We headed up to Cheeseman with Berit and had a beautiful blue bird day. I definitely need to get some lessons. Looking at my go-pro videos’ I still swing wildly from left to right rather than just pointing down the hill and going for it. So much to learn :)

We also had a day hosting the green party while they were canvassing in the area. It has been good to be a little bit more involved. This year things have become a bit more “interesting” of late. Metiria, the Greens co-leader came out and admitted that she’d cheated to obtain more income while on the benefit as a single mother. She didn’t need to admit it, but she chose to to highlight how little it is to live on, and how demeaning. Unfortunately, media is choosing to highlight the illegality (easy to grab onto) rather than highlight the issues she has worked tirelessly on as a politician. It’s a shame that 20 year old sins might mean less votes for the greens. We shall see.

Labour has also elected a new leader, very close to the election. Risky business, but seems to be paying off for them.

Interesting times.

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First day of the ski season – Porters

Well, it was a bit scratchy, but still, great to be back on the slopes.

Ridiculous queues at the start. I think I waited in line for about 50 minutes… it was pretty crazy. I suspect the issue was people picking up their season passes.. but still, nuts. That said, my legs were tired enough by the end of the day, so, it didn’t reaaaallly matter that we had a shorter day than a longer day.

Thanks to Ian and Ali for the lift (seeing as, y’know, our car was burned out…)

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Burgled :(

Well, it hasn’t happened in a long while, not since the earthquakes actually, but we got burgled while we were out at comedy. They also stole and burned out our car. Mostly it’s the violation of personal space which is the nasty bit. Well, that, and they stole my diary :( probably looking for passwords?! I doubt they’d be able to read the password even if it was written in there…

I spent a bit of time hooking up a Raspberry Pi to do motion detection. It now sends me a notification on telegram if it notices any movement. Still, there’s not much you can do really, if they want to get into the house, well, they will. Oh, I also finally setup a proper backup system (we came very close to loosing everything! – a stupid mistake and we were lucky). Now I use Arq and 1TB of Google Drive. There are probably better/cheaper/whatever ways to do things, but at least it’s done and now all my pictures and important files are encrypted and backed up into the cloud.

In summary.

Make sure your backups are automated and working!

message ends.

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Scotties Hut

Amy and Hamish are keen bike-packers, and they suggested heading in to Scotties Hut for the weekend. Just off the St. James walkway. There are also some super secret hotpools close enough to the hut! Always a motivator.

So we drove up to Hanmer Springs and drove to basically the ski-field access road where there’s a carpark. Well, it’s around there anyway, check the topomap :)

On the way in, we were biking in at around 1pm… but it was pretty cold. This turned out to be a major advantage, as the ground stayed frozen and meant we could bike on it. We weren’t quite so lucky on the way back unfortunately!. Anyway, a decent bike ride in, 3 hours or so? We were pretty cold when we got to the hut, and hut itself was chilly of course. That said, it was very well insulated and actually warmed up pretty quickly.

Before dinner we headed off to the hotpools for a soak. They’re some of the best hotpools I’ve been to. Partly because they’re not perfectly natural. Well, the heat source is of course, but, they’ve been roughly cemented in, and a pipe going between the 4 hot pools. But it was lovely. We had the entire place to ourselves (as per usual in NZ, well, off the beaten track anyway). It’s a wonderful thing, relaxing in hot water, looking up at a crystal sky with periodic shooting stars flying overhead. Yeah, it was a great trip. Thanks Amy & Hamish!


Maaike did have one unfortunate thing happen, her clippy pedals decided to stick to the pedal. Not because of the cold, they’re just old. It made some of the river crossings that much more exciting ;)

All in all, a great trip, would happily do it again next year!

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Heights of Winter

I’ll say it, I was grumpy. I was tired and feeling pretty lazy, and Maaike had far too much energy, as per ususal ;) Still, we had a good walk around at this years heights of winter, a 6 and 12 hour rogaine (we did the 6 hour). It was nice to be out and about on the hills. Thanks to Berit for the pictures, and thanks Alex for THE AMAZING FLAPJACKS! I really must get that recipe!

After that, it was straight back to see the Banff film festival, always completely inspiring (watch the trailer below). NZ Alpine Club run it in NZ, and they are kind enough to let me have a Snowpool desk there and give out some stickers etc. Really appreciate it!

Also sneaked in a whiskey eve with the old Egressive crowd. A lovely evening, somewhat less messy than normal, I think people are getting old ;)

And, a new cast iron frying pan, great for pancakes, just make sure you season it. Basically you just bake it with a thin layer of oil several times. Then it should be OK!

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