Once again my New Year's resolution is to tell more white lies. Plus I have added get organised and seize the day. Not sure if I'm telling lies to myself now or what.
In keeping with my resolutions January 2011 was a busy month. Out to Whanarua Bay for NYE, saw the Hoff in Tauranga, watched the ASB Tennis Semis in Auckland, went for a Cray Dive and spent a day on Waiheke Island. Oh, and I may have electrocuted my balls in January...
On New Years Eve I made my way on to the open road and to Whanarua Bay (40 min from Opotiki) on the East Cape very close to where the great NZ director Taika Waititi filmed his 2010 triumph, "Boy". A ride that could take as little as 5 hours seemed to go forever as I tried some roads virgin to me. Great weather and a free path made for a long, but releasing day. I arrived as the sun set to a host of people consuming their NYE drinks at Shane's Uncle Alan's beautiful retreat. What an amazing spot!
Quick shout out and happy NYE to all.
Shot of some of the grounds. Watch the video below to get a better feel.
Tour of Uncle Alan's Retreat.
Fun and Games =
Mini golf, bloody addictive!
Launching water balloons on next door campers.
Fishing on Uncle Al's boat.
Me, Shane and a Gurnard
One of my catches of the day.
Water fall hike, beautiful.
On a sunny day this would have been refreshing and on a drizzling day it was just cold!
Back Mountain hike that was tough in wet conditions, but worth the views even with low cloud cover.
Some of the team: Jerry, Jess, Tom, Jamie, Laura, The Kid, Tom (photo by Shane)
Pigs next door, how happy does this guy look!
May be these little guys are the happy pig's from above? how f@^&ing cute!
Inspiration for my next stunt.
And now my next stunt. Note that you may see my bum, but it's worth it, haha!
My lucky day to meet my HERO! It just so happened that I was on my way back to Auckland the day that David Hasselhoff was in Tauranga only 20 mins from where I had stayed at Shane's uncle's the night before. I would not miss this for the world!!! Normally in NZ people are pretty laid back about celebrities, but this was the Hoff! Unfortunately I never got to shake his hand, but I managed a couple of close photos and video. I thought Dave and I would go on the piss together and we would have except he would have been sitting with lots of people and I would have been on my own at least until we met at McDonalds over a drunken cheese burger. I guess I will have to wait until next time.
ASB Tennis Semi-finals
Made my way to the ASB Semi-Finals which is the Women's side of the NZ tennis Finals, which takes place 1 week before the Aussie Open. A scorching hot day and two great semi-finals plus the we caught one of the women's doubles semi on the way out. Great value for money as you can watch tennis for 8 to 10 hours for only $40. The whole day was very easy on the eyes and I look forward to going again.
First Semi, Match point (Wickmayer) Second Semi, Match point (Arn, Final winner also)
Went fishing and diving with the Flatmates. Pete, Cuzzy and I set out around 11am for a fish and a cray dive near Maria island about 50 min by boat passing Waiheke island on the way among other islands. We managed a pretty good haul with about 8 snappers and 3 crays (all grabbed by Pete). It was my first Dive in 10 months and great to be back in the water. This my first Cray hunt, was more of a safety dive for me as I watched over Pete while he jammed his arm in to some pretty tight spots. Pete grabbed up 3 crays and handed me a undersized one to get the feel of them. Such strong tails. We returned back to Auckland around 6pm and enjoyed a cray and snapper feast that evening.
Leaving Port amongst some big boats.
Pete and Cuzzy with Auckland in the background.
Near the end of the month I made my way out to Waiheke Island with Jane, Glenn and Marty for a day in the sun with a couple glasses of wine. Waiheke is home to about 8000 people, 1800 of which commute to Auckland each day. It's a pretty awesome place full of Vineyards, Beaches, Eateries and other natural beauty. I will definitely need to return for at least 3 days to get a better feel. A couple of cost notes; Ferry $33 return, lunch can be expensive at Mudbrick vineyard and watch out for an English guy Dave from Waiheke Shuttles Limited that gives you deals because you are now his friends... You aren't his friends and you are actually paying more!
Views from Cable Bay.
December 2010 was a quiet month in the life, but quite significant with the granting of funds for a TV show I have been developing.
INSERT BIG SMILE HERE!
Yes that's right, a TV show. As most of you probably don't know since June this year I have slowly been putting together a TV show with Great Southern TV (production company) who has quite a few shows under their belt. After polishing up the proposal for the show, which I won't name at this point, we submitted it to the network in October. After waiting over a month for the result it was finally announced December 8th that development funding by NZ on Air had been granted. This is a big positive and big step towards getting the show on TV. It is important to know that I postponed my South America trip for this opportunity and also what a great opportunity this is as very few shows get this far. Early looks at our storylining have put a smile on my face. Updates on the progress of the show will follow as I know more.
Also in regards to the show on Christmas eve I confirmed my contract with GSTV and we can now move forward into 2011 completing scripts, gaining full funding (fingers crossed) and eventually filming.
Boxing Day races in Auckland. This event reminded me of the Wellington Cup which you can check in my January Blog of the last 3 years. Even though it is a bit more organized and higher end than the Welly Cup with less queues for drinks and betting, it does come with a bigger price tag including $3 for a race programme and $1 for a pen (both free in Welly). Oh, the opportunistic Auckland businesses which reminds me of North America. Regardless of the pros and cons it was a good day with lots of sun. I only placed one stupid bet and lost badly. Maybe I can redeem myself in Welly if I make it down for the Cup at the end of Jan.
Race 3, photo by Lenka Pelcova.
Brad, Lenka, Owen
Some cops with Lenka in the sloppier infield where the party people hang out.
Interesting Parking spot - Not sure the details of this but this Mercedes is up for grabs to the winner of some contest. Hanging off the side of the Sky Tower