Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year

While many people talk of how bad 2016 was in political and celebrity death terms, for me it was a year of illness and pain. Taking into account that I'd hardly been sick the previous 20 years, it hit me harder than it should. So I'm hoping that 2017 is better, and what better way to start it than to be in one of my favourite places, with Caroline, my absolute soul mate.

The SS Earnshaw in front of Walter's Peak, Queenstown, New Zealand

New year is a time for resolutions, and all I intend is to be true to myself. Most of my friends will be celebrating their New Year after me, as New Zealand is one of the first. I wish you all a 2017 that is kind to you.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Whole Lotta Roadtrip

So far, there has been a lot of driving, a lot of stopping, a lot of wows, a lot of walking, a lot of seeing and a lot of beauty. We traveled down the west coast from Greymouth to Haast via glaciers, and then cut inland following the Haast river until we reached Arrowtown, where we are staying for the next few days. Here's a few shots of the places that have wowed me.

Driftwood on the beach near Haast

Roaring Billy Falls

Snow peaked mountains viewed from Pleasant Flat

How blue is that water? The Blue Pools

Caroline at the Blue Pools

Lake Hawea

Roaring Meg
To sum up, Caroline and I are exhausted physically, but on an amazing high from the experience so far!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


I was very moved by a quote I saw the other day by the Czech novelist, Franz Kafka:

Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who has the ability to see beauty never grows old.

With that in mind, I intend to think in terms of beauty, and in my own Kafkaesque way, stay young. I am currently in the South Island of New Zealand with Caroline in search of the beautiful. We have hired a car and are driving around the South Island. Today we picked up the car from Christchurch Airport and drove across Arthur's Pass to the west of the Island, finishing in Greymouth. Here are some things I found beautiful...
Lush Greens of the Tussocklands

A carpet of purple lupins

Lake Coleridge

Lupin on the banks of the an unknown river near Lake Pearson

Glaciers in the background of the Waimakariri River

Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so I don't expect everyone to find all the things beautiful which I do. But even a small piece of beauty can gladden the heart, and roll off the years.