Thursday 31 January 2013

Tuesday Night Cycling Race

Over the summer the Kapiti Cycling Club hold a 40 km [25 mile] handicapped race on Tuesdays at 6:00 with the slower rides starting ahead of the faster riders.

Lea came along for the first time to see me compete and she is quite a hand with the camera.

Through her photos I will give a brief account of my race.

It was a warm sunny evening Tuesday when I arrived at the starting point of the weekly 40 km race.

The first preparation was to check that my tyres were fully inflated.

After ensuring I had helmet and gloves on and water bottle I set off for a short warm up.

I quickly registered and found I was in the third fastest group though I felt I should be in the second fastest. I had not raced for 6 weeks so it was suggested I take the conservative approach.

At 6:20 I positioned myself at the starting line.

At 6:22 I was off.

After one lap of 4 I was into my work and was maintaining a steady pace and was feeling comfortable.

The pace increased considerably on the fourth and final lap with my top speed reaching 48 kph [30 miles]. Not bad since that speed was reached on the flat.

Approaching the finish line I had hit the front of my group only to have my wheel passed on the line.

I was extremely happy to complete the race in 64:21. More pleasing than the time was how strong I felt and how I had lead the group far more than my share.

Thank you Lea for your support and great camera work.

Can't wait until next Tuesday where I will join the next group up.

Wednesday 30 January 2013

Putting the young girl through her paces

As many of you know I am a fanatical, some say 'mad' runner. For the last 20 years I have been competing in what is regarded the hardest cross country race in New Zealand, the Vosseler Shield, held on Mt Victoria here in Wellington. I have managed to win my grade about 10 times in the last 13 years since becoming a Masters runner. What makes it particularly hard are the steep inclines and the race consists of 2 x 5km laps.

Since I annually compete in this race I have not had an opportunity to photograph the course. A few weeks ago with camera in hand I led Lea around one lap of the course. I won't give any detail about the comments she made as she experienced this challenging and demanding course.

Here goes! Wish me luck!

Glad to be up the first big hill

Some flat running through the Velodrome

Look at that sea view

Glance over your shoulder you're missing the good bits

Back on firm ground but will these hills ever end

Now for some views after the hard work

Wellington vistas to take in between breaths

Now my specialty...the downhills

Made it to the top so it's all down hill from here

Relax those arms

Showing some good form

Striding downhill towards the finish

Don't know what all the fuss is about

Lea insisted I owed her lunch after putting her through such a strenuous activity. The pie with gravy and hot chocolate at Cafe La Faire was really appreciated after taking on the Vosseler Shield course.

Lea has informed me that it is her very first and last time and is looking forward to seeing me suffer in May when I once again will take up the challenge and try and retain my title from my last time competing in 2011.

Friday 25 January 2013

Dunedin Beauty

While awaiting my photos of Mt Maunganui I thought I should do a post showing off some of the beautiful coastline of Dunedin. The photos were taken at Allans Beach.

As reported on a previous post Lea and I had a great time in Dunedin recently with my family. While we were there we enjoyed some sightseeing and here are some of the best shots.

We also visited Cadburys, the chocolate factory. Some of you would have seen these following photos so apologies for that.

How fetching

We also had a walk / run up Baldwin Street the steepest street in the world.

Lea and my dad

Once again please ignore the dates. Will need to get my youngest daughter, Alice to reset for me.

Friday 18 January 2013

Special Someone

Here is my poem / song, hot off the press, written for a very special lady!

New Beginnings

There's a place in my heart where you'll always belong
With you by my side I burst into song
My spirit's lighter when you're around
Joyful I am you I've found

I pinch myself it's hard to believe
My good fortune you've chosen me
Look forward to the future with you
As we start our lives anew

Exciting times lie ahead
New beginnings...future shared

You stick close by don't run away
If hurts resurface with me you stay
When my pain's almost too hard to bare
You tell me you love me and show you care


No doubt tough times for us await
Challenges may even appear too great
Though judgements made...harsh words from some
Together we'll meet them and overcome


Thank you, Lea for bringing joy to my life! You are a special woman and I'm a lucky guy!

Thank you everyone who commented on my birthday cake post. Will be away a few days on holiday with my girls so will be in touch next week, hopefully with some great photos.

Thursday 17 January 2013

What a clever boy I am

Last weekend I celebrated my 54th birthday by baking my own cake. I am so proud of myself as it was my first successful attempt and it was a winner.

You ladies out there and at the risk of upsetting some men, you domesticated males, will be aware of the cake baking process and I will not insult you by explaining in depth the mixing and preparing. Some of you might even be ho hum about this report but for me it was a momentous achievement.

It started as a basic chocolate cake.

However as it was to be my birthday cake and I was totally in charge I decided to make a densely chocolaty extravaganza. I know I'm talking it up but it was a work of art and finesse and quite labour intensive.

After the mixing I added 250g of broken up dark chocolate pieces into the mixture and baked in the oven.

After the 2 cake mixtures were baked and had cooled down I added chocolate icing to one and caramel to the other.

Bianca put my age on the cake with chocolate buttons.

To add to the decoration and to provide some variety and colour I put pink and white marshmallows around the outside.

All that was left now was to place the candles and light them. Lea in her wisdom decided there was an easier way to deal with the advancing years of the birthday boy.

Of course I had the honour of cutting the cake and serving to the expectant and excited recipients of my labour of love. We garnished it with cream!

The cake was a hit and as you can tell I am extremely pleased with myself and can't wait until the next birthday for another opportunity to show off my prowess in the kitchen.

Stay tuned for further birthday reports.

Monday 7 January 2013


People who know me well are aware that I sometimes live in the past. Memories often become clouded with the passing of time and often times gone by are remembered for the good times and not so good conveniently forgotten. Certainly that's how it works for me mostly though on this occasion the reverse applies.

On my recent visit to Dunedin I drove past the first house I lived in from when I was born until about 7 years old. On this visit memories came back of having naps with my mum during the day before I started school. Mum never kept well and was always tired. She battled with sickness all her life and weight problems. She lived on medication for her entire adult life until she died at the age of 52. Lea and I visited her grave while in Dunedin.

There were of course later happier memories though often I am haunted with the battles mum and dad had and how sad it made me feel to see them so frequently obviously unhappy living together.

My first home in Halfway Bush, Dunedin

Again ignore the date! Will be back soon with happier memories!

Friday 4 January 2013

New Beginnings

Lea and I have just come back from Dunedin in the South Island where I've been visiting my family.

With all the emotional turmoil over the last 6 months it was great to chill out with my dad, sister and her family. At times like the present you really appreciate having family around.

Lea and I spent time with my dad at Little Sisters of the Poor where he lives. We were treated to a lovely meal.

Dad flew back with us home to Wellington. He will be staying for a week as long as he behaves. I've been out with him playing pool the last 2 days and have my nose in front on the score card.

Here is some of the recent action!

Of course this pool is thirsty work!

Please ignore dates as camera is telling lies!