Saturday, 15 February 2014

Jandals, Sandals, Ketchup, Coromandels, Swanndris, Butterflies...

Once again I find myself writing a catch up blog, dating back to October...
I believe it was probably the weekend after I returned, that Mum, Dad, and I did a delivery up the Coromandel. It was a nice drive, and I went the furtherest I had been yet up there. We had a picnic lunch after we made the delivery, and had a quick look at the beach (hence the photos). On the way home we stopped for afternoon tea at Thames. At the bookshop there I picked up several books quite cheaply, including a Lonely Planet guide for Central Europe.
On a Wednesday following this, I went to an evening at the STA travel at the university. It was quite good, especially with the food on offer - the thing I remember the most was the Blue Cheese wantons... Delicious. I also answered a question and the prize was a Lonely Planet guide of my choice - I chose one for South East Asia - probably worth $40-60, and it was one I had debated getting in the weekend but held off, so naturally I was rather stoked.

Later in the month Centreplace reopened - Hamilton's central mall, in recent years, due to the creation of the base and it's plentiful parking, the CBD had suffered, so the council combined the two malls next to each other and gave them a face lift, changed the road layout, and viola! the new Centreplace. To be honest, it isn't particularly geared up with male-oriented shops, so I have only visited it that once.

At the end of the month was Labour day, despite great ambitions, I went for the tried and tested weekend at Papamoa, chilling out and doing pedestrian activities.

Mid-November I went down to Rotorua to catch up with my old mate from Tech, Steve, who was over from Sydney. Steve had rented a cottage for a week, so once I got down there on the Saturday, we went and got some dinner, and also tried several places to redeem the voucher I had got for a 12 pack of new Tui Lager at Big Boys Toys the weekend before (by spinning a wheel and then letting them wax a strip of my leg). Eventually we found somewhere that a) would honour it, and b) had it in stock. That night we just chatted away in the spa pool. The next morning we went to the park at Paradise Valley. We walked around it, checking out all the animals, once we had done that we had half an hour to wait before we could pat the lion cubs. I wasn't too bothered, but after doing it I'm glad we did wait. 
After that we went and had a good lunch at Valentines.
The following weekend Steve and I met up at Papamoa. We took in the Hot Pools, as well as the Drift carts on Parton Road.
The following weekend I went to the Christmas show at Riverlea theatre - Bring Back Burlesque, which was entertaining, but semi-awkward as I felt a little pervy.
On the 7th of December I moved into my new residence in Deanwell. Its nice being independent again, and I have enjoyed making a few changes, pulling out old stumps, changing cupboard handles etc. It was probably a good week before I really got to cook in the kitchen though, as it seemed to be a week of Christmas dinners etc
Christmas was over at Papamoa again, but at Suzanne and Bevan's new house. How the holidays fell this year, it meant five days there, two back in Hamilton, and then another five in Papamoa, which was nice.
January, to be fair seemed to be relatively quiet. Probably partially because I have had Sky installed at my house to make it attractive for flatmates (as well as giving it Wifi at the same time) so I have gone hard at recording a lot of documentaries, and subsequently having to watch them.
Again, a long weekend at the end of the month found me at Papamoa, and again the  weekend of the 7/8/9th. On the in-between weekend I checked out the Classic Car Museum, on the first weekend of every month they do an all-you-can-eat breakfast, and I finally got the timing right. For what it was, the museum was very well done, perhaps if I was more into that sort of thing I may've enjoyed it more. The following day was Mum's birthday, so we went out for lunch with Suzanne and Bevan.
And here we are, mid-February.
Next weekend is Bevan's sister's wedding in Hawkes Bay (as well as being Art Deco weekend). The Plan for April is to use Easter and the couple of days after it to visit a mate in Nelson, and knock off the few things I haven't seen on the North Eastern side of the South Island, such as Kaikoura, and Hanmer Springs.