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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..


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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So today was a little more positive on the job front, had one interview about getting contract ‘pooter work. The interview was just with the agency so nothing concrete, but it was positive. Which was nice! Also have an interview / test with another agency tomorrow morning, so that’ll be good too – general typing and Word/Excel skills no doubt.

Contracting could be good though. Who knows? But nothing definite yet. Also made out my application for the Dunnes Stores of this country.. ;) just can’t bring myself (yet) to hand it in! Last time I did that work was the week and a half before Freshers Week 6 years ago.. and it wasn’t the best work then! :) Still, beggars can’t be choosers.

Well.. I suppose they can, but just a very limited choice.

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Just for the record! yes I do know you can get PHP off the net to do message boards for you… (I even installed one where you logged in, had avatars, could do threading and smilies ‘n spellchecking ‘n everything!) but figured twould be a good learnin’ experience! And also you don’t get any annoying ads too.

Besides… you have to remember that shit is good (excuse the language mum ;) – though I think the site is having troubles at the moment.

And as for not having work, well if the worst comes to the worst I can just stop eating and drinking… just like this guy did for 10 years (well 10 days anyway..)

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