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'Farewell Bertie'
New Zealand - JUN 2003
'Goodbye New Zealand''
Sunday 1st June 2003 Picton

left Richmond by 10 and had intended to spend some time looking around Nelson, but at the end of the day it is just another Kiwi city, and on sundays it is pretty dead. So instead Sarena kept on driving through the Marlborough Sounds.

The Sounds are a great place, a boat owners dream. I could quite easily see myself living here. Got to Picton and I decided to go for a walk whilst Sarena chilled out at the campsite and read. I actually struggled to walk all the way out to Snout Point. It was pretty hot and my toe was giving me jip on the downhill's. But I still managed a good 3 hour hike, and was very keen to get a beer by the time I got back.

Seeing as this would be our last night on the South Island we decided to go out for a meal. Picton did not seem to have much to offer on a sunday night and we ended up at a bit of a cowboy themed bar, which played the worse music in the world... ... The food wasn't much better either, but at least I managed to get a few Monteiths down me.

Drove through Nelson having a quick look around but all the shops were shut anyway so didn't have that much interest. I then drove us onto Picton taking us through the prettiest little harbours with white boarded houses set amongst palms with aqua water and lovely white yachts bobbing around - beautiful. Got into Picton around lunchtime so we got ourselves a very nice cabin at a campsite and had some lunch then walked into town. I just bought a cold drink and had a mooch around whilst Toby went off for a walk. I then just sat in the lovely sunshine reading my book back at the cabin waiting for Jonesey to get back from his hike. I am looking forward to getting back on the North Island and seeing Joy and Spit who now have there own place so we can watch DVD's !!! still cant find my bracelet though.....

Went out for dinner in the evening and ended up at a really crap restaurant that did some dire food so we didn't stay long and just went back to the cabin and attempted to watch the Monkey King which was a spin off of the series 'Monkey' so we thought it would be good..... it was awful so we switched off and read for the evening.

Monday 2nd June 2003 Taupo

Checked in for the ferry at 7 and it actually ended up leaving a few minutes early - just before 8. I had expected it to be a bit choppy with the forecast of gales in the Cook Strait, but it ended up being another really calm crossing.

We where off the Ferry by 11:30 and headed straight to Andy and Charley's new house in Whitby. There house is massive, loads of room to add a few more little-ins! We got our first introductions to their 10 week old baby, Kate. and then they provided us with some gorgeous soup for lunch.

We didn't leave until about 2:30 so decided not to try and get all the way up to Tauranga and instead head for Taupo for the night. Sarena managed to get $10 of the price of the campsites extortionate cabins and I then popped out for a Kebab and a can of V and read myself to sleep.

Got up really early and got to the ferry terminal for 7am, our check in time, and set sail just before 8am which was bang on time. The crossing was fine and we entertained ourselves with cards and listening to the iPod so it wasn't long (3hrs) and we were ready to drive back onto the North Island. Our first port of call was to call in on Charlie and Andy and new baby, Kate. So we found our way to Whitby in Wellington and found our way to there new house which was bloody lovely. It was hugs all round and then a grand tour of the estate which was really very nice, then a looksy at 10 week old Kate who was beautiful. Charlie then whipped us up a tasty lunch of homemade soup and bread and some cake which we ate down with gusto being so hungry. We spent a couple of hours catching up and having a really nice time, we arranged to go and stay the night with them when we go back to Wellington to watch the rugby as they offered us a bed, jolly nice!

We had to say our goodbyes though pretty early in the afternoon and we had a long drive ahead. Left their house about 3ish and didn't' get to lake Taupo until 7ish. The Top 10 campsite were doing cabins for $51 which was the most expensive yet so i kicked up a bit of a fuss saying we had just come from a 5star bla bla and it was cheaper - it was just for a basic cabin with a bed for goodness sake. So in the end with the discount card we had a some foot stomping i got the room for $40. It was a bank holiday weekend which i why the prices were up but it was also the end of the holiday being a Monday night so they had to put prices back down.

We checked in and dumped out stuff then went straight out to get some food, me some Thai soup and Toby a kebab. Spent the rest of the evening reading.

Tuesday 3rd June 2003 Katikati

Headed back up to Tauranga in the morning. For some reason it felt really good to be driving through familiar territory again. I ended up getting a Hair cut, but Melissa was on a break so I got a slightly sub standard trim! Sarena went around town and I half expected her to come back with a pile of new clothes. She met me again at my old work place with only a bag of pick n mix - not too bad. We said a quick hello to everyone in the office... Congratulations to Sean on his engagement. Kathy and Phil where out so unfortunately we missed them.

We then headed to Katikati to try and blag a bed from Meri for the night. She was not back from Wellington so we ended up sitting in a new cafe for the afternoon and watching an old derelict colonial house go up in flames. It had possibly been set alight by school kids having a quick afternoon smoke. Practically the whole town came down to have a gander and get in the way of the fire brigade.

Ended up at Meri's just after 5, she seemed pretty tired after her long drive from Wellington but still insisted on inviting everyone over for a bit of a spontaneous meal. Jo and Scott and Ross and Sue joined us later on for some roast chicken. We also found out that Ross and Sue will be going to the England / All Black game on the 14th. Cool hope we see them there.

Got up and showered then drove for what felt like hours and hours to get to Tauranga, Toby wanted his hair cut by Melissa his personal groomer and to also pop into work and say hello. So we spent a little time walking around getting birthday cards sorted out and having lunch then Toby went off to get his hair done and i walked around the shops for a bit then went and met him at Radfords for a quick hello to the gang. Unfortunately Kathy wasn't in which was disappointing but she gave us a ring later when we were driving to Katikati and said hello. We tried ringing Meri but she still wasn't home from Wellington where she had gone to see her sister so we sat in a cafe for a couple of hours waiting for her to get home. We passed the time by watching a local old run down building go up in flames (thanks to kids) just opposite the cafe so we had a prime spot on the deck of the cafe with coffee in hand. Within minutes the fire crew were at the scene and by now the fire was really big. As well as the fire department they were also joined by locals who were all stopping in there cars or driving up behind the engines on the grass to stop and spectate, we couldn't believe these people it was like going to a drive-in movie for them! there was nearly a bloody accident with all the people gawping, it was also on a major junction so as you can imagine it was pretty mayhem. The funniest part of it all was when a 6yr old looking girl ran over the hose pipe on her bike and the water pipe came apart. The blinkin thing started flaying everywhere sending all the standing watchers and kids scattering in all directions and the fireman running around madly trying to catch it. The thing was going under cars who were now trying to get away for fear of it hitting them - we were all just wetting ourselves in the cafe.

We finally got through to Meri who arrived home at 4.40pm after a 7-8 hrs driving and said to get our asses round with a bottle of wine refusing us in if we didn't have dinner with them as i said we will get some fish and chips for dinner. Poor woman must have been exhausted but she was so pleased to see us and us her. We took around another cooked chicken and some cake and wine to help out, it seems she also had her daughter (Jo) and her husband over for dinner and then she invited Sue and Ross! so after all she now had 8 people to cook for after a long day. Barry had put a chicken and some veggies in earlier so we all had a fantastic roast and a massive pudding involving ice-cream, cream, rice crispies (it's a Kiwi thing) fruit, cake, and custard!!!!!! i of course had a bit of it all and felt rather ill but it was well worth it. Had a fabulous evening as we always do around Meri's house and fell into bed about 11pm.

Wednesday 4th June 2003 Orewa

Sorted out Meri's computer in the morning and then we where soon on the road to Auckland. Joy and Spit had emailed us instructions of how to get to their new house. 80% of the instructions where actually how not to get to there house! (e.g. if you go too far you will end up ...) On the way to AUckland we pooped into an Op Shop to buy some fancy dress clothes for the England/All black game on the 14th June. It was dead easy to find stuff as we have decided to go as old yorkshire coronation street type people. Although I reckon finding a cloth cap in New Zealand maybe a little tricky.

We got straight to their new house dead on 1 had a quick cup of tea and a look around their smart new house, then we headed to the shops for in hunt for a New PC that Jo & joy wanted to buy with some of their wedding money. It ended up that they had already found the best deal. As had everyone else as most of the shops had sold out. The spits had the good sense to reserve one, so we drove right into the centre of Auckland and picked it up. Sarena did a very good job of avoiding the traffic wardens while we popped into the shop.

In the afternoon Spit and I set up the computer while Joy and Sarena went shopping for food and a couple of DVD's for the night. Consequently we spent the evening drinking and watching films. We also got to see some more of Joy and Spits wedding photos on the new Computer.

Woke up at 3am with stomach cramps thanks to mother natures monthly house call so ended up playing with Stilo the cat who is the dearest little thing until falling asleep again a few hours later and then have Toby wake me up with his insesent fidgeting he always does when he comes to.

We said our final goodbyes to Meri as this was defiantly the last time we would be seeing her in the near future.... we then went down to the Op shop to purchase some fancy dress for the rugby game looming soon. We had decided on going as Carnation street characters so bought all the frumpy looking stuff so we ended up looking like Hilda and Stan Ogdon (showing our age now) we then drove up to Auckland to Joy and Spits new house. I had made an eye appointment for Thursday afternoon so wanted to be up there ready for the whole blinkin back and forth routine i seem to have going with the eye institute. We found there house without any problems - it was great to see them both and they had got themselves a lovely pad. We had a quick tour and we made ourselves at home, they said we could stay for the whole 3 weeks which is so bloody good of them - probably be sick of us after 1.

We all then went out looking for a PC as they had seen a great deal on at the warehouse and wanted Toby to have a look and give his opinion. So we had a look around a few Computer places before deciding on the original Warehouse one, unfortunately we had to go into Auckland central to get it. The shop was in a mall place so Spit parked up at a 5min only unloading bay leaving me in the car incase it needed moving. So 5mins later a miserable looking parky told me to move it or get a $40fine so i jumped in the front and whipped off for a go around the block thinking they would be ready by then. The bugger was they had road works down all the roads i wanted to turn down so that i could turn around and go back to pick them up so i was getting further away in the middle of the city and not having a clue where i was going! I managed to get back in the end only to find that they still weren't standing outside so i had to go around again a different way ending up getting shouted at by buses and drivers for trying to get around the bloody stupid area. I did find them in the end and we got the PC in and drove back home so that Toby and Spit could set it up whilst Joy and I went out and did some food shopping and get a couple or DVD's for the evening. Joy and Spit cooked us a wonderful dinner and we all spent the evening watching 'My big fat Greek Wedding' wasn't as good as i hoped but then Joy was talking all the way through it thanks the amount of wine and gin she was consuming. We did manage to work our way through a whole pile of snacks and popcorn (joy and spit are on a diet) so they can't eat any carbohydrates and popcorn is ok. Dragged ourselves into bed at midnight and slept like a log

 

Thursday 5th June 2003 Orewa

Up nice and early without even feeling too groggy. I had got up as Joy wanted to phone Deon and Shelly back in the UK. But she ended up laying in. Bugger. Spent the morning updating my diary and sorting the car out ready to sell it.

Took Sarena for her eye appointment in the afternoon. Her left eye has improved slightly and the Doctor has given us the option to do a touch more surgery. This tim though there is a risk he could make it worse. Bit of a decision time for Sarena.

A couple of very chatty friends also turned up at Jo and Joys for the night. Jerry and John live on Wahieke island and are traveling north for a job so stopped of for a floor for the night and a few beers. We popped down to the local Irish bar which was surprisingly busy.

Got up early and tidied our room up then had some b'fast whilst Joy dragged herself out of bed to go horse riding at 10am. I then did my diary whilst Toby went off looking for a car wash and Spit appeared on the scene at 11.30.

Went for my eye appointment in the afternoon and was seen by the lovely Dr Ring again who said my eyes had improved (including my left) but i still needed a little cut done to the left one to make it as good as the right. Problem is though there is a real risk now of cutting a bit too much and making the whole thing worse so i have to decide on what to do for the best.

Took ages to get back to Joy and Spits thanks to the traffic which is something we haven't had to deal with in ages - horrible stuff. A couple of mates of Joy and Spits came over in the evening and they all went down the pub whilst i stayed in and watched some TV and read.

Friday 6th June 2003 Orewa

Joy and Sarena disappeared early under the premise that they where going to visit Op Shops (Charity Shops). This meant that Sarena would return with a few more T-Shirts to replace the ones she threw our just a few weeks ago! I was not surprised. They did however bring back some presents for us. I got an Elephant mask and Spit got a pair of padded illuminous cycling/riding shorts. hmmmm Lovely. Sarena did also buy a Bikini, which I thought a little strange as she doesn't enjoy staying out in the sun. Foolishly I voiced my indifference about the style of her bikini and now she has decided to take it back again.

Sarena cooked everyone pasta for dinner and we watched Bandits on DVD.

Really looking forward to today as Joy and I have arranged a girls day out. This meant going shopping all of course in the OP shops which we both love. We both got a few bargains and even managed to purchase a couple of things for the boys which we thought were bloody brilliant....... I then spent the rest of the afternoon in a swimsuit shop as i needed a new bikini, this was a bikini nightmare as i am not built to wear bikinis and i just hate seeing myself in full length mirrors. I ended up trying hundreds of the blinkin things leaving them all over the floor and was getting very despondent about the whole affair when the shop assistant got me to try a black one on, low and behold it fitted so i didn't quibble and went straight to the desk to pay for it. I unfortunately hadn't looked at the cost and was dumb struck when she told me it was $70 !! Christ Toby would go mad so i thought i would try on something else, meantime leaving my sunglasses on the cash desk. When i came back to the desk my glasses had gone (we think stolen) so that was a pisser. I didn't like latest try on, so thought i should call Toby on the mobile to ask his advise only to realise we had no money left on the phone card. Basically after 2 hrs of all this floundering around i just bought the bloody thing and went home minus sun glasses!

I tried on the beachwear when i got back to show Toby and he didn't like it which meant i was now in 2 minds about what to do as he said it looked just like underwear....... oh

I cooked us dinner that evening which was made easier cause Joy and Spit had now come off of there no carbs diet so we had piles of lovely pasta for dinner and some beer accompanied with a DVD - we are going to get fat very quickly!

Saturday 7th June 2003 Orewa

Spit and I popped out in the morning and bought some car cleaning products to polish up the Jeeps as we plan to take them to a car fair tomorrow to see what we can fetch for them. Spent the morning cleaning off the cars.Joy took Sarena back to the Bikini shop and returned with a credit note. Not sure if she will be wearing that on the beach in fiji!

I installed Medal Of Honour on Spits new PC. This ended up keeping him amused for the rest of the day. In fact about 11 hours with only a break to eat and half an hour to polish the car when the sun went down. They both looked very clean and tidy hopefully they will generate some interest tomorrow at the car fair. I reckon ours is a little overpriced, unfortunately it is in too good condition for its age, but at least we have 3 weeks to sell it so have time to drop the price a bit.

Spits game playing was also mildly interrupted when Jerry and John returned from up north. They only stopped in for 20 minutes though before carrying on to stay the night at another friends house.

The boys went off in the morning to get some car cleaning stuff whilst Joy did some house work and and did my diary. I also tried on Joys bikini which she bought for $10 yesterday from the sale section - yes i know why couldn't i get one from the sale rack? and i decided to take mine back and see if i could get something brighter...

Spent another hour in the swim shop and still couldn't find anything i liked or that fitted so i left with a credit note and a promise from the assistant (very patient lady) that she would get some in for me for next week in my size - seems i needed a size 16 top and 10 bottoms.

Anyway poor ole Joy was so good once again coming behind me and picking up all the strewn bikinis and being so patient - make a good nurse.

We then went and did a little bit of food shopping and went back home to help clean and wax both cars ready to take them to the big car sale place Sunday morning. Joy and Spit are now wanting to sell theirs after all the trouble it's given them they have are going to try again. It took hours to hoover and get the things up together but they looked very impressive when finished. Joy cooked us another lovely dinner of stuffed pumpkin and we then just vedged out for the evening - Joy is getting very excited about her horse, fame, is flying over on Monday. Jerry and John came over later on to pick up something he had left a few days before and they stayed for an hour.

Sunday 8th June 2003 Orewa

had to get up very early and left the house by 7:30 to get to Ellerslie Car fair. I have got a bit of a cold (my first one since traveling) and felt ab it groggy but it soon cleared.

The car fair started at 9 and we had a good spot next to each other in the 4wd section. The Showgrounds gradually filled up and not surprisingly there where quiet a few more MU's for sale. They are a very common car in NZ. I checked them out and ours seemed pretty competitively priced to the others. Bertie didn't generate much interest though, just a few glancing looks from passers by and one Japeneese guy who wanted a petrol car. Joy and Spit had a lot more interest for their Landrover Discovery, and even had some people taking down there phone number. No one was keen enough to take them for a test drive though. Never mind. the show finished at 12 and Sarena and I headed back to Orewa whilst the Spits popped into a Landrover show in Auckland centre.

Joy and spits Landlords, who live upstairs, Dave and Dee, invited us around for a glass of wine in the evening so joy knocked up a roast for dinner and we watched 'The Cats Meow' with Eddie Izzard as Charlie Chaplin, before popping upstairs for a few drinks.

We all got up really early and rushed around trying to get ready and out of the door for 7.30am which we all accomplished very well. We arrived for 8ish which gave us plenty of time to park up and look good. The big car sale was being held at a race course so as you can imagine it was HUGE... by about 9am there were hundreds of cars and vans, 4x4 etc. We all sat around for 4hrs whilst squillions of people wondered around looking at vehicles, unfortunately none were looking at Bertie.. they did look at Joy and Spits Landrover which was good though and a couple of people took down the tel number - fingers crossed.

We all left at lunchtime, Toby and I went home whilst the other 2 went to another car sale place that just dealt with Landrovers. I popped out into town to the internet cafe bumping into Joy and Spit who were doing the same thing but we couldn't get on a computer cause there were about 25kids all playing online games.... very very sad.

Later on in the afternoon we watched a rented DVD called the Cats Meo which had Eddie Izard playing Charlie Chaplin, i really enjoyed it but Joy kept thinking we weren't for some reason. She then cooked us a wonderful chicken roast dinner and the we all went upstairs to the neighbours/landlords house to share wine and Toffee Pops. Dee and Dave come from Stockport, same part of the world as Joy and Spit which is a huge coincidence. They are such a nice couple and have converted there downstairs to separate living quarters but just want to be neighbours as apposed to landlords which they leave up to the rental agency. So they all get on really well which is a bonus.

Anyway we all had a great evening and polished of quite a lot of red wine talking about the UK and the funny quirks the kiwi's have - like not being able to drive....

I went to bed when we got back leaving the others to stay up and watch Jonathan Creek.

Monday 9th June 2003 Orewa

Lazed about most of the day. Parked the car on the edge of the highway with a big' for sale' sign in the window with the hope someone may be interested.

I said Spit would hear about his job in the afternoon and he would get it and then bugger me he did!!!!!

So celebrated all evening with fizzy wine and congratulating Spit - Well done mate!!!!

Tuesday 10th June 2003 Orewa

Went exploring Wairkeworth Thermal Village today. It was really good to sit in the hot spa's and soak away. They where very hot. To cool us down though they also had some water slides. These slides where mental, they where made out of metal and not your usual plastic, consequently they where extremely slippery and fast. Everyone else on the slides where under 10 years of age so we had no trouble pushing past them in our race to get to the top of another slide.

The Hot pools made me feel very dosey. Joy got the good news that her horse had now landed in New Zealand.

Toby and I just farted around the house for a few hours then went off to the hot springs up the road for a lovely few hours running around the different pools. The best bit was going down all the flumes (slides) and tubes they had, we pushed all the kids out of the way whilst running up to the top ones and hurtling full pelt down 'the black hole' which was bloody fast!! Toby seemed to shoot out of the thing like a rat down a drain pipe, they were great fun. We then just sat around in some really hot pools and watched a film showing in the cinema pool, the magic pudding..... how sad are we.

Had a quiet evening in feeling tired and relaxed - Joy was relieved to find out Fame (horse) had landed and was fine

Wednesday 11th June 2003 Orewa

Joy and Spit where up early in the morning as Spit starts his new job today. Joy gave him a lift to work as she was also going to visit her horse in quarantine.

Sarena is having her last operation on her eye so we spent the afternoon at the eye clinic. Sarena emerged with another patch over her left eye. I just hope this operation has worked as Dr Ring confesses that it is possible that her eye could be worse.

After the Op, we went over to Phil and Liz's for a chat. They are both really well, and are thinking about moving to Tauranga.

Spit really enjoyed his first day at work. Looks like he is going to make a big difference there.

Spits first day at work so it was like a first day at school with his new bag and clean underpants, luckily it was a training sort of day just up the road so he didn't have to get up too early in the morning. Toby and I waved him off and watched as Joy took him into town - his little face at the window... Joy went off to see Fame and spend the day with her.

Didn't do much in the morning apart from getting myself some new sunglasses which i think look really cool..

Went into Auckland in the afternoon to have my eye done again which was just like before then went to Chewie and Liz's house for the evening. Spent a lovely couple of hours drinking wine and having a laugh then got back home for about 10ish

Thursday 12th June 2003 Orewa

Dropped Spit into work in the morning and then visited Dr Ring for a quick check up on Sarena's eye. It looks very hopeful as Sarena now has crystal clear sight from her left eye. It will take a few days for the operation to settle.

Sarena finally got herself a Bikini that she is going to keep and we sorted out our fancy dress to take down to Wellington for the rugby game at the weekend. I wanted to find a white handkerchief to put on my head, but could I? - Nope :-(

Deon and Shelly had posted the video tapes of Joy and Spits wedding so we all spent the evening watching 3 hours of the event. Joy got very emotional watching it. Deon and Shelly had done a very good job behind the camera and I felt very guilty that we weren't there to share the experience first hand.

Went back into Auckland for my checkup, Dr Ring just had a look and said to come in next week.

Got our stuff ready for going away for the weekend and just lazed around the house and went into town. I went back to the bikini shop and found myself a lovely one in the end - thank goodness!

Spent the evening watching Joy and Spits wedding video which got sent over from the UK that day - they both got very drunk and Joy ended up crying a lot, It was a lovely wedding though and i was glad to finally get to see it!!!

Joy staggered into bed later on and was very funny - she does exactly what i do and repeat myself when pissed.

Friday 13th June 2003 Whitby

Had a very long drive to Wellington today, We decided to leave after 9 so that we didn't waste an hour in the Auckland rush. We made very good time passing through Hamilton, and Taupo and made it to Whitby where our friends Andy and Charlie live. We couldn't get through to anyone on the phone, so we popped to the shopping centre for some Tea. Andy then phoned us and invited us around to their friends house that they had visited.

We walked in on a bit of a breast feeding convention as Charlie and her friend have both had babies within days of each other. Had a very pleasant evening sampling home made beer. and enjoyed the luxury of a bed for the night.

Left the house at 9am to miss all the traffic, the drive was really long but wasn't too bad. We got down to Charlie and Andy's for about 6pm. They were around some friends house so we went around to meet them and have a couple of drinks.

Saturday 14th June 2003 Wellington

The Big Day. The day we kick the All Blacks ass at Rugby. We where up early to get to the airport and pick Phil, Liz, John and Jo up. but then we got a text saying they where landing an hour later. Our car had started squeaking from the back wheel since our mammoth journey from Auckland. It was very annoying.

After picking the crew up we drove to the hotel that Liz and Phil had booked, John got us dressed up in Kappa shell suit tops and big curly wigs and we spent the afternoon in bars and posing as typical England supporters. We even managed to meet up with Sue and Ross from Katikati. At about 5 we went back to the Hotel to get ready for the game. Sarena convinced me to swap costumes, So I ended up getting dressed up as a Hilda Ogden look alike, although to hide my embarrassment and my identity I also got my face painted with the St Georges cross.

It was very uncomfortable stepping out of the hotel and walking to the first bar dressed in a charity shop dress with head scarf and rollers, but everyone twigged that I was Hilda Ogden and not some transvestite rugby supporter. We even saw Ross and Sue as we walked towards the stadium. They though my costume was hilarious. The most disconcerting thing was the amount of compliments I got when I went to the gents.

The atmosphere in the stadium was amazing, we had seats right at the front and had plenty of fellow England fans around us. The game though was pretty dull apart from the fact that we did actually beat the All Blacks. All the fans from both sides where amazing and everyone were in good spirits. All the Kiwi supporters congratulated us and quite a lot of reporters got shots of us celebrating.

On the way out of the stadium we all got separated, Sarena and I did manage to meet up with Sue and Ross though and we ended up playing pool at a bar and drinking John Smiths! The town was actually quite quiet, I'm sure if the All Blacks had won the place would be pumping. We managed to get in touch with Phil later on the evening to discover he was on his own in a curry house. SO we said our goodbyes to Ross and Sue and went to meet up with Phil.

By about 1 am Sarena and I decided to retire, and I was very keen to get out of my dress. Phil and Liz went on to another bar to meet up with some Geordie friends they knew and I stopped off at a Kebab shop on the walk back to the hotel. I was starving and really enjoying munching into my kebab when all of a sudden I was flat on my back. Some drunk kiwi kid had taken a run at me whilst I wasn't looking and knocked me onto the pavement. The worse bit was that I spilt half of my kebab on the floor. Before I knew what had happened the kid was half way down the street and two girls where apologising for his behaviour saying he had taken some drugs earlier on. Sarena and I let it go, I picked myself up and we carried on up to the hotel. It was then when I felt blood seeping through my dress. My right elbow had taken the force of my landing and was bleeding quite profusely. When Sarena saw this she went absolutely mad and turned around to chase after the kid. I chased after her and we met up with the offender as he was crossing the road. Sarena shouted 'you bastard' and got him with a perfect shot in the back of the head with her kebab. He consequently ran off while one of the girls tried to hold us off again. I ended up shouting at him down the street and questioning why he would hit a man in a dress which seemed to calm things down a bit. We gave up the chase and went back to the hotel to clean up. I felt much better about being in normal clothes again so we decided to go back out on the town again, as we were now a bit fired up and and hoping that we might run into the little runt again.

We didn't. but we did end up in another bar and where soon joined again by Phil and Liz. By 3 ish we where all ready for bed. Sarena and I crashed in Phil and Liz's hotel room. I phoned a comfy spot under the wardrobe, whilst sarena managed to blag some of the bed.

Had a wonderful nights sleep so felt all refreshed and raring to go. We got up early ready to pick Chewie and Liz from from the airport, they were traveling with John and Jo who were also coming to the game. We were sent a message telling us the plane was delayed until 11.30am so we just played with Kate for a few hours before heading off to the airport. We soon found them and had lots of hugs, Jo was gong off for the day with her sister so it was just 5 for the day. John unloaded all the dodgy tracksuit tops - pink and white kappa tops he got from a dodgy shop and 3 black afro wigs. They were going to go as the 3scousers until Toby bought himself the old man outfit so they all got dressed up for the day as dodgy looking scousers. We bundled into Bertie and went off to find the hotel ( Trekkers) that they were all staying in. It did take a while but we finally found the place and parked the car for a couple of hours. The hotel was adjoined to a backpackers and was really nice so we dumped all our stuff as we were going to stay on there floor for the night to save us driving back to Whitby.

We then went down the pub and spent the rest of the afternoon and drank loads. Sue and Ross from katikati phoned us as they were going to the game as well, so we told them where we were and they came in to join us. Spent a fantastic afternoon mixing with the Kiwi fans who seemed great fun. Liz and I went off shopping for an hour to get a few bits to go with our outfits but ended up in a second hand shop and had loads of fun, of course she made me buy a top!!

At 5ish we went back to the hotel and got ourselves changed, I had convinced Toby to swap costumes so that he went as the old woman and he agreed!! John and Chewie just added to there outfits with painted faces and did Toby's face as well. Liz got dressed in all Black in honour of the NZ team ( All Blacks) TOby had his knee high pop socks on and i had my moustache so we looked like complete knobs! We then made our way to the stadium meeting up with Jo again and then bumping into Sue and Ross again just as we were entering the stadium, they thought we looked bloody hilarious. We found our seats which weren't all together but were soon swapped with some very kind Kiwis. John had his photo taken by many press photographers which made his day! we then had a fantastic time watching the game something i have never experienced before. The atmosphere was electric and the English fans were so loud and brilliant of course we were outnumbered by the NZ fans but we held our own. The thing i was surprised about though was all the fans mix together which i thought was really good.

Well as i'm sure you know we won which just added to the whole atmosphere, the kiwi fans were great losers and were coming up to congratulate us all and shake our hands. Unlike if we were in the UK and we lost! cripes the British fans would be kicking in cars and causing mayhem and being wankers.

We all got split up on the way out so we found ourselves with Sue and Ross, we went to a pub and had a few games of pool and drank more alcohol before bidding farewell and heading up to the curry house where Chewie had sent a message from to say he was on his own after splitting up with the rest of the gang.

He was with Liz and Jo when we did find him and was ready to go out drinking some more whilst we were ready to back to the hotel. We went and got a kebab and said goodbye to them, unfortunately on the way home whilst toby was walking around in a dress and hair curlers with a St George cross on his face, he got jumped by a disgruntled kiwi.

I saw him coming but it all happened so quickly i couldn't do a darn thing, the tosser just did a rugby shoulder tackle whilst Toby was looking down at his food and was completely taken unawares, he got thrown full pelt down to the floor where he skidded across the pavement nearly head butting the wheel of a parked car. The tosser just carried on walking and the 2 girls he was with just kept saying sorry and to not cause any problems.... I was helping Toby off of the floor, he now only had 1/2 a kebab left in his hand and just started walking off in a bit of a daze. It wasn't until i saw the blood coming from his arm, it was at that point i lost the plot and just turned around and went after the tosser. Toby came running up behind me and we soon caught up with him and the girls. He unfortunately was crossing the road when i saw him and we had a barrier in front of us so the only thing i could think of doing was to throw my still uneaten kebab at his head - what a shot! got him square on the back of his stupid tossering head, he turned around ready to start coming for me and i was ready for a fight! i didn't care what size or sex he was as couldn't remember the last time i was that angry - Toby wouldn't hurt a fly and didn't deserve that at all. The girls he was with started dragging him off whilst one of them started to tell us to leave it and that he was on drugs and not to start anything, Toby was shouting about ' hit a bloke in a dress would you!' which was quite funny and i was screaming something obscene at him whilst he ran off down the street.

Completely spoilt our evening and i could not calm down - i was sooooooo angry so we went back to the hotel for me to clean off some of the blood. We then got changed and went back out to find him which we didn't, but ended up meeting back up with Chewie and LIz and staying out until 3am drinking. Toby ended up on the floor under a cupboard whilst i got on the bed with Chewie and Liz - and had both blokes snoring.

Sunday 15th June 2003 Whitby

Didn't sleep too well on the floor, My elbow started to hurt more and more as I sobered up and it was pretty painful by the morning. We managed to all make it out of the hotel by 10 though which was pretty good going. John got himself a breakfast at the hotel but the rest of us went to a cafe.

Sarena then decided to go second hand shopping, and the rest of us visited the Te Papa national museum. It was a massive and very impressive building but the more I walked around the worse my hangover got. In the end I sat outside and drunk lots of fluid. By 2 its was time to take the crew back to the airport. Sarena drove as my elbow was still very tender. We dropped Phil, Liz, Jo and John off and then we headed back to Whitby to stay with Andy and Charlie again.

Sarena wanted me to get my elbow checked out at hospital. I didn't, but agreed to do whatever nurse Charlie decided. She also thought it would be worthwhile to get it checked out. Bugger. We spent the rest of the day at Lower Hutt A & E. After a serious of examinations and X-rays, I was told that I had burst my Bursa sack or something like that. apparently it could get quite nasty so I was sent to a cubicle and a nurse pulled various bits of debris from my elbow, cleaned it and dressed it. I then had to pick up a course of antibiotics and we ended up getting back to Andy and Charlie's by 9. At least nothing was broken. It would be a pain backpacking with one arm.

Woke up at 6am to stereo snoring but then dozed off until 9am so got up and dressed for the day. Toby wasn't sleeping under the wall cabinet any more and was awake so he got up and dressed then we left the other 2 to some privacy whilst we waited down in the foyer John came down first and seemed in a chirpy mood so ordered himself some B;fast whilst we had coffee and felt a little worse for wear. Toby's elbow looked like it had been done over by one of the rugby teams so i said we should get it checked out at A&E later on in the day. After everyone had regrouped we buggered off to find a decent cafe and some b'fast then i went off shopping leaving the others to look around a museum for a couple of hours.

I met up with them later on then we all went back to Bertie and we dropped them back at the airport and arranged to meet up later in the week for a curry.

We then drove back to Charlie and Andy's house and had a quick lunch. Charlie (she is nurse) said we should really pop down the hospital and have his arm looked at so off we went. Not as bad as the UK A&E but still had to wait a while but it was a good job we did as the doctor said he had burst his ------------------ which can cause all sorts of problems if infected which it would have done. So after a local and some cleaning out with the tweezers he was bandaged up and sent off to the pharmacy to get some antibiotics. I was told to keep an eye on him for a temperature and swelling as he would need his elbow drained - he seemed very concerned.

We got his pills then went home and we watched a movie and i nursed him which i think he is starting to enjoy. Fell into bed knackered.

Monday 16th June 2003 Orewa

Intended to leave Wellington nice and early and got up had a quick breakfast and said our goodbyes to Charlie and baby kate (Andy had already gone to work), Things didn't go quit to plan as we thought we would get the cars squeaking noise checked out before we leave. By the time the garage had found the problem, a stuck rear brake caliper, and fixed it, it was 2 pm. We still decided to drive back to Joy and Spits though, and picked up some English hitchhikers on the way just to keep us company. One of them had also been to the Rugby match, but paid $360 for a ticket! No wonder he was hitchhiking.

Sarena drove all the way to Taupo where we stopped for some tea, I then drove to Rotorua and dropped off our hitchhikers, Charlie and Sam. Sarena then took over the wheel again as I had knocked my elbow a few times and was getting frustrated with it all. We didn't get back to Orewa until about 10:30. Spit was in bed and exhausted from working, but Joy was up so I put on my arm sling to see if I could get any extra sympathy out of her.

I had a really rough night. I still had a head cold, some insect thing had bitten me on the foot, I just couldn't get comfortable trying to balance on the edge of the airbed and get my arm in a good position, and the antibiotics had caused me to come up in an itchy rash. Sarena ended up getting so pissed off with me that she went to sleep on the couch.

Got up really early ready for a quick getaway for the long journey ahead and awoke to feathers all over the house, even in both bedrooms - poor old bird must have put up one hell of a fight but the cat won in the end as i found out when finding a little dead body on the door mat. I got Kate out of her cot as she was awake and looking very cute with a big smile on her face After b'fast we bade farewell to Charlie and Kate and started driving only to be accompanied by the horrendous squeal. So we thought it a good idea to drop the car into the garage to find out what it was, they couldn't look at it until 11am so we did a little shopping then went back in to drop off Bertie. We were told to come back at 1.30 as they said it was probably the back brake etc. So off we went again to have some lunch and mooch around the shops trying to pass the time.....

We went back at 1.30 but the car wasn't ready until 2pm and were told it would cost $183 - fantasitc.....At least the squeal had now gone but it meant we wouldn't be back into Auckland till quite late.

I was driving because of Toby's arm and wasn't looking forward to the 9hr drive but new it had to be done. About 40mins into the journey i stopped to pick up a couple of lads hitching and bundled them into the back of the car. Charlie and Sam kept us entertained for the next few hours of there tales around the country. They needed a lift to Rotorua - a 5hr trip, so after a couple hours of them chatting away the soon dozed off - weird thing is they new Romsey (our home town) they were from Southampton. We stopped at Lake Taupo for a wee and some food then Toby drove for an hour to Rotorua where we found them a backpackers for the night and bid farewell. Toby unfortunately got his elbow hit by one of the lads swinging his bag on his shoulder and was nearly in tears when he got back in the car so we swapped again and i drove for the rest of the way home - needless to say i was knackered by the time we did crawl in the door at 10.30pm. Joy was up when we got home and moved the cars over for us ready for the morning then had a quick catch up before going to bed. I stayed up for a bit watching TV Whilst Toby retired for the evening. When i did go to bed he was scratching and tutting and generally being a pain in the arse so i got back up and got my sleeping bag out to sleep on the couch. Toby had produced a rash which i hope was a reaction to the antibiotics and nothing to do with getting an infection in his elbow. I tucked him in before trying to settle on the 2 seater couch and away from his snoring.

Tuesday 17th June 2003 Orewa

I did manage to get some sleep once I had the whole of the air bed to myself. Thanks Sarena for sleeping on the couch.

Spent most of the day feeling sorry for myself and trying to get Sarena to do as much as she could for me. She wouldn't make a very good nurse. My elbow was actually feeling a lot better already, so I spent the day sorting things out for our departure from New Zealand and trying to get Joy and Spits wedding videos onto VCD. Joy kept herself busy creating cards and presents for people from her very own post office. Sarena found it all very amusing.

Sarena must of relented by the end of the day as she treated me to a huge plate of bangers and mash, hmmmmm, my favourite.

The two of them got a DVD for the evening, I made an error and didn't check our laundry from the laundrette, someone else's clothes had been put in our bag. So we had gained a pair of 'Big Breakfast ' Pyjamas.

We tried to watch the film in the evening but Sarena got annoyed by Joy and Spits incessant talking over it.

Woke up early when Joy and Spit had to get up for work so had a quick chat with them then dozed off again when Joy got back from dropping Spit off at the bus stop and she went back to bed for a bit.

Spent most of the day sorting out washing and stuff to send home and writing the diary as we are both well behind. Joy set up her home post office again to send all her pressies and cards to everyone who helped look after the horse and cat...... i don't think i have explained that Joy does have problem with hoarding bits of paper, card, pretty stamps, tissue paper that they sell new shirts in, envelopes of all shapes and sizes, postcards, foam, cards for every occasion, gift boxes, the list goes on!!! so every night she sits at the b'fast bar and opens up her post office to do all her stationary etc. She does write letters and postcard everyday to someone or other - much better that us i'm afraid. She is bloody funny thought and i'm actually watching her now as i write as she folds up all her tissue paper and putting it back into her secret stash of the above items and putting them back into a giant paper bag (of course) which she then hides away - a secret she has kept from us all these years.................. did i forget to mention she also collects pens.

Joy and I walked down into town for a little exercise and a good old girlie chat, bought some drinking chocolate and hired out a DVD - Sandra bullock film (Toby hates her) i wanted to get a thriller one but Joy said it was too scary for her, she is very delicate.

Watched the film and drank wine - film was a bit crap but then it is difficult to get into a film when Joy and Spit talk all the way through it!!!!!!!! bloody nightmares the both of them. So i went and got the manager to chuck them out of the cinema.

Went to sort out the washing from the launderette that Toby had collected only to find out our bag was full of someone else's stuff - even had some dodgy pyjamas

Wednesday 18th June 2003 Orewa

First assignment was to get to the laundrettes to reclaim our washing and return the mysterious clothes that we had bought home last night. Fortunately the owners of the clothes we had where in the launderette when I turned up. They where very relieved, as they where also english backpackers who where desperate to get the only clothes they owned back... As where we!

Cleaned the car again, Bertie is looking pretty good after two coats of polish, Lets hope we sell him soon. Sarena propositioned the neighbour again but she claimed she was too busy to come around and take a look. Oh dear looks like she isn't interested.

Joy and Spit came home pretty late as they had been out socialising.

Toby went down to swap the washing - thank goodness ours was waiting for him.

We both cleaned the car again and gave it a good polish, i went over to ask the chinese lady from next door if she wanted to have a look again as she had shown some interest before the weekend, but she was busy.

We then went into town to do some bits and pieces and spent the rest of the afternoon at home reading. Joy and Spit got home later that evening, they had been out with mates for a drink.

 

Thursday 19th June 2003 Orewa

Had a very early appointment in Auckland for Sarena's eyes so we left at 7 to fight the Auckland traffic. Dr Ring was on good form, but was disappointed that Sarena's eyes had settled back down with a little astigmatism. We all agreed that no more could be done and although Sarena can read the 20/20 line it is still pretty blurry. A lot better than her old prescription, at least she doesn't have to wear glasses all the time.

On the way back to Orewa we stopped at a 4x4 garage to see what the would offer for Bertie. As expected we wouldn't get more than $5,000, considerably less than the real value.

Spent the afternoon creating a new price tag for the car and then parked it on a grass verge on the edge of the main highway in time for the rush hour home, so hopefully we might get some phone calls.

Popped up to the phone box in the evening with Joy, as It is my brothers birthday today and was hoping to catch him at home.

Got up early and were out of the house for 7am, dropped Spit off at the bus stop and drove to the eye institute. Dr Ring thought it was hilarious that Toby went to the Rugby match dressed as a woman as it was the topic of conversation as soon as we saw him - had to rub it in! My eyes unfortunately were not doing so good, my left eye which until Monday had been really very good and was better than the right one after the latest op, had now gone blurry again. Very frustrating as i could see for miles and it was crystal clear then woke up on Monday and it had gone crap again. Dr Ring really couldn't do any more, it seems the cutting had released the astigmatism for the first few days then it started healing the way it was before, i just have stubborn eyes. Oh well....... even my right eye had gone blurry and he was quite surprised at how they seem to be fluctuating all the time - couldn't read the letters on the board, where as i could last week?

We said goodbye and thanked him for all his help and patience, he is going to right up a letter about all the stuff i had had done for future reference - he is a sweetheart. We then drove around town for a bit to find a car sales place to see what they would give us for Bertie - $5000 is all they would offer so we just drove home. Need to sell it very very soon !!

 

Friday 20th June 2003 Orewa

Parked the car on the edge of the highway in the morning with a huge price poster in the window with the hope that someone might be interested, I then walked back to the house and attempted to sort out all the crap that we have been hauling around with us in New Zealand. I didn't achieve much though as I just didn't know where to start.

Ended up popping into Orewa to pick up some more Ram and a Hard drive to boost up Joy and Spits computer. Then spent the afternoon upgrading it.

Spit got home from work by 5:30 and we all went back into Auckland to meet up with Phil and Liz, and, Jo and John. It was great to get everyone together and we went to Parnell which is a very cosmopolitan part of Auckland. Liz had booked us all a table at a great Thai restaurant, and we spent most of the evening there before finishing the night off in a nearby bar.

We spent the day trying to sort out our stuff but ended up just moving it all around and making more mess...I went for a really long walk around the area and over to the next beach which was nice we then made arrangements to go out for the evening with Phil and Liz for dinner in town. Spit got home from work and got changed ready for the evening then we all dashed out to Parnell and met Phil, Liz, Jo and later John. We met at a wine bar for a one drink and to get to know one another and then went on to the Thai restaurant for a wonderful dinner and a fantastic evening. We had a great time and all got on really well, it was also a celebration for Liz's birthday on Monday so we had lots of wine. We then went back to the wine bar for a few more - but by this time we were quite drunk but had had a fab time.

Saturday 21st June 2003 Auckland

Spent all morning finishing off setting up Joy and Spits new computer. Ambitiously I started to record their wedding videos onto their computer but it took me a good 6 hours just to do 1 tape, so I quit that project.

Joy and Spit returned home at 4 with Hendy the cat which they had just picked up from the airport. We said a brief hello and then dissapeared to spend the evening over at Phil and Liz's to watch England beat the Wallabies in the Rugby. It was a very good game.

Liz cooked us a great dinner and Phil and I stayed up to the early hours playing playstation.

Had a bit of a lie in then we went and did some food shopping and just dossed around for a while, Toby did some computer stuff for Joy and Spit.

Joy and Spit went off to collect the cat (Hendy) who had finally landed - hopefully Joy will now come down off the ceiling where she had been living for the last few days.


We went down Phil and Liz's for the evening to watch the rugby - Wales v All Blacks (Wales lost) then England v Australia (we won) Liz cooked us a lovely dinner and we all sat around and celebrated the England win which i have to say was bloody brilliant! We gave them a pressie and card just to say thanks as they have been such good mates and have been wonderful - thanks guys

Toby stayed up till the early hours whilst i collapsed into bed about 11pm and slept like a log

Sunday 22nd June 2003 Orewa

Had a great nights sleep, thanks to a lovely comfy bed. Just a shame that we had to be out of the house by 8 to get to the car auctions.

Spent as long as possible at the auctions whilst systematically lowering the price throughout the morning. We got a fair bit of interest from younger people but I think the price was still out of there budget. We held onto the end and as predicted got some interest from a car dealer posing as a normal punter who was obviously testing us for our desperation to sell. He didn't put an offer in though, but did take our phone number - could be promising.

Got back to Joy and Spits to find Hendy the cat lounging around the house. She seemed very relaxed, Joy however was a little more anxious about ensuring Hendys comfort and safety. Hendy has to stay under house arrest (quarantine) for 30 days so we have to be very careful getting in and out of the house. Something I will not be very good at as I am very forgetful.

We where all invited up stairs to the landlords house to watch the Lennox Lewis fight. It ended up being quite a social event as Dave and Dees friends and family also where there to watch the game. It was a good fight.

Got up early to go to the car fair again which we sat at till lunch time without any success, did get a bloke come up to us at the end to get our details but we think he was a car dealer who just wanted to get the low down.

After that we went back to the house to meet up with Hendy who seemed in really good condition, in fact it was Spit and Joy who were all jumpy and worried!! Couldn't let Hendy outside because she was in home quarantine so they were petrified of leaving the door open for any amount of time - Toby of course kept forgetting....

We all went upstairs to Dee and Daves in the afternoon to watch the Boxing - Lennox Lewis, they had some of the family round and had put on a big spread so we had a lovely afternoon drinking beer and having a laugh. Toby and I went out for a walk later on in the evening then pissed Joy right off by me diving back through the door trying to do my SAS entrance but ended up frightening the cat who was settled nicely on the couch, Joy went running after the cat looking very angry whilst we sheepishly sat down and were very quiet for fear of pissing them off some more! I think they will be very pleased to get there house back to themselves again specially now having Hendy home - I have to say she is the most loved and pampered puss i have ever met, definitely a surrogate daughter!

Watched some more episodes on DVD of Ab Fab which is bloody wonderful.

Monday 23rd June 2003 Orewa

Things are getting desperate, we leave New Zealand tomorrow and still haven't had any interest in the car. I was all prepared to leave it at the auctions, but decided to pop around to the Neighbours to see if they where still interested after having a look at it a couple of weeks ago.

They said they still where after I dropped the asking price, so we arranged to meet up at 12. This gave us enough time to take all our excess stuff into town to flog to various second hand traders. This was remarkably easy as we weren't too fussed on getting a decent price. We also posted another 2 boxes of crap that we didn't want to sell back home :-(.

The Chinese neighbour came around at 12 with her cousin to look at the car. She couldn't actually drive! So I took her for a spin around Orewa. Bertie was faultless and unsurprisingly they seemed very keen on buying. But not before I had dropped the price a little more and got a new WOF (M.O.T).

I was very lucky and managed to get the local garage to do a WOF nearly straight away. Luck didn't stay with me though as Bertie actually failed the WOF because of a slack handbrake. This took an hour and a half to fix and an extra $100 which didn't please me very much, but at least we sold the car and for a lot more thane we would of made at the Auctions.

What a productive day, I know feel comfortable that we are leaving NZ. We celebrated the evening with a curry and wine with Joy and Spit.

Well we had lots to do today!! Toby went around to the Chinese ladies house to see if she was still interested in the car and she said she would come over and have another look as it had now dropped down to $7000. We went down into town to send some boxes back home and to sell some of our gear and clothes and do some washing. We did get some money for all of it which was a surprise and even sold the car!! the Chinese lady bought it for $6,800 in the end - not as much as we hoped but at least we didn't sell it at a loss. Can't believe we sold the car the day before we leave - what a relief..... We also sold the mobile phone to Meri so had to send that off and sorted everything else out ready to leave Tuesday. I'm so excited to go back to OZ again!!

Joy had an interview in the afternoon and Toby took Bertie down for his WOF which i later found out failed!! can't believe it the car was bloody perfect....but it seemed it was the handbrake this time

Spent the evening watching TV and having a glass of wine to celebrate our last evening in NZ

Tuesday 24th June 2003 Keperra,Brisbane

Said our goodbyes to Spit. I then posted my Mobile phone off to Meri. It then took a good hour to pack everything into my backpack. It ended up being very solid and heavy. Joy also disappeared to pick up her horse which finally comes out of quarantine today, so we said our goodbyes and thanks for letting us crash at their house for the last 3 weeks. We also said our last goodbye to Bertie and hiked to the top of the hill to catch the bus into Auckland.

We only had to wait in Auckland for 20 minutes before the Shuttle bus arrived to take us to the Airport. Check in was quick and easy and we had just settled down for a drink when I saw Liz arrive. She had taken time of work especially to come and say goodbye to us. Very sweet. It was great to have some one there and it all got a little emotional as we started to realise that we where just about to leave New Zealand. Liz Stayed with us for a good hour until it was time to board the airplane.

The takeoff was delayed as the air conditioning was playing up but eventually we where up in the air and, after nearly 12 months, we where finally leaving New Zealand, and a lot of new friends.

Woke up early and said goodbye to Spit as he went to work then said goodbye to Joy who went off to get her horse out of Quarantine. Lots of cuddles all around but i'm sure they will be pleased to have their house back to normal again! but thanks very much guys for being fantastic mates and housing us for 3 weeks

We packed up our stuff put on our backpacks which felt good, then walked up to the bus stop to wait for our transport. We caught 2 busses to get into Auckland then had to catch another bus which took us straight to the Airport it was all very easy. We arrived at about 1pm so checked in our stuff then went for a coffee, Toby noticed Liz turn up down in the car park which was uncanny seeing as there are 40billion cars down there! We went down to meet her at our rendezvous point. She had phoned the night before and said she was going to come and see us off - bless her.

So we all went up and had a sarnie and coffee then it was time for us to go, lots of photo's and hugs later we turned and walked through the gates to finally leave NZ, I was ok until I saw LIz getting all upset which made me feel all sad - will miss them little buggers as they have been bloody brilliant to us.

Sat around for a while before getting on the plane which until then i was ok about until Toby reminded me that this was the company which had been on the news just lately because of all the problems they have been having with the planes...... yeah thanks Toby.

Flight was boring as they always are and i couldn't even get into my new Harry Potter book so just tried sleeping.

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