Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Margaret River, Easter 2019

Sunday 14 April
Overnight flight from hkg > per

Monday 15 April
Pick up hire car, drive to granny and pop's for breakfast. Drive down to Busselton. Meet Zane at Busselton foreshore. Walk along Busselton jetty. Drive to 1218 caves road, Dunsborough. Quick trip to coles. Visit Jo, Gareth, Sydney, Paige, Lola, Tara, Todd, Joshua, Michaela and Riley in Dunsborough. Home for dinner.

Tuesday 16 April
1. Ngilgi cave
2. Canal rocks
3. Injidup point (natural spas)
4. Cheeky monkey brewery lunch
5. Vasse Felix wine tasting
6. Margaret River Chocolate
7. Couple more wineries
8. Dunsborough tavern by 5pm

Wednesday 17 April
Meelup beach - Tara and Jo fishing. Walk to eagle bay and back. Drive to Yallingup maze. Do the maze, eat lunch, lots of puzzles. Then Gabriel chocolate - not great. Goon tycoon winery and Yallingup cheese factory very good, and beautiful Location. All back here for cheese, sausages, crisps, champagne, rose, beer. Kids in the boat with Todd, and trampoline. Later star gazing and spotlighting for possums.


Boranup forest 

Jewel cave

Augusta hotel

Home via Margaret river


Brekkie at hot chocolatte

Archery & mini golf

Cinema closed

Wise wines, stunning view

Lunch at Cape naturaliste lighthouse and walk

Bunker bay for photos


Albert & Nikola coffee

Margaret river chocolate co easter egg hunt

Margaret river distilling company

Margaret river, swings and roundabouts for lunch

Shop for Faithfull brand

Walk along 10 mile dam path

Temper Temper, make chocolate bar

Dunsborough beach



Laundry, Albert & Nikola, hot chocolatte

Run (mummy and daddy)

Lunch at home

Simmo's ice cream

Forest adventures

The goose Busselton


Meelup beach

Shop in Dunsborough

Drive to Fremantle

Dinner and Ben & Jerry's




Breakfast in Fremantle


Garden City shopping

Bell tower

Botanical gardens

Dinner at cottesloe Beach

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Monday, 28 January 2019

Running for The PSP Association

My simply splendid uncle Quentock (known to some as Colin) was diagnosed a while ago with PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy). It is a little-known  neurological condition caused by the premature loss of nerve cells in certain parts of the brain, and the effect it has is pretty devastating. Daily life presents huge challenges for Colin and those around him. 

The PSP Association provides practical & emotional support and information for those living with PSP and they also fund research into treatments and ultimately a cure.

I decided to raise money for the PSP Association at the ESF Run on 26th January 2019. There's still time to donate to the PSPA if you can. 

At 8:30 I ran 10km on my own, beating my personal best for a time of 52 minutes which I was immensely proud of. Then at 11.30 Josh, Felix and I ran 3km in the family race. The boys were exhausted afterwards, but they enjoyed it! Felix whooshed off right from the start, while Josh was running with buddies from his year group. Quarry Bay School won the award for the ESF school with the most participants - QBS loves to run! As well as heaps of students, 11 teachers ran the 10k. We have been training together for a while, and I couldn't have done it without their support and encouragement (particularly Anna's).  

I found it so hard in the first couple of kilometers as my pace isn't that fast so everyone was overtaking me. But I kept slogging on, telling myself that I usually end up ok because I don't really slow down as much as other people around the 7 / 8km mark. I was thrilled to finish just a few paces behind Anna, my running mentor! I got super wheezy around 7km and it was hard going, but I thought of Josh, Felix and Ross waiting for me, and I thought of Colin and the money we were raising. I thought of so many hilarious times in Cornwall, I thought of how wonderful it was for us all to pile in to Fanty and Quentock's house on Boxing Day this year, I thought of the times at Rojano's, I thought of talking to Colin while he watches the Tour de France, or the golf. I thought of how happy it makes him to see his gorgeous grandson singing Paw Patrol, and baby shark! Lots of thoughts to keep me going. 

We raised 200GBP for the PSP Association, very worthwhile.

Thursday, 30 August 2018


This is a guest post from Ross. I went to play squash with some ex-colleagues from HSBC up at Cloudlands on the peak one Saturday morning. First time I had played squash in, um, 30 years? Sounded like fun anyway. The day before I went I joked to colleague that perhaps I'd do what everyone on my project had seemingly done - rupture their Achilles.

After an hour of uneventful play (apart from the fact that I failed to win a single match - unsurprisingly!), I had "one last match". The fateful "one last. First ball, went to run for it and collapsed on the ground. My first thought was wondering why my friend and hit my ankle with his racket, but that was followed about 2 seconds later by the realisation that that's what everyone says when they do their achilles.

All this was back on August 4th, and it's 3 and a half weeks later now and I've just started with a Vacoped boot and can begin to hobble around. I think this is going to be a lengthy recovery.
A Vacoped boot

So, Cloudlands is pretty awesome, right up high next to the peak with amazing views both north and south, and a pool.
A building below Cloudlands

The pool with a view

The view to the south, Plantation Road below

Monday, 16 April 2018

New Zealand - Easter 2018

We had an awesome time in New Zealand - I've made some notes about what we ended up doing, along with some links, which might be helpful for someone!
As well as doing lots of fantastic activities, I really loved the amount of space, the peace and quiet, the friendliness and the amazingly dark sky - perfect for star-gazing!

Friday 30 March

  • HKG > AKL
  • AKL > WEL
Stayed at Set-up on Manners, 57 Manners Street, Wellington

Sporting some attractive headgear on the plane! We flew HK Airlines, which was cheaper than NZ Air, but not great. Long delay taking off with no communication, crap food, crap entertainment options (and remote control broken)

Felix took this pic out of the window on the flight from Auckland to Wellington.

And this one

Saturday 31 March

Outside Te Papa, the museum in Wellington

Jumping off things, like true kiwis!

Stayed at Set-up on Manners, 57 Manners Street, Wellington

Sunday 1 April

Stayed at Set-up on Manners, 57 Manners Street, Wellington

Set-up on Manners, 57 Manners Street, Wellington
Monday 2 April
  • Check-out of the Set-up on Manners
  • Collect car from Apex car hire
  • Drive to Palmerston North Rugby museum, also Lego display
  • Raurimu Rail Spiral
  • Check into Shearer’s Quarters
  • Roast chicken for dinner
  • Amazing star-gazing!
Shearer’s Quarters, 1240 Rangitoto Road, Te Kuiti
Tuesday 3 April
  • Waitomo Glowworm caves - fully booked
  • Waitomo Walkway tramp
  • Flat tyre
  • Spellbound tour with Hop
    • glowworm cave, teabreak, dry cave.
    • Big fat eels in the creek
    • Moa bones
  • Pasta for dinner
Shearer’s Quarters, 1240 Rangitoto Road, Te Kuiti
Wednesday 4 April
Lazy Lakeside, 3 Manuariki Road, Rotorua
Thursday 5 April
Lazy Lakeside, 3 Manuariki Road, Rotorua
Friday 6 April
  • Lunch there - hangi pie and sweetcorn cooked in thermal pool
  • Got tyre fixed
  • Kayaking on Lake Rotorua
Lazy Lakeside, 3 Manuariki Road, Rotorua
Saturday 7 April
  • Mountain Biking Rotorua in Whakarewarewa forest - Josh really liked the Dipper
  • Shopping for waterproof coats and hats, Rotorua (Kathmandu)
  • Polynesian Spa
  • NZ Pizza for dinner
Lazy Lakeside, 3 Manuariki Road, Rotorua
Sunday 8 April
  • Checked out of Lazy Lakeside
  • Drove to Hamurana Springs, but didn’t stay, quiet expensive and weather wasn’t great
  • Coffee and muffin at Four14
  • Lunch at the Refinery, Paeroa
  • Antiques shops
  • Stopped at Coroglen public bathroom, by river where Tairu - Whitianga road crosses Waiwawa river
  • Checked in to Ocean View B&B
  • Squids for dinner
Ocean View B&B, 8 Landel Place, Whitianga
Monday 9 April
Ocean View B&B, 8 Landel Place, Whitianga
Tuesday 10 April
Ocean View B&B, 8 Landel Place, Whitianga

Wednesday 11 April
Ocean View B&B, 8 Landel Place, Whitianga

Lots of trips to New World
Listening to Harry Potter
Seeing lots of Jucy vans - the glass is half full, and the other half was delicious
Boys playing at Lazy Lakeside - Josh is Grandpa (who is Graham’s number years old) and needs to go to the doctor
Boys making a train track
Reading Harriet Bean and the League of Cheats
Watching the Commonwealth Games updates
Advert for The Warehouse
Public holiday supplement over Easter Weekend at cafes
Daylight savings time