Lucy helps pull logs from the forest, scraps left behind by the Forestry Commission fellers. Annie and David have a license to do this and, with a bit of hard work and ingenuity, keep the fire stoked up all winter. As you can see from the second clip, it was nightfall by the time we got home.
Above: Freda leading Lucy, dragging logs.
Above: Edie drives Lucy and the trolley back to Craiglea.

Mechanical skippy

Skippy hops better on smooth surfaces. Here's a glimpse of this mechanical delight.

Husky racing

As Edie got board with the seate sledge racing she took to standing up. Lots of wipeouts but no tears.


On our last evening we set up some possum bait - blueberries on a flip-flop. We try not to have an impact on the wildlife we encounter ["a fed Kea is a dead Kea"], but we thought a little fresh fruit wouldn't do tooooo much harm, especially as we were leaving the next day so wouldn't be establishing a habit. All we had to do was wait for the regular to drop by. Unfortunately the rain came on, flooding our camp for a couple of hours. Just as we were about to give up and go to bed, we saw her red eyes glowing in the dark. Here's some footage of the possum finally enjoying her fruit salad.

Flinging the dough

Steve demonstrates then Lesley gives it a try. [Remember The Generation Game?] What happened next?

City centre foragers

We are so excited to see yet more new birds, including the Australian White Ibis. These ones we spotted in the city centre, considered vermon locally, were rather grubby and spend their time rummaging in  litter bins for food scraps.

Noisy Neighbours

These are the rainbow lorikeet that feed on the neighbour's balcony.

Backcountry Saddles

We went horse trekking in the hills south of Wanaka, on the way to Queenstown. Fabulous scenery, great horses (Apaloosa), comfy saddles (Western style) and lots of excitement (cantering and river crossings). Here's a short clip.

Cheaky Kea

Our first encounter with Kea, New Zealand's mountain parrot, was at Arthur's Pass. They are always looking for snacks and aren't at all shy about asking. Here's one on our wing mirror.

Mitre Cruise

Due to bad storm warnings most tourists were fleeing from Milford Sound. This meant we joined a tiny group for a boat trip which took us under waterfalls and into a small bay where we spotted Fiordland Crested Penguins and fur seals. A great outing. Here's a clip.

Light at the end of the tunnel

One of the most nerve-wrecking driving moments was going through the Homer Tunnel between Te Anau and Milford Sound. We were being blown about as we approached the entrace but found little comfort inside this dark, dripping, narrow passage through the mountain. Here's some footage of our re-emergence.

Feeding pigeons in the park, Aukland (NZ)

The ferry to Lantau Island

There are many ways to get to and from Lantau Island, including ferry, speedboat and cable car. This is a clip from the 1-hour journey from Hong Kong's Central Pier to Mui Wo, on the east coast of Lantau.

Hong Kong trams

Trams are a cheap and cheerful way to get around Hong Kong Island and we love them. Here's a short clip from the upper deck as we approach Happy Valley.

The slow train to Manzhouli

This short video [below] was taken from the train between Ping Fang and Gubeikou (south-bound). Running along the skyline in the distance one can just pick out some of The Great Wall. There are dozens of tunnels on this stretch of railway line. The longest one we went through was 3,645 metres long. We spent a fair bit of the one and a half hour journey in the dark!

Chocolate baozi

When we first bought baozi in 2005 we thought that the dark, bean paste filling the buns was chocolate. We came to like it, but always wondered what chocolate ones would be like. We still have a tub of cocoa powder that's clocked up a fair number of air miles, so I decided to finally try the qiao ke li bao experiment. The result was surprisingly good, given that I've never made baozi before. Here's the video...

Family activity weekends

Jane and Donald get to grips with a Barn Dance during our Scottish dancing activity.
Participants enjoy full board at Guijin's Folk Custom Guest House. LEAF joins the other families to eat lunch and dinner together, relaxing inbetween activities.
Yanhui and Angel remain as still as possible during a game of musical statues. The face paints are from an earlier game of 'human noughts and crosses'.
After exploring He Xi Village during the Treasure Hunt, participants returned to the Activity Centre to make a memory book using maps and materials generated during an earlier creative writing exercise.
Participants get tied up in knots trying to separate themselves while joined by 'string handcuffs'. They aren't allowed to slip the handcuffs off their wrists because there is another way. Can you do it?