Sunday, 29 April 2012

Ruin All The Fun

Apparently, so I'm told regularly, men would be lost without women!

Admittedly, having women in your life, obviously not too many at the same time, makes life a lot more interesting. With the gender differences however these relationships aren't always a bed of roses or a box of chocolates. Sometimes they can be a bit prickly and sometimes you might find yourself left with just the hard caramels.

If you don't like this song I wrote and recently recorded you can blame Lea as she put me up to it! I can't blame her for the lyrics but it was her idea to record it. Since she likes the song so much I'm hopeful it won't offend my female readers.

Don't take the lyrics too seriously as it is only supposed to be a bit of fun and the content bears [or should it be bares] no reference to any females in my past or present.

After all that apologising I'm ready to jeopardise my blogging future by inserting an original song called 'Ruin all the Fun'.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Harrier Opening Relay

This afternoon I competed in a 2 km relay called the Shaw Baton Relay. I am really pleased with my effort as I was the fastest in our team of over 40's at the age of 53. I also ran faster than I ran 4 years ago in a time of 7:37 over cross country, hurdles and through water jumps.

No pictures I'm afraid at this point but I have some videos that Lea said at a later date she would make stills from.

Here is a brief report from Mark, our Team Leader :-

Despite a bit of wet weather this morning, and a few last minute withdrawals, the (almost) two WHAC vets' teams enjoyed a fine afternoon out at Battle Hill.

Results were:

WHAC A:  Murray Peebles 7.43, Paul Forster 7.37 (15.21), Dave Mason 8.21 (23.42), Alan McCauley 8.18 (32.00), Peter Wood 8.22 (40.22) and Liam Healey 7.46 (48.09)

WHAC B: Phil Toye 9.10, Andrew McNeil 8.33 (17.44), Dean Patten 8.46 (26.42), Peter Reilly 10.47 (37.29), Paul Sharp 7.54 (45.23), Peebles Murray 7.52 (53.04)

We had some very good packing by the M50s runners so that bodes well for their build up to get gold in Nelson in October!

Special mention to Murray for running twice and to Paul Sharp who was just there watching his daughter and ran to help out the Bs despite having only run once in a about a month (what can you do when you are fit???) - And thanks also to Andrew M for lending Paul some gear to run in

Friday, 27 April 2012

Humbling Experience

I knew it would be hard but I was totally unprepared for how big the challenge would be!

As a competitive runner and cyclist my first swimming lesson ever was certainly much harder than I could have imagined!

To the observor the drills would have looked innocuous but for me co-ordinating various parts of my body in an unfamiliar manner proved highly complex and extremely frustrating. Unfortunately I have taught myself bad technique for the last 10 years and this evening I asked my body to completely change what it was used to.

I decided to take swimming lessons in the hope that one day I might compete in a triathlon and who knows possibly an Ironman much further down the track.

Thanks Lea for the support, help and encouragement you gave this evening as you saw me battle with implementing the drills and overcoming my mental obstacles.

As commonly known there is No Gain Without Pain so I suppose I need to embrace the pain as I'm sure it must get easier with time and application!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Celebrating Children

Have had a wonderful day working with my delightful children at school!

The children I teach are 7 years old and I love this age. Teaching for me is not so much a job but a passion. Children of this age are so responsive, giving and trusting. I am fortunate that I am in a pastoral role where I can provide emotional stability for those who may be unsettled and unsure of themselves. Children continually reach out to me to give them a sense of belonging. Some constantly require encouragement and reassurance.

With our girls becoming young ladies I am fortunate to have a job where I can pour my energies into the next generation. Hopefully I can turn some around and channel others in to a positive, rewarding and meaningful future.

Here are some more stills from early videos when our girls were learning about themselves and their world. It was fantastic to be part of that and share in the joy of youth.

The above photos are of Kate

Alice doing some fishing
Kate looking glam!

Alice with my dad

Apologies if I have repeated any photos as I have been rather absorbed lately in looking back over the early years!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


Have just watched a DVD with my family about a man who wished his life away through all the boring bits but as he did so he missed out on all the good stuff too. Before he knew it his life was over!

A real message in this movie. How much time do we spend complaining about our lives and not appreciating life itself with all its ups and downs? As we know life goes by far too quickly.

Here are some memories once more of our Alice in her early years. I am happy to say that I did really appreciate the children but needed the help of the Click button on the video and the camera to bring these photos to you!

Would never have wished this time away for anything because they were precious and you can't go back though I do like to re-live those special memories.

Hope you like the photos of Alice from her early years!

The above photos were taken at Kindy during a Xmas Concert

Alice copying her big sister reading a book!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Baby Alice

In recent months our oldest Kate has featured in my posts with photos from the past. This was mainly due to the fact that I hadn't access to many of Alice.

In the school holidays Lea helped me with taking photos from our old videos that tracked Kate from 1 year old and Alice from birth. It has been great fun re-living the past as the memory is not always reliable and slightly vague at times recalling what your children were like. I certainly had forgotten how lovely and funny they were and how much I had enjoyed being the girls' dad.

Here is the start of photos taken from the early years! Sorry they are grainy but I am just so thankful to have them!

Proud dad with Alice [not yet one day old]

The following photos were all taken on Alice's first day!

Alice almost 2 months old. Look at those eyes!

Monday, 23 April 2012


This is the final instalment of the Friday Night gig!

Back in October last year I did a post called Beach Life! You can read it by clicking here!

The connection is that I performed an original song called Kapiti in celebration of this wonderful area I live in, that in the words of my song "offers all...much and more"!

Here I am playing 'Kapiti' at the Lembas Cafe. Thanks Lea for your splendid editing to sort out the problems that occurred during the song!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Hard Lessons

After the highs of last weekend with my Silver success in the New Zealand Mountain Running Champs I had a harsh taste of reality in today's cycle race.

Cycling is a tough sport and highly competitive. I have a lot to learn but certainly I'm learning all the time. The main thing I've learnt is being aware of what the other riders are doing or anticipate when they might put in surges. Today's ride was quite an achievement but I know I can make improvements.

The race was 87 kms [55 miles] which I completed in 2:21 with an average speed of 37 kph [22 miles]. Top speed was 68 km [42 miles]. Hope I'm not tiring you out with facts and figures. Overall, philosophically speaking, I did well!

This brings me on to a comment that was on John's post. Actually on a poster on John's post. It said "Life's Too Short". A song I wrote a couple of years ago has the lines "Life is too short we all well know. Get yourself going don't be a no show.''

Exercise for me is a way of feeling truly alive and motivated to live healthy. I like to challenge myself to see what I can achieve with hard work and determination. Running and cycling competitively is my way of finding out about myself and testing myself against other like minded people.

As I get older I become more aware of time and how precious it is and I want to take every opportunity that comes my way. If you don't have a go how do you know what can be achieved and what is your potential.

Here is my song Feel The Rhythm that I performed at Lembas Cafe on Friday night and Lea videoed for me!

Please tell me if any lyrics spoke to you!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Friday Night Live

I was given a wonderful opportunity by Bryan, a cycling buddy to perform a few original songs last night. Bryan and Mahesh are Loud Whisper and they had a gig at my local cafe.

I haven't performed Live often so I was thrilled to get a taste of the lime-light. I performed three songs, Capturing Shadows, Kapiti and Feel the Rhythm. There were sound difficulties during my second song which threw me off a bit but I got there in the end with some assistance from Mahesh.

Loud Whisper are a tight duo with Mahesh on vocals, guitar and harmonica ably backed by Bryan on bass guitar and audience interaction! I am grateful to Bryan for inviting me along and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Loud Whisper and performing my own songs.

Thanks Lea for recording my songs and taking photos. Will include the photos soon!

For now here is Capturing Shadows with Bryan accompanying me on bass guitar!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Few Laughs

While competing in the Mountain Champs I spent a most pleasant few days with my brother, Vincent and his partner, Dixie in Upper Moutere. Conveniently they live a mere 10 km from Mt Campbell where the race was being held.

In the evening after the race I had a few celebratory drinks with Vincent and Dixie around a lovely open fire. They both enjoy life and we had quite a few laughs. We sang some songs with Vincent and I sharing his guitar.

Next day we relaxed at Dixie's sister's house in the afternoon surrounded by stunning views.

Eddie enjoyed the open spaces and let off steam around the property.

Dixie took the opportunity of collecting some walnuts that had fallen on the ground.

Obviously I needed to get amongst the action so I got my brother to snap me with Mt Campbell in the background.

On Monday I made the trip to Picton and the Interislander Ferry back to Wellington. It was a lovely smooth sailing and I was able to take some nice shots coming in to Wellington Harbour.

I took some photos on the last leg of my journey heading back on the train looking out over to Kapiti Island as the sun was setting.

Mission accomplished! Had picked up my National Silver Medal and had a wonderful catch up with Vincent and Dixie! A great break away!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Feel the Rhythm

Nothing particularly deep and meaningful to share today!

Have had a day of recording my recent music on the computer and a few organisational matters for my trip to Germany and London in May. Have made my accomodation booking for Germany and picked up my flight tickets!

The New Zealand Mountain Running Championships that I competed in on the weekend has given me confidence for a high placing in the World Champs in Buhlertal, Germany next month.

Here is a cheery number called Feel The Rhythm that Lea recorded for me last week.

Hope the lyrics give you a lift!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Mountainous Challenge

Have just returned from the New Zealand Mountain Running Championships in Motueka!

My race was a 14.2 km [9 mile] climb up a 1350 metre [1 mile approx.] mountain!

The day dawned bright and sunny to welcome a small but talented and competitive group of runners. Others might come up with different terms, [mad] has been used before.

There were only 15 hardy souls in the 35+ years masters race who also ran with the younger open men!

In preparation for the race I put on my race number, massaged my legs and had a jog over the first part of the course as my warm up.

From the start the fast open men took off with amongst them my main rival Graeme Pearson who has been a World Title Holder in cycling and duathlons. I knew that pace was too fast for me with a massive climb ahead. I settled in to 16th place and steadily passed other runners moving in to 12 th place by the start of the main climb. At this point I was with Pat Meffan who I have competed with and against in New Zealand and World Mountain Running Championships over the last 10 years. I haven't beaten Pat for 5 years though have been close a number of times.

As I matched strides with Pat I was feeling quietly optimistic as I felt I was finding the pace more comfortable than he was. After about 4 km I started to put the pressure on and pull away from Pat. Pat is a fantastic climber and the toughest parts of the course are in the second half so I knew I would have to sustain my pace consistently to the top of the summit.

As I pulled away I started to see more runners ahead and over the next few kms I had worked my way up to 8th place but more importantly 2nd Masters Man with Graeme still ahead though out of sight.

On reaching the summit and end of the race I felt relieved and mighty pleased with myself. I had ran quicker than 2 years ago, beaten Pat by 4 minutes [who had beaten me last time by 3 minutes] and was only 1:30 behind Graeme [3 minutes behind him 2 years ago].

A hot cup of tea and a sausage in bread awaited us at the finish.

It had clouded over at the top and become a bit cooler.

The 4 Wheel Drive Vehicles transporting us down were most welcome as we took in the stunning views that we hadn't had the appreciation of on the way up.

The prize giving was held after a splendid afternoon tea. Medals were presented by Jonathan Wyatt who is a multi World Champion in Mountain Running. I have had the good fortune to compete with him in 2 World Championships.

That's me in the middle with Pat on the right

Shaking hands with Jono before receiving my medal

Will give a further report in my next post!

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Get 2 For 1

Get 2 for 1 is a light-hearted advertising jingle I wrote that appeals to consumers' greed.

I will not be posting for a few days as I will be down in the South Island competing in the New Zealand Mountain Running Championships.

Will give a full report when I return.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Birthday Celebration

One of our exceedingly beautiful daughters, Kate [hope you don't mind John] celebrated her 19th birthday today.

I have been going through some really old family videos and attempted to take some photos. The following photos are of Kate at 3 years old. Not great quality but they bring back memories and are fun to look back on.

Kate with my dad with the hat and Uncle Tom at Georgie Pie

All these photos were taken on the train at Aotea Lagoon, Porirua

We had pizza and pasta at our local Mediterranean restaurant which was yummy!

The girls did really enjoy their meal

Followed by a birthday cake made by Jo and decorated by Alice!

Lea a short time ago put this video clip together from my song for Kate written about 10 years ago. Hope you like 'A Joy To behold'

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Worry Further Down The Line

This is not an anti-war song but merely a reflection on how young men are sent off to war by those in power who make the big calls while they safely remain at home with their families.

I personally believe that people's lives are worth a lot more consideration before they are sent away to fight other countries' battles.

My thoughts are non political but an emotional response in music.

Hope you find my song Worry Further Down The Line thought provoking! Sorry if I offend anyone by my reflections.

What are your thoughts?

Monday, 9 April 2012

Live Your Dreams

Having written 300 songs in the last 10 years I have at times forgotten about some of the songs since I had not been able to professionally record them.

Recently Lea worked on a special project for me on my music and it was great to re-discover some of these songs.

One of those special songs is called Live Your Dreams. I won't ramble on about the lyrics as I think the title gives you a good idea about the content.

Hope you like my song!

Any particular lyrics speak to you in relation to your life, dreams and hopes for the future!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday started off less than leisurely!

Having had a tough run up in the hills yesterday I had an 84 km [53 mile] time trial with 4 other cyclists under the expert guidance of our cycling coach. I completed the ride in 2:29! Not bad considering I rode half of it on my own!

The rest of the day was a lot more relaxed with a gentle walk down to our local located at the beach.

On arrival at the Waterfront Bar we discovered to our disappointment that it was closed to drinkers. Meals needed to be purchased to have a drink. How archaic I feel!

Instead we settled for an ice-cream!

The walk along the beach home was lovely as we watched the hundreds of beach goers enjoying their day!

It's great having Kate home for the term holidays!

Hope your Easter Sunday was a good one!

Friday, 6 April 2012

To Sing and to Play

My post today is in celebration of the importance of music in my life!

From my early childhood days of learning singing and the piano music has been a vital part of my life and frankly without it I don't know where I would be today!

My mum was passionate about music and through her encouragement I found in myself my own passion.

Music has provided a release from stress and an opportunity to express myself. From the moment I started teaching myself the guitar and writing music at the age of 40 I have discovered a creative avenue to share my thoughts, feelings and experiences.

Here is one of my earliest songs that explains how significant music is to me.

Please have a listen to To Sing and to Play which I think is one of my best songs!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Sweet Success

There has been a somewhat negative spin on some of my recent posts that I want to rectify today.

Throughout life we have highs and lows and at times have to dig ourselves out of a deep trough.

I have certainly celebrated success in running and teaching and I feel that I have been successful as a dad.

This poem / song I wrote 8 years ago is dedicated to those times when we have been at our happiest bathing in the glory of Sweet Success.

Sweet Success

Have passed the test...sweet success
Done our second best
We settle for...nothing less

At last...finally...we witness see
What long back now had promised to be
Never too late...the feeling great
Savouring the taste of victory

Anxious hearts have filled with glee
Uncertain doubts quickly flee
Cheery and bright that once was night
Shining the light of victory

Had seemed far off...little gain
As battled the rain
Now you fly...high and dry
Soaring the heights of victory

Soaked up the heat...found safe retreat
Clutched from the jaws of defeat
Found rest and peace...joyous release
Nestled in the breast of victory

Here is a recent recording made under the professional guidance of Lea!

Feel free to share any past or recent successes!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Turning Circles

Have just done another batch of You Tube recordings with Lea and want to include one of them in this post.
I'm finding my songs an inspiration for my posts lately.

No doubt like me you often have that feeling that you are running around in circles and achieving very little. Life is full of routines and the high points seem to be outweighed by mere survival.

Have a listen to Turning Circles that I wrote a while back. Let me know if any particular lines speak loud and clear to you!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Hobbiton 2

I had a great response to my Hobbiton post and thought I should do the follow up.

Our guide was amazing! He was knowledgeable and extremely funny. He told us some incredible stories of how fanatical some tourists who come to Hobbiton are.

One man had bought an $800 Hobbiton gold ring and chartered a plane over Mt Doom and threw in the ring to destroy it as was talked about in the movie.

Another couple of tourists had learnt elvish and one of the couple would interpret what the guide said and translate it in to elvish for his friend.

There were many stories and wonderful information we were told about the owners of the property, upkeep of the grounds, filming details and the significance of parts of the set. A must visit for any Lord of the Rings fans.

Here are the remaining photos!