30 May, 2005

1st Snow

Img_0254 Yesterday I touched my first NZ snow!!

We had a drive to Wanaka yesterday and drove over the Crown Range Road which is a mountain pass between Queenstown and Wanaka.. passed into the snowline, and quite soon the 4x4 car was skidding all over the place.. lucky there was crash barriers on the sides!! stopped for pictures and threw a few snowballs at Sam as it was her 25th Birthday

Img_0262_1<<Chris, Mike and Birthday girl Sam on the pier..

Wanaka is the most beatiful town, with a slight american feel to it, with its wide streets and big spaces.. quite unlike QT. The lake there is lovely with snowcapped montains in the background..

Jez_nz_1st_snow_on_remarkables The day before yesterday we saw our first snow, when we looked out of the balcony window and the Remarkables had snow on the top.. that made us all very happy!! we were getting slightly worried that there was no snow coming to QT.. how wrong we were!!

28 May, 2005

Contact Details in NZ

If you want to get in touch with me while I am away, please use the following:

Email - jezarnold@gmail.com

Mobile phone - 0064 (0) 212135470   (available to receive texts as well)

Address - [UPDATE - REMOVED]

Oh yeah, I am now known as Jay over here as Jez has the NZ problem of being pronounced "Jizz".. unfortunately I really don't want to be called after male sperm.. ;-)

26 May, 2005

26 May 2005 … Hungover ;-(

So here I am sat in the Internet cafe sorting out my raging hangover after a great Birthday celebration last night..

Zena phoned me at 7ish to wish me a happy birthday which was great.. I love you!! Then I phoned Mom & Dad ..

Img_0049 After this we had a Birthday meal / House Warming party which was great fun!! A load of drinking games and followed by a night in town with Kate, Mike, Roxy, Janine (My new housemates) and Chris & Sam..

Img_0051 Started off in Surrreal, where the House Rum is only one of my favourite spirits MOUNT GAY!! Heres Mike and Chris poking me in the eye .. grrrr

After a few games of pool in another bar we decide, as town is now closed, to carry on the party back at the house.. a few beers and drunken converstaions and music played too loud means the party ends about 4 this morning.. obviously today we all have hangovers.. mines not too bad!!

25 May, 2005

25 May 2005 ;-)

Img_0036 So its finally arrived.. 25 May 2005 - My 30th Birthday...

I don't feel any older.. I don't look any older.. To be honest I don't feel any different! However I know I'm older, and the worst thing is that my twenties are finally over. oh, how I loved my twenties!! come back pleeeeeease..

I think I really should stop whining, after all I am in Queenstown,NZ on the first stage of my round the world tour..

Img_0045_1 So whats happened today? Well we have moved into our new house (full photos on flickr) the address is [UPDATE - REMOVED]

Later we are having a house warming party and then head down to Queenstown to celebrate my Birthday in true Arnold Style!! (as us Arnolds seem to do so well!!)

So what different things do I plan to change now that I am 30?
1. No More Smoking! - I have given up now since the day I got on my flights over here.. A couple of days I have really wanted a ciggarette but I have kept up to it!!
2. Get Fit & Stay Fit - With a season ahead of me, I should lose this belly of mine, but I also need to get fit & stay fit.. sit ups.. press ups.. swimming..
3. Manage my cash - Those of you who know me well, know that I am terrible with my dollars.. from now on I will manage it so much better!!
4. Keep a life journal - While I am away I am keeping a journal of my travels as well as this blog... I intend to keep this going..

There you go.. If anyone can think of anything else I should be doing now I am 30 .. drop me a line and let me know!!

Anyway off to the Warehouse to buy a bed for me to sleep in tonight!! Speak soon..

24 May, 2005

Queenstown,New Zealand

Img_0035 Tuesday 24th May 2005 12:30 or is it 11:30?? My watch is being an absolute pain in the ass as it wont let me change the time at the moment.. i am seeing UK time of 12:30 (near midnight) at the moment when it should be 11:30 in the morning over here..

who cares anyway? as I am here now.. at the moment I am living in Chris Orchards house, with Roxy Steve and Chris's flatmates.. it has a great view of the mountains and the lake and a cat called Monty..  We should move into our house tommorrow and then have a house warming party that night.. after all i do turn THIRTY!! did everyone know??

So i have arrived after a massive flight involving 4 different airport, 2 different carriers and 4 movies.. Heathrow > Singapore > Auckland > Queenstown .. Its been a great set of flights actually, and I thoroughly recommend Singapore Airlines, in fact if you are planning on getting a Round the World flight, get the Great Escapade (got ours from STA Travel) with the Airline network Star Alliance.. The food on board Singapore Airlines was very very tasty and as well as the movies I saw up to Singapore, I also got to see "Meet the Fockers" and "Coach Carter"..

Flying from Singapore to NZ saw us fly over Australia and I saw Sydney from the air just before daybreak, before landing in Auckland and getting my first view of NZ..its very green isn't it?? stuck around Auckland airport for a while, after getting my Work Permit stamped and getting NZ$100 from a cash machine, and I discovered something that I have been told many people forget, NZ dollars don't seem to last that long..

Img_0032 So a flight to Queenstown followed and with some crappy views of the North Island, I saw the beautiful views of the South Island from a height of 30,000' (photos on flickr as well) and all the lakes and Southern Alps.. Landed at 16:00 local to be met by Mike, Kate, Roxy and Chris holding the obligatory "Old Man Jez" sign.. f***ers

Not feeling all that jet lagged meant I wanted food and beer down town, so after a few stubbies at Chris's place we headed to Montys and Winnies in QT.. where I eventually found my eyes drooping.. so after a few more wake up beers we headed back to much needed sleep.

And now its now..Kate has just phoned to say that she is picking Janine upsoon,and there is a possibility of moving in today.. she is also cooking dinner tonight ..I wanna watch Star Wars III tonight!!

22 May, 2005

Singapore Airport Stopover


<< Singapore Airlines Boeing 747 to Singapore..

my watch on my wrist is saying 11:30 am.. the clock on the wall is saying 18:30 pm ..  I am absolutely shattered and Ive only gone half way!!

My flight to Auckland is in a few hours but I'm missing people already, especially Zena and the folks!!

Me and Zee had a bit of an emotional farewell at Heathrow.. I had a few tears in my eye coz I'm not gonna see her again for a 4 months, but this time will fly and before you know it my Snowboarding time in NZ will be up..

Anyway Singapore Airlines flight SQ321 to Singapore is amazing.. loads of free movies (watched National Treasure and Hotel Rwanda) and a book called "Johnathon Strange & Mr Norrell" get that 12 hour flight down to nothing in the end.. The food was amazing as well!!

Bit of gossip for ya.. sat next to Sam Butcher from Eastenders in the Departure lounge.. shes quite good looking in real life!! think she got upgraded to First Class coz one of the attendants recognised her!! its alright for some!!

Anyway hope everyone back in UK is well.. leave comments on the blog or email me soon!!

21 May, 2005

My flight is today…

The day has finally come around... Saturday 21st May 2005 ...
According to my tickets I have to be at Heathrow Terminal 3 at 22:15 this evening for a flight to Singapore.. That means leaving Worcester at around 15:30 with Zena...

I have only just got up.. Its quarter past nine and I still havent packed.. what am I like!! Got to go to town and pop to the bank and Savers.. also got to go see my Grandad today.. Then its BYEEE!!

Zena asked me this morning if I was excited yet.. I'm not really.. I think I will when I get to the Airport!!

So whats happened this week?? Been a very interesting week with the launch of ACD on Wednesday at West Mercia Call Management Centre's and leaving on Friday (after shredding everyting I had ever worked on!!) .. Also went out on Thursday with my mates from home.. We went down town to O'Neills and the Exchange with Steve, Johno & Erb.. Lewy and Laura.. Lyndon, Stoner and Tam.. Phoned a few of my other Worcester mates, but they couldn't make it.. thats what happens when you leave a pii up to the alst minute with a bunch of 30 ish year olds!! requires planning!!! It was a great night out, as me Johno and Erb ended up in Bamboo on Student Night.. As usual got pissed!!and woke up with the worst hangover in ages!! rolled into work on my last day at 12:00 with cakes for everybody!

So this is my final day in Worcester for a year.. It will be sad to leave.. but its bigger and brighter things in the future for me in New Zealand, Australia & America..

Anyway the next time I write this blog I should be in a New Zealand Internet cafe!!

See you all Soon ... Keep in touch!

20 May, 2005

Last Day at Work

Friday 20th May.. I have been looking forward to this day since I booked my ticket to go travelling, and finally it has arrived!!

Its my LAST DAY AT WORK at West Mercia Police's Call Management Centre.. I have been employed by them for the last 9 months in the role of System Support Administrator, and my job was to "manage IT systems" .. actually did a lot of different jobs here as the Resource Planner / Performance analysts No 2, some of them I wont be sad to see the back of (Doing evidence Tapes comes to mind!! and Christmas Duties..)

So I have been working for Tin and Jolanta here and they have been great Line Managers, even if Jolanta at times expected work done SAAP!! It has been a great eye opener into the Polices role in society, and has allowed me to look at this employer in a much better light..

One thing I have realised working for the Police, is the amount of paperwork that is produced for different people and causes.. some of which I feel is not neccesary, but I think this is a Public Services thing not just the Police.

I have been lucky enough to be involved in some very interesting projects here, such as Text Messaging for the Deaf and also the introduction of an Automatic Call Distribution for the Call Takers. These projects have been great to work on ..

Anyway the Last Day.. it feels weird sat at work writing this entry, knowing I'm going in half an hour, never to return to sit as this desk.. Then I thin this time next week I will be sat in the mountains in Queenstown having a beer, with no worries at all !!

I know what I would rather be doing!

16 May, 2005

My 30th Birthday Party

so after me and zenas trip to Barcelona last week, we were back in Southampton for my final weekend before I go..

so i decided to have a party.. My 30th Birthday Party / Leaving do

Anyway Saturday morning I woke up with a fair chance of rain, no BBQ food, no Bouncy Castle.. I was thinking that it was gonna have to be a party down the pub.. 12:00 and its raining.. 12:30 still pissing down.. 13:00 Bouncy Castle bloke phones to see if we still want it, can't say just yet... 14:30 and its stopped raining and its now brightening up..

Image_070_1so off i go to Aldi to buy some BBQ food, and a bit later the Bouncy Castle is put up in Zenas back garden!

I phone Sherm and Johnie to see if they can provide some music, and Elouise provides a stereo (the one in the house mysteriously disapeared during the previous week..) and then me, zee and elouise put up the decorations.

Its all set to go!

4 o'clock and no-ones turned up, and then my buddie Chris turns up just after and gets me a folklore t-shirt from his new clothing company.. Wicked!! cheers Chris!! then Ally, Ed 'n' Paul from my uni course turn up.. then bit by bit the rest all show up!! Peggy, OJ & Mumrah.. Sy & Chrystal.. Sherm, Gesus (with new canadian- Australian accent) Matt, Si & Lucy, Little Ben, Emma & Mikee (later).. Lanners, Jimmy & Aimee.. Rich.. Jayme & Don.. Johnie & Elouise.. Kelly & Steve.. Joe, Kieran, Paul & Tim.. Dee & Her fellla..  All those who I missed, apologies for not getting you on the list!!!

I would like to say a big thanks to everybody for all the cards and pressies that turned up.. if you didn't get me a pressie, then just you showing up was great news and ensured I had a massive smile on my face all nite!!!

Anyway the BBQ and the Bouncy Castle went down a treat.. and Sherms cooking on the BBQ filled a few bellies!! mine included (not that it needs fillling in anymore!)

9 o'clock and the obligatory "Happy Birthday" and cries of speech are called out, so up to my plinth on the Castle and after a pants speech, where I forgot to mention loads of things... I have the chance to burst open the Pinyana that Si and the guys / gals from Yellowsnow have bought around.. I am given a rubber baseball bat, which fails to do a thing, so the mop comes out,and its burst everywhere!! woooooohooo!!

So a load of us go to the Cricketers, and after loads of free drinks off mates,  I head back to the party at midnight (ish) ..

Stragglers and drunkards (Jimmy and Lanners and peggy) all show up during the rest of the night and the party finally ends about 4ish..

wake up Sunday at 9!! and tidy the house and have a go on the Bouncy Castle ... again

GREAT NITE had by all...

p.s. those of you who made it.. thanks for coming around!! Those of you who couldn't make it, and let me know i will speak to you soon!! Those who don't bother reading there emails , get a grip!!

p.p.s. if you have any photos of the night, then let me have a copy please!!! i didn't take one !!!


Last week saw me and Zee on a mini-break, before I jet off to the other side of the world, in Barcelona.. Have you ever been? I thoroughly recommend it as one of the top cities in the world!! Its so beautiful and arty.
This trip away was my birthday pressie off Zena ... We both paid for the flights but Zena sorted out the accomodation ... this was absolutely amazing. She had been dropping hints for months, that it was in a Pensione (a Spanish B&B and we had shared washing facilities, and also we had a double bed in our dormitory) .. to be honest, I was a little pissed off!!

Barcelona_princess_roomBarcelona_princess_our_roomAnyway when we got there I discovered she had booked us into the 4* Hotel Barcelona Princess  ...the most stunning hotel I have even had the pleasure to spend a night. We had the top floor, with a view over the Med sea..
The decor was all avant garde, and all the rooms had a these Hydra showers, which spray water at you from all directions! Even a free mini bar...

We spent the next three days wandering the sights of Barcelona, especially the Gaudi architecture. One place in particular was stunning.. The Sagridia Familia. This was Gaudi's final design, and it was started in 1895 (ish) and is not due to be finished for another 15 years.. it is this huge church, with 12 spires and a huge central spire, with a design of a forest within.. If you ever go there, ensure you visit this place!! I walked up one of the spires, and got really scared of the spiral stairs, and Zena laughed her head off me ...

We also walked down Los Ramblas, around the Gothic area and also Gracia.. Its got a lot more Gaudi architecture everywhere..

The food in Barcelona is gorgeous, and we went to some great restaurants, and also drank our fair share of Sangria and Rioja ...

All in all, a most beautiful birthday trip and definitely a city I will visit again soon!!

05 May, 2005

Frankton Road, Queenstown

Queenstown_map_1Kate has sorted the house out in NZ. Its on Frankton Road, just outside Queenstown, and will cost us all $390 per week to live (about £150)

heres where it is... (click to view full size image)

Here are some pictures of the house..

Queenstown_frankton_road_205704_640x2_1<<< view over the lake


<<<< Kitchen

<<<< Lounge

17 days to go..

17days_togoJust a few more things to put up today..

My thanks to Simon.. he asked me at work the other day if i wanted a Snowboard bag to take away with me to NZ. He didn't have to tell me it was Tims. I felt touched that he would think that it could be useful for me.. I thought carefully about it, but in the end I told Simon that I would love to have it.

I hope that he feels that it will come to be a very useful item for me..

He bought it in on Thursday last week, and I couldn't believe it. its a Burton wheelie case and perfect!!

Again Thanks!!!

Ipod 30Gb Photo

Jez_and_ipodThanks Kate!!!

I have been meaning to get an Ipod Photo for some time now, and when I found out Kate was gonna be in California for a coule of weeks before Mike, Roxy and her left for NZ I thought I would ask her for to get me an iPod 30Gb Photo, so that I can use it to take my music and also upload my photos when I am away with the camera that I am going to get..

Anyway it took a couple of weeks to arrive from the States, but yesterday it arrived.. Lovely Jubbly!!

04 May, 2005

Insure and Go Travel Insurance

Things are strating to come together, and to be honest the more they do the more worried I get!!!
I phoned up Insure and Go for a quote last week, and they gave me a quote over the phone of £485. They also told me if I did it online then it would be cheaper... checked there and sure enough it was £470.
Well last week I didnt actually have the cash to do the insurance, so I had a muffled call off them on the answerphone a couple of days later, offering me a further discount. So I phone up today and ask for this discount and sure enough, there and then a further 10% off! Its now only costing me £433 ..

Insurance was the last major thing I had to do, and now thats done I can start worrying about what T-shirts and jeans I have to leave behind... and the one thing my mum is worried about, tidying up my room !! My God, do mum's never change? my room has got to be spotless before I get on that flight in a couple of saturdays!