09.08.2010 - 15.08.2010 13 °C
The past week was another low key one for us, and when the weekend arrived, so did the rain. The unfortunate consequence was that we didn't experience the usual white-knuckling adrenaline rush that you've come to expect us to report on every week. Regardless, we hope you don't stop your vicarious enjoyment of our time in New Zealand.
The earliest bit of excitement came on Tuesday, and it was a double-header. After his painting class, Tim headed to Mt. Maunganui as the day was awash in brilliant sunshine and warmer temperatures than we had seen in a while. Tim headed up the trail to the summit and was met half an hour later with this scene:
There appeared to be an unusual amount of activity up top, with lots of people in brightly coloured vests guarding an area cordoned off with cones and signs. While attempting to descend, Tim was detained and he thought that the jig was finally up - that his dream of a life devoid of stress was about to be ripped from hands softened by months of sloth. Fortunately, it was just some catastrophic accident that they were cleaning up. It seems that the day previous a crew had been working on a viewing platform on the summit when a "motorised wheelbarrow" went over the edge and plunged 40 metres down the cliff to the section of trail below. Worse still was that that fierce gladiator who goes by the name "gravity" unleased his wrath on the operator as well, who followed the piece of equipment down the cliff, landing on top of it. Fortunately, the operator was OK (hello miracle). On the day Tim was there, a helicopter was being brought in to hoist the piece of equipment off the side of the mount. As he really had nothing better to do, Tim kicked back and watched the extraction, shouting advice to the helicopter pilot and the newspaper photographer in turn.
That evening the excitement continued as Bronte set to creating a confectionary delight for the gastronomic pleasure of the family. She sculpted lovely chocolate cupcakes which we enjoyed well into the densest part of the week. Here's what the unveiling looked like:
By Thursday Tim and Jenn had locked in dates for our trip to the South Island, and Tim started booking accomodation on Friday. Despite that trip being some four months away, we're already giddy with excitement over it, as the things we'll see are tremendous. Tim rose extraordinarily early on Friday morning to take part in a summer picnic with his work colleagues back home, but alas the internet was not cooperating and he had to be content just imagining what the conversation was like. As a consolation, a few hours later he tried to bake butter tarts for the third time since arriving on New Zealand soil, and once again failed so miserably that it will not be attempted again until we're back home.
Saturday brought lots and lots and lots of rain. We slowly awoke trying to ignore the need to rise and take Bronte and Jack to soccer, but finally got them up too and ready to leave. It was like walking the Green Mile here, but just as we were about to slip on our gum boots and unmoor the boat, there was a last-minute text from the Governor, and a stay was granted for both Bronte and Jack. It seems that the coaches don't enjoy soccer in a deluge any more than the parents, and for that we were grateful! We celebrated by heading off to the library. Later that day Jack and Tim ventured back out into the still-pouring rain to take in a pro rugby game. It was the Bay of Plenty Steamers going heads to heads with the Auckland Creampuffs at the stadium which is just minutes from our house, and which you can see overhead here. Although they were prepared to float along with the others in general admission, it turns out the seats were covered! Here's Jack at the event:
It was fun watching the players splash about on the field, but Tim & Jack didn't last the whole match, especially since the Steamers were down 11-6 at the half (they ended up losing by that same score). The lure of a warm mug of tea was too great. We wrapped up Saturday by watching "The Hurt Locker" and "Astro Boy", but not in that order.
Sunday it was still raining. After a great skype session with the Cronsberry clan we headed out to watch the Tauranga Boys College field hockey team in their match against the Auckland Puppies. The myth of the hardy Kiwi was further smashed when we arrived to find that the game had been cancelled as the turf was saturated. Disappointed, we returned home and started a fire. In the fireplace. We wiled away the day until late afternoon when it appeared the weather was breaking somewhat. We dove at the opportunity and jumped into the Capella, steering it through the streets of Tauranga to The Cargo Shed, which is a market for artists, carvers, and crafters to hawk their wares. Not finding much of interest, we proceeded on to the Gordon Carmichael Reserve in Bethlehem which you can see overhead here. We had a walk around the estuary and were surprised to catch our first glimpse of black swans as well as a flock of what appeared to be Canada geese. Although the walk wasn't a huge one it was great to get out of the house.
So now you know about our week. How was yours?