Monday, 29 October 2007


I know I have not done any blogging in a while, and there a few rugby weekends unreported, and a million photos to sort...

But Saturdays at home sorting stuff is about to get a lot better. There's a coffee shop opening round the corner in the next few weeks. What's even better is that the people opening it think that Monmouth coffee is the best in London. I agree. This could be dangerous.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Week 2 - England & Scotland (Game 3 & Paul's 30th)

... us to meet Paul's parents (K&D)who were arriving at Heathrow an hour after us. After the first reunion, it was off on the tube to our house where Paul's brother Max and girlfriend Torie were also waiting.

We spent a couple of days playing tourist in London... visiting Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Tate Modern. The highlight was the British Museum as Torie with her classics degree and several weeks in Greece for honours year behind her played guide.

Max & Kay ready to go visit Liz...

Tour guide Torie

Our travels then took us north. First stop was York, with accommodation upstairs from the pub. We spent our day mooching in the city and checking out the Minster. Then adopting the divide and conquer method the girls went factory shopping while the boys went to the viking museum.

The Pub

The roof of York Minster

Next stop was Durham. Mel (Paul's sister) was driving and took K&D leaving the kids to be irresponsible together. We were staying in the castle, which is now a student hostel and enjoyed a tour given by one of the students. The next tour was of the Minster, given by a very knowledgeable woman who was possibly as old as the Minster itself - she wasn't too fond of the modern additions (made sometime in the reign of Victoria).

View from our room in the castle.

Paul woke on his birthday to a full cooked breakfast in the castle's old dining hall. Max jokingly asked for a huge pile of hash browns and got exactly as he wanted.

Birthday breakfast (check out the hash browns) - Paul, Max & Torie

Upon arrival in Edinburgh we took Torie to the Whiskey Heritage Centre and I think by the end of the ride in the whiskey barrel and four region tasting tray she was a convert.

We had a very pleasant dinner out for Paul's birthday - a real treat of nine courses, which included 15 varieties of cheese! Yum!

Birthday dinner - Dennis, Torie, Max, Amy, Paul, Kay and Mel in the front.

This wasn't the only birthday dinner as we had another one with friends who were also up for the rugby on the Saturday followed by kareoke.

Birthday kareoke - Vicky, Amanda, Evan, Tom's mate, Reuven & Paul

Sunday was another day for rugby... this time against Scotland... and another win to NZ.


It was a great week, and good to play tourist in the country we actually live in.

The 4am start to get to work on Monday was not so great though!

Monday, 1 October 2007

Week 1 - Marseilles and South of France

Firstly, sorry to those I promised (er, Brenda) to post some photos for days ago, but have been too busy to stop and do it.

Here are a few pics of the first week of the holiday in the south of France. It started in Marseilles for the All Blacks vs Italy (no surprise who won).

Mel, Amy & Paul in the shirts

The first game

This was followed by hanging out with fellow travellers, Paul's sister Mel, her friend Martha-Anne, Tom(Tom) the satnav and Kitty who kept us in wine and cheese.

Paul & Amy - Baux en Provence

We camped in the Camargue and saw pink flamingos, white horses and black bulls. The evenings were spent in town with loads of Spanish guitars playing in the wind.


Local market

We then travelled very much inland to the small town of Riez near the Verdon Gorge. The town was oh-so-cute and french and we arrived in time to enjoy the market before getting vertigo driving round the gorge. On day 2 in this part of the world we went pedelo-ing in the gorge and got a second perspective - this time from the river.

Making the gas stove go...

Entrance to the gorge


The final big stop was in Lyon for All Blacks vs Portugal(another un-surprising win) before breaking land speed records to make it back to London for.... (see week 2)...

All Blacks & Portugal