Sunday, November 1, 2015

Catching up on lost time

I'm flying from Auckland to Wellington. As you may have read in a previous post, we just had a great weekend in Auckland. I started writing some posts in the airport, and then figured that I have a hour of flying to catch up on missed blogging over the last three months.

So we've moved to Wellington a few months ago and then all of a sudden the posting stopped - mostly haha. We just got super busy. Moving countries is time consuming. Starting a new job is also time consuming. Finally after having been here for three and a half months we are starting to have enjoyable weekends where our spare time is not full of chores!

Ok! This move is the best thing we have ever done, after moving to Canada. Wellington is such a beautiful city to live in. The views are always inspiring, the suburbs interesting. It feels like we are always in the great outdoors.

Career wise we both made amazing moves! Kate is loving her work. She is learning a boatload and is so inspired and driven to learn and excell! It is great to see her so inspired! I don't think I've seen her this determined at her career before! It's exciting!

For me, woah! It couldn't be better. What an amazing career opportunity. I didn't realise how much I missed being in an amazing team working on high end film work! I feel driven to push myself so hard. Work days fly by before I know it, I'm trying to ingest so much information as quickly as I can. I'm getting to work on such amazing content. I have to pinch myself and continue commenting to Kate that I just can't believe that I have got to this point of my career! I'm utterly stoked and inspired to make the most amazing content I can and to contribute to my new team as best I can.

Ok, career stuff down! Now the next most important thing in our lives - our dog! It has been so great having our dog here with us! Clooney has really become a beautiful loved part of our family! The move here has really helped us bond with him and Kate and I are totally smitten now :-) social outings, holidays sporting events are all pending compatibility with Clooney :-) thankfully everyone seems to love him so he gets along well in most places!

We also have some good friends from Weta that live nearby, and they too have a dog, but not a really secure yard. This has led to Clooney having a play mate on work days. Flinn comes and visits most days and the two hang out all day long keeping one another entertained! It has been really nice having friends nearby with a dog! We take turns minding dogs if we go out at night, go for walks together and have beers in the garden so the dogs can have a play date!

Our neighbour wants to use our run down chicken coop for chickens! Hell yeah, we' down if we get some eggs! I've always wanted chickens but never really been ready to commit to the time needed to care for them! Now I get to feed and enjoy the calm nature of chickens, as well as reap the benefits of the eggs, without having to really care for them :-) definitely win win!

Trail running! As I have mentioned there are amazing trails near our house! Really amazi trails. A few weeks ago we found Otari Wilton Bush! An amazing botanic garden and national park with the most amazing natural bush that is full of amazing trails. There are three loops, red, yellow, blue. If I loop all 3 it gives me about 1hr 20mins of running on amazing trails. 

From here I can jump onto the skyline trail and run back to mt Kakauh making probably a good -15-20kms. Or I can just run to Mt Kakauh from home and the hit the skyline trail to Karori and back making about 24kms. Best of all is I can run from home with Clooney and make half of our morning run on trails. It is so good running with Clooney! He is getting fitter, we can now hit about 30mins with almost no stops-other then the odd turd and whiz! But what a great way to start the day or end a long work day by going for a run with my dog!

Bike riding! From our place we can jam across the top of the ridge to Karori, and then descend to Makarua Beach, then jet across the back of the mountain range to Jhonstonvill and home the back way making a nice 40 km ride full of kick ass descents, solid hill climbs and amazing views!

We went to the  world of wearable art in Wellington! What an amazing show. It was a fashion parade with a twist. As I like design I love cool fashion design, but I don't dig catwalk shows. This show mixed fashion with drama and amazing stage sets and lighting! Kate and I were both really impressed and had a great night out!

There have been other little catch ups with friends. But I'm pretty pooched and can't think of anything else to write right now. We've settled in and are loving our new pad and the surrounding location.

Pics to come once I get off the plane and have Internet access :-)

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Camping finally

I just realised I am writing these recent events all out of order! Oh well-deal with it!

A few weekends ago we finally got camping. We purchased some new camping gear, and invested in a tent that had enough room under the front canopy to fit Clooney.

We headed to Kaitoke which is just north of Upper Hutt, about a 40 min drive from home. We figured a short trip first time around for Clooney would be the best.

It was a beautiful camp site! We got a beautiful location right on a river with a view over to dense rainforest.

The afternoon comprised of a beautiful 2 hour walk with Clooney around the river and through the amazing rainforest! Funnily enough we also heard past Rivendell from Lord of the Rings.

It was fun camping again and cooking up dinner! You always end up making compromises and cutting corners blue to lack of utensils and ingredients-but it always tastes amazing! We cooked up a classic we do of Asian I letter with white rice, soy sauce and some steamed green veg! Almost like a donburi bowl. Always delicious. 

That evening Clooney was such a good boy! He curled up on his pillow and just went to sleep. The only time he stirred was first thing the next morning when he heard ducks at about 5:30! He was off like a rocket :-)

That  morning I hit a great little trail run. One of e steepest trails I have ever run! I think I ran for 50 mins- of which 30 was climbing. I think the run was prob only 5kms! The view from the top was amazing though-well worth the pain.

All in all it was a great camping trip. We realised that it is going to be really easy to camp with Clooney, the weather was amazing and it was just a nice little relaxing day away, while still being close to home and easy to fit in while being super busy at work!

Can't wait to get back there again :-)


A few months ago we bought flights to Auckland with some air points. We decided that we would head to Auckland for the Auckland Marathon! This was meant to give us a goal to train towards.

However training did not go as planned and about a month ago we downgraded to the half marathon distance. We then realised how expensive the half marathon was - $135! Lame. So we decided to not race, and seeming we've been working super hard lately and not getting a lot of time together we would just go for a nice weekend of r & r instead.

So what we decided to do was find a super nice reassuring to go to. Something super fancy that we had never done before. I guess we had the cost of two marathon entries to spend :-)

Kate discovered Clooney! This had three appealing points. 1-fine dining, degustation menu and it was rated in Aucklands top restaurants. 2-there was a vegetarian degustation menu. Something I do not see often! 3-The restaurant has the same namesake as our dog! So done deal.

Pretty much the dining experience was amazing! The best dining experience we have ever had. The food was amazing. Staff were knowledgeable and super friendly. The cocktails were amazing. So the serves were generous and so amazingly constructed. It took vegetarian cuisine to a place that I had never previously experienced.

On top of the 7 courses, they also brought out an amazing little starter and bread with the most amazing blackened butter! And to really tie up the experience, they gave us each a little take home brioche with chia jam for breakfast the following morning, really trying together the whole culinary experience.

Auckland was amazing. A beautiful city with nice views, great public spaces and great food. We were also blessed with beautiful weather, which also helps with exploring a new city. After arriving on Saturday we headed to a quaint little farmers market out by the Domain Park where we purchased some fresh sourdough, amazing strawberries and blue Brie cheese! We then munched this sitting on a grassy hill in the sun overlooking Auckland! Amazing start to the holiday! Following this we wandered around Parnell, visiting some cool stores and markets. By now it was early afternoon, so we made our way back downtown for a beer at Brothers Brewing and some retail therapy on Queen Street. We took a nap on the grass in Albert park and then headed to the hotel for a hot tub and swim.

This left just enough time for a nap and some chillaxing, and then we were off to Clooney! See above!

On Sunday we spent some nice time lying in the sun at some cool downtown public space, explored Davenport and the bunkers that tunnel under two hills around the town and played giant Jenga over some beers at a downtown bar/cafe. The fortifications in Davenport from WW1 were really interesting and kind of spooky. They were used to protect the naval base in Auckland harbour and are still open to wander around! Many of the bunkers go pretty deep and are really dark. Un unexpected meeting with some other tourists on a blind corner caused an amusing moment with Kate :-) We also visited the Marathon finish line! This provided some much needed motivation to get back on the sub 3 hr marathon horse! It's on for Wellington marathon next year! Training starts now!

We ate at many cool places, and all offered great food and fun dining experiences! All up it was a great weekend of relaxation, and we are returning inspired and refreshed to kick start some running and to really smash out some amazing work for the coming busy months at Weta! Kate and I are loving life right now :-) Enjoy it while you can and make the most of it all! It's all to short to look back and wish you'd done it differently :-)

Photos to come :-) Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Windy Welly!

This morning was meant to be a nice morning for a ride! Instead we wok up to wind and rain. Classic Wellington. So instead of a rid a morning of lazing about, coffee, museli and music ensued! The dog is curled up on his pillow, showing absolutely no interest in confronting the elements!

This is probably one of the most relaxed Sundays I've had in a long time, which is funny as I am working the longest hours I ever have, but now my weekends are actually feeling like weekends. They are fun and relaxing! Mixing up some running or riding when I feel like it!

Anyways, we have been getting out and about a bit, exploring this amazing city, a lot of the time with our dog! So I thought I should update my blog with some pics :-) Enjoy!


Maraka Beach / Makara Beach Rd

Graffiti, grass and Sidewalk!


Trelissik Park

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Looking back a year and a half

I Was just looking over my failed 2014 photo a day series, and it made me realise what a crazy year last year was! It seems like so long ago, and I'm not sure why, but it was probably one of the bleakest years of my life. For some reason I never felt settled in Adelaide. At the time I just figured that was the way life was. 9-5 job, paying the bills so you can make it to the next day.

But that aside, the year was jam packed. We travelled to Seattle and Montana before we left Vancouver, using honeymoon money to get a first class sleeper train across america and an amazing hotel in Whitefish ski resort. We holidayed in 5 star Hyatt accom in Hong Kong, also courtesy of honeymoon money :-) We then finally returned to Adelaide after more than 3 years in Canada. Not long after returning my dad underwent major surgery which unsettled the whole family significantly.

Following this we settled into the daily grind for a good 8 months. Working and house hunting. This period sucked! I was training hard, really as a means to escape from the shitty monotony of everyday life. I started racing road bikes which was fun, but that quickly moved back to triathlon. I also trained for Adelaide Marathon but sustained an injury about 4 weeks out so had to skip the race.

I signed up for Iron Man Melbourne in July, and Kate signed up not long after. We then trained for Murray Man as an intermediate long distance triathlon en route to Iron Man. My first big run after my marathon training injury was 20kms at Murray Man. It went really well. I think Murray Man was completed in about 4hrs 36mins. It was amazing-one of the best events I've done!

We bought a house in November, then went on a week long road trip in Western Australia. We returned on Xmas eve, and hosted the family Christmas on Christmas Day! Yep we keep busy.

On Boxing Day we adopted a dog, totally unaware of the events that would happen in June of 2015.

The next 3 months was hard Iron Man training. It was fun, and such an experience training with my wife. Life was starting to get a bit more fun. We had a house and training was great.

Iron Man weekend was early in March. We stayed for a long weekend with the parents! This was one of the most amazing things I've ever done! We returned on a high, so motivated to do more and more Iron Man events.

My training obsession continued, now almost worse than before Iron Man. As I didn't have an event to look forward to I just filled that purpose or lack there of with more training. Two days after Iron Man I was training again, starting with 4kms in Unley pool. Two weekends later I competed in the silver sands long distance multi sport festival. On the sat was a 10km run and a 2 km swim. On the sun was an Olympic distance tri. I did all the events! Yep, injury here we come right.

Training continued, probably 10 hrs per week at least. Life continued on it's dull path. The house was nice; Kate and I were "loving it", and our dog was awesome, but I just continued sinking deeper and deeper into nothingness. On paper everything was perfect, but it really didn't feel that way.

I started training for long distance trail runs, and I was commonly running 3 half marathons a week, possible a few before work and then one long trail run on the weekend. I raced the green belt half marathon and set a PB. 1:24.

I continued running and riding and swimming...lots! It is now a few months after Iron Man and still no break. I started helping with training some Adelaide Running Crew sessions...and then the injury finally happened.

I am now, 14 weeks later, finally able to run pain free. This injury was a blessing. It snapped me out of my obsessive cycle, almost. I still swam a bit, but cycling and running was totally off for a good 8 weeks. All I could maintain was some careful core work, and a bit of light stretching and yoga. I couldn't kick in the pool, so I did full sessions with the pull bouy.

At this point I got pretty bleak. I couldn't really see where to go next...then out of the blue an opportunity arose. Jobs presented themselves in Wellington. 4 weeks later we were on the plane to Wellington!

It is now 8 weeks later. I just went home for my sisters wedding, and immediately when my sis and mum saw me they noticed I was the happiest they've seen me in years. And I am! Time is flying by, we are so busy learning new things and exploring our new home. Work is amazing and so inspiring! I am challenged all the time and am loving every moment of it!

The move was hard, but it's the best thing we've ever done. I didn't realise how much I needed to leave Adelaide until I actually did it! I guess what I'm saying is, life is too short to think that you have to put up with the daily grind just cos you have a mortgage and a dog! 

Life tells us we have to do these responsible things in order to be "successful",but man, these so called life goals made me freaking unhappy! If you're hating it, go out and make something cool happen. Do something that re-inspires you to live again; something that makes hobbies fun; something that makes getting up each day exciting. I forgot what that was like for a year, to be truly happy. I now realise that the life I was living was not a prerequisite of growing up, of being "successful".

Falling into a monotonous life of bills and pay slips doesn't really sound inspiring to anyone...I hope; it is just too often that we think it is the right thing to do, but maybe it isn't? Maybe it is often for lack of anything else better to do, or lack of motivation to go and do something amazing! But remember, you only live once, it may as we'll be fun!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Ngaio, Our New Home

We are finally settling into our new home! We rented in Ngaio, out in the 'burbs, somewhere that we could house our dog:-)

Our place is nice, it has an amazing view over a beautiful housed valley, with a backdrop of some amazing mountains, in which are some amazing trails to run on!

It really is so beautiful here. Within a 10 minute run we can be on the most amazing trails I've ever run on, with beautiful streams and forests to entertain while running or walking the dog.

We have some great neighbours and it is relatively easy for us to get to work. I drive sometimes, and other times I ride, when weather permits. It is a tiny commute for Kate to work at the moment which is nice. We have also ended up halfway between Welly City Centre and Lower Hutt. This is great as Lower Hutt has nice markets and food shops, whereas if you lived in the city you are stuck with supermarkets and higher food prices.

Work is amazing. It is so inspiring to be working somewhere challenging and with such amazing people. I am learning so much and can't believe it's already been 3 weeks of work. The next year is going to pass quickly!

Anyways, that's enough, but I'll finish with some pics from some recent walks around Ngaio. Enjoy!

Kandallah Park

Kandallah Park

Escape Artist

Wednesday, August 5, 2015