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Travel Image Most people by now know that I am a Kiwi, with T-shirts, jacket emblems, refrigerator magnets and the works to go with it. But I also look upon Australia as home, having lived in Brisbane for nearly eight years and being an Australian citizen. This I obtained through my father having been born in Australia. On my side, I left home when I was sixteen and Hamilton when I seventeen, and from then have been traveling ever since. Actually, we had been traveling even before that, as we moved with my fathers work to Tauranga, Auckland and then onto Hamilton. This city is the one area that I have actually lived the most time, so call it basically my home city! I left New Zealand when I was 22 years and traveled to Brisbane.

Me and Marg in a Greek TavernaThe jobs I had that do not feature on the resume are actually quite a few. As a kid, I did some work for my Father in his business, then as a horticultural apprentice for a year before tossing that in to become a cook in the Army. A big step, as before that all I had ever cooked was a peanut butter sandwich for afternoon tea! Waiouru and then Papakura, I have always been fairly get up and go and enjoyed the ruggedness and comradeship of the Army. It also taught me to drink and Waitangi taught me to smoke! Let’s just say, that the religion I had before that time quickly disappeared, never to resurface! But I did enjoy the road running I did, and the games of rugby I played, learnt how to play squash and learnt how to have a good time! It was not all play though, as I was in the volunteer fire brigade and was called upon for a few calls and bush fires etc. Learnt to drive tanks and APC’s here, flew in choppers and the old Bristol Freighters along with the better Hercules planes.
 
I did a lot of hitch hiking around the country and worked in a few areas for holiday jobs, such as in Milford Sound, met some great New Zealanders and always remember being picked up by one Maori family while hiking around the East Cape and spending the night in an old whaling station with damper bread and the leg of lamb boiling over the open fire! Great people! First car was on old Morris that I leant to double the clutch on its crash gears in, then a 350 Suzie bike that I toured the North Island on and learnt how to pull apart but never learnt how to get it together again – sold it for parts! Had an Oxford Cambridge that was sold for rust and driven into the curbs on different sides of the road to straighten the steering on, but never did! Then onto the big Aussie cars. Loved the Statesman that I had and the Ford Falcon, loved even more the 500/4 Honda that I learnt how to avoid all other vehicles with but not the slippery corners – luckily no damage to me or the bike! Mind you, I even came of a racer bicycle once also going around another slippery corner! Girlfriends cannot be discussed here, but will always remember Joanne my first true friend, and of course it was Marg that was the one who came along and brought me back into line! Amazing that she did not like me at first, as I was still drinking quite well in Australia and it was her restaurant bar that we hit each afternoon. Luckily I was given a chance and she has kind of got used to me since. Just as well I suppose, for there was Scrumpy nights in England, Capriana and vodka nights in Singapore, Maotai in China, the great Munich beer festival and countless other evenings when the enjoyment of a few drops of liquor was probably a few drops too many! Can the Army be blamed for this, where with the spirit of comradeship and cheap booze meant that a person just let loose and had a great time? (One trip we got up to was to travel down the road with a mini tanker hooked behind and the hose into the back window for beer on mobile tap! Cannot do what we did then now of course, but in the middle of nowhere, we got away with a lot!) Not likely, as I used to drink the Rum from the Navy boys as well, so I suppose they should also share the blame! Whatever, I did leave there able to handle my whisky quite well thank you very much, and did not actually stop until we bought the house in Australia.  
At that time we used a credit card cash advance to pay for the deposit and bought a pick and shovel as the place was totally overgrown, and then spent seven years renovating and landscaping it up. There were many nights that I worked bare backed under the spotlight at 11 PM getting more done in the garden, or Marg comes home at 12 midnight to find that the windows are missing from the bathroom, - the room is decidedly drafty and airy – as they have left to be sandblasted! But, we did a lot of that work ourselves, just the two of us, except for electrical, gas, restumping and reflooring, and made a great job of it, finishing it just before we left for Germany, but satisfied that we had completed it. It was the time of pushing the work, for after one trip to hospital for leg vein removal, the old stumps had to be broken up, so, promising myself to only bend at the waist, I took a sledge hammer to them and wondered why everything swelled up! Luckily it all went down just before going back to work, and just in time to whip a wire into my leg from the brush cutter! Seemed to have a few accidents around that time, with the main one in nearly losing my finger to some damn chicken neck I was not cutting properly, but luckily I have never had any car accidents yet. Sure, I have backed into a tree stump outside a girlfriends place one night, spun the old Morris a few times, even come off the back as a pillion and scrapped myself down pretty well, but in hitting another car in a speed situation, never! Thank goodness too, as it must be the worst and I hope it never does happen!  
I wish I could say the same for other people, for when I was 20 I came across a horrific accident in which a young boy burnt to death and I have always carried a fire extinguisher in my car since. First time I had handled a dead body that one was. Back to  Marg and our time together, which started with her running away to Scotland, - actually, she had a trip planned for some time – and I followed her there. I had been on 20,000 acre farm that somebody wanted a driver for on the outback border as I can drive anything - and did drive their harvesters and bulldozers etc., - it is just that I cannot repair anything! Finished there and hiked 400 miles back to Brisbane in a ute with a broken windshield, and then the big OE! We worked around over there, first in Edinburgh, then in Bedfordshire and finally in Cornwall before heading back to Australia, but still wishing for more. (My family is shown on right with Mum being at far right and Trevor closest left).

House time, smaller car, everything going well, - what next? Time to get married and that’s what happened! We have since shared a lot together and been to a lot of places, we know each other and I must admit, that it is Marg that has kept us together! Hard to imagine that we ere now together over 24 years! But when we were first married, it was the time when we visited the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast, the Great Barrier reef and Port Douglas along with Cairns and all places in between. We sailed on Gretel 11, the Americas Cup challenger and swam over some fantastic corals, steam trained up mountains and sped down empty highways. Gretel wasn’t the first yacht I was on though, as I had cooked a few years prior to that for a two week trip on a 95 foot schooner, the Spirit of Adventure, sailing on Hauraki Gulf in New Zealand for a school girl’s cruise. Shame it had to be cut short, but I suppose that it was better to shelter from the remains of the hurricane than keep dragging our anchors everywhere. I keep thinking back to that trip, that if I had missed my grip on the daredevil swings out over the sides I would not be here today, as there was no way that the boat could have swung back to pick me up! But I was classed as an instructor, the land lubber that I was, while the girls were students and therefore harnessed in!
 
With my brother Trevor in 2001, a couple of years younger than me!
At the baptism spot in Israel in 1997
All dressed up with nowhere to go!
At Hamilton Gardens in 2001, braving the sunny weather!
At our Executive Christmas party in 2005 and a present or two to open!
Taken about 1994 at Dads place, the work never stops!
With the dogs around at Barovale relaxing in the afternoon sun!
Taken in Goa relaxing one evening with some good friends and a cocktail or two
Posing by the Park swimming pool in 2005 one evening
Marg with Mum and Royce at Hamilton Gardens
My Aunt Katy with Leslie's husband Peter behind her
Aunt Kate's husband Bruce
With Marg, Natalie, Mark and Kathy on Marg's birthday 2005
With Marg at the Taj for dinner on our wedding anniversary in 2004
My fathers mother, Molly, who visited up north to Cables Bay about 1973 when I was also passing through
With Dad in 2004 as we were leaving New Zealand after a quick trip back
All dressed up with Marg at Barovale one day in 2001
Marg and myself in Napier, New Zealand in 1994 on a trip around the North Island
Posing on the Great Wall of China in 1988 when we worked in Beijing for two years in 1998
Sitting outside a coffee shop at London's Court in Perth early 2005
Marg and myself traveling around the mountains of Bali where it gets quite cool, in 1992
My Aunt Claire and late husband Dick in 1997
With my Aunt Leslie on her trip to Singapore
Frank, my father, with Molly his mother at Cables Bay about 1973