well, firstly, my rather sincere, heartfelt and earnest apologies to a number of people for the delay in putting up some pictures from Mum & Dad's trip to New Zealand. i know that i promised to quite a while; i just have not had the chance to sit down and give them a decent write-up. it has also taken quite a bit of time to go through some 50% of the 9GB (!) of pictures Dad alone brought back; i have yet to dare to look at the ones Mum has!
anyway, on with the pics and the comments, or observations, i guess! a great hobby of my father is the apparent quasi-stalking of people. fanatical or disturbed readers of my site may recall the infamous Stalking Barrie update from December 2007, where my Dad took a number of pictures of this fine gent for me to post here. well, being on holiday in New Zealand to see Gillian, Grant, Katie and Daniel didn't stop him from stalking them a little bit too, as these pictures reveal....
this is at a race track, where Mum & Dad went ahead to before the fine Farnworth family. i am sure there was some sort of reason given for them going off ahead of them, but as we see and kind of know, the actual reason seems to have been to sit and wait to capture them on camera arriving, no matter how many hours my Dad had to sit on a roof and wait for the perfect shot.
in his defence, and i do with reluctance defend his "stalking" habits as a bit of good fun, he did get some rather nice 'surprise' real life images of them! as you can see, Grant is well aware of cameras being focused on him, so he has a bit of a George Clooney / Michael Jackson without the face-mask disguise on the go.
and speaking of Grant, it's his birthday in May. one wouldn't wish to spoil any birthday surprises, but it seems that Mum and Gillian spent a little bit of time weighing up a possible birthday gift for him.
it's a very cute little lamb, and i am sure if they got this for him, Grant would have hours of fun watching the little thing chew grass in the garden. and he might even take it for walks. and, of course, [TEXT OBSCURED ON LEGAL ADVICE] probably wouldn't occur to him, but you never know.
speaking of something which rhymes with something that Grant might do with a sheep, here's the elegance and grace of dining out in New Zealand. i am no expert on the subject, but looking at the size of those glasses, i guess they take their wine rather seriously over there!
no Katie and Daniel in that picture - it's entirely possible that they were the ones taking the photographs, though. who knows? perhaps they have been inspired by James' fine worth as a lensman!
as nice as it is that my Dad gets to stalk people in a "friendly" way and eat at fine restaurants, the main purpose of his trip to New Zealand was of course to see Katie and Daniel. the dear cousins of James and Lyla are not as lucky as they are to see Grandad so often, and so Katie and Daniel made sure that they made the most of the time they had.
my Dad's dream is to one day have all of his grandchildren all together. this would be a dream well worth pursuing, i think it's something that we would all love! donations of a strictly financial nature to make this happen would be gladly received!
still, it's not as bad as it could be. with all this new-fangled technology we at least get to speak and see pictures on a frequent basis. when we moved to Australia back in the 80s, all that was available was the occasional late night, expensive phone call!
on that note, here's some fine pics of the two of them! first off, Katie and Daniel enjoying a fine spot of lunch out in the garden!
that looks like a rather nice spread indeed! it's very handy that they have a slide close by too - one never knows when one shall need the feel for a bit of a slide after a bite of a sandwich or a spoonful of whatever is in those bowls!
and on that note, here's Daniel about to have a go down that slide. it rather looks like his ace looking Winnie the Pooh ball is going to be going with him - i guess he gets the same class ideas that James does from time to time!
here's Katie, enjoying some refreshments on a pleasant summer afternoon in New Zealand. well, i guess by now you know she's in New Zealand, but i thought it was worth mentioning again.
i love how she is innocently having the lemonade with two pints of ale nearby whilst the camera is out! she does have a touch of her mothers' naughty look about her, so i dare say she will be supping a pint when the camera was put away. or, rather, she would have a sup of the pint if the camera was ever put away.....
...which it wasn't ever, apparently. Dad must have been thrilled to see that McDonalds have spread as far as New Zealand, and what better place to try and do some more 'stalking' pictures? Katie and Daniel seem to have got a bit wise to this hobby, and have wisely taken shelter behind a most excellent looking Bill & Ben machine toy thing!
i wonder if one can buy Root Beer to go with their tasty meal in a McDonalds in New Zealand? other than the fact that the McDonalds here does not do their ace bacon & cheese burger, they also have dropped this fine beverage from the menu for us in South Africa too. a great shame.
anyway, here's a shot of Katie and Daniel playing with their toys in the garden. each others' toys, that is.
well, i think that they are playing with each others' toys, although that could me just being old fashioned. i have no doubt that it would seem like a good idea to Gillian to get Katie a motorbike, and i dare say that Grant would consider it a great idea to get Daniel a make-up table and accessories, as he probably wanted one as a child and never got one!
and finally, Mum and Dad on a ferry in Auckland. Dad quite likes the sea life - NOT in the "hello sailors!" sense that some, like my good friend Spiros, take to, but just being out on the vast water the world has to offer.
so, there we have it. Auckland in particular and New Zealand in general really look like amazing, beautiful places. with some good fortune we shall get over there ourselves one day to see the place and our dear family there!
righty-ho, with several thousand more pictures sat at Mum & Dad, there may be space and time for yet more images at a later date! until then, hope you have enjoyed the above!!!
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!