Thursday, 25 February 2010

Uphill Struggle

Sorry it has been so quiet on the blogging front - I was waiting to get the first three assignments handed in but it is an uphill struggle. This is only a 7 week term and we have to study all four gospels, as well as Church Planting and Interpersonal relationships. I can not get through the work although Les is reading books and writing assignments well before they are due. Thought you would like to see this photo indicating that on the steepest street in the world (Baldwin Street, Dunedin) Les has time to relax and watch the view whil I am at the bottom wondering which way is up! Obviously the house is on the flat but Dougie took the shot with the camera tilted.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Paeroa Games

Paeroa is a farming town 45 minuts from here and home to the Highland Games and Tattoo. We spent several happy hours watching them judge Scottie Dogs and tossing cabers, chopping trees and finally wearing a kilt while pitchforking a 10lb dummy sheaf over a rugby goal poal set at 9 meters high. A new world record was set by a Maori girl of 15 who pitched it over to a heart rending cheer.

The other claim to fame for Paeroa is that it gives its name to their other National Drink , well maybe it is their only National Drink - a kind of pleenky lemon flavoured spoot.
In amidst all the pipes and drums we met lots of Scottish folk who were drawn to our dulcet tones and met folk from near Larbert who had worked in the same office as Les and I in Central Region. We let for home just before the Scottish rain started

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Dieting for beginners..

It is simple really don't choose the fried breakfast and don't pour all the double cream on the porridge. (Leave a bit in the jug for your coffee)If you are really serious just opt for the guava, pawpaw, mango, passion and starfruit if you lose as much weight as Les has you deserve a star! Meanwhile, back in the real world a slice of toast is fine by me!


What a glorious way to be shipwrecked in the south seas. If you haven't read Tom Neal's book
An Island to Oneself you can now read it online. Les has always wanted to visit the Cook Islands so this was his big chance and we got a good deal. I can't tell you how nice it was, how warm the sea or how tropical the breakfast . But I can show you the beach right outside our room where the sea was calm thanks to the coral reef which surrounds the island. Great swimming and snorkelling, canoeing or whatever you wanted to do. I wanted to sleep in the hammock so I made that a priority while Les cycled round the island (35Kms). This was nearly the best destination ever and comes second only to Westray. We reckon we have been to over 30 islands between us but this one was such a special and friendly experience. The missionaries who visited the Cooks in the 1800s did a great job and are well remembered. There were loads of Cowans here and many in the phone book we may have to come back and check out the rellies. There are two Missionary Colleges here and we visited them both - the leader at the YWAM training centre had met Ruthie in Auckland. Sadly we couldn't arrange a swop so we had to come back to Gordonton. Now here is a funny thing we had two Tuesdays last week but haven't had a Saturday yet and now it is Tuesday again - how does that work. I reckon it would be better to cross the dateline and do without a Monday instead.
We were amused at some of the Island customs such as cocktails being served in jam jars on the beach, sure they don't fall over but they are almost a full half pint. Even in the hotel they said grace before meals (in Maori) and somebody swept the sand before breakfast. The only down side is you get taxed to leave the island at $50 each. They say it is to raise money fora a better airport - at present the check in has a roof thatched with banana leaves, but you know I would rather have left the old building kept the $50 and just stayed on. Back to the hammock..

Monday, 1 February 2010

Get this you Groundhog!

Groundhog day is today (Watch the film if you haven't - it is so funny). Well just to let you know we are having a Groundhog moment and crossing the international dateline today so when we get there it will be yesterday. If that is not clear, we leave Auckland tomorrow evening and arrive later tonight. Hope that helps. And unlike the Groundhog we can't predict the weather, but in the past 48 hours we had 26 hours of continuous rain as a cyclone passed southwards! Sweet as!