookaburros early morning when we got up.

December 05, 2002

Hilarys Harbour

Set off this morning for Hilarys Harbour around 9.00 a.m. Went up the coast road visiting places as we drove. Weather very warm and humid. Stopped on a picnic site for lunch which we had bought in a Woolworths store same as day before. We than carried on to Quinns Rock looking at all the new housing estates on the way. Some lovely houses. The Australians make the roads and put road name signs up first before building. Back down The Boulevard route 72 and stopped off for a quick cup of tea at G & L's. Took bag for repair, returned car and had a drink in pub in Perth. Got the CAT bus until 6.20 when they stop wherever they are and walked rest of way back to G & L's.

December 04, 2002

Mandurah

Got up 7.30ish. Went to Mandurah. On the way looked at motorhomes, Winnebago, Matilda. Quite impressed. Lovely harbour at Mandurah. Went into Woolworths and bought cheese, rolls, tomatoes, alfafa shoots, melon, banana. Had the lunch in car. Walked across bridgeto other side of harbour and saw Pelicans. David was able to get quite close photographic shots. Drove along coast road back and stopped to look in at a couple of places then onto Freeway 2 to Perth. Stopped at English Pub Elephant and Wheelbarrow for a drink. Had Boddingtons. Prawn dish for tea once again very good.

December 03, 2002

York

Set off today for York took us about 1 and half hours to get there and saw an Alpaca. Had a walk over the rope bridge. Small town. Looked at old Railway Station, bought a necklace, tee shirt at Town Hall which was information bureau. Sat and had pasties and coffee/muffins in the main street. Looked at vintage cars, Rolls Royce, MG, Volkswagon etc. On the way back we stopped at Northam, Tooday where Moondykne Joe reputedly lived. Stopped off at Kakoulas for muesli etc. Back to G & L's. Had a whole fish baked in oven for tea for the 4 of us. Excellent.

December 02, 2002

Toyota Corolla - best car in the world?

Got up at around 9.00 a.m. Walked down into Perth to book a car for three days. We walked the length of Hay street eventually finishing up at Bayswater Motors, Adelaide Terrace where we arranged to pick one up for 5.00 p.m. We then went into the food mall and had lunch. After that we went into Subiaco and bought wine glasses for G & L, red, white and champagne. Took them back via the CAT bus and caught a bus back in time to pick up the car at 5 o'clock. It was a Toyota Corolla. Runs very nicely. Vegetable curry for tea. Lovely.

December 01, 2002

mmmm Port

Gary took us to Subiaco around 9.30 a.m. Gary and Lara had a photography appointment for photos to send to L & T for Christmas. We met up around 10.30 ish. We had been looking around the Sunday markets. We then set off for the wineries stopping off first at Baxter/Stokes where we bought 3 bottles of wine and liquor port. We then went on to Lamonts for lunch - it was luvvly !! After that we carried on to another winery where we bought 2 bottles of wine and muscat. Stopped off at more wineries and just enjoyed sampling the wines. We looked at a winery where Gary and Lara had been to an open-air concert. Back to Perth via Golf club complex where we took photos of the Kangaroos. Cheese platter in the evening. Very good.