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Friday, 25 May 2018

Whangamata and MahJong

It's been a while.
Many things have changed.
For example, last weekend I visited Whangamata.

It's a lovely wee seaside town, but I wasn't there to swim or partake of shellfish, but to play Mah Jong.

I should explain.
Actually I should do a lot of things, but I can't be arsed.

I am now a man of Liesure.   Or even Leisure.  I don't care.  I've retired.

I ceased my Toil at the Chalkface on 30th January 2018.
No more pretending to care about spotty, smelly adolescents.
No more pretending to "I do this job because of the kids" . . . bollocks.
I did the job because:
  1. The pay was quite good.
  2. The holidays were fücking fantastic.
  3. The pension was reasonable.
  4. I didn't have to perform manual labour.
  5. I got free tea and coffee, and I didn't have to work weekends.
However, SWMBO had agreed to attend a MahJong tournament in the aforementioned Whangamata. and I had been volunteered to act as driver for Her Graciousness and 2 other ladies.  I had taken an interest in the game, and truth be told, quite enjoyed it.

But first we had to get to Whangamata.

For you unfortunate souls who do not live in GodZone, it would probably appear to be an inconsequential task.
Drive from Wellington to Whangamata.

Please examine the map below.

This is what it should be.


This is New Zealand, and if anyone tried to build a really good road between 3 three major cities on Aoteroa, then they'd be stopped.
It would contravene some weird Environmental rule.
It would offend one or many of the Maori Iwi (sort of tribes, think gangs)

It would smack of logic, there demonstrating an elitist mindset, which then had to be fundamentally racist.

The drive took 9½ hours.

 9½ fücking hours.

In the UK, driving from Glasgow to London, an equivalent distance, would take between 5 - 6 hours, on well made motorways.

In the land of the long white cloud, there was about 20km of dual carriageway, the rest being 2 or 3 lane roads.

Sorry, I need to take a break, my nerves are still shot.

Back soon.


  1. Welcome back TSB. You're back on our famous LINKS service.

  2. I'd have taken a train, or don't they have trains? I have an idea not. Well, in that case I'd have made a long weekend of it. 9 and a half hours sounds horrible!

    1. Hi Jenny,
      nope, we don't have a train service comparable to the UK.
      There is a daily train from Wellington to Auckland, but is primarily a tourist attraction.
      You are quite correct in your Hell reference, so we split the journey coming back,

  3. I drove from Whangarei to Paraparaumu (back a few days later) a couple of weeks back. While I found that the roads had generally improved it was still a hellish journey.
    I used to relish driving from Auckland to Wellington in the old days and used to make weekly trips from Auckland to Ruapehu in the ski season, sometimes down and back on the same day.
    Now I can do without it. It is becoming too dangerous with higher speeds and less tolerant driving. I usually take the bus from Whangarei to Auckland nowadays or look at cheap flights.

    Welcome back.

    1. It could be that we're simply getting older, and possibly wiser.

  4. Oh beautiful Whangamata. Place of many great summer holidays in my late teens and early twenties when I could wear bikinis. We always split the trip with a stay over at Taupo. Hope you’re enjoying retirement TSB. Welcome back to the blogging world.

    1. Ehhhmmm, pictures?
      We did split the trip at Taupo coming back, and also had a really nice break at the Army Museum in Waiouru. Retirement is excellent. I'll be posting much about the joys of doing SFA.
      I hope you are still "enjoying" teaching?

  5. I knew you’d be keen on images once I mentioned bikinis. Oh dear that was before digital photography. I’d have to dig out my old photo albums and scan. That’s not really something I want to share with the world. Hubby would not approve. Hmmn Teaching? What’s that? I’m actually thoroughly enjoying not being in the classroom. On a hiatus which may turn into retirement. I leave the teaching to my daughter these days. She’s in her fifth year as a primary teacher. I’m having fun travelling, housesitting and currently raising two sibling kittens i adopted from an animal rescue. Quite happy.

    1. On second thoughts, perhaps it would be better for you to keep the bikini photos to yourself. We don't want Richard (of RBB) getting too overheated. Well done on leaving teaching, it is getting just a bit too much these days.

  6. O.M.G. that is a long drive! When in NZ we drove from my sister's house in Auckland (north of the city) to Pauanui. It's a bit over 150km ... that took something like 4 hours. once off the super hwy it is 2 lanes through the hills. good god. kids in the back, car sick. super fun. But then there is that beach ... I see you had one at the end of your trip as well. Hope you're out enjoying it before getting back in the friken car. You must love her!

    1. It was indeed a long drive. I must say though, that the drive up was quite pleasant, and we did stop off at the beach. I do love her (with just a tiny bit of fear as well)

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