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Claire's in New Zealand!!!

Hey Guys!
I thought this might work as a good way of keeping you up-to-date with my goings on in the land of the Kiwi. As you may have noticed i do like to chatter so please leave me messages to let me know what you're all up to and how much you're missing me.

Diary Entries

Sunday, 17 December 2006

Location: Edinburgh, UK

Just incase any of you are still checking this I am now home, not sure how long for though so may be some more excitment to report soon....

Monday, 11 December 2006

Location: Australia

incase anyone's still reading this, i'm on route home using the free internet in sydney airport at the moment and a small chid just walked past me with a mullet, it's just not right parents! anyhoo probably be seeing most of you sometime soon! (still not sure how i feel about this coming home malark but hey i'm on my way!)

Friday, 08 December 2006

Location: New Zealand

Hey Guys,

Not long to go now at all! which is rather sad, although obviously it'll be lovely to see you all!

what have i done since i last wrote... i went on a boat trip round the bay of islands which was nice, saw lots of pretty islands and a big pod of dolphins which was great!!!

then i moved a little further south to where i was going to do my diving course, slight change of plan in that i didn't actually do the course but did do a days dive which was such good fun!! because i am unqualified and had no real idea what i was doing i had a a lovely man who did everything and held my hand as we swam round so i didn't float off. then when we were back on the boat he brought me coffee and my lunch and refused to let me help carry bags and the like, again i'm begin treated like a VIP, tell me again why i'm coming home!?! the diving was also fantastic! lots and lots of lovely fish and brightly coloured weird stuff, fabulous. also met some really cool people in the hostel there one of whom has just text me so i'm off to meet them.


Monday, 04 December 2006

Location: New Zealand

Incase any of you were wondering we came second in the quiz, must say not quite as good as the merlin quiz but you have to make do on the other side of the world.

apart from that i had a pretty quiet time in auckland, was nice enough, in that its a city and compared to the rest of the country a bit rubbish but actually not a bad place. also was quite sunny so that always helps! it's funny though cause even in the biggest city (over 1,000,000 people) i still feel like i know everyone bumping into people everywhere but i think that's maybe cause the majority of people from the bus and the bus drivers all stay on a couple of streets but hey still nice to feel like you know everyone! but again nothing major to report, had a couple of days with Suzie an english girl i met about a week ago in taupo which was really nice. i'm back in auckland at the end of the week and feel i maybe should make a bit of an effort to see some of the city but we'll see, it might be a bit of a chirstmas shopping spree (if only i could get it into my head that christmas is coming...).

i'm now up in the bay of islands with is great, it's been sunny and there are beaches, fabulous! although the sunnier it gets the less and less it feels like december so i think it's going to hit me with a massive shock when i get of the plane and instantly freeze! but should help me with my christmas spirit!

went up to cape reinga yesterday which is the tip right at the north of the north island, was really cool cause you can see the sea on both the east and the west coasts at some points. and then went and did some body boarding on some pretty big sand dunes, felt rather like we were in the middle of the desert although there was lots of trees and the sea, rather bizarre. and our bus drove for about an hour (well a while to be honest i slept for most of it so couldn't tell you) along the 90 mile beach, surely buses shouldn't be driving along beaches!?! although to be fair the very north of highway 1 (as in the main highway in new zealand() is pretty much a track so why not go down the beach!!? was cool but 90 mile beach is actually only 64 and a half miles long, aparently they called it 90mile beach cause whoever named it was walking their cattle along and they reckoned they could do 30 miles a day and it took 3 days so they guessed 90 miles, just turns out the were slower than they'd thought. really nice day trip although a very long day, got up at 6.30am and not back till about 6.30pm but at least i was a passanger and can sleep on the bus!

today's been a rather lovely lazy day and i had the most chocolatey ice cream i've ever had in my life!!! so good!!! it's these things that are important and that need to be reported back home!

a week today i'll be back in the big metal tube and spending what will seem like years and years flying home, madness! come round far too quickly, although obviuosly i can't wait to see all you lovely people!!


Thursday, 30 November 2006

Location: New Zealand


Thought i'd do a quick update although not sure i've been up to much. the more recent part of my trip has been more about sitting about chatting to people i've met than activities, which has been great and i've got some good friends out of it so i'm not complaining.

Went to the hot pools in rotorua which was lovely, although my swimming stuff still smells of sulphur which isn't so good, was great we went in the evening so sat out in the starlight and enjoyed the pools (as i've said before, life is good in the land downunder!). and to top off a great evening i had my room to myself, i'd never have thought that would be quite so exciting but man it was good!

Appart from that i've sat in some salt water hot pools in Mount Mounganui which was also fun and walked along a few beaches and generally just relaxed.

i'm now in Auckland which is wet and rather chilly but hey i'd rather it be wet here rather than on the beach! spent the day wandering about with a friend i met in taupo and have met up with in different places since. i love it even in the biggest city in new zealand i walk along the street and met about 3 people i know, well to be honest when i say know i mean met once or twice on the bus but that's enough for a wee chat!

So yeah still having a great time although less exciting activities to report tonight i think there's a quiz in the bar in our hostel and then up to the bay of islands on saturday and then just over a week till i'm home, seriuosly can't believe it! time definately flies when you're having fun.

hope life is good with you, any snow yet!?!


Sunday, 26 November 2006

Location: Rotorua, New Zealand

Well yesterday was odd...

I wandered down into town and it was all nice and sunny. i knew there was a christmas parade on yesterday but still i don't think i was fully prepared for the weirdness of it all. i went and got myself a coffee in starbucks, and yes they are serving seasonal coffees (as in christmas themed ones or whatever) but they have them as cold coffees too, with some form of solgan saying something about for the hottest time of the year, so odd. but anyway i'm having my christmassy (hot) coffee and sitting in the sunshine, looking out at a chirstmas tree (all of which i could just about deal with) but the bit that got me was the salvation army playing christmas carols, man it was weird! i know it's a bit early for chirstmas anyway but that's not the problem, the problem is its blooming hot! managed to get a little pink in the sun watching the christmas parade, honestly its the weirdest thing! and one of the floats ws blowing out fake snow, what's that about!?! and a kiwi i was chatting to said he'd like to have a white christmas cause it would seem more christmassy, even they don't seem to think it's normal, odd odd odd!


Oh yeah and how could i forget... possibly the oddest thing about the whole christmas style experience yesterday was that at the head of the parade was a scottish pipe band (not entirely sure why they are so christmassy but they were there!) with a few wearing what looked suspiciously like McKinlay tartan kilts although i think possibly a tiny bit different, regardless it was odd.

Friday, 24 November 2006

Location: Rororua, New Zealand

Hey Guys,

Well i promised an explanation of my night in prison so here goes... as you may have guessed and seen if you've looked at my photos the prison is indeed a youth hostel although was a functioning prison until 1993 so felt very prison like (although to be perfectly honest with you i've never actually served any time in prison but did feel rather prisony and in the morning someone kept opening and shutting doors and it sounded awfully like when they do that on prison dramas on tv). we arrived and the woman who runs the hostel tried to put us into some of the nicer rooms, with showers and toilets and the like but oh no we wanted cells! two to a cell, which shouldn't have been surprising as prison cells aren't supposed to be very big (also its the oldest prison in NZ) so my cellmate was called dave and was possibly the campest guy you've ever met in your life, he was too scared to go to the cell alone so he took my hand and we skipped! was great fun though.

As you may have seen as well we had a BBQ in the prison yard which was great fun, the woman who ran the hostel was leaving for 6 months in america in a few days and was having a kind of going away bbq and invited us to join in so we had a really nice evening. there was a good group of us from the magic bus (had bonded earlier in the day over a mid day stop off at the tui brewery with some beer tasting) staying there so we had a really nice evening chatting away and at one point singing flower of scotland, it has to be done when you're out the country and it was requested! Definatly a great way to pass time in prison. and despite many a ghost story i had a reasonably peacful nights sleep with no ghostly disturbances, main problem was that the door didn't quite close properly and the lock was on the outside so probably best not to get someone to lock you up, although a few threats of such action were made.

So yeah that was basically my night in prison, great fun had by all! and it being a prison they don't make things easy for you and you have to walk across the yard thing to get to the toilet or shower in the morning so everyone gets a nice look at your pj's.

I went straight from prison back to the stewart retreat to see susan and robert, from one extreme to another really. nasty bunkbeds in a cell, to my own room with a double bed, variety is the spice of life as they say. had a really nice few days there relaxing and catching up, susan was brave enough to sit through my photos and seem to have survived the experience and even said it seemed like there were less photos than she'd expected.

From them i went back up to Taupo, had another day of proper rain but seeing at its probably the 4th or 5th day of rain i've had in 2 months i'm not really complaining! (seriously don't know how i've been so lucky with the weather, people don't really seem to believe me when i tell them i've had sunshine just about my whole trip) and the rest of my time in taupo i was greeted by fantastic sunshine, aparently stick with me and you'll get good weather. seems strange with the weather we get at home but maybe this is my reward for putting up with scottish summertimes all these years... so yeah taupo, i had expected to just have a quiet couple of days reading my book and not doing much which is kind of what happened but ended up doing less book reading and more socialising. met loads and loads of great people, which is largely what this travelling malark is about.

although i did manage to make myself the laughing stock of the entire hostel one day cause i was waiting for my friend rachel who was doing some cleaning in the hostel in the morning so i thought i'd sit down and try and catch up on my diary so found a sunny spot with a picnic table and sat down, it was on the decking that all the rooms faced onto and beside the table tennis table. anyway so i was writing away and kind of chatting to all the people that were milling about, ended up doing virtually no diary writing and largely just talking to everyone which was really nice! then rachel finsihed cleaning and we headed out for the day, really nice walk about town and out to the bungy site (still really not tempted to do it again!). then went back and i took up my same position and tried to do some diary writing again. just about everyone in that hostel came up and said, oh you still here!? or something similar, i had left for a few hours but so had they, but hey i chatted to just about everyone that day and it was nice and sunny! although does get bad when the hostel manager knows who you are within a day of getting there as someone said it either means you've been really annoying or done something very odd. honestly didn't think sitting writing in my diary was that odd and to be honest i hardly wrote anything people kept chatting ot me. so actually was one of the most sociable days i've had.

Apart from that what did i do in taupo... oh yeah got my hair cut, rachel had straightners so i straightened my hair and realised it was completely dead so got it chopped, not that exciting but was nice to do something so normal. then had a fantastic day sitting in the sun with some friends, then we took a walk down to one of the natural hot springs, was so cool its just flowing into the river so you go into the river and its cold, and then sit in the waterfall bit and its hot, mad! really nice though and in such a lovely pretty park, beautiful. then we played some crazy golf, i was first to get a hole in 1, but had just had a 10 so unforutnatly i was not victorious. we attempted a pub quiz but unfortanatly we weren't victorious there either although did alright but i confess that was largely due to the guy that works for the BBC news pages and not me but i got at least one question that nobody else did which is always my aim!

So that's about all i did in taupo, not that much to report but i had a great time and met loads of really nice people, also its jsut a lovely pretty place which is always nice. then i headed north to rotorua, got the bus driver that i keep bumping into so he decided to announce to my entire bus that i was stalking him, got some funny looks from people who actually turned round and stared at me, oh well. i'm in a really nice hostel here and the strange smell of sulphur in this town comes and goes so you don't notice is most of the time. met a really nice girl call Yanaka (although i'm sure that's not how you spell it) from Holland and the two of us wen white water rafting yesterday, was great fun and my arms aren't too stiff today which is good. was just the two of us and our two guides in our raft, VIP treatment or what!?! life is good in the land downunder! went down a 7 metre waterfall and the boat very nearly tipped over, at one point i thought it had, or that i'd fallen out or that i just had gallons of water in my face, it was the latter, much fun!!! one of our guides did pop out at one point which was also very funny. really good fun though.

apart from that i've not done much here, wandered round the shops a bit the other day and one of the girls i met in taupo arrives here today so will be nice to catch up with her, she feels like an old friend although we met for a day or two and day or so ago, its weird like that here. its better that than realising the person you've known the longest is the bus driver and he's paid to speak to you.

Sorry guys seem to have written quite a bit, its cause i've managed to find free internet, not sure why or how but one of the normal computers that you have to pay for was free and seems to still be... i'm not complaining.

Hop you are all doing well, just over two weeks till i'm home, not decided if thats a good thing or not but hey it's happening and it'll be great to see you all and really looking forward to christmas at home, doesn't feel christmassy at all here, getting hotter by the day and there's lambs and yet they still insit on playing christmas music and they were puttin gup their christmas tree here the other day, this country truely is upsidedown! ah well seems to make them friendlier so i'm not complaining, when i phoned up to book the rafting yesterday i've honestly never spoken to a more positive person it put me in such a good mood for the rest of the day! anyway i'll stop talking rubbish now, even people here think i talk a lot and everyone travelling talks a lot, its not good...

lots of love

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Recent Messages

From Uncle Tim
The melbourne photos make me wish so much I was there. Maybe I will be next year. Who knows?? I look forward to seeing your photos - possibly the edited version, You haven't seen mine of Aus from last year, HAVE YOU?? How quickly time has gone, & in 4 weeks you'll be back. But what a great time you're having. Your parents are both well - in Arran this w/end as you know I'm sure. We had ghastly weather forecast for this weekend; but in the event it's been much better than threatened. So no bad storms.

See you soon. Keep travelling. xx
Response: Tis true tim i haven't seen your photos, we'll have to put an evening aside for a photo marathon! unfortunatly it's only just over 2 weeks till i return, i'll be sad to leave here but will be nice to see everyone at home again although really not looking forward to the weather... oh well, wouldn't be christmas unless it was cold and miserable! see you soon,
From Liz
You can't have any new frriends!!!!!!!
Response: Don't worry they're obviously not as wonderful as you!!!!
From Lorraine
Haven't looked at photos for a while (naughty!) so have looked at them all at've taken some fantastic photos! Really good to see what you've bn getting up to as well. Enjoy the rest of the week! Only one more day of teaching for me then I'm free of the brats (well at least for the weekend- yey!)
Luv Lorraine xxx
Response: Hey Lorraine,
Good to hear from you, are you sure teaching is the way to go if you're already refering to them as little brats?!
hope you're having a good weekend. see you at christmas!
From Miss K
hello again, thought you'd be highly amused to hear that I've been asked to switch on the Christmas lights in Morningside!!! But..... I'll be in Helsinki at the time competing in Euro Short course champs. What a shame! thought that would make you giggle though! hope all's going well. take care, k xx
Response: Did indeed make me giggle, out loud infact and in public, not good K. shame you won't be about, they might have had a big button for you to push! Good luck with the comp, just keep swimming, just keep swimming...
From fifi
just thought it was about time I send another piece of inexcusable drivel.Things must be a bit quieter for you now back at el rancho.your photos truly have been amazing-wish we had had more time to take in the south island.all excited for le ski holiday,buying goggles etc .-cant tell too many people about it cos I end up blubbing when I get to the bit about the stewarts going home-sad or wat? granny busy planning menus! and looking at smaller house .repaired my horses rug with a caribina last night and this morning found the poor beast had belayed himself to a fence!Got to go run Toris BOYFRIEND back to kingussie-yes thats rightaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa x
Response: Life seems to be getting all a little stressful up there for you! i'm very interested to see tori at christamas time and see how she's changed... you should invite the boyfriend along to family on mass , that'll terrify him a bit!
yeah isn't too long till your ski trip now, although as its so hot here, beautiful sunshine and the like i really can't get it into my head that its actually November and therefore winter time and christmas is coming, it really is all upside down down here!
if you ever get the chance spend as long as humanly possible on the west coast of the south island, i loved it all.
right best go enjoy the sunshine!
From Sarah
glad to hear it's all still good. V amused by your nature trail info, and i'm glad you didnt get slapped by a penguin! Glad the office is quiet and no-one heard me laughing. Will proper email soon. Sxxx
Response: Hey Sarah Sarah!
i'm glad you were amused by my tale, i found the whole thing very amusing just a shame the guy thought we were drunk... or possibly on drugs but no just high on life :o)
Hope work and stuff's still going well, really not looking forward to coming back to reality, think it'll hit me with a big THUD so trying not to think about it at the moment and continue to be a travelling lady of leisure.
From Holy Moley
I'm knackered and have had a not great day, but the photos look fantastic and I'm glad you're still having a good time. No ransom notes yet, so things must be going good. One quick thing before I go: it must be wonderful to have such a loving network of friends. I read a couple of the messages people left for you and I just thought it was really sweet.
Response: Holy Moley!
Good to hear from you, i was on a streat called Molesworth or something the other day so was thinking of you! (also took a photo of the sign, there isn't much i haven't taken photos of to be honest). It is wonderful to have so many lovely friends and family, will make having to come home a whole lot easier. hope today's better for you,
From BBD
Have people lost their fascination for your exciting travels - or have written so much that your blog site has filled up?
The anaesthetist today for my wee op was from Windy Wellie.
Where are you now? back in glorious Bay View?
Response: Hey Papa,
i think i may have written a bit too much all at once and people have disapeared away, just about to put more pictures up so that might bring the masses back!
I am indeed back in the glorious bay view, had a night in prison last night (napier youth hostel now) after a very windy drive out of wellie (think the driver said 150k winds, not fun for driving me thinks especially not a bus).
From Stephen
Hi Claire,
My Mum, youre Mum's Godmum, said I ought to look at what you have been up to. Reading through your diary has brought back so many memories of the place. Its been about 27 years since I was there but it seems like it might be just about the same and that it was just the other day that I was there! A testiment to your tales of fun etc. I took similar pictures but not so many "action/adventure" shots. At that time the most existing thing was jetboating - it seems they have come along way since then.
I am pleased to see the colour of the water in the Able Tasman park is just as I remember it and the thought of this and all the other places and people I visited has made me decide that we have to go back. So I have told Christine, Max and Katie that we have to pack the bags soon! Oops I have just pushed the wrong button and I think I may have just sent this by mistake and you won't know who its from - typical old fogies trying to cope with modern technology. Anyway you're obviously having an absolutely fabulous time with lots of other like minded people so enjoy!
Yours Stephen.
P.S. a word of advice - when taking photos of yourself jumping into or out of shot close to amazing scenery the the reason for calling it amazing might be because of the huge drop off the edge...
Response: Hi Stephen!
I highly recommend coming over here as soon as possible to anyone!! i'll try and not fall off any high hills or anything, i don't really want to come back all broken.
Hope you are all keeping well,
From BBD
Morven turned up on Sunday and we were in Arran. Ruth H spoke to her but we are sorry Morv.
Drive safely and big thanks to A & L (madness but hey).
Agent K was in the papers again so we have kept her snippet on voting intentions!!
Sunny here but baltic.
Finally got all the figures but need to get advise on next stage. Enjoyed the theatre on Nov 1 - meal beforehand was very scrummy @ The Apartment. Are you sending any photos over on CDs. We can then have pre-shows and have questions lined up. I guess we will not need to ask - you will tell well.
Apologies to FiFi but double the benefit for her.
Looking forward to having you home but glad everything is 'nae bad'!!
Response: Heylo Papa!
Think i'll just leave all the photos till i come back, not sure you'd know what to do with them all (i managed to take over 170 in milford sound) there's a few! Shame you missed morv at the weekend.
Sorry to hear it's baltic it's rather nice and toasty here, spent the day sitting beside the sea in the sunshine, nae bad!
Ballooning tomorrow (hopefully weather dependent).
From Ian and Sue
Wonderful pictres and great tales. Love Ian and Sue
Response: Thanks, good to see the pics of your weekend in arran too, sorry i couldn't be there, another time!
Hope you're both well.
From aunty fi fi
dont know what happened to my last msg-it just sort of disappeared off the screen when I pressed send and was never seen again!sure it was very good but cant have been too important as the contents already elude me.have discovered the antidote to all consumption of illegal and legal drugs-a running machine!in a vain attempt to stave off the effects of gravity and hoping to avoid the ridicule of the stewart family when I head for the piste,I ventured out to the garage and spent an extremely boring half hour pounding the treadmill to radio one no less.Anyhow,the effects of this contraption are quite amazing,you come off it feeling like michael jacksons moon dance!my whole earth moved and kept on shifting for the next 10 mins,rather like the effect of a glass off wine too many or a very choppy sea. not fit yet. granny needs a computer 4 your photos.Aoife said first sentance"NO mummy,MY choc choc!"-worrying. day off tomorrow-ride horse of course.aaaargh am becoming my grandmother,1-horse.2-dogs.3-husband and children.clocks gone back,v confused as to whether we are 10 or 12 hrs behind.bedtime.nite
Response: Hi Fiona,
Glad to hear you're having some interesting experiences of your own! i'm slowly making my way back up north and will hopefully see joanna soon. i had heard about aofie's first sentence, at least the girl knows what she wants. i'm now 13 hours ahead which makes things a tiny bit more confusing but i think i'll cope with it.
hope you're enjoying the horse and dogs!
From Katie
I want to do a skydive!!

Sorry I missed your call the other night I'd had my phone on silent all day and didnt realise you'd phoned till I was in my bed already nodding off. I'll reply to your email/speak to you soon though. (Avoiding doing an essay just now but I'd better get on with it.. it's not due in till tuesday though! impressed??)

Anyways just wanted to say the pictures of the skydive are beautiful!xxx
Response: Hey Missy,
You still haven't replied to my email, hmph! oh well, hope you're good, you have to skydive, it's amazing!!!
From Miss Iz
Helloooo my love! I have been sending you the odd text but not sure if you're still getting them or not. Have just read about 2 weeks worth of your blog and my head is full of awesome's wow's and amazing's!!! hehe. sounds like you're having the best time. good stuff all round. missing you though!! hugs izx
ps things here are fine same same etc. clo's birthday on fri so parrrtteee!! aaaaah and job applications have started only a month to fill in the stupidest application form you've ever seen in your life!xx
Response: Hey Miss Iz,
I'm glad you're head is full of awesome's wow's and amazing's cause it continues to be so! at a lovely little lake place today, going to have a big BBQ and relax, life is good!!!! hope you had a good time for the rest of clo's birthday!
From susan
Hi Claire. Well I am so impressed you seem to be getting into the kiwi lifestyle very well. Making me jealous and i only live up the road!!! Glad you did the glacier thing and the skydive - great!!! Hope your weather is still as good. Robert and I back up to Mahia this w/e for the fishing trip, forecast good so hope the sea will stay calm -otherwise !!!??? Do you want Catherines number in Dunedin? You have missed Lyn - she lives very near puzzleworld (which I loved and coped with the angled room!?) See you soon, and I will patiently look through all your photos. Love Susan
Response: Hi Susan,
Just re read your message and now have left Dunedin so now i've missed Catherine too, maybe next time!! Hope the weather was good for you in Mahia, we've been ridiculously lucky with weather beautiful sunshine in both franz josef and milford sound and just about everywhere in between. i'll be in touch soon when i know more where i'll be and when (plans change ever day or so).
Hope you're all well,
From Agent K
Hey there! Nice to read all your news, you certainly seem to be having a great time! I really want to visit NZ some day too... I've not got any out-of-the-ordinary news. Oh, I am going to France sometime at the start of Nov for a competition, but other than than it's "Just keep swimming"! I'm enjoying the crisp cold sunny days here in Scotland - my magic mittens are much needed in the early mornings! Anyhoo, take care my dear, keep on writing those crazy reports!! love K xx
Response: Hey K!!
Good luck for your competition, what is it this time!?! i'm still having a great time, been busy having lots of fun which is always good having a BBQ with all the people from my bus tonight, we're on salad making duty!
From aunty fi fi
amazing photos of the South Island,claire,wish we had had more time to explore there.For some inexplicable reason your father keeps sending me duplicates of your emails so I get to view the whole thing over agai,fortunately I possess a goldfish brain so after 7 seconds or so when I repeat the proceedure I can be amazed once more! (ken, if you are reading this,thank you so much for the thought!) we too are basking in sunshine although the temperature may be a few degrees lower,kids are back to school today.can only ride my horse at weekends-too dark.several people I know have completed their christmas shopping and I dont like that.remind Susan of ythe babies sheepy if you speak to major news-have been to see and very much liked the Rooneys new house-Aoifes first sentance "No mummy,MY choc choc!"-does not bode well for the future.having said thet my daughter has just returned from the pub next door,aged 14-aaaaaaaaaaaargh
From Joanna
Don't know if you got my last message or not! Sounds like you are having a whale of a time and certainly experiencing the real NZ! Give us a tinkle if in ChCh and we'll pick you up and maybe even feed you if you like! There's also a bed if you really want to push my hospitality to the limits! Love J xx
Response: Hi Joanna,
Sorry it took me so long to get back to you, i'm having an amazing time. every time i kind of work out when i'll be in christchurch my plans change but at the moment i think it'll be in about 2 weeks or so... i've been offered a bed in town by Andrew and Lois (who mum and dad stayed with) so i'll not push your hospitality too much but would be nice to come out and visit and in my current state as a backpacker i'd never refuse free food!
i'll be in touch again soon, hope you're all doing well.
From karl & nik
just follwing your magic bus trips .... glad your enjoying yourself ... dissapointed you didn't save us any revels.

come back and baby sit ... soon ....

Response: Sorry about the revels but i thought i was putting them to good use being used as payment for a full steak dinner!! and they've lasted me about 6 weeks which i was pretty impressed about too.
It's amazing here, i love it but don't worry i'm still coming back, only another 7 weeks or so i think till i'm back to provide your babysitting service... hope you can survive till then.
How was paris!?!
Hope you're all doing well,
From Sarah (wee)
Hello! I finally have proper email. Yay! Hope you're doing well. Sounds like you are having a great time! It's the end of my first week of my new job. Liking it much better than the temp one. Missing Ali but life goes on... Have a good weekend and I'll be in touch again soon! Sxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Response: Glad the jobs going well! and you're doing alright without ali. I'm doing really well thanks, hiked up a glacier yesterday and have taken the most photos in the world!! at the moment i'm sitting on a bus (the internet bus of course, where else would you put computers!?!). it's great here, i highly recommend it to you!!! and bumped into sara from sociology yesterday, random as anything (not sure if you remember her but did all my courses from 1st to 4th year, mad).
Anyhoo, tell me all about life in aberdeen.
From Donna Mary
Hi Claire Mary,
I am officially jealous. i really want to go to new zealand now after reading this! sounds amazing! not really got a lot of news, was in glasgow for a few days last week, good for a change of scene. really wierd coz no friends from uni there anymore...all seem to either be in aberdeen or various parts of the southern hemisphere! back in sunny aberdeen, going to see razorlight tomorrow night which quite exciting. anyway apologies for boring update, can't wait to read your next instalment! take care Donna xx
Response: Donna Mary!!
Good to hear from you!!! you have to come to New Zealand, you'll love it! and there's sucba diving up north too. it's really odd that nobody from uni's left in glasgow! talking of uni most random thing in the world happened yesterday, wandering along up to the glacier to go for a wee hike, and walk past a familiar face and it was a girl sara that was in my course at uni, madness!!! it's a small world after all.
Hope 'sunny' aberdeen is still treating you well, i hear you are pub quiz champions!
Love Claire Mary xxx
From Em
Wow your photos are AMAZING- love the one with Dr Karl Kennedy- you are cool. Stay safe. xxx
Response: i have millions more photos to amaze you too, went for a wee wander up a glacier yesterday (as you do) and who knows what joys await me today!?!
From BBD
Spoke with GU George 2day who says that Joanna had placed a message on your blog so that you can contact her that way - so I did not get here email address.
still coping without U but sometimes it is a close run thing

Response: glad you're coping dad! yeah as you can see i've had some messages from joanna. still having a great time, did a bit of glacier hiking yesterday!
From Lindsey
edinburgh is fine thanx! getting a wee bit colder now. i leave on the 19thjanuary! so got a fwe months left still nd will se u b4 i go, when are u back?? xx
Response: Howdy!!
i'm back on the 12th of december, think that's about 7 weeks away now, not sure if that seems ages or no time at all... suppose still quite a while seeing as it's still over half my total time. anyhoo glad edin's doing well!
From Joanna
Hi Claire!
Great to read your blogg! Hope you can nip into Kaiapoi, if you are around the Christchurch area! We can pick you up from anywhere in ChCh if you like and you need to stay the night or however long? (03) 3270297! Take care, hope to see you soon!
Response: Hi joanna, sorry i haven't answered any of these in ages, i'll write a fuller answer in your more recent one incase you don't see this one.