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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Cousin Thomas in Town (and getting involved in the Greens)

My cousin Thomas was down for a green party event, and it was lovely as always to catch up with him. He is running as a candidate in Palmerston North and was down helping out on some Green committee that he’s on. It’s really nice being able to host him for a change, as we have stayed lots at his place, most recently on our bike across Europe good times.

I’ve also decided to get a bit more involved in the Greens this year, helping out a little with their database queries etc.. There really is an insane amount of data, and it’s not easily catagorised.. I dunno, when you see articles like this one it makes me wonder somewhat what the point is? I mean, do humans really have the capacity to look beyond a short timescale and do something truly altruistic for the people who are coming after us? I’m not at all sure we do. In fact, here’s my question ->

Climate change is all about how much C02 we put into the atmosphere. If we use less energy we’ll pollute less. The less energy we use, the less comfortable our lives are going to be. So, how do you, in a democracy, get people to vote to take a cut in their standard of living?

I’m all ears.

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Back in the swing of things

It always takes me a while after being back from abroad to get back into the swing of things, and this time probably more than most. I’ve definitely not been as sociable as normal, but, finally, feeling back up to 100%.

It is good being back in ChCh. I love where we live – close to the hills. From our house we can turn right and immediately be straight up into the hills. There’s a nice little 8ish k loop which takes us up to this view (lyttelton crater) Big old volcano in its time, thankfully quite extinct. That said, maybe the mountain is getting taller, it can’t be that I’m getting less fit ;)

My old friend Warrick is back in town and lives nice and close. Great to be able to go up to his place for a nice lunch in the sun :)

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