Paint Night

For Valentines Day Lee found us a fun paint night downtown. Chickadees perched a branch that was incongruously covered in both snow and ripe cherries might not have been the most obvious path to a masterpiece, but we had fun. It was amazing how “draw an oval and then another one” turned into some nice birds on Lee’s canvas and ended up looking like ovals on mine.

Waitangi Day 2020

Waitangi Day

Chuffed! NZ has its own Google Doodle celebrating Waitangi Day today, yay! The Prime Minister would have made this announcement herself, but she was busy cooking breakfast for the people gathered at the Treaty Grounds for the annual celebration. Because she’s awesome like that.


More From Sydney

What a difference a day makes… look at that sky. Some rain came through, cooled things off and cleared the air.

This cool statue guards my hotel.

The Opera House at night.

Their lunar festival lanterns are way bigger than Auckland’s.

Operatic Sydney Busker

This woman had a great set of pipes and a good sound system, so you faintly heard the music a block away. I couldn’t tell if she was a truly good singer or not, but she was certainly good at tugging on the heartstrings!

Action Man

That, my fellow Americans, and my formerly European friends in the still for the moment United Kingdom, is Action Man.

Action Man was G.I. Joe in other markets and has quite a history. How he ended up wearing this rather unconventional collection of accessories (outside of the highly sought after Action For Men Rainbow NightClub play set) is unknown.

We met him on the way in to tour an open house that we were already leery about… would a large complex of townhouses we can afford be a bit too noisy and full of kids for us? Yes, said Action Man, it will. It most certainly will.

Ho ho Hobart

I got to visit Tasmania this week for a 42-hour work trip. Thanks to Bugs Bunny cartoons, it’s a place I’ve always known about but couldn’t have found on a map until moving to the region. More recently, Hobart came to my attention via this amazing article about the Museum of Old and New Art.

The 17th largest island in the world, Tasmania was a timber-based economy for a long time. Now a lot of that land is given over to (legal) opium poppies. Hobart, the state capital, is about 230,000 people, slightly less than half the population of the whole island. If NZ ever starts to feel too crowded…

The part of Hobart I stayed in had a lot of great 19th century architecture and the best collection of door knockers I’ve found since the first time I ever really noticed door knockers in France.

It gets hot in the summer, but the ducks found a way to keep cool.

And I think people also have ways to keep cool, although I didn’t get the chance to experience a Pimm’s or G&T here myself…

Altogether Hobart looks like a perfect place for a long weekend. It’s likely we’ll be working there for the long term so I hope I’ll get to go back.

Anniversary weekend

Auckland Anniversary Day is yet another excuse to have a long summer weekend, and we took full advantage, of course including fireworks down by the waterfront. While there, we got to see this giant cruise ship pulling out.

I did my longest ever ocean swim, and another normal one the next day, and a bike ride the day after that. Other people took it a bit easier.

Get out of here you dirty hippie

Last weekend’s trip to the market netted us both mung bean sprouts and hemp seeds. Either one is probably OK, but together I fear they represent some sort of consumption turning point.

The predictive polling algorithms would probably identify us as Bernie Sanders supporters based on that single purchase (not correctly, as it turns out… I’m hoping for a ticket where Bloomberg gives his billion dollars to Buttegieg).

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