All good things must come to an end

After our beautiful day at Ocean Beach I was a little on the frazzled side and declined to make a return visit the next day, instead I stayed at the house and played Star Munchkin with David while Adam took Tom and Caitlin back to the beach. Emma, James and William went off for an explore of their own for the day, so when Adam came back with the kids we played a family game of ordinary Munchkin too. Several evenings at the house were spent playing a fabulous role playing game, an invention of James’ titled Waaargh, based on … Continue reading All good things must come to an end


On our first morning in Rotorua we drove to Matamata and joined a bus tour out to The Shire. Yes, that Shire, Hobbiton, which is all set up and just about ready for filming to begin. It looks absolutely fantastic and if you’re anywhere within reach of the place you HAVE to go see it! We were allowed to take photos but had to sign a confidentiality agreement promising not to share any online. So this is all you get from Hobbiton: As I was taking photos of [stuff I can’t tell you about] Tom pointed at my feet and … Continue reading Rotorua

Further adventures in photo-taking

Wednesday morning saw us packing up in a scramble to check out and make it by the skin of our teeth to join a half-day Lord of the Rings tour. Our tour guide was full of fabulous stories to tell because the lucky bugger had worked pretty much full-time as an extra and doing other odd jobs on all 3 movies. He’s been a Gondorian soldier, a spectral warrior, one of the Haradrim…you get the idea. We visited a lookout or two, the Buckland forest filming site, the Weta Cave and the outside of the filming studios. The most enthusiastic … Continue reading Further adventures in photo-taking

New Zealand picspam the first

Both Adam and I were up VERY late the night before our flight to New Zealand. I distinctly remember seeing 3:05am on my bedside clock before finally drifting off. The alarm went off at 5:50am and my wonderful Mum was due to come and drive us to the airport at 6:50am. The flight went well, we were booked in as a Qantas flight but were actually flying LAN so the kids got their first exposure to bi-lingual announcements and signage. I was only mildly uncomfortable on the plane, I needed a seat belt extension but with Caitlin as my seating … Continue reading New Zealand picspam the first

Travel with kids scares me

And this is why. I remember, you see. I remember being 14 years old and being completely hideous when my parents took us on a month long trip to Athens, Crete, Paris, London, Boston, Washington and New Orleans before we settled in Boulder Colorado for a 6 month stay. Here I am with my mum and brother and sister at the Parthenon in Athens. It’s on the top of a bloody great hill you know, and we’d just walked up there. I was not pleased. We did a lot of walking in Athens, I spent a lot of time being … Continue reading Travel with kids scares me


I can’t remember learning to swim, though I do remember swimming lessons, specifically taking the life-saving course at Pymble pool in the summer holidays while my younger siblings were learning to swim and going to the school swimming scheme in primary school. I know diving clicked for me when I was 9 and we were in Tahiti on our way to the US where my dad was going for a 4 month sabbatical. There is also the family story of sibling rivalry wherein I was going without floaties for the first time at 3 years old and my sister, 21 … Continue reading Swimming