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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Wellington and Palmy

I decided to take advantage of my current work situation (contracting remotely) and so I headed up to Wellington for the week and stayed at Glynn & Jaynes. It was lovely, as ever, to see them. It really is a shame that they live up in Wellington! hey ho. Still, good excuse to visit. Glynn and I went for a wee bimble around the Karori wildlife sanctuary, quite a long fence line (I’m totally out of shape). I also played one of the more fun co-operative games that I’ve ever played pandemic.

On the Thursday my cousin Thomas picked me up (hurrah that he’s back in New Zealand, running for election this year with the greens). Very cool to get to catch up with him, and to meet the latest arrival to the family with the arrival of William & Buzz’s Phoenix. Also, my Aunt dug out some old pictures ;) I’ve hardly changed you’d have to say.

So yes, really great to be able to take advantage of remote working & catch up with family and friends. While I definitely definitely miss some things (quite a lot of things) about not being in a team, I do really enjoy the flexibility. It’s weird being a contractor though! Sending invoices, having a company, accountants, service contracts, co-working spaces, managing communication with the client, trying to implement better practices. Who knows how long it’ll last, but, it’s good for the moment.

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West Coast Wilderness Trail

Off to the West Coast for the weekend with Ian & Alison to do the West Coast Wilderness Trail, a nice mostly flat track from Greymouth to Ross.

We drove over after work on the Friday and stayed in a nice little bach in Kumara junction. Then the next morning friends (Dave & Philippa) who live on the West Coast, came over and collected us and brought us to the start of the track in Greymouth. After about, oh, 100m we stopped for a nice coffee ;)

Then a nice ride down the coast back to Kumara junction.

The next day was a bit longer at 70km odd, unfortunately my phone decided to crash half way through so I can’t prove it ;) Anyway, a really nice ride through the bush and alongside old mining & sluicing works.

All in all a very pleasant cycle.

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