064Yesterday, in glorious weather i decided to tackle the aptly named Mount Climie, just around the corner from us here in Upper Hutt.

The track is only 6km long, yet it has an average gradient on 14%, although some sections are 20%.

The summit is 860m or 2,821 ft. And i felt every step of it.

059It took me 90mins to climb up and almost the same time to get back down, due to the steepness of the trail. It wa one of the hardest things i’ve done.

It was worth it for the views from the top: Wellington harbour, the Hutt Valley, Mana and Kapitit Islands, the Wairarapa, Palliser Bay, the Tararua Mountains, the Cook Strait and the Marlborough Sounds were all visible from the top.

Breathtaking,  in all senses of the word!


Welcome to Wellington

Announcement from our train conductor as we arrived in Wellington station this morning:

“Good morning everyone, Campbell here your train manager.  Welcome to Wellington station. Id like to thank you all for travelling on this Metlink Hutt Valley service this morning.

Id also like to apologize for this service running on time this morning. I know that’s not the norm and its an inconvenience. I noticed a lot of you running to the platforms as you were surprised the train was already at the station.

It is something new we are trying out, so bear with us and we’ ll see how we go as we make the transition”.

Gromit in Wellington

Me-and-GromitIts been so good catching up with Andrew over the last few days while he has been here in Wellington. Hard to believe its been 8 years since i last saw him!!

Andrew has been speaking at the Tip of the Iceberg conference: Addressing exploitation and trafficking in people throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. The conference has been run by The Anglican Diocese of Wellington, the Embassy of the United States of America and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Andrew is CEO of Unseen, a multi award-winning UK charity working towards a world without slavery. He was joined at the conference by Unseen’s Executive Director, Justine Currell and both of whom have been instrumental in the passing of the UK’s Modern Slavery Act.

This and that

I have such good intentions to get back to regular blogging but i find less time to do i these days with work and family life….

Winter is on its way out (goodbye crazy storms!) and spring is in the air. Its a good time of year as spring signifies new life and rebirth after the winter.

Things are good with us. We are enjoying our lovely house in Kelson with our wonderful views of Belmont Regional park, the abundant bird life and the sounds of the cattle and the sheep from the nearby farms.

Jake is now walking and is zooming around at high speed with great excitement. He is such a healthy happy little boy and brings Ingrid and i great delight and laughter on a daily basis. Recently we had a nice weekend in Martinborough; our first weekend without Jake. It was lovely for us to have quality time as a couple again in such a favourite place of ours. It was strange to somewhere without Jake though! He did very well and loved hanging out with his Auntie Carmen.

My mum is planing to move over here next year which is unexpected but exciting too. It will be great for her and we hope she can buy somewhere near us, although she is also keen on the Wairarapa. Just having her in NZ will make such a difference and we are praying that God is in all of the preparations (and Immigration process).

Work at the Sallies continues to go well and its great to be in a meaningful job that i really enjoy. Its nice to have a quieter period in my work after the busyness of the new website being launched.

My long term back injury has seen a significant improvement thanks to the advice and help of Claire and also the wonderful team at Bodylab here in Wellington. I have been doing a Bodylab personalised rehab programme 3 times a week for the last 6 weeks and its already made a huge difference, not just to the injury i suffered, but also to the historical lower back, spine and hamstring issues i suffer from. I am not pain free yet but know that being dedicated to this programme over the next few months will pay dividends. They are confident that i will be back running and biking again in the not too distant future. I am sticking with their advice so as not to jump the gun and do things ahead of time.

Other than that, not much else to report. I’m glad the Blue Jays dire season is over – the only saving grace was hanging out with the awesome gang at Bluebird Banter. Wellington Lions (only 1 loss in the ITM Cup this year) have a home semi final against Counties Manukau this Friday. Should be great. Bristol rugby have started their new season off under the helm of Andy Robinson, in good style and despite the dinosaur of Sam Allardyce still being in charge at the Hammers, we did spank Spurs the other week, which was very pleasing.

Oh, and i went to see Gravity the other day; probably the best film I’ve ever seen in a cinema. Truly amazing! I even got do a professional review; read it here.

Wild Wellington

8824428_600x400  As some of you you might have heard, Wellington has been SMASHED by a storm which is still ongoing- we Barratts are all safe and well though.

8824494Our house took a battering as we are quite high up in Kelson, but apart from a loose piece of carport, we did ok. I did get soaked trying to fix the cover back on the fusebox when it blew off though and the winds were so ferocious they nearly blew on the ground. Its the strongest weather i have ever experienced in Wellington and New Zealand.

We had 200km/h winds and torrential rain from yesterday morning and all through the night. 30,000 people are without power (Kelson escaped this despite our neigbouring suburbs of Belmont and Normandale losing power) and there is huge amounts of damage everywhere; trees, signs, scaffolding, fences and power poles are down.

BNOuVASCIAEjHWlThe sea walls at Petone and Island Bay have been smashed to pieces and the southern coast road from Lyall Bay to Owhiro Bay loks like it has had an artillery barrage land on it.

All trains are cancelled, the airport is shut, and no ferries to the South Island (one of the Interislanders broke free of its mooring and had to ride the storm out anchored in Oriental Parade!!).

6757_10151645455329268_238447608_nIts still pretty gusty now as the clean up begins- could take a few weeks by the sounds of it.