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Anyone Free in Wellington tonight (Wednesday)?

Apologies for short notice, but we're having dinner tonight at Big Thumb on Allen St. This is just off Courtenay Place.

See location here.

Meeting there at about 6:30. All welcome.

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Aussiecon Four Programme

The Aussiecon Four Programme is now online, and I have to admit there are some excellent items on it. I'm looking forward to quite a few items, though I already know I won't be able to get to everything I want to. The programme can be found here.

I'm on a total of seven items, which are:

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Te Papa Museum, Wellington

Me outside the Te Papa Museum

Te Papa Tongarewa, The Museum of New Zealand, to give it its proper name, is a huge concrete building on the waterfront in central Wellington.

Entering, I find the cloak room who kindly look after my coat, and don't even charge for the privilege.

At the information desk the helpful assistant suggests the best way to see the museum is to take the lift to the top floor and work my way down.

So starting on the sixth floor, which has an exhibition of pottery by Peter Stichbury, an artist from Auckland. I can't say pottery is my thing (though I did a little in art class at school) but I did find it interesting.

Moving down to the fifth floor (the sixth had a relatively small exhibition area), artworks from many New Zealand artists, from both Maori and European traditions were on display. It's quite interesting to see how both have added influence from the other into their works over the years.

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In the museum

View from the museum cafe

It was raining this morning, but cleared up into a very pleasant spring day, so rather than take the buys into the city centre, I decided to walk. It took about an hour, which was fine because apart from a long walk through Bangkok airport, I've not got any exercise since leaving ireland.

I'm now half way through the Te Papa museum, which is am awesome place to visit. There's a fantastic collection of items depicting New Zealand history, both Maori and european.

More later - I've still got a lot of the museum to get through before it closes at six.

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LiveJournal links fixed

To anyone following on LiveJournal, I realised the links weren't working part way into the journey, and couldn't fix it till I got to Wellington. They apparently are working now. Silly me for not leaving them on the default settings.

Today I'm off to Te Papa Tongarewa, the museum of New Zealand. Will report with photos later, I hope.

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Wellington - at last!

Islands from the plane approaching Wellington

The flight to Wellington was fairly uneventful. The plane was only half full, so I had a row to myself. I watched the in flight movie for a bit, but it was pretty awful, so I snoozed for a bit.

On the way into Wellington, we were treated to some pretty amazing views of the complex of islands and peninsulas making up the northern tip of the South Island. Amazing fractals.

At the airport I was greeted by Norman Cates, a former DUFF winner and all round nice guy. He gave me a lift to his house, showed me around, and headed back to work. It was really nice of Norman to pick me up, as while I'm sure I could have made my own way, it really made it a whole lot more lot more pleasant.

I was fairly shattered, so I had a nap for a couple of hours. After getting up and having a shower, I felt human again, and caught up with email till Norman got back from work.

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Time to go...


Okay flight to Wellington is boarding in a few minutes. see you there!

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Next stop: Sydney

I'm writing this on an iPad in Sydney airport.

Nice bit of kit despite some minor annoyances. I miss Swype for the keyboard, for example. The kid next to me has been showing his grandmother how to use it for reading eBooks, and they can't seem to make the fonts big enough for her to read comfortably. But this isn't the place for a technology rant.

Back in the vastness of Bangkok, I was chatting with a chap in a purple Buddhist robe who turned out to be from Texas, but has been living in Burma (isn't that Myanmar now?) for the last nine years and is flying home to see his parents for the first time in tearly a decade.

The woman sitting next to me on thpe plane is a school teacher from Sydney, flying home from England where her husband was playing cricket, and their daughter lives. We comparg the Irish and Australian education systems. They seem to have a lot in common, probably because they were both set up by the British.

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Bangkok Pagoda

Bangkok airport is huge and modern and all looks very shiny. However, it is quite possibly connected into an alternate reality, with a vast concourse seeming to stretch to infinity. I walked for what ssemed like miles and came to the baggage collection and immigration areas. I didn't need either of these so I walked back and went through the security check for connecting flights.

The first half of the flight was fine, with a good selection of movies and TV shows (I watched How to Train Your Dragon, which was silly, but good fun. Hoping to get some sleep on the second half.

I think changing my socks would be a good idea.

Next stop Sydney!

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First stop off: Heathrow

James Bacon and me

Well, here I am in Heathrow.

Liam stood me up to go surfing in cornwell, but that's okay - I'd have done the same (if I wasn't going to Australia instead).

However, James Bacon met me instead on his lunch break, so that was cool. Then went to the pub for beer and fish'n'chips (that's french fries for any Americans). Going to head over to check in a while (just have to confirm which terminal to go to).

Also been charting with Kate about my programme items, so that was useful. Isn't the internet wonderful?

Next stop Bangkok.

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