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Ali, Jase and Streak's Big European Adventure

Welcome to Ali, Jase and Streak's Big European Adventure Page. Here is where we will be keeping a record of our travels for all of you to read. Please feel free to leave comments or messages for us, keeping us up to date with what you are up to without (or with) us.

Diary Entries

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Location: San Lorenzo, Gozo, Malta

Did a whole lot of lounging around reading​ today. The Gozo farmhouse where we are staying has a pool terrace, a balcony, and a rooftop terrace, and we tried them all. Read about 3.5 books between us.

A brief trip out to look at where the azure window used to be (this was an arch rock formation, like Durdle Door) until a couple of months ago when a storm destroyed both the arch and the accompanying stack.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Location: Gozo

A nice relaxed day in Gozo on Good Friday. Here's a film of the Good Friday parade at Victoria.

Followed up by a nice meal at La Stanza.

Saturday, 07 January 2017

Location: Singapore, Singapore

The flight was, as per usual, uncomfortable and dull.

We arrived in Singapore at 6am and headed to our hotel. They let us check in as soon as the room was ready at 8am, so we slept till midday.

After that, we headed through the shopping mall to the subway station, learning from previous experience and this time taking notes on landmarks so we wouldn't get lost again. Lunch at Newton Circle (again) for $14 (both of us including drinks).

Then we caught the subway to Gardens on the Bay.

First we went into the Flower Dome. It was attractive, with some interesting sculptures amongst the plants, and a Christmas display in their seasonal section.

Next we went into the Cloud Forest dome. Waterfall, trees, hanging gardens. This was probably our favourite part of this tour. Brilliantly done, with a wonderful atmosphere. Well worth the trip and if we were to pick this or the flower dome, we'd pick this.

Super-depressing film about how if the world's temperature increases by 5 degrees by 2100 then all plant and animal species will be wiped out within our children's lifetime.

Super trees (grove).

Singaporean subway trains are driverless, so we were able to stand at the front of the train and watch ourselves arrive at the station.

After that we fulfilled a bucket list item by heading to Raffles hotel for some Singapore Slings in the Long Bar. Ceiling fans. They gave us a small sack of shell-on peanuts and encouraged us to throw the discarded shells on the floor. (The floor was distinctly crunchy.)

Afternoon tea, Jason's ideal meal - dumplings and cucumber.

Back to Newton Circle for dinner. Ali's satay love affair continued.

Friday, 06 January 2017

Location: Pirongia to Auckland, New Zealand

Our final day, to be spent in Auckland. We were supposed to be meeting Netty & Barry at a café, but on arrival we realised the café was still closed for Christmas. Netty knew of another, so we ate well at that one. After lunch we enjoyed a walk on a part of the Birkenhead waterfront that we had never known existed.

We then did a bit of shopping for presents and NZ groceries, before driving to North Head near Devonport. We stayed at North Head for about two hours, just enjoying the view over the harbour and some final sunshine before the UK winter. We can't live without this much longer, so returning permanently is definitely on the cards. Just a matter of timing.

Our final catch up was with Ali's friend Debbie at the Garden Shed in Mt Eden. Debs remains as chatty and positive as always, it was great to see her.

And finally, off to the airport. It's a late flight (1am), so maybe we'll be able to sleep a little on the plane.

The plane had lots of children on it. They screamed a lot. The Bose headphones did double duty, but couldn't block it all out. I do not like children on planes. Like any other offensive items, they should be banned or placed in the cargo hold. Maybe there should be adult-only flights, no kids, wouldn't that be great? I mean, a whole flight with no crying, whining devil spawn. I can see a new opportunity here.

Thursday, 05 January 2017

Location: Whanganui to Pirongia, New Zealand

Got a good nights sleep, then following a bacon and egg breakfast, I went off to have a play on a nearby range with Craig/Hippie while Ali and Tanya walked the dogs and threw sticks into the water for an hour or so. Apparently, much gossip occurred between the two, however they are playing by Vegas rules, so I've no idea what was said.

We finally bid farewell and headed up to see Gayle in Pirongia. A few high speed stops later (Ali saw some photo ops) we arrived, after a break in Raetihi for lunch.

We then threw tennis balls around for an hour in order to exhaust Gayle's insane border collies. It didn't work, by the end, we were exhausted and the mutts wanted more. Typical. Cats are much easier to deal with.

Wednesday, 04 January 2017

Location: Otaki to Whanganui, New Zealand

After leaving Jase's dad, we invested in a few purchases at the outlet underclothes shop in Otaki (i.e Ali bought knickers while Jase stood around with the other husbands trying not to look like they are perving at the posters of models wearing little frilly things, while perving at the posters of models wearing little frilly things) before driving up to Whangarei for a play date with Hippie, Crispie, and their families.

Hippie and Tanya have the most amazing home! They designed and built it, and it is a beauty. View over a lake, room for a few sheep, indoor and outdoor entertaining areas, and even a scullery! Hippie is very house-proud, to the extent that he dived across the room, in slo-mo screaming "noooo" as we were about to wheel a suitcase across his polished wooden floor.

We arrive a little early and had a bit of a natter before Family Crisp arrived (who are all - Sheree plus all four kids - delightful).

Sadly the weather was rather windy, but we ate well, drank too much, played pool, and Crispie and Ali entertained their adoring audience with multiple renditions of Chopsticks on the piano.

The house has a large blank wall in the sitting area and we and Crispie generously offered to paint a mural on it. Hippie turned down our offer, despite the fact that we were already halfway through ordering paints and we had the design all agreed (the terrified final moments of a pilot, two metres away from crash landing into the sitting room. We were going to incorporate the two ceiling fans as propellers, and everything). The words "over my dead body" were mentioned. He just doesn't understand art.

Tuesday, 03 January 2017

Location: Wellington - Otaki (via M'bro), New Zealand

Today was a fairly driving intensive day. First up, a trip to Martinborough to view a house on 14 acres of land that we liked the look of. We liked it even more on sight. However, with the current exchange rate, and our house in the UK being nowhere near market ready, it doesn't look like something we can do immediately. However we both liked the location, so now we just need to work out a plan to enable us to head back home.

Proximity to Palliser Estate winery, the presence of a hobby vineyard at the house we looked at, and the 16 kg of cherries the owner just harvested nearly had Ali making an offer on the spot.

Had a very nice lunch at a cafe there, before driving back the way we came to get to Dad's for the night. Sights to note on the way included Ali finding a shop that would supply good English cheddar, passing Tosca's breeders house and seeing a rail replacement bus marked up with "Choo Choo, I'm a train", showing a bit more humour than we would see in the UK.

Dinner was with Dad, Christine and dogs and jolly nice it was too.

Monday, 02 January 2017

Location: Palmerston North to Wellington, New Zealand

The weather was bad, so we were casting around for what to do when Dave came up with the inspired idea of playing pool. Turns out Liz asked for a pool table some time back and it was taking up the entire garage. Ali and Dave set out to demonstrate their pool-playing prowess. What followed was a demonstration in terrible pool-playing by both of them (neither of whom can claim to have any pool-playing credentials whatsoever). Dave beat Ali 4:2, but all games were a masterclass of mediocrity and they both need to go away and do more practice!

We then set off for Wellington. After stopping at a pub to see some NZ morris dancers (they managed to hash up their dance in the best Armaleggan tradition), we arrived at Wickett's house.

Nattered for a bit before going to Lone Star for dinner. From the pile of food on their plates, Jase and Wickett appeared to be responsible for the joint demolition of an entire pig!

Sunday, 01 January 2017

Location: Napier to Palmerston North, New Zealand

Today we kicked off with mini golf on the Napier waterfront. It was a close first hole, but after that victory was always going to be with me. Described by some as being of a modest and humble nature, and as the world's greatest minigolf player by others, my true exceptionality shone through. Thalia, Nathan and Ali were all in agreement that the right result had occurred and that they were all honoured not only to play with, but to be comprehensively beaten by, such a gracious winner.

We then drove to Palmerston North to meet up with Dave, Liz, Zack and Maddie. My God, those kids have grown. It was great to see that Dave has recovered well from surgery and was more of his old self. Unfortunately, my favourite kebab shop was closed for Christmas, but we found another Turkish restaurant that was nearly as good, so all worked out in the end.

We were also "treated" to a viewing of Dave's etchings. A.k.a. his operation photos. Gulp!

We'd picked up some presents for the two kids before we left. Unfortunately, one was buggered (one star review on Amazon should have been a hint), so a replacement is on the way.

Movie for the night was an old Eddie Murphy one (Norbit) before crashing out.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Location: Gisborne to Napier, New Zealand

We crossed the hills from Gisborne to Napier first thing, arriving with Thalia and Nathan in Napier by lunchtime. We took Bella the spaniel for a tramp on a hill trail (there was some debate which track to do, but in the end the shady one was a good call). Then we went to the top of the hill for a view out over the Te Mata area.

Returning home, we ate watermelon and spat pips all over the yard while Nathan cooked a lovely chicken dish with tequila. None of us saw the new year in, we were all in bed by 10.30pm. Such lightweights.

Friday, 30 December 2016

Location: Te Kaha to Gisborne, New Zealand

We set off around 10 for our continuing trip around the East Cape, which neither of us have seen before. We were bombarded with bay after bay of beautiful empty beaches. We saw White Island (smoking gently) and a church on a headland with the most beautiful view. After ambling on the beach we drove through the hills to reach the eastern beaches where we walked on a rickety wharf before stopping for lunch next to a children's playground sporting the instruction "No Horses".

We decided to walk off lunch by climbing up 800 steps to the East Cape lighthouse. This had a wonderful view but the 1 in 2 incline was a bit more than strictly necessary immediately after lunch. Jase got some off-road driving practice on the track to and from the lighthouse. It's safe to say that the car has now done more off roading than most of the 4WD in the UK.

Continuing on we visited St Mary's church in Tikitiki which is interesting because it has a European style exterior, but a Maori interior. It had some unusual stained glass showing Maori warriors attending the crucifixion.

Further beautiful bays later we reached another wharf (pronounced "fourf") at Tolaga Bay (the longest wharf in New Zealand) and walked along it, pausing to watch some kids throwing themselves into the water in the sunshine.

In the final few kilometres before Gisborne we passed three surf beaches then on reaching Gisborne we checked into our motel (we had low expectations but were pleasantly surprised). Dinner at Peppers, overlooking the beach. One of the best meals we've had so far, while watching an awesome sunset that we didn't take a picture of because we're not tourists. Plus the camera battery was flat...

A note on NZ wildlife

The birds here (feathery kind) are suicidal. They seem to play a game where they try to touch the car as it passes. Sometimes they touch too hard and turn themselves into an expanding ball of feathers. Very pretty to see, but kinda pointless as we pass before we see the whole show.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Location: Matamata / Rotorua / Te Kaha, New Zealand

So, today Ali's cunning plan to get into Hobbiton disguised as a hobbit failed. We didn't get tickets and there were no slots until January. So off to Rotorua.

Our first stop was at a maze complex. Now, Ali is a sucker for mazes. Show her one and she is entertained for hours. Primarily because she can't solve them. So I got to the centre well before her and then had to wait, while she called out to ask where I was. Well, it kept her quiet and occupied, so no bad thing that.

Following completion of the maze, we played a few table games, where I taught Ali the basics of draughts (by comprehensively beating her, also disproving the theory of beginner's luck). Ali revisited her childhood skills on the stilts before I once again handed her a jolly sound thrashing at swing ball. All in all, a great morning for sport in general and me in particular.

Next a quick stop at my favourite ice cream shop (Lady Jane's Ice Cream Parlour) for orange chocolate chip, chocolate dipped, yum. Ali had something involving bananas and ice cream, but that's not so important.

Ali spotted the Hobbiton gift shop and stopped for a quick picture, which recreated what it would have been like if she'd managed to smuggle her way in.

We finally managed to get Ali listed as a driver on the car agreement. Bonus, now I can drink!

We stopped off at a waterfall walk, on the way to Te Kaha. Saw some lunatics kayaking down waterfalls.

On to Te Kaha, stopping for some of the best fish and chips we've had for ages (Aunty's Cafe in Matata). Lovely snapper and perfectly cooked chips.

Stopped again at Ohope beach (allegedly NZ's most loved beach), before Ali took the wheel to get us to our night stop in Te Kaha.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Location: Kerikeri to Matamata, New Zealand

We were mostly packed, so we started the day by loading up the cars and saying our final good-byes. Elaine and Chris are heading home to Pauanui, Jo and family back to Sydney, and we will continue our trip around NZ.

It's quite a trek from Kerikeri to Matamata, about five hours, so music-wise, Jase took the opportunity to immerse Ali in JaseFM (all German industrial metal, all the time). Oh joy!

In Matamata we are staying at a B&B called the Art House, which has the owner's art collection throughout the house. They used to be fine art dealers so it's really lovely stuff. They asked whether we'd booked our tickets to Hobbiton. (No?) Turns out tickets are quite popular and just turning up at the gate isn't the way it's done. Looks like we going to have to satisfy ourselves with the Tourist Information (which is in the shape of a hobbit hole).

We spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out in comfy parts of the garden with our books.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Location: Kerikeri, New Zealand

Today we decided to get out and be tourists for a day. We trekked over to Waitangi where we cunningly admitted to being Kiwis, therefore getting the NZ admission price, not the tourist charge. After a wander through James Busby's house, it was off for a Maori cultural tour. The brief show was well rehearsed and efficient.

Short drive to Paihia, then we jumped on a passenger ferry to Russell (New Zealand's first capital). Had a lunch at a beachfront cafe, then a wander through the streets before grabbing an ice cream. Back on the ferry to Paihia where we wandered again. The most interesting/amusing sight was probably the Chinese tourist who was sifting through their suitcase, such appeared to be packed with noodles. It looked like he had no intention of eating local food whatsoever.

Back to the bach for dinner, this time roast lamb, plus freshly caught snapper that the rest had managed to catch that day. Courtney had made a Pavlova, which had issues relating to height. It was cruelly described as a pizza by someone...nevertheless it was eaten.

After six days, we finished the jigsaw. Yay! The sky and leaves were particularly nasty.

Then, packing bags, etc in anticipation of departures the next morning. Tomorrow, we start our trek, with a good five hour drive. Kiwi one-lane roads, kiwi drivers and a lot of cops looking for speeders. Just need to remember that doing 80mph on the motorway here is virtually a capital offence.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Location: Kerikeri, New Zealand

Boxing Day, and we remain in Kerikeri. We had previously done a price check at Briscoes on a couple of things, and now that the sales are on, today was the day to purchase them. So we are now the proud owners of some new tablespoons, and Ali has a snazzy new hair straightener. Also bought a Buzzy Bee (kiwi pull-along toy) for Ella.

Chilled out for most of the day. Courtney got sunburn on half her face because she missed it with sunscreen. She looks like a batman supervillain.

Then at the end of the afternoon we went to play minigolf. It was a compact little course, though there were 18 holes. Jase thrashed Ali soundly. At the end we were chatting to the owner while the Markhams finished, then the owner asked whether we'd like a beer! He had already closed up, and we all just sat in the middle of the mini golf course under a canvas shade, drinking beer in the sunshine. They were a nice couple.

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Recent Messages

From Elaine
Where is Streak!
Response: Streak managed to beat Ali to the centre of the maze too. We'll put up some photos of him when we've got a better signal.
From Fay and Robin
25.12.16 Happy Christmas to everyone. Missing you here, but I hope you have a fabulous time in the sunshine. It's 10-13C here, so not too bad for England. Re the Pohutukawa tree - I think it just has the edge over Jase - you could have made more of an effort Jase, maybe wear something in your hair? Flossie is desperate to unwrap one of her presents (a catnip mouse) so I've had to hide it till tomorrow morning. Glad you got your card and driving licence sorted out.
Have a great Christmas!!
Response: Thanks Mum, happy Christmas to you too!
From Mary
Loving the blog so far!! As OAP's ourselves it was hilarious to read Jase was asked if he was over 65 - ha ha. Anyway just to let you know I have brownie points from the cats as they had a little treat of some roast lamb last evening for supper. No surprises that they were waiting for me this morning. Sunday night there was a bit of fighting going on out in the back garden but I bellowed at them and it went quiet,. Checked Knispel and Pixel the next day to make sure no ripped ears etc!! Glad you finally got to Nz. Enjoy xx
Response: Thanks, we're making a real effort to keep it up to date for a change. Glad the cats are still around, I know the fox has caused them some grief recently, hopefully they aren't trying to fight it!
From Mary
Mystery solved. When we saw Ali's car back in the drive mid morning friday we thought Ali had had to go into work for a little while!!
Cats all ok - clean dishes. Dont forget to take some pics of the horses if its not too late.
Response: Photos not permitted as it disturbs the horses, but we have gone one better ...
From Fay
This trip sounds like a real European adventure. Glad you have survived terminal flu, starvation and dicing with death on the high seas. Can't wait for the next instalment. No mention of Streak - did he succomb to one of the above?
Here, the only excitement has been the rugby world cup. The NZ v Tonga match ended 47:9 but in the first half we thought it was going to be much closer.
Love, Mum xx
Response: Streak is well, when we download the photos from the camera we'll try to find one of him enjoying his Sardinian holiday.
From Mary
Sorry to hear Jase is poorly. Bit of useless info: Bond on Bond book by Roger Moore he says outside the Uk Sardinia was his favourite work location. He stayed in the Hotel Cala di Volpe when shooting some scenes for The Spy Who Loved Me on a wet bike out at sea. Cats all OK - lots of showers so they have been in quite a bit.
Response: Apparently DH Lawrence really liked Sardinia as well. Bond's hotel is over on the east coast which is supposed to be very lovely. I'm hoping we'll get over there.
From Elaine
Having talked to you this morning Jason NZ time I have tonight gone through all the blogs and photos. You have certainly gone through a few countries and covered some ground! May you continue your travels and keep us informed. Love mum c
Response: Hope you enjoyed them. We'll try to keep up to date a bit better than we have.
From Mary
Got the email of cheese dishes. They were very pretty. May have been tempted had I been there!! The good news is that Ged thought mine were looking a bit dirty so washed them all for me!!
Response: What a wonderful husband!
From Mary
Just to reassure you Knispel was holding court in the hallway with the other three mid morning when I went to water the tubs. He had some white fur hanging out of the corner of his mouth. I wonder what I will find when I go in tonight!!
Response: Sounds like he's been reminding Cassie of her place in the pecking order!
From Mary
We visited a NT WIndmill today at Pitstone near Tring where we used to live. One of Ged;s brothers Bob is a warden. It is reputedly the oldest windmill in Britain.
Looking forward to your next blog.
Response: Hi Mary,
Apparently windmill keepers here need to be licensed and qualified to operate them as they can thrash themselves to pieces if not run properly. Guess the same applies for the UK. Hope the cats aren't being too pesky! Jase and Ali
From Fay
Glad you enjoyed your trip to Turkey, but.........Don't they have Thursdays or Saturdays in Turkey?
Or did you press fast forward in your Tardis?
Response: Jase was responsible for drafting those two entries, and as at 1 September has failed to do so. I will now remedy his failing. (They were both quite interesting days, so please do read them!)
From MKark (Dad)
Hi Jase & Ali - sorry to hear about your boy. We know exactly what you are both going through - very sad thoughts but great memories!!!
Response: Thanks Dad, it was the speed at which he went downhill that shocked us the most. Not something we expected to happen to a nearly 3 year old cat.
From mum and jo
Just got home today from Dubai. So sorry to hear about Panza. We are all devastated for you guys. Lets hope he enjoys whatever time he has.
Talk soon xoxo
Response: Thanks Mum and Jo. We're both a bit cut up about it at the moment.
From Stripey
June 2012
Hey Streak
Long time no hear. Just been reading 'bout this latest trip and I was well annoyed man! If it wasn't for that mensh of you on a cushion I would not have known you were on the trip at all! What happened? Did they leave you to guard the car all the time they were off doing the exciting stuff? You should've demanded a piece of the action bro. And where were you when all that couscous was being doled out? Eating bread and water on your cushion I expect! You really need to keep those two in line Streaks. No wonder you needed that drink! Anyway, I'm hoping I'm wrong and you managed to sneak off for some fun with the local wildlife.
Stay cool man.
Your old pal Stripey
I did man, I did. Check out the photos.
From elaine
the kitchen looks so cool. is it possible to ship it over to NZ.
We did have a wet weekend but this week ok. Going to Concert in the orchard on saturday 29th auckland anniv w/end. dam cyclone up in the tropics hopefully will pass us by. The creek still has running water from last w/end. Pauanui is a lot quieter a lot of people have left obviously had to go back to work!!!!
Response: Hi Mum, we are really pleased with the kitchen. Glad that you didn't get washed down the hill in the storm, benefits of living on high ground, I guess.
From elaine
My what a difference. It looks really, really nice I'm quite envious. Where did you put the hot water thingy!!.
I expect it is totally completed now. Has your weather started to improve, that you could get out into the garden. We are still having a wonderful sunny and warm summer. next week however they are talking about cyclones. Will wait and see what happens. Love Mum C
Response: The kitchen is coming along. The granite was templated last week and is due to go in on Friday 21. So fingers crossed we will have a new working kitchen by next weekend. Weather is still shite. Need to wait till April before it starts improving. Will be nicer when it is light at 5.00pm!!
From Marg & Grae
We are in the South Island this year so are having a family chirstmas up at Neill's
Love the snow pictures.
Response: Hope you guys have a Merry Christmas too and to all the clan as well.
From Elaine
You have snow and we have rain. Lots and lots of it. Everything has that awful damp moist feeling, even the carpet feels wet to walk on. The dehumidifer has been going flat stick in our room. Starting to feel nice in there.
Two of the Nepresso coffee's I like are Finezzo and Ristretto.
At this moment in time your snow looks more appealing than our rain. Only difference we have not had to wrap up warm to go outside. Look after yourselves and have a great christmas. Lots of love Mum C
Response: Thanks Elaine. We had a lovely Christmas with my mum and dad.
From Robin Dactyllicus
On our landing window board
called by some a window sill
(although I reckon
the sill is outside the door
whereas the board is inside)
there sits a tiger.
It is only a stuffed toy
but the question is: what for?
Stripey (the tiger) is dull
and lacks all motivation,
unlike his friend Streak;
that cat is a world beater!
Streak has nuzzled Juliet’s breast;
Streak has a website;
Streak has been to New Zealand.
(Not bad for a stuffed cheetah).
Streak leads an active lifestyle
and embraces novelty
(within strict limits).
On some some things he has to pass
– he’s only a stuffed cheetah –
but he’ll have a go.
His friend Stripey is sedate
and stares through the quiet glass.
Ah, but how little we know!
all that studied nonchalance
is a superb act.
The race of cats is cunning
and mockery of humans
is their national sport.
The moment our backs are turned
Stripey is off and running.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Response: For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: 'It might have been!'"
From Stripey
Hey Streak,
What's all this about blades and pumpkins? Some wierd human habit or what? What's a pumpkin anyway? Can you eat it, does it have bones, does it run fast? I guess they've got you out catching them now? You gotta be careful man. Don't like the sound of them blades she's using - you better not get too close in case she makes a mistake and throws you out as well LOL. Remember it's a jungle out there and I'm not there to look out for you.
BTW - I think I know that village they're talking about in Zanzibar. My cousin wandered in there once and they are sooo wierd - all dressed in rags, painted faces and shaking sticks at each other. I tell you, he was well freaked and got the h--- out of there!
Keep safe Bro - see ya!
Response: That's nothing bro. They just took me to a parade where everyone wore black pointy hooded robes and half of them were carrying flagellation equipment!
From Elaine
Hi Ali, The pumpkin carving is just fantastic. How many hours do you take to do them.
Loved reading about the Malta Trip.
Response: Ali spends on average 5 hours to do each pumpkin. She uses a small surgical blade, slightly finer than a scalpel. Whenever she makes a mistake she throws out the whole pumpkin and starts again. The blades are diamond tipped and have to be ordered 6 months in advance from a small tribe of pumpkin carving artisans located in a village, 60km inland from the coast of Zanzibar.

Or if you come over here, we will show you how it's done :-)

Love, Jase & Ali
From Stripey
Hey Bro - hope you managed to get back to Oxford before your housemates missed you. Sooo glad you managed to get out of going on their trip - where did you hide? Their weekend sounds icy, man! And train crashes - you were well out of it, bro! Great you could make it down to London - that rave was a blast - I'm still getting over it! Best not mention it to A&J I reckon - they might start keeping a closer eye on you. Just act dumb, or better still, make them feel guilty they 'abandoned' you and you might get treats! ROFL!
Till the next time.......Stripey.
Response: Yo Stripes, yeah, I been to Belgium before and it was deadly dull, just Tintin and that stupid dog.
well you obviously managed to get home. was the snow as bad as we were being told in the news. I hadn,t realised that it is 18 hrs flying to Dubai from NZ. look forward to hearing from you soon. Love mum C
Response: Snow was about 5" when we got home. Bit of a shock to the system.
From jo
I know I said I wasn't sending any more but please get to the bottom of this boyfriend thing fast. I just broke out in a cold sweat.
Response: If she is anything like you, you should sweat. Buckets.
From jo
thought I might give you a fright and send something. First time for anything right!!!!! Maybe your good looking boy and my beautiful girl should meet.( I'm talking kittens here).We just got a brown burmese who is also totally nuts. See you in Nz and don't expect any more messages from me till next year xx
Response: Hey sis, our one has realised that he can get down the stairs in two leaps if running fast enough. Sounds like he is going through the floor when he hits the bottom though!
BTW, according to facebook, your daughter has a boyfriend, Ali is investigating :)