Sunday, December 02, 2007

You really can't beat Wellington on a good day

Met up with an old friend, Pippa, today when we all turned up at Houghton Bay Park for a picnic. A spectacular location surrounded by natives and with a long grass meadow looking down to the bay. Some sandwiches, football, kite flying and lots of sun (and sunscreen). It really is true; you can't beat Wellington on a good day.

Houghton Bay Park

Houghton Bay Park

Houghton Bay Park

This is the reason I moved here. Forget the fact that I can't always buy what I want straight away and that wages are stupidly low, my kids are having a great childhood and they don't even know it. I hope one day they'll look back and talk about the things we did as a family and recognise what a special place New Zealand is and what a terrific city Wellington is. Sadly, I'm sure they'll have to go overseas first to realise this fact.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Wellington Phoenix Vs LA Galaxy - 1st December 2007

A great night for football. Wellington turned on the weather today and David Beckham proved to be a real crowd puller.

Wellington Phoenix Vs LA Galaxy - 1st December 2007

There was lots of singing and a bit of shouting, but all in a pretty friendly game.

Wellington Phoenix Vs LA Galaxy - 1st December 2007

David Beckham delivered some amazing passes from across the field and he is clearly incredibly gifted.

Wellington Phoenix Vs LA Galaxy - 1st December 2007

The Phoenix defended well and in numbers and there was plenty of activity around the goal.

Wellington Phoenix Vs LA Galaxy - 1st December 2007

For some reason, the blokes seemed to enjoy the pre-match entertainment from Batucada.


Funny that.

Internet Banking

I rarely write about my work and I'm not going to now except to say that I'm now more involved in Internet Banking than I've ever been and I've recently been given a bit of authority to do some "stuff" in this space. I mention it now as I just had an awful on-line experience with my UK bank, RBS, and it does highlight just how far ahead we are down here, despite what people think.

The New Zealand model is particularly customer focused and there is a lot of thought that goes into how interactions with customers are handled. This is true right across personal face-to-face dealings through to remote/on-line channel interactions. This person had a lot to do with the shape of the internet banking platform where I am today and the papers that exist are full of customer friendly concepts.

Now today I needed to use my online banking on my UK account to make a transfer. I have never used it before, being happy with touch-tone phone banking which was all I needed to check balances. It was only launched after I left the UK in 2001 and was excitingly called Digital Banking. I had tried to register a few years back but had got nowhere and given up.

Phone Banking has a customer number which is conveniently your date of birth followed by two more numbers. Easy to remember. The PIN is a standard 4 digit code and I remember it well as it was a derivation of my old work extension that I had for 10 years. That is all I need to access my account by phone.

For Digital Banking I need a password to and I have never had one so I rang the Digital Banking Help Desk to ask them to assist me. I want to be clear that I do not blame the staff for any of the following but the people that don't think about the systems that they build.

"Welcome to RBS. Can I have your customer number?"
"Wow, a person, didn't expect that. My number is xxxxxx-xx"
"Can I have the third digit of your PIN?"
"Can I have the fourth digit of your PIN?
"Thank you. Who am I speaking to?"
"John Robson"
"And your address?"
"blah blah, Nelson" [my in-laws who still get my bank statements!]
"What can I do for you today?"
"I don't have a Digital Banking Password and I'd like to access my account online"
"I'm sorry, you need a password"
"Yes, I know, but I don't have one"
"Yes you do."
"I do?"
"What is it?"
"I don't know"
"Oh, how do you know I have one?"
"Because the system is asking for the second letter of it. Do you know the second letter?"
"I don't know any of it as I've never had one. Can you give me a clue?"
"Sorry, we can't tell you any of it as the system doesn't tell us"
"Oh, can you reset it and e-mail me a new one?"
"No. I can send you a new one in the post though"
"The what?"
"By mail"
"Oh. How long will that take?"
"It is sent out within 4 days so you'll have it by next weekend"
"To New Zealand?"
"Oh, I don't know, probably not"
"But I know you have my e-mail. I just need to make a one-off payment"
"A what?"
"Sorry, a bank transfer.
"Oh, yes I can do that for you"
"Really. OK, can we do that now?"
"Yes, what is your password?"
"Excuse me?"
"Your password. It's the same as your Digital Banking password"
"The same? You mean the same as the one I don't know?"
"Do you want to guess?"
"Like hangman?"
"Yes. What's the third letter?"
"Look. Isn't there a security question or anything else I can do to verify who I am? I've given you my customer number, my PIN and my address. I know where my account is registered, I know the balance, I know the statement number, I know when I opened the account, I know the account number, I have my cash card, my credit card, my expiry dates, I know everything about my account. Is there no other way to make a transfer?"
"Go on, guess the third letter"
"No. Try the fourth"
"No. How about the sixth"
"I'd better not. Just post it to me please"
"OK, what is your sort code?"
"Hang on, I'll just find my cheque book........xx-xx-xx"
"And your actual account number?"
"OK, that's done and an Activation Code will be sent out to you in 4 days"

Internet security is very important and I can understand the rules, but this must happen every single day and to rely on post in an age when people expect instant response is madness. I can't think of a single other on-line system where there is not an option to send your password to your registered e-mail address or to offer some form of instant help; maybe I expect to much........

Sunday, November 04, 2007

It's in the Genes

Been a bit of a cold and wet day and Little Miss R and I went over to my mothers new place and looked at old photos that are all now neatly boxed up and in albums. I look at both my girls and see a mixture of Mrs R and me in there in varying degrees. Despite being a Kiwi, Mrs R comes from an Italian background and her old family photos have that classic style that is undeniably Italian; slick backed hair, dark suits and moustaches, and that is just the women......

My side are classic English. I found some photos of my Grandmother, Great Grandmother and Great Great Grandmother (from my mothers side) and put one of Miss R against them. I can see an interesting generation thing with my Great Grandmother who has the same shape face and kind eyes as Miss R and is, in my opinion, was a very beautiful lady. It will be interesting to see how Miss R grows up; photos of my mother at this age have some similarities but my brothers daughter is a dead ringer.

My Great Great Grandmother

My Great Great Grandmother

My Great Grandmother
My Great Grandmother

My Grandmother
My Grandmother

My Daughter
My Daughter

In this age we store all our photos electronically but there is nothing like going through old boxes and seeing history and smelling it with the musty odour of old pictures. It is kind of sad that my kids will never look through old cardboard boxes at photos but will flick though hundreds of images in seconds on a screen. I hope the old photos survive another few generations for them so they can be amazed at the people from long ago who undoubtedly dressed in their best clothes for a once a year picture.

Monday, October 22, 2007


"Where are we going?", asked Little Miss R.
"To visit a shop", I said.
"Will there be toys?", she squeaked.
"Probably", I cautiously added.
"Yay, I'll get my pocket money".....

"What's the shop called?", I heard from the back seat.
"I think it's Babylicious or Wanda Harland".
"Baby Delicious?"
"Yuh, that'll do".

We parked and wondered the wrong way down Jackson street for a while, my sad old memory ain't what it used to be and I had convinced Mrs R that this time I was right. Oops.

We jumped back into the car and Mrs R shouted "Wanda Harland", as we headed past number 148 Jackson Street, the new home of Babylicious goodies and other delights.

We met Glen on the new till, and the girls were unusually quiet. There was no fighting, biting and I suspect that this was as Little Miss R had set her eyes on a Sock Monkey and was working on her timing. She knew I'd at some point say something stupid like "see anything you like?". I was gently guided to the Sock Monkeys and those big brown eyes worked their stuff. She chose a little yellow duck for Mini Miss R (duck mad) and we got some t-shirts for some friends who have just begun the journey that is parenthood, and a small knitted mouse for Gizmo, our insane cat.

As we were leaving, we met the (now) famous Martha Craig and young Malo. It is always weird to meet people that you think you've met as you know so much about them yet have never actually been in the same room. This is my fourth actual "real life" meeting with someone who I only know from stalking them online! My "first" was Alan (but he sat next to me so that doesn't count), followed by Mike and only last week, Llew (it's true, he is just like Viggo Mortenson) and now Martha.

Anyway, it was a beaut of a day and we're now home with our great purchases taking pride of place in the girls bedrooms and some wrapping to be done. I should have grabbed a business card or flyer to put with the t-shirt gifts but I've a sneaky suspicion that I'll be back at Wanda Harland for more great stuff very soon.....such a neat shop and oodles to buy. Bloody great, if you can find a spot for the Francis Francis, I'll be back next weekend.

Sock Monkey

Sunday, August 26, 2007

When is a lightbulb not a lightbulb....

Mrs R got a piece of junk mail the other day. It is a promo from "Ecobulb" but is sponsored by Fly Buys, Shell and the Electricity Commission, or at least those are the logos on the letter. It is a good offer actually. It comes with a voucher for 5 Ecobulb lights for $10 and conveniently tells me that the normal RRP is $4.99. Good deal all round.

What is interesting to me though is the why. As a person immersed in the dark art of economics for many years, I see strategies and business rationale behind everything. I sadly can't enjoy a discounted piece of cake anymore without wondering the reason for the discount; is the bakery in debt, was the cake not a seller so has to go cheap, is it old cake, is it cheaper to discount than dispose of or is the baker just a good guy? You get the picture.

Anyway, the bulbs. The pamphlet says save up to $ Actually your immediate saving, based on the RRP, is $14.95 but you could save the rest based on a calculation using an Ecobulb for 3 hours a day at 18c/kWh over the next 9 or so years in place of a standard 100 Watt bulb, oh using all 5 bulbs. A reasonable model in economic terms but a long pay back in real dollars. But wait, there's more and the real reason for the promotion (in my opinion) is Carbon Credits.

So the answer to the above question of when is a light bulb not a lightbulb is when it's a strategy for collecting carbon credits. In the small print you'll find the following text:

"In purchasing or using Ecobulb lights, you agree that CO2 emission reductions resulting from their use are the property of Energy Mad Limited".

Fascinating. So you buy the bulbs. You pay to use them. Energy Mad collect Carbon credits. In fact they appear to be able to collect them irrespective of whether you use the bulb or not as just purchasing the Ecobulb is your agreement. No signature, just passive consent. I wonder if buying clean burning fuel at a petrol station provides the same consent to the seller?

One thing is sure. Carbon Trading will be huge but full of dubious ways to collect credits and dubious statistics about emission reduction that don't actually help the environment one bit. There is some good information on Carbon Offseting at the New Zealand Carbon Exchange. Bet you didn't know we had one.....

Forgive me talking numbers but lets examine the Ecobulb Model.

You buy 5 Ecobulbs and use 3. You stick 2 in the back of your cupboard and forget about them. (I have a graveyard of bulbs and batteries in the back of the cupboard and can never find them when I need them!) Energy Mad Limited (somehow) claim their Carbon Credits from this sale of 5 Ecobulbs. If you repeat this scenario over a large population you end up with some big dollars based upon flawed data. In my scenario, you have an efficiency of 3/5ths i.e. the sales data is 60% accurate against the actual usage data; not a reliable model.

In collecting erroneous sales data and applying it to the real world, you are making a basic error that every good economist understands. You must factor human behaviour into every model. Economics is 1 part fact and 1 part voodoo. The voodoo comes from understanding how people will react to data that you don't yet have and then allowing for it in the facts that you don't yet know.

My assumption is that Ecobulb knows this and the model that is in place to allow for the collection of Carbon Credits has an input for voodoo for all those bulbs sitting in the back of cupboards. Tui moment or fact? Still, a good deal, 5 bulbs for $10 so I'll be off to Shell to get mine.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Ooh, I got Schmap'd!

Bless the Gods of Flickr! One of my photos from Wellington Zoo got picked up by Schmap and is now here. Neat little widget available too.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Wellington Invaded and under Martial Law

I was up early this Sunday morning (as I was going into work...grrrrr) and as I wandered into the kitchen I noticed the invasion force coming into the harbour.

Warships over Wellington

Yikes, were we being taken over. Had Helen C offended some far off country who had decided to take on the Queen Beehive in her home patch. Had Winston provoked some other minority and their naval might was sent to dispatch him.....maybe it was Benson-Pope (although I notice his Wikipedia entry is now out of date) calling in a favour from a foreign dictator he had given employment advice to....or maybe Warren Buffet come to collect his profits in betting against the Reserve Bank and their foray into currency trading? Or something else? Comments welcome........

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Fairy Trina does it again

Jeez, my posts are getting a bit infrequent. I've been up to my ears in it recently and the birthday party for Little Miss R was a few weeks back and I've only just sat down to write about it. We had Fairy Trina last year for Miss R's 5th Birthday and Little Miss R wanted her for her 4th. She delivered a great show again and kept the many many little fairies entertained with her stories and face painting. Worth every penny and cute too; not sure if its appropriate for a Dad to think about those things where fairies are concerned but I believe I share the fantasy with this person.

Fairy Trina face painting

It was a great party and only reminds me that the kids are growing up so fast, an issue shared with Martha. They both seem so sophisticated and just know so damn much about the world it scares me. I am getting increasing "Oh Dad! Everyone knows that...." type comments.

Fairy Trina and the fairies

I've not only been busy with the kids and work but recent developments at the Capital & Coast District Health Board for my night job with the Child Cancer Foundation. Watch the news tonight and you'll see what is going on and why Wellington has a rather worrying situation on its hands.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Our beloved cat

Death is so cold. It is odd how we humanise pets but we've had two cats for almost as long as we've been married and now we are down to one. We were married in 1995 and rented in a few places before we bought our first house in West Sussex in 1996. Within days of moving in we adopted two stray kittens that were born at the bottom of a garden not far away and were destined to be wild cats. We named them Harley (Davidson) and Gizmo; the former on account of his large size and loud purr and the latter due to ridiculous ears and a natural terror of everything on account of being fairly crazy.

Harley adapted well to being a pet and has been a loving companion for the past 11 years. Gizmo never quite got over his fears and has been a loving but skittish pet so desperately wanting to be cuddled but always looking for an exit, just in case. Both would always be together and Gizmo clearly needed Harley. They survived the trip from the UK well and Harley, as expected, adjusted nicely to life in New Zealand and Gizmo remained crazed.

We moved lots here and every time, the two cats settled into a new house and enjoyed the lifestyle as much as we did. When we moved into this house as our permanent home, they both took to it immediately; the decks, the log fires, the sun and the quiet location made it perfect for us and them.

Sadly today, I walked out onto the deck and said hello to Harley who appeared to be sleeping and got no response. His usual style was to come running and nuzzle but today nothing. He had been fine when I went off into town at around 10:30am today so I went closer and patted him. He was still warm but had clearly died in his sleep and was not breathing. I called Mrs R and we had a cry as he had been with us since the beginning of our lives together.

I know he was just a cat, but he was such a part of our lives and meant so much to us. There is nothing we have done over the last 11 years where we haven't considered the cats and now poor old Gizmo is all alone. Funnily enough, last night they slept against the safety guard by the log fire, slowly cooking, and Mrs R took this final picture of them. Harley, as usual, stretched out and his little brother nestled against him and almost on top of him, just in case.....

We will miss him and know that Gizmo will miss him more.

Harley & Gizmo

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

If this doesn't bring a tear to your eye, you have a heart of stone

I think I'm hooked on this show. If this 6 year old girl doesn't make you cry....

Kind of proof of reincarnation I think; how can someone so young do what this kid does without having lived before?!! Incredible.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Simon Cowell Smiles

This guy makes even cold hearted Simon smile. Taken from the new show "Britain's Got Talent" which is a spin on Pop Idol; incredible voice and a likely winner of the show.

Boy, is he in the wrong job.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Recipe for Disaster

An easy recipe to follow. Simply leave two 5 year olds alone in a tidy room with a ball of wool or two. Mix and leave for an hour and return after ominous silence. And voila, this is what you get:

There is audio on the clip, it is just that I can't speak and end up staring out the window wishing I was at the airport.....I didn't even dare to turn the television off in case I got trapped and was found hanged three days later with the cats nibbling my extremities.....

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Most Scenic Playground in the World

We went to the playground today but not the usual place where we go over at Nairnville. This time Mrs R suggested the park just down the road that was recently cleaned up. I'd never been there and had no idea what a treat it would be on such a beautiful Wellington day.

I'm fairly sure that this has to be the most scenic playground in the world. The kids ignored the view but the bench pictured below is perfectly positioned to watch the harbour. You could even enjoy the view as you bounce up and down on the see-saw.

May 07 052
May 07 060

Being a nervous parent, we kept the ball games away from the rather unsettling cliff edge; not sure whether it is too smart to build a playground on top of a cliff and not put up a barrier of sorts but the views sure are great.....

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Tana Umaga says Goodbye to the Hurricanes

I'm not gonna mention the game except to say it was a good crowd and a great farewell to Tana.

Tana Umaga

Also, it was the last game for Lome Fa'atau who is still electric when (if) he gets the ball.

Wellington Hurricanes against the Waratahs (5th May 07)

Miss R came along too and also waved goodbye to Tana, something to tell the grandkids; he is one of the greats.

Lots more pictures on my Flickr page.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The House That Jack Built

Finished. It arrived a few weeks back and sat idle leaning against the side of the house whilst I got up the courage to build it. I must admit to being a bit scared, being a Pom and all that. I know that Kiwis are genetically programmed to build houses and to be honest, this was a house. "Play" house just didn't do it; this thing had a freakin' deck and windows that opened.

The base was seriously heavy and at over 2.5ms was hard as hell to lift. I had prepared an area for it but the instructions warned (in bold type no less) to make sure that the ground was level else things would be nasty. Not a good idea to ignore bold type; I had done that before and I can still remember the screams....

I plodded off to the hardware store, bought some posts and cement, fired up the laser level that I'd used once before to put up a border, and off I went, all Kiwi bloke like. I used real Kiwi words like bugger, YehNoYeh and Damn these are my best pants and after a day had a great looking set of foundations fit for a palace.

The next day, Mrs R and I through sheer will power managed to move the base into place and I couldn't really believe that it actually fitted perfectly. Construction began in earnest and to be honest the instructions were real simple and once we had two walls in place, Mrs R left me and my hammer to it.

A few hours later and....

Apr 07 166

Since this photo was taken, armed with a renewed sense of manliness, I put in three more posts and a railway sleeper step at the front, and then a fence. The little R's now have their very own Bach and I will eventually get a Sauna......

Highly recommend Woodworx and this product. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't hard work 'cause it was but it wasn't hard to put together and everything was well labelled with every nail and bolt included; good instructions, an accurate hammer arm and away you go. I got a few cuts and bruises but there is nothing like the feeling of building your own house!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Bad Day at the Office

Ever thought you had a bad day at the office? Well I bet it is nothing like the day that these guys had judging by this sequence of 4 photos, courtesy of Worksafe Victoria. An archive of other dodgy workers can be found at Shockers of the Week.

Photo One shows a typical foundation excavation with a small water leak (kindly highlighted with a big yellow arrow):

Photo Two shows a bit more water but don't worry lads, we've got a pump, soon be nice and dry in there:

In Photo Three the extent of the leak becomes clear and it is anchors away:

And finally in Photo Four, a lovely new recreational lake, just don't get you fishing line caught on the crane.....

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Matt's Back.....Soon

I first saw the Where The Hell Is Matt video a few months back on YouTube. It is brilliant in its simplicity and the music sets off the whole thing beautifully. He's not claiming to save the world, he's not even out there spreading the word of God, he's traveling the world (something most Kiwis are genetically programmed to do) and he is accidentally raising issues of importance in his journal.

He is on the move again and he'll hit New Zealand sometime this year. His web site is tracking his every move and his journal is great reading and well written. It is through his writing last year that you get a sense of what is really going on in the world as he is not jumping from 5 star hotels but really travelling, the hard way, with a budget, and walking places. He was in Mali two days ago but the map now shows him in Ethiopia, a country with a tragic past and I suspect the ongoing trauma of that country will come across when he writes.

I think those fine folks over at Wellingtonista Towers could organise a great Blogfest welcome for Matt if he gets to Wellington; a mass dance at the top of Mt Kaukau maybe? Go on, register on his site and get him to our fine city; he doesn't mention us once in his NZ journal so we need him here. Maybe he could dance with Queen Helen......

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Petrol Head? Nah, I ain't that smart.

I drive an Audi and I like my car. I'm not a petrol head as I know very little about engines but I know what I like. I like reliability and power and I kind of get both from my car. It always starts but I do often get little flashing lights which seem to suck money straight from my bank account. I dread to think how much I have spent over the last 5 years since it arrived in a container from the UK.

It was a car we bought pre-children when we lived in a nice country town in West Sussex and is not very sensible these days having only two seats but I could not part with it. It took part in a daring 3am fog smothered rush to Worthing hospital in the winter of 2001 when Mrs R was in labour and has some fun memories.

These days, it isn't financially viable to sell it as it has depreciated to a level that it will probably sit at for another 10 years or so with little movement. A lot of the problems I've had relate to the salt corrosion from the UK roads even though it only spent one winter there and I suspect that the car dealers secretly love this little UK anomaly. The last bill was for over $2k because once the corrosion sets in, it is hard to stop, nevertheless, it is great fun and makes me smile on my drive to work, all 8 minutes of it....

Anyway, there is a famous love hate relationship between Audi drivers and BMW drivers. Audi drivers believe they are real drivers and like to feel the car on the road and become part of the car; they feel that BMW drivers are simply sitting in the car and moving from A to B. BMW drivers look at Audi drivers as "nearly made it" and "couldn't stretch to a Beemer, huh?". The rivalry was probably ignited further with these ads that I got e-mailed today [cheers Nic G].

First up, the BMW dig at Audi:
Ad 1

And the response from Audi:
Ad 2

Not to be outdone, the bling boys got in with:
Ad 3

And, not sure if this is genuine, a car with real class comes up the rear as it were:
Ad 4


Saturday, March 31, 2007

I know nothing

The older my kids become, the dumber they think I am. I am now regularly chastised for my simplistic nature and lack of understanding of the world around me. By the time Miss R is 6 and Little Ms R is 4 (both this year) I will have regressed to the intelligence of an amoeba; it will be unlikely that I'll be able to spell amoeba by then let alone write on this blog.

I'll be alright though 'cause Lil' Ms R can turn on the PC, sign-in and launch IE7 and maybe I can dictate to her; I will be a proud Dad once she works out that Firefox is more superior browser and can navigate to anywhere but Nick Jr or Disney......

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Dropping by to see Martha

Well it was a windy old day here in Wellington, just the kind of day you are glad you are not flying in a small coffin shaped chunk of metal.....

We were at Te Papa, it being wet and windy. My cellphone rang and a friend, who happens to hold a pilots licence, lets me know that the weather is due to clear up and he'll see me at 2pm at the Wellington Aeroclub. He says it might be a bit rough but she'll be all right...

He was right. It was an interesting take-off, a bumpy ride and a great landing (although every landing when you touch down on the wheels and not in a ball of flame is a good one). We flew over Marthas home town of Petone and waved; not sure if you were in but we waved anyway! There were some boats in the harbour and we got a great view of the South Island but it was hard to hold the camera steady by that point.

I'm trying to post the video from You-Tube but it might defeat me this'll appear below if I can get it working......

Damn, Wellington is a neat city even if it is windy.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Bravery Beads

Check out the fund raising website,

Saturday, March 10, 2007

2007 Child Cancer Foundation Appeal

Those who have followed this blog over the years (jeez, doesn't time fly) know that I have an association with the Child Cancer Foundation. The foundation is gearing up for the annual street appeal in a few weeks time (23rd March in Welly) and I have just had a preview of this years Television advertising. Now, you'll probably remember the Lexi dancing commercial of 2005 for its beautiful simplicity, and the Fight the Monster of 2006 for its use of animation and web advertising.

Interestingly, the Fight the Monster was loved or hated and I think this years will be the same but it isn't an easy message to tell and there ain't no niceness about cancer. This years is less fluffy and will punch people in the stomach. Be prepared. It is extremely simple but sends a very powerful message about the journey that a child and their family go through when undergoing treatment. The harsh reality that is cancer treatment is startlingly brutal and unless you happen to be a health professional or have had to sadly deal with this yourself, it is hard to understand just how long a journey it is and just how many needles and tests the poor kids go through.

I haven't been down this journey personally, for which I am so relieved, and I am constantly amazed at the strength of the kids and parents who face down the horror. CCF are there to provide support wherever needed and I am privileged to be able to help even if in only a small way. My life is hectic, busy and crazy and I struggle to balance my own family and my work along with the commitment to CCF but there are some things you cannot ignore. For some it is animals, for some it is poverty; for me it is families and the kids and whilst I am tired, others are in a far worse place.

This years face of the appeal is Sam Turnwald and her story is here.

Look out for me in Lambton Quay on 23rd by Whitcoulls with some of my work collegues and if you're a fan of local community radio, you'll catch me on Access Radio (783AM) at 4:30pm on Tuesday 13th March on Youth Zone being interviewed about the CCF and this years appeal.

I'd be real interested in your view of this years TV advertisements. They kick off on Wednesday and if you hate it or have any comment, please let me know but be prepared, it is pretty intense.

New Template and Life

'bout time I changed my template. Alan's done it, Martha's done it, so I thought I'd best get on board.

Haven't written for a long time owing to "other commitments", oh and a shit load of work. My every waking hour (and some of my sleeping) have been spent trying to keep on top of things whether they be work, house, family, garden, mother, and the general business that is life. I will try and be better into the rest of 2007 but I can't promise. The only constant in my life has been Mojo where I can be found at least once every day.....