Yearly archives: 2016

Waihi Beach

Had a lovely couple of nights at Waihi Beach where amongst other things it was great to catch up with another friend who whizzed over from Auckland for the day to meet us. Athenree Hot Springs and Holiday Park was home for our stay at Waihi Beach. Another well run outfit in a beautiful setting, a very short walk to the water. Early start from Rawene to make our way […]

Old boot in the sand



Picked up camper on early on Christmas Eve and made the long and beautiful drive up to Rawene, stopping off at Trounson Kauri Park  for a stretch break wandering through a small stand of Kauri Trees. Onwards winding through the amazing Waipoua Forest, passing Opononi’s beautiful beaches. Finally arrived at Rawene Holiday Park, our stop for the next few days in the evening.  Lovely spot, well laid out site with […]


Long, long journey to get here but get here we did. Had a fabulous time in Wellington enjoying catching up with dear old friends being a major highlight of this first 5 night leg of our trip. Took things slowly the first morning (– not that we had much of a choice on account of being totally knackered by the journey n all that). Sorted out some practical stuff then […]

Feeding the eels

Hunt for the Wilderpeople

The delightful film Hunt for the Wilderpeople had me in stitches much of the way through. And wishing the 3 months to my next visit to one of my favourite travel destinations in the world so far, will pass quickly (- and the time there pass lingeringly of course). Julian Dennison puts in a stellar performance as Ricky, the young wayward lad who shares his adventure in the New Zealand […]

Sulphur Spring

Viva España

We recently headed off for a well deserved break at our usual spot in Spain, Casa Grandina, Huerta de Ranea. First stop after the airport, Torremolinos and  El Sardina, our favourite spot for Sardines a la Plancha, Boquerones, nice cold cerveza (sin alcohol) and a great view of the beach. Despite being early in the season, the restaurant was packed as usual – unsurprisingly as the food is delicious. Bellies […]

Kamping in Kessingland…

…A much needed long weekend and an excuse for a campervan getaway to Kessingland in Suffolk. Never heard of the place before this trip but have enjoyed stays in the general area before. Predictably for a public holiday weekend the weather forecast was shite, and predictably for a public holiday weekend, the forecast for shite weather was accurate. We arrived at the campsite a couple of hours before Africa Alive, […]


All that Jazz

Had the pleasure of going to a couple of great Jazz gigs recently… First up the fine, mellow, and melodic Alison Rayner Quintet aka ARQ. Alison on double bass, Steve Lodder piano, Buster Birch on drums, Diane McLoughlin on saxophone, Deirdre Cartwright on guitar. These guys are all superb and have got playing together with feeling cracked. A joy to watch. I’ve  also enjoyed following Alison, Deirdre and Diane in […]

Ode to Janis Joplin

This month saw the UK general release of Janis, Little Girl Blue, a film about the late, great Janis Joplin whose untimely  over 45 years ago  at the tender age of 27 was a big loss to the world in my humble opinion. Looking forward to seeing the film which by all accounts is fantastic. In the meantime opted to see the brilliant production, Janis, Full Tilt at the Theatre […]

Two weekends of great…

… theatre… One of the bit pluses of living in the big smoke. Theatres coming out of your ears and great productions abound. Last weekend it was Richmond’s fabulous little Orange Tree Theatre for The Rolling Stone, a Chris Urch play about Uganda’s anti gay laws. This weekend it was August Wilson’s absolutely fantastic Ma Rainey’s Bottom at the National. Totally concur with The Guardian review. I can’t think of many […]