23 April, 2005

30th Birthday Update..

Well after sending a bulk email last week to all my southampton buddies I had the amazing return of ... 4 replies .. Thanks Matt, Sherm & Abi.. I know that Sy, Lanners and Jimmy are coming down as well.

I also got an email off Jasper .. Hes in LA working on the set of ER as a runner.. he said he would pick me up from the Airport when we get to the States!! sweet .. cheers jas

Anyway I did say thet the party starts at about 12.. but i doubt we will be ready by then. So if you are coming come over after 3ish.. we should be set up by then!

looking forward to seeing you all!

Canon Ixus 40

On my way to New Zealand I have a three hour stopover in Singapore.. and while I am there I am going to get myself a digital camera for when I am away travelling NZ, Oz, Fiji and USA... I have done a little research and the best shop in Singapore seems to be this one..

:::www.bargaincity.co.sg:::   They have got the Canon Ixus 40 for SG$ 659 (about £200) - They also include as part of the deal a 256 Mb Memeory card, a card reader, a spare battery and a Canon leather case.. This aint bad! However amazon.co.uk has one for sale at £199 (obviously without all the extras)

I dont know what to do..

I have heard that Changi Airport in Singapore has great sales in its Duty Free shopping areas in the months of May and June.. so I might just go through there instead.. does anyone have any suggestions??

20 April, 2005

My 30th Birthday Party & Leaving do…

Jez_30_birthday_partyMake a note in your diaries people!!

On Saturday 14th May I am having a party to celebrate my 30th Birthday.. I cant really have it on the 25th as I will be in New Zealand!

This is an opportunity for all my pals I have met over the years to come together in Southampton and get lashed...

What better opportunity than Jez's 30th !!

It will start about 12noon and carry on to the early hours.. Ive already booked a Bouncy Castle and I have been promised Blue Skys all day long.. We are gonna have a BBQ .. However I would ask you to bring ya own booze please!!!

Bring sleeping bags if ya wanna kip on the floor after.. but Zee is looking into local B+Bs to see how much they are.. if ya want your own space..

email or phone me or zena.. Click on the invite ...
or leave a comment below...

Looking forward to seeing you all again.. for the final time before I go travelling!!!

14 April, 2005

Lib Dems…

I aint gonna be going on about politics too much in this blog.. its boring..

But i do want to moan. I have NEVER voted for the f**king Labour party in my entire life and i never will. The Torys aint no better, but do know what this country needs in Defence matters. One party that has potential to be able to create something in this country is the...
:::Liberal Democrats:::


As there manifesto shows they propose...

  • WE OPPOSE: Putting targets first

  • WE PROPOSE: Putting patients first

  • WE OPPOSE: Tuition fees & Top-up fees

  • WE PROPOSE: Scrapping student fees

  • WE OPPOSE: Compulsory I.D. Cards

  • WE PROPOSE: Spending the money on 10,000 more police

  • WE OPPOSE: Selling your home to pay for care

  • WE PROPOSE: Free personal care for the elderly

  • WE OPPOSE: Ignoring climate change

  • WE PROPOSE: Cleaner transport & cleaner energy

  • WE OPPOSE: £1.5 billion on the child trust fund

  • WE PROPOSE: £1.5 billion towards reducing class sizes

  • WE OPPOSE: Means-testing pensioners

  • WE PROPOSE: £100 extra per month starting with the over 75s

  • WE OPPOSE: Hidden tax increases

  • WE PROPOSE: Only one tax increase – on income above £100,000 per year

  • WE OPPOSE: Unfair Council Tax

  • WE PROPOSE: Local Income Tax, saving typical households £450 per year

  • WE OPPOSE: Bush & Blair On Iraq

  • WE PROPOSE: Never again

If you want to make a difference to the way this country is run VOTE LIB DEMS...



Last night i had this great idea.. I decided i was going to photograph every single one of my photos onto a digital camera so that I had a record on my computer.. and i could edit them into fancy pics so people could see them..

It seemed such a great idea.. 500 digi shots later and a trip to tescos to get new AA batteries.. i was absolutley shattered!! Does anybody know that to hold your hand steady for so long is a nightmare?  or when you have done them all you see a shadow in the photo of your camera taking the photo? or how tired my eyes were today? or how short a time 4 AA batteries last in an Olympus Digital Camera?

Well i do..

anyway I have started putting my photos online.. not all of them of course, but some. Check out my Online Photo album at Flickr.com

have a browse of me and friends and family.. while you are there set an account up for yourself and post your pictures up as well!!!

Zena and Chanel sweetie..

  Zena and Chanel sweetie.. 
  Originally uploaded by jezarnold.

I just want to mention my girlfriend Zena. She is one of the greatest things to ever happen to me.. and I am so glad that she will be going travelling with me... We will actaully be living together for the first time ever on the beach in Sydney, Australia for six months!!! its going to be amazing!!!

I thought I had better put a picture of you and the lovely Chanel Sweetie up on this blog though..

P.S. Notice the evil glare that Chanel is givin me.. ;-)

New Zealand Working Holiday Visa..

Last Friday saw me at 80 Hayswater, London... or more precisely New Zealand House. Unlike the Australian Working Holiday visa which you can do online, to apply for your NZ WHV you have to send them a form, which can take up to 6 weeks or apply in person.. I chose the latter.

New Zealand House is a HUGE embassy, (i guess its because of the amount of Brits who want to emigrate there) and on arrival I was escorted upstairs to the Visa Section.. At this point I was expecting a huge queue, but there was only 1 couple in front of me waiting for a temporary visa..

Eventually got to see the lovely lady there and she told me that it looks like you will be able to get it today!! Whooopee!! Great news.. just pay £50 and sign here...

So thats it all sorted.. tickets from STA Travel .. working holiday visa for Australia.. working holiday visa for New Zealand... season pass.. snowboard.. insurance ... oh shit i havent done my Insurance!! Does anyone know a really good insurance deal ?? everyting seems to expensive!!

06 April, 2005

NZ Season Pass

One other item has just been checked off my "Things to do before leaving Worcester" list. That is to sort out my NZ Ski  Season pass...  I could have chosen a pass that allowed me access to all the resorts on the Southern Island of NZ, or just a saver card so that I could have cheaper day tickets if  wished..  I got told that Kate, Mike & Roxy are getting the Queenstown Only pass, which is:

Queenstown Only Pass
Unlimited skiing and riding for the 2005 season at Coronet Peak, The Remarkables and Ohau Snow Fields. In addition holders receive a $20 adult/$15 student/$10 child/senior discount off the cost of a day pass at Treble Cone and Porter Heights and receive a 50% discount off a day pass at Mt Hutt Ski area.

I am also gald I got it today, instead of waiting a couple of weeks as the prices shoot up

anyway the three areas I have access to on this pass seem to be amazing.. according to the websites:

Coronet Peak
Coronet_peakQueentown’s  original resort ski area is just 25 minutes from town. With a reputation for some of the best and varied terrain in Australasia it is no wonder    that Coronet Peak has developed a truly international flavour.

Coronet Peak hosts high profile events such as The Queenstown Winter Festival and the 50K of      Coronet Peak.

Coronet Peak’s wide and rolling terrain provides maximum fun for all. Extensive snowmaking ensures that everyone can get the utmost enjoyment for the longest time possible.

An award-winning ski and snowboard school will set you up or hone your skills, allowing you to  maximise your enjoyment and time on the slopes.                              

Even when the sun goes down, the action never stops  – Night Skiing, exclusive to Coronet Peak,      allows skiers and riders to continue through the twilight hours into the magic of the night.

Opening At 11-Jun-2005, Sunny       Last fall : 15cm.  Upper Base : 0cm.

The Remarkables
RemarkablesAcross the valley lies The Remarkables, Queenstown's true alpine ski area. Here the emphasis is very definitely on joining in and having fun,  especially if you're a beginner, intermediate or looking for serious adrenaline.

The Remarkables enjoys three sunny sheltered bowls framed by towering peaks, and is known        for its friendly atmosphere and relaxed feel. It's a great place to learn to ski with easy  access to learner runs by an easy to use chairlift. And if you're ready to sample life on the edge, you'll find challenging terrain like you've never seen before and some of the longest   off-piste runs around. Kids are well catered for and kids 10 years and under get a free day lift pass. In fact after a day of fun at Skiwiland or in the creche they may never want to go home again.

When you need to restock your reserves and take a well-earned break, you'll find a satisfying          selection of fresh food and drinks at the self-service cafe plus you can browse for  mementoes in the Sno Shop. Or maybe you'd prefer to soak up the rays and watch the playful antics of New Zealand's cheeky native parrot, the Kea.

Whatever you chose, The Remarkables is the ideal place to make the most of winter's offerings. For small kids and big kids alike, check out the new tubing park for great fun in the snow!

Opening At 25-Jun-2005, Sunny  Last fall : 5cm.  Upper Base : 50cm.

05 April, 2005

Snowboard Club UK

SmalllogoSnowboard Club UK is the new name for the classic British Snowboarding webportal www.theboarder.co.uk ... luckily for us all, the Boarder has been replaced by this great new website which according to its blurb:

The UK has one of the most vibrant snowboard scenes in the world, which lasts all year long. Despite being a basically snowless country, us Brits can ride all year long on the UK's artificial slopes and when the winter does come, we can just nip over to Europe. Snowboard Club UK gives you the low down on getting the most from being a UK snowboarder, saves you money when you ride and keeps you up-to-date with all the news.

  TheBoarder.co.uk launched in 1997 and Snowboard Club UK launched in October 2004. Check out SCUK Membership.. a DVD such as this year's Dropstitch, a cool beanie, a copy of Snowboard UK magazine, plus free sessions at Tamworth Snowdome and the Xscapes, plus access to an increasing list of discounts from our rapidly expanding network of SCUK partners... all from just £25 a year. You do the maths, then join the Club!

  SCUK is a riders' network run by snowboarders that saves you money and brings you good things... nuff said.

Respect the Mountain

I love the Mountains...they mean so much to me.... if i died I want my ashes spread on the Grand Motte in Tignes please..

when I go away I make sure that I look after that little part of the mountain that I am on.. There is no way I would throw away anything, coz when the snow melts there is so much crap all over the place and somebody has to then go and tidy it all up...

Thats wahy when I saw the Ski Club of Great Britain's Respect the Mountain campaign, I knew I had to get involved.


Seven steps to preserve the mountains
The aim of the campaign is to remind people to be aware of the delicate environment we live and play in and advises people to try and follow the seven steps:

  • Be aware of your environmental impact as skiers and boarders
    Educate yourself about your environmental impact on the mountains, and what you can do to minimise it.         

  • Do not leave litter on the slopes
    When the snow melts, the litter will still be there. Bin it or take it home. Orange peel takes up to two years to break down, and cigarette ends up to five years. If you find litter on the slopes, do the right thing - pick it up.

  • Respect the natural habitat of mountain animals and plants
    If you ski through trees, you can damage them by knocking off branches and killing young shoots under the snow. Take care. Many areas are out of bounds to protect the natural habitat of animals and plants - not just for safety reasons.

  • Choose a resort which uses environmentally friendly practices
    Many resorts now use bio-diesel fuel in piste-bashers, solar panels for heating, hydro-electricity/wind energy for power and a host of other initiatives. Some resorts use the International Standards Organisation (ISO) 14001 as a mark of their environmental credentials.

  • Encourage tour operators to adopt green policies
    Find out if your tour operator offers train travel as an alternative to flying, if they use paper from sustainable forests for their brochures, if they use, for example, low-wattage light bulbs in their chalets and bio-degradable detergents.

  • Do your bit to reduce global warming on holiday and at home
    Re-use your towels each day, re-cycle household waste and switch off electrical appliances when not in use.         

  • Reduce CO2 emissions
    By flying fewer miles, or switching from air to rail, you can help reduce the volume of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. When possible, use your bike instead of your car.

Tim Boaz

On 14 March 2005 I was at work when one of my colleagues, and a great bloke to work with, had some really terrible news. His son had just had a snowboarding accident in Chamonix, France and was tragically killed.

I know his Dad quite well and he was really proud of his son and the things that Tim got up to. As I love snowboarding so much, I used to chat to Simon about what Tim was doing in Chamoniz and you could see that he was so happy when he talked about him..

I knew when this accident happened that I was off to New Zealand this year for a Snowboarding Season, but I still hadn't told work that I was going. I also had a small idea of what Simon and his family were going through, as Olie had an accident in Meribel, France a few years ago that was pretty serious too.

Simon is back at work now and I was talking to him about my resignation and my plans to go travelling today. We also talked about Tim. When I told Simon that I am going to NZ for a season, straight away he said "Go for it!" ... He said you have to do things, otherwise one day you will regret it. He said Tim did that..

I just want to say that I will think of Simon and the Boaz family when I am travelling.. I will be thinking of Tim and how his Dad told me to "Go for it!"..

Tim Boaz 1980 - 2005 - R.I.P

Tributes paid to victim of tragic accident
TimboazA WORCESTER father has this week paid tribute to his son who tragically died while on a snowboarding holiday as a popular man who was a best mate to the whole family.

Tim Boaz, 25, was in Chamonix, France on the Vallée Blanche route when a snowbridge he was crossing collapsed on Monday, March 14, his body was recovered by mountain rescue.

Mr Boaz's father, Simon, 53, was working in the control room at the West Mercia Headquarters, Hindlip when a colleague took the call from the Foreign Office reporting the death.

He returned to the family home in Morton Road, Fernhill Heath to break the news to his wife Sue, 49, and their sons Chris, 23, and 19-year-old twins Andy and Peter.

Simon Boaz said it was difficult to describe the mixture of feelings and emotions the family have been going through.

"When you lose someone older; uncle, aunt, mother, father, you expect it and you can almost quantify the grief but this is a different kind of emotion," he said.

"As a parent you are angry at yourself, it does not matter how big or old they are, you still want to protect them but you have to let your children do what they want to do."

He described his son as being artistically minded and mad on photography as well as passionate about a wide range of extreme sports including surfing, diving, downhill mountain biking and was a black belt in Kung Fu.

Tim Boaz attended Claines C of E Primary School, Blessed Edward's Oldcorne School, Worcester's Sixth Form and Technology Colleges before leaving for Falmouth College of Art to complete a degree in Photographic Communications.

Details of the accident are still unclear, however, a French off-piste website suggests he was with four friends at 3,400 meters altitude who had removed their boards to walk over the flat section before it gave way to a 30 metre crevasse.

County Coroner Victor Round recorded a verdict of accidental death due to multiple injuries at the inquest into Mr Boaz's death on Tuesday.

The funeral will be held at Worcester Crematorium next Tuesday (March 29) at 3.30pm and there has been a night time gathering of friends and fellow snowboarders in Chamonix town square to mark the death.

My new Snowboard..

When I first got into snowboarding about 6 1/2 years ago, I was serving in the Army and had quite a lot of disposable income (oh the days ... ) and I got my first snowboard a Burton Balance 160.5, that Terje Haakonson used to use... I was so happy with it.. it was exactly what  wanted in a board.

I have used this board on every snowboard trip I have been on, lovingly waxing and preparing it myself over the years, and the only trouble I ever had was that the edges were a bit blunt...

Except one day I decided, in my wisdom, that it would look great mounted on my wall in my room... so I simply nailed it up.

I didnt realise for 6 weeks that I had actually nailed some 6" steel nails straight through the base. I found it hilarious at my own dumb ass stupidity at the time, and today it still brings a smile to my face. However this board still found its uses for the last trip I went on to Pas de la Casa in Andorra in January 2005, all I did was get a sander and rub it down till it was semi smooth.

I rapidly came to the conclusion that I would need a new board for an entire season down in Queenstown, New Zealand.

One of my bestest buddies has just finished her season in Telluride, Colorado and I am meeting  Kate, Mike and Roxy out in NZ in a few weeks, but before she left she managed to get me discount on a new board. she asked what would I like and gave me a few ideas such as Burton, Libtech, Ride and Rome.

Rome_anthem_specAfter having a look at review sites over the net (like here) and speaking to those who know a little bit more than I do, I have come to the conclusion that I want one of these...

Rome Anthem 161

So i phoned Kate up and let her know and now I do... whoooopeee!!

Just got to put the money in Kates account now! dont worry .. it will be there soon ... :-)

04 April, 2005

Gmail invites

I completely forget to put this up everytime!  have about 100 invites to Gmail at the moment, and I am never gonna be able to use them all up, so if you want an invite let me know and I will send you one.

leave your name and email address in comments please, or obviously email me!!

Observer Magazine .. 03 April 2005

Obviously all my family and most of my mates know what my little brother does for a living ... but to those of you who dont, hes only one of the youngest (if not the youngest) Fashion Editors in the UK...

... and yesterday he found journalistic fame with an article about him and the Fashion Editors from GQ, Arena Homme Plus, 10 and Pop in the Observer Magazine. Heres the link to the Online piece and I will post a photo of him from the magazine once mom and dad have stopped showing half of Worcester!!
Olie_obsever_april_2005Mister Buy Rights

They tell us to wear bespoke suits, vintage T-shirts and to experiment with kaftans. But what do they wear? Here, the five most influential male fashion editors in Britain reveal their style secrets and select their favourite looks for this summer

Gaelle Paul
Sunday    April     3, 2005
The Observer

Olie Arnold
Fashion editor, 26, FHM, FHM collections

Arnold's take on men's fashion is influenced by his experience working in various shops and boutiques before studying at the London College of Fashion. 'What I do is more natural, more like how guys dress, rather than wacky concepts,' says the Worcester-born fashion supremo of the UK's biggest-selling men's magazine.

My two favourite items are a pair of Alexander McQueen jeans - after a life-long search, they're the only jeans that actually keep their shape - and an old Levi's sweatshirt my dad gave me. It has paint splatters from his DIY - he had it when he was about my age. It's getting a bit small.

I have an embarrassing number of trainers, mostly boxed, brand new, which I don't wear. That's probably my biggest indulgence.

My style has pretty much always revolved around the skate scene, scruffy casual, but I am trying to get some smarter 'career' things.

The biggest mistake men make is buying something because it is a label and has a logo plastered across it. Not looking natural is another common mistake.

Top tip: hardly ever wash your jeans. This retains shape. The best way to wash them is on you, in a shower, and drip dry.

My must-buy for this season is a varsity college jacket.

When I was a teenager I got copies of Vogue from my mum's hairdresser. I'd hide them under skateboard mags in case my mates saw them. If they did, I claimed it was for the pictures of girls.

Sometimes I've gone too far for fashion. I once had my hair dyed green and cut for a Vidal Sassoon Japanese conference in front of 200 trainee hairdressers while wearing a Yohji kimono. Only got £75.

Put a time limit on how long you are going to get ready for something, and stick to it. If in doubt, wear jeans.

Thanks to the Observer ...

Also when I find one I will scan a picture of what he looked like when he was younger... that should bring him down a peg or two .. ;-)

Australian Visa … and handing in my resignation letter

Monday 04th April and today was the day I had to inform my bosses at work that I was leaving. As usual I showed up at my normal time, 9:30 (Its not possible to come in any later!) and I thought  better tell Tin that I was going before I had to go speak to the Manager..

It all went fine in the end.. I prepared a resignation letter by looking at the site I-resign.com (some really funny letters on there) and I must admit I did suck up to them a bit, because I need to leave on the 20th May ...  a whole five days off my eight week notice period ...

Here are the best quotes from my letter:

Please be assured I will do all I can do to assist in the smooth handover of my responsibilities before I depart.

and also:

I am very sorry to leave you as an important project comes to its conclusion, however I couldn’t leave until XXXX had at least gone live. For this I am very sorry.

eh?? what does that mean?? me assisting others?? Jez is Sorry? of course, its all true !

Well thats all sorted then... only 23 days left at work, what with Bank Holidays and a little bit of Holiday when Zee takes me to Barcelona for a birthday treat..

Some more great news today .. The Australian Immigration Dept  have decided in there wisdom that I am not a threat to there National Security and that my 3 points I had for speeding six years ago doesnt make me a criminal on the run from the law, and have allowed me my Working Holiday Visa !! This is great news.. means when me and Zee are lying on the beach in Oz , I could if I wanted get off my lazy ass and get a job!

03 April, 2005

Welcome to my life… THIRTY

Non illigitamus carborundum...

April 3rd 2005 and Jez Arnold has finally entered the world of blogging... I have been meaning to do this for some time now, but always put it off until I had a lot more interesting things to write about..

#1 - tomorrow I hand in my notice.

#2 - in 52 days I turn THiRTY

At the end of May I will be going to New Zealand.. My flight is paid for... My NZ visa is going to be applied for on Friday... my savings are adding up... I still have a few things to do mind, like insurance and all those little things you have to do before you leave a country for a year, but its coming along.

I am going to be snowboarding in New Zealand for 5 months, then in September my beautiful lady is coming over and we are going to be going to Australia for 6 months. Finally this time next year 6-8 weeks in the USA... wow I cant believe all this has come around already!

Well this blog is gonna be showing you the highlights and downsides to travelling the english speaking world, as well as any of my rants about President Bliar and his New Labour crones...

I'm gonna share my love of snowboarding with you. I'm also going to share with you my latest jokes.. strange but true happenings on the tinternet..  what books I have read.. which movies I have watched... what music  have been listening to... what crap is on the TV this week.. and anything thing else that I can bother to share with you!

Please enjoy this blog.. if you like it, link to it.. the ones I like reading will be linked to this one day (when I get the time and effort) and together we can take over the world... bwah ha ha ha