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February 22 2017

Almond Bloosom in Alaigne

December 18 2016

Driftwood

November 02 2015

August 31 2015

Swimming watch #1

August 27 2015

Dancing in Berlin

August 06 2015

Tango in Berlin

July 07 2015

April 15 2015

Queenstown to Wellington

March 24th

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I Landed in Queenstown at around midday having come over some of the most incredible scenery i’ve ever seen and made my way through passport control. Which was an odd experience as the security section made me wait to go through, because one of them was in the toilet. He came out and asked me a few questions about my trip. I assumed, as a way of finding out if i was guilty of crimes of terrorism, but no…we spoke jovial about my trip and he wished me a good trip. Now that  is what i call a welcome to a country! 

I Left the airport with my route in mind, I walked along the waters edge and up into town. a distance of around 7km, which I made in about 1.5hrs as i wasn’t rushing and was taking pics on the way. Not sunny today and temp around 20 degrees, so it was a comfortable stroll, even with backpack on.

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I went into town and into a backpackers i’d been in touch with via email called Bumbles and soon realised they wouldn’t let me stay without paying by card, as they needed card as a guarantee for damage etc…so, a bit miffed by this, i tried the next one, which was fine and i payed for 2 nights and went and found my dorm, which i shared with 2 Croatian girls, one french and a guy from Switzerland. All seemed pretty friendly but quiet. I got my comfort on and probably fell asleep quite early. 


March 25th

This morning I got up at around 7, it was a much needed sleep. I got the showering out of the way and I have decided to go for a walk around the town. on my way in a stopped at the lake to see a guy going for a dip. 

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 I popped in to a cafe called #Patagonia Chocolates and have a green super juice. checked internet, it was still there. I then made my way up to the top of the gondola, by way of the fire road. On the way up i past through many downhill mountain bike trails that looked Awesome! It was a slow and steady climb to around 450m above the town, with some impressive views over lake #wakatipu and #Queenstown.

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I took the Tiki Trail back down, which was a long winding and quite a treacherous path in parts, down through the more dense part of the forest.

After a bit of milling about at the hostel, I went down to the lake and sat on a rock and made some techno. nice spot for it.

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March 26th

Today I met up with an old friend of some friends of mine. we chatted a bit about mutual friends and things to do in #Queenstown. He very kindly offered to lend me his bike whilst i was here, so I took up the offer and went back to his with him and picked it up and rode back into town along the #Shotover river. 

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I got back to town and went to the botanical gardens and sat just across from the hostel i was staying in.

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I went to the hostel and had some food, then went off up the lake for a look. I followed the path out of town that follows the Glenorchy road and came across a little secluded bay at #Sunshine Bay and the water was pretty bloody incredible. 

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That evening i went to a talk being held in the town, by a guy called #Tom #Perko. Originally from Croatia, Tom Perko left a career as a stockbroker in the aftermath of the financial crisis, and decided to follow his dream to travel the world. this talk was about how to do that very thing on very little or no money. it was quite interesting. It would have been more so if it hadn’t have become obvious that he was sponsored by master card and dropped subliminal adverts into his presentation as a result. You can’t get away from advertising it seems. Initially enthused by the talk,  I left feeling a bit dirty!


March 27th

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Got up and went to the lake, considered jumping in and reconsidered and I went on a long ride instead.  http://rnkpr.com/a8w4j03 Taking me to Kelvin Heights and the #Queenstown golf course on the other side of the water from the town, this ride was a pretty simple excursion with some lovely spots. 

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And there was a nice sunset this evening :)

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March 28th

Today was wet and cold, so as a result, I decided to stay in bed and watch films all day…it was really just what I needed. Also, there was a double rainbow, which was cool.

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This evening, a few of us from the hostel had some drinks in the common room and went out on the town for some ‘Dancing’! Back at the hostel at around 2am and slept hard. 


March 29th

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The #Remarkables lived up to their name this morning. As did the word #hangover. today was a slow but nice day with more rain and breaks of sun, causing more #rainbows

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March 30th

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I left my hostel, the lakeside in Queenstown, at around 11am and got the bike that simon had leant me and took it to a bike shop to get the back tire pumped up. Then I hang around for the morning, in town, taking in the lake view a bit more and  then head off towards Simon and Liss’ place, via the Queenstown trail to #Frankton. I stop at a few shops to try and get a lead for my iPhone that i had lost previously, i end up in a Dixons equivalent and get what i need for $15! BARGAIN! Better than the $30 for the mac made version. I went into a cafe to have tea and cake, saw a girl who i was sharing a dorm at the hostel who worked there. which was a nice surprise, we exchanged polite chit chat, i had my tea and cake and i moved on. Back on the bike to follow the Shooter river to Simons place..It was around 3 at this point, simon lived about 15km if i went the long way and i was due there at 6pm, so i had to draw this out somewhat, so i went further along the trail, past the turning i would take to Si’s place which allowed me to see some more of the river basin and some fucking cool hand dug and carved fire pits and seating, by the river.

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I made it to Si’s place at 6pm, prior to which I had picked a load of walnuts from the trees behind his place. He wasn’t there, so I sat on a chair in the sun for 5 mins or so, till Liss’s mum put her head out the door and said hi. I introduced myself and explained I had called, but assumed no-one was back yet and took my seat and waited. All good there, she offered me tea and we chatted briefly, Liss appeared from behind a wall of boxes and shortly after, Simon returned home.WITH CURRY and beers. We inhaled the curry, had a beer and set about packing the truck with belongings to go to Christchurch. We got about 2/3 of the truck filled and decided to finish the following morning. So I made camp on a fold up sofa bed and checked my email etc, then passed out, ready for an early start. 


March 31st

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Up at 6am, out of bed at 7am, then scoffed some hot x buns had tea, then Simon and I carried on with the packing, which took us to around 11am.. Truck FULL…very very full and we still didn’t manage to get all of the stuff in. But we had to get on the road to reach the storage place in Christchurch by 5:30…the next 6 hours was a pleasure for me, I was driving Simons Subabru with a load of stuff crammed into it. the views were stunning, through the pass from Queenstown to the lowlands, past lakes #Pukaki and #Tekapo and views of #MtCook, through #Glider country and onwards to #Christchurch to unload the truck and car into the lock up. we were late, but they held on for us regardless…which was really really cool of them. Si and I unloaded the truck and car in around 2 hours then went to the pub across the road foe a well earned burger and a beer! Bliss after a day like that…we then headed to #Oxford, another hour, to where Liss and Si were staying for the next 3 weeks or so..we arrived in the dark and I made a bed in the hay barn (always wanted to) and slept with the farm cat, a very good night of sleep.


April 1st

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This morning at around I woke up in the barn, packed my stuff and went up to Liss’s sisters house for a shower..DAIYUM that felt good…Liss cooked up fresh scrambled eggs on toast for us all and Si and Liss gave me a little something for helping them out with the move. Truly sweet and really very helpful for the next few days. Si left at around 9:30 and at 10am, Liss dropped my in Woodend on route 1 on the south island. I was to start my Hitching trip north to Kaikoura. today and within 10mins I had a lift. Guy called Nick who was only going to the next town, but he was nice enough to stop and it was my first hitch in over 20 years, so why not. He was on his way back from a meeting with a farmer about his goats breaking down fencing and ring fencing trees…he was relaying how annoying the goats are and musing about it all the same. He dropped me just past the Waikuku bridge, a distance of around 7km..but hey, it all works.
My next lift was an old english guy, from Norfolk, who was an ex merchant navy man…he was happy to tell me about all the things wrong with NZ and it seemed to boil down to two things, the Kiwis and their sense of humour, or lack of it! He was a miserable old goat and, although he was heading all the way to Nelson (which i’d like to get to), I was happy with getting out in #Amberely where he left Route 1. He was thankful for the chat and I thanked him for the the ride and walked into a bar in #Amberley and asked for the info centre and was directed to the #Hurunui council offices. As I walked into the offices, I was met by a kind looking elder lady, called Rose. She asked where I was heading, I explained I was going North by way of Kaikoura, she told me about the best place to get free wifi, about Buses and trains, though she wasn’t sure on the times of each service, merely that they existed. She was really nice and made me feel very at ease. she commented on how little stuff I was carrying for my trip and said, had she been younger, she would have packed in the same way, but not any more as she liked her luxuries to much now.
With the knowledge of free wifi and buses etc, I left the council building and looked around and decided to hit the road again and try the thumb again..it had done me well till this point, so I may as well carry on. it was around 11am at this point..
I walked up the road out of Amberley, north again. As I made my way with thumb dangling to my right side, water bottle in my left hand, trucks thundered past, cars screamed past, some acknowledging me and signalling they were turning off shortly. I then had a guy pull over in a Holden SRS V8…This looked like it was going to be a weird ride…it wasn’t, it was AWESOME..I told him I was heading to Kaikoura and he said, yeah, no problem..I hopped in and had a great trip with Matt. He told me about the places we past, including a shed occupied for the past 70 years by the same guy who had only recently had electricity installed and all the gizmos that go with it..Sky, Heating, Washing machine etc..He told me about the hunting and fishing in the mountains to our left  and the diving and boating on the sea to our right.. he also gave me a can of Bourbon and coke, offered me a couple of cigarettes and then dropped me right in the centre of Kaikoura…He was on his way to Picton for the weekend from work in Christchurch where he had 12 days off. I thanked him very much for the epic ride and mentioned I may see him in Picton when i get there. He said “Sure, just keep an eye out for the car” with that a manly wave and he was off.
I wandered into the Adelphi bar where there is a backpackers lodge, asked if they had space…apparently no longer a lodge! had a coffee, struggled with their wifi and moved up the road about 200m to where I sit now, the Fishtank hostel..which is lush and has free wifi and amazing view from the common room balcony. $30 per night (around £15) and its all I need right now. Last night I slept in a hay barn, which was epic in its own way. Shared with the farm cat and slept like a lord!

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I went to have a look at the beach soon after checking in to he hostel and found myself just over 4km away, looking at #seals on the #Kaikoura #peninsula. It was a great day for a stroll and the sun was warm on my back on the way and warm on my face on the way back. One word of warning, should you (dear reader) ever venture on such a walk. Be prepared for the overwhelming stench of rotting seaweed! It’s aroma is similar to gone off eggs mixed with chucked up throat bile and constant If the wind is in the right (wrong) direction. I got back to the hostel and had a lovely hot shower and as I had no soap or deodorant, but plenty of talc, I  peppered my pits with it, to suppress the potential/inevitable smell of sweat…
I walked out to the beach and off up towards the station to get to a whole food cafe called Hislops. Having got to the rail station, I realised the railway separates the beach from the town and the only way across is to hop across the lines and through a hole in the fence, so thats what i did…along with many a local it would seem. I got to Hislops and had a Lentil burger and a beer..it was very nice! then walked back to the hostel, checking out places for some sugary stuff on the way, but nowhere was open, thankfully..I may sleep well tonight then!

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April 2nd

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Next day (being Thursday) I got up slowly and got myself together after a shower at around 10:30 only to realise that I had left it a bit late to get a fully hot shower..it was luke warm but enough for me to wash myself and a few of my clothes. once done, I hung out the clothes to dry and chilled in the hostel…I had a brunch of avocado, nectarine and Kiwi. I sat in the hostel on line for a while, tried to continue making some music but got frustrated with it. I got my shorts on and went down to the beach…had a paddle and looked for some #paurea shells by the rocks and as that didn’t really come to fruition, I walked along the beach towards a group of people having a dip in the waves. I reckoned on them being local and knowing it was a relatively safe spot to go in because the shoreline was filled with really jagged rocks beneath the surface. So I sat and mustered up the steel to go in myself…it took half an hour but once i did it, i was pleased to be able to say I have swum in the pacific east coast of NZ. It was freezing though..so it was a brief emersion. I walked on further up the beach to dry off in the sun. Beautiful day at around 23 degrees. I had some chips at around 4:30, they were brilliant..then I went and got some Sushi at 6pm. After 6pm all the sushi becomes half price…good to know. I walk out realising I hadn’t been given my change and went back to get it..that caused a little fuss, but nothing to much, She gave me my change without me having to push for it to much, so all well. At 8pm I had a Skype call for a job in Berlin, I think I waffled and possibly sounded like a oaf..however, it was nice to make contact and speak about the job none the less.
I slept well after a bit more music making and a lot of biscuits!

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Friday 3rd…

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…started well, lovely sunrise beaming through the window and shower at full temperature. I left the hostel at around ten to ten and walked towards the train station…on a whim, i decicded to go by train to Picton today..I asked the train manager if i could buy a ticket, she told me “Sorry love, we’re Choco” “No worries” I say and i refocused onto the idea of Hitching…sat down for a bit of back rest from carrying the backpack and as the train was about to leave, the train manager popped her head out and with a big grin said “Hop in, we have some spare seats in the cafe” on I got and i’m so  glad i did…It was amazing scenery on the journey to Picton…Got to see the #Kairoura #surf spot, which was great…the waves glisten in the sun light, a few bodies silhoutted as they rode them, with the sun behind them. looked like a moooovie!

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I arrived in Picton at around 12:30pm and the sun is still blazing. Its a great day and my first thought is to find a place to sleep, so going via the super market to pick up some grub, i make my way to a big hill covered in trees. A hill that leads to Bobs cove, Queen Charlottes view and Snout head. I walk up and down windey sandstone paths, carved out of the side of the hill and descend into Bobs Cove. its a beautiful spot with grass lined shine beach and its here i take off my very heavy back pack..On inspection, the sea is a no go as its full of jelly-fish. 

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I have some lunch instead and bask in the sun a bit, then get my stuff together and carry on towards Queen Charlottes view..its a hot day and time for my hat to come out. With a bit more hard trudging up and down more windey paths and stone roads, i make it to QCV..Pretty fucking incredible it is too.
After a bit of time staring out over the view, i decide to have ago at sketching it, which amounts to some scribbles on a page. None the less, its a start at trying to get out of the habit of photographing everything and remembering what i am looking at without digital celluloid…


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Having not much water left, i start to get a bit frustrated and its time to move on out of the sun and I decide that rather than carrying on in the same direction I will head back and make a point of looking for somewhere to crash out for the night. I head back on a reciprocal vector along the path I have come along and look for some flat ground, which there is very little of as this is one steep mutha of a hill and I am walking the ridge for the most part. I finally find a break in the hedgerow and go take a look, it catches my attention initially as there is a one lone gum tree trunk that is lit by the sun and it catches my eye, so in I go and move past the Gum tree and further into a small clearing, also lit by the sun. If i wasn’t sure about this place, my decision is made by my sleeping bag getting caught on a vine and being pulled from its housing on my back pack and hitting the floor…Voila! here I will stay tonight.
First thing i instinctively do, is set up my brazilain flag/sarong as a windbreak. Then I unfurl the sleeping bag and roll it out..it is still really warm outside of the canopy of trees at this point but under here, its cool and a good way of acclimatising to the cold night ahead..I try it out for comfort and remove a few sticks from underneath and all seems well…I sit there for a bit, then decide to go back out on to the path and check out the view and warm up a bit more..its about 5pm at this point. after a 5 or 10 min stare out into the bay, I go back to ‘camp’ and take a snooze…I wake up again at about 7pm and smash some avocado and tomato into a bit of bread and hoof that down…As the sun goes down, the birds come in and check me out, really close too. so I chat to them for a bit. Once its dark, however,  I hear footsteps over the brush on the forest floor. I stay still and wait for them to get close then hit the torch on my phone to see a Possum..he comes over and checks me out, seems totally unfazed by me and comes with in 2 foot of where I am laying. I try to encourage him over with outstretched hand and the odd grunt…he flies in the face of convention and spurns my attention and heads off in the direction of some darker patch of wooded area. The possums kept checking me out during the night and barked and clicked for attention quite often. Having said that, I slept well and was super warm all night. 


Saturday 4th…

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…i woke up at around 6am and waited for th3 light to get to a stage where colour definition was clear in the leaves, so i could move around without taking my eye out. I had a baby wipe bath and got dressed, packed by stuff up and walked out on to the path and headed back to Picton along the ridge, stopping briefly on the peak at Harbour view overlooking both Picton and Waikawa, to smash an avocado and tomato for breakfast. It was a lovely walk and I ended up in a cafe in picton to charge my laptop and phone, where I am writing this now. all good! 

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After walking about a bit and checking out the weather forecast (a past time of mine) I have decided to get a hostel bed again. This brings me to the Atlantis Hostel in Picton..Its cool. like a stage set. The rooms are colourful and the amenities are all shared but with the added bonus of having free tea, coffee and toast!! Awesome! Very wide range of ages and cultures and it seems very mellow, for now! there is someone doing a puzzle on the pool table, there are people playing chess, people reading and others laying about asleep and chilling from, I imagine’ growing pains and nothing more, judging by the age of them!!

The place is owned by an american family, one of whom has just lit the wood burner…its really not that cold and I doubt it will be if last night is anything to go by. However, perhaps it will be nice to have it going later..It was due to rain this afternoon and as much as it looks like it will, it hasn’t yet..this might bring cooler weather. This hostel looks like it could be quite good fun but my intention is to leave and head to Nelson tomorrow, despite the forecast for the coming days being a wet one (with the exception of tomorrow, being Easter Sunday).

Meanwhile I have found myself playing with Ableton and making all sorts of noises with it..playing with th FX to make some form of groove or some such rubbish…more chess going on in the room and laughter about, who knows what..theyre french!! I got involved with doing a puzzle with a few people. 7 in fact and we completed one that had already been started the day previous…then started ‘The worlds Hardest Puzzle’ or so it said. With 7 of us, we managed to knock it out of the park. I spoke with english guy Tom, French guy Guillome and Swedish guy Florian, who we called ‘The Connector’ because of his self proclaimed prowess at connecting puzzle pieces! Then, Tom, Guillome and a french girl who’s name I didn’t get, watched oceans 11…then bed and i watched another film, ‘The Equaliser’ with Denzel Washington, and went to sleep amidst a international snore off in a 28 bed dorm!

This hostel gives free breakfast, tea and coffee in the mornings. which is fantsatic for travellers, like myself, on a budget. It means I can save cash and spend on beauty products!!.


Sunday 5th…

..after a short but deep sleep, I woke up, had a cold shower as the hot wasn’t awake it seems, then dressed and had some breakfast. I then got my bag together and tried to work out my next move..Hitching or bus to Nelson..or do another night at the hostel. I chose to move on and at about 10am I left the Atlantis hostel and headed for Queen Charlottes drive, the scenic route to Nelson from Picton. I got some very strange looks and some sarcastic waves and thumbs. The rain clouds were looming over the hills that Picton is surrounded by and mist topped some of the higher ones. Standing there for half an hour I went through some decisions as to whether I walk the road, stay where I am, or go back to town and after that amount of time, I had convinced myself it was to early and I should go back to town and get a coffee or at least some shelter in case the rain burst…one more car came towards me, i thumbed it and it stopped!!! AWESOME…3 dutch students on their way to Nelson…Couldn’t be better..we spoke of the whole journey about Holland and its different dialects and peoples, including the Friesians who were described as a 'friendly but odd breed of people’. We also spoke about stereotypes, within Dutch and English cultures and I may have insulted them briefly, but chose to ignore and plough ahead till we were all laughing about small gene pools etc..they were a good bunch, Ronda 19 student, Dom 21 student and Danny 21 travelling. When we got to Nelson, I thanked them for the ride, wished them well on their onward journey and went off to find a hostel for the night. I came across some wifi, had a look and went to the closest which was The Palace backpackers, a beautiful building up on a mount overlooking the main city centre. seemed its interior was designed around some Tolkien esq stories with gothic touches around a large american farmhouse style facade. A veranda on the 1st floor that goes around the 2 sides of the building that have a vista over Nelson. with mellow lighting and comfy seating so as to enjoy the warm autumn evenings in relative comfort. Which is where here I am now sat, writing this and taking a look out over the city at the mountains and the clouds, stars etc. Quite a chilled place and I really like it…I might like to run a hostel myself, like this, one day.

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Monday 6th

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This morning i woke up, did the usual morning routine…jump out of bed, shower, have some breakfast and stand still for half an hour  wondering where to go…Decision made, i borrowed the hostels bike and rode to the beach at Tahunanui. I parked the bike against a tree and walked out onto the soft sand looking out over Nelson. I went and  stood underneath a structure made from driftwood and looked over the bay where It occurred to me there were far fewer mountains and houses today than yesterday! This could be explained by one of 2 things, Alien invasion (unlikely as i was still alive) or huge rain clouds…it turned out to be the latter, as no sooner was i out on the beach, away from tree covering, was i enveloped in a shroud of mist and rain..the wet kind! Whipped out my rain coat and ran for cover…got on the bike and rode back around the harbour in the rain, grinning like a mentalist and singing no song in particular. it was super warm still and as i got closer to the port of Nelson, i stopped and took a look at the water over the harbour side..

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I had really fancied a dip and this seemed like the ideal place to stop and do it or just think about doing it. So i stopped, looked, thought and that didn’t get me anywhere, so i did…which was much better. The water was just right, but as the tide was pulling hard and on its way out, it was not as pleasurable as it might have been..in fact it scared the shit out of me and again, I laughed like a drain and carried on..

After getting back to the hostel, I got in touch with an old mate, Jamie Coppins and organised meeting for lunch. This is his home town and much like my home town, its a fishing town. He gave me the low down on the local area, gave me some pointers and after maybe 3 years…it was great to catch up with him again. Thanks for Lunch JC

I spent the rest of the afternoon in the hostel, with one trip out to buy veg…had steamed veg for dinner and watched some films..before trying to go to sleep..unfortunaltey, as is the way in Hostels it seems…I had inadvertently entered another snoring competition…without the right tools for the job…it was like trying to sleep amongst a herd feeding pigs..Why me?? Needless to say i slept eventually, i must have done because…


Tuesday 7th

….I remember waking up feeling slightly edge and super tired. My body, however, has this inbuilt turbo mechanism that starts up as soon as i open my eyes in the morning, so i can’t go back to sleep…so up i got and off into morning routine..out of bed, shower and breakfast…Shortly after this, i made my way back to the dorm to pack and went down to pay the piper…instead of paying for the previous night, i found myself paying for an extra night, as the rain was falling and hitching in it was not high on my list of things to do. This, i may regret tomorrow. 

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I mooched about a bit then took Coppins advice to go climb up to The Centre of New Zealand..a high point above #Nelson The name of which reflects the work of John Spence #Browning the Chief Surveyor for Nelson in the 1870’s.  He used the top of the hill as a central survey point for doing the first geodetic survey of New Zealand. It is not the actual centre point now, thats 2km away..but not far off.  It was a very overcast day and had been very wet up until i left the hostel to climb it…it was still very warm and there was a lot of moisture in the air and the wind was blowing nicely, to take the edge of the muggyness. 

It was great to blow out any cobwebs and I popped into town on the way back and grabbed someveg for dinner…and, like last night, I had a shed load of steamed veg that, after eating, gave me more energy than I knew how to handle…Played chess against a fellow brit, spoke with Steffan who has been here for 2.5 years, in this hostel. Nice guy and a gentle soul who has seen life from a very different angle to most. I wish him the best.
This evening I am keen to get to Wellington and a bit concerned about my money situation…needless to say, I have enough to get the boat, a hostel and a bus if needed…but nothign else! So, in the morning I will be stocking up with food to take with me. I have a bit of veg left, i’ll smash the granny out of an avo before I leave and i’ve an energy bar and some bread pudding to see me through till friday night/saturday morning..this is going to be an interesting experience.
Bon nuit


Wednesday 8th

I woke up at 6am having slept really well. A solid 8 hours. I jumped into a slightly different routine and packed bag, dragged myself down to the kitchen and made a concotiion of whizzed up kale, milk water and honey. some toast with honey and tea to follow. the Kale concotion took a bit of spoon use as it was a mixture of liquid and veg pulp and not the usual ‘Juice’ style of drink the europeans have been convinced is good for them in the past 2 years…all good though. I got my room key deposit back on my way up to the room. got my bags together and left to go get a coach…I was considering the hitching option and chose coach due to the weather. However, as is often the case, I should have trusted myself and hitched, as the weather was not so bad. Less rain and more ‘overcast with outbreaks of sun. still, all good and the coach journey was nice and dropped me at the ferry terminal building in Picton where I am now sitting writing this. I am on my way to Wellington and sat here resisting the urge to buy coffee or biscuits, just because they are there…I don’t need either. I have been trying to make contact with people via couchsurfing.com, to find a place to stay tonight and tomorrow, however, I’ve not had much luck as yet and am considering the possibility of sleeping out under the stars again tonight and tomorrow. I am down to $25, so i’ll  potentially hostel it this evening and sleep out tomorrow…this would leave me with no money for food..which could well be a problem, or not! :)
I’ve survived on worse before, so I know where I can get food if needed… I’m overlooking the forest where I slept a few nights ago and realising how far I walked before I stoped for the night..its a long old ridge!!

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At times like these, I realise how stressed I get if I have no money..and how I forget to enjoy myself regardless…I’ve lived on zero money before and had quite a good time in the process…albeit very untraditional.  I still haven’t quite learned how to relax and stop the rush of adrenalin that surges when i think i’m in danger, when I really am not!  I was glad to leave the hostel in Nelson, although it was very comfortable and welcoming, it also had a grip on people and there were a few souls there who had got stuck and didn’t see the opportunity or need to leave..it felt a bit like a home for strays at times. Its good that it exists for these people, as some of them might well be homeless otherwise.
This boat ride up through the Marlborough sounds and in wellington is meant to be pretty good. A 3 hr trip to look overboard. I’ve lost my sunglasses!! This is a shame as they were very good, however, the lenses were scratched to hell, so about time I got a new pair really.
I’m now on the ferry at the front and inside for now..i’ll probably go outside as we get going through the straits..but for now, I have a table and a comfy seat and a good view. both of where we are heading and a rather tanned girl from  france or spain I imagine.
So, I have decided to use my last NZ dollars to get a hostel tongiht, then i will go and find a place to exchange the £40 I have in my wallet. I am down to the last bean again….but dam i’m good at it!!
After approaching a bank and it being closed, and an english guy coming out and telling me as much, I ask him if he knows of anywhere I might be able to make the exchange..we chatrted a bit, he was a really cool guy from Lancashire who had also been to Bridport oddly, and was off back to the UK in August so he offered to do a 2/1 swap and gave me 80NZ$ for my £40…I was totally blown away by his generosity.  I then went to a hostel to find it was to much $$ for me, so went to where I am now, the Rosemere at $30..what a place! like a haunted house on a hill. but cool and just what i need for the night. I went down the hill into a bit of the town and found a place called ‘Capital Market’ food court, I bought some lemon grass and chilli chicken with noodles, it was amazing!! Really really good stuff..thanks ‘Where’s Charlie’ vietenmese place…great feeding :)

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The evening lasted till about 9:30pm when I decided to turn in…unfortunately, I was woken up again at about 11pm, by the sound of laughing, shouting and crowds in general outside the window of the room. This went on till around 3am, with people sharing the dorm room being loud and thoughtless to us who were trying to sleep…all in all, my experience of this hostel was not one I would like to repeat or recommend…but then I am sensitive to sounds when I sleep. But this combo of noises was more than anyone could handle. I eventually passed out at about 3:30am…


Thursday 9th

…and woken up again at 6am by someone cleaning the courtyard where all the noise was going on the previous night…Room 20, Rosemere backpackers….I could not warn you off this place more…it is situated below some stairs, next to the prime meeting/smoking/drinking spot with direct window access and unless the hostel is empty, I would imagine it is as hellish, as it was for me, every night.
I checked out a few places with in a 10min walk and left that place as quickly as I had arrived. I walked down Dixon towards the centre of town and on route to Base backpackers I saw Wellywood backpackers (AKA WildZebra)  so popped in to see if they had room and how much…they did it was $22 so went for it. being 8am, i couldn’t go to the dorm and had to wait till 2pm for that. so i went up to the common room/kitchen which resembles some London based agencies I have worked in and some co-working spaces, which I have not. Its spacious and light, with sofas all around and some dining tables in the middle of the room. There are plug points all over the place, so I settled myself for various things I needed to do today and charged my laptop and phone, watched some internet crap for an hour or so, then searched for a postoffice, so I could send Simon his sleeping bag, which he had very kindly leant me, back to his place in Christchurch.

I left the hostel and went to do the post, I couldn’t send the bag as it was, because no address sticker would  adhere to it. I went for a walk to find some parcel tape. I asked a cobbler guy if he knew where i might get some tape in the area, he offered me his roll! This place is stunning…people (and i’ll maintain this is the norm) are so helpful and friendly. I used a bit of his tape, thanked him very much and went and posted said bag.
I walked out of the shopping centre and off towards the harbour and came across the museum..so, when in Wellington, go do culture! so I did…amazing building and super cool stuff in there. I took some pics of things I was allowed to and moseyed back to the hostel, via supermarket to buy some supplies, and lunch is now being consumed.

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In the time i have been out and about, there have been around 20 pople in the hostel comonon room who haven’t left the room….and its not so bad out there.
after a bit of lunch and some more internet pointlessness, I checked out getting to Mt Victoria..so off I went, it took me no more than 20mins to get to the top where there is a 360 degree viewing point of Wellington.  You wind up some very steep paths with tree roots jutting out all over the place. Off the paths are various bike trails. ranging from easy to trouser filling. It was wet after the rains we’ve had in the past 2 days and it felt like it was very much needed. By all accounts, It has been a vey very dry summer here in NZ, so the rain has been very welcome. its still super green everywhere though. 

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Quite a view, even with an overcast weather system…I took some pics and worked my way down.
It woke me up and put a smile on my face…since arriving in Wellington, the urge to get home has been strong..this is probably down to a combination of the weather and my having reached the extent of my budget for NZ. I have 3 days in Melbourne, which will be nice, then i’m heading home…I know i’ll miss being away, so i’ll make plans for when I get back, to make sure i’m not to stagnent for to long.  


Friday 10th

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Today I check out of the last hostel I will be in, in NZ and most probably a long time..My intention is to head to the airport this evenig and stay there so i can check in at 4am for my flight at 6am. I have most of the day to kill and $20 to my name, so i can get some food later and a bus to the sirport, unless i walk, which might be the better and more healthy option. The weather is such that at around lunch time it will become clear..er! so i mgiht have a good chance of making it there without falling fowl of huge amounts of rain. 

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I wondered about town for a bit, took a look at some other places, it was raining so i din’t stay out long. I then waited till the weather cleared (around 3pm) and left the hostel and walked towards the airport. I passed the Wellington Cricket museum/ground and had a peak. Lovely old ground with great stadium stuctures, though in need of a bit of TLC.  Something i noticed all around Wellington, a lot of shops closed or uninhabited and a lot of run down buildings mixed amongst some great old places..I’m not sure if this is the norm or this place has also been hit by a financial implosion of some kind…Either way, i’d like to spend more time here, living and working. It has a really nice feel about it and the people (everywhere in NZ) are sooo friendly. Which in turn makes me more friendly…Sickening isn’t it??

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Anyway, I walked on and found myself at Lyall Bay, a beach with a surf break, right beside the airport…it was kinda super cool to come across it. I needed the loo real bad, and went into the Lyal Bay surf savers club and asked if there was a loo “next building along” came the reply from a smiley sea dog…

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I went, I did, I left and went and sat on the beach, by a huge bit of drift wood with an eye carved into it and watched the surfers for a bit. 

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 The waves, though not all that fast, were long and clean. The riders clearly enjoying every second they were on them. after staying on the beach for a while, i felt rain, so i hot footed it along the beach towards the airport, worked my way through the back streets to a tunnel which passes beneath the runway and went into the airport. 

I was 12 hours early! so my immediate thought was to find a place to hide…then i saw the notice i was hoping i wouldn’t come across… “This is Airpot is closed to the public between 2am and 3:30am” AHHHHHHHHH, my plans were going wrong!!I went to Jetstar desk and explained I had arrived 12 hours early and was hoping i might be able to stay in the airport over night, as i had used up all my funds, they said, “go see the info desk”, i went to find the info desk downstairs in baggage reclaim.. iasked a grl at the vodafone counter where it was, she pointed at it, it was closed “Can i help?” she was kind enough to suggest. I told her my predicament and she said “Sure you can stay here” she explained what i had to do and i parted that desk thanking her very much and with a big grin on my face. Back on track.
I keep finding things that need to happen, just do in this country…it’s so weird and so cool…I really like it…and it comes down to how kind people are. becasue there is no animosity or arrogance blocking the channels of clear thinking and good thoughts/deeds. It all just works! Bit of a revelation. you might be able to tell.
In the time I was sat waiting for the weather to clear, I applied for 3 jobs, contacted 2 event companies and did a survey to see if i was a worthy entrant to the country. See how that goes once I leave..Oh, and I reapplied for a 3 month visa for Oz and got it…so, I could stay till July if needed!
anyway, reassured by the airport accomodation (seating), I have gone to Burger King and topped up on their yummy goodness and now feel sick and guilty. I have found a spot in the airport with free wifi and a plug and am sat here writing this, with my back to the window which looks over the runway and all the exciting aerwoplanes! Once charged I will have to disapear into international arrivals and keep my head low. Maybe play some more chess against my phone.

At around midnight, an international flight has landed and there are people accumulating in the arrivals lounge i was trying to sleep in. I sit up and watch people arriving, families, lone travellers and as one lady comes through the doors, a Haka starts up at the other side of the room to welcome her home..now THAT, is a cool welcome home. 


Sat 11th

Flying back to Melbourne :)

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February 12 2015

January 30 2015

Happy Birthday

September 26 2014

Milliband

Ed Milliband is possibly one of the most dangerous men alive right now. Firstly for not having any form of argument for not performing air strikes over Iraq and being in complete agreement with Cameron, makes him another conservative lacky.
2nd point is this, when seeing him take part in scottish referendum activities he showed nothing but contempt for the yes campaigners and he clearly was having his ego boosted by his party of yes men because he genuinely seemed to be so set in his opinion that you could be mistaken for thinking it had been written out for him.
The guy is a joke and needs to be reigned in and removed from office before he allows any more disastrous misdemeanours to take place.
He has no balls, no gusto and as put by a presenter on Resonance 104.4 today, he has as much charm as a jellied eel!
So why is he where he is?
The conservatives needed a ‘Bender’ like robot (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a6/Bender_Rodriguez.png) in opposition. One that can be fed instructions and repeat what he is told, when he is told, various bile ridden speeches. Whilst all the while looking unthreatening and rather hapless!
Danger Danger, High Voltage!!!

September 10 2014

Bonnie Scotland

Better together: I think they feign a No campaign and really want an Independant Scotland. They are doing such a shocking campaign that this can be the only explanation.
And all under the surreptitious guise of a form of divide and conquer strategy.

August 31 2014

Did you see that?

Many years ago, I went to sleep after ( as far as I remember ) an ordinary day. During my sleep I dreamt of walking into my local record shop and walking up to the counter to see an old friend(Lee Burridge) listening to records behind the counter. A scene that used to be pretty regular a few years before. Subsequently, Lee had moved to Hong King, to follow a soon to be, very successful DJ career.
The next day I made my daily trek to the very same shop. I walked in and lo and behold, exactly has I had dreamt, there was Lee. In the very same position, same clothes and exactly as I had seen in my sleep mode.
Rather than being freaked out, I thought this super cool & told him I had dreamt about him being there the night before.
I’m not sure how well he took it, but we passed that moment and chatted a bit, listened to some more tunes and departed in good spirits to go on with the day.
I remember feeling a sense of De-Ja-Vu as I went I to the shop and from then on realised that the De-Ja-Vu phenomena was little more than a memory of a future thought or premonition.
I’ve had chats with people since then about this and it’s safe to say, I’m pretty much alone in my thinking. Although it’s still my opinion and it makes more sense to me than an ‘anomaly of memory’ as described by Edward B Titchener in his book ‘A Textbook of Psychology’ from 1928. In which he describes it ‘as caused by a person having a brief glimpse of an object or situation, before the brain has completed “constructing” a full conscious perception of the experience’.
To me this sounds like a bit of a cop out, and has as less evidence than my theory. At least in my experience anyway.
I also feel that my ability to foretell or pre-experience in this way, has been lost. Either by the over use of drink to put me to far under in a sleep environment, to remember anything of this nature. Or, that I have been contaminated by an intake of various narcotics and poisons over the years, which have rendered this ability dormant.
I am going to make a concerted effort to clean my mind and body, so that I can again realise these skills and learn how to best utilise them for the good of me and my surroundings.
Innit!

August 26 2014

Pent up

I’m say in a local hotel having a coffee. In the last 24 hours there has been enough rain to fill a swimming pool with a deep end depth of 60 metres. In the time that the rain was entertaining itself on pavements and car roofs, I was sat in a state of limbo, with no idea of how to enjoy outdoor time, for fear of getting wet! IDIOT
I was close to going for a swim in the sea, whilst it rained, and all that stopped me was the challenge of getting wet whilst riding down and changing I to dry cloths in a rain storm, on a beach! I could have thought more laterally and worked it out. However, as I was sat wa and dry, it didn’t seem like a priority at that moment.
Necessity is the mother of invention and all that.
Biscuits and tea are the father of contrition!

Today, is weather positive. Energy released will now take place. Possibly in the sea and definitely on the bike!

As you were

August 11 2014

My theory on Alzheimer's

I have sat and looked out of this window at the rain for a long time. In that time, the subject of my own mental well being has come into question many times. On a few occasions I have related mental well being through the family and speculated in what I might be in for in future years. Alzheimer’s has reared it’s head in my family through the years. Most noticeably with my mums mum and my dad’s dad.
Over time I though about my gran(mums mum) and how she was with me and my sister when we were young. She was every funny, witty, unbelievably intelligent yet in public she as a doting wife who did not say anything out of turn. Suppressing herself to suit polite society and it’s strange parameters. I often wondered why the change of face, as to a child it was a strange metamorphosis to behold.
My Grandad was a kind man from what I remember, I really do t remember to much else. However, where he lived didn’t denote the living space of an adventurer or explorer. He was happy with his lot and his wife and he never rocked the boat or liked the boat being rocked.
As u got older and learned that it was t just my gran who morphed in public from the private self. And that there were thousands who sat in retirement just withering away with a spouse who’s boats never left the harbour in their latter years, let alone rocked it.
I found myself with my gran one day at a home for the elderly, after the passing of her husband and my grandpa, chatting a bit about the weather, doing jigsaw and occasionally making light hearted remarks about the nurses. It occurred to me that with her, I had never had a conversation more meaningful than the best way to spread seaweed on the compost heap! Not that she wasn’t capable, she was a graduate from Ridgelands bible college, whilst my grandpa graduated from both Oxford and Cambridge, in a time when a degree was not to sniffed at. However, I always felt that she was holding something back and the same is true of my mum. There was the innate fear of rocking the boat. Suppression in its most terrible form, suppression of the true self.
Many years later mum said that gran had recessed to a time when she was 16 or 17 and every now and the. Would mention an old flame or her father and the horses. Forgetting who mum was, was one of the hardest things she had to face from gran. It was a person she knew but the brain wasn’t.
Over 60 years my gran had suppressed her true self to meet the needs of everyone else and as a result, as she got older and weaker of mind, she could no longer continue the Facade and her mind just Popped! Back to a time when she was most at one with herself.
This is in a nutshell, my theory on Alzheimer’s.
It’s is a state of mind caused by prolonged suppression of the true self. This In turn causes a mind-melt in later life.
In the same way a river cuts through soft land to find it’s natural path. If it is damned consigning it to unnatural constraints, then the pressure behind the dam increases and needs to be let out once in a while, if not, that damn breaches and causes massive amounts of damage to the surrounding area. In the case of the mind, this would be the family and friends.
This is so easily avoided and incredibly important to teach kids that, from an early age, to be themselves, be confident in there choices, abilities and to trust their intuition, is the only way to live a truly enjoyable life.

July 31 2014

1972 ec21 500

Camo #bike #waterfall #dumbledorset at Countryside – View on Path.

June 28 2014

Play fullscreen
Yellow Claw & Yung Felix - Dancefloor Champion

June 19 2014

Play fullscreen
Robert Leiner - Visions Of The Past (Full Album)

May 26 2014

7906 ccb9 500

The trouble with trying to take pic of landscape over a bank holiday, is the inevitable ‘City type’ pissing on the roadside and checking his phone! #dumbledorset #invasion

May 19 2014

Play fullscreen
[1989] 2 Men On A Trip - You Make Me Feel (Get Funky) (Get Stupid Mix)
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