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!!


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.


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!!