Sunday, July 31, 2011

31st July The non eventful day

got up

played on computers or sewed

went to the bank to get money and the computers crashed so we need to go back tomorrow.

came home

had lunch

played on computers or sewed

had dinner

watched tv

went to bed.

A truly non eventful day, the highlight of which was skyping with Teresa, who I haven’t spoken to in 3 weeks due to time differences.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

30th July Bag Day

Maddison was out of bed before her parents again today! She must have made it into the living room by 8 am to wait for us, of course she kept herself busy on her laptop while she did. When we finally arose (9am) we carried on with our usual home tasks . . . . Sewing Geoff’s Christmas present, playing computer games and, unusual for her, playing the clarinet.



At 11:30 we all made tracks to the church to help pack 125 bags for the Sudanese refugees that live in Cairo. I was surprised by the number of people there, mostly men. Amy tried to send the bags in taxis to their destination but the taxi men wanted 1 LE per bag to take them so in the end the church people used their own cars to take them.



It took Maddy and I an hour or so to get over being so hot which included a shower, then back to the usual. . . .

The man came for the electricity today it was 270 LE so £27, which is quite a lot as we have been using the air con this month, Maddison tends to sleep with it on. It will probably rise to around 400 LE for August and September as even I am using the air con at night at the moment. I keep waking up thinking I’m being cooked!

(Hope you’re enjoying this Lynn, no sign of the ants today, but we went and got some spray just in case, it was mince for tea and we watched a film this afternoon called The Losers that was quite entertaining)

Friday, July 29, 2011

29th July Sabbath Rest

I was asked what do we do at home during the holidays, well a picture speaks a thousand words, so 2 pictures saves me typing for ages!


The only thing you can’t see is the tv with BBC news on.

We did walk to Road 9 as well to buy some chicken from the Metro there as the chicken we saw yesterday was dried out round the edges.

After lunch we were attacked by ants in the kitchen. We had spotted a few wandering randomly yesterday but this was a concerted attack -  they crept down the wall, under the microwave and onto the chopping board before we got round to doing the dishes. When I wandered in and found them we tidied up very quickly and sprayed. We haven’t seen them since but will be on the look out for them for the next few days.

In the afternoon it was church, a different couple were leading worship so chose a lot of songs I didn’t recognise. Even though much of the church is on holiday the place was fairly full so might go back to 2 services in September, I will wait and see.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

28th July Washing Day

Our first day back so we took it at a leisurely pace, Geoff and I finally getting out of bed about 10 am to put on our 3rd load of washing. (The last 2 loads had dried in the kitchen overnight). We roused Maddison an hour later, she was up but not awake or coherent, after having slept in this position at Dubai airport you can understand her need for sleep.


When we were all ready we popped out to the shop (Metro) for some bread, meat  and veg for lunch and tea. It was a little warm out, 34 degrees C, so we need to acclimatise again. We got back and I sorted out our new chair throw and arranged the cushions we bought from Dubai airport (£4 each).


For value for money Dubai is the best airport we have travelled through, which explained the number of duty free bags other passengers were carrying and the fact the airline were emphasising only 1 carry on piece per passenger.

We had also bought some framed geometric pictures which Geoff hung for me.


We are currently waiting for the satellite dish to work again, the men are on the roof looking at it as I type and then we will veg out in front of the TV for the rest of the evening. Geoff is looking to book our car next week and has found one that is £800 if we say we live in the UK and £600 if we say we live in Egypt!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

26th July Leaving

After an amazing 3 weeks we have come to the end of our time in New Zealand and need to return to warmer climes. We have done our best to deplete the shops of as many goods as we possibly could, to the point we  had to swap Maddison’s suit case for a slightly larger one Nick could manage without for the next 3 years. Even then there were some books and clothes we chose not to return with. I was so hot at Christchurch airport I bequeathed  my favourite top to Nick, by the time we reached Sydney I changed my two sweaters and strappy top for a T-shirt, scarf and Geoff’s hoody.

Early mornings (before 11) am are not Maddison’s thing and we had left at just gone 9 am, so by the time we had travelled to Christchurch – there was no snow left on the roads but the pavements were a little treacherous for South Africans who hadn’t seen much snow before, been round a mall, had a KFC Winter warmer for lunch and flown to Sydney she was ready to admit she needed a shower! Luckily for her our memento for Sidney airport was a towel so she availed herself of the facilities there. At present she hasn’t slept since we got her up ( about 31 hours as I sit here in Dubai airport at 7 am local time) and is less coherent than usual to talk too.

Our travel agenda avoided disembarking at Bangkok by catching a later flight from Sydney on a two decker air bus, Geoff peaked up the stairs into to special place and could see a waterfall but was allowed no further. The meals and standard of comfort on Emirates is very good, as is the choice of films or TV programs.  Maddison watched Disney classics and the Simpsons while Geoff watched a couple of films and I watched episodes from Lie to Me and Greys Anatomy.

We will be sitting here at Dubai until 1500 after arriving about 5:15 am so I will recharge the nanopod and sort out the photos from the small camera that Maddison took on camp. Here are some of my favourite shots from New Zealand at the moment . . . . IMG_6117IMG_6248






Anyway there are more than enough to make screen savers for the next few months.

Monday, July 25, 2011

25th July Wallabies and Packing

The road to Dunedin was closed this morning, there was an enterprising family with a BBQ out cooking sausages outside their house, I assume to sell sandwiches to the people waiting for the road to open, so we turned around and headed back to Timaru.

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The nearer we got to Timaru the more the snow became a mere myth. In the end we went on a Wallaby hunt.

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We found a horse as well!

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Our last supper was pizza and chips with these strange individuals.

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Today the road to Christchurch has been closed so Nick has borrowed a 4x4 just in case for our run to the airport tomorrow. We will be leaving at 9am for a 4 pm flight just to be sure. I also found out the booking for the car was wrong by a week so it will cost us double the original amount when we return it! Oops. . .

24th July Penguins!

With Maddison away we decided to travel back to Dunedin and visit the chocolate festival, along the way we planned to visit the Blue Penguin Colony at Oamaru. Setting off after church, Grant preached as Nick was away, we journeyed to Oamaru to see if we could book the penguin visit either Sunday or Monday evening at 5:30pm when they come back after spending the day fishing.  So at the i-centre we signed up for the Sunday viewing. They also told us about the rare yellow eyed penguins that came back from feeding at 3:30pm and pointed out on the map where we could find them.

There was some time left before either sets of penguins cane back so we went for a ride on the Oamaru diesel railway. IMG_7992 (640x427)IMG_7994 (640x427)

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While we were riding the snow started, just flurries but quite heavy at times. After a meat feast pizza from Dominoes we headed out to the Yellow eyed penguins. The snow was falling quite heavily at this point so I bravely let Geoff go on his own to see the penguins, and he did! There was one in the flax.

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From here we drove to the blue Penguin Colony and a hot chocolate at the restaurant next door while we waited. On talking to the staff at the colony we were disappointed to hear the road to Dunedin was closed. After we had seen the penguins return (about 50 of them), they are 30cm tall and weigh 1 kg we cancelled the hotel in Dunedin (I had booked the Chocolate Room) we went looking for an overnight spot so we could go to the shop at Moeraki Boulders and get gifts for the family. 

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We managed to get the last room at one of the motels but when we woke up  the road to Dunedin was closed!

Sorry no penguin pictures . . . you aren’t allowed to take them, to maintain their natural habitat

23rd July Dashing rocks

An easy day today with a short walk to the Dashing Rocks, part of the Heritage Trail just over State Highway 1 from Lynn’s house.

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While we were here Lynn managed to get in touch with Nick at the youth camp. They were busy walking up a hill and when Maddison chatted to us she said it was more like ‘Boot Camp’ than ‘Religious Camp’.

Our route took us via PaknSave for cake and lollies (all sweets are called this in New Zealand) for the boys. As per usual we ended up with extras including ice cream and yoghurts. Just opposite the supermarket is a garden with the Tardis in it!

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In the evening we were the audience for the first public concert of the Cleveley violinists Lynn and Caleb and music stand Aaron. Their first piece was The Can-can and for an encore Silent Night. It was an excellent debut performance .

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Friday, July 22, 2011

22nd July Youth Camp

We drove back to Timaru from Dunedin via Omaru and Burger King in order for Maddison to be at the church for 2:30 pm to go on a Youth Camp with the teenagers from Marchweil Baptist Church. The buildings in Omaru were interesting and many were no longer used for their original purpose.

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Maddy knows a few of the people going already through Lynn’s marvellous effort on Sunday and a dinner invitation Monday night, but Nick had forgotten she would need a sleeping bag so we had to quickly drive back to the house and take one of the boy’s bags from inside the tent they are sleeping in, as well as mine and Geoff’s dark pillows, before she was truly equipped! I expect there will be other things he has forgotten to mention – but it’s too late now.

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While Maddy enjoys herself there, Lynn, Geoff, the boys and me are going out to a BBQ for our dinner tonight.

(There are only 3 days left until we fly back to Cairo).