Had an excellent weekend without even stepping into (and out of) a plane. Because of the weather we had to abandon any hope of skydiving, nevertheless, we instead went jet-boating up the rapids on a river at Taupo, went paddling in hot springs and saw the exploding mud pools and geysers of Rotorua and then went on to go lugeing. The last was by far the best: a gondola takes you to the top of a big hill onto which has been carved little roads on which you ride a buggy which freewheels all the way down. It’s a big like tobogganing but not so cold. The best fun was zooming round the corners, braking late and overtaking everyone. Again again!

Our house went with some other BUNACers and Fringe Ben (who, sadly, actually has a smaller fringe than me…), driving hire cars down on Friday night. We went to the Holy Cow on Friday which is the main bar/club of the town. I don’t think New Zealanders really get irony when it comes to cheese and it was great to watch the men “bump and grind”, their faces contorted by concentrating so hard. To Five! Helen’s finally got her own back on Stu who, since arriving in Auckland, has been relentless in taking the mickey out of her Welshness, by latching on to the fact that his prized new suede shoes make him look like a teddy boy.

Went out for my birthday last night to the Mexican Cafe (the Kiwis love naming things exactly as they are). Working today, though, so I couldn’t maintain my tradition of severe Birthday memory loss. Sue bought my the Arsenal Home shirt and things and the rest of the house got me a Truth or Dare Jenga. Thanks a lot to everyone for your cards/emails/text messages and especially to those who’ve got me presents!

Back to work…