Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Our Winter Holiday 2008 - Day 2

Many years ago, I studied at Massey University (History, German History, German, English, Human Development) in Palmerston North. Here we were, back in "Palmy", and I was here to attend a 2-day course at the Old Main Building at Massey - the building is officially titled the "Humanities". The irony was, I was doing my Contact Course in the same room where I began studying at Massey, 14 years ago!! The Old Main Building has changed very little. The Student Union building, however, has changed quite a bit. It now has a new Foodcourt at the East end of the building, on the ground floor; also, the building now boasts a Bank, a Phamacy, a Shop, a Bookshop, a Travel Agent, and so on. I had lectures from 9 - 12 noon; then had lunch with Di - the oldest student in the class, over 60 - and then had more lectures from 1 - 5pm.

Margaret & the kids had dropped me off at Massey at about 9am, so she would have the car, to take the children places that would keep them entertained. She picked me up when I txted her. We had Tea at the Motor Camp; then I rang old friends we knew from many years ago.

Before going socialising, we went to Heroes for Sale, a comic & sci-fi shop. I knew the owner, Ian, from many, many visits there in the "old days!" Jamie asked for some Yu-Gi-Oh cards; I don't like that, so I didn't buy him any. However, I decided to buy him a tin for his Yu-Gi-Oh cards.
I bought a book called Dr Who - The Sting of the Zygons; it was $24.95, and the tin was $5 - but when bought together with the book, the price was reduced to just $1. Meanwhile, Margaret offered to buy Jamie some Yu-Gi-Oh cards, so with the tin and the cards, he was a happy boy.
I also bought a Dr.Who Keyring (the Seal of Rassilon) for a friend back in Timaru.

I arranged for us to see the Woods; I knew Peter from the days when I collected Dr.Who trading cards. We had supper at their house. I gave Peter some Torchwood on disc; and gave his daughter some Sarah Jane Adventures discs. She told me, "I'm a bigger Dr.Who Fan than my Dad!!!" She certainly seemed to know a lot about the Show, both new series & classic! My boys enjoyed playing games with Peter's son on the Family Lap-top.

Overall, the first day back in Palmy was very satisfying.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Our 2008 Winter Holiday - Day 1

Well, here's for a few lines. We set off from Timaru on Sunday 6th July; just after lunch - about 12:30pm. Drove the 2 hours to Christchurch; and visited friends of ours, the Armstrong-Gales. I had repaired a radio-control Dalek owned by one of their children; she was delighted to get it back, all working again. We then carried on to our relatives' house, where we transferred all our gear to their van - my people-mover stayed at their place while we were away. Our sister-in-law drove us to the Airport & dropped us off. It was very exciting for the kids to be going on an aeroplane; especially the Twins! I gave Ben the window seat; he held my hand during the take-off! I didn't have anything on the 'Plane...I did NOT fancy buying a drink, or a souvenir, at a $10 minimum! ::-)

WE arrived in Wellington, our capital, at around 5:30pm. We got an Airport Shuttle bus...it was a long & winding route through the hill suburbs! Finally arrived at the Ace Car Rental office; it was CLOSED! We had sent them an email saying we would need them to open up, for us...they hadn't bothered to do it! Margaret rang them; the bloke, Kerryn, said he would "Be there in 15 minutes." 25 minutes later, he still hadn't arrived. Zoe said to me, "Daddy, I don't want to live here!" Aww, bless her! A minute later, Kerryn arrived. He let us have a 2002 Toyota Estima, which was very good. It wasn't the diesel van I had requested; but that vehicle is, apparently, very unreliable! We got to our relations' house in Petone for a late Tea; it was good to see them.

We carried on to Palmerston North, where the holiday camp we stayed at was cold, cold, so cold...and we were in a Cabin, which meant walking 50 metres to the toilets...oh well! We were in Palmy!

Friday, July 04, 2008


Anyone heard of the Paua Shell? Similar to an Abalone, the Paua shell is arguably the most beautiful shell in the world. Over 40 years ago, Fred & Myrtle Flutey began collecting Paua shells. They became so numerous, that they began to nail them to the walls of their home!
Soon, there were hundreds - and visitors began to visit the "Paua House." Tourists came too, visiting something uniquely New Zealand.

When the Fluteys died, their grandson removed the Paua shells, and put the house up for sale. He donated the shells to the Canterbury Museum; located in Christchurch, New Zealand. The Museum decided to re-create the original home that the shells adorned; right down to the positioning of the Paua shells on the walls, and the pattern of the carpets! I look forward to visiting the new Paua House one day in the near future. Some say the shells should have remained in Bluff (the most southerly village of NZ); but honestly...I'm more likely to go to Christchurch than Bluff, anyway! :)

My Four-Year-Old Wants to Use My Computer...!

"Daddy, Can I Use the Computer when I Get Home?" "In a little while, Ben..." "Oh, in a little while. OK." It seems like Alvin Toffler's Future Shock has come true - not only can we buy things on our computers, and experience Video Calls, etc, etc...but our children - our PRE-SCHOOL children, want Computer Time! :) They have to be watched; however...we only bought a new Mouse a few weeks ago; and our 2 boys killed it today!! ::-)