Barry Frost

This is Barry Frost’s personal website.

March 2001

Sue and I have now moved back to the hostel we stayed in when we first came to Auckland. We’re even back on the same floor and it all feels very much like home. Only here until Saturday but we can now stay out late in the City without worrying about catching ferries home and walking up the Steepest Hill In The World. Probably. Helen’s also staying there and, with Joanna just up the road, most of the old Ponsonby gang are back in town.

Had a good last day at work: couple of drinks with everyone in the boardroom before going on to The Empire down the road. Even had a card and a little present. Wasn’t expecting anything seeing as I was just a temp! So, cheers to everyone back at ET - it was lots of fun working with you all and I’ll definitely come back and see you when we pass through Auckland in September.

Another Pom, Sue’s sister Amy, is now also in the country and I’m her designated tour guide while Sue’s working. Seems to be enjoying herself, especially yesterday when we went jet skiing and kite flying up at Muriwai beach. David, who I’d worked with over the last four months, and Lara took Amy and us out on the water while poor Sue was at work. Really grateful to the both of them for giving up their day and taking us out. Absolutely amazing feeling riding into the waves, chasing the surf and flying through the air when the water disappears. Muriwai’s one of the windiest and wavy beaches going so it was a bit of a baptism of fire. It was all very petrolhead with so much power behind you and I can’t recommend it enough. Sue was a bit jealous sitting at her desk and answering phones all day but I’m sure we’ll both get the opportunity to do it again together!

Not sure how regularly I’ll be able to update this beast in the future: finishing work tomorrow and so bang goes my 8-hours-a-day free Internet connection. Will of course endeavour to seek out Internet cafes wherever I am and keep updating but it won’t be quite so, erm, regular. Hopefully, though, this will mean I’ll get back to writing a “Travelblog” of things that happen as we actually travel, rather than what happens as we stay put in one place for five months…

Sue’s sister, Amy, arrives in Auckland on Monday after a nightmare non-stop journey from England. She’s apparantly bringing three bikinis despite the marked cooling down of the weather as us Southern-Hemispherers lurch into Autumn. Hope she won’t be disappointed! We’re taking her up to the (kind of sub-tropical) Bay of Islands first which should still be lovely and warm and we’re also meeting up with Helen who’s spending her last few days in New Zealand with us. Hurrah! Will be really good to see her again: can’t wait to rekindle memories of Helen’s porch exhibitionism, drink lots of beer and fall asleep in pubs. Again.

I’m being temped out tomorrow afternoon by my consultant to North Shore hospital to “fix a website that’s been written in JavaScript rather than HTML”(?) Didn’t think it was worth correcting Barbara (an English ex-pat who in typical northern fashion calls a spade a spade) and it means I get to save the day and be a Web Hero ™ for an afternoon!

The parents have now left the country after their whirlwind ten-day visit. Sue and I took them for a bit of culture to Auckland Museum and to see Nurse Betty on Saturday. The former tried a bit hard to cover the entire history of New Zealand; Te Papa in Wellington is supposed to be much better. Nurse Betty, however, was quite good (albeit no-one else’s taste!): Morgan Freedman and Chris Rock are violent western-esque characters that formed one plot while (insane real-life wife of Jim Carrey) Renee Zellweger is the miserable widowed suburban housewife who, through post-traumatic stress, looks for happiness in a soap star she thinks is real. Yeah, it’s a bit weird.

Long time since I’ve written but it’s been a busy week. My parents flew in from home on a whirlwind holiday that includes Singapore and Australia. Sue and I have been full-time tour guides and trip planners since they arrived but it’s been fun showing them around “our” city. Had a couple of days off work and took them to Waiheke and Rangitoto by ferry and up the Sky Tower. They’ve hired a campervan and are staying on nearby Takapuna Beach (playground of the rich, apparantly) and have taken us out to dinner every night since they got here as thanks. Who are we to complain?!

6 days left at Executive Taskforce and there’s still mountains to do - including finishing off the website. Been given a few contacts down in Wellington but seeing as Sue and I are only planning to be there for a couple of months, I’m not crossing any fingers yet.

And may I be the first to declare my love for the Russians. Bring on the Spanish!

Sue and I have now packed up and moved just across the Hauraki Gulf to Devonport. We’re already missing our little “family” and it was really quite sad waving Helen off on her coach to Wellington on Saturday. Joanna’s living in a swanky appartment with a dishwasher and Dan’s somewhere in the North Island. Now I’ve only got Sue to torment!

Had a fun last Friday night together watching the Auckland Blues beat the Christchurch Crusaders at Eden Park before going to the Rose and Crown and the Loaded Hog. The rugby was poor - too many scrappy penalties, loose mauls and knock-ons - and I can imagine England thrashing the All Blacks’ on recent form. Finishing off our alcohol probably wasn’t the wisest move given that we had to scrub and clean the house the morning after, as a hungover Sue discovered.

So, we’re living on Calliope (pronounced Cal-ee-aye-pee) Road, about two minutes’ walk from the ferry terminal. Our cute little bedsit comes with a sink, hob and a small fridge/freezer and even our own TV. We’re living with our Dutch landlord, an Asian couple and Leanne (Kiwi) and Craig (Scottish). Sue’s very impressed with the big New World supermarket (good chicken and pork, apparantly) and the Glengarry round the corner. Sue’s not very impressed with the stupidly steep hill on the way back!

Nearly had a nightmare hair-cut last night. I had a feeling something was wrong when I walked into the same barbers I’d been going to for months and none of the usual male barbers were there. An eastern-european woman motioned for me to sit down and then proceeded to take five minutes doing up the hairdressing gown thing, dropping her scissors and combs. Wasn’t sure if she was on something or just odd. She began to painfully slowly cut my hair, or rather picking at it, leaving huge clumps, different lengths and tufty bits. I was growing more and more anxious but didn’t want to say anything in case she actually knew what she was doing.

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