Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My Martha Stewart Moment

Ok if these were Martha's apples they would be artfully arranged in a professionally distressed looking crate with rustic sprigs of straw poking nonchalently out...and not a big black plastic bucket.
However, these are my apples, from my apple tree that I planted just 3 short years ago. And this is only half of them! We now have a freezer full of sttewed apple just waiting to be made into apple pie, apple cake, apple chutney.... enough to get us through the long, long cold winter.
Or at least half way.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

Now For Something Completely Different...

As most of you know I'm the editor of a trade magazine focusing on nuclear power generation. No the most obvious choice for a journalist from New Zealand, but hey, it's an interesting field. People often wonder how dangerous it is to have a plant in your back yard; what if a terrorist decided to fly a plane into it like they did with the World Trade Centre in New York? Well, I'm not going to argue the pros and cons of nuclear power here, but you HAVE to watch this short video showing what happens when you fly a fully fuelled F4 Phantom jet at 800 km/hour into the side of a power station. Awesome! Just click on the link:


As the commentator says: "when dealing with nuclear material, no test can ever be too drastic".I hope the pilot had good life insurance! (haha)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Forest Adventure; Serious Stuff!

Whether you're living in Singapore or just passing through, if you've got kids you have to take them to Forest Adventure at Bedok Reservoir. It's just scary enough to be thrilling, and the kids get such a kick out of doing it. There are two courses; one for smaller kids, and the other for anyone over 1.40 meters, so it's a great couple of hours out for any age group.
The courses are very well put together, strung high between the trees. Every section is different so there are plenty of challenges. Don't forget to book though; it can get busy and you may have to wait a while if you don't make a reservation. During the week of course it's much quieter.

One of the best bits is at the end, when the kids get to sail out of the trees on a flying fox, complete with blood-curdling yell, of course. Look out Tarzan!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Summits Up!

Here it is; proof that we did indeed climb to the top of Mt Maunganui during our holiday in New Zealand.
Actually, 'climb' is a bit of an exageration, admittedly. There is a fantastic path all the way to the top, and although parts are steep it's easily do-able. Carl demonstrated this rather aptly by choosing to RUN all the way to the top. I plodded on at a stately walking speed. Oh, and before you think that's me in the photo above, it's actually my sister Christine (who hates her photo being taken) so you'll have to take my word that we look just as alike from the front as well!

It was a gorgeous day, and we were only 10 minutes into the walk when the boys stripped off their shirts and started running around in their singlets. Ahhh, winter in the Antipodes! Not a snow storm or treacherous stretch of black ice to be seen.....

Blue skies, even bluer seas....could there be more perfect winter weather??

So there you have it; two thumbs up for doing the summit walk up Mt Maunganui, and actually for everything we did on our holiday.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Classic Flyers Aviation Museum, Tauranga

What would a holiday in our family be without a visit to an airplane museum? To be honest I didn't even realise there was one in Tauranga, although when we first landed and were leaving the airport Niels pointed out the window and said "hey look, an American World War 2 Wild Cat". And indeed it was, although he could have called it anything and I'd have agreed with him.
Classic Flyers Aviation Museum is actually two museums; the front part is a collection of modern and vintage planes, memorabilia and a samll shop, plus a pretty good cafe. A second hanger at the rear houses the Taurange Military Collection, formerly a private collection of military memorabilia.

With a few planes the kids were allowed to climb on and a wide range of exhibits it kept the kids busy for at least 90 minutes, plus there was a cute little playground which kept them busy for a futher half hour. The cafe and museum is rented out for private functions and it would be a great venue for a party. My sister Karen took us there, and probably thought it would be a quick visit; she has two girls, after all. By the time 45 minutes had passed and the boys were only half way through the exhibits she was getting an idea of what it's like to have boys!

If you're in the area and trying to entertain the kids on a rainy afternoon this place is definitely worth a visit. And they make a great Milo in the cafe.