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SO! what a day, what a week, yet another pretty lazy and fairly unsuccessful week as regards getting a proper job.. however, did see an absolutely awesome job programming Java for an Environmental Research group, twould be J2EE stuff… so have been busily brushing up my skills…

Doubt I’ll get it, but it’s fun to dream, and you never know… if you’re not in… would be a 6 month contract…

Also went along to another recruitment company… and was very pleasantly surprised when my touch typing skills (learned over the last 3 weeks) came out at 54 w.p.m. Which isn’t really all that shabby. Oh, and MS Access (database program) that I know *nothing* about, came out at 97%… I reckon the person setting the questions didn’t know anything about it either which is why it was so easy…

However, I have landed *the most awesome job EVER*. It’s outside, it’s interacting with the public, it’s has the chance for HUGE cash potential every week (well direct debited actually)…

Guessed it yet… correct, door to door and office sales. Also known as (as far as I can remember) cold calling. Yeah right.. Irish gift of the gab had better come into play bigtime methinks. Mind you, I did go around today with Johnothan, a.k.a Sales Guru #1, and we, over the course of an hour and a half and 2 blocks worth of calling in, managed to sell the grand total of {} voucher packs. (yes, that’s the null set, zero, zip, nada, rien, niente, nuffink’ luv). So yeah.. I’ve a lot to live up to.

Did meet a nice bloke from Sheffield though, 63 years old, mechanic, looked about 48. Mad.

Didn’t buy anything though, even when I talked about liking the Gritstone crags in Sheffield. I was so annoyed!. Mind you, he may not want to be going paint-balling, tis true.

So yeah, that was fantastico. Am starting on Monday at 11am (pretty sociable really). Very much doubt I will sell anything, so very much doubt they’ll keep me on for more than a day or two.

Mind you.. see it does pay (relatively well…) it’s hourly rate is as much as labouring.. and you get commission on top if you can actually sell the (damn) things.

So we’ll see.. could actually be a laugh, the way I look at it, I’ve absolutely nothing whatsoever to loose!, there aren’t any office jobs at the moment, I have the skills (I reckon) so that when they do come up I’ll get called, at which point I will drop this job. Unless I am raking in cash, in which case I’ll stick with it. And to be honest, it’s not as bad as it seems (mind you I was only in spectator mode not actually having to try and sell the darn things!) So we’ll see, more to follow I guess.. Start on Monday, managed to get tomorrow off as I’m off climbing in a place called Wanaka for the weekend, should be a laugh, if the car get there (and back ;)

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So another day spent bouldering and waiting for a phone call to say I gotta job! Did get a call… but very strangely it was delayed from saturday evening. Which was annoying as it was a message to the effect that they’d found me ice-axes and crampons so that I could go on the walk :(

However, this day must go to Donald Rumsfeld for winning the Foot in Mouth competition, though the Governator came in second with a sterling effort that

“I think that gay marriage is something that should be between a man and a woman.”

You can read about it all here

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So a pretty cool weekend, Saturday was spent pretty lazily, at least until the evening when we went to ‘Coca Cola Christmas in the Park’ Not that it was solely sponsored by Coca Cola, though they did remind us that it was sponsored by them at pretty much every interval they could. Fair enough I guess, it was kinda fun. Probably 90,000 + people turned out, a really big family-evening-out.

Though it was so strange singing “I’m dreaming of a white christmas”, and all I could think was “keep dreaming, it’s not going to happen!” All it would have needed was “In the deep midwinter” to really round off the bizarreness of the situation! I reckon Christmas down here is going to be slightly odd!

The fireworks (no I have no pics) were pretty excellent at the end..

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Sunday then – well up at 7:15 as I decided to go on another hike. It was excellent, but I would have been going on a longer one except that there was a big South Wester came through and dumped a pile of snow on the hike that the harder hike was going up and ‘cos I don’t have ice-axes and crampons I wasn’t able to go.

The hike was kinda cool though, started off walking (along a road) through a beech forest.



A lot of the trees were covered in algae of some sort, apparently where you get mists going through the forests it can stretch all the way to the forest floor, but it wasn’t that big here.

Then it was up onto a ridge and on around to a sorta summit, gained about 2500ft, up to about 5000 in total. There were some nice views from up on top though, this one:



Is a ski-field area, I think, in the winter though it looks a little steep to me.

And a few more pics.



Then this bloke Ewan, a carpenter, who told me such stories like taking a couple of Japanese tourists that he and some others befriended out ‘Spot Lighting Rabits’ Guess… yes, you drive along in your car (usually with a separate flashlight I guess) and then when the rabbits get caught in the light they freeze. And then you shoot them with a gun. Easy eh ;)

But yes, he told me about the pastime of Scree Running. Where… yes… you run (well slide) down a scree slope. He said it was the NZ equivalent to bull running. Though I must admit, I found bull running much scarier when I tried it in Madrid.

Anyway – here’s a pic of Ewan, and some of the scree we slid down. It was actually very easy, and not 1/2 as scary as I was expecting.

The last thing, is of this triangular box with rocks in it, it’s on the right hand side of this pic, quite small. Wondered what it was, but apparently it’s an avalanche deflector, and it splits (you can’t see it in this pic but it’s sorta on the prow of the mountain between two valleys) and it splits the flow off down into the two valleys.

So that was this weekend, may have to check out the Cambridge Tramping Club and see if they’re….well…. younger.

And I was only joking about the bull running ;)

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So still no joy with jobs.. could be January methinks before something proper turns up…. slightly irritating when you get turned down for Call Centre work ‘cos of lack (well complete absence) of experience… Ahh well… at roughly 90 euro a week for food and accommodation it’s ok.. I can last quite a wee while.. and I am getting to climb quite a bit so it’s not all bad! :)

One thing I must comment on – Birds. That really is one of the excellent things about NZ.. everywhere you go there’s birdsong, even in the middle of the city. See they just don’t really have that many natural predators here, well all the ones they do have were imported… so they flourish. Especially once you get out into the countryside.

Joined the squash club and went along to check them out, am really dying for a game so will be getting in contact with the club captain this week so see who’d be up for a game.

May be going on a hike on sunday.. just depends on whether I’m going to need ice-axes and crampons (of which I have neither) hopefully will be ok without them.

Went out sport climbing as well yesterday – to a large crag – about 200+ routes about a 20 min drive from where we live. Called Briton Crag, it’s all odd basalt kinda rock, lotsa crimps and few jugs, but the friction is really good, and it’s just great to be outside climbing again. Reckon that’s going to become our usual haunt, except when we get away for the weekend.

It also has a nice view which this pic



doesn’t really do justice to.

Oh, and Declan sent a link to a site which has a pretty good description of a 6 months climbing trip around NZ, climbing ish the sorta grades we’ll be climbing.

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A fantastic day really.. well kinda, though it’s been raining for most of it. Off for the interview, went fine – this agency would be more for the admin type roles… so we’ll see what turns up.

Must say though, I was impressed with their testing, for the data entry it simulated a call centre, and you had to listen to the audio and type the data in. Thought that was a better test than a lot of them I’ve come across.

The wouldn’t let me boulder in the Y as there were 60 kids there or something. Which was a little annoying (ok so it was 11am)

Got the key – well went over and joined up – to the Squash Club.. so I’ll be ringing the captain tomorrow and trying to get myself some games… I will be annihilated though seeing as most of these people play 3 or more times a week, whereas I only used to play once.

But the reason it’s a fantastic day – is that (and yes I’m a geek sometimes) is that if you put Patrick Davey into google – this page is the number one hit. No idea what the ranking is, and I very much doubt I’ll stay up there long, but still, it’s nice. And probably attributable to Stephen Downey a friend who put a link from his blog to mine… that one probably tipped the balance (I believe google ranks by the amount of sites that link to yours – amongst other things I guess). Though my brother Matthew did send me this article which talks about how blogs are hurtin’

So anyway, that was nice.

It is freezing here though, which isn’t quite so cool. And for the record – sardines in mustard as a sauce/filler for pasta is amongst the most evil concoctions I’ve ever thrown together.

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