Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Potential brewing and wedding frivolities

Two weekends ago a kind friend and I missioned up to a farmhouse inland from Warkworth to pick up some home brew gear.  The request of two cars was a little overkill (sorry Fraser) but it was a nice drive there and back.

The gear looks like it hasn't been used in many a year but it is a complete kit.  The guy kindly offered a few wee hints to get us started.  Mr. Fox is keen to make a start next weekend though it will certainly need a good scrubbing and sterilising before we begin.  A little research into the art of brewing wouldn't go astray either.  All going to plan, cheap beers should be the mainstay of Friday nights.

Little bit dusty but aren't the boxes cool?!
Poor Mr. Fox's back was still very painful and stiff over the last couple of weeks so we went for a gentle stroll up to the end of the street and back one evening.  The street may not be picturesque but the clouds were striking and the vineyard equipment interesting.  I am keen to taste the wine from there so will have to pop in and ask if they sell locally.
Vineyard at end of the street

A little follower

A view from our driveway
Friend's weddings are such a wonderful celebration and last weekend was the wedding of a very dear friend.  It was a busy few days and meant that we had to fly south to Christchurch then drive to Geraldine.  We had fantastic road trip buddies and laughed til my side hurts. Su-lin and Greg you rock.

 The Hens and Bucks day started with white water rafting.  After Mr. Fox hurt his back we both thought we might sit it out but on the day the numbers needed to be boosted...so off I went.  The Rangitata Rafts company was really nice.  The safety brief and signing a waiver made me feel more than a little hesitant to jump on in but it was too late. There was 14 of us that were also attending the wedding  (including the lovely bride and her groom).

Lunch was served, we were kitted out and on our way. The first 30 minutes or so on the river was pretty calm and involved lots of safety drills/practice. We then got to try out a few grade 3 rapids ( Grade 1 being calm water and Grade 5 being the biggest white water).  The first grade 5 rapid was short and intense.......our boat did not make it through upright. All of us fell into the water and the next few minutes were so terrifying.

 Much of the river was swallowed by me as I was pulled through/under the rapids. I was so relieved to make it to another boat, thoroughly exhausted and waterlogged. My darn foot was caught in some rocks when my legs were pushed under the boat by the current. Greg was trying to tug me in but the boat kept trying to go over me, my foot stayed stuck and the water kept going over my face. Finally I spun round (not sure how) and he pulled me in. Lol I must have been a sorry sight.....and not in the least graceful or dignified. It was exhilarating to be safe.

The second grade 5 rapid is much longer but the guides were confident we had done everything right when the two boats were emptied. Most of us were shaken but keen to continue. So off we went. There were a few hairy moments but our boat staying the right way up while some others didn't. The rescuees became the rescuers...not sure what was worse really. Seeing people in the water desperate to be in a boat was not nice. Especially when two went missing for a few minutes. Everyone was located and some of us leapt off a 4m cliff for fun (a few jumped 9m but I didn't)  The trip was soo much fun and a real bonding experience. It provided much to talk about over the weekend as we compared our adventure.

The excited team (I'm on the far left with the light blue helmet)

Oooh grade 3 that was fun

Coming at you grade 5


Nailed it......

.......or maybe not! Oh dear!

At least the guide stayed on!

Being rescued
Stay left...crikey

Made it through the second grade 5, the boat behind us didn't!
 After recovering from the excitement, the rest of the weekend involved old friends and new too meeting up at various places for a chinwag.  The batches out at Ti Moana Gorge that belong to the brides family, the Geraldine pub,  cafes and of course the wedding. The ceremony was lovely and held at Castle Claremont which had beautiful grounds to match the loveliness of the house.  Hannah was a beautiful and radiant bride and Pat a handsome groom. The vows were sweet. The reception was fun and we danced up a storm.

claremont castle
Photo source

Seeing our friend so happy to be married was wonderful.  As was catching up with our friends of 10 years. It  all went very quickly. Now I can't wait to plan my wedding and hopefully have those same friends come to celebrate our marriage.

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