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'Welcome to New Zealand...'
New Zealand - APR 2003
'...Mr and Mrs Spittle'
Tuesday 1st April 2003 Katikati

Tidied the house in the morning, Just in time for Joy and Spits arrival... In their massive new Landrover Discovery. Well a Honda discovery! I never knew that Land rover rebadged their cars. Its pretty smart though, They got a bit of a bargain there. It was great to see them.

We took them for a bit of a drive around the neighbourhood, then got home to spend the evening chatting over a few drinks.

Well we spent the whole morning cleaning like demented dogs trying to make some sense of the whole house ready for Joy and Spit. They turned up in the afternoon in there lovely big new Landrover looking very regal! after a multitude of hugs and kisses we spent the afternoon drinking and generally being loud and obnoxious...

Wednesday 2nd April 2003 Katikati

Got a call in the morning for Kathy asking If I could come into work today to help out with a few things. No problem as Joy and Spit wanted to go to shopping and get some camping gear. So I left them to it whilst I went to work of some of the extra days that I owe Radfords. Sarena also took them for a quick Spin around Mt Manganui and that back to pick me up at about 4:30.

They had bought some nice juicy steak whilst they where shopping so Spit magiced up a nice mushroom starter thingy and we had the tenderest steak for tea Hmmmmmm. Spent the evening sitting around and drinking. a New program started on the TV, 'Dark Angel' which seems to e about a superhuman sexy woman, hmmmm sounds like a promising show!

I drove us all into Tauranga! yep my first drive trip since having my eyes done and we made it in alive - bonus. Joy wanted to get a couple of things and i needed some new earrings. Sorry Clare but mine have finally fallen apart after wearing them solidly for a year and a half.

First stop was at the Warehouse where we also said goodbye to Toby, he was popping into work for a few hours. The rest of us did a small shop then headed into town and straight to a silver shop. i purchased some lovely new drop earrings and Joy bought some silver hoops, she nearly went for the banana looking ones that Spit said he liked - oops a spanner in the works. Joy had a little problem ( very similar to my mum) of not being able to make a decision, relying on others input to the whole affair. In the end it was on the decision of a flipped coin but she then couldn't decide which side of the coin she would have as heads................ very funny.

We dropped some films in to be developed and went for a coffee and a few more hours of mooching mostly in camping shops. Joy and Spit will be traveling around in BFD for a while so need stove and pans etc whilst looking for somewhere to live. After all that excitement we went to Pak n Save and bought some steak and salad for dinner then picked up Toby and went home. Had the tastiest dinner lovingly prepared by Joy and Spit then settled down to some drinking and a fantastic new series called 'Dark Angel' i was the only one left watching it though as everyone else pleaded exhaustion.

Thursday 3rd April 2003 Katikati

Whay hey. We are going lugeing again today. I have been waiting for this day for ages. We left home by 8 with a promise to Joy and Spit that we would take them to the Fat Dog in Rotorua for a nice healthy breaky. It wasn't until that we got into town though that we realised that the Lady Knox Geyser was due to spurt, so we put breaky on old and headed just south of Rotorua to watch the daily event. We then took a walk around the Wai-o-Tapu thermal park, which is definitely the best one we have been too.

In the end we eventually had breakfast at lunch time, by which time. I was getting very excited about getting on the luge track and blasting down a few hills, simple things! We bought 5 rides and had a great time Spit and I ended up racing neck and neck on all the tracks it was fantastic.

We soon thrashed through our 5 races, so headed on round to the over side of Rotorua lake to Te Ngatea where a Giant 3D wooden maze has been built just for Sarena's entertainment (well she's been going on about wanting to do it for long enough). It started off being very easy. But soon got harder and harder and I got pretty lost. Joy was the first to complete all the task's in the maze and find her way out again, then Sarena, then after pretending to befriend Spit to get some assistance in finding my way out, I ditched him as soon as I had sussed it and ran to freedom. Fancy being beaten by girls, very bad!

By the end of the day I was feeling really quite rough. I think it may be the Yellow Fever Jabs we had on Monday, apparently it can bring flu symptoms after a few days, which is just what I have.

Spent the evening chilling out. and I contemplated going into work tomorrow to work of another of the days I owe them.

Headed off for Rotorua for the day so that we could all go Luging after a heafty Fat Dog B'fast . We left early but decided to visit a thermal park first after remembering about the famous geysers (Lady Knox) was going to shoot off at 10.15am. We raced to the park and bought some tickets and got ourselves prepared with cameras ready to watch the spectacle.

Well after the show host had shoved a bag of washing powder in the hole........................ seems it breaks down the water surface tension bla bla. It did shoot 20metres into the air and we got some great shots but it only lasted a few minutes. The rest of the park was cracking and much better than the other one in town, well worth the visit. By the time we made it to the Fat Dog it was lunch time so Joy and I had a proper lunch whilst the boys had there cooked b'fast. We then all went Luging, we had 5 runs each and managed a couple of goes on the advanced track - absolutely brilliant!! Joy was taking the 'caution' factor very seriously whilst the rest of us whizzed down like demented monkeys!! I must admit i was a lot faster than my previous time on the Luge.

We then went to a 3D wooden maze which is something i wanted to do for ages, i just love mazes. It looked pretty easy from the map............ famous last words! There were 2 different entrances, hard and easy, so of course we took the hard option. We all went at it gun ho, but soon realised it was going to be a hard task..... It all got a bit competitive at the end, seeing as the boys split up from the girls. But my mate Joy who seemed to be the only one to find the way out successfully came back to get me so that we could exit at the same time leaving the boys to wander around for another 15mins, now that's a mate for you! Toby was starting to feel pretty ill by now, we think it might be the Yellow Fever jabs we had? Drove home and had pasta for dinner and another early night.


Friday 4th April 2003 Katikati

I decided to go into work again today, so left the others to their own devices.

Got home to one of Sarena's special curries. I don't know if it was wise for me to have it as my stomach is a little dodgy at the moment, but it tastes so good.

I spent the rest of the evening on the loo and practicing Spits FIFA game on the game boy. I finally managed to win my first game Saints v Bolton.

Toby went to work and Joy and I went down the pool, yep it had been 2 weeks since my eye job which meant i could go swimming again. I didn't do to badly considering and really enjoyed the feeling of exercising again, Joy did really well and seemed to enjoy it. After a shower and B'fast they followed me down to a local garage so that they could put BFD in for a Service whilst warranted. They had a leak for the last few days which looked like the break fluid so had to get that done before hitting the road. I then prepared a curry for dinner whilst Spit did all the vacuming and we all did our own thing for the rest of the day. I caught up on some diary and they sorted out a route around the North Island. Sue popped around for an hour to say hi and had a glass of Vino with me, she had a look at the double bed and wanted to buy it - wehey! something else gone. Sue and Ross have invited us around for dinner on the 9th which is bloody nice of them, so i hope Joy and Spit are still around....

Had a lovely Curry for dinner with plenty of red wine and good company.


Saturday 5th April 2003 Katikati

The 2nd hand man popped around in the morning to give us a dismal price to clear the house out. It was to be expected but Sarena got quit wound up by it.

We then went out for the obligatory round of golf that we take everyone too. After all these months I have not improved at all. Spits game was pretty classy though and he thrashed us all, Sarena and I didn't even bother to add up our dreadful scores. After the golf we went to the pancake house. I managed a little food as I was still feeling pretty rough and the old stomach wasn't holding up too well.

Spent the rest of the day lazing around.

We got up early as we had a man coming around from the second hand shop to give us a price for all our stuff, not worth the journey as he offered us a stupid amount of money. We then all went and had a game of golf in Waihi which was very funny as always. Toby managed to hit every tree on the course whilst Spit did really well, Joy, bless her did quite well seeing as it was her first time. It was then pancake time and feeding the eels before going home and i made homemade burgers for dinner. Had a call from Sally saying and we made arrangements to meet up again in the Bay of Islands which should be cool

Toby still not well with another dose of dioreah....... what is wrong with his tummy?

Sunday 6th April 2003 Katikati

Bloody peeing down today, So we all went to visit the Katikati Heritage Museum. Sarena and I wouldn't be able to live with ourselves if we had never visited this place. I finally found out what Katikati stands for... 'The Nibbling of the Kummara' or something like that. The museum was a bit of an Aladdin's cave of bric-a-brac, some of it was very interesting, and the owners were insistent on personally showing us round and making sure we didn't miss any of the trinkets. It was still raining by the time we had finished in the museum so we then carried on to the Morton Estate winery for a bit of tasting, and then to the pub for some wedges and a game of pool. Even after all that it was still raining so Joy offered to make us a Roast dinner for tea... No one argued.

Roast dinner was fantastic. Thanks Joy. I can't remember the last time I had Yorkshire pudding and gravy, hmmmmm, tasty. Oh and thanks Spit for the beautiful mushroom starter.

Raining once again so we decided to go down to see the Katikati Museum........ we have been here 9months and have avoided seeing it as it looked so cheesy but seeing as the weather was so bad we gave it a go. We were welcomed by an elderly lady who owned the place and who new everything there was to know on the local area and personally took us around some of the museum showing us all her camera and slide collection. It actually was very interesting and was like the tardist, it just kept getting bigger! it looked quite small on the outside but was huge inside, every time we thought it would finish we would go into another room. It was still raining when we came out so decided on going to the Morton Winery where i had already been with my family when they were over. We had a great hour being entertained by a very knowledgeable man who was just fantastic especially as he gave us a 10% discount on the bottles we bought. Still raining so we went down the pub for a couple of games of pool and some wedges then went home. Joy had offered to make a roast dinner so it was all very exciting for us, and definitely worth the wait. The dinner was fandabbydosey and went very very well with our newly purchased vino

Monday 7th April 2003 Katikati

Joy and Spit are leaving us today... To go and do some exploring of the north island for a few weeks. Its sad to see them go but I am sure we will catch up with them again in the next couple of weeks. They gave me a lift into work on their way to Lake Taupo. And I spent the rest of the day working of the last few hours that I owed Radfords.

Managed to finish everything I had planned at Radfords and even managed to slip in a quick mop chop from my personal hairstylist, Melissa.

Got home to find tea wasn't quite ready to eat. Ooh Sarena how you slack ;-)

Well the happy couple are making tracks today which is a bit sad for us but we have made arrangements to meet up again with them very soon once we hit the road. I went swimming so said goodbye leaving them to drop Toby into work for the day. I did really well down the pool considering my big break so was chuffed with myself, now i'll have to start running again....... oh no

I spent the day packing up bits and pieces and boxing up the picture ready to send home. Put up a little notice next door in the rest home about selling our furniture.

Toby came home with a very sexy new hair dooo and i cooked a very unsexy dinner that even the birds wouldn't eat the left overs.

Tuesday 8th April 2003 Katikati

Started to sort out all our traveling stuff today. I got quite excited to start with until I realised just how much crap has been collected over the last 9 months. At this point I lost focused and ended up spending most of the day doing little things and not really achieving much.

Sarena is very keen to get things sorted and has even packed her back pack and started to take all the wall hangings down, so this house is already starting to look pretty bare even though we still have 2 weeks left here.

We had a bit of a falling out over some of the things Sarena was packing to send home. Sea shells and great big heavy glass bowls are not what I think should be sent home.

I just hope that we get all the furniture sold over the next 2 weeks.

Oh it's getting all exciting now as we are starting to get things organised, still have had no response from the advert we put down on the Woolworth's notice board regarding our furniture for sale........

Spent the day sorting out clothes and repacking our backpacks realising i still have too much shite to take with me, but have already taken quite a bit down the Op Shop. Toby thinks i'm panicking too early but i know what it's like, he didn't do any of the house stuff last time and i want to get it all sold and out of the way. I did try and pack a couple of things in our 'sending home boxes' but Toby made me take them all back out again because he said it they were much too heavy, oh well can't get away with that one....... didn't write my will as i hoped today, Joy and Spit photocopied a couple for us as i think we should have Wills incase something happens to us. Don't think Toby is that keen as he doesn't like to thinking about things like that which is why i have life insurance and he doesn't!

Still haven't had any interest in the furniture....

Made another strange dinner but i did drink the bottle of Red from the Morton Estate which made it palatable.

Wednesday 9th April 2003 Katikati

Spent the day doing our diary, and placing various adverts for all the stuff in our house. In the evening we popped up to Ross and Sue's for dinner and some excellent pork roast and wine.

Went for a swim then did my diary which took a little while. Radhe (Yoga lady) came around with her friend to have a look at some of our stuff but only wanted the ironing board.

We then went up to Ross and Sue's for dinner and she did a wonderful roast pork dinner, one of there own little piggies though......... lots of wine and good laughs as always (meri and Barry were there too) Sue asked if i would help with painting the bedroom so i said I would lend a hand.

Thursday 10th April 2003 Katikati

Sarena went over to Ross and Sue's to give them a hand painting their bedroom. I intended to spend the day doing some work for Liquid, but in the end spent most of the day talking to travel agents about arranging tickets back to the UK via South America. It is turning out to be a lot more complicated than I had thought it would be. Our route must be a little out of the norm. The airlines all seem to have these little obscure rules that prevent you flying exactly where you want to. Having said that its pretty amazing how far you can fly on these RTW tickets.

Sue and Ross took us up the RSA club for dinner as a way of saying thank you to arena for helping paint. Well I can't complain. had a slap up roast and a few beers which was very nice.

Didn't go for a swim which was shite of me but i did get to Sue's place early and spent the whole day painting, it was really hard work as the paint was really thick.

Sue and Ross came and picked us up at 6pm and took us to the RSA club for some dinner to say thanks for helping with the decorating which was sweet.

Friday 11th April 2003 Katikati

Spent the day working and trying to sort out our flights back to the UK. our friend Liz in Auckland has been very helpful in trying to get the route we want but it seems very hard to organise from New Zealand, So it looks as though we will have to start our journey from OZ.

Ross popped round at lunch time to pick up the double bed he had bought.

In the afternoon I popped round to a neighbours who have advertised that they are having a garage sale tomorrow. I asked them if they could put a sign up to direct everyone round to our house as well. It was a but cheeky but we are pretty desperate to get rid of everything. They didn't mind at all. Everyone is just so helpful. I popped into Tauranga to see Andy and do some shopping at pack and save. Its all go here!

Went for my last swim as the pool was closing for the season. I then went over to Sue's house and spent the day painting again. This time it was better as we got to do the colour which was a lovely purple and much more fun, also had some bolly which added to the painting expertise. had a great time, when we got home Toby went to Tauranga to see Andy and to do some shopping as our cupboards were bare again. I spent the next few hours moving all our furniture into the lounge ready for a garage sale we had sorted out for the morning. Toby had noticed that a house up the road was having a big sale on, so he asked if he could stick a little sign up in there garden telling people we had one in our place, the cheek of it!

He had more nerves than me though................

A family of Indians phoned up and insisted on coming around to see what we had for sale but i said to come in the morning but they weren't having any of it and came and had a look.

Saturday 12th April 2003 Katikati

Garage Sale today! I stuck a sign on the letter box at the end of the drive and people started turning up at 8. In the end we had a steady run of people all the way up to 11 am. It was pretty amazing. They ended up buying all the crap that we hadn't dreamed we would be able to sell. No one was really interested in buying any of the major stuff like the beds or TV which is a bit of a worry as those are the things we really need to sell. I just hope that the adverts that I placed in the Bay Trader for Wednesday generates some interest.

By 1 the house was very quiet. There were a few bits and bobs left that nobody wanted but all in all we had a good day. We didn't even get bargained down on much. It was only the Indians that tried to bargain.

I finally had time to sort out our next flight tickets. I tried phoning some more travel agents and airlines but no one could answer my questions and where as helpful (or cheap) as trailfinders. So I decided to bit the bullet and buy the tickets. It quite exciting now that we have tickets and destinations, but I do feel a bit nervous this time around. I have probably got too settled here in New Zealand.

I spent the evening doing some work for Liquid and by the end of the day was pretty thankful that we hadn't managed to sell our bed.

Can't believe it, we had people coming around at 8am to start having a rummage through all our stuff! I even put in all the things i was going to take down the OP shop thinking no-one would want to buy it, how wrong could i be. We were left with the things we thought would be snapped up and sold all the crappy stuff, how weird can people be? We had a steady stream of people up until lunch time which was good, seems Toby's plan worked. Now we have to keep our fingers crossed about the advert going in the Baytrader on Wednesday. Well the afternoon was spent just hanging around the house just incase we had a late shower, a few came round but weren't interested.

Toby spent the afternoon on the phone talking to various people regarding flights etc, seems good ole Trailfinders are going to be the saviours of the day again as they seem to answer all question there and then and are the cheapest, a lot of the travel agents he phoned just didn't have a clue about anything and quoted ridiculous prices. Liz, Chewies wife was really helpful but still couldn't come up with a price equal to TF so Toby took the plunge and bought the next leg of our journey. Seems a bit strange but have to fly to Brisbane before going to Fiji and have to get a return ticket to Brisbane.........mmmmmm

Sunday 13th April 2003 Katikati

Have passed a deadline on a project for Liquid so I spent most of the day working on it. I have finally got used to working on my little laptop again. Its pretty hard work on such a small screen.

Paid the balance of our airline tickets back to the UK. They have cost a lot more than I had estimated so we will really have to watch our money from now on.

Now we are really having to watch the money as the rest of the tickets had to be paid off and have left us with a lot less money than hoped, we are not even shore if we can make it all the way but we will try. I think this leg of the journey is going to be a lot harder because of the money situation but i will be a good test of strength..

Didn't do a lot today but pack and repack my bag and sort out all other bits and pieces.

Monday 14th April 2003 Katikati

Arranged to meet up with Joy and Spit at Karangahake gorge at lunch time to go and explore the old gold mines. So I spent the morning working. On the way to the gorge we got a call from the Spitsters to say that the road to the gorge is closed. We ended up meeting them at Whangamata and taking a walk along the beach. It was great to get out and into the fresh air after spending the last few days cooped up in the house.

In the evening we all went up to Kathy's house. It is David's birthday soon so they have decided to invite a few friends up for roast lamb. Joy and Spit where invited too, so we all went up for some great food and wine. Even managed to sell our tatty old mountain bike to David, great! One more thing out of the house.

Went to meet up with Joy and Spit to go for a walk at the Gorge but half way there we got a call from them saying the road was closed and couldn't get through. Change of plan, we met them in Whangamata and had a coffee then for a stroll along the beach which felt good after being in the house for a few days. They came back to our place for the night and were invited along with us to Kathy and Daves house for dinner. It is Daves B'day next week but people were busy so Kathy decided to do a dinner for him a week early. And what a fab meal it was! lovely lamb and veggies and lots of wine, my favourite. Joy and Spit had a good time and we all ate well seeing as there was no food in the house....... even managed to sale the bike to David which was great.

Tuesday 15th April 2003 Katikati

Sarena has another eye check up today, so we left Joy and Spit in the morning as they headed up the Coromandel for a few days. We got into Auckland a couple of hours early so hunted around for a compact size tent to take with us on the next leg of our trip. This time round we will be a lot more strapped for cash so investing in a tent now may pay off.

It just so happened that Kathmandu are having an Easter sale and had 50% of a very smart and tiny 2 man tent. it was only 2.7 KG and easily fits in the bottom of my backpack so we snapped it up.

Sarena's eye appointment didn't go so well. Her eyes are just too dry for the doctor to be able to test how well the operation has gone. He needs to see her at least 2 more times before we leave and even then may want to operate again. This has wound me up. We have had 9 months to sort out Sarena's eyes and now it seems we are going to run out of time and not be able to spend so long on the south island. So frustrating.

I was in a foul mood all the drive home and spent the evening working on a Liquid project.

Yet another journey to Auckland, must admit i'm a little sick of it now. Said goodbye to Joy and Spit as they were off the the Coromandel's they we took the bike and my drift wood sculpture of the DAve and Kathy's house. Drove up to Auckland a few hours before my appointment so that we could look around some travel shops, found a brilliant sale in Katmandu which had 50% off of most things including a fab light weight tent which we put behind the cash desk so that we could have a look around for some more around town. We couldn't find any that were that cheap and light so went back to Katmandu and also bought a new wash bag and a couple of clothes packs. Really good deal on the tent which we will be using for the rest of our journey it was $800 down to $400 !

It was then time for my eye appointment which was at 4pm so we rushed off to the surgery only to be told by Dr Ring that my eye (left one) was far too dry to be able to establish how the eye had progressed. He did a little paper test thing which he seemed quite shocked at, the blotting paper didn't even get wet so he decided to put a collagen pin in my tear duct to stop any fluid draining away, problem is that i don't seem to be producing any fluid, he's not had to do that to anyone before which is a worry...... So it was another wasted journey and the worrying thing is he wants to see me another 2-3 times before leaving the country. He says i still have astigmatism and slight short sightedness in my left eye still which i didn't want to hear.

Going to cock up all our travel plans though, so Toby was very pissed off all the way back home. I can understand him being annoyed but i feel the same way but i have to walk around with fussy eyes all the time which isn't nice.

Wednesday 16th April 2003 Katikati

Spent the whole day on a project for Liquid. Had just one interruption from a lady who had seen our advert for our bed in the local paper. She came round to take a look late in the morning, She explained that she had just moved into an empty house down the road and ended up buying nearly all the stuff that we had left. Bonus! we gave her a hand delivering all the beds and chairs to her new house. What a great house! she is renting it for the same price as us but has loads of land and a stream running through it. Lucky begger, Wish we had found this one when we were looking.

Worked pretty late on the liquid project, much to the annoyance of Sarena who wants me to pay her a bit more attention. Sorry Sarena but these things need to be done.

We our now demoted to sleeping on the floor as all that's left in the house now is the damn TV. No wonder nobody wants to buy it, NZ tv is pretty dire. Its a very good job that we still have our airbed's from OZ they helped make the night a little more comfortable even though every time I moved my airbed made a farting noise. Well I'm pretty sure it was the airbed... probably Sarena though!

Toby worked on his computer all day and refused to talk to me, as he is still uptight with me. The only thing that cheered him up was a lady who came around to look at the Queen bed instantly said she would have it, and said she would take the single bed and mirror and two chairs. How bloody good is that, just the rug and tv now.

We helped drop the stuff round her house which was a lovely place down the road and had loads of land etc for the same price as ours.

So it's our first night on the floor on our blow up beds - great. Toby stayed up till late doing some work for Liquid and i think managed to say 4 words to me in the whole day.

Thursday 17th April 2003 Katikati

Took a break from my Liquid work this morning and spent the time trying to asses whether we can get any tax back from working. Ended up reading lots of tax guides and getting more and more confused, so I ended up taking all our details down to the local accountant who instantly calculated that we are owed around $2,000. Bloody Bonus!

There fee was only $50 and hopefully we should have the money within the next few weeks. I wonder how many people come and work and never bother trying to get their tax back. Spent the rest of the day sorting out house stuff and I did a bit more liquid work.

In the evening we went over to Meri's for a bit of a goodbye meal. Its was a bit sad as they have been so good to us while we have been living in Katikati. Thank you very much Meri and Barry.

Didn't sleep well at all!! i suppose we have to get used to it all again though.

I took the rug down the shop i had bought it from and he is going to sell it for us and put the money in our account - seems a nice bloke and he was from the UK so he can't be too bad. Toby sorted out our tax stuff by taking it down the accountants in Kati to sort out - saves us getting muddled with all the illegible paperwork. Managed to get Toby to say about 7 words to me today in between his working on the laptop which is better than yesterday.

Went around Meri and Barry's for a wonderful dinner, there were 8 of us all together including Jo (there daughter) who is really very nice. I played with the dog Toby who also joined us and i ended up with slobber all over me.

Meri cried when we left which got me all upset but we have arranged for her to come over on Friday to have a look at our TV, seems she is interested!

Friday 18th April 2003 Katikati

Didn't sleep very well at all on the airbed's and woke up feeling very muzzy. I better get use to this as it looks as though we will be spending the best part of the next few months sleeping on the floor.

Meri, Barry and their daughter Jo came around in the morning to pick up some of the furniture they bought off us. Sarena buttered them up with some hot cross buns and we then managed to convince them to ut the TV off us too. Cool we have now got rid of everything.

I spent the rest of the day working on the web site for a client of Liquid's. And listening to White Stripes new album. I like it!

Another crappy night on the airbed, oh well i'm sure we will get used to it.

Meri and Jo and Barry came over at 11am so that Jo could collect the cupboards and table, Meri said she would have to TV and will pay the money into our account when she can - fantastic that means it's all gone!

We said we will drop the TV off on Sunday so that we can still watch it over the weekend, otherwise it would mean we have to have a conversation - new concept. Did manage to watch Doctor Doolittle! one of my favourite films.

Mum phoned to tell me all had gone well with the operation and was now home which was a relief.


Saturday 19th April 2003 Katikati

Spent the day sorting out some more of the house. We ended up posting some boxes of rubbish back to the UK. Makes no sense to me but apparently we will need it all when we get home!

Sarena went into town in the afternoon, so I sneaked down the shops in Katikati and bought her a couple of Easter eggs, wrapped them up in plastic bags, and hid them in the garden.

Finished the web site in the evening.

Went down the Post Office to send our parcels and my picture back home that once again pissed Toby off no end as it cost $290 so that means he will be in yet another grumpy mood for the whole day and sit in the spare room doing his Liquid work. I went into Tauranga to get all our medical supplies and a little bit of food, just a salad in fact. Didn't want to spend anything as i new it would just make him worse but it all came to another $200 just for plasters and insects stuff etc....

Had a another quiet evening in watching the TV on our airbeds, drinking Milo and constantly putting drops in my eyes.


Sunday 20th April 2003 Katikati

Messed around on the computer i the morning whilst Sarena hunted around the garden for her easter eggs. It was poring with rain too and she kept popping back into the house soaking wet and asking for more clues. I was beginning to think that maybe a possum had run off with the eggs, So I ended up getting wet too just to check the eggs where still there... they where. Sarena so found them after a big clue.

Spent the rest of the day cleaning the house and packing everything that we are taking with us around the South Island. Far too much. there is no way we are going to be able to sleep in the car as well as all the stuff we have.

It rained all day so we pretty much stayed in and camped out on the living room floor.

Toby spent the day trying to finish the web site whilst i started cleaning, oh why are ovens so awful to clean? Toby started helping in the afternoon whilst i tried to make some sort of curry for dinner using the now defrosted meat we had - turned out alright but an never buying cheap beef again. I did manage time to watch some of the Easter TV stuff, all of it for the kids which was great. Now we have really been strict on chucking things out but seem to still have too much crap, don't think we will be sleeping in the back of Bertie anymore what with the food boxes, quilt, pillows, backpacks, etc. Watched a brilliant Steven Spielberg 2 part film thing before hitting the airbeds again - god they are so uncomfortable!

Monday 21st April 2003 Taupo

We left the house today. Took a good few hours to pack everything into the car. It was still pouring with rain so we ended up backing the car into Freda's garage and loading it up from their. We popped the TV round to Meri and Barry who then supplied us with yet more homemade pickles.Then said our goodbyes to Freda. She was very sad to see us go and gave us a tape that she made, with a little message from her and a collection of Maori music to remind us of New Zealand. We actually managed to get away by 10:30 and just 5 minutes out of Katikati the rain cleared up and we had a great drive down to lake Taupo to meet up with Phil and Liz who are having a bit of a holiday down there.

We met them in the pub as soon as we got there. (good start). and stayed there most of the day to watch the rugby. Liz's parents where also in town so we all went our for a meal in the evening which Phil offered to pay for. We couldn't let him do that.

Spent the night sleeping on a bed. loverley.

Well today is the day!!!! we got up early and finished packing all our stuff, the weather was blinkin awful and had flooded everywhere. We went and dropped the TV over the Meri and Barry and said our goodbyes with lots of hugs and kisses, also dropped in the kettle for Lesley. Bertie was packed to the hilt with everything so it looks like we will be using the tent after all, i just hope the retched rain stops soon. Freda gave us lots of hugs and was really sad to see us go, said we were the best tenants she had ever had, can't say i'm surprised, we are pretty darned great! Well we said goodbye to the house and got on the road about 10.30am and drove straight to Lake Taupo to meet up with Phil and Liz. They were on holiday for a week and were staying in Liz's parents holiday home near the lake for a few days and asked if we wanted to come and play with them for a couple of day, how nice is that. We met them in a pub and then stayed there all afternoon drinking and watching some Rugby. Liz left early to meet up with her mum and dad to have a good ole yarn, they were also staying that night in the holiday house. Us 3 went back later that evening and sat by the fire for an hour having a chat with Liz's parents whom were really nice.

Phil ordered a taxi to a lovely restaurant in town which did the most delicious food and wine but was quite pricey which wasn't usually a problem when we had money coming in but we now had to be really careful, mind you it was worth every penny. Phil paid for us all which was very very kind, I hope he didn't feel obliged because he the knew the situation but we will take them out to dinner or pay them back, i'll just feel really guilty if we didn't.

The parents went home after dinner and we went onto a pub for a cracking couple of games of table football and a pint then caught a taxi home. I was really excited because i was sleeping in a bed again and could wait to get in it.

Tuesday 22nd April 2003 Taupo

Woke up feeling quite stuffy so i went for a walk while the others slept in. It ended up being a bit of an 8Km hike, but made me feel a lot better. I got back just as they where having breakie.

Phil and Liz then took me down to the dam to watch it open. It's was pretty amazing to see the power of the water flood the gorge below in a matter of minutes. We took a bit of a walk around the gorge then headed to Woolworth to get some food for the evening.

In the afternoon we walked through Taupo and ended up at the crazy golf course. I started off very well but by the end of the course I was playing terribly. Phil and Liz thrashed us two. Phil then had a go at a hole in one competition where you have to hit a golf ball into a hole floating on a platform on the lake. I couldn't believe it would be possible to get a hole in one, but apparently 453 people have one the $5,000 prize and Phil gave it a really good go hitting the platform with most of his shots, very impressive. He draw a bit of a crowd. A few beers later we where back home and sarena cooked us all dinner. Had a very sociable evening drinking beer and playing cards.

Happy birthday mum!!!!!

Took me a while to get to sleep because my back is really bad again just lately but when i did go out i slipped into a warm coma for the whole night - bliss. Seems Phil had spent a lot of the night puking is guts up again, we seem to have that affect on him! We think it was probably the very rare Venison he had for dinner, maybe a bit too rare for his little tummy. Had some left over cold curry for b'fast which we had bought with us whilst Mr Jones went out for a really long walk. Parents had already gone home earlier. We all sat around for a couple of hours then decided to clean out the hotpool which was full of slime and leaves ready for a hot spa for the evening. Toby and the other 2 went out to watch a damn open or something whilst i caught up with my diary. I am beginning to really worry about my eyes now as they are still so dry, i can see it in the mirror when the light hits them they are all pitted.... i don't know if it's worth going to see Dr Ring on Tuedsay again as they are too dry for him to go any further, it is a worry.

We then went into Taupo for a game of crazy golf which i was very crap at... ......Liz and Phil did really well. It was then time for a beer and for Phil to have a go at the hole in one challenge on the sea front. This basically meant whacking the golf ball onto a little island out at sea, if you got a hole in one then you win $5,000. He did really well and hit the island quite a few times but didn't get the dosh.

I cooked dinner that evening then spent the evening was spent playing cards and drinking beer.

Wednesday 23rd April 2003 Taupo

Slept very very well, probably the best nights sleep in a long time. didn't get up until 9, and then got a call from Gary Wolfe in the UK who has arranged to stay at the some place as us in Fiji. Cool Gary and Sarah will only overlap with us for a couple of days but it will be great to see them again.

I cooked us up a fried breakfast and then Phil and Liz drove down to Tongario Park for a hike up Ruepaheu. We had done this last month so we hung around Taupo and gave Phil and Liz some time on there own. We are very good and gate crashing other peoples holidays and Honeymoons!

Had fish chips and vodka for tea - a great combo! and a hilarious game of cards and that guessing game where you get a subject pinned to your head and have to guess what it is. We all ended up fits and getting very confused over the simplest of things.

Had a wonderful nights sleep!

Toby cooked a wonderful b'fast and i let in the local cat who we had named thumbs due the enormous thumbs he had. He was also the most laid back and loving cat i have had the pleasure to meet. So he had lots of cuddles from Toby and I all morning whilst Phil and Liz went out for the day.

Had a great dinner of fish and chips then played cards all evening and that silly game, putting bits of paper on peoples foreheads and them guessing what is written on it. It was all very hysterical and got very messy, specially after the amount of vodka that was consumed.

Thursday 24th April 2003 Waikaromoana

Helped tidy the house in the morning and waved our goodbyes to Phil and Liz by 11. They where heading back to Auckland and we headed east to Napier. It was a fantastic sunny day and Napier was a perfect place to stop for some lunch and a restful doze on the beach. It didn't stay restful for long as Sarena thought it would be fun to through stones at me.

We decided to head inland and camp at a lake in the mountains. Waikromoana was a lot further than I thought and we ended up arriving in the dark. We put the tent up in the headlights of Bertie and sarena cooked a stir fry for dinner. We where just about to join our neighbours for an evening around their gas heater when it started to pour down so we spent the rest of a very wet and noisy night in the tent.

Well no more of this lazing around malarkey, it's time to hit the road again and do some proper camping. After our goodbyes we headed onto Napier which we had been through before but only quickly and in the rain. This time it was glorious sunshine which made the place look completely different. We parked up and went and had some lunch then sat on the beach for an hour soaking up the sun and throwing stones at Toby.

Toby suggested camping at Waikromoana up in the mountains next to a lake. He also said it would take about an hour and a halfs drive to get there........ 3 hours later and in the dark we arrived at this lake and pitched our tent up in the rain and freezing cold. I phoned mum to say hello and find out how her birthday went then i cooked us a stir fry and went to bed.

Friday 25th April 2003 Wairpo Bay

Woke up to a soaking wet morning although there where breaks in the clouds. I hung the tent on the washing line at the campsite and we had a very relaxed breakfast sitting on the edge of the lake and chatting to fellow campers.

By 10 we where back on the road again and headed towards Gisborne. We stopped off at a few beautiful bays around the lake, we where tempted to do some walks but in the end favoured getting to Gisborne in time for lunch. By lunch time the clouds had nearly all disappeared. This was our second visit to Gisborne its amazing what a difference the sun makes. It is actually a pretty nice town, although we only stopped for a bit of lunch and a walk around it had a really nice feel to it. A bit Mediterranean even. We decided to head up the east coast to Te Puia springs as the idea of a hot soak sounded very exciting. We got there by 3 to find the springs situated in an uninviting motel. So we deiced to head to the coast and ended up at Wikaroa Bay. Again there where no campsites their but the Lonely planet said there was a backpackers in town. So Sarena suggested that they may let us camp.

Finding the backpackers ended up being a bit of an adventure. the road turned into a gravel track then a pebbled beach until it ended up stopping at a river. It didn't look like we where heading in the right direction, but I thought it would be fun to carry on. So I engaged the 4 wheel drive whilst sarena popped out to check the depth of the river. I ended up driving through quite easily but left sarena on the other side. In her attempt to get across she sunk in some quick sand up to her knees and I had to reverse back across the river to pick her up. I wouldn't let her back in the car so made her hang on to the back whilst I took her across the river. By this time a battered old 4wd drive came by loaded with typical looking backpackers so I assumed we where on the same track and followed him up some steep muddy hills. The back packers was actually a remote lodge in the middle of nowhere. It was full but Jimmy the owner said it would be fine for us to camp on the land and showed us the perfect spot overlooking the bay. I set up the tent while sarena went to Jimmy and Anne's house for a cup of coffee and arranged to take some of their horses out for a ride in the morning.

It got pretty chilly pretty quickly so after cooking some pasta on the gas stove and swatting a few mossies that had found there way into the tent we wrapped up and settled down for a few games of cards before attempting to sleep.

I didn't get a wink of sleep all night thanks to the uncomfortable airbed, the cold and the rain. We did however have a lovely b'fast sitting in the sun on a wooden veranda overlooking the lake whilst chatting to a lovely couple.

After packing up the tent we hit the road about 10am and headed towards Gisborne. We were tempted to do some walking but the wind was bitter so thought better of it..... We stopped of in lovely Gisborne for some lunch then went onto Te Puia with the idea of having a lovely hot dip in the evening to warm our bones but when we arrived it didn't seem to have a campsite so we drove onto the next little town and parked up on the beach whilst thinking what we should do for the night.Toby was keen on setting up the tent on the beach but the amount of sand flys now covering the windscreen put us off the idea. I had read in the Lonely Planet that there was a backpackers in the vicinity so i said we should ask if we could camp in there garden or something. So we found the little road that took us to the bp and couldn't believe the road, it seems you couldn't get to the place unless you had 4wheel drive which we luckily did. The road ran along the coast and we had to drive over boulders and huge wide gullies filled with water, the last river was actually very big and we couldn't judge the depth so i offered to have a look. Well Toby said we should just go for it whilst i kept envisioning us trapped in the car and being swept off to sea which is where the river ran to. So i said i would walk across. Toby at this point just drove over with the ease of a sea snake leaving me trapped on the other side, so i went of to find a thin part part of the clay ridden river only to find myself stepping into clay quicksand up to my knees!!!! I had to drag myself onto the nearest boulder whilst Toby stood watching for the other side as dry as a bone..........So he reversed back and wouldn't let me back in Bertie so i had to hold onto the back for dear life whilst he traversed the river again and make his way up the mountain to find this elusive place. On the way we were followed by horses that seemed to roam the place freely. We did come across a man called Jimmy who was driving a group of people up to the house as they had to abandon the car the other side of the river. He told us to follow him up the track then showed us a place to camp for the night and asked us up for a coffee at the house. We couldn't get the car up the muddy slope even after putting planks of wood under the wheels so we gave up and parked up down in another part whilst setting the tent up on this lovely grassy veranda over looking the sea. I went up to the house following a track through the woods past a pen housing a pig and 2 large ducks. The house was set in the middle of the forest surrounded by vegetables and was completely self sufficient. They had an outside long drop toilet and a generator for electricity, how fantastic! The Lodge that was built next door for backpackers was full for the night which is why we were camping but we didn't mind in the least. The other travelers came up for a coffee and joined me in the kitchen with Anne who lived there for half an hour having a chat and getting warm from the heat of the aga. Toby popped up a little later and the others went back to the lodge whilst we carried on chatting to Anne who was extremely nice and just made you feel so welcome and at home. We arranged to go horse riding the next day on a couple of her 14 horses that roamed freely around the area. We then went back to the tent and cooked some pasta in the dark and went to bed. Didn't sleep a wink once again...


Saturday 26th April 2003 Hicks Bay

Woke up to a stunning view across the bay from the hill top we had camped on. Actually got a good nights sleep too. The sky was clear and the day heated up very quickly. We packed all our stuff up and headed up to the lodge to find out about taking some of the horses for a ride along the beach. No problem. We went with Anne the owner of the lodge to round up the horses. Gave them a quick grooming and saddled them up. Apparently I had the frisky horse, but I felt very sorry for him as he lugged me up and some pretty steep hills. They where very healthy and well trained horses and didn't mind taking across some tricky terrains and gushing streams. Only one estuary out across the beach caused a slight hurdle for them. but a firm kick and my horse waded across. We then had a bit of a trot and I struggled to get my rhythm so ended up just bouncing around. Once we got onto harder sand we had a bit of a canter which was a bit smoother although my horse had a tendency to shy sideways. It was great fun, but didn't take very long for some unfamiliar muscles to start aching. Sarena did very well as this was her first canter and I think she looked more comfortable on a horse than I did. 2 hours was definitely long enough for us two though. So we took the horses back to the lodge hosed them down and headed on our way to the top of the east cape.

We ended up at a beach side campsite at a place called hicks bay. It was pretty quiet at the campsite so after a walk along the beach and a cup of coffee and I was ready for bed.

I got up at 6ish and watched the sun come up over the sea and listening to all the birds in the trees - wonderful. We then packed up the tent and headed up to the house and for a 2 hr horse trek. We first went and helped to catch the horses which were stood on the side of the hill over looking the sea and stunning coastline, absolutely stunning. I had a very easy going if not rather large horse whilst Toby had a frisky chestnut horse. Anne also owned this huge ginormous horse who followed us back to the house, he had cross of something else which eludes me now but looked a little like a shire horse and was a beauty. Anyway we were saddled up and lifted up onto our rides, we were being taken out by a young girl called Sam who was a really good rider. Well we rode out all along the coast line and onto the beach where we went for a trot and a canter, something i had never done before. Toby and done horse riding when he was a kid so i thought he would be really good at it but when we started trotting he was all over the place! I tried doing it like Sam did and found a lot more comfortable. We then went for a canter and i absolutely loved it, i just grabbed the main and stood up on the feet things and belted along the sand.

It was then time to take the horses back to base which meant they went a lot faster - not stupid are they...

We had a quick coffee and said our goodbyes then hit the road again to HIcks bay to a really quiet campsite and an early night.

Sunday 27th April 2003 Whakatane

Another chilly but perfectly clear morning. We didn't have far to travel to get to Whakatane, so we continued west along the pacific highway and got great views of white island in the distance. By 1 we had arrived in Whakatane and set up our lonely tent in a deserted camp site. The weather forecast claims tomorrow will be the same so I booked us on a trip to White Island, and active volcano 60 km out at sea. We had a very civilised afternoon, checked our emails and went to the cinema top watch Dreamcatcher, which wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

Sarena cooked a stir fry for dinner and we wrapped ourselves up in the cold tent by 9.

What a surprise, another night without sleep..

I got up really early and headed of to the beach for a walk leaving Toby in bed, i only got half way when i heard little footsteps behind me, i turned around and saw little Jones running up behind me with a big grin on his face. So we had a walk along the beach together, how romantic.

We packed up once again and drove to Whakatane as we fancied going to see white island. So after setting up the tent in a campsite just outside the town centre Toby phoned up and booked us 2 places of the boat out the next morning. We both then went into town and went to the cinema to watch Dreamcatcher which wasn't as bad as i had heard, mind you a couple did walk out only 15mins into the film. We then went back to the campsite and had a stir fry for dinner and went to bed.

Monday 28th April 2003 Katikati

Up nice and early. Another beautiful clear day, perfect for a boat ride out to White Island... or so we thought. The boat was very smart and there where at least 20 other passengers taking the trip out to the active marine volcano. The sea was very calm but the closer we got to the island the more unsettled the ocean became. It was too rough to take a dinghy to the normal landing place on the island. and the cove around the corner was also too rough. So the Skipper decided to wait until midday on the calm north side of the island and try the bay again. By midday it was still just as rough but the tide was higher up the beach so 4 people at a time where loaded onto the dinghy and dropped of on the edge of the volcano crater. It was all done very well considering the size of the swell with only a few wet bodies and twisted ankles as people leapt from the front of the dinghy and onto the volcanic rocks of the beach.

The wait was worthwhile. It was amazing to think that we where walking around the crater of a live volcano, even though it is not very active at the moment it was fascinating to explore the make up of the island which just seems to be a huge pile of ash and sulphur as everything is very soft and yellow! The main crater was very impressive it was filled with the greenest water and surrounded by hissing steam vents that sent erie wisps of clouds across the waters surface. Even the abandoned Sulphur mining factory at a haunted feel about it.

In the end we spent 2 hours on the island before being loaded back onto the boat and heading back to Whakatane. As a bonus we came across a small pod of 6 or so common dolphins which swam by the boat for a few minutes before finding something more interesting to do. We arrived back at port by 5 pm, 3 hours later than planned. Phoned Meri to say we will be a little late and bombed west towards Katikati for a nice warm house and soft bed for the nice.

Meri had cooked us dinner when we got to her house, and made poor Barry wait for our arrival before he could eat. She then did all our washing for us and supplied us with some more jars of pickles to take with us on our next journey.

Woke up to another stunning morning so after a quick b'fast we went off to the meet up point to pay and were told to go and start boarding the boat. So we wandered over to the water and found ourselves on a beautiful new boat ready for our journey to White Island. We were given some soup and bread an hour into the journey, about 1hr and 20mins later we were bouncing around the island trying to find somewhere to land as the water had now got really rough and we couldn't use the usual route onto the island. It was actually so rough we had to sail over to the North side of the island and park up for a couple of hours in the calmer water and wait for the wind to die down a bit. Luckily for us it did so we went back to another cove, we still couldn't use the first and preferred point of exit because the waves were still to big. We clambered onto a powered dingy, 4 at a time and got deposited onto some rocks where we had to wait for everyone else. It was a bit tricky and most of us got a little wet apart from Toby ( of course) once we were all ashore we had a tour of the large crater and steam vents scattered on the rocky island. It was an amazing place and felt like you were on the moon. The tour guide was very good and gave us a really interesting couple of hours ending up in the old factory that was once worked by men over a hundred years ago mining for sulphur, these poor buggers had to live on the island for months at a time.

We then got a dingy back to the boat which meant getting wet again, of course i got covered in a wave whilst Toby got away without a drop of seawater touching his boots....

After a quick lunch we motored back into Whakatane seeing a few common dolphins on the way. We got back to shore at 5pm instead of the 2.20pm so had to phone Meri and tell her we would be late over. Toby had arranged for us to stay at her house for the night so that we could head off to Auckland the next day. We arrived at about 7.20pm feeling very tired, Meri had cooked a lovely dinner for us all and did all our washing whilst vegging out in front of the TV. God she is such a super star, she is definitely my suriget mother. She even supplied us with some more homemade pickle and some fluffy towels for a hot shower.

Tuesday 29th April 2003 Auckland

Managed to get away from Meri and Barry's just before 9 and headed to Auckland via the coast road. It made a bit of a change than the well trodden SH2 but we found that we where cutting it a bit fine to make Sarena's eye appointment by 12 so ended up having to cut across some country side to rejoin New Zealands only motorway.

The eye appointment was a lot more positive than previous check-ups. Sarena's eyes have improved enough for Dr Ring to make a decision about what to do next. He now wants to cut sarena's eyeballs to relieve some tension and and cause her eyes to change shape and eradicate her astigmatisms. Sounds scary but Dr Ring assures us that this is a more effective method than attempting some laser treatment. Sarena looked very nervous again but agreed to go ahead with the operation. This now means that we will need to stay in Auckland until at least Sunday. Lets hope there are some decent campsites nearby.

After the checkup we headed over to Piha on the west coats of Auckland. It is amazing how quickly the scenery changes as we left the built up suburbs of Auckland and headed to the tropical coast of Piha. We spent the rest of the day hanging on the beach with all the surfer dudes. We then headed back towards Auckland as we are staying the night with Phil and Liz again. On the way back we stopped off at a Jet wash and blasted some of the mud off Bertie Then got to Phil and Liz's house to find Liz a bit under the weather. Its very good for them to put us up so I offered to cook them a Chili for dinner and left Sarena to actually cook it! I had intended to do it, but Sarena pushed in and took over before I had chopped the first onion.

Slept like a log for the first time in bloody ages, after b'fast we said goodbye to Meri as she had to get to work then we packed up and headed off to Auckland for my eye appointment. We took the coast road up this time for a change and i was really surprised at how wonderful the area was leading right up to the edge of the City. Dr Ring was more positive this time after my consultation and said my left eye was not so dry but still not as wet as it should be. He also said he would like me in the next day so he could cut my eye (not laser) it seems i now have a regular astigmatism instead of a cockarse one i had before and could now be rectified by cutting a 2mm cut at the top and bottom of my eye bit to make my eyeball a round shape instead of the rugby shape in was now......... this was good news as it was positive but it meant having to go through it al again. I was to only have 1 eye done at a time, i was having the other one done on Friday which meant having to set back the ferry journey by a couple of days. We found a really good campsite in the City to stay in for the rest of the week which wasn't far away from the eye place which was handy. We then phoned up Phil and asked if we could stay for that night as we had previously asked the day before leaving a message on his mobile phone thinking we would only be in Auckland for 1 night.

Phil and Liz weren't home till late so we headed off to Piha just outside Auckland on the West coast, i was shocked at how beautiful the area was, seeing as once again we weren't far from the City. It was full of surfy doody type of boys who spoke a completely different language, god i hate it. Don't know why but have always hated that 'radical' kind of talking, must be getting old. We went for a walk on the beach and read our books for a little while and ate cheese burgers from a little shack. It was soon time to drive back into town over to Phil and LIzzes house, but not before finding a huge car wash place and hosing down a rather filthy Bertie. A mate of Phils was interested in buying Bertie and was popping over later that evening.

Toby suggested we cooked a chili for dinner for them both so after a quick shop at Pak n save we went to there house to be greeted by Lizz who wasn't feeling very well and had been sick all day. She made us feel at home and insisted we stay for the rest of the week, said she wouldn't hear of us staying at the campsite - how nice is that but i felt very very cheeky and said we would stay at the campsite, but she would really like us to stay so we very graciously accepted. Toby's idea of making the chili was chopping the onion then leaving the rest to me! Phil got home from football training at about 8.20pm to a wonderful chili and some house guests who were now staying for the whole week instead of one night!

Watched Cold Feet and drank coffee for the rest of the evening then went to bed

Wednesday 30th April 2003 Auckland

Spent the morning cleaning out the car, which I had managed to spill sugar all over the back, and catching up on my diary.

Managed to find yet another different route into Auckland and the Eye Institute, but got there in good time. They took Sarena into the operating theatre almost as soon as we got there, and she was out again in a 'blink of an eye' ;)

Sarena seemed a lot less distressed this time. The operation this time was around the cornea and not directly in front of her vision so I guess it is not as traumatic. We headed back to Phil and Liz's and prepared some Wedges to soak up the last of Yesterdays Chili.

Sarena took a few sneaky looks out of the side of her eye patch and seemed very pleased at who much clearer her sight is already.

Had a lie in for a change and didn't get up till 8.30am then just sat around for the day enjoying the comfort of a house again, i also caught up with the diary which was a week behind. We went into town at about 2.30 for my eye appointment - very scared again.

Well it went really very well and not as bad as having the laser surgery, thank goodness. it was all over in about 20mins and i was off home again with a lovely big eye patch on. We stopped off at Pak n Save to get a few bits and which was quite funny as i couldn't see a lot we then went home and we cooked some spicy wedges to go with the left over chili for everyone. Did take some pain killers before going to bed just incase it started to hurt in the night but was surprised at how much it didn't hurt.



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