12 October 2008


Tommy had been over on the island for the last couple of weeks working. When he got over there a few more jobs came up and he said he’d stay on a bit longer. There was only one problem… when he checked out ferry passages back the soonest he could get on was several days after Libby was due to arrive for a week of school holidays with us… A plan was hatched… I talked to work about working remotely for a couple of days… rang GBA to book a couple of seats and then waited for it all to come together… Mwwwaaaah-haa-haaa!

Libby arrived about 11 – jet-setting her way up the country to us. I got big hugs as she arrived and was signed over to me by the airline staff. As we wandered over to the luggage carousel I explained that Dad was still on the Barrier working and that we would hang out and do girly stuff until he came back. She took that very well and there were no complaints even though it was a bit strange for Daddy to not be there.

Once we were back home we had some lunch and I sent Tom a text to see if he was around the bach. Once I heard back from him we got in touch with him using skype. This meant Libby could see him on the screen as well as talk to him…. Very exciting!! Of course we had to pull faces and poke tongues at Daddy… there were squeals of delight when he pulled faces back… wow… this was cool, talking to Dad on the computer!!

We hung out for an hour or two, Libby started watching the Golden Compass while I started sneaking our bags and supplies into the car.

After a while I said to Libby… “I’ve got an idea… lets go and surprise Daddy on the island…. Should we do that?”
Libby’eyes got as big as saucers…. “On the barrier?”
“Yeah… I’ll have to check with the plane but would you like to do that? Go to Great Barrier to surprise Dad?”
“Yes! I’m going to surprise my Dad!!?”

I pretended to call the airline and that they told me we would have to go right away if we wanted to catch a plane. By this stage Libby was dancing about the house with excitement. On the way up to the aerodrome she ranged from being very quiet and wide-eyed to chattering madly about surprising Tom.

Once we got to the airport she was telling everyone that would listen what we were up to and had no qualms cornering the pilot to ask which plane we would be going on.
Finally we were on board and taking off… not long now!

“Janene… I see it … there’s the Barrier!!”
“No babe… we’ve only just taken off that’s the end of Whangaparaoa”
“Where’s my Dad?”
“He’s on the Barrier… we have to fly over the sea before we get there”
“Oh…. I might see a whale… Look… there’s a big ship! Laaa-laa… I’m going to the Barrier to see my Dad… Surprise! Surprise! Laa-la-la!”

I think she kept a running commentary most of the way and I’d zoned out a bit with the drone of the engine….

“There it is Janene!! I see it… I see the Barrier!!”
“Yep… there it is!”
“There’s a beach… that’s my beach… I see my beach!”
“That’s right… and we’re going to fly over the bach… You’d better wave to Daddy… we’re nearly there!”

Libby had a moment of panic when it looked as though we’d flown straight past the airstrip… I suppose it didn’t help me teasing her…

“Oh look… we’ve gone past… we’re not stopping”

“Oh no… it’s okay we’re turning around again”…

I couldn't resist!!

Once we landed it was lucky that I’m bigger than Lib otherwise I’d had been shoved out of the door while she clambered over me to get out… as it was she grumped at me when I didn’t move quick enough for her.

“Look there’s Daddy over there… we’d better go surprise him”

… that was it…
she was off…


Ha! To see the look of glee on her face made it all worthwhile!!

“Dad! I came on the plane to Great Barrier to surprise YOU!”

She was very pleased with our plan! And the whole adventure was just the beginning of four more days of adventure… but that’s another story.

5 October 2008

Barrier working *cough* trip

Had a work trip to do to the island a few weeks ago. The original plan was to go on the Friday, play on the weekend, work the following Monday to Friday then play Saturday and go back to the mainland on Sunday. Hmmm some rodents could have done with a better planning committee.
Got hit by a wicked bot on the way over which turned all the plans to custard, I had to extend the trip by 9 days. A combination of not being physically able to get the work done and the ferries being fully booked. This meant Libby and Janene had to come over the second weekend and hang out with me until the Tuesday ferry which was the first available. We were clearly devastated as you can tell from the video...................

Posting a video of the Barrier working trip.