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January - March 2009

As always, we've tried to keep ourselves as busy as possible outside of work; especially during the remaining New Zealand summer months when the sporting opportunities are much greater.

First and foremost, cricket. Andy's team, Taita VIC Cycles Red (known also as the Taita TAB team) managed to win their grade at the first time of asking. The division was particularly varied in standard with some teams turning up drunk and getting progressively more drunk. Some of the teams were pretty decent though, and to emerge at the top of the table was quite an achievement. See this page for more details.

Jenny took up a fitness routine involving a lot of swimming and cycling in order to do some ocean swimming competitions and by the end of the summer, a triathlon. Over the course of the summer, Jenny built up some skill and speed in open water swimming, culminating in a good performance in the Eastbourne Pier-to-Pier swim. In March, Jenny took part in the "Waikanathlon" - more simply known as the Waikanae Triathlon. A great performance in the swim meant that by the start of the cycling leg, Jenny was in the top twenty. Unfortunately, Jenny had a major disadvantage in the cycle as every competitor except one other had road bikes whilst Jenny was using a mountain bike. So, from the top 20 by the time the run began, Jenny was in the last twenty. A few places were gained during the run, but the real lessons were learned in the cycle. Next time, a much better result is expected!

Outside of sporting achievements, we have tried - as always - to get out of the house and see a bit of the country. Whilst we didn't do as much as we'd have liked to in that time, we did manage to get up to Otaki Forks - a scenic reserve at the confluence of a couple of rivers at the base of the Tararua Ranges. It was a pretty cold day, though the water did look incredibly inviting and it may be ripe for a return visit on a hot day next Summer.

Another big event that we attended was the Wellington International Rugby Sevens event. This is one of the biggest events on the calendar in Wellington as teams from around the world assemble in Wellington to take on each other at rugby sevens - a quick, exciting version of rugby where games only last 15 minutes. The event takes place over two full days at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington. Other similar events are played all over the world - Adelaide, South Africa and even the USA. Its usually an event where the 18-30 year olds in Wellington, and indeed the rest of New Zealand assemble and get terribly drunk whilst being vaguely entertained by the rugby on offer. It started off exciting as the first match we saw was won by Wales in a surprising victory over the favourites New Zealand. Ultimately, the final was won in another surprise by England, again over New Zealand.

Looking for an amusing caption? Look elsewhere. Messam? He's my boy!
Top Left: The river at Otaki Forks up in the Tararua Ranges up on the Kapiti Coast. We tried to walk up the river to some old abandoned mill workings, but the path had been completely washed away. Pleasant spot, though.
Top Right: From the Paekakariki Hill Road on the Kapiti Coast. A brilliant spot for photography at sunset. You can quite often see the South Island from at the Hill Road summit, but it was too hazy on this occasion to make it out. Off to the right of this photo, you can always spy the town of Paraparaumu and Kapiti Island.
Right: Petone beach and pier at sunset.
Bottom Left: A photo of the pitch at the start of a game at the Wellington Rugby Sevens event.
Bottom Right: Andy at the Wellington Sevens; kind of still in costume.
I prefer Callum Bruce