Category Travel

Winters gloom. Upside, ‘Curling’

Upsides of Winters gloom

Cows are dried off and on crops. Winters gloom is some what alleviated with any day of sunshine. Days are short providing more family time. Winter sport provides an opportunity to regain ones sanity and to socialize. Hunting and fishing opportunities are also an upside to winters gloom.

Curlers in particular, look forward to a period of settled weather for good ice to form to play our matches. Our two day national tournament, or bonspiel being weather dependent can only be contested when conditions allow, on occasions a lapse of several years occurs between events building enthusiasm even more...

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Oldies Rugby Tournament Ends

Oldies Rugby and Appendicitis

Last game of the ‘oldies rugby’ tournament ends and the last social event begins. Loaded with a little alcohol, or should we call it ‘brain food’, my colleagues overwhelming advice regarding my condition prompted someone to arrange an appointment the next morning with the weekend emergency doctor. ‘ What can I do for you’? was the impersonal greeting. Still in acute pain I reply, ‘A bunch of knowledgeable people say I have appendicitis’.

oldies rugby

    Playing days behind this front rower

He stares directly to my eye. ‘Do they just, now let me see’...

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Physical Changes Prompt Dentist Appointment

No teeth required

Dentist Appointment on Hold

Sufficient physical changes have occurred since last visiting my dentist, prompting an appointment. I can’t remember when my last visit was, but I emerged with a renewed partial top plate. The previous one somehow escaped during a hunting trip and became victim to someone’s big foot. I presume it was clad because no one complained of a bite mark. Anyway I still had my partial bottom plate intact, assuring I wasn’t going to get skinny during the remainder of the trip. Unfortunately some years later, during a fishing trip this time, my top choppers disappeared once more. Sadly, never again to be found.

Dentist David will be a little amused, or maybe bewildered might be a better term...

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Need Vaccinations? See the ‘Travel Doctor’

travel doctor

              Plenty of ants

Travel Doctor, my GP Suggested

‘The process may be easier for you if you consult with the Travel Doctor’, my GP suggested. A long time had passed since I had needed mandatory inoculations in order to travel, so I said OK, not quite knowing what a Travel Doctor was. Down to the city appointment with thespecialist and very astute’ doctor, who in a short space of time gained specific knowledge of my history, including family members she had run across, and my present needs.

My surprise at the intensity of the process, being two hours rather than twenty or so minutes I had wrongly budgeted for, abated when I walked out with all of my vaccinations, my prescription of legitimate travel drugs and a comprehensive education of possible problems and their cures

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Dubai Airport, Universal Travel Catalyst

Dubai Airport

You can go anywhere you like from here

Cultures and Colours at Dubai Airport

Dubai Airport

      Folk from everywhere

Taxi into Dubai Airport past multiple rows of terminals and planes, disembark, follow the crowd, that’s easy enough. Luggage checked through to final destination, that’s easy. Through customs and follow the masses once more. ‘Hang on’ , they are all going in different directions. ‘Now where did I put that ticket‘? Check in , ‘where is that’? People seem friendly enough, but for a language barrier, so pointing, along with diagrams, lines and circles on the back of my ticket with a note, 20 minute walk was to suffice.

Dubai Airport

        Transport between terminals

Hordes of people of all makes and models dressed in their authentic dress politely but busily making their way this way and that...

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Ghana, A Wonderful Place To Visit


7 week old baby Michael

Ghana has abundant activities

Ghana has abundant activities on offer to anyone who wishes to venture there. ‘We may see some elephants today’, our forest ranger and guide mentioned as we swerved around a twenty kilo pile of dung. Through the bush a little further and here they were, wallowing in a water hole perfectly content, splashing, sounding off and fooling around. A thought suddenly crossed my mind, ‘could this scene resemble Richard and I in the lodge pool last night’?

Richard showed me many of Ghana’s points of interest, including history and politics. My highlight being an introduction into some local families homes and villages where I was able to experience differences in culture, cuisine, colours, beverages and lifestyles...

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Suspicious Glare of the Customs Officer

customs officer

                         Dairying BC

Suspicious glare of the customs officer

Moving snail like in a long queue is daunting enough, let alone facing the solemn, suspicious glare of the customs officer as he or she fingers through our passport, visa and declaration card. Not to mention the next stage, emptying pockets, voiding bodies of footwear, belts and bling. Then the x-rays. If the dogs leave us be and luggage is lucky enough not to have succumbed to a random check, then we are free to go if we can find the way out. Help is often out of the question because it is with the troubled people ahead of us.

On one occasion, during a barrage of questions from a law student on summer vacation, filling the position of a customs officer was also a little daunting...

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Dismantling Dams on Our Waterways

Dismantling Dams


Dismantling Dams on Our Waterways.

Dismantling Dams

  Water provides life to otherwise baron              land

Dismantling dams on some of the worlds water ways is an extraordinary event. Whether for environmental or economic reasons there will be downsides for some folk. Built over a century ago in some cases, people over a number of generations, have become accustomed to their benefits and economic values. Many people have built their lives, families and incomes from these structures both directly and indirectly.

During a not so recent family visit to the Pacific North West, and unbeknownst to me, brother in law Ted had arranged the hire of a river boat on one of these magnificent dams...

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Shopping For Canoe Trip Down The Yukon .

Shopping For Canoe Trip Down The Yukon.

Following a year or two of contemplating, I find myself in Pacific North West preparing for a canoe trip down the Yukon River. Brother in law Ted had a few days work ahead before we pulled out leaving me to the shopping. Aware of, but unfamiliar with problems we may encounter led me listening to the advice of a bemused owner of a small General Store. I mentioned that someone in our group wasn’t keen on a high DEET content in the insect repellent. His reply, ‘if you are going to the ‘Yukon’ this repellent here, (100% DEET), is for those that are serious about mosquitoes’. ‘However that one over there is for the non believers’. I heard him well, after which I focused on common sense things.

Three Americans, two New Zealanders finally pull into White...

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Stroke Cuts Short Hunting/Fishing Trips.


                                 Good Times

Stroke Cuts Short Hunting/Fishing Trips.

Hunting and Fishing trips were cut short by a debilitating stroke. A veteran of our annual Stewart Island hunting and fishing trip for only a couple of years, cousin Bill fell victim to what could have been a killer stroke. An academic with a sharp mind and dogged determination he defied medical science and all professional points of view when he learned to speak well enough to communicate and to walk well enough to be some what mobile.

Post rehabilitation and on agreement with others in our group, Bill once again joined us on our annual trip, and although a little dependent it became a highlight of his miserable life...

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Unexpected Impromptu Visit by Friends.


   We look for Sunshine in our Friends


Good and Not so Good Times Wash In and Out

Unexpected Impromptu Visit by Friends.

Unexpected impromptu visit by friends fulfilled our ‘blank minds’ over what will we do for Easter. Friends who we spent part of our life growing up with in another lifetime long past swung by our way over Easter, much to our surprise and delight. Meeting occasionally over the years through the odd family event, it appears while our careers were being established and our own families were growing up we were all too busy and preoccupied in our own worlds to interact the way we once did.

Conversation is easy and exciting catching up on past years, fishing trips, old school friends,and apart from grand children, broken family marriages, changes in health status and outrage...

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Phone Call September 2012 From My GP

Phone call

phone call

Phone call


Phone call

Healthy Kereru

Phone Call From My GP.

A phone call September 2012 from my G.P., ‘Dave, I need to see you’. During a visit a few days before, he had identified a life long back problem being the cause of chronic hip pain ruling out hip replacement,much to my relief, when he commented, he hadn’t seen me for a year or two we better do some blood tests.

The diagnosis;  ‘Dave, your psa level is 45 and you have advanced prostate cancer, I have made an appointment for you to see a urologist tomorrow’.  Completely numbed I thought to myself, ‘What did he just say’? He finished, ‘I advise you to take it’.

The urologist was unimpressed, but settled a little when I said, ‘I don’t even know why I’m here, let alone what a urologist is’. After computer analysis I was told a 90% cha...

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Seasons Come and Seasons Go.

Seasons Come and Seasons Go.

Seasons come and seasons go, summer swings into autumn bringing with it a whole array of alternate sports and activities. On a personal note, lawn bowls season comes to a close and none too soon, because feral stags and bucks have began their rut season exciting deer hunters throughout the country, who like me will put their summer sport behind them to indulge in the new seasons sporting activity, roar shooting.

Autumn also sees our Stewart Island hunting and fishing group busy packing and preparing for its thirty first annual trip that still boasts several of its inaugural members among others of all ages, who have joined the group over the years...

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A Mans Best Friend.

Mans Best Friend.

Wet and Happy in the Front Seat

Mans Best Friend.

It’s well known that a dog and its carer can become very attached, thus the old adage, mans best friend. Herman and I were no exception and were seldom apart. Instinctively, a very good cattle working dog, Herman responded to further training for other various activities including hunting and retrieving water fowl and ground birds, hunting and finding pigs and deer. He wasn’t quite as useful at fishing, but loved a trip out on the ocean none the less, enjoying the meal that followed as did everyone else. Cats, rats, ferrets, stoats, mice and kids ice-creams were all at peril if in the wrong place at the wrong time. In saying that, house or domestic cats were not on his list of things to do, although they often got the eye ball.

Herman li...

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Curling Outdoors


An age old sport, Outdoor curling appeals to many as an alternative or supplement to their other winter sports and activities.

Curling Outdoors is obviously weather dependent, so it can’t be assumed that ice will be available each and every year. This aspect of the game can be rather apprehensive as we watch and wait for the ice to form without comprehensive weather changes.

A typical scenario could be, a phone call from another curling club to our team selector with an invitation to join them in a curling match the day after tomorrow provided the weather continues to cooperate. Two rinks of four curlers ( this constitutes a club ), vehicles, curling stones and everything else appropriate is quickly organized ready for a 5am start the following morning to reach the ice rin...

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