Wednesday, 28 March 2012


It has been about 6 weeks since Kate left for University and I find myself having flashbacks to the early years. I can see Kate playing with her Teddy and remember activities dads often do like taking the girls to the playground.

With Kate gone we are able to focus more on Alice. I'm looking forward to following her last 2 years at College and her sporting endeavours. I am determined to appreciate these last 2 years before Alice also sets off on her own.

Here are some pictures of Kate growing up! More later!

Alice on the left

I'm having a break from blogging for a few days! Thank you all my blogging friends for reading and commenting on my posts. It is greatly appreciated! 

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Final Tuesday Night Race

With the days becoming shorter it was decided to reduce the Tuesday night race to 8 laps not 10. Total distance was 27 km [17 miles]. I finished in 42 :15 with an average speed of 38 km [24 miles] per hour.

I have found these races a killer as there are regular power surges that require grit and determination to hold on. As the oldest in my group I find it extra challenging. Thankfully I held on until the last 2 minutes of the race and was outkicked by the younger members.

It has been a successful season for me having gone to the second fastest group. Although nerve wracking at times it has been satisfying to see my improving speed and I have learnt a lot about racing.

Will continue over the winter months in my build up to the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge in November!

Click here for tonight's results!

Taken at a recent Tuesday Night Race

Monday, 26 March 2012

Sweat and Strain

Here is a light-hearted poem / song I wrote 10 years ago dedicated to the pursuit of eternal life!

As some of my readers have mentioned in their comments of recent times there are lots of excuses to be found to avoid the dreaded E word. There is always tomorrow but of course tomorrow never comes.

Hope these words inspire some of you out there who have been somewhat inactive over the years to make today the day that it all changes. Let today be the start of a new life of looking after yourself for a better you.

Sweat And Strain

Pump that iron...sweat and strain
Body gain
You're looking good, you've made the grade
A great new you...expenses paid

Get off that sofa...don't turn to flab
A couch potato...tardy and drab
Move those muscles there's work to do
To combat years neglecting you


How could this happen?...what chances lost?
An image forgotten at such great cost
But don't feel gloomy...there's time to find
A strength...real body and mind


The world is full of excuses that stall
The plans and thoughts and diminish the will
It's all a breeze in comfort and ease
Luxurious leisure more able to please


The vows once pledged have faded and died
The rat race swallowing time and pride
Friends behind have the know how
No time like the must be now


Sunday, 25 March 2012

Keep Going

It has been another busy weekend on the exercise front! Yesterday it was a 2 hour run in the hills and today a 90 km [55 mile] cycle.

Contrary to what most people think I don't always love exercise and sometimes I struggle to get out. Having said that I try not to think too much about it because if I did I no doubt could sometimes come up with all kinds of excuses!

My success in running through the years is a result of a desire to challenge myself and see what I can achieve. To remove all limitations and strive to be the best I can be.

As passing years slow me down I hold on to the belief that if I keep going with my exercise each day I will be a better me!

I challenge anyone who has found excuses not to exercise to make a commitment to do something every day to improve the quality of their life.

Me on the left with my Wellington Harriers Team at Shaw Baton Relays - Battle Hill

I don't have to decide daily to exercise as I made that decision over 30 years ago and now I merely Keep Going!

You've Run Your Race

You know where you're going...roads lead to Rome
They've guided you forward and brought you home
Stealthily onward...on your own
Resolute confidence...nurtured and grown

You've run your race...determined you face
The paths ahead with poise and grace

No turning back...fixed straight ahead
Eyes focused and steady...firm steps you tread
There's nothing to say...that hasn't been said
You've risen above the lowly and scared


Many the knocks...some powerful blows
Been on the ropes...put on a show
Not out for the count...kept on your toes
Bounced back...attacked...towering you rose


We stop and admire...we honour...proclaim
Upright in stature...proud in name
Never the matter what game
Head held high...not drooped in shame


Saturday, 24 March 2012

Preacher Man

Apologies in advance for anyone I might offend. The Preacher Man is a fictitious character that I invented 8 years ago. He is the someone we all have met in our past who criticises and puts us down for our beliefs and actions.

To rise above the negativity and judgements of others takes great courage and fortitude at times. It requires courage to stand up and speak out for what you believe in and not bow to the masses who claim they know more than you!

Here are the words to my poem / song Preacher Man!

Preacher Man

My head's in a're doing me in
Preacher can I win?
You cut me down...though I fight to stand
Can't listen no more to your one track band

You trample upon what I strive to be
Tear at my core...the very heart of me
Take a close look...listen and learn
You've had your it's my turn

Recent demands left me gutted...confused
It seems to me there's no pleasing you
I pour out my soul...entire...whole
Stripped bare...out in the cold


You're merely a and wild
Don't have all the answers...reflect for a while
Stop for a moment...hear what I say
So my words...may find through a way


Not everything comes in black and white
This news could surprise...possibly...might
May come back and haunt you in the dead of night
Causing a shock...awaking in fright


This poem does not reflect my current mood. However I wanted to express some of the emotions I feel when I come up against people who expect me to change to fit in to their cosy way of thinking.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Love Vigilantes

Thank you for the wonderful support from my last post where I was feeling rock bottom. It certainly is much appreciated!

I'm feeling a lot more positive today as I've sorted some issues! John commented on my post that he would like to sing an adapted version of I'm Here For You at his next open mic. This gave me a huge lift!

I'd like you to have a listen to a song by New Order, formerly Joy Division. It is a song I like to do at school because it is one of my favourites.

The song is called Love Vigilantes. It is a sad number but has a great tune!

What do you think?

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Challenging Times

Dear readers I’ve had some difficult times of late!

The teaching profession can be quite draining at times. I am an extremely sensitive person and passionate about teaching. I can be a bit hard on myself and can sometimes have unrealistic expectations of others. Because I want the best for the children I teach I can get frustrated when they don’t take the opportunities presented to them.

I want to say thanks to my close friends and colleagues who have supported, listened and put up with me!

Here is a song that says that I am here for them if they need someone when feeling sad and alone!

                                                                   I'm Here For You

When nothing at all seems to go your way
If all your dreams turn gloomy and grey
And appears no-one cares at the end of the day
It's simply not true...I'm here for you

You say you're alone when pick up the phone
On the end of the line unanswered dial tones
If you feel your words are not listened to
It's certainly not true...I'm here for you

When you need a rescue rope 'cause you simply cannot cope
I'll pull you in from danger...give support and hope

As the hours drift slowly and drearily along
And the tune you sing is a mournful song
When you wonder if the future holds anything new
Indeed all can do as I'm here for you

If you struggle to find reason and rhyme
And the moves you make are out of sync...time
And people keep shifting direction signs
You'll come on through while I'm here with you


Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Birthday Celebration

It was a low key affair!

We had Subway for dinner! Alice and I had the 12 inch sweet chicken sandwiches and Jo had a chicken wrap!

Both Alice and I enjoyed our chicken sandwiches!

Next it was present opening time! Alices's favourite present was the $150 cash from us and Jo's mum!

Following presents we did the Happy Birthday thing. Jo had made a lovely sponge cake with green icing, Alice's favourite colour and melted chocolate, accompanied with ice cream!

Alice is singing Happy Birthday on behalf of Kate

Alice blows out the candles after making her birtday wish

To end the evening we skyped Kate in Palmy who showed Alice some presents she had bought her!

Alice enjoyed her birthday celebration and was delighted to receive all the well wishes!

Thank you everyone who commented on my post. It is the highest number I have had since starting my blog last September! Much appreciated!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Alice Our Palace

Our darling youngest is today sweet sixteen! Happy Birthday Alice!

Alice, 3 years the younger has followed in the shadow of Kate but has made her own unique footprints. She is her own special person with many wonderful qualities and a strong and vibrant personality.

Alice from a young age has been an assertive and happy person and never been afraid to make her mark. In her early years she had many friends and thrived on the opportunities and challenges that school provided. Blanky was always her Number 1 companion when it wasn't misplaced or being washed, if we could get it off her.

Alice has enjoyed being involved in swimming, running, cycling and her favourite event Triathlon which she has excelled in.

Jo and I have loved seeing her grow in to the person she is today. She has become a highly confident, happy and capable young woman who enjoys other people's company and is well liked by others.

Kate - Left / Alice - Right

Her career choice currently is to join the army as an officer trainee at the end of next year. I am sure she will achieve this ambition with her confident and outgoing nature.

Enjoy your special day, Alice!

Here is my song for Alice I wrote about 8 years ago and recorded last week. I hope you enjoy finding out more about her and can appreciate how important Alice has been in our lives!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Sunday Struggle

As my readers know I am a highly competitive person and I'm finding the cycling game quite a challenge and a reality check.

I am superbly fit but when it comes to cycling it is so much more than fitness. Tactics and good management count for more than your level of fitness.

Today I competed in the Kapiti Cycle Challenge that I train on regularly. A couple of months ago I did a time trial with my riding friend, Bryan which I did a post on here.

It was a day of mixed fortunes though finishing on something of a downer with a puncture about half way through the race. I lost 10 minutes and had to work my way up the field again.

Never mind that's racing. I need to be philosophical! I really enjoy cycling but I should look at utilising my running strength combined with cycling and do more triathlons. Lea has 99% convinced me that I should take swimming lessons so that I can also compete in Triathlons and compete against Alice our 15 year old daughter who is really good for her age.

Feeling a little despondent I thought I'd drag up again what I think is one of my better songs with a great message. Here are the words to Be Your Best followed by a You Tube clip that Lea put together for me.

Ultimately the best we can do is to Be Your Best and Don't Worry About The Rest!

Be Your Best

Meet all challenges don’t hold back
Do with drive if skill you lack
Even when they try to bring you down
Smile at them sweetly instead of a frown

When hurdles and obstacles get in the way
And silver linings have merely turned to grey
If you stumble and stutter with right words to say
Take heart remember tomorrow’s another day

Be your best don’t worry about the rest
Give it your all with gusto…zest

Be upright strong stand out from the crowd
Don’t whimper and whisper…shout it out loud
It’s all down to you whatever you do
Be kind to yourself…honest and true


There’s no-one like you can pull on through
Take your chances no matter how few
No-one really knows how much time to go
Shine your light…let it show


Meet all challenges don’t hold back
Do with drive if skill you lack
Even when they try to bring you down
                                                  Smile at them sweetly instead of a frown

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Vigour of Youth

Today's post is another one of the songs I recorded with Lea on Friday!

I wrote it about 8 years ago after an excursion with our girls when they were 10 and 7 years old. We had been to Pukerua Bay and been exploring in the rock pools.

I think this song portrays well the fun element of being a dad with young children and entering into their imaginative and magical world!

Hope you like Vigour of Youth!

Friday, 16 March 2012

Baby She's So Fine

A blogging friend who helps me to record and download my songs for You Tube told me that today's song was written from a typical male perspective. That person will remain anonymous but my readers mostly know who she is! Being a male myself I suppose it was inevitable that I would write from a male perspective.

It is supposed to be a light hearted look at relationships. Let's be honest it's better to not take relationships too seriously as neither sexes are willing to give an inch and prefer to take a mile. My female audience might suggest that men are better takers than givers. I probably could not argue too much about that but I feel I'm now probably alienating any male readers! You can't please everyone!

Hope my song is more pleasing that what I have managed in words on this post!

I'm open to positive comments / criticisms on my extremely biased take on relationships!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Special Treat

Here is a light hearted look at some tricks that might be used as a parent of young children to get them to eat. It is not auto-biographical! I hope that is a word. I don’t recommend this kind of blackmail really but it seemed at the time I wrote this poem / song a light hearted look at the trickery some adults might use in times of desperation. I know I have some tricks of my own but I better keep that under lock and key. Honestly I haven’t done anything bad that I'm able to confess to. I think I better stop there in case I incriminate myself. Oh no I’m sounding more like John the deeper I go with this. If only I could be half as witty. Apologies for my ramblings! Anyway here goes a little ditty called Special Treat!

Special Treat

Lots of vegies still to eat
If you want that special treat
No chocolate or biscuits 'til you finish your plate
You might even get ice-cream and cake

Sit down and stay in your seat
Only good girls get special treats
Meat and greens will make you strong
Healthy mind...strengthen bones

You've had very little it's losing its heat
Be quick if you're after a special treat
Tomato sauce can get for you
Squeeze it over your vegetable stew

Almost have it nearly beat
A few more mouthfuls for a special treat
Down the hatch clever girl
You now can have that raspberry swirl

Do you have any tricks to convince your young children they should eat what's good for them?

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

School Year Starts

Yes I know I'm a little bit late with this but I thought I would include this poem / song anyway for fun!

The start of the year is always full on getting routines set and letting children know and getting them to follow through my expectations. It is a battle at times but most children are getting up to speed!

As a teacher I like to dialogue with the children as much as possible. I regularly ask them how they think they are going and I ask them to reflect on where they think they need to go to. Although they are only  6 and 7 years old they articulate extremely well how they feel about school!

I asked them the other day how they are now compared to the first day of this year. I'm happy to say they expressed positive feelings about me as their teacher and what we do in class!

School Year Starts I wrote about 8 years ago from the child's perspective!

School Year Starts

Nervous children waiting scared
Will he be grouchy...normal...weird?
Tales been told...many rumours spread
Lined up...quick march...into class we head

The school year we go again
Laden with books...pencils and pens

Unknown faces surround me stare
What a freak out...let me outa here
I wish I was invisible...a place to hide...where?
In library corner...under desk or chair


Crawl up in a ball...oh so small
Teacher towers mighty tall
From a book children's names she calls


Morning tea bell rings long and loud
I grab my sammies and walk out proud
No longer a stranger in a crowd
Have made new friends...hope the day never ends

Not nearly as bad as I thought it would be
Feeling excited...relaxed...happy

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Recovery Mode

A bit jaded after the big weekend of cycle racing so I decided to have a quieter day on the exercise front! Popped down to watch a bit of the Tuesday night cycle race that I normally do and gave my excuses.

Since getting more serious about cycling my running has been reduced dramatically. With going to Germany for the Masters World Mountain Running Champs in May I need to step up the running training and get a more even balance with the cycling.

On my Friday post I mentioned about recordings done with Lea. One of our favourite Elliott Smith songs I sang and played on Friday came out really well.

Since I don't have much else to offer you at the moment I thought I would give you the link to have a listen!
Click here to listen to my version of Division Day!

Let me know if you like it!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Weary Weekend

What a big weekend!

Left home early Saturday morning with my coach, Bob and a few members of the Kapiti Cycling Club for a big weekend of racing in the Hawkes Bay.

The Saturday afternoon race was 84 km [52 miles] over the course for the nationals in a few weeks. It was a gruelling race with riders 10 years my junior. I survived the first lap of 3 but found the going a bit too tough. I battled through the last 2 laps and although it wasn't pretty I am pleased with myself for finishing with respectability. I managed 2 hours 29 minutes for the hilly course.

Discussing the day's racing and telling a few stories

Saturday night we ate at the Dannevirke RSA. The best deal I've ever had! A burger with everything and chips for $8. Just what the team needed and a beer to wash it down.

The boys and coach enjoyed their meal and wind down after a hard race

The next day it was a 110 km Fun Ride which was all competition. I am amazed that I got through it so well considering how tired I was after Saturday's ride. I finished the race in 40th place out of over 200 in 2 hours 51 minutes with an average speed of over 37 km per hour [23 miles].

The team [ Left - Right Bryan, Charles and Findlay]

Nervously awaiting the start

The cold beers awaiting at the finish line were greatly enjoyed as the event was held from the Tui Brewery.

Although tiring I learnt a lot about racing and will be better off next time for the experience.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Finally Friday

Has been a tiring week so far but today finished well with Lea recording some songs that she is downloading on to You Tube.

I have really enjoyed the recordings I've done with Lea over the last few months. Lea has been really supportive with my sport and music and i am grateful that she has made the time to record me singing and playing my favourite songs.

The song I am posting today was done recently as a download with words. This version is me singing with the guitar. It is a song I wrote that is dedicated to special friendships.

Click here to listen to Know You're Not Alone!

I'll be out of town for a couple of days competing in cycling races.

Will give updates soon! Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, 8 March 2012


Kate had her first swim in the National Age Group Championships today in Wellington at Kilbirnie Pool. She swam in the 17 - 18 200m breaststroke heats this morning and qualified for the final tonight.

She has just finished her finals swim and improved by 2 seconds on this morning's swim for 6th place.

We are extremely proud of both our girls in their sporting achievements!

Kate has been competing nationally for the last 8 years and it would seem her swimming career is drawing to a close or at least on hold with her going to Uni. Following her improvements and successes over the years has been a joy!

Alice was to have competed in the Wellington Secondary Schools triathlon today but it was postponed due to the southerly passing through making the sea too cold. We are enjoying seeing Alice competing in her chosen sport and it was marvellous to see her effort in the cycling time trial on Tuesday! She has a real talent for cycling and I wouldn't be surprised if this becomes a sport she pursues more in the future.

Here is the link for Kate's 200m breaststroke final result!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Kate Visits

A special day today as Kate has come down from Palmy for a few days. We shared a lovely dinner with her tonight!

She is competing in the National Age Group Swimming Champs in Wellington starting tomorrow. She will be staying in town with the Raumati Swimming Club team until Saturday!

Unfortunately I only get to see her until tomorrow morning when we drop her off in Wellington. I will not be around on the weekend when she leaves as I am off to Napier for a cycle race.

Tomorrow Alice is competing in the Wellington Secondary Schools Triathlon! Will give a report after the event!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Tuesday Time Trial

Kapiti Cycling Club had their 12 km [7 mile] Time Trial from Waikanae Beach to Peka Peka tonight!

I was really happy that Alice decided to join the ride after having come off her bike end of last year in her last venture with the KCC.

My main goal was to improve my time from last year and obviously not be embarrassed by being beaten by my daughter. Alice is a strong Triathlete with her best discipline being cycling so I knew I would have to ride hard.

I was happy to improve on last year and Alice had a strong ride to finish first woman!

Here are some photos of the event!

Alice and Jo in the background awaiting the start!

First cyclists awaiting their start.

Alice starting on 14 minutes!

Click here for the results from tonight's race!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Storm Surrenders

The storm did arrive in the early hours of Saturday morning. Quite fierce winds meant a restless sleep. During the night I heard a loud crash and discovered the next day that our neighbour had lost part of his roof!

We awoke to no power as it had gone off at 5:20! The wind started to ease a little mid morning as I headed out for a run in the hills. Wind, rain and blown over trees made my run rather interesting but somewhat challenging. Did manage to run for 1:50 so was pleased to have managed a longish run under trying conditions. Finally the power came back on about 2:00!

Today has slightly improved with some bursts of sunshine in between showers. Had a 2 hour cycle this morning which was a bit windy and wet with a few hardy souls from Kapiti Cycling Club!

This afternoon it has been clearing pathways littered with leaves and branches, cleaning bikes and sawing off branches of our front tree.

Here are some photos of the process!

Anything happen in your weekend that was out of the ordinary?

Friday, 2 March 2012

Calm before the Storm

A storm is on it's way! The rain has arrived and in a few hours the worst of the weather will start to arrive with predicted winds up to 120 km [75 miles].

Thought it was a convenient time to get some outside shots of our garden and shrubbery. Darkness is almost upon us so hope the photos come out okay! Here goes!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Thursday Training

After mending another puncture I set off under the guidance of my coach, Bob Pratt on my Thursday 10 x 20 second hill sprints. These are rugged! I am a strong hill climber when they go for 5km at a steady pace. However sprinting at full speed uphill is quite a different story.

Bob follows me around in his car and takes my times. I was delighted to find out that I had consistently done times comparable to last time with a non fully inflated back tyre. It was a cold evening and I was extremely glad to finish. Bob was pleased and said that he would make a cyclist out of me yet!

This session was a follow up from a hard 40 km race on Tuesday where I had the 5th fastest time. Considering I am about 35 years older than most of the fast riders in the club I am particularly pleased with my recent performances.

Check out the link below for the Tuesday times!