26 December, 2005

Boxing Day

77818727_f34cc3fd86
Got up early and made a picnic, as me and Zee were going to the watch the start of the Sydney - Hobart Yacht Race from North Head, Sydney Harbour National Park. After a big trek and the bus, we managed to get a spot right in front of Channel 7 Sports News!! How about that for lucky?



We had a great little picnic, watching the TV crew get set up, and in fact just after Zee popped the champagne, the presenter asked if Zee had another bottle to pop whilst on air!! unfortunately, we didnt..



After this we went down to the beach to meet up with Gordon & Jodie, who were having a boxing day party down at North Manly Beach. A couple of beers, and even had a game of Cricket!

25 December, 2005

Christmas Day 2005


  Christmas Day 2005 
  Originally uploaded by jezarnold.


Woke up at 6 to open pressies, some things never change!! Got a great Leatherman Micro off Mum and Dad, a Surf lesson and a Mask & Snorkll off Zena, as well a socks and sweets!!  Then after Breakfast me and Zee head to Shelley Beach for Champagne and strawberrys..



After a swim with my new Mask and Snorkell, its up to Zenas Aunty Gails & Uncle Rogers for Christmas Day. Prawns and pork, instead of Turkey this year!!



Had a great afternoon with some of Gail & Rogers friends, and there family.. and then later on me and Zee headed home with a taxi; expecting a $80 charge, was pleasantly surprised that we were charged normal rates!!



       MERRY CHRISTMAS

24 December, 2005

Christmas Eve

We left Coogee and made our way back across the city, it was a really hot and muggy day, with this horrible hot wind blowing through the whole of NSW. This causes Bush Fires! Apparently one bush fire last year burnt down 500 houses in Canberra!! Someone else told me that 9 out of 10 bushfires are caused by Arsonists..



This heat doesn't help my terrible hangover. But by the time we got back to Manly, i was feeling 100% better.

Danni, our flatmate, decided that tonight we are gonna hold a sophisticated Christmas Eve party, with a load of her friends (and some of ours if they wanna come) coming round for drinks and food, all chilling in the front room, ready to see Christmas in..



So me, Zee, Danni and Fen are all putting a bit of work in, getting things ready, and by 8 o'clock its all set! Everyone has to bring a different bit of food and your own booze.. I get chatting to some of Dannis friends - from all over the world, Australia, UK, Brazil, Canada, USA & NZ.. quite a multi-cultural night in.



Get chatting to one guy, Jeff from Brazil. He is Sydney learning to speak English, and I find out he's a DJ. So I say, "Wow, one of my fave DJs is from Brazil, DJ Marky.. heard of him?" ... "Oh yes, he is one of my good friends.. He is coming to Sydney in February to play at Good Vibrations"



How weird is that? Anyway I speak to Danni later, and she says "Yeah we know him..." Definitely going to that! Saturday 18th February 2006



All in all ... a real good night, a bit different to my usual Christmas Eve in O'Neills in Worcester :)

Coogee

In true Christmas Celebrations, Me and Zee went to Coogee on friday night to meet up with some girls that Zee met while travelling from Thailand to Singapore. Vicky & Abby (and Mike, Abbys Boyfriend) are all accountants, which they acknowledge as being a pretty boring job. They also say its the best job as a Temp in Sydney, being on over twice what I am on!!



Anyway Coogee is a true Backpacker beach Resort, and IMHO is much better than Bondi or Kings Cross for that laidback Aussie feeling. The beach is pretty good, and its got a great bar, the Coogee Bay Hotel which wil have Pete Tong playing on NY's Day!!



Anyway we all went out for a meal and drinks, and I got real drunk. In fact I was soo pissed, that Zena said that I embarrassed her!! Apparently when we got back to there flat, I promptly fell asleep in the middle of the front room floor!! In front of everyone!! Classic!



hahahaha!! Us Arnolds, we know how to handle our booze..



Woke up the next day with a hangover from Hell, buut nothing that three showers, some berocca, a fryup and a dip in the sea at Coogee didn't cure. :)

22 December, 2005

Merry Christmas!!

Xmassbgclr












Sorry no email went out this month!! Gonna send a nice long New Year / Christmas one....



Leave me a comment, let me know how you all are!!

19 December, 2005

Work Party

Christmas Shopping!! Don't you just hate it? I am quite lucky really this year. Gonna send Mum & Dad, Oli & Sara a really nice pressie from Oz in the New Year, and its all about sorting Zena out really!!



So we went around Paddington Markets and Sydney City on Saturday. It was busy, but not that bad really.. not compared to UK!! Sorted everything out!



The company I work for had there Christmas Party on Saturday night. There making a fair amount of cash right now, so we were lucky to have it in Sydney Aquarium. As a temp, I didn't get a Christmas Pressie off them, but I thought, I am going to the party, even its just for a free feed and some booze! It was actually alright, until they get to the 'Presentations' part of the night, and everyone has to pretend to find the in-jokes really funny!



mmmm.



Anyway after we went to Cargo Lounge, one of the employees brother owns the place, and its in to the posh part for the rest of the night!! So up to now I have spent NOTHING, but in here it all starts getting a little more expensive!! $8 spirits, and I have only gone out with $70... One of the Managers, says he will sort me out with a taxi with him back to Manly, but he gets thrown out early!! hahaha!! So I stick around until close, and as I need to get back to Manly (without paying $60 on a taxi) I end up on Oxford Street, trying to find a bar we can go to until 7 when we have a chance to go to another bar for free drinks!! I am only here, coz I am going to get a free lift home... anyway there are 6 guys trying to get in to pubs at 5:00 in the morning.. it not going to happen!



Home at 05:30 and sleep until midday and spend the rest of the day on the beach!!

11 December, 2005

The A Party


  Jez & Zee on the way to the A Party 
  Originally uploaded by jezarnold.


With Xmas just around the corner, its only fair that a few parties are attended!! After all isn't that what Xmas is all about??



We went to a party on Friday night.. but this was just a run of the mill Birthday party! One of Dani's friends, Alex had an A party. This is where there is no admittance to the party unless you have a theme, beginning with A. There was Air Hostesses, Arabs, Army, Athletes and even Austin Powers!!



So what did we do?? The Alphabet!! A couple of cheap T-Shirts and some felt tips, a little creative genius, and next thing was Me and Zee were ready to roll!!



Anyway the party was at the family's restaurant off Shelley Beach, and a free bar all night meant everyone was pleasantly pissed.. I met some of Dani's friends, as well as another Jez (The Sax player at the party) .. All in all an amazing night!



Looking forward to more partys!



Anyway, the hangover wasn't as bad as last weeks, so spent the day at the beach with a little BBQ in the afternoon, followed by a meal out at the Artichoke in the evening with Gordon & Jodie.



Anyway those who are wondering where Decembers email is.. its gonna be a lttle late, as its going to be your Christmas Cards as well!!!

05 December, 2005

New Haircut


New Haircut
Originally uploaded by jezarnold.
Another day another dollar at work!! Its a pretty easy job, but everytime I try and promote myself to the dizzy heights of actually helping people out in the Tech Support side of things, I get told to just log the calls.

Its really annoying, but then again thats what I was hired for.. all at the amazing rate of $18 per hour...

So what I have to do is just answer the bloody phones and listen to the moans and make a 'promise' that Tech Support will get back to you 'ASAP'... mmmmm whatever!!

Anyway I go out with a few of the Guys from work most Fridays, and its pretty good. Just a few beers and a chat, then on to other things. Last Friday was pretty good!!

Zena had a phonecall off Jodie, the girl who turned us down for a place in her house! She was wondering what we were up to Friday night, as it was her birthday.. well, we couldnt refuse a few drinks!! So we met up in the Manly Wharf Hotel (hotel being the name for most pubs in the country) and got talking.. Jodie & Gordon, two londoners over here for about a year, Coleen (I think that was her name.. unfortunatley I didnt talk to her much...) and Alistair, the Guy from Worcester.

Everyone was pretty cool really.. and obviously I was chatting to Gordon & Ali most of the night, as I haven't had a good guys night out in ages!! Obviously chatting to Ali, after all he is from my hometown, and he knows Olie (who doesn't..) and used to work in Heros behind the bar, so I'm sure he knows all of my brothers buddies back there...

Anyway we drank a lot of beer, and finished in the Steyne at 02:00.. went home, and woke up with the worst hangover ever!! I suffered ALL day long.. it was terrible!

Anyway Zena went out for a haircut, and she was a bit worried about it... But she came back looking AMAZING!! I love it!! The fringe and the cut is just brilliant.. shes still getting used to it though!

29 November, 2005

27 November, 2005

Jez Danni Zena & Pete


Jez Danni Zena & Pete
Originally uploaded by jezarnold.
This weekend one of Zenas old housemates from Southampton was in Sydney!! Dani flew over first class to see a friend of hers who works for QANTAS as an Aircraft Engineer.. Pete!

Anyway we all went out for a meal and drinks on Saturday night, and proceeded to get pissed... Lovely food in the Blue 'something' restaurant, and then loads of different drinks in the Shark Bar.. had beer, red wine, champage, spirits, Illusions (shots and pinapple juice) ...

Had a hangover all day Sunday.

Also so much for summer is on its way here.. the last week it has rained EVERY day..

Oh well, at least its not snowing ;-)

21 November, 2005

Walking on the Moon


Walking on the Moon 2
Originally uploaded by jezarnold.


Me and Zena went on a daytrip into Sydney on Sunday. Got the ferry from Mnaly to Circular Quay, and then wandered down Pitt Street, into the China Town for some lunch and finishing at Darling Harbour.



Its great there, loads of different things to do.. We decided we would go and see what the IMax cinema was offering. A few different shows, but it was the Walking on the Moon Documentary by Tom Hanks, that we chose to see. It was amazing. 3D glasses, and some real sharp pictures. Give it 20 years and we will be watching TV lke this (just like in Minority Report..)



Have a look at my Flickr site for more pictures of the day!!

15 November, 2005

Running

Back at the end of May 2005, when I turned 30 I made four resolutions. These were:



1. No More Smoking! 2. Manage my cash 3. Keep a life journal 4. Get Fit & Stay Fit



Well, the no more smoking one was going fine, then I was weak and had just a couple every day, but since me & Zena got back together midway through September I haven't touched a single one!! Managing the cash is surprisingly easier, when you are earning a living wage. I get just over $500 a week here. that works out as $125 for rent, $60 for food, $150 savings (for our USA trip) and that leaves me about $150 for myself each week!! so money management is MUCH better...



The life journal.. I made a comment about this the other day. The online blog, is going really well!! Over 100 posts now, but unfortunately the paper based one didn't get much further. I think I have an addiction to fancy notebooks... Maybe I should just use them for notes, and not attempt to start a journal (again)



So that leads us to the final one... Get Fit & Stay Fit!! Ok, so I was snowboarding as much as possible in NZ, but it wasn't enough. Now I am lying on a beach every day, in image conscious Australia, I need to get my belly down. So this week I started running again... Its wednesday today, and I did my third run.. Finally getting to the end of the beach!! I walk down to the end of one beach, and then run along the sand right to the other end, (about 2.5km) and back. Then a nice walk back home.. all in bare feet!! its sooo good actually!! I feel alert and awake all day long...



The idea is to do this before work every day.. lets see how long I last!!

14 November, 2005

100 posts already..

Wow!! I have written 100 posts on this blog in only 7 months 14 days!! thats pretty good.. it means at least one of my 30th Birthday resolutions is coming true.. well, at least the online side of it is. My written journal stopped on the 23rd July..



Anyway just been chatting to Cookie through Flickr.. and got searching on the pictures.. one thing leads to another, and I discovered all the graffiti pictures on there!! There is some pretty impressive art on there.. after this I went over to the Banksy Site and had a look through his links.



Anyway if you are interested, check out these links: < Banksy > < Freeway Blogger > < AdBusters > < Wooster Collective > < David Shrigley > < Pictures on Walls > < Space Invaders > < Popaganda > < Art Crimes > < Stencil Revolution > < Akayism > 



In fact heres my current list of Flickr Groups: <Sydney Photobloggers> <FlickrCentral> <JPG Magazine> <flickritis> <BLOGGERS> <B&W> <Macintosh> <NZ photography> <New Zealand ~ Aotearoa> <Graffiti> <Beautiful Scenery> <Sydney> <stickerart> <WOW!> <snowboard> <Travel Photography> <STREETART> <streetsy.com> <Road Trip America> <Banksy> <STENCIL> <urban scrawls and scribbles> < .:Utterly Surreal:.> <New Zealand> <Australian Images> <Australian Travel Images> <Typepad users>



Anyway the next 100 posts are gonna be here before I leave Oz.. then another 100 in 7 weeks.. its not gonna happen is it?!?

13 November, 2005

Sunburn

Img_1704<<Check out the Sunglasses marks ...



Went to the beach on Saturday for a bit of sunbathing, while Zena went shopping with her Aunty.. was feeling pretty tired as I went out for a few drinks with work colleagues the night before. Without putting suncream on I fell asleep..



Woke up a couple of hours later, feeling pretty hot all over.. Went home and looked in the mirror and had the funniest sunburn ever!!



As a consequence have been feeling like shit all weekend!! Oh yeah, and I had to go buy some aftersun..

07 November, 2005

Our new beach house..



Img_1636 << Our new House is just behind the flats... more piccys..



We have had a busy weekend!! Saturday saw me and Zee making sure that Gail & Rogers house was nice n tidy for them to return too.. That doesn't mean we had messed it up, more like that if you had just flown for 24 hours you really don't want to arrive to any slight problem!! So our three hour cleaning session soon turned into six. :-(



That wasn't too bad, because we were moving into our new house!! Yep.. finally we have a place we can call home (for 5 months anyway!!) ...



We are now living on Bower Street, which is in between Manly beach and Shelly beach on the Eastern Hill of Manly. Its a pretty quiet neighbourhood, made even better by the fact that we go to bed and wake up to the sound of the sea breaking on some rocks!! Thats so peaceful.. but we do need some curtains though. I am loving the sun right now, but getting woken up at 05:50 by the sunrise, isn't something I want everyday... <house 1> <house 2> <house 3> <house 4>



We are living with this Aussie/Brazillian girl called Daniella. Shes pretty cool, and keeps a nice arty house. She has the lease, so she gets the best view - 5 beachs and the Pacific Ocean.. But if we stick our head out the window, we get a seaview anyway!! Her boyfriend Fen has even offered to teach me to surf..



Spent sunday on our new local beach, and am at work today (Monday) Have to get the bus at 07:58 and get back to Manly at 18:50.. thats 11 hours of my day at work or travelling!! Not as bad as Zee though, she has to work out in Parramatta at the moment, which is 4 hours travelling each day!!



Anyway me new address is --  [UPDATE - REMOVED - Email me for my Australian Address] 



P.S monthly email coming soon.. lets see some replies or comments please!! its good to hear whats happening back home!

02 November, 2005

Adverts..

Ok.. I have to get this weblog to pay for itself.



So I am gonna ask you all a favour. it won't take much of your time up.. promise ;-)



Basically on the right >> you will see some adverts, just below the Feeds. Just click on the advert everytime you come here. Then come straight back to the website by clicking 'Back' on your browser toolbar.. thats it! If you all do this, I get enough money to pay for the blog!!



Not much to ask is it??

30 October, 2005

Bondi

Jez__071Sydneys most famous beach is Bondi. Its one of the few beaches in the southern part of Sydney and very popular with tourists, especially travellers. Its also a place to be seen with all the hip, young, trendy crowd in Sydney.



I don't know why though, coz its not as nice as some of the other beaches, especially those on the Northern shores.



Anyway me and Zena decided to head down on Saturday. We didn't get there till after 2, because we had another house viewing in Manly and also an introduction into what can happen when the transport system in Sydney has a minor fault...



We had a message off the people that lived in the real nice flat last week. They had decided to go with the guy from Worcester in the end. It pissed us off, but we just got back into looking for somewhere else to live. We had been making phone calls anyway, but mostly when they found out we were a couple, it was "Oh no.. we want two girls, not a couple".. Why advertise for a couple then? We did have one viewing though, and that was from this girl called Daniella. She hadn't actually moved in, but a text on Friday said we could come and have a look around Saturday morning.



Anyway we went around, and it was lovely!! Two bedrooms, a kitchen/lounge with wooden floors, and a bathroom. Daniellas room had the best views over 5 beaches, and we were right next to the sea. A 5 minute walk to two different beaches, or Manly Wharf or even the shops. Its a perfect location!! She had a few people coming around, but said she would get back to us later that day. So off we headed to Bondi with our fingers crossed..



After a nightmare journey with three different buses, and a train, we finally arrived at Bondi. It was dead cool down there though, with a huge seafront, with loads of shops, and the most perfect sand ever!! The waves there were in force, full of surfrats... So we got down to what Zena does best.. Sunbathing!!



Anyway the cloud started to come in, so we decided to go for a wander. Discovered some amazing graffiti, and a concrete skate park. We then met up with someone Zena met travelling in Thailand, this French lad called Fabien. He was with his buddy Chris, and we went for some beers and some food.



That was when Daniella called and she let us know that it was us that she wanted to live with for the next 5 months!! WooooooHoo!! A house was sorted, and a top one at that!!



Great news!! We move in next Saturday..



Bad news also.. Zena had her purse and phone stolen off her during the week, while she was at work in Parramatta. She was NOT a happy bunny that day, I can tell you... Anyway the worst thing was that the purse meant so much to her as it was a designer one that her Mum had got her for a graduation pressie. Also losing everyones phone numbers is a right pain.. send her an email with your contact details please!!

27 October, 2005

Creepy crawlies

Jez__046_7I am loving Australia right now!! I'm not too sure why, I think its because of the hot weather we are having..



I know its not the creepy crawlies.



We are living in a suburb called French's Forest at the moment and whilst Gail and Roger are away in the UK, we are looking after there house! Its a great place with some amazing views over a reserve and the Blue mountains!! When the sun sets, its such a great view! While we are there I have to look after the chickens, which is fun!



We have 8 chick-chicks (as Zena says) and a cock (hehehe.. but its true) .. Basically I have to open the henhouse every morning, collect the eggs, shovel their shit into a bin and every few days change their water.. I also have to feed them some seeds everyday and also we save our vegi waste and chuck that to them every so often.. Then at sunset, I have to make sure they are all tucked up in bed!! Its pretty cool.. but me and Zee are sick to death of eggs!! We have made as many dishes as you possibly can.. cakes, pavlovas, egg fried rice, egg salads and no end of different types of ommelettes..



Anyway back to the creepy crawlies.. As you can see from the piccy above, this was no small spider. Its a massive thing called a Huntsman. Normally I would not have gone anywhere near it, bit it was in OUR bedroom waiting for us!! Luckily its not poisonous, its the little ones that kill you off!!



We also had a close call with a rattle snake the other week.. well we think it was!! We didnt actually see it. There we were watching TV, when we heard this real strange rattling sound, from behind the sofa. I grabbed a torch and a broomstick, and I gave Zee this massive knife! and we went searching.. So after about 15minutes looking for something, we finally decided that it must have been outside the house...



Its fun and games over here!!

22 October, 2005

New job and house hunting

Started work last week.. that and looking after the chickens!! Life is full of fun in Sydney!!



Been working at this software company just down the road from where we live. Such an easy job, and there is nothing I can do to make it a little more interesting!! All I do all day is answer the phones and say "Hi you are speaking to Jez in Tech Support. How can I help?"... then these clients tell me all about the problems they are having, I listen and write it down and then "Well I can't actually help with this problem, but I have logged it and I will get one of the Tech Support guys to call you back as soon as possible..." They never like that, but what can I do?? I don't know the software at all.. oh yeah and log some emails that come in..



That takes up about half of my work day.. so I spend the rest of the time on the net. The manager doesnt have a problem as long as I get my calls and emails done!!! If anyone has Yahoo messenger IM me on jezarnold please..



Then again the job is only for another week (two weeks in total), and I should have something different starting soon. I have applied for about 20 Helpdesk positions in Sydney, but I don't think anyone wants travellers...



Me and Zee have also been looking for houses in Manly. Manly is a great suburb of Sydney, with beaches and some great bars. It also means getting a ferry to work every day, which will be a novel way of commuting! We have looked at a couple of bedsits, but they were horrible and the landlords wanted far too much rent. Then we got to see this great flat..



Lovely views over the harbour... massive rooms.. cheap rent... 10 mins walk to the ferry or beach.. too good to be true?? It could be.. we went around the other night and had a look, and loved it straight away. Just got to wait on the people who live there to make a decision between us and this guy who is from Worcester!! Christ sake.... was so tempted to say, "Whats his last name? Oh I know him.. I'm sure he got done for kiddy fiddling...."



We are still waiting on an answer, so everyone wish us luck please!!

14 October, 2005

Interviews and Jobs

After a week of slacking, me and Zena finally decided to spend this week looking for work. Last weekend was spent online looking at recruitment agencies and job websites in Sydney. I also spent some time looking in the Newspapers, but because of the Working Holiday Visa you can only get temporary 3 month contracts.



So once I had my CV and covering letter updated again, and checked by the Recruitment Goddess herself, I then sent it out to over 20 agencies and jobs. Monday and Tuesday were spent following up these applications by phoning everyone up. And I ended up with 4 interviews on Wednesday.



Wednesday came and it bought the first rainfall I have seen in Sydney. Not a good omen, I thought. Had one interview in North Sydney and the other three in town itself. They all went fine.



Agency One said they would look around the Northern Suburbs and beaches for me - Great!! Agency Two said there is a possibility of an IT Security Sales role, for three months coming up - That sounds good!! Agency Three gets me more money in my paypocket, by claiming I am living away from home, also provisionally offered me a two week contract about 1/2 hour walk from where we are living - Superb!! Agency Four said they will keep a look out for me - lovely!!



Thursday bought a phonecall and an offer of employment for two weeks as a receptionist / IT for a local financial software house. $18 per hour, 8-5 everyday.. nice little starter job here in Sydney!!



Oh yeah and my phone and camera charger turned up this week as well, so I have a phone again!! Look out for some nice Sydney photos coming up soon...

09 October, 2005

Home and Away

The cars fixed at last!! The recovery man originally dropped it off outside the house, but every time we wanted a towtruck to take it to the garage a car would be parked in fornt of it. So in the end a Locksmith fixed it at the side of the road..



Anyway now the car is back to usual, we decided to get out of the house for a few hours. After all I have spent bloody ages on the old interweb looking for jobs and getting my CV with some agencys. Unfortunately I can only work a maximum of three months with any one employer, unlike NZ where they didn't really care! So I am after IT or Office Support work whilst I am here.



So our trip out this afternoon.. we decided to head up to Palm Beach AKA Summer Bay!! Yes, we were on the set of "Home and Away".. it was amazing!! We posed about pretending we were stars! hahahaha.. they even have the Summer Bay Surf Life Saving club there.. oh it was heaven!! I dont have any pictures coz I left my Phone and Camera charger in NZ (like an idiot), and they are in the post over to me...



Unfortunately they were not filming... I wanted a walk on extra part, but they do film on Tuesdays. If no work comes off soon, I may pop up there again!



Next stop is to see Skippy the Kangaroo...

03 October, 2005

02 October, 2005

Hello Australia!

After me and Zee changed our flights to arrive in Sydney on Thursday afternoon instead of Saturday, its great to finally be here!!



Arrived to a few clouds, but since then the sky has been sooo blue! Its amazing in Sydney.. a massive city which brings a new meaning to the word suburb.. Trees, bungalows and nature reserves everywhere!



We are staying with Zenas Aunty Gail and Uncle Roger until we get jobs and a house sorted which is real kind of them. We are also looking after there house while they go off to China and Uk for a month.. Looking after the house also invloves looking after 9 chickens, which is my job!!



Have had a nose around Manly and also the shopping malls at Waringah and Chatswood. We also popped into Addecco, looking for work and I nearly thought I was lined up for a $46,000 IT job within ours of arriving. I could still get it, but they want a permanent work visa for it.. oh well!



The cost of living in Oz is much cheaper than NZ, better wages and everything is much cheaper here than UK.. I love the place already!!



Zena also broke her Uncles car, and I broke the PC.. But the car has a problem from old, and I fixed the computer!! And I fed the chickens wrong... ooops!! They are OK though..

29 September, 2005

Farewell New Zealand

Newzealandmap



Can you believe it?? After arriving in New Zealand on the 23rd May I have finally flown onto Sydney on 29th September. A full four months in this beautiful country!!!



So did I enjoy it?? Of course.. and here is a chance for me to tell you of some particularly good times...



<< The map of New Zealand



Arriving after a 23hour journey to meet good friends Kate & Mike, Steve & Chris was great, even if Mike was holding up a sign for the "Old Man" ... So that week involved moving into a lovely house with amazing views, celebrating my thirtieth birthday (proper) and generally getting to know the beautiful town of Queenstown. Even now thinking of the place, I am reminded of the scenery and the laid backness of the place...



I made a few pledges for my birthday - 1. No More Smoking! 2. Get Fit & Stay Fit 3. Manage my cash 4. Keep a life journal - How are these getting on?? Well I gave up smoking, restarted (only when drunk), had one or two each day and have now given up again!! Fitness? Well I am still fat.. maybe Oz is the place to lose some weight! Everyone over here looks so thin... Cash Management?? Its pretty difficult when you don't have a regular job, but its ok.. Keep a life journal? I wanted both an online and paper based one.. Paper based one is still on the day I nearly broke my arm, but I have kept up to date on the blog.. I WILL KEEP THIS UP!!



Soon after that we had snow in town, and a drive to Wanaka saw us throwing snowballs at each other on the Crown Range pass.. This is a prelude to a season with loads of snow we thought... So we decide to head up the Remarks to have a nose and near certain death!!



The season opened on the 11th June at Coronet Peak, and even if the place doesn't have the size and infrastructure of Europe and North America, you can still see where all the fun can be had.. but then two days later I fall off a box and think I have broken my arm. After X-rays its diagnosed as only a crack, but it puts my snowboarding on hold for over three weeks.. So it was time to look for work...



After wandering around Queenstown looking for work in bars & Restaurants, I finally got lucky with a hotel just around the corner from me and get hours as a waiter/barman and also housekeeping!



I soon discovered that the job sucks!! But money is money. Then just after London wins the Olympics, Terrorists decide to blow up some Underground trains and a bus in london...



Soon after though, I got back snowboarding and this time I leave Coronet alone and head up the Remarks, which soon became my local mountain!! Even though Josh nearly gets buried in an Avalanche up there. I start by not liking the mountains much, but if you stop comparing it to Europe / USA, and explore, you soon discover how good it really is.. I spent a lot of my time learning to ride park. Before I just used to cruise and attempt minor backcountry. Kate soon has a birthday, 26, and I start growing a lovely mexican moustache!!



I was snowboarding a lot more then, with Night riding at Coronet and also heading over to Cardrona. And the beginning of August was when my girlfriend Zena leaves to go off on her travels!! Yep, 2 months in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand with her mum and then a bit of solo travel around Thailand, Malaysia and Sinagapore. That meant it was only 6 weeks till I saw her!!



Anyway the snow was not really coming down a lot, but a big dump soon sorts that out. Still doesn't help out with my job, which has now started cutting my hours coz it was getting quiet.. Along with this we got evicted from our house, which is a right pain!! Janine celebrates her 25th Birthday..



I got a new job!! but it takes them ages to sort out when I am gonna work.. and to celebrate I got a new haircut.. Yes Mullets are back in the Arnold fashion directory... Chris is getting older, 27!!



Apart from a couple of trips to Wanaka, I have pretty much stayed in Queenstown so we decided to head up to Ohau, unfortunately its closed but its good to get out of Queenstown! I got back to jack all my jobs in before Zena arrives..



15th September 05.. I have been waiting for this day for ages.. Zena arriving!! As well as getting some snowboarding in, we also head around town. All this in the same week as more snow arrives in the Southern Alps! So we head up for our last trips to the Remarks and Coronet.. Before heading to Christchurch to pick up our Relocation campervan and a four day trip of NZ via Fox Glacier! Finally arrive in Auckland on Monday 23rd September and change our flights to arrive in Sydney on Thursday!!



NEXT STOP SYDNEY!!

Auckland life..

After a much needed sleep in the Queen of Tongas room, we headed into town. Shopping was the order of the day for Tuesday, amongst Aucklands well known areas such as Queen Street, K Road and Newmarket.



We were not that impressed. A lot of the guidebooks emphasise the fact that a quarter of NZ's population live in Auckland, and Queen St is fantastic for shopping. Its not. K Road was a lot better with some funky little stores, while a visit to the Victoria Park market was a letdown as it only sold tourist junk.



Newmarket seemed to be where all the shops were, and it was busy still despite the drizzle. As we have no money for shopping anyway, it was a case of Zee browsing.... great..



Anyway we had a much better day on Wednesday with us going to Auckland Museum . As well as a real thorough Pacific Life section, and a brilliant Maori exhibition, we were also treated to a Maori welcome ceremony and an show of Maori singing, chanting and dancing.. including the world famous Haka.



After this we headed around the rest of the museum, which had a natural history floor and also a war memorial floor.. A really great day out! The museum in Wellington, Te Papa Tongewara is meant to be the better place to see Maori artifacts and other NZ treasures, but I really enjoyed the Auckland War Memorial Museum!!

26 September, 2005

State Highway 1

Have finally arrived in Auckland after travelling the entire route of State Highway 1 from Wellington to Auckland!! Yes, without veering off this road at all, me and Zee drove approx 600 kms in 8 hours (over two days). This after driving for 14 hours on the South Island.



As you can imagine we are shatterred...



Stayed the night in Turnagi last night, and this place seemed like a ghost town. Went to find a phone at 9pm and it was deserted... finally found one shop open, and the guy was saying that people think he should close early.. he wasn't wrong



Staying in a lovely hostel in Auckland right now, City Garden Lodge which according to BBH is rated at 81%!!  Its an amazing old wooden panelled villa with a massive staircase leading to big bedrooms. This house used to be owned by the Queen of Tonga, and we have her old room! At least its fit for the princess warrior.. Zenas even happier because they supply hot water bottles... 



Its a beautiful place, situated in the heart of Parnell which is a lovely suburb real close to the city centre that has a lovely restaurant scene. Haven't actually managed to go into town just yet, thats for tommorrow...



Anyway me and Zee have now changed our flights to Sydney. Instead of flying out Saturday we now leave Thursday.. This is so we can see Zenas Aunty and Uncle before they fly to Shangai for a holiday!!

25 September, 2005

Relocations and Fox Glacier

Jez_116Thursday saw me and Zena leave Queenstown for a coach journey up to Christchurch. 8 Hours later saw us staying in Stonehurst Backpackers, a lovely place at reasonable rent. Me and Zee paid a little extra for our own room.. Went out that evening for a bite to eat, and found a great Turkish Kebab shop! mmmm tasty.. Both places definitely recommended.



Anyway the next day saw us getting up early so we could pick up our relocation campervan from Maui at Christchurch Airport. No worries sorting it all out. I paid a little extra than a dollar a day, to ensure I was covered properly on the insurance. But soon enough we had a massive Volkwagen 2 berth with Toilet and Shower!! After stopping to stock up on food and drinks, we headed for Arthurs Pass on the way to Fox Glacier.



The scenery crossing Arthurs Pass and also the whole of the West Coast is bloody impressive.. Amazing mountain ranges, sheer drops, rivers and rainforest make this one of the best drives ever!! After stopping for some lunch at Arthurs Pass we headed down, and took a detour via the Arnold river and also Arnold creek.. Photo Opportunity!! Finally got to Fox Glacier at 7pm, and booked in for the half day hike the next day.



This hike up to the glacier, and an hour on the ice as well, was amazing!! We both had the best time, and would recommend it to anybody. Led by an experienced Guide, scrambling over rocks and mountain streams, and finally putting on a pair of crampons, and walking over a river of ice is without doubt one of the best experiences of my trip to NZ! Loads of photos coming soon!!



Anyway because we had to leave on the ferry the next morning, we decided to drive on as soon as the hike was over, and we were looking forward to an 8 hour trip to Picton!! Went via the Pancake rocks at Punaikai, which were formed after millions of years of erosion.. truly beautiful! Also via some amazing west coast beaches. Finally arriving in Picton at 9pm.. after parking up for the night on the site of a notorious massacre, Zee convinced me that we should drive on a bit... finally slept the night in the Ferry carpark!!



Anyway we have taken the interislander ferry, had a nose around Windy Welly and driven 6hours from Wellington to Tuarangi.. just gonna go to bed zzzzz

21 September, 2005

Last day of the Season

Img_1356With our coach booked tomorrow, today was the last day to head up the slopes!



Had the chance to go to Treble Cone today with John and Ellie, but in the end me and Zee decided to head up to Coronet Peak. It reopened today after the snow from the other day, and would you believe it, but it was a blue sky day!! Zee was convinced these don't exist!!



Anyway I wasn't gonna risk hurting myself, so spent the day with Zena practising her turns. She is doing real well with snowboarding and I am so proud of her progression already.. All it involves now is more and more practice and soon she will be as good as Leslie McKenna!



Tomorrow we leave Queenstown!!

Last day Snowboarding up the Remarks

Img_1277<< My last run down the Remarks..



So Monday bought a huge storm into Queenstown and snow actually settled on the streets (about an inch) .. Wow!! Thats the first snow seen in Queenstown all season!!



So me and Zena were on for a day up the Remarks on Tuesday... Got a lift to the base by John, and then hitched up with this UK guy over on holiday. Asked him if he had chains.. "Yeah of course"



So halfway up I say that I think this is a good place to get them on.. He pulls over, gets the chains out of the boot and they look like something for a horse and cart!! Hahaha!! We try to get them on, but no hope.. So we turn around to hire some chains.. Get there and they are too expensive, so we drive to the bottom to get the bus up!!



Img_1307Anyway the weather is attrocious, and after one run down the Alta slope with Zena we decide to head in for a hot drink.. In the afternoon John and Ellie get up the hill, and with Zena off on her lesson, we go up the hill.. The promised 35cm of powder, is all hidden against rocks but its still a great day. On my final run I get John to take some pictures of me on the hill..



So I go down to see Zena and she is progressing loads!! Linked turns from toe edge to heel edge, on the bottom slopes all the way.. Wow!! I am sooo impressed!

19 September, 2005

NZ Plans

Img_1254 << Zena and Dog.



Anyway here are our plans for the rest of our time in NZ



Tues 20th & Weds 21st Sept - Snowboarding.. might as well while we have some more snow!!



Thurs 22nd Sept - Bus to Christchurch..



Fri 23rd Sept - Pick up a 2berth Campervan at Christchurch!! Relocation special to Auckland Airport at a dollar a day!! obviously you pay for your own fuel, but it works out real cheap!!



Sat 24th Sept - Visit Fox Glacier



Sun 25th Sept - Ferry Journey from Picton to Wellington and carry on driving up to Lake Taupo.



Mon 26th Sept - Visit Rotorua and return van.



Tues 27th to Fri 30th Sept - Auckland and also Bay of Islands



Sat 1st October - Fly to Sydney!!



Anyway will keep you updated on the way with a few more pictures as well on my photo site..

Up the Gondola..

Img_1236 I took Zena up to the Remarks on Friday, so she could relearn her snowboarding skills.. and was I impressed!! Andorra was really good, but Zena learnt in 2 lessons what it took her a week in Andorra to sort of get to grips with.



Yes.. She is linking turns now! Ok, its on the easy slopes but toe to heel and back all the way to the bottom is bloody impressive!! It was great news!!



Thats the basics of snowboarding all completed.. now its all progression to bigger and better things!! roll on USA/Canada for our next trip!!



Went out Friday night with Kate & Mike, Gary & Anna, Janine and also Steve & Nicki. Went to this very tasty Thai restauarant. Zee was NOT looking forward to Thai food, she was tempted to ask the waitress for some chips! Great night out though.. Went to the pub after for some a few games of pool and some beers..



Saturday saw us staying in and watching pirate, I mean copies of DVDs incluing the the early episodes of Lost!!



Sunday saw us take a walk into town and then went up the Gondola to Skyline. This place has great views of Queenstown, and so we took loads of photos! Also they have a go-kart type luge tup there, so we had a quick go on that! loads of fun, especially was we did the adventurous run! Zee was screaming like a little girl..



Today is Monday and its snowing!! Yes, just before I am about to leave Queenstown we get a snow storm come through and its now actually snowing in town itself! No going up the hill till today though.. can't be bothered with the cold and wind...

15 September, 2005

Zena arrives…

Img_1191 Thursday 15th September.. I have been waiting for this day since I left for NZ just short of 4 months ago.



This is the day that Zena arrives over here in NZ!!



Well, of course I was awake at 7 this morning, but lying in bed for ages coz I don't need to get up yet. Then its all about tidying up, so the place is neat for Zena to see.. then time to chill watching morning TV.



Thats until Zee phones just after 11 saying that she has got an earlier flight and will be in Queenstown at 12:30 instead of 15:15!! Damn, I still have to get ready myself!!



Anyway arrive at the airport with half an hour to spare, see that Zenas flight gets in at 12:32, enough time to read the paper and have a cup of coffee.. All ready to see Zee walk through the door. Anyway get a text off Zee saying "At the Airport. Where are you?" Look around to see my tanned girlfriend hanging about.... Hahahaha!! I was waiting for the wrong flight to come through the door!



Anyway we have just headed into town to have a nose.. The tache has now been shaved off!! Zena has some cold weather boots (Timberlands) that are giving her blisters... so we are shuffling about everywhere!!

13 September, 2005

England win the Ashes

England_win_ashes 18 years after England last beat Australia in the Ashes Test series, we have finally won!! Thanks to the captain Michael Vaughn and star players Andy Flintoff and Kevin Pieterson.



This is so great!! Especially since when I first got to NZ and the All Blacks beat the Lions in the Rugby. As I am off to Oz soon, I can't wait to take the piss sooo bad!!



Bad Luck to all you Aussies.. But then Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath are way past there best now.. ;-)

11 September, 2005

No more work in Queenstown!!

Yes.. Its true!! I am now unemployed in Queenstown! I have quit my jobs at both the Hotel and the Garage... I knew that I would be jacking it all in anyway (and all of you did too.. ) But to be able to get jobs in this town, that are not related to winter sports, it was near to impossible to get a job without committing yourself to be in Queenstown for longer than 6 months.



So everyone I was speaking to about work, it was "Yes. I am in town till at LEAST January, not sure whats happening after that but may go to Auckland"... if only they knew better!!



Anyway with no work to do, I am gonna get some snowboarding in before Zena gets here on Thursday!! I have only 100 hours till I see her again!! woooohoo

08 September, 2005

Ohau trip..

Img_1185_1 Wednesday afternnon saw our Queenstown crew (minus a few) head out to Ohau for a night in the lodge and a days riding on the third hill of our NZSki lift pass. Mount Ohau .



Well we would have gone riding if they opened it up for us. Yes, unfortunately this years poor snow levels in NZ have meant that Ohau was closed for us, but should open up for the weekend crowds. Ohau is not the only one to have problems.



The duty rumour that was going round Queenstown for a few weeks was that Coronet Peak will be closing one of its lifts early. However after hearing it direct from employees of the hill, Coronet is closing on Sunday for the rest of the season!! EVERYTHING!! Oh dear..



Well anyway the Remakables are still open, but for how long?? The base is only 55-80cm now..



What can you do eh?? Anyway back to Ohau...



After a night of fun in the lodge, where we all went to the beach for a bonfire and a few beers before the rain called a stop to that..  We were determined not to come away doing nothing on Thursday, so we set off for a 4km walk in the hills nearby.. A beautiful walk was only interupted by one thing.. a river crossing!!



Img_1183All of us (6 boys and 5 girls) had no choice but to find a spot to cross without getting too wet!! Surprisingly nobody did!! we did get a few wet socks though..



Anyway back via the beach and then head back to the cars. The boys decide to head cross country to get back quicker.. via the swap of death, we discover the easiest route to get back is up the creek. This involves about 6 more river crossings for us.. lots of fun though!!



03 September, 2005

Hurricane KATRINA

Oilrig_katrina I can't believe what I am hearing on the news at the moment. About a week ago I remember Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans saying people should leave the city as it was about to be hit by a hurricane..



He wasn't wrong. The damage and the misery inflicted is immense.



Now you would have thought that Bush and the government would have been ready to declare the whole area as PRIORITY NUMBER ONE and start getting aid to his own citizens who are in dire need in the Southern States. But he hasn't.



Now Mayor Negin is furious and rightly so.. read the transcript of his interview on CNN here...



Wikeipedia entry >> BBC News >> American Red Cross >> Blog from some guy stuck in NO >>

Chris’s 27th Birthday

Img_1072I know Chris through Kate. She worked with him, when he was a Boat Mechanic in Southampton. A sound guy who is travelling with Sam, his Portsmouth Girlfriend..



On Thursday Chris celebrated his 27th Birthday..and in style, we tried to stay out till dawn. This is no easy task in Queenstown, as its quite an expensive night out! So we started the night at there house drinking cheap stubbies for a little while!!



Once we had sung Happy Birthday, and eaten cake, we all headed to Buffaloes in town.. Great Travellers bar, a little hectic but where Chris spends a small proportion of his wages!! After here Triple M, great for cheap bar if litle else!! This place closed at 1 so we headed to Chicos fo some party atmosphere.



Img_1080<<< By now everyone was a little drunk...



But when this place closed at 3ish, we were left without anywhere to go. except Tardis. I haven't been to this place since I got here, but it does have a reputation of being a hip joint fo all the snowboarders in town..



I don't know why.. Its really dark, and this place pretty much killed the night.. putting an end to our dream of drinking till dawn!!



Good job really.. the next day  had the worst hangover!!

31 August, 2005

Zena in Thailand

After her mum flew home yesterday back to good old Blighty, Zena is now in Thailand and travelling down to Koh Pha Nagn for some relaxation time before she comes over to see me in 2 weeks.. yes people 2 WEEKS!!



Where has all this time gone? I can't believe tommorrow is the 1st of September and I have now been away for just over 3 months! Its been amazing here in NZ, having met some great people, and also doing some great snowboarding!



I am gonna give a big email out in a few days to all you guys & gals who read the blog, and also when i have finished my round the world tour of NZ, I will give you a suberb read and recommendations if you ever decide to come over here for a trip..



But for now i just can't wait for my beautiful amazing girlfriend to arrive here!!

Southampton Solent University

Solent On the 15th August my old uni (read - place where I studied for a degree) actually became a Southampton Solent University. After years of offering students a degree validated by Nottingham Trent Uni, they can now offer there own!!



WELL DONE !!

27 August, 2005

New haircut!!

My Restaurant Manager had a word with me last week, and said "Jez. I think your hair needs a haircut..."



I know.. its out of control!!



I have tried growing it out before, but its very wavy and bulky. It just makes me look like I have a massive uncontrollable mass. I like long hair sometimes, but the amount of effort you have to do to make it presentable is not worth the hassle! So I went into Queenstown to a decent Hairdresser for a cut...



Was not sure really what I wanted.. Zena really likes my curly bits at the back of my neck, and as I have not seen her for 3 months, I thought I had better keep them for her.. :-) so I asked for short on top and long at the back... in other words



Img_1062_1<<< MULLET!!



hahaha!! as you can see with the handlebar moustache, I now look like I have stepped out of a time machine!! Not as good as Pennys Sarah Connor-esque monstrosity (her words, not mine) at Glasto..



However before I get a lot of insulting comments or emails, I would like to point you in the direction of this website..



Img_1019 So the new house is proving an amazing place.. the views are outstanding, and I love having my own room again!! once I have sorted the pictures out, I will put some photos up, but here is the house (if you look closely you can see where my room is... the door at the bottom right!!) I climb the stairs outside to get into the house!!



Anyway I have finished my training at the Garage now.. 32 hours worth!! hahahaha.. Now i can operate a till and make coffee and sandwiches.. not for long though!!

23 August, 2005

New House, New Job

Sunrise_lane So today I woke up in my new house at 15A Sunrise Lane, Queenstown.. An incredible house, all the more because I have my own room at last and only paying $80/wk.. My Landlord John is a 40 yo Brit who has done at least 5 winter seasons here in Queenstown (judging by the Season passes on the fridge door!!) and he's real sound! Also living with another Brit by the name of Heather, who's working for NZSki on her travels around the world..



The views are even better than the old house (which me and Kate think had bad Karma...) as well as the Remarks, we also have the Crown Range and as well as Frankton Arm, we also have Lake Wakatipu itself!! Like I said I have my own room now, the only disadvantage being that its sort of outside. If I want to go in the house, I go out of room into the openair, walk up some stairs on to the decking and then into the house!! Its nice actually..



Today was also the day I started my new job up at the Garage. I set my alarm early and sorted myself out. Walked out of the house down to the Busstop for 8:15ish when the bus is meant to pass, but it didnt show!! it had passed early! So i started to hitch from where I was, but 50 minutes later still no-one had picked me up.. Eventually the next bus gets there early and I get to work on my first day half an hour late...



Oh dear..



They didn't seem to mind though.. Just as well because I am only gonna be working there 4 weeks!! I feel bad for doing this to them, it seems to be an alright job! Never mind!! I need to save a little money for when Zena gets here and also when we go to Oz.



Anyway gotta go and pay my landlord some rent!! Laters..

19 August, 2005

Janines 25th Birthday

Img_1004As its the last week of living in the house, I have been going out Snowboarding a lot this week.. its also been Janines Birthday!!



Yep the lady has reached a quarter of a century old!! So we went up to Remarks yesterday for a lovely day of bluebird riding.. There is a new kicker in the top park so I was riding that mostly. Apparently I am like a preying mantis when I am in the air!!



Out last night for a meal and drinks.. a good night had by all, with food at Dux de Lux , then drinks at Dux and later Triple M.. I got wasted!!



So Friday bought Kate and Mike a VIP day up Remarks, which includes tubing and a free lesson. Mike didn't need the lesson, so I had it.. Friday also bought a bad hangover..



So me and Kate had a halfpipe lesson in the Superpipe! Charlie a French-Canadian took it and we learnt how to ride the pipe properly and also 360 spins as well! didn't mean I could do them, but now I know!!

15 August, 2005

Book Crossing

Bc_logoThose of you who know me well, will realise that I love to read.. be it newspapers, magazines, the internet or even books. My girlfriend gets annoyed with me reading, whilst others can't believe how fast I can read!! Mum and Dad are fed up with the amount of books I have at home on my shelves as well..



Well, as I am travelling at the moment I can't really afford to read too many books, so I am always looking for a bargain! The Warehouse has a cheap book section, as do some of the shops in town... There is even a library here (surprisingly I have yet to go there??)



Anyway back in January i discovered Book Crossing and now I have books that I have read, I am going to start releasing them into the wild around NZ, Oz and USA. If you are interested in letting others read your books, then I recommend this website. Its getting rave reviews on many websites, radio/TV shows and of course in newspapers/magazines!



Download Book Crossing brochure in pdf 



UPDATE going to release five books sometime in Queenstown.. Johnathon Strange and Mr Norrell >> Number 9 Dream >> Genesis 2 >> Digital Fortress >> Secret Hunters >> Keep an eye on them via the links...

a bit of a change..

Well this is the week the house has been counting down to for 5 weeks.. our eviction!!



Yes, for those of you who didn't know we are getting evicted. why?? Some bloody English poms have bought our house as an "investment" and want us out so that they can fix the roof and then start renting it out again.. So it meant we all had to start looking for a new place to stay. The trouble is that we are all leaving at different times, so it would be awkward to get a place for us all at a decent price. Therefore the trusty Mountain Scene <<read this for a fascinating look at the newsapers history>> has been helping us out (as well as backpacker boards over town) with the Flatmates Wanted section..



We have been looking for ages, but last Thursday when the Scene came out we were on the phone chasing up offers immediately!! I went to one viewing with Mike and Kate, which was "$120/week + expenses" near town. A great house, which has a spare room for $80/week but you have to go outside the house to get to it!! I have to give John a phone call tonite, and hopefully I will have my own room for the next 4-5 weeks!! UPDATE Gave John a ring and will be moving in on Saturday afternoon!!



Mike and Kate have sorted somewhere out near Mikes work place. Janine is on the other side of town in Fernhill, and Steve is living with Gary in town.. so we are all sorted!!



A bit better than Jasper who seems to be living in the middle of the Crips territory in LA South Central .. Crack house next door to his house!! Apparently the house looks great in the day, but an night the road comes alive to the sound of "ANY YAAL WANNA BUY A WATCH MAN, CHANNEL MAN, YOU KNOW LIKE MOSCHINO, $20 MAN" ... hahahaha jokes jas.. only you could live there...



I phoned the garage up today, hoping to be able to start this weekend, but of course another problem kicks up!! They need a photocopy of my passport now. I asked them if they needed this last week, and they said no.. oh well!! at least the Hotels starting to give me more hours in the Restaurant. Every Saturday / Sunday evenings they are having a buffet, and I am needed for this before I start at the garage.. woooooohoo

09 August, 2005

SNOW at last!!

Img_0972_1 Went up to the Remarks yesterday with Roxy to bomb about the slopes and we were talking about some more snow turning up.. Had an OK day, but the snow cover is getting less and less...



So last night and we are in watching TV and its raining cats and dogs.. that combined with the freezing air temperature meant that it should be snow.



We had no idea that about a foot of snow would fall up the Remarks!! I eventually wake up (I am lame I know..) and start to hitch. Eventually get picked up and get to the bottom of the mountain, get the bus up the hill and am smiling to myself all the way because there is snow all the way where there used to  be mud and rocks!!



So my first lift is up Shadow chair, which leads to all the best black runs and I decide not to hike to the chutes.. instead do the tracked out runs.. meet up with some friends later and we do one of the highlights of the Remarks "Homeward Bound".. this is a huge bowl, with loads of powder and it was sooo much fun!! After getting picked up by the bus we then go and do some chutes.. This involves a 100m vertical climb but leads to some amazing runs. Did this brilliant run between some cliffs and had a huge grin for ages.. that is until I run into some rocks and scratch the botom of the board!! oh well, its not as bad as one of the lads i was riding with who totally smashed up the front of his board when he ran straight into a rock.. thats what is not known as a write off!!



Other news - The garage phoned me up and offered me some work!! It means I have 3 nights (Friday / Saturday / Sunday) making sandwiches and cleaning the place up!! But it pays well.. $14/hr!! Just got to wait for a Security check (???) and then some work starts next week!! That combined with the Hotel means quite a bit of money coming my way!!

05 August, 2005

Queenstown Parklife Invitational

Img_0968Thursday 4th August saw Upper Camp St in Queenstown closed off for a street rail jam dubbed Parklife Invitational. As I was in town looking for work, I thought I would stop by and watch this kick off.. and boy was it worth it!!



Some real sick Skiers and riders were doing some amazing tricks on the down rail and the down C rail all evening from when it kicked off at 5pm right through to close at 10pm.. I was there for the whole event (less the last 20mins.. I was just too cold by then) and some of the kids were kicking ass!! The Wells boys (both skiers) were doing some great tricks all evening, with 270 on to 180 off slides ... sweet!! Anyway I really wanted to take some photos, but my cameras action mode needs to be looked at closer!! The photos I did take are here.. a quick look on the tinternet found this Natives Link Board the World Link

03 August, 2005

nearly in Vietnam

After a phone call off Zena this morning at 5am, my lovely girlfriend is finally on her way to Vietnam to meet up with her mum.. She sounded quite cheerful on the phone when she was waiting in the departure lounge at Heathrow, normally at this point she would be cursing the person who invented airplanes!!



So I was telling my mates Chris and Sam about her trip, and Sam says "Have you ever been to Vietnam?" .. "No Why??" .. "Oh, its quite a culture shock.".. wtf??  Apparently its really manic there, but you soon get used to it. The Vietnam War museum used to be called the American War Crimes Museum.. hahaha!! until some fat yanks found it offensive!!



Anyway Zenas cat Chanel Sweetie is gonna let us know all about her trip via her very own weblog.. Zena is gonna be emailing her little beauty (who she has to leave behind with the other cats in Chewton Mendip) at chanelsweetie@gmail.com and she will be telling everyone whats going on.. Also what Cat life is like back home!! The blog can be reached at here <<http://arnold.blogs.com/chanel>> .. so leave comments or email Zena and Chanel there!!



Final News - They discovered a large planet 9 Billion miles from the sun a couple of years ago, and recently it moved again.. Scientists asked my advice on what they should call it, and I said "what else name it after my girlfriend!" .. They mispelled her name.. its affectionatly called Xena



Also went riding up Concrete Peak again today.. damn its icy!! Also rocks are showing through some places.. gonna leave this place alone for a while, and head to town tommorrow for the Parklife Invitational and Cardrona Remarks on Friday..

02 August, 2005

Zenas off on her travels

Img_0022 So I have been away for just over two months now, sort of settled in Queenstown. I have a house (for another three weeks), a job (that gives me very little hours) and a snowboard (Season Pass to one resort thats great aka the Remarks, and one resort thats v.icy aka Concrete Peak!)



I also have a Girlfriend who is on her way to see me!!



Yes, in a litle over 12 hours Zena gets going on her travels around South East Asia for the next 6 weeks before she arives in NZ..



I haven't seen her itinery yet.. but i do know the following -



  • Leaves LHR Tuesday 4th August for a long flight via Singapore to Vietnam


  • Meets up with Mom for a month travelling around Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand


  • A couple of weeks travelling around Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore on her lonesome


  • Flight from Singapore via Auckland before she meets up with me in Queenstown NZ on Thursday 15th Sept (just after our two year anniversary!!)


After that we are renting a campervan for somewhere to live for 2 weeks.. We will be staying around Queenstown for some time, followed by a tour of both Islands, finally getting to Auckland for our flight to Sydney on the 1st October.



ITS GONNA BE SO GREAT!!



Anyway if you want to email Zena and wish her luck, then click this link!! or leave a comment ...



In other news, I might have a house sorted.. We have hooked up with an old friend from Uni Gary Pickburn, and he has been over in NZ for a couple of years now doing Snowboard Instruction up at the Remarks... His place is in town, and a couple of his housemates are moving out. So me and Steve are gonna move in at a cost of $75 per week and a $75 bond.. Sweet!! Also phoned back the Garage today. She is STILL waiting to speak to a member of Staff about her nights, but she said she has remembered me!! I NEED THESE HOURS!!



Anyway more news soon!!

29 July, 2005

IRA says armed campaign is over

On one hand we now have a new problem facing the world with International Islamic Terrorism causing problems in London and elsewhere, and on the other hand one of the UKs most feared Irish Terrorist groups has said that "the Armed Campaign is now over.." 



The statement made by Gerry Adams on the 28th July basically says:



  • All IRA units ordered to dump arms


  • Members ordered to pursue objectives through "exclusively peaceful means"


  • Arms to be put beyond use as quickly as possible


  • Two church witnesses to verify this


  • Statement followed "honest and forthright" consultation process


  • Strong support among IRA members for Sinn Fein's peace strategy


  • There is now an alternative way to achieve goal of united Ireland


  • "Volunteers must not engage in any other activities whatsoever"


Great News.. Lets hope this will not be like all other previous statements and end up being ignored by a few diehards, who don't want to lose there protection rackets / drugs ring / other criminal activity because of this..



UPDATE 02 Aug 05 - Demilitarisation of NI to be complete by 1st Aug 2007 with troops cut from 10k to 5k, the NI based Royal Irish Regiment disbanded and Counter Terror Laws for NI repealed.



Anyway still waiting on the Garage to get back to me about these nights I might be doing.. and Zena goes away on her travels in 4 days!! Flying to Vietnam and then on to Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore before she comes out to meet me in NZ on the 13th September.. CAN'T WAIT for her to arrive here.. x x

26 July, 2005

Cardrona and jobs

Trailmap_cardrona Well the Hotel I am working in is suffering the same problems that the rest of Queesntown is suffering..  lack of snow, therefore affecting visitor numbers. So in its wisdom it has decided to cut my hours this week from 40 to 0..



Which Sucks..



I questioned this with both my Restaurant Manager and the Housekeeping Manager, and they both said "Well, we can have you on call just in case.." whatever.. Anyway it allows me to go out every day this week and do what I am here to do anyway.. SNOWBOARD!!



Today I went to Cardrona, which is a resort not part of the NZSki.com package, about an hours drive towards Wanaka. It is an amazing resort, but more about that in a minute..



My Restaurant Manager realising that I have no hours this week was very kind to have a word with a friend of his who works at the garage up the road, and this morning I went to see him for an interview for some hours they have there.. I did get told that it was nights work, but I was a bit worried that I would be required to work every night of the week!! I dont think so.. So I spoke to the manager of the place, and she asked me what I am after. I told her that at first I am after weekend nights, and a possibility of extending these to more in the future (yeah right..) Anyway should hear back on Thursday



Img_0851 So Cardrona!! In one word SUPERB!! big wide motorway runs, sun shining all day long! great park and halfpipe (not that I was doing a lot there) .. and some truly great opportunities for powder riding!! Just need snow now!! Went with Roxy Steve and Nick (great Canuck skier, straight lines every run!) and just bombed up the park and all over the runs all day.. so many brilliant riders there, and they even had a comp on for kids today.. a bit of slalom and also later on some boarder cross..

23 July, 2005

Better Snow and night riders

Img_0806 So I am back snowboarding as you may know, but the problems now are not my fault!!



We have hardly any snow in Queenstown!! Yes, since the Remarks and Coronet have opened NZ has 28% of the normal snow so far.. this as you can imagine, is causing the mountains to be showing a few rocks and tussocks everywhere!! its also icy and hardpack .. which aint that great to ride!



even so, I am still getting some great days out!! Thursday saw me and Mike riding up at the Remarks, which is by far the best resort in Queenstown. Sunny Blue sky days, meant the snow was slightly slushy.. but better than it has been in ages!! Friday saw me, Mike and Kate up at Coronet for the afternoon.. sessioning all the lifts and the terrain we havent managed to get to yet!! I can see now why, that if Coronet had a good dump of snow its really good!! Best days riding yet..



Oh yeah Coronet does Night riding on Friday / Saturday evenings so we stayed up to see the sun come down... beautiful



One Last thing - We are getting bloody evicted from our house!! how annoying! The house has been sold to some assholes that want us out on the 22nd August. We have asked if we can stay an extra month, but they are saying NO!! what are we gonna do?? does anyone have any friends in QT that I can possibly stay with for a month??

Friends networks

Friendster, Bebo, Hi5, Orkut, Myspace, 43things .. does anybody join these friends networks?? stupid question really, when I am a member of four at the moment..



But why did I join?? I guess its because I am very interested in this connected world of ours. I have always tried to get into internet crazes, the so called "killer apps", early even if I never really use them to the full advantage. I joined Hotmail early on, along with a load of other free webmail accounts. I dont use my any of them anymore except for my gmail.. I joined ebay as well, but i have a user rating of 4! (even Zena has a higher user rating, and she joined years after me!! but she loves to shop...) I have listened to podcasts, and I am writing my travel journal online..



but friends networks?? the network with the most people I am connected to is Hi5, but you have a look at my friends friends and they all seem to be a lot younger.. Bebo is clever and reminds me of friends birthdays and people can put up pictures and online journal entrys.. but no-one really uses it anymore.. the last time I logged in (before a few minutes ago - its changed for the better) was before I came away. MySpace and 43things are two I have just joined. But I cant be bothered to send all my friends I have through Hi5 and Bebo, another request to join my friends network..



Apparently the best one to join is Orkut. Recently in the news because some Brazillians are using it to trade drugs online !! Its NOT the reason I want to join, its because its closely affiliated to Google, who seem to be getting most things right online at the moment. Trouble is you cant just join them. You have to be invited!!



Oh yeah, if you want to join me on my Friends networks then click on the following links for each one...  >> Hi5 - http://www.hi5.com/i?l=XNE35A8  >> Bebo - http://www.bebo.com/invite/4808936a5068489b  >> MySpace - http://www.myspace.com/22593992  >>  43things - http://www.43things.com/person/jezarnold  >> 



Also if you want a real good email account (much better than hotmail or yellowsnow email) let me know..



UPDATE 25 July 05 - Well here I was in the internet outpost the other day, just typing up my blogs and stuff, when I glanced over to what my neighbour was up to.. she was on ORKUT! she was this brazilian girl, I have never met before, but I asked her to invite me to ORKUT.. Sweet!! so if you have invites in your inbox from me for ORKUT go and check them out.. if Carlsberg designed Internet apps, then it would probably be the best in the world!!

21 July, 2005

New change for the Blog

What do you think of the new change? it allows me to put all my blogs and photoblogs on one page and then you can access my different blogs from one site..



if you dont like it, then add this address to your bookmarks / favourites http://arnold.blogs.com/thirty , saves you seeing the new Home page!! also you can all see all the pictures taken on Kates birthday here



How is everyone?? I went snowboarding today, and it was bloody great!! Also I have been pointed in the direction of this great new game..  SHOE GOLF !! its a classic, future olympic winner!! check it out... a

19 July, 2005

Kates 26th Birthday

Img_0715 Sunday 17th July - and good mate Kate (pictured on left, looking drunk) celebrates her 26th Birthday..



its decided that Kate wants to have a Bad Taste night for the bash at our house, so its up to everyone to sort out those terrible outfits for the night.. I pop down to the Salvation Army on Saturday to get a real bad shirt, but its closed!! so wander around town for a nose in the shops to see if anything catches my eye. The ALL BLACKS shop has been selling a lot of the Lions Rugby stuff off at cheap prices recently, so this may prove fruitfil. Sure enough, a $100 Hawaiaan Lions shirt has been reduced to $10 (4 quid!!).. so its gonna have to be that!!



Img_0685_1 << Drinking Pride of the South SPEIGHTS.. mmm (with new mexican tache!!)



Anyway 8:30pm and me and Mike are the only ones at home wondering if anyone is gonna show up, including Birthday girl. Kate shows up and is impressed with Mikes skills at sorting the house at.. and proceeds to open all her pressys!! I will let Kate tell you what she got, but I gave her Dodgeball on DVD.. 9:30pm and people start showing up!! Chris and Sam are looking top in some dodgy suit and a rescue Jumpsuit.. but I thinks it Kate who steals the award, with some red leggings she used to wear clubbin about 8 years ago, a polka dot top and a stripey dressing gown!!



Img_0748About 30 people show up and luckily all congregate in our kitchen to drink booze. Party goes really great, and its fun to watch Mike and Kate get more and more drunk through the evening. Mike shoots to bed at 1, with Kate following about 1:45 ..  all in all a great nite



(see www.flickr.com/photos/jezarnold ) for more pictures!!

16 July, 2005

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

0747581088In the previous book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the last chapter, titled 'The Second War Begins,' started:



In a brief statement on Friday night, Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge confirmed that He Who Must Not Be Named has returned to this country and is once more active. "It is with great regret that I must confirm that the wizard styling himself Lord — well, you know who I mean — is alive and among us again.."



Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince takes up the story of Harry Potter's sixth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry at this point as Voldemort's power and followers are increasing day by day, in the midst of this battle of good and evil.



New Zealand 11:01 am and Harry Potter 6 goes on sale at $29.99. As I am at work I have to wait until this afternoon to go and get it, but after reading the first couple of chapters, I can honestly say its gonna be great!!! Does anyone wanna know who dies? or any other HP secrets that you cant be bothered to read about?? email me.. I dont wanna ruin it for those ho have not read it yet!!



Myvpimped_fiat <<< Also Jasper emailed me today.. these are priceless emails.. very rare!! His mates had his car pimped in MTVs "pimp my ride".. check it out!!jokes...  Anyway gotta go and get ready for work!! will have photos of Mike on the rails at Coronet Peak soon..

15 July, 2005

Avalanche dangers

Jez_30th_party10_1 Zena sent me some great pictures today of the 30th Birthday Party I celebrated in Southampton.. << this one here is of the Pinyana the Yellowsnow Guys got me, and my attempts to smash it open with a rubber baseball bat!! hilarious!! (More at www.flickr.com/photos/jezarnold ) Have you Southampton guys got any more?? email me if you have please!!



So I have been back snowboarding more here in Queenstown. Me, Mike, Kate and J9 went up the Remarks yesterday for some powder riding. As we got there we met up with Josh & Galena (two great American skiers) and Steve (a shit hot kiwi boarder).. They all work in Browns with Kate and J9, and Galena is a pretty damn good extreme skier. In fact she got to number 4 in the World rankings for women extreme skiers at one point.. they are off hiking, and ask if we are. As i am still getting back into this snowboarding lark, I dont really want to do the big runs just yet (later in the season) .. so we say nah



We have an excellent days riding with a few powder runs got in, but I get really tired about 3 hours in and jack back to the car to rest my weary legs, and once the others have finished we head back to the house.



Watching the news a bit later, one of the storys is "Backcountry riders beware!!" with a story about an avalanche in the Remarkables, where a Snowboarder got carried down the mountain after setting off an avalanche. Shit we think.. didnt hear about that!! we thought we saw it, but after speakin to Galena we realise that was not the one..



Josh, Galena and Steve hiked up to drop in on some great run and after Steve and Galena had been it was Joshs first run.. Dropped in and next thing he knows, he has set off this avalanche and he is being carried down the mountain on it. Two cliffs he goes over, and gets buried a few times but ends up buried to his waist. He gets digged out quick. Ski patrol close that section off for a bit and check out the dangers..



Josh is safe... Thats the main thing



He is a very good skier, but today he wasnt wearing his tranceiver, whilst the other two were. Just for future reference, i will be wearing the one Olie got for my 30th Birthday EVERY time i am riding powder on the Remarks or elsewhere. I think Josh will be too...

14 July, 2005

In Case of Emergency..



Congratulations to the Met, London Ambulance Service, London Fire Brigade,the Security Services and all the other agencies involved in the response and rescue, and the following investigation for last Thursdays devastating attack on the nations capitals transport systems, for their outstanding work..



I salute you



Today is seven days since the attack and London is stronger than ever. Those I know in the big smoke have told me that apart from a few assholes who are being racist and discriminatory to the muslims in the UK and in other western cities, London is dealing this in the best way possible. Calmly, resolvedly and efficiently with the majortiy of people continuing there lives as usual.



I have had a read of personal experiences of survivors from the explosions, and every one has bought tears to my eye. These are normal people like you and me who have been touched by something horrible. It makes me sad to hear that its suicide bombers who have done this. I have always thought of Islam of being a great religion, but I just cant understand where within the Koran it says killing yourself and also others is a way that you can enter paradise...



The way that the Police and Ambulance service are identifying some people is through there mobile phones. East Anglia paramedics are launching a national campaign with Vodafone to store an ICE number on your phone. ICE = In Case of Emergency contact ... it would help both victims and the families easier if this is done. I am putting in my numbers now. Zena and Mum/Dad are my contacts..

Icelogo Eight out of 10 British people carry no next of kin details. Yet 80% carry a mobile phone, most of whom have it on them all the time. There is no simpler way of letting the emergency services know who to contact should you be involved in an accident than by using ICE.



Standing for In Case of Emergency, ICE will allow ambulance crews and police officers to quickly contact a nominated person who can be informed of the incident.

    • Type the acronym ICE followed by a contact name (for example, ICE - mum or ICE - David) into the address book of your mobile phone


    • Save their phone number


    • Tell your ICE contact that you have nominated them


The BBCs coverage for the London Explosions can be found here.



On a slightly diferent note Danny Way has managed to jump the Great wall of China on a skateboard. Full details here.. (very porn movie sounding website..)