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Autumn/Winter 2007

You may have noticed a lack of updates to the website since February (until now, June). I'd like to say that this was because we've been very busy doing exciting things, but really we've both been very busy at work and haven't had as much time to get out and go places as we would have liked. Even so, we have been up to bits and pieces.

Firstly, sport. Andy has been playing cricket as much as possible. Since February, the outdoor season has ended and the indoor season has begun. In the last match of the outdoor season on the first team pitch at Taita playing against Naenae, Andy earned the bowling figures of 19 - 3 - 49 - 5. Four wickets were caught and the fifth was Lbw. All the wickets were top order batsmen, and he also missed out on more wickets due to 3 dropped catches and a missed stumping!! Even so, having only bowled one over during the rest of the season and having only taken one league wicket in the UK, Andy was pretty chuffed with this result! Andy also won the "Captain's Player Award" at the end of season dinner. The bad news was, however, that during the 19 consecutive overs bowled in that last game, Andy picked up a knee injury which saw him undergo a knee operation to repair torn cartilage in June. This also ruled him out of the start of the indoor cricket season.

During the same period, Jenny has taken up playing netball, partly due to back injury problems suffered whilst playing cricket ruling her out of playing cricket for the second half of the summer. Jenny plays for St. Mary's Old Girls (aka SMOG) in either Goal Defence or Goal Keeper positions. Jenny's height gives her some natural advantages over some other players. Jenny has also been training rigorously for the Wellington Half Marathon at the end of June which has seen her out for a run most nights of the week.

Other than this, sporting achievements have been few and far between.

In other news, we bought ourselves a pet at the beginning of the year. We bought a pair of little lovebirds - that we named after our favourite cricketers of all time - Gayle (Jenny's favourite) and Ambrose (Andy's favourite).

Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan Gayle and Ambrose, our little lovebirds. They made a lot of noise for ones so small, certainly compared to Lara who is significantly bigger but a lot more quiet.

Unfortunately, we turned out to be allergic to the little squawkers and so we reluctantly had to take them back to the store. We did not give up on getting ourselves a little pet though and spent a month or so researching parrots on the internet, attempting to find out what the least dusty and most quiet parrots are. Eventually, we settled on a type of little parrot called a Maroon Bellied Conure. These little parrots are about the smallest proper parrot you can find. We called her Lara (after Brian Lara; which seemed suitable considering the little maroon patch on her belly, the colour of the West Indian one-day kit!). Lara is very quiet and generally well behaved - although she does peck and bite if you get too close and she has been grumpy of late as she has been moulting.

Heath Davis ate my Hamster Can you hear me Doctor Wu?
Down in the tube station at midnight Our little Conure Lara in various poses. Firstly eating from her seed tray, secondly on her playgym and finally emerging from her towel after a bath.

So, what else have we been up to?

Well, early in the year Jenny's parents visited from the UK and travelled around the North of South Island for a few days with Jenny; taking in some of the Marlborough Vineyards and walking a day of the Queen Charlotte Track.

The Queen Charlotte Track around the Marlborough Sounds. In the left picture, Jenny's parents lean on the sign at the start of the walk. To the right, a view from along the track.

We've since been on a couple of short excursions out of Wellingtons. Firstly, we went White Water Rafting just outside of Taihape near the central plateau of the North Island. This was at the River Valley Lodge, a significant complex catering for adventure sports of various types. On the weekend that we went, there was a reunion for some old river guides going on and a visiting Kiwi Experience bus which meant it was totally packed out. This made for an exciting and fun filled weekend. The rafting was great fun, though slightly uncomfortable for Andy's injured knee.

After this, we went on a day trip to the Southern most tip of the North Island - Cape Palliser. It was a bizarre experience. The sun was shining almost the whole way there, but the last couple of kilometres to Cape Palliser was overcast and rainy. We didn't stick around for too long there, though we did find a nice washed up bit of wood which we used to make a little playgym for Lara. On the way back to Wellington, we stopped off at the little village of Lake Ferry from where a Ferry used to run from the Wairarapa to Wellington before the Rimutaka tunnel was built. Here was had a nice lunch overlooking Lake Wairarapa. We then drove the scenic way home, round the circumference of the lake and back to Wellington.

Don't get involved Give a little respect
A rainy day at Cape Palliser. You certainly couldn't see that far up the coast. The second picture is from the base of the lighthouse.

Apart from all that, we've been to several improvisational comedy nights in the City, saw a very disappointing Dylan Moran show and have spent a few evenings being cold in our non-insulated, non-centrally heated house watching test cricket live from England. Oh, and a developing interest in that website Facebook.

Watch this kinda space for more updates!