The Big O.E 2008


Chch to Singapore    day1

Its warm!! Left Christchurch 0 degrees arrive to 30! Ya can only imagine Phil lol hot and sooo hanging out for a ciggy, actually he handled the non smoking time very well.  After an early morning start 4 am (too excited to sleep) we finally got on the plane and were given hot rolled up wash cloths from beautiful Singapore airline attendants – Phil and I looked at them and then each other..and cracked up (too flash for us lol) we had no idea what the hell we were sposed to do with them!

The drinks/food trolley arrived a little after take off and we both said no to all that was on offer….until we realised it was free!!  that’s what happens when ya used to flying Freedom Air haha. Phil was in to what ever he could then, except the Tiger beer, 1 can took him half hour to get rid of. 5 movies later ( all the latest ones too) We arrived and managed to get ourselves to our hotel in the city.  Today we are out sightseeing, just off to breakfast now…..

PS huge congratz to Pepi (Aroha) he is now an award winning journalist J well done!


OMG!! Singapore is on sale, yipeeee what a time to come over!!!! We walked miles yesterday along

Orchid Road, in and out of every mall ( theres 1 mall after another all at least 4 stories high, but managed not to buy to much, but spied lotsa bits to get on the way back through for the kids. Oh and Phil got a shirt made cause that’s about the only thing that will fit the big fella! Shoes only go up to an 11 and their XL if ya can find any, are equivalent to our mediums. It truly is a shoppers paradise, shame Im not really a shopper.

But apart from the shopping, it’s a fantastic city, the architecture (can’t spell but ya know that) is mazing and its sooo clean. We meet some nice people last night on a tour we went on, some Aussies, Spaniards, Danish and Muslim people who couldn’t eat the Chinese and they kept to themselves, but still nice enough. The tour included a river cruise (brilliant seeing all the city lite up from the water) and also included a proper Chinese tea after our meal ( baby cockroaches included lol , I thought they were tea leaves at first, but on closer inspection they were baby cockroaches eeeeeeeuuuew, oh well all part of the experience, not sure how many I drunk before I realised) After the river cruise we were taken to Raffles the historical hotel, ( anyone remember Tenko? Well it is just like that) and then we took ourselves and Barry ( Tali’s pet rock who stowed away with us –pic below) to try the famous Singapore Sling cocktail that was created in the very bar we drank it in way back in the 1900s. we ate nuts and through the shells on the floor as ya do , its tradition in this bar. Ha I’m givin ya wee history lesson now 😉

Hoping to get some pix up soon Michelle, Trace got ya message hun just checked them this morning- you must have phoned after we left, sooo sorry am gunna check now lol. Anne you would love these shops here girl!

Next stop Paris!!

Lost in Paris  Day 4

Bon jour 😀

After a very loooong flight we arrived early this morning to a very cool wet ( shit! We only packed for summer friggin clothes) after a very eventful drive into Paris from the airport. Phil was scared lol had his eyes closed a lot of the time. We got to our hotel, right in central Paris, wanted to sleep soo much but couldn’t check in until 2 pm, so we dumped our bags and went to explore the city of Paris * Not to ones self, remember the cars drive on the otherside of the road when looking to cross the road eeeck found out the almost hard way!!.

We were proberly the scruffiest people walking the streets, with our denim shorts and hoody’s on,I was definitely the only silly buggar wearing jandals and shorts in the freezing weather, everyone here appears to be dressed in designer clothes, with beautiful handbags / manbags and shoes……oh the shoes  mmmmmm but the price of everything is through the roof! We found a gorgeous café across from the Opera ( 1 of the magnificent buildings around the city) ordered coffee and an omelette for breaky…friggin 47 Euros!! Which is about a hundy for us kiws, so guess we’ll be eating McDs when we can :/

It’s such a beautiful language to hear the French speak- shame we can’t understand a word they are saying, we just smile and agree lol. The think we are American, and a lot don’t even know where NZ is! We have learnt a few words to get us through.

Learning new skills with a map on a daily basis, its actually fun getting lost, we are finding little places all over the place.

Our bodies clocks are a bit up the whop, finally found our way back to our hotel about 4 pm, couldn’t help ourselves but to fall asleep literally where we sat. Phil woke me up and it was Paris time – ready to go and experience a Friday night in the city of Love, only to find most of the cafes and Bars were on closing time! What the heck? Do these French not know how to Party?  We found mcDs open (Yay we were starving) 14 Euros a bit more reasonable for a feed. Walked some more, soaking up the lights of the city. Still not knowing what the time was.

Lots of people sleeping on the streets, sad really, they litrally make their home for the night in shop doorways, they take over at night and are their own neighbourhood…. Got Back to the Hotel and asked time……it was filppin after4 am!! We’d been walking about for a good couple of hours. Gee we had, had a big sleep (oops) and no wonder everything was closed!!! We will learn about the timezone and our bodies from this haha.

Tomorrow/today we are going to explore the city some more- heading to the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe.

Rugby! What Rugby? PARIS IS ALIVE!!!!

Ha! So we know the Parisians were saving themselves for the Opening of the Euro cup! Of course! How could we have forgotten? Paris went off last night with people everywhere, phew! We were a bit worried about the French after Friday night.  Football is king here, that’s for sure, even all the little tots were out with their parents in their favourite football jerseys. And the open? Well unlike Melbourne, unless your watching CNN you would have know idea its actually on in town at the mo.

Yes Michelle, oh the French do know how to bake fine food, all the pastries fro breakfast alone are mm mm mmmmmm delicious, my arse is getting bigger by the day, the wine? Well I think us kiwis can teach them a thing or two, or even your Aussie vinos are just as good, but the breads and the pastries are definitely divine 😀

So we were JAFT ( Just another F**kn tourist) yesterday, jumped on an open bus tour around the city, climbing 284 steps to the top of the Arc De Triomphe (nothing like climbing the Hawera Water tower-which is more of a challenge) Phil almost losing his head a few times negotiating the tree lines from the roofless double decker bus, down the Des Champs Elysse ( a huge road between the Arc De Triomphe and Concorde/Louvre).


Saw the Mona Lisa, I think she was smiling, saw lots of marble status of men with very small penis’ lol mingled with lots of other JAFT’s actually you wonder if anyone is left at home? There truly is so many people everywhere, just amazes these country kids 😉

We had out portrait drawn in front of the Eiffel tower by a lovely polish girl who had left home to make a better life for herself. She told us how she misses her family but must do what she needs to . one of the worst things about visiting the Eiffel tower is all the Black men ( almost blue looking they’re that black)they bombard all the tourist trying to sell cheap and nasty souvenirs and can be quite intimidating.

Saw about 500 odd naked people riding ( as ya do lol) their push bikes through town and about 8 police vans with sirens chasing them LOL quite a sight! We had no idea what the hell was going on, but it turns out it was ‘World awareness for bike riders’ day. Guess the bike ride was postponed in Tapanui Alena, due to the snow huh?? LOL

Definitely over seeing all the buildings, they are truly amazing and a definite must, but really they all start looking the same after a while, although if you’re into history, I guess you could spend days soaking it all up and reading every blurb there is about anyone place.  It is amazing how they built them especially when they did not even have a crane/bulldozer or anything!

It was also really neat to see the moats around the old castles ( guess it brought back all the fairy tail stories mum read to me as a little girl, they were real)

Today we are just gunna wander and get lost, we have more fun. Tonight we are going for Dinner up the Eiffel tower and then of to Moulin Rouge to watch a true Can-Can show, really looking forward to that.

Tomorrow we catch the really fast train and head off down to the  French Rivera, I hope its warmer down there!

Au-revoir and Merci (thank-you) for your comments, we love hearing from you all xxx

Au-Revour Paris

We said goodbye to Paris today and wonder if we will ever return?

Caught the Tvg train (super fast) after getting locked in the wrong carriage-whoops, with 2 suitcases in tow we had to make a mad dash down the other end of the platform (do you know how hard that is running against the flow on packed platform, with a broken suitcase and no bugga speaking English so they can’t point us in the right direction quickly!!!) made it with litrally 2 seconds to spare –true! Had a sweat up and some fancy swear words coming out of my mouth ha!

Yesterday we found ourselves in the Latern Quarter, where all the gypsys/artists and conmen/woman are, if you sit and watch a while you can actually see them at work (interesting and scary at the same time, you’d agree with that one, eh Rae?)

Last night was a dream ( I hope I don’t make you all envious with what I’m about to tell you) Had dinner on the 1st floor of the Eiffel tour ( drinking a very dry Bordeaux vino that was the worst part of the whole night oh apart from us almost not making it at all……lost and late again!lol) We sat with some lovely Aussie girls on their big 10 week OE (70+ and all widowed) they were a crack up and we enjoyed listening to their travel tales as they were almost at the end of their 10 week stint.

After tea we enjoyed a cruise up/down the river Siene and watched the Parisians dancing along the river edge, sweethearts making out, friends enjoying each other’s company with a few drinks, it was an awesome sight and made us truly see why Paris is the city of Love. PDA (public display of affection) not a problem, no one looks twice at lovers making out in full public view! (Their clothes still on of course) But it’s lovely even watching them males/females; young/old/teens all greet one another with a kiss on each cheek, just gorgeous!

We then proceeded to the Moulin Rouge, lined up to wait with about 500 others for the 3rd show of the evening, 11 pm start ( our eyes wear hanging out by then after another huge day of getting lost and finding some fabulous sights)


But OH WHATA SHOW!! There are no words to describe the costumes, lighting, scenery and props, e.g a clear glassed tank full of water raised out of the stage during a scene, full of snakes, and real ones! One of the dancers ( girls all danced topless, not so for the male dancers they stayed fully clothed the whole dam time, what’s up with that?!!)Swam and danced in the water with all the snakes. But of course ya couldn’t beat seeing the good ole can-can, which was fantastic! But it dint stand out as much as I thought it would, because the show was just so good, oh and the French Champagne was very tasty as well 😉 . we managed to get in just after 2am, no wonder out bodies don’t know what time if the day it is!

So the foods all good, but do ya think I can find a good coffee?

We arrived down here to the French Riviera after 6 and half hour ride. Yep it’s as good as in the magazines, unfortunately Brad and Ange and their brood weren’t at the train station to pick us up lol, guess she was busy with the new twins  hehehehe.

We had to take a taxi.

Traffic once again is hideous and I don’t think there is a car around without a dent LOL they are Crazy!!!

We are staying in a beautifully placed hotel right on the beach and I don’t know what I did (they love us Kiwis) but we’ve been bumped up to a preferred guest room. Even says so in the door outside. The views are to kill for! And the bed! Well its huge even has a bedae ( not sure how to spell it but ya know , one of those things ya sit on to wash your bum lol)

Had a nice meal, Phils zzzzing already. I’m just waiting around till 9am your time so I can call the shop and make sure everything I s going ok…still selling shit so I can pay the VISA, cause OMG the $$$ are getting eaten up pretty quick!

Baking Michelle? OH MIIIII Gaaaaaawd, lucky swimming starting back up. Hate to think you’re getting comfy in the kitchen lol.

Kirsten how’s that boy doing? And Phil gave you a funny look on your man bag comment LOL. Anne tell Putty yep that dam shirt, got shrunk in the wash heheheh 😉 , funny though they all have and haven’t even been worn yet! He put his boardies on today (they fitted before we left) he had to suck it up and do up his tie, I shouldn’t laugh, Im just as bad eeeck.

Maka thanks for the comments girl pleased you’re enjoying the blogs. Great 80s pic’s huh

Some flash boats parked up out front of our window, wonder who’s on them, hopefully I get to see a celeb, will keep ya posted on that one J

Goodnight xx

Beautiful, Brown and Topless

Day 10

Juan Les Pins (Pronounced u wan le per) is where we are staying, central to Cannes, Nice, St Tropez, C’De Cotz, Antibes and Monaco. It has beautiful golden sands, crystal blue water although very slaty ( like the sea salt you put on your food, when you get out of the water its all over you) It’s a party town and the uniform seems to be white! It seems the richer you are the more white you wear, they even have stores with only all white in them! Phil and I are the most colourful characters in town hahaha.


We enjoyed St Paul and Eze, both ancient villages ( still with residents living there) on hills , castle like, with winding narrow streets, step paths which follow around and up down like a maze through the residents and amongst little quaint stores selling art and local crafts (see photo)  we have also visited Monaco, seeing the changing of the guard at the Reiner Royal Palace, we also went into the catholic church where Grace Kelly we dhte King ( shock horror mum I even prayed while in there).

We’ve also travelled along the Grand Prix route and to the famous Monte Carlo casino.

Haven’t seen a celeb yet but man oh man there are some friggin rich people over here, its insane how much doe they must have-huge boats- ships just parked up in the Mederterian sea of shore. They have drivers driving them around, and Bentley, Ferrari and Porsche are just like Holden’s, Fords and Toyotas at home! True!!!

So we have done the sights , all there is to do now is soak up the sun, not so keen on shopping, browsing maybe…eat drink and Phil has found a casino ( surprise surprise) although so far he has only managed to lose our Euro’s and not bring any back L

It’s been a nice change to seeing church after church and statue etc.

We are tanned, well Im brown with more freckles and Phil is a nice shade of lobster red like a traffic light shade haha. And yes we have both sunbathed topless with the 100s of others all ages and sizes, some really shouldn’t (proberly myself included) but they don’t care, it’s just what ya do here.

Bart Phils got some pictures for you, at least that is what he told me he was doing while taking them!

Your yesterday or rather your tonight was  Luc’s 11th birthday, so I thought we’d celebrate it over here  by going para sailing over the Mederterian sea, wow it was awesome and not nearly as painful as giving birth 11 years ago lol.  Our mouths were dry with nerves though before we took off…and it was a little lop-sided 😉


Our French is getting us by ok and we are even managing to put a few words together now to almost make a sentence. Don’t know how we will go with our Spanish though?

Tomorrow we say goodbye to baguettes, Pastries, croissants, bacon, pancakes and all the cheese for another menu of the Spanish kind. We have loved it here and it is definitely a place we would love to come back and visit one day. But we are ready to experience a little more of another culture, bring on Spain!

Hopefully the lorry drivers have unblocked the highways and are letting fuel and food through ( sorted their shit out by the time we get there) dunno if you’ve seen the news over there, but its koas at the moment in and around Madrid , striking and protesting gone crazy)

Some of the  quirky things of France I like, Dogs are allowed everywhere, even in a butcher shop, the French way to greet one another is really gorgeous , the food oh the food, why aren’t the French fat? With all the fine food they eat? They chew 20 times before swallowing, that how! Unlike Phil and I, who just bite and swallow haha.

We are over toll booths (seems you have to pay to cross the road) ,Paying to go to the toilet and paying some more for toilet paper. oh and hand washing aaarrrgh, there are no washing machine facilities in any of our accommodations and I refuse to pay 3 Euros for a pair of knickers to be washed and ironed and 14 euros for  pants and shirts each!

Well if ya not asleep yet (it’s been along blog huh) you’ve done well J

Thanks to everyone back in Tapanui keeping an eye out for mum and the kids, I really appreciate it xxxx to you all

Day 8

Hola, Buenas noches ( Hello and Good evening)

Spent most of the day in Airports!! We arrived super early to Nice (weren’t sure how long our check in would be, but for once this trip we found it and were on time! Oh by only about 3 hours!) Managed to find our departure gate after a dissapoited Phil couldn’t get any duty free smokes, we may have been going to another country but the the whole Euro currency things means no duty free L .

Boarded our flight, it was late ..I’m sure because we were early, finely taxied out only to sit on the tarmac for another ¾ hour before a short flight to Madrid, Spain J .

The airport here is huge was another 15 mins from landing until we were bused to the terminal ( no space to park the plane , its so choka full). We waited for our bags and waited and waited  then 1 arrived not 2!! Yep the bag with the broken hour later after chasing around the airport with no comprahenda LOL –por favoure (which I now know means , what?) it appeared on the carosel a little more worse for wear lol, but YAY!!!

We had minutes to spare to catch our connecting bus to catch up with our tour pheew! Was thinking of Michelle and Swifty on the Sheparton discovery trip and the insurance we’d get if it didn’t turn up J

Madrid on first appearance is a huge city I’d say almost 3 in one looking from the air, wow! The heat is immense. It was siesta time while we were being ferried to our hotel, the shops and streets almost empty, 6 laned roads with only a bit of traffic on them, happens from 2 -5 . It was a very surreal feeling.

We have this evening had our intro, to the tour. Had a couple of Sangrias (not as good as your punch Trin) and meet the others on our tour. We have a large group with a varied age between 18 and about 80,thank goodness, was hoping we wouldn’t be on the road with a whole bunch of 70 year olds ( no offense intended but you know what I mean).

Lots of Americans, a couple of Canadians, 2 Aussies, A  French couple, South African Family, Malaysian and 3 kiwis including ourselves. First thing everyone said to Phil was, you’ve had a lot of sun! ( I told ya he looks like a traffic light on red) Everyone seems nice and 1 couple weren’t as lucky as us with their luggage. They’re still missing 2 suitcases with all their stuff in it, so all they have is the shirt son their backs and we’re heading of early in the morning.

We have just returned from tea and a walk about. The Spaniards have woken from their rest, the shops are open and the roads are full again-amazing! Restaurants don’t let you in until at least 8.30pm. there are skyscrapers everywhere , apartments full of families. The streets are filled with kids  and adults using them as their back yards. Every kids seems to have a soccer(foot) ball and kids sound just like Dora ( Dora the explorer cartoon character) very cute. The old people sit and watch the young play while others seem to hang out on the corners with all their mates, not unlike us Hawera crew in our early years 😉


Well senors and senoraitas, bed for this girl…..Luc’s rugby team finally won on Saturday and T got player of the day for netball, so incase you’re wondering if the kids are ok and managing without us, I think Mum, Ange and Sue are doing a great job while we’re away J

Hasta luego ( see you later)  c xx

Madrid – Spain and more

Day 12

Oh so busy! Early starts and late finishes, holiday?? Dunno about that one, we seem to be on a mission daily, while its fun and great its certainly not relaxing. Times tables to keep to , bags packed and outside our doors by a certain time, on the bus at certain time. 30 mins here, hour there etc etc ya get the idea?

Soooo Madrid was a huge city, 4 million ( same as the whole of NZ) I had commented on how dry it looked around from the air, but Madrid is actually built on top of a spring and everywhere you go is another magnificent water fountain of some kind or another. It is so full of rich history, Nz is such a young country, we truly have no idea (well those interested in history already doo but I musta missed that class at school) European history is so vast.

We went to Toledo another village built on a hill, this is a very holy and scared spot, maybe where the saying ‘holy Toledo’ comes from?

Some of the areas we were shown dated back to 300 BC ( yeah that’s before Christ!)

One thing that really stands out is religion. And how much was fought, conquered and how people were killed, be it Christians, Jews or Muslim ( my opinion its not really ever about God /Koran or whatever higher power they believe in, but it was all done in greed century’s ago)

We stood at the site of the Madrid Railway bombing (actually stayed in a hotel around the corner) that had the Al Quada attack (approx. 200 lives lost) they have a huge glass cylinder monument with all their names of the victims inside it, so sad that people will still kill over religion and disregard other innocent lives to prove a point. Everyone seems so staunch here about their religion and what they believe in.



Arrr Seville! Whata fantastic city. If there is one place to visit in Spain its gotta be here, a laid back city where Christopher Columbus set off on all his discoveries (we visited his bones still here in a cathedral). Its very Spanish with Flamenco dances – a very passionate dance, we went to a show lastnight. Torros the 2 nd biggest bull fighting ring, has to be seen to be believed. Phil and I are the only ones on the tour that were disappointed we missed the bull fight by days ( they only hold them on Sundays) but very interesting all the same. Hearing all the culture behind it was great, its not really a fight rather a sacrifice, a ritual, a process that happens before the sword goes in, amazing!


The weathers fantastic, nothing under 30 degrees, we are enjoying Tapas and sangria, it’s a little hard getting across what we want to say as most Spaniards really don’t speak English, (unlike the French who just pretend –no English)

Siesita time is frustrating when you’re a tourist- nothing open!

Again a lot of history so so oh soooo many churches and cathedrals, mosques and more of the same, have definitely learnt so much but we are getting over it LOL. But I guess that’s what is all about huh, learning about where cultures in other countries came from. Tomorrow Granada and I guess some more mosques taken over by Christians before being transformed into Cathedrals ….arrrr (how the Spanish say) Esta bein (very good)

Oh P.S  the hotels are nice, this breakies  aren’t as good as the French though !




Wow Spain is such an amazing geographical country, every area is so different, Madrid built on water, Holt Toledo not so far but in a dessert. Seville the equivalent to visiting Rotorua (with out the stench smell) all the culture and traditions on show, Granada a place with huge history another Mosque taking by some Christians in the 3rd or 4th century-honestly, I don’t know how our guide retains and also manages to make all the history interesting as we go along our way. Granada also has a lot of gypsys still living in caves , literally. They dig a hole in the side of a cliff and make it home. There a more elaborate and amazing detailed cave homes up the road in Purullena, they have rooms off rooms and have lived like that for centuries , even have power and modern amenities. We were lucky enough to go into someone’s cave home (koha given of course) its cool in summer and warm in winter, amazing to think they just dig and make a new room as needed. But we can see how the Taleban have managed to elude the troops because just this one we visited was like a maze and I imagine with more hands you could dig to China LOL, maybe Osma has already dug through to NZ that s why they can’t find him! :/


We arrived in Valencia, the most modern city so far. Not a place I’d rave about. We have had some great nights out and Phils become a dab hand at Tequila shots LOL trying to set the pace for the younger ones, of course he ends up trying to keep up Lol ( Bart I have some evidence of Phil with a man bag )

The best thing about doing the tour has been no line waiting (there is lines to get into everything, we just get ushered through and past everyone. The guide and local guides give us interesting insights and info that you wouldn’t usually stop to read about. But the best part of all is the little things like going into local homes of Spaniards, the spontaneous guitar playing and dancing in the streets ( which was actually organised but a nice surprise).


The local cuisine ,Paella especially, we had that lastnight ( pronounced Pie ella) and OH my it was delicious.


Esta bien Amigos (okay my friends g2g)


Da Dada  …duh da daaaa

Barcelona a huge city so dry only 1 fountain (because its such an attraction, a  musical colured fountain) in the city is working because they have no water. Its so dry and is in a terrible drought at the moment. It’s a very vibrant city neither the less. Home of the black Madonna, it has a mix of new and old. Seville is still my favourite Spanish spot.

Tonight for our last night, we say farewell to all our new friends.


Unfortunately last night one of our tour party had the experience of being pick pocketed!!!!

WE HAVE BEEN TOLD AND TOLD NOT TO TAKE OUR PASSPORTS OUT WITH US AND TO BE SO CAREFUL WITH OUR MONEY/BAGS/WALLETS. Oh dear, anyway ( he was the slowest member of our tour but you should of seen him run) 3 lovely girls surrounded him while we were at the evening show of the fountain, watching while Freddie mercury and Mozart played and the fountain danced it magic, colours working in unison. They took his passport and 200 euro! Luckily though they threw back his passport to him as they ran! It all happened so fast! It was a bit of excitement but no th kind any of us ever want to experience again. Stupid of him, not to heed the warnings.

Apart from that we have had an uneventful but fantastic time in Spain and with the Trafalgar tour group……..we are soooooo looking forward to catching up with Trin, Gra and the kids tomorrow, hopefully we have managed to take the sun with us, we hear it’s still very cold in the UK. ( its JUNE!)

Buuuut a big farewell night tonight, last night to party with our new friends….some we will keep forever.

Asta lr Vista Spain…….

Day 19

Weeeeeeeell Hello England

Home! 4am! up and to the airport by 9. We are glad to sit on the plane and we were asleep before the plane taxied out to the tarmac. Arrive to a brrrrgh 16 degrees. Suitcases arrived an even more little worse for wear, in fact Trin is taking us to get some new ones, these are not gunna make it much further LOL.

Trin and Gra were at the airport to meet us, it’s so nice to walk out into the arrivals hall and have happy welcoming faces waiting to meet you.

1st stop Mains new apartment, he’d gone all out for us, tea and scones ha nah. LOL. He was hangover from the night before too! Meet his new lady! A racy red mini coop s 😉 a far cry from his old Holden Manaro hehehe, goes well, he’s on his last legs for fines before losing his license, and he’s good at running red lights he tells us! City living I guess?

Mains , Trin , gr a and us came back to Leaches Vicarage, it’s so English ( just like the pictures on the jigsaw puzzels with fields of long grass, bright coloured cottage gardens) they have it looking so perfect. Gra cooked us a Gordon Ramsey special without the ‘F’ words lol and then we spent the rest of the night, in their very own bar! Its decked out with an old spacies machine, pool table , huge screen tv, has a proper old English pub bar server and they’ve named it the ‘Ugly Duck’ we spent the night getting drunk wearing silly hats they collect and watching Spain beat Italy in a shootout game- Fantastic Stuff!

They have a huge week planned for us. London tomorrow, Ireland for a couple of nights, back to London for Lulus house warming, a football match, a night out in London before we head to Scotland and back to NZ ( hope you remember who we are) WOW!!!

Don’t know how we will go buuuut tomorrow we are on the underground, oh no ! Us with 6 million other Londoners awww its gunna be an eye opener and I’m sure I’ll have  a story to tell 😉 heheheh. Trin assures me she will give us great directions!

London and back …all in a days work for some…

Ha! Well what a day, we managed to fit so much in, starting with an achievement! Yes! Into London on the train, found the underground and got these bodies to Madame Tussards or Baker st line –yeah!

Really enjoyed meeting all the wax stars, it was a better experience the we thought it would be. Phil and I were ushered into the big brother room

Its huge here especially in the Leach household, its Trin and Gra’s fav). We were set a challenge like the real housemates get made to do, and completed it  lol it was hilarious and Phil was way out of his comfort zone ( see link)

Then we found yet another open top bus tour it really is the kewlest way of seeing the sights. Saw London from the big eye- a giant ferris wheel (well a bit more elaborate ) walked to the Abbey, Parliament,  Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, all because the roads were closed and the buses couldn’t get through. Seems Nelson Mandela is in town for his 90th birthday! We missed out on that invite.

Spent time in Harrods, fell in love with a ring that was oh only a mere 8700 pounds!!! So settled for some tea bags and a dish strainer instead, si I can say I’ve been shopping in Harrods J

Oh miii goodness though, what a shop! The food hall is amazing, seafood and chocolate for Africa!! Michelle you would think you’re in heaven mate. Everything In the store from bags/clothes or Paddington bears is presented in a way that looks fairy tailish if you know what I mean?

We meet some fun characters along the way.1 guy we started yarning to at the station was shocked! LOL he said it’s the first time anyone has just started having a chat with im while waiting at the station, usually over her ya go to work, see the same people every day non the train/tube, but never make eye contact or smile at strangers haha. Coz otherwise they might want something from you or rob you he said.

Anyway 20 mins later ( he was pleased coz we had made his time fly) we continued on our way…. Hahah that was after a wee hiccup, we’d jumped off the train a few stops to early and we had to wait an hour for the next one ooops, in the meantime Phil managed to find a TAB ( funny that).eventually we did make it back all though not to the start, Gra and Trin had to pick us up further up the line a bit. No worries there was a cute pub next door so they weren’t to peeved at our misdemeanour. haha

Really enjoyed out big day out in London, off again sat, they have us very busy!

Day 25

Another Stamp in the Passport

Midnight finish lastnight, 4 am start this morning, we were getting our passports stamped in Ireland this morning at 8am!! Have had a great dayin Dublin- a place that really reminds me of the Naki! Especially the feckin wind and rain lol and they think its summer here?

We found yet another open top bus tour and yes we sat up top haha. Gra even managed to get a wee sleep in half way round. Dublins sights don’t really hold your attention but was still good to see, the tour guide was priceless though, such a crack up, a real joker ( a true Irishman I guess lol) lots of Irish jokes and his accent was fab too!

Lunch at the Guinness factory storehouse, a few Guinness- yuk! The first one was nice bot oh I shouldn’t have gone for a 2nd! Drunk it looking out over the gravity bar ( a glass house on top of the factory) over looking the whole of Dublin- very Kewl.

So just a few mins to write this up and we are out on the town in Dublin, down the famous Temple street for a few pints and a night out with the locals….wonder if we’ll meet any leppricorns 😉

Oh to be sure, to be sure..

Great Pubs in Dublin, but that’s about it! LOL it rained the whole feckin time, but that didn’t slow us down, we were only there to drink and meet Leppericorns, oh and to find the luck of the Irish 😀

After our 1st night out, great fun but not to eventful, just enjoying the local pubs/music and people all very Irish as you’d imagine, but there was a girl fight outside 1 of the pubs The Grada (Police and Ambulance were needed wooooah excitement, the Irish gals are a tough bunch!) No contact made with this Lass though thank goodness!

We had an awesome Irish feed for lunch, black pud for gra, had to try it, its not to bad, Phil the usual Fish and chips( no surprises there, though he has been quite adventurous with his kai this trip) Trin had a steak, as big as her! And I had Boxty chicken a pancake with a yum sauce. But still had to wash it down with a NZ wine, the wines over here are nothing compared to what we have J


We made it!

Last night Trin and I left the boys to their own devices( gambling and drinking) and went to the Gariety theatre for the 2nd night of the all new season of the Riverdance show, it was amazing and to see it in Dublin made it even more special. I loved every bit of it. A stand out was ta part with an Irish immigrant to the USA (remember the scene in the titanic under the deck), also a few Black tap dancers dancing American style through it as well, they were a highlight for me, very humorous!

Music was fantastic, not sure what the instruments were, looked different but the sound was terrific, had us all jigging in our seats.


Caught up with the boys after the show at the half a penny pub, a wee story ( imagine an Irish accent) bout this pub and the bridge it sits next too. In the old days the Irish used to charge half a penny to cross this there bridge to get from North Dublin to South and vis a versa- so to save a penny the blokes would piggy back their ladies across, brake ya back to save a penny ! ( its a old saying). Guess what?

We made Gr and Phil do it too lol what a laugh, we were all pist parrots trying to carry us over the bridge made a bit of a show and we had an audience, lol maybe we should have charged them hahaha.


Back to England today, the passport is getting full now! London again tomorrow for some more socialising, catching up with a few and we are booked into a hotel to stay in East London, its Trins old haunts, we are gunna go see how she parties in London.

Tonight though, a tradition in the Leaches house, its eviction night on Big Brother UK, so its drinks, nibbles and a bitch session about the house mates lol

Here we have had snow at home, hopefully it didn’t stay around to long and you all managed to stay warm. Not long now and we’ll be back to reality…..oh and the visa bill  L

A boozy weekend for us

London for the weekend! Well the boys scooped Phil off, put him in an England rugby shirt and they tootled off to watch the Black Caps at Lords. They managed to stay in-coherent for the 1st 20 overs before getting way laid with alcohol consumption. While they did that Trin and I traipsed all over Oxford and regent streets looking for clothes for Gra. So many people everywhere ( woman on a mission) it was surreal almost, amazing! . I’m defiantly not a shopper though. But the best ever store to visit would have to be Ambercombie & Fitch, Oh my goodness ( newly opened) it’s like a night club to get in, queues  with hot male and female models dancing around to loud music while you browse around the store- just AMAZING!!! Not sure id it will continue like that but it certainly was pretty neat to witness.

Once we finished our shopping excusion, Trin and I headed for Lulus and 1-o’s for a kiwi bbq, was great to catch up with a few Hawerians, Lukey Goodwin,Deb O’dea and Tad, Milky and a few more, had an awesome time, Trin and I managed to drink a few redbulls with a lot of vodka before we had to catch up with the boys.

We all dressed up and ready to hit the town we had a blast in Trins old night spots, where we were treated to many different cocktails and concoctions …See photo. The boys left us and Trin and I continued on.


Sunday 29th June 2008 Lucky ticket number #88

Breaky Sunday morning and then we were off to ‘the Church’ at Kentish town,for  those of you who haven’t experienced the Church, it’s a huge place/hall which contains a whole heaps of Aussies, SAF’s and Kiwis, held every Sunday 12 till 4, 4 hours of drinking and dancing .Ya buy plastic bags of beer or Stolies with tickets and the ground is covered in saw dust to collect the mess. Heaps of drinking comps and entertainment  an awesome experience!!!

1-oh has been involved ther for many moons and hooked us up well, with VIP tickets. I won the lucky ticket out of 1500 odd pist people , had to jump on stage and get a photo to collect the prize! A bag of booze! I then was easily persuaded by Lukey, Mains and Phil and the crowd to get my top off on stage too!! (its just what ya do there) Good photo opportunity lol


Ha! So pissed and ready for more we headed to the Walakabout in Sheppards bush and another fantastic little bar, had a Maori guy playing NZ favourites on his guitar. We meet up with Lulu and everyone again. Saw a few faces from Taranaki some I hadn’t seen for years! Tony Careswell was one!

Monday was pretty quiet as you can imagine we were feeling a bit subdued 😉

Edinburgh Vs more booze and a girly show


Yesterday ( Tuesday) the boys took Phil off again (they really are spoiling him) they were wearing hot looking sunglasses. They started with a huge breaky at the cock and bull tavern ( gra and Mains old fav pub) in London and then went onto a girly show with yet more alcohol, you can imagine it hehehehe. Phil was home spewing in the front garden by 6 (he said it was the taxi drivers driving lol)

Trin and I had a more civilised day (18 hours) with an early start on the train, 1 st class to Edinburgh , Scotland ( no passport stamp though) Had a wonderful champagne breakfast wahooo (Trin spoilt me!!) had a great catch up for the 5 hour ride up. Edinburgh is awesome and a definite must for us to visit again, the Scottish are neat people. The castle was great, the Queen was there having a garden party and everyone was dressed up in hats and their finest. We went to the Dungeons, Trin was trialled for a 1600AC crime lol and we were shown some of the scariest stuff around by some incredible and believable actors. We had the chance to drink champagne while we got our nails done, before getting back on the train and arriving home just before midnight.


Well we will need to come to detox and relax! They have had us on the go all the time! LOl

So tomorrow is the beginning of the end of our bog OE , arrive in Singapore stay the night, head to Christchurch before flying to Dunedin about 4 I think ? Sunday. Just in time for Talias 13th Birthday! OMG we will have a teen ager!!

Ange has txt to let us know that snow is due this weekend, as long as she can get through to pick us up, we are having a great time but are missing the kids, which we could pack everyone up and bring them back home with us, gunna miss Jorja, Zac, Trin, Gra and Mains.

See you soon xxx hope you enjoy all the pix and see some faces ya ain’t seen for a while.

6th of July …it’s almost over


After a very turbulent flight from Heathrow to Singapore (back seats as well and a full flight- no room at all for Phil, he couldn’t even put the table down to eat) we arrived in Singapore raring to go and grab all the stuff for the kids, (spoilt little buggaz or our guilty conscious leaving them at home). I wish we had done it there in then , but we decided just o go and relax in the hotel. Woke in the morning it was 12!! Check out was 11 ooops so we raced off to get the things we needed…got to the airport on time managed to get a couple of relaxing massages while we waited to board our flights. I really recommend that in Singapore Airport a massage before or between flights is a must!

(writing as I fly bk to NZ)

On way back to Aotearoa, I have a meeting as soon as I get off the plane ( Phils not thrilled) first time meeting to…gunna be smelly and tired L oh well business is business.

Is flying worth the swollen feet, cramped conditions, smelly odour’s, bad food, toilet queues? Hell yeah! The best part is coming home and seein the kids…sooooo excited


Catching up with mates

Meeting new people

The food in France

The culture in Spain

Seeing all their mates, where they live etc and specially Kat and Gra for showing us a great time

Perfect hosts

Singapore is so clean compared to other Asian countries I’ve been.


Juan le Pins-South France

Seville –Spain

And of course we will get back to the UK but only to see mates


The traffic in Paris

French drivers’ full stop

The parking – bumper to bumper until they hit

Dogs everywhere from butcher shops to planes in bags even!

The expressive way the Parisians and Spanish say and do things

The history of Spain and the Christian/Muslim fighting

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Daughter,Mother,Wife, Boss,Sister, Niece,Cousin,and best friend that's me! Nature v's nurture..I have the experience. If you can't stomach poor spelling and bad grammar....WARNING..don't read, it'll give you angina!

5 thoughts on “The Big O.E 2008”

  1. Wow mate – what a trip down memory lane! Great to read your account of Europe etc – you must have kept a diary or have a hell of a memory. You always have a great sense of humour & it come thru clear in your blogging – shall enjoy reading all your adventures xx

    1. Thanks Trin,stoked you enjoyed reading it,hope it brought back memories for you too. You dont mind me not changing names to protect your identity? If you read the post below, it describes my use of bebo at the time and how much it cost lol…this next trip I will hand write and then Blog when I get free internet hahaha ( Learn by my mistakes….usually)

  2. I’m exhausted just reading it. I loved your insights on everything. After being here so long you take it all for granted. You make me laugh Chanelle, Kiwi chick on her big adventures. Great stuff

    1. Pleased you enjoyed reading it, and how I saw it all through my eyes 🙂 now I’ve started, I keep getting all these ideas and thoughts I want to extend on through my blogger. THANKS so much for the gentle nudge 😀

      1. It’s a pleasure, and it’s a pleasure reading your stuff, so refreshingly straight from the hip as it were. Love your enthusiasm, straight talking and honesty..

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