Archive | February, 2008

Where am I working?

27 Feb

So where am I now? I’m currently working at Woodie Woodie Manganese Mine as an Exploration Field Assistant. Woodie Woodie is located in the middle of bloody nowhere! Its located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, 400km South East of Port Hedland. The closest town is Marble Bar (check out map below), with a population of roughly 300 and is famous for being the hottest recorded place in Australia, with 161 consecutive days over 37.6 degrees Celsius! 

I’m on a 2:1 roster meaning I spend 2 weeks out at Woodie Woodie, and 1 week of R&R in Perth, and guess what today is. The day I fly back for my week of R&R, woop woop. So catch you’ll later and stay posted here and I will go into more detail of what I’m doing here, where I’m living, camp life etc.

Map of Western Australia

Australia Day

26 Feb

Us kiwi’s have a love hate relationship with our big brother neighbour Australia, and after that year of sport its more of a hate relationship (haha).  But its all in good fun,  us kiwis are not hell bent on telling people the first time we meet, that we are not Australian, unlike Joe Bloggs from Canada “Hi, I’m Joe, I’m not American” – its like mate, “I”m Hap, I’m not Mongolian” – no one cares.

Its a relationship built on banter, sporting rivalry, and sheep jokes (which are one way – like the sport last year). If an Ozzie is in New Zealand, its certain they are going to cop some flack, and vise versa if a kiwi is in Ozzie (there’s probably more Kiwi’s in OZ than in NZ). From our flags to our lifestyles, we are both pretty similar countries. The only thing different is Australian’s originated from convicts ;)(I had to have atleast one dig). 

“filling up” the car for Australia Day

 Jumping for joy, its Australia Day    Ozzie ozzie ozzie, oi oi oi! 

Ask a kiwi what their worst nightmare would be and somewhere in there they would say “Millions of drunk Ozzies painted in green and gold, Australian flags flying and they are chanting “Ozzie ozzie ozzie, Oi Oi Oi”!  Well that day was exactly one month ago (it’s not that bad, I’m just being a drama king).  26th of January is Australia Day. And I say, bloody good show Australia, apart from the need to dress up and hang your flag from every possible vantage point and need I comment on the chant. You thoroughly deserve to be congratulated. Us sheep shaggers in NZ, need to take a leaf out of the Australian Book, and for that matter Canada and America with their respective Canada Day and Independence Day (both are celebrations built on the same principles)

Australia Day is Australia’s biggest party, Perth where I was had 400,000 people turn out in the city to watch the fireworks.  The whole country has a public holiday which is dedicated to drinking, bbqing in the sun and meeting up for a massive party in the night.

In NZ we have Waitangi Day, the only memory of a Waitangi Day celebration I have is some tattooed Maori fella burning the flag, or maybe he spat on it, I can’t remember. Oh and I think someone threw an egg at the Queen when she visited on Waitangi Day.  

All the kiwi’s in London celebrate Waitangi Day, so why don’t we celebrate Waitangi Day in NZ? What more of an excuse do we need? Come on NZ, lets sort it out , we don’t need to get dress up in Black and chant “Kiwi Kiwi Kiwi, Oi, Oi, Oi”, we can just just say “Happy Waitangi Day Bro, cheers to that!”

I’m quite enjoying having my own blog, I can write what ever I want-the fact that no one reads it doesn’t matter. 

Midday celebrations Listening to Triple J

Anyway, what I set out to tell you about before I went on my burbbling tangent, was my Australia Day experience. It was a glorious Perth day, blue skies, sunshine. Everyone has an Australian Day party they go to, which starts before midday.  The Aussie tradition is that you listen to Triple J radio station who has a count down of the years top 100 songs that people have voted for. Triple J is an Australian wide radio station, and it makes appearances at Australia Day parties across the country.

We rocked up to the local park where there was a large gathering of different groups, bbqing, picnicing, playing cricket, and everyone had an “eskie” (chilli bins) of beers. Radios from all corners were playing triple J. It was great times, climaxing around 2pm when song number 1 of the year was played (not sure what that was). Then Mr Plod came and informed us of the alcohol ban, So it was back to the house for celebrating beside the pool. We spent the rest of the day frolicking in the sun and splashing in the pool with champagne. A bit of a walk to the beach, and before we knew it, we had missed the train to town, so it was down to the local beach bar to celebrate. 

Celebrating beside the pool Celebrating at the beach

 So reading that, it sounds like a bit of a blow out as we missed the fireworks downtown with the 400,000 strong crowd and the boats on the Swan River. But a great day was had. 

So NZ, next Waitangi Day, lets get a sheep-sitter for the sheep, get the family and friends out and celebrate like its our birthday!

Nuthin but love Hap

PS Does England or any those other UK countries have a celebration like this, or are you guys to busy complaining about the weather? 😉 And South Africa, I suppose you guys are too busy trying not to be a third world country to bother about celebrating. (OK lets not get too serious here, I’m just joking around, having a laugh).

PPS And Yes America we know you celebrate, why? Because in our country we have ‘International’ news that covers more than Iraq, it actually covers other countries! And for that far Northern state of America, I think its called Canada, we know you celebrate because the sale of Canadian flags increases 10 fold.

PPPS OK, my fellow Australians, Americans and Canadians, I’m just rarking you guys up, I love you all.

 PPPPS: NZ whats up with our flag? History and all the rest, i realise that, but come on, a black flag with a silver fern, atleast we could disguinish it? What ya reckon?

Ozzie or Kiwi flag? Ozzie or Kiwi flag?

Margaret River (Jerms Birthday)

21 Feb

With my job I fly out into the middle of nowhere for 2 weeks of work, then fly back to Perth for 1 week of R & R. This week just been I headed south of Perth for my week of R & R.

3 1/2 hours south of Perth is Margaret River which is known for its world class wine and surf. But it was for a different reason I was going down. It was my long time mate Jerms birthday, and considering I had been present at most of his birthday parties since he was 5 years old it would have been rude not to be there. My decision was also swayed by the fact I still haven’t got a house (move in end of month) and that half of my hometown Nelson were there for the week. I couldn’t think of anywhere else I would rather be. A great place and great people.

Jimmy bringing the racus. Ngare and Norm in 70’s get up (norm close your legs!) hahaa

 Jerms birthday was celebrated in true fashion with a 70’s surf theme attached to the afternoon partying to add some colour. OOOhhhhhhh and colour it added! Shorter the shorts and whiter the thighs the better. And most of you who know me would not be surprised I ended up having a female theme to my outfit, with a bikini top being picked up from the Op shop that morning (I think I must have spent too much time playing in the dolls corner at Kindergarten).

Jerm’s B-day present, hahaha Hanging in the Val.

The day was spent hanging out in the back of the 70’s  Holden Valiant ute parked up in the middle of the backyard to add some character to the day. After night fell, the 20 strong crowd of 70’s surfers made there way to cut some shapes on the dance floor. Oblivious that when we entered the establishment no one was dressed up, just us, but it didn’t matter.

The 70’s chicks Ju’s and Jimmy chilling

The bouncer guy took offence to the skinny deadlocked guy on the dance-floor cutting shapes in a bikini top. So he grabbed the dread-locked guys hair thinking it was a wig, only to exclaim “its not a wig”, then the bikini top was ripped off, “there not real” and the dreadlocked guy was escorted out by his hair and told “we don’t like your type around here!” Much to the enjoyment of his onlooking friends.  So lesson learn – your better off going out topless, than wearing a bikini top.  There were more entertaining stories from the night, but its a family show.

 On the Monday, when everyone was surfing (I’m staying clear of surfing until the back is totally recovered, which is lucky as some big sets come through Marg’s) I checked out the wineries.  Lynsy, a friend from the Canadian Chapters had recently moved to Margaret River and is a bit of a wino. So it was great having Lynsy to educate me in the finer art of wine tasting (there’s actually more to it than getting free wine). There is no shortage of wineries in Margaret River, and there’s even a winery with my name on it, ‘Happs’ (well its spelt a bit differently).

me and Lynsy at Happs Pottery The boys off for a surf at Conto’s

Margaret River is a great little town, and is a definite must go place if your into wineries, surfing, or just plain relaxing. The good thing about the beaches is that they are atleast 20 minutes drive from the small town centre, and the access roads give your shocks a good work out. If your not into surfing you have to pick your beach carefully as some of the rips and waves are pretty knarly. So with these characteristics, it keeps away the crowds and development, allowing you to enjoy the rugged beauty with your mates and dolphins (both occasions I went to watch the boys surf they had dolphins hanging with them out the back).

Then it came Tuesday, time to leave the house that was bursting at the seams with 14 people. Jesse and I climbed in his 70’s Holden Kingswood wagon, and made the $70 (amount of petrol required to get the wagon back to Perth) trip back up to Perth with only the sweet spluttering roar of the economical engine to soothe our thoughts. 

Then it was that time again, Wednesday. Time to fly out to work.


12 Feb

Welcome People,

 Well its been a while coming. I’ve finally finished my Website/Blog, (after starting it after my accident in October), and its ready for blogging.  From now on you can follow what I get up to here at, or maybe  just my mother and me will check it, but atleast you know where it is.  So those ‘Hap’ length emails are now a thing of the past.  

With my website I have set it up into Chapters.  Each chapter representing a period of time when I was in a different place or working a different job. So you can see where my travels have taken me. I have tried to summarise each chapter, so if you were in that chapter and didn’t get a mention, don’t worry, I still love you. 

You can  keep up-to-date where I am currently with the blog, which if you like is the ‘current chapter’. So currently I am in Perth, WA. So all my coming blog posts will be about what I’m up to at the moment, or maybe just my thoughts on the world, who knows? not me, we’ll see what unfolds. 

You can also check out all my travel photos from past chapters at the ‘photobucket’ link in the right hand column (I still have to upload my Colombia and NZ photos). I suggest that if you have travelled with me and are still waiting for me to send you photos, download them as you may be waiting a couple more years ;). 

 Well, if anyone else except my mum came for a look at my blog, hope you enjoyed, and if in the future you need to waste some more time at work, please come again.

 nuthin but love hap

 ps Cheers to Chiz for helping me out. (cheers to jo for offering to help as well).

pps you can write comments and I will get them in my email.

Reflection on 2007

12 Feb

I hope everyones New Years treated them well. My 2008  has started off better than 2007! Oh what a year that was for me. Time for a little reflection.

Hap you look like a surfer until you get in the water! Waiting for a ride, traveling with a board is a pain in the ….

This time last year I was in Mexico due to a HR/Immigration processing mistake with my Canadian work visa that couldn’t be reversed, even though both parties admitted they were in the wrong. So I found myself in Mexico waiting for my work visa to be processed, so I could enter back into Canada to resume working. Only to find out that it had been refused!

Me and the kids The young ones bathing

I found myself in Mexico, with no money, no job. After surfing in Mexico I found myself on the Mexican Guatemalan Boarder volunteering at an Orphanage. After that I flew up to live in Denver, Colorado with my now girlfriend Amanda. After a couple of months there we went backpacking through Colombia together. When heading back into America, my friends at immigration decided to deny me entry, leaving Amanda waiting at baggage claim and me a night in the cells before getting deported to Canada. After Canada I flew back to NZ (via Asia as I wasn’t allowed to transit through US) to sort out US immigration stuff to see if I could re-enter US, only to find out I basically had a 10 year band.

Me and Amanda in DenverTaganga on the not so great beach.

With USA out of the question, I needed money to pay off debt, the Western Australian Mines were booming, so a ticket to Perth was purchased. Only to cancel it a week before departing as I had a serious accident, falling 5 metres from a rope swing, leaving me with a fractured vertebra with strict orders to do absolutely nothing for atleast a couple of months.

Scariest moment of my life, back and neck pain and no vision.

 So what a year that was aye! But without all these paths taken, I would not be where I am now, and I would not of had time to create .

So I’m hoping this year will bring a less “interesting” year, although it did make for entertaining email writing, haha.

So the plan for me this year, is to “settle down”, work the year here in OZ. Amanda is coming  out in June, earn enough money for Around the world ticket, and next year its Asia, Africa ending up in South America and hopefully Antarctica somewhere in there.

Hope everyone well,

 Nuthin But Love Hap