28 February 2009

Stuart writes

...about cricket and horse riding, and a visit to Rhino Park. It's good that someone keeps up with the events in our life, as I don't seem to be able to. Enjoy.

18 February 2009

Dubai bashing

I haven't lived in Dubai for years now, but left with great difficulty and judging by my continuing interest in Dubai news I guess I still love the place. There is much Dubai bashing going on lately, fuelled by this article in the New York Times, it seems. While some of the facts are disputed already (apparently the figure of 3000 cars abandoned at Dubai airport is misrepresented and the number of cancelled visas is not offset by the number of new visas granted) it is most interesting to me to find this tone of Schadenfreude levelled at a Middle Eastern success story. As if it was somehow just that one of the few Arab economic successes should fail. Do we prefer the alternatives of repressive financial basket cases such as Egypt and Pakistan? This article is another rant at the perceived shallowness of Dubai and it's inherent unsustainability, entertaining even if I disagree, but with the best commenting I have ever read in a blog, ever.

17 February 2009

Big Things

A quick blast from the past. Why do Kiwis love the big things in life. Are they making up for being a small country? Are they inordinately proud of those little things that they make them bigger than in real life? Who knows, at least it's entertaining:




Geography of a house move

View Larger Map

Until I looked at the output of the car GPS I hadn't realised how much driving I did to sort out the various bits of our exit from New Zealand. It puts me in a melancholy mood to remember my last lunches with friends, the views across the bay from the waterfront. I am equally glad that the endless disposal of superfluous bits and pieces is over. My favourite trip was the last one, to drop the car off at Van Lines for shipping. If you click on the "View Larger Map" link you can investigate the whole map on Google. Enjoy!

16 February 2009

I'm in love...

The answer to all my prayers, well at least the ones revolving around cheap international calls, is called SkypeIn online numbers. With the power of the internets, a Skype enabled phone on a local landline and a monthly fee I now have three local phone numbers (New Zealand, UK and Germany) where our friends can reach us without having to endure horrendous international charges. And we can, using the Skype phone, make free calls to landlines in lots of countries with great sound quality - I don't think my mum has noticed that I am calling her over Skype) for that same monthly fee. Yay! (Except for Dubai, which still costs shed loads for some reason, probably to do with Etisalat). So if you live in one of those countries and want to call me, email me and I'll let you have my number.

11 February 2009

That's what's in this package!!!

As you will remember, there was a quiz a few days ago to guess the content of this package:

Thanks to the (few) comments I can now reveal the answer:

Sausages!!! This actually makes the brand name even scarier somehow. And the fact that they are free-range and filler free doesn't reassure me with a subtitle like: "contains 8 little boys". Draw your own conclusions as to the raw materials used for these spicy little numbers.

Spot the Landrover


Can you see it? Of course not, silly. This is the very ship the Landrover is travelling to South Africa on. Let's hope there aren't any pirates or out of control oil tankers to hold it up.

10 February 2009

Where's the box junction?

Rush hour in Joburg works like this: Everyone is trying to get to the motorways cross-crossing the city so that they can get home. But when the British colonials left, they didn't leave behind any box junctions. So every traffic crossing is grid locked, despite traffic lights, and the monsoon rainstorm and street vendors weaving between the cars are not helping. I should know, I have been sitting at this intersection for 25 minutes!

Mobile Blogging from here.

02 February 2009

Observations about Perth

1) Perth is hot hot hot. As in Dubai in August hot. 39C hot. Phew!

2) There is some stunning colonial and neoclassical architecture in the centre of town, intricate balconies and creamy carved pillars, but it's mostly ruined by tacky shop fronts. Oh, and there is a Disneyesque Ye Olde London shopping street (see photo) lined with such English staples as the Australian Life Saver shop and designers selling bags made from kangaroo leather. Inconguous.

3) People here do that diagonal way of crossing traffic junctions when the lights are green that I noticed in Singapore and KL. Seems dangerous to me, but hey, I go with the local flow.

4) The bells of St. Martins in the Field are housed in a futuristic looking glass bell tower by the ferry port. Why? No idea. A present from London in the 80's, apparently.

I would probably enjoy Perth a lot more if I wasn't so zombified from getting up at 3 bloody 30 AM!!!!!

01 February 2009

The strangest coincidence


My last days in Wellington, now that we have well and truly moved out (the inspection went off without a hitch today), are spent at Combie and Sarah's house in Mt. Victoria. By a strange coincidence I have a bedroom with a view of Oriental Bay and the Rimutakas, exactly in the opposite direction from the view we had when we first moved to Wellington. In fact I can see Carl and Elisabeth's place, where we spent those first few cold and windy weeks, in the distance perched on the hill. Weird, a reversal of direction, then arriving and now leaving, looking forwards and back... You get the drift.


Goodbye Wellington! It was nice knowing you.

The prize for most unbureaucratic process goes to...

The AA for de-registering my car for free and without asking for any paperwork bar my driving license number. Plus the guy who did it was from Cape Town, so we could have a nice chat about South Africa while I filled out the - very simple - form. As opposed to Vodaphone's shenanigans.