Monday, 18 May 2009

Campbell Live feature

While i was at home in April Hamish Clark of Ccampbell live came to do a feature on mum and dad's house.
The feature was on TV3 last night.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Venetian Binds

So, it's been a while...
The last couple of months have been a bit of a mixed bag for me (along with most people). But I'm not going to write about that because that doesn't interest you (and all is well in the land of Lucas anyway - for now).

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to score a free trip to Venice through work, we had specified some air conditioning units manufactured just outside of Padova on the mainland, and that we had to witness one of them be tested in the factory - score!
My client and I just managed to get on our Wednesday afternoon plane by sprinting through Gatwick airport and sweet talking the lady at the BA counter 10 minutes after the check in closed. There's a lesson in there somewhere.

All day Thursday we dutifully tested our air conditioners, which thankfully passed and will get no further column space.

On Friday I got a really good feel for the inside of an Italian taxi. As we tried in vain to get to Venice airport, a group of Italian petrochemical workers unhappy with their lot took to the roads in demonstration. From what I am led to believe it was all about the quality of the wine in the staff cafe, if I had known that I would have been out there marching with them! My colleagues ending up missing their plane and I got a free round trip to Verona (airport) when they made alternative arrangements.

Late Friday afternoon I eventually made it to Venice, found my hostel, which I then found to be dominated by American exchange students, which was actually quite a pleasant change from the back of a taxi. The hostel itself was very cool, it is basically a couple of floors of a big old building, apparently it used to be museum.
One thing I learnt about building a city on some marshes in a lagoon is that when the tide comes in everything floods, twice a day, especially when it has been raining. Not that it really bothered me, I just decided to go out, get my feet wet and get on with it! It made for some good photos too.

The hostel was right on a canal and was quite badly affected - the view out the front window

what appears to be a well waxed floor...

The water does recede though

Piazza San Marco was still flooded by the time i found it. Randomly, I also found Jason & Lynda in San Marco (truth be told they found me) A bit of a blast from the past!

Most of my Saturday was consumed just wandering around, finding interesting spots, getting lost, unintentionally finding the same interesting spots (whose interesting factors were beginning to wane) and kicking around.

I spent Sunday doing some sightseeing with Jase & Lynda and Lynda's bro & his partner.We found the unbeaten trails of Venice, and a couple of glasses of rather nice wine! Oh yeah, it turns out, Jason is still ginger, and Lynda still mocks him about it, poor fella!

To cap off the transportation woes for the weekend, my flight was delayed 4 hours on Sunday evening, i got home at 3am.Whoop whoop!

but at least I got to see this sunset on the way to the airport!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

A Scottish Sortie

After Christmas, Steve and I forged northwards to Scotland, we reached the Scottish border where we took some photos, and where unfortunately the norovirus took a firm grip of my stomach...

The photo is blurry - why were my hands were shaking so badly?
a. Because of the cold
b. Because I was about to projectile vomit
c. Both of the above

We stayed one night with my mum's cousin before Steve heading up to Edinbugh & I spent more time with other extended family members in the Scottish borders. I had a great time with them all, they were amazingly welcoming and hospitable.

-8 degrees Celcius, freezing fog. A good morning to visit a Great Aunt in a nursing home,
and try to disuade her about going out for a walk/wheel (unsuccessfuly I might add)

I headed up to Edinbugh for Hogmanay, the night itself was fun, even if the street party was a little over-rated. The fireworks and the company were amazing however!

View over part of Edinbugh from Arthurs Seat

Steve climbing to the top (or not)

View from the castle

Post Edinburgh we ventured onto Dundee where I have some more family. More amzing hospitality was recieved and I will most definitely be heading back that way as soon as I can, although I will wait for warmer weather!

On the way back home we did a side trip to the Falkirk Wheel just north west of Edinburgh, it got the engineer inside me excited!

The amazing Falkirk Wheel, it joins 2 canals, lifting canal boats 35m from one to the other.

It rotates, and only costs £10 in electricity a day because it is so well balanced.

We also stopped in Newark to stay with an old flatmate and visited Lincoln which is a really pretty town.

All in all, a good trip with good travelling companions and wonderful hosts.
Scotland, you did yourself proud.

A jolly old time in Great Yarmouth

This is the first update in a while...
I booked a house in Newport, Great Yarmouth over the Christmas period for a group of NZers orphaned from their families back in Godzone. All in we had 17 people staying at the house for the full 4 days we were there. There were many different groups of people I know from different times/places, but as is the way with NZers there was generally only 1 or 2 degrees of seperation btween most people, often 2 or 3 different connections. I defy you to say that NZ isn't that small!
All in all we had a great time, the house was cosy, pokey and thankfully warm, especially when we cranked the open fire in the living room.

The guitar came out a few times

Wakey wakey! it's Christmas!

Steve looking pensive

Christmas dinner worked out well, we cooked everything pretty much from scratch which was quite the achievement considering it was probably the first time most of us had taken charge of xmas dinner!

Twister made an appearance...

Great Yarmouth itself deserved a walk around on Boxing day, well maybe it didn't, but we did one anyway.

the boys think they can make it as a boy band now

Things got a little leery later on!

James testing people's boundaries...

Post xmas, I headed up to Scotland for a nosy which will be the topic of the next post.

Friday, 31 October 2008


[UPDATE - the photos are playing up on this post for some reason and the RH side is getting trimmed off, if you click on the photos you can see an enlarged view of the whole photo]

I have realised that I have been here in Oxford for about 2 months now and I haven't mentioned it at all on this blog!

Well, I'm living in a nice share house in the south of the city with 2 other guys and a cat. The place is nice and pretty cool but not overly exciting on the social front, those are the breaks I guess.

My work is working out really well, the company is really onto it and everyone is really cool. We're based in a small business park (or a petting zoo as Luke likes to call it) on the edge of a small village outside Oxford.

Here is a picture of my office:

and the view out the window:

Here are some pictures I took over the autumn:

I've met lots of cool people here now, I went to a pot luck dinner arranged through couchsurfing not long after I got here, now I know lots of people through that. We meet up fairly regularly for meals, drinks and the odd games evening. I've even found a few kiwis here too, they're everywhere!

That's about it really, I've been basically alternating weekends here and away lately, I could probably put more photos up but in reality I can't be bothered and you're probably not that interested!

I hope you are well wherever you are.