Barry Frost

This is Barry Frost’s personal website.

December 2000

The Internet’s full of strange people who put strange things into search engines. Here’s me thinking I’m reasonably interesting when I get a few visits in my stats only to discover it’s because people stumble on my page from Yahoo looking for things I’ve innocuously mentioned. Some top reasons for visiting my site are apparantly:Ladyboys(mentioned from when I was in Thailand)Schoolgirls(from a photo of Kel and Lou in fancy dress as schoolgirls)Kate(as if there aren’t millions on the Internet!)But the most sought after item is… Truth or Dare Jenga! I’ve had at least a dozen people linking to me simply because I wrote that my housemates bought it for me for my birthday. Bonkers. If you’re one of the Jenga fans, buy a box. It’s, erm, great!

It can’t have escaped your attention that it’s that time of year again. I’ve been nominated chef #2 for Christmas day which means I get to sweat all morning stuffing my bird in the kitchen… and then I’ll get round to cooking the turkey (arf arf). Should be good to have the “family” (us British lot) all together, lots of alcohol and food. We’ve all been buying $10 presents for each other so we’ll all have crap to play with. Then, all going well, Sue and I are heading off on our own to the Coromandel before New Year. Weather’s going to be hot, the sea will be warm and we can top up our tans in the sun. Not exactly our usual December.

Merry Christmas, have fun, have a happy new year, get fat, drink lots and I’ll write again early next year!

MSN Messenger is a fantastic thing. Just by leaving myself logged in at work I’ve got back in contact with three lost mates whose Hotmail addresses I’d put into the system and found they were online too. Up pops a little window and I’m chatting to people on the other side of the planet. Amazing.

Something else that I’ve just discovered is travelblog.net, “a new weblog dedicated to breaking out of provincial mindsets.” In other words, a weblog for and about backpackers and travellers, with links off to pages like mine. A fab ‘blogger called Dori quoted something I’d written a few weeks ago and linked back to me. She’s got her own weblog called saranwarp.com with some amazing photos of places she’s been to so have a look! It’s a damn-sight more interesting than all this bollocks.

Just finished reading The Stars’ Tennis Balls by Stephen Fry. Began with usual public school setting, class issues and young boys’ feelings but developed into a much darker story about jealousy and revenge. Began reading it on Sunday, lazing in the garden in the sun, and couldn’t put it down. Thoroughly recommended.

Dan’s suggested going to see Unbreakable tonight but, given that everyone’s largely skint and knackered, we’ll probably save ourselves for Fringe Ben’s party tomorrow night. We’ve also got our massive turkey to buy in readiness for Christmas. I’ve been nominated as Stu’s assistant in the kitchen which unfortunately means I’ll have to run and fetch when, with an inevitable hangover, I’ll actually want to run and wretch. Ho ho ho.

Oh, and eagle-eyed surfers may have spotted me on Am I Hot Or Not (strange people send in photos of themselves and visitors mark them out of ten). Before you email with abuse, I’m not quite sad enough to have actually sent myself in - Phil, Dunc and co sent in photos of us from the Final Fling and are making a league table. Apparantly, I’m currently in second place with an average of 8. Surely not?

It’s all winding down over here in the run up to Christmas. Everyone’s talking about their “summer break”, planning beach holidays between Christmas and New Year. I suppose it makes sense: take your annual holiday around the public holidays and then have more time left for the rest of the year. Just doesn’t feel right. Sue and I are going up to the Coromandel - a Pennisula in the Bay of Plenty - for a few days before New Year on our own. Well, when in Rome and all that…

Saw Charlie’s Angels on Wednesday. Average entertainment with a mostly near-naked Cameron Diaz which helped. Films aren’t too far behind home and we might go back and see Unbreakable next week. TV’s still appalling, though, with the highlight of the week’s scheduling on Tuesday: “Oh What A Night!” on TVNZ 2 consisting of Dharma and Greg, Then Came You and Shortland Street. God help us all.

Just found out that President Clinton and Blair were at Warwick yesterday! Giving speeches in the Arts Centre on the stage where I was graduated! Just when I leave the damn place something exciting happens. Apparantly, Clinton’s goons were searching everyone who went into the Union and there were helicopters everywhere. All seems so far away.

Sunburnt. Not hugely, because I did put sun cream on, but enough to get the nickname “beetroot” at work. The ozone layer’s so thin here that even when it’s cloudy you can get burnt - must remember to “slip, slop, slap” (slip on a shirt, slop on sun block and slap on a hat…)

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Hurrah! I’m back designing websites! Executive Taskforce want me to stay on until March and are paying me lots of cash and letting me re-design their corporate websites. Said yes, obviously. Sue’s now on a fixed term contract which makes things a lot more “secure” and we can start saving for travelling next year. Weather’s still bonkers: the sun’s shining, it’s lovely and hot but it’s December!

Had my first pint since leaving Britain, last night. And it was Kronenbourg! Fed up with “handles” and the girly half glasses they have over here. Kiwi beer (Lion Red, Steinlager, Speight’s Gold) is okay, but nowhere near as welcome as a Kronenbourg. Sue and I were on a mini pub crawl, drinking at Hugo’s Frog Bar (where they brew their own lagers), a 20th birthday party for one of Sue’s workmates (“Get to bed”) and Murphy’s. Normally I hate Irish theme bars with happy-go-lucky Irish ex-pats but, as I might have mentioned, they served Kronenbourg!

Just had a roasted tomato bagel with smoked salmon and cream cheese for lunch… backpacker, my arse.

New Zealand’s such a great place with lots of things to see and do but it’s easy to forget that the population’s only about three million people and so things aren’t quite on the same scale as back home. A case in point was Rainbow’s End, the “largest” theme park in the country. What they neglected to tell us what that it’s also the only theme park and about as big as one of Alton Towers’ car parks. It was great to be able to walk straight on to every ride but it was hard not to laugh at the weedy rollercoaster and scoff at the log flume. I made sure, however, that I didn’t visibly act like the “bigshot” foreigner - it’s just not polite.

Went to Auckland Zoo on Saturday and, forgetting the ethics of removing animals from the wild and caging them up in a city zoo, it was great! Highlight were the hippos, monkeys and zebras (“basically, stripy horses”). Sue’s planning a big trip to an island next weekend and, hopefully, we’ll get to go to a thermal water park where you can watch films in a hot spring.