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David & Liz Hough's Travel Page

Welcome to our honeymoon!

We're setting off for San Fransisco at the beginning of November and spending 3 weeks travelling down the west coast before flying from Los Angeles to Fiji to learn to scuba dive. We're then off to the Cook Islands for a well deserved rest and to prepare us for our speedy 3 week journey through NZ, north to south. We'll arrive in Oz at the beginnning of January and are spending 6 weeks (or maybe longer if we get jobs....) travelling up the east coast including some more scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef. When we finally decide to leave we'll be spending some time in SE Asia before heading for home via Delhi!

Diary Entries

Friday, 25 March 2005

Location: Kemsing, Kent, UK

Well - we're home! Can't believe it's all over - it seems like just yesterday that we left. It's good to be back even though it's freezing over here - but at least we can breathe at last because the humidity is normal!

Didn't get a chance to update the site from Bangkok as internet cafes are few and far between. I suppose like Vegas they'd rather you spend your money and time in the shops and bars (and the other less reputable places which Bangkok is infamous for) than on the internet.

After our last update we did the dive. Unfortunately visibility was only 6m so it wasn't as amazing as we thought it would be (everyone rates Thailand as some of the best diving in the world). For us Fiji has been the best dive site we've been to which is funny because hardly any divers we spoke to have ever tried it. We didn't realise when we were in Fiji how lucky we were and just assumed that good visibility was a given. The one highlight of the dive (if you can consider this to be a highlight) was that our group was attacked by a pair of giant triggerfish. I didn't realise how serious it was at first and just tried to avoid their gnashing teeth but after we'd surfaced we saw that one had bitten right through the Dive Master's plastic fin and he warned us that they could easily have taken a finger off or a significant chunk of leg! He'd never seen one as big as that in those waters and was wary about diving there again which kind of scared us a bit! It also meant that we ascended the final 10m in less than a minute on our final dive when we should have taken a 3 minute safety stop at 5m to prevent us getting the bends - why do we do these dangerous activities! I took a photo of the fish and we hope it will come out....watch this space (we've still got some photos to upload in the next few weeks so don't make this your last trip to the site!).

We left the island a couple of days later on what should have been a hassle free high speed catamaran trip. Everything was going well (slightly rough sea because of the recent storms but nothing to worry about as we were zipping through the waves) until halfway across the 150km trip when the engine cut out and the ship and all of it's 200 passangers were left listing on the open water. I (Liz) was very impressed with David's nerves because this time it was me who was sat on the edge of my seat nearly hyperventilating and trying to locate the life jackets and doors. A slight worry was that the design of the ship meant that there were 4 tiny single doors at each corner of the cabin and had there been a mass panic no-one would have been able to get out. Luckily the engines roared back into life after a heart-stopping 5 minutes and we made it to shore safely. We were just thankful that the next journey would be the plane home - not sure if/when we'll be taking a boat ride again! What really caused us to panic, which we didn't put on the website so as not to worry you, was that before we'd left Samui for Phan-gan our hotel manager had warned us to assess the boat we were getting and only get on if we were confident of its stability because in the last month (in fact in one case the day before) 2 boats had gone down in rough seas in the area with 0 survivors. A sobering thought especially when the engine of the boat you're on cuts out.

So we arrived in Bangkok not quite knowing what to expect because nearly everyone we've spoken to (except Kate Nestor!)has told us to not bother with Bangkok and simply go there to get the plane out. How wrong they were! We were expecting a smelly, dirty, noisy, smoggy, unliveable city and although it did indeed live up to the first 3 adjectives it's a great city and no worse than any other city we've been to in SE Asia. It's infamous for it's traffic (tuk tuk and motorbike taxis galore!) but it's no different from London! We were staying near Siam Sq which is the newish commercial area of the city in a nice hotel with a pool (we were continuing our theory about treating ourselves for the final days of the trip - but it's still ridiculously cheap!) which might have made a difference because the backpackers usually stay further west where the area may be significantly different - it's horses for courses maybe. I love London so am used to the hustle and bustle that was Bangkok.

We spent the 6 days there lounging by the pool, eating gorgous Thai curries (I have no lips left now as they've been burnt off!) and SHOPPING! We would have been foolish not to have re-stocked our wardrobe at the prices they were selling stuff at so that's exactly what we did. We also got some suits made for work which brought us back to earth with a bump - it was quite a shock to see "smart David" and brought it home that we were going to have to get serious again pretty quickly! Unfortunately becuase of the repeated fittings we were tied to the hotel area which meant we didn't get a chance to go to the Grand Palace and see all the Wats (temples) which is a real shame but we intend to finish our SE Asia trip another year so it will have to wait. After a while David tired of the endless haggling (I'm quite the expert now and will definitely be the one doing the negotiating when we buy a house!) - the trick is to be strong and keep to the price you have in mind and be prepared to walk away - there will always be another vendor selling the same thing about 50m down the road. That's what's amazed us about SE Asia - all the big cities are nothing but shopping centres and restaurants! They're not all aimed at the tourists either - is that all the locals do - eat and shop? We decided that we don't enjoy shopping except when you can afford anything you see!

We also visited the notorious red-light district because that's where all the good bars are. It was quite an eye-opener but again not as obvious or seedy as we thought. Contrary to all the tales you hear there aren't ladies on every street corner and we didn't see the endless numbers of ladyboys lining up along the street that you hear stories about - maybe we weren't looking in the right places which doesn't bother me I wasn't comfortable gawping at them like caged animals.

All in all we loved Bangkok (not as much as other places we've been to I'll admit but it's not as bad as people make out) and think people should stop giving it such a hard time!

The trip home was pretty unexciting. At that stage, even though we were sad to be leaving we just wanted to get home because the journey was going to take forever (two flights with a transfer at Singapore) - total flight time of 15.5 hours and total travel time (i.e. from when we woke up at 4am to when we got to bed at 9pm in the UK) of over 24 hours - ouch!

And here we are - back to reality! We've sorted out a room to rent in Leeds (thanks Hatti) and now just need to get our boxes from my parents loft and find jobs and a house to buy - easy! Hmmm maybe we should have stayed on the beach in Thailand!

Thanks for all the messages - it's been great to keep in touch with everyone and has made us feel less homesick by hearing everyone's news.

I suppose this is us signing off......

Liz & David xxx

Saturday, 12 March 2005

Location: Hat Saalad - Koh Phan-gan, Thailand

Still here! Just a note to say we've added some photos to the Koh Phan-gan page in case you've already had a look.

Nothing's changed still. Weather had improved since the storm and everyday is almost cloudless. Getting through a book each a day as well as countless coconut milkshakes (or the more healthy watermelon juice drink in david's case!). Going on a 3 tank dive tomorrow (very excited!) so it's an early night for us tonight (saying that we've been in bed by midnight each night so far as the bars close down at about 11 and not much else happens after that - it's so quiet here, especially as it's low season (the monsoon period is about to start).

Tuesday, 08 March 2005

Location: Koh Phan-gan, Thailand

Hat Saalad (aka Salad Beach)

Wow - we've found our own piece of paradise. After one of the worst boat trips of all time (we're definitely getting a heavy duty catamaran back to shore in a week's time!) we landed on Koh Phan-gan.

Headed away from Hat Rin which attracts all the crowds for the Full Moon Parties (and the half moon and black moon (i.e. no moon) parties - any excuse for a party really around here!) to Salad Beach on the west of the island which the Lonely Planet described as a haven for families and couples and they weren't wrong. The tuk tuk screached to a stop at a dead end and announced our arrival, we thought he must be mistaken because at first glance we could only see our resort but on closer inspection we found some life but not much, simply 4 other resorts (when we say resort we mean collection of beach bungalows) each with their own bar and a smattering of shops and houses where the people who work in the resorts live - we really are isolated but loving it!

We're filling our days reading anything we can get our hands on (thank goodness for the book exchanges which each hostel has had), sunbathing by the pool, swimming in the (now) dead calm blue sea and kayaking if we feel up to it. We're planning on doing some diving near Koh Tao (the best place to dive on the east of Thailand apparently) later this week and may take a trip to the even more deserted bottle beach in the north which everyone has raved about.

We've found what we were looking for - complete and utter relaxation - we haven't got a care in the world (which is good because we made the mistake of starting to job hunt on our last day in Koh Samui as we had a couple of hours to kill - how depressing and scarey was that!) and we promise you we're making the most of it!

Sunday, 06 March 2005

Location: Hat Chaweng - Koh Samui, Thailand

Still in Koh Samui as our longboat to Koh Phan-gnan was cancelled because of the choppy seas. Instead we're going to catch a boat to the other side of the island which is more sheltered (wish us luck!) and get a tuk tuk from there (great - a longer journey on an unsealed road - we thought we'd left this behind in Fiji!).

Cat's out of the bag now so may as well put something on the website - we're coming home early!

We realised that we'd only given ourselves 3 weeks to see Cambodia and Vietnam (unfortunately Laos fell off the schedule a while back because of time limitations) and because we're so tired we didn't relish the thought of having to rush around with limited comforts. The other option was to extend the trip but again because we've done so much in so little time we're too exhausted to appreciate it and staying away for longer would just make things worse. Instead we've chosen to reduce the length of our trip but move it up a gear and for the next 3 weeks will be staying in much nicer resorts than we've been staying in to date (we'll have swimming pools and room service!). We're still determined to come back to see Vietnam another time - but this time we'd organise the train ticket from Hanoi to Hoh Chi Min before getting there and enjoy the ride much more!

Saturday, 05 March 2005

Location: Hat Chaweng - still, Thailand

Yes we're still here despite everyone we've met and everyone who's been here telling us not to bother because it's too commercial! We only planned on staying here until we sorted out our dive trip to Koh Phan-gnan (a less populated idyllic island 30k north of here) but we got used to the creature comforts of air-con, satellite TV, our own bathroom and more bars and restaurants than you can imagine! OK I'll admit it - we just got lazy and are so exhausted of moving every other day that we felt we deserved a rest!

We've spent the last few days getting up late, having brunch at our favourite beach restaurant (coconut shake is fantastic!) and sorting our accomodation for Phan-gnan and Bangkok. During that time we've seen more than our innocent eyes can handle and we're still trying to understand the phonomenom of Lady Boys. I'll be honest and say that we haven't spent anytime sightseeing although there's not that much here to see except gorgeous beaches - we don't feel guilty though because kicking back and relaxing was just as much a part of this trip as seeing as much of the world as we could was.

We're now sitting in an internet cafe excaping the elements but you'll be glad to here that it's not the insufferable heat this time - oh no - this time we're trying to stay out of the way of the torrential storm that has been with us since the early hours. I know that the monsoon period will be upon the island soon but hopefully this isnt' it as we intend to be on a picture perfect island for the next 10 days and rain doesn't fit into our schedule! The scariest thing about this whole day is that the island is a little behind with it's electricity supply and instead of one neat cable going from pole to pole the island is serviced by 50+ cables running alongside one another (and right outside our hotel room worringly) which make a terrible buzzing noise at the best of times let alone now. I've (Liz) been suffering terrible headaches but that maybe because of the beer......

On the subject of which, we're also sitting in an internet cafe because there's an island wide ban on the sale of alcohol because there's a general election tomorrow - obviously they can't trust their citizens to vote sober! Ironically all of the bars are obeying the rules here despite the fact that non of their patrons are thai nationals.

Probably a good thing really as we're leaving early tomorrow for Koh Phan-gnan so could do with an early night. Not sure if we'll have internet of phone access there so if not - see you in BangkoK!

Tuesday, 01 March 2005

Location: Hat Chaweng, Thailand

We have left Malaysia and ventured north across the border to Thailand. It took us 18 hours of travel - including an overnight boat... our technique being a good meal, a few beers and a horizontial sleeping position to make it pass oh so quickly - but we are now in what must be the centre for tourism in this part of Thailand. It`s an odd mix of Med-beach style nightlife - loud bars for the 18 year olds and resturants for the oldies (did we manage to broadbrush insult all with that generalisation?). The beaches are picture postcard stuff, yet quite well populated.

We`ve gone relatively up-market (ie everthing else was booked up) and now have, what I believe you western folk call, a tellybox in our room! We are still struggling with the heat... something that I know sounds like an awful problem for those frozen in the UK, but the more we mention it now, the more we`ll appreciate the cold next winter when we`re freezing our booties off too!

Thursday, 24 February 2005

Location: Pulau Penang, Malaysia

Have left the bustle of KL (yes we did manage to go shopping!) Also timed it perfectly to see the end of the Chinese New Year and all the dragon dances that accompany it and have now started our trip north through Malaysia and onwards to Thailand.

Before we left, we visited the Batu Caves (also the highest Hindu temple in Malaysia) which are inside a big rock mountain on the outskirts of KL. They had what looked like religious statues inside and even a ceromony of some description going on. There were an awful lot of steps and some inquisitive monkeys.... we also had the odd position of having to barter over the price of a can of pop - something that has so far had fixed prices.

Currently on an island just west off the mainland which was the biggest British settlement in Malaysia, where we intend to spend a few days seeing the sights and eating more noodles (have decided after a questionable chicken dish that was more bones than meat to become vegetarians for a couple of months!). Unfortunately we're not able to travel to the east coast on the jungle train (which has amazing views apparently) because it's monsoon season on the east so we're cutting our losses and heading for the Thai beaches.

We are not in the big cities any more and the relative westernisation that have accompanied them...... underground train systems (which in KL don`t have drivers!) and McDonalds on every street corner..... and are going to be experiencing a more native time, lets hope we don`t miss our comforts too much!


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Recent Messages

From Mona
Hi Liz & David,

I've just visited your website for the first time, sounds like you guys had an amazing trip. What a story to tell your grand kids! I am really jealouse. Good to see you are back safe and sound. I've moved to Hendon so maybe we could catch up soon.
Lots of love
Mona
PS - Fantastic photos, I bet your walls are filled with them.
Response: Oh no! We moved out of Hendon just after we got married! Now we're back we're up north in Leeds - very different from Australasia I assure you! Will be in touch when I'm next in the big smoke. Liz x PS - don't have a house yet and hence don't have any walls to put the photos on yet but give us time!
From Terri
Hi there. I am going to the States in July-Oct this year will be travelling from LA all around the Southern States and up to New York. and I will be going to Las Vegas.I was looking at your Photos and they are amazing. I was wondering if you had any tips for being there on a budget. Like where to stay thats not too expensive. and how cheap the Buffet at the Straosphere (cant spell) is.
Response: Hi Terri! So jealous - you're going to love it! We got a cheap hotel room on priceline.co.uk where you enter the maximum price you're prepared to pay for a room and they check out any hotels which may be willing to give you that discount if they have empty rooms. We stayed at a hotel about 5 - 10 mins walk from the action, between the Pirate Ship and the Stratosphere and ended up paying about £20 - £30 a night for the room which had air con, TV and was HUGE! It was called Frontier or something similar. There are youth hostels there too which are great if you're looking to meet with other travellers. We stayed in a "chain" called "USA Hostels" and I'm sure they've got one in Vegas. They're really clean and most have pools / bars / games rooms etc. I would definitely recommend them and they cost us about £11 a night.
As for food, the buffet at the Stratosphere is great, but don't eat for 24 hours before hand - that way you'll really appreciate it. We went there for lunch and didn't eat for 24 hours afterwards! Other than that food etc isn't that cheap in Vegas but the trick is to play the cheap slot machines and as a result get free drinks in the casinos! Obviously you get more waitresses around the more expensive machines but we stuck to maximum 25c and still made a profit in beer! Have a great time!
From Marion Aaron
What a wonderful trip, you two. What great photos.
Love, Marion
Response: Sadly it's all over but we've come back on a high because we've been looking at all the wedding photos. Thanks for the photo of us signing the register (very naughty of you!) because we forgot to get our photographer to do a set shot of that! Did you see the official photos on the kodak website? There's a great one of the Hillsy family with you in in. If not we'll send some through to you when we get our heads together.
From Ivesy
Hey there guys, Kho Pangnan is never quiet , you just have to know where to go !We were there out of season. Theres a bar in the middle of knowehere called the Pirate Bar just up the road from Long Island Beach resort. That place will stay open all night for you and has its own mini beach its set up on rocks that stick out over the sea its awesome!Just grab loads of peeps stick em in a jeep with you and you can get there for a few bht then arrange for the jeep to come pick you up later.They let you play your own music too and everyone dances on the beach. There are also parties up at bottle beach and there are smaller moon parties off the beat and track just ask around!Someone will know about them its all word of mouth. ;0) Have fun! Enjoy the dive.xx
Response: Cheers for the tips - we left Phangan on the 16th so didn't get this until we were back in the UK unfortunately. On Phangan we went to Saalad Beach and stayed there for 10 days wihtout going anywhere else (except for the dive). We figured we'd have loud times in Bangkok and really wanted to have a "traditional" honeymoon so we became recluses on the island and just swam, kayaked, read, ate and drank. I got you a pair of pink trousers - I think they're fishermens but wasn't sure as there were two styles going around - I got you what I think are the more flattering. Couldn't see any fire po stuff for sale but maybe we weren't in the right area for it. I'll call soon so we can meet up - can't wait to see you!
From Gary M
More pictures of monkeys please...

Glad you're doing well.
Response: Send some photos of you through and I'll put them on! Tee hee only kidding! Glad to see you're still checking the site - even if it's all over now (I bet Nathan's still out there isn't he!). Hope everything's ok - how did the house move go? How's Sarah? Liz x
From Marion Aaron
Hi,
Sounds like you're still having a marvelous time.
What a pick me up reading about your travels.
Enjoy...
Love from snowy cold Manhattan, Marion
Response: We left Bangkok in 32 degree heat and landed in London where it was 13 degrees. Not pleasant but not as much a shock to the system as it will be for some Canadians we met who were returning to minus 4!
From Dave W
hey guys, just got up to speed (20 pence fine !) with your latest news and photo`s - all good.
Looking forward to getting you both home safe and well. If you get time why dont you pop into China and the the big wall, possible day trip ??? No .no.. dont thank me - just a suggestion.
Response: Thanks for the tip mate... we were surprised you`d heard of China!
From Mum & Dad H.
Geoff didn't tellyou the whole story about the swimming - suffice it to say it includes a bobble hat -guesses on a postcard please!! Loo still not finished so still no computer. Keeping up to date on Ruths.
Response: Mum & Dad H.? Could still be either Hills or Hough! Don't think we really want to know the rest of that story...and I thought I was the only one with an obsession about hats!
From geoff & ruth
Just had a nice trip with your Mum and Dad to Budapest: a four day expedition thanks to Jet2.com, which included a trip to a ballet for 10GBP each for a seat in a box, and a swim in pools of 38 degrees centigrade (open air) while it was snowing.We mastered to underground, and generally had a wonderful trip to mark your Dad`s 60th. and our increasing boredom with Winters in UK. Signs of Spring today. Best Wishes from all of us.
Response: Sounds great! Ballet, then swimming in hot water whilst in the snow... a truely interesting experience!
From Charles Windsor
Sounds like you fellows are having a marvelous time. Could one of you give me a call as I need to get some advice about getting married again.

Thanks
Charlie

(PS mother says the big house isn`t the same without your visits)
Response: Good to hear from you C.
We`ll ring you soon!
From Ivesy
Stay away from Kho Sumai then if you dont want to see a Macdonalds! Actually sod it the beaches there are lush and you have got to check out the Pink Lady bar down the Chewang road!They will let you pole dance with them! (sorry if spelling is wrong) So jealous have tons of fun in Thailand and if you make it to Kho Tao (Turtle Island) pop into Crystal Dive and say hello to Si , he'll also sort you out a good dive deal! ;0)love C. xx
Response: Too late! We came here en route to Ko Phan-gnan and have stayed longer than expected because we couldn't face moving again yet! We're making the most of the bars and restaurants (but avoiding the ones which are simply full of women waiting for a rich westerner) before heading to the east coast of Koh Phan-gnan where we'll be lucky (or unlucky!) to only have mozzies for company. Serious diving awaits us, we can't wait! Pink Lady is tiny! I think you must have had your beer goggles on when you went in! Haven't seen a whiskey bucket on the menus yet but you're not the first to recommend the drink so we may try it even though we both hate whiskey! Haven't seen any fire po or fisherman's trousers in the markets yet - just a lot of fake (we hope!) weapons!
From Helena & co
Snow has arrived in the Uk, very cold but its very pretty around all the villages etc ... hope this doesnt make you feel too homesick

All our love
Response: Our taxi driver yesterday was surprised to hear that UK has 4 seasons and went on to explain how KL only has 2, hot and wet and hot and dry! Luckily we've hit the dry season and it looks like we'll be one step ahead of the monsoons for the rest of our trip (touch wood!) so we won't get too drenched. Make sure you take loads of photos of William in the snow!
From Liz Hough
Hi I am 11 almost 12 I googled my name (liz hough) and got this web site your trip looks like a lot of fun and you look like a really cool person heres to all the cool lizs out there! thanks!
Response: Hello! Thanks for dropping me a note. I've only just got married so I'm not quite used to being "Liz Hough" yet but it feels great because my new husband and his family are so lovely. Did you see the website for the other Liz Hough on google? She's an artist but I'm not sure which country she's from. Not sure if I'm "cool", more like crazy for doing some of the sports we've been doing - I'm never doing a sky dive again!
From David / Liz
Managed to have one of those 'rare' days off work!

Was doing the domestic thing at home and came across your card!

After reading some of your diary, I can honestly say, I am totally envious of you two! Looks like I'm going to have to find me a wife, so I can take a sabbatical.

I hope you guys are having a wonderful time together and thoroughly enjoying the big wide world.

All the best...Eddie...DHL
Response: Glad it`s working and making you jealous!

Good to hear from you and hope all is well in the dark but yellow world of DHL!
From Mum & Dad Hills
It sounds as if you're really enjoying Aussie - won't want to come home!!!
Received your fax OK.
Take care. Love M & D......
Response: Would you believe us if we told you we'd had enough of the heat?! We're sorry we've been moaning en route - come back cool NZ - all is forgiven!
From Marion Aaron
Sounds wonderful.
Keep your updates coming.
Any plans to return to the UK?
Love from very snowy New York City
Marion
Response: Would love a bit of snow right now! Saw the pictures of East Coast USA in the papers - it looked terrible! Hope you're ok!
From The Jarvis'
Hello guys

Just been having a look at your photos, the bungee jump and sky dive look breath-taking!

Have also seen the feature photo and your 5 minutes of fame! Far better than the most visited site, but we'll keep trying!

All is well on the home front. Look forwrd to your next instalment.

With Love, xxx.
Response: Breathtaking is the non-rude way to describe those activities! Since we've been "feature photo" we've had 15 more visits to the site so the inquisitive strangers are helping our tally! Just need to get on telly now - oh I've already done that by getting on a news report in Amsterdam when I was out there celebrating Queens Day! Hope work isn't too stressful and my nephew is as gorgeous as ever!
From Maureen & Ian
Elizabeth and David,
Many thanks for message and the photos look really good. The answer to your question is:- Your Dad and I are 1st cousins so therefore you are my 2nd cousin. I found Carolyn's email thanks. Enjoy yourselves and a Happy New Year to you both. Love Maureen.
Response: Thanks for the answer - so does that make Rowan and me 2nd cousins too?! This is so complicated maybe I won't get into geneology when I get back! Hope you had a good Christmas with the family.
From Dave W
guys do you know where we are staying in Sidney ? only i wouldn`t want to get there and not be able to meet up with each other etc etc - would be a shame !!!!
Response: You're coming to Sydney?! Why didn't you tell us? We've just left for Nepal?!!!!!
From Besancon Jez
congratulations on the marriage! i think i'm a bit behind the time but have managed to track you down!!
Hope the world is great and you are seeing all the most amazing things there are out there!
love and hugs
Jez
Response: Thanks! Oh my goodness - that's a bit of a blast from the past! I assume you've been in touch with Gary in that case? Hope all's well, I'll be in touch when we get back to hook up for a cheeky pint or two!
From Ivesy
Hi guys , a BIG Happy New Year to you both. Mine was spent in Sunny Barcelona, the weather and the place was gorgoeus,Id like to say it was a relaxing 4 days but far from it with all the drinking, sight seeing and maybe a bit more drinking. Managed to keep track of all 11 of us, just. very depresssing to be back now with the horrid Blighty weather and still no news from Si in Thailand ;0( Think I will have to start rationing myself with your website as the pictures are so fab they are making me want to quit my job, just jump on a plane and leave. Anyway Liz Ive sent you an email link to my website so you can see the Barcelona photos. Take care guys xxxx
Response: Happy New Year to you too! Sounds like your xmas was sunnier than ours! Now in Oz where the weather has been teasing us again. Supposed to be 37 degrees today but it's 9.30am and still cloudy....will check email soon - internet quite expensive though!
From MUM&DADHILLS
HI
Just saw the sky-dive photos - David looks very wary. At least you did it!! One more experience to remember.
Hope safe trip to Aussie land and you find some sunshine.
Love M & D
Response: Wary? Try petrified! He's glad he can say he's done it - just not too sure he's glad he did it if you can see the difference!

In Oz now, found a bit of sunshine yesterday, here's hoping it continues! Saw the xmas photos - made me very homesick!
From Dave W
oh just reading your latest update @ 8.00 on the 30th dec @ work -this 3 week trip better be worth it !!! sorry to hear about the poor weather - can you sort that out before we arrive please - thanks. It snowed here on christmas day - very odd /exciting. OH HAPPY CHRISTMAS / NEW YEAR you two. Take good care - counting down the days ! 10 pm ???? married life mate. DbW
Response: In work at 8???? No - doesn`t ring a bell! Weather is sorted, I put an e-mail in to Micheal Fish!
From Mum&DadHills
Merry Crimbo
Thanks for the Champagne!!! What a surprise - am yet to find out how you managed that. We will drink a toast tonight at Helena & Nick's and think of you. Not going to cry - there will be many other years when we can all be together (although I know we've got to share you). Glad you caught up with Maureen - Dad was very pleased.
Off to Helena's now to find out what Father Christmas brought William. So lovely to have a baby in the family - not a hint!!!!
Our love to you both and wishing you a very good new year.
Love Mum & Dad Hills
Response: Merry Crimbo to you to! Ha ha - I have my ways - and Heather was very helpful too! I'm sure you know what William got seeing as I imagine you won the prize for "most presents ever given to a grandchild"! Thanks for the Xmas message too - we couldn't open the attachment but the thought was there!

Have a great New Year - spending it with the girls in Kemsing? Give our love & Xmas greetings to Ken and Janet if you speak with them too.
From Dave W
hey you two - not had muchus time to serve and catch up. + we seem to commincating through stand alone emails; which has made me feel bad for not wishing you an offical birthday greeting i.e. on here. nonetheless the boys all sent messages. really good to c some jpegs - somequalitys ones as well. The thermals look amazing - interestingly NZ sits on 3 seismic plates which make it one of most earthly active places on the planet. Having been through a few more pics, Im starting to wonder whether you are professionally putting together the web page OR this is generic site which submit pictures of your faces and the rest is as per every couple - just a theory !! Ive just noticed davids back was rather sweaty on the hollywood -"we can but dream pic" - is the comment refering to a sweatless david ? cause if it is, then keep dreaming sister.

think thats it for now. at its the 23rd of december - i will wish you both a very merry NZ Xmas - formual :
(L+D) x NZ = Merry christchurch !!!
You both look really well, so keep it up. have a fab couple of weeks and David im coming to rescue you mate - finally a beer drinking man to share a cold one with !!!!

take good care and c u in around 30 days _---yipeeeeeeee!!!!!!!
Response: Prize for having the most to say definitely goes to you mate! And those are my very own quality pictures fella - although we have had the same conversation about them being a bit "samey" and people thinking we were in a hotel in Bognor (The Royal Grand Hotel on the seafront - very nice actually!). Looking forward to a drinking buddy... and you`ll be pleased to hear that I too now go to bed before 10 at night!