Many of you have messaged me notes of support and asked what I am doing with myself now. More often than not asking about my Blog, so I guess its high time I answer all those questions and post a Blog at the same time.
For the most part I have been playing golf, I have shaved just over three shots off my handicap. Still not playing as well as I’d like but making progress and moving things in the right direction.
I have been lucky to be off over the Christmas holiday period, it’s meant a lot of my friends have been off work too. This has allowed us to travel about and play some of the other fine courses in New Zealand.
Omaha Beach Golf Club was until recently a personal favourite, it’s a links style course and reminded me a little of a course I used to play back in the UK. It also has the benefit for me, for the majority of the course at least; to be safe on the right-hand side. Those that have played with me will know that I can on occasion suffer with a bit of a slice! So, having the safety net of space out to the right is a real bonus for me. I was putting together a nice round until the seventeenth; this has a large lake to the right and despite being relatively straight off the tee all day, it was never going to last!
My new favourite however, is Waitangi Golf Club; its like two courses in one. The front nine is a parkland course and the back nine more approaching a links style. And the views, well they are something else. Right know if I could only play one golf course for the rest of my life this would have to be it, but I have a few more to check out so I will keep you updated.
In my new found retirement I have been promoted to house husband! Not a position I have actively applied for, but it appears that despite my wife quite happy for me to take a break; its not all about the golf! So now I am chief cook and bottle washer. I am not to the Olympic style level of cleaning that my good lady can reach; but I appear to be holding my own with little complaint. I am fortunate that I can cook better than I can clean, so as long as the house looks respectable and dinner is on the table when she gets in, I can get away with it.
Lola is loving having Dad home, although she is getting older, she’s loving the extra walks. I do however think she is grateful sometimes when I go out to have a bit of quite time. As soon I as pulled the computer out, she has assumed the position by my feet, its like nothing has changed. Well for her at least. But this weekend she is on respite, one of our dear neighbours is looking after her and we are off for what I expect will be a very drunken weekend catching up with friends in Tauranga. We have enjoyed a couple of great weekends away exploring New Zealand and this weekend I am sure will be no exception.
I am hopping this will be the perfect warm up for our maiden voyage to the South Island. It’s amazing to think we have been here for well over three years now and our only trip down south was a flight back from Sydney that got diverted to Christchurch, as the weather made it too bad to land in Auckland. I will always remember this trip, not only for the hair-raising landing attempts in Auckland but the comradery and support of our fellow passengers. We had exited the plane at Christchurch Airport and despite repeated reassurances that we would all be put up in hotels; as we stood around awaiting further instruction the doubt that this was going to materialise became more apparent. We were clearly not the first plane to get diverted that day and looking around it was obvious that blankets were already beginning to be handed out to our fellow stranded passengers. The ground crew were repeating their reassurances that hotels would be found but the tone was clearly changing and the looks on the faces of the crew told the story all to clearly. This is where we got lucky, remember I am the nice guy who likes to talk to everyone. Behind me is an older couple who had clearly missed what had just been said and overhearing their concerns I turned around to reiterate what was said adding my concerns on the availability of hotel rooms and pointing out the blankets that were clearly being banded around. My wife was trying to find us accommodation but we don’t know one end of Christchurch from the other, fortunately our new friends do. Within moments this lovely couple had booked a two-bed unit and was whisking us away via taxi. Clearly saving us from a night on the airport floor. Judging by the next morning this was exactly where most of our fellow passengers had spent the night.
I will always be grateful to this couple. But most of all it underlines what I am about; be nice, talk to people. One day you will be surprised where it gets you.