No, I’m *not* a Jafa….

When you’re out in the provinces on the Proverbial Road Trip (Manawatu, FEIlding’s the most beautiful town in NZ, despite having produced some dodgy characters…), folks recognise an out-of-towner in a flash.

We’re good in Nelson – only 40,000 people, so we know everyone – , but when you have coffee at the excellent Recaffeinate in Whanganui, they out you straight away with a couple of Jaffas with your flat white.

(Wearing a Waitemata Woodies t-shirt doesn’t help…)

Locals apocryphally get a chocolate fish….

* Jaffa: chocolate-covered orange sweet, used by past generations for throwing at movie cinema screens when the manager’s onstage to announce the lucky draw

JAFA: derogatory acronym used by anyone south of the Bombay hills for residents of the City of Sails

“Just Another F#%*ing Aucklander”

Posted in History, Mapua, Nowhere near Not Nelson, This is New Zealand, True Stories | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Makes biking worthwhile…




Just when the track up Marriages Road towards Pine Hill Road starts becoming a pain in the arse, this mirage appears to the delirious cyclist.

A veritable oasis

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Martha, my dear…


Beatles. White album. Can’t help it.

Martha Blanche Sidonie…

….works at Red Gallery

….is an illustrator


CCI08022019_2-1 (dragged)

….comes from Hull (just like Mick Ronson…)

….is currently in Moscow

… learning how to make ceramics

Seems fairly talented……

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The fire

Screenshot 2019-02-09 at 09.14.07

It started on Tuesday about 18km away from some sparks caused by a disc-harrow hitting a stone.

Out of control within minutes and that’s still the situation.

2500 people evacuated, only one property lost due to the sparsely populated nature of the inland region. Mostly farms and lifestyle blocks and heaps of commercial pine forests.

Everything’s tinder-dry – the last decent rain was back in December.

Spread over 2100 hectares to the north i.e. us and the evacuation zone is about 4km away, the exclusion zone about 3km.

The Moutere Highway is closed as is SH6 to Christchurch. There’s a 90km detour in place, 60km along narrow, winding roads through the Motueka Valley.

Here’s a good information source:

If the wind picks up again and turns northerly, we’re good, but Wakefield isn’t.

If it goes southerly and picks up to the gales we had 2 weeks back, Wakefield’s good and we’re less so, but we’re at the end of the peninsular, so no worries.

Unless some idiot flicks a ciggie butt out the car window somewhere.

At the moment, you’d think there was a heavy fog, but it’s smoke. The visibility was down to under 2km yesterday and it’s not recommended to do any outdoor exercise.

So no biking for a bit.

This was Tuesday


This was yesterday. And today.


Posted in Country, Events, Mapua, Nature, Weather | 1 Comment

Great Taste Trail

Version 2

The Great Taste Trail is Nelson-Tasman’s contribution to Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail.

It starts at Nelson airport and runs mostly along he coast to Kaiteriteri and then runs through the Motueka valley and  over the Dovedale Saddle to Wakefield and back to Nelson.

Can’t do the latter bit at the moment – that’s where the big (2000 hectares) forest fire is that’s been raging since Tuesday.

I’ve done about 75% of it – some bits of it multiple times – without slavishly following a schedule.

And boy, do you get some views.

This is looking out towards Nelson from the boardwalk that follows the estuary.

You either bike there.

Or walk.

Worth it, though

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Thieving b@#$%^rds…


Avian bottom-feeders….

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Looking over strange terrain


That acronyms into LOST.

Which I wasn’t, but it’s nowhere I’ve been on a bike before.

This was Woodstock, about 25km in and just before the climb over the Neudorf saddle at around 230m

screenshot 2019-01-27 at 16.09.08

screenshot 2019-01-27 at 16.10.44

Calves were a bit achy next day, but averaging 20km/h over 60km with 500m vertical isn’t too bad for an old fella…

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