Just another site


on June 1, 2007

Of sorts.
It’s been so long since I wrote properly, I hardly know where to start.

First, New Zealand. We had the most amazing time. I thoroughly recommend the country for a visit. People were super-friendly as well as very laid-back, and the landscapes are stunning (and we only saw North Island, which is supposed to be the less spectacular one!) And to top it all, it hardly rained at all, just 2 or 3 days out of the whole trip.
Despite our friends and us having 3 preschoolers between us, we managed to get around a fair bit and see lots. They live near National Park, which is effectively the gateway to Mt Ngauruhoe, Tongariro and Ruapehu, and the site of a lot of LOTR filming. We saw the hotel where the film crews stayed – well it’s right by the visitor centre so you couldn’t really miss it. Mt Ngauruhoe is of course Mt Doom in the films. Sadly we didn’t get to see an eruption although apparently one of these volcanic mountains is overdue for one. We also saw Mead’s wall (where they capture Gollum) and a variety of other things. We weren’t actually aiming to see LOTR locations particularly, but since we were just a half-hour drive away it seemed silly not to. Besides, it was beautiful.
Exciting things we did that we would never normally do: very basic white-water rafting, meaning that most of the water was distinctly not white; shooting (the Engineer – two hares); fishing (me – didn’t catch anything); wandering around with Froglet in a backpack.
Highlight of the trip: Orakei Korako (you saw the picture in my previous post). It’s a thermal spring type area, really big and extremely beautiful, and you have to go across a lake in a boat to get to it. Lots of those lovely tree-like ferns, and geysers and holes spewing out steam, and fantastic pools of boiling mud. I only took one picture of them, partly because boiling mud looks like, well, mud with bubbles on it, and partly because our camera chose that moment to die. The best bit of that was as we were heading back to the boat I was thinking “I’d love to see a geyser actually doing something, Lord, but I guess I’ve seen lots of cool things today already” and then we rounded a corner and there was this bizarre noise underground and water started pouring out of a hole in the rock just over the other side of some bushes. We had to crane our necks but I got to see a geyser. 🙂 (I was expecting it to be like a fountain but it’s actually more like a bath faucet running).
Apart from that we also saw Auckland, briefly, and Wellington – where it rained heavily! And we caught a glimpse of the coast of South Island from the train too.
The best thing of all, though, was just being with our friends, who we hadn’t seen for nearly 18 months. Next time we go it would be nice to visit South Island but it would be just as much worth it if we stayed in exactly the same place and just hung out with them. Yes we are planning on going again, maybe in 2009 or 2010.

Anyway, enough of that. I’ll have to tell you about Singapore next time.

In other news, I have a cold. The weather here is utterly bizarre, snowing one minute and hot summer sun the next. (I am not even exaggerating). Today it has gone for the Early-November Drizzle with a side of Wind.

Froglet is getting terribly cute, but unfortunately it doesn’t show up in photos so much, more of a spoken thing. Yesterday he spent about five minutes repeatedly drawing my attention to a plane: “Look, a look, airplane, airplane, a look a mummy, airplane, a sky a clouds a airplane a flying, looking a mummy, a daddy’s airplane…” He puts “a” in front of most everything at the moment. He is fascinated with diggers and tractors as well as aeroplanes – although he has become slightly confused and now thinks that diggers are for mowing the hay (look mummy a gidder [sic] a mowing, vroom). He definitely has an innate preference for “boyish” things, although give him a broom and he loves pretending to sweep the floor like Mummy – except mummy never sweeps! Although this morning he pretended to ride on the broom like Pocoyo does.
He also likes helping me bake. Today we made strawberry yoghurt lollies. I cheated by using vanilla yoghurt rather than natural plus essence plus honey. But we didn’t have any natural in the fridge and I don’t know if vanilla essence is better than the bought yoghurts anyway, as they’re made with real vanilla (you can see the bits).

Alright, I’m off to get him up for lunch. More on Monday perhaps – if not it’s because my parents are coming for the week. Have a nice weekend everyone!


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