Monday, 31 December 2012

*** Happy New Year ***

This has been an incredible year. When I started this blog back in May during some time off work, I never imagined I would be off to New Zealand working on amazing films and having such adventures, and the lovely thing is, I've captured so many memories in my blogs and videos, published or unpublished.  I've flown around 32,684 miles in a plane this year, possibly more, going to Prague, The Canaries, Wellington, Auckland, Napier, Wales, Oxford..... I've met some amazing people along the way and also taken some amazing people with me on those trips. 

So, into 2013. I hope it's filled with as many adventures and lovely people, and I hope yours are too. 

All the best and Happy New Year!!! 

XXX

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Back in London - Guest Christmas Blog



I've been back in the UK for around 4 days now, and it's so lovely to be back around my best friends who I haven't seen for 6 months. The weather is not so appealing, but it's Christmas, and I feel festive, so who cares?!!

I have not been blogging, I've taken a couple of pictures and I will blog again soon, but I need a break and some time to recover from jetlag. 

So for now, I have a Christmassy video for you all, made by my friend Harriet. She's going to teach you how to make chocolate covered prunes for Christmas as a gift. Yum! 




Merry Christmas and see you soon! 

XXX

Thursday, 13 December 2012

NZ20 - Things I've bought and been up to and going home

I've decided to make this my final blog for New Zealand. It's a nice round number 20. 

I fly back home to London tomorrow for a couple of months before heading out here again to work on more movies, it's going to be a proper cold Christmas and a shock to my system after the lovely warm weather we've had here in Wellington. 

I've had an amazing experience over here and I wouldn't change it for the world. Made some brilliant friends, learnt loads, and partied well! 

So without going on too much, here's some of my shopping from Napier and what I've been up to in the last week or so around Wellington. 


My new Karen Walker ring. 

Pyjamas from Cotton on. 


Jumper from Glassons. And the next 3 are from the Gloaming exhibition in Wellington at the New Zealand Portrait Gallery. 40 sets of sculptural portraits created by Johnny Fraser-Allen, Weta’s Senior Sculptor and conceptual designer. 




Dwarves on the seafront in Wellington. Up there on that building look! 


The most amazing Christmas party I've ever been to. At St James Theatre in Wellington. 



And sunny day barbecues with my buds. 

Over and out from Middle Earth. See you in London! 

XXX


Sunday, 9 December 2012

NZ19 - The last day in Napier

On my last day in Napier, I wanted to go to the Aquarium. I failed at this, because I walked to where I thought it was, and it was closed, then I found out what I was looking at was actually "Marineland" and not the aquarium, I hadn't walked far enough, which sucks. 

Instead, I went shopping again, and off I popped to see the other film at the Art deco centre, which I preferred to the first one, as it was more about art deco and less about the earthquake. 




Below, even public toilets in Napier are pretty! 


I stumbled across a really cute little antique shop. 



This was my tiny plane back. Literally the only one on the runway. 


Nice man offered me the window seat, and I took some cool photos from above. I love small planes! 




Then I was back, in the Middle of Middle Earth. Wellington. Check out the baggage belt! 


I'll show you some of my shopping in the next post, and a bit of what I've been up to this week in Welly. Gloaming exhibition, very cool! 

Till next time! 

XXX

Thursday, 6 December 2012

NZ18 - Napier getaway part 2

Day 2 was a chilled out affair. I woke to glorious sunshine, went down for breakfast which I had outside, read the paper, and set off on a stroll. Whoops, the shops called me again! After that, I headed to the Ocean spa on the seafront with my bathing suit and book. I sunbathed for a couple of hours and sat in a hot pool which was just delicious! 


 With the New Zealand sun being so intense, I decided it was time to head on my virtual wine tour before I got burnt! As I was on such limited time, I was advised to go on this one. It's held at the Napier Wine store and it's in 2 stages. First you go into a room which has different metal sticks with scents on. This is to get your nose used to the different flavours and scents which you find in wine. There's a description for each one, telling you what kind of wine and which region in the world you'll be likely to find those flavours. Then there's a guessing game at the end to see how well you took it all in. I didn't do that well! 




After this, they send you into a small cinema/screening room. There are 6 wines lined up for you, and a piece of paper with a short description of each, score card and a pencil. The film starts and takes you on a short history of wine in NZ and the Napier area, then takes you down into 6 vineyards, where the owners talk to you and tell you about their favourite, which you try at the same time as them. You write yourself a note, score them and then you can buy them at the end. I really enjoyed it! My favourites were the Sileni Estate Pinot Gris (not to sweet for a Pinot) & the Crab farm Sauvignon Blanc. 





I bought some wine and went back to pamper myself at the hotel with a nice glass of Sav nd a takeaway dinner, watching my some of my favourite TV and reading. 

XXX


Tuesday, 4 December 2012

NZ17 - Napier getaway part 1

I found a deal on grabone  a few weeks ago for 2 nights at the Masonic Hotel in Napier. Art deco loveliness and a bit of a bargain. The perfect getaway for me after the manic few months I've had working. I flew in on Sunday morning on a tiny plane from Wellington airport with a bit of a hangover. Gollum was there to wave me off.



When I landed there was a lovely lady there with a shuttle bus who offered me a lift. Great! I dropped my stuff off at the hotel as it was too early to check in, and I went round the corner to eat the most delicious and well needed breakfast at their bar, Emporium. .





After breakfast, I trotted over the road to the Art Deco centre. A lovely shop which has historical movies about the earthquake in 1931 and another movie about Art Deco in Napier, the history and styles. I started with the earthquake and re-building of the town. Then I bought some presents.... it was after this that I got the shopping bug. I went for a walk, and I shopped... danger zone... 

I'll show everything I bought in a separate post. This one's for pretty pictures. 










After this, which I found quite tiring having partied the night before and getting up early that morning, I walked to the seafront, where I sat with my book and listened to a lone guy playing his guitar and singing on a tree trunk. Bliss! You can just about see him in one of the photos below. 




It started to rain, and as I was about to leave, a brass band started playing on the stage behind me. I stayed for a while and listened, then went to my hotel, checked in, napped, freshened up, and went to the pub. The rest is history. I made some new friends, played giant Jenga, ate good food, drank good wine, and slept, better than I have in weeks. 



The gorgeous roof terrace outside my bedroom at the hotel. 



The rooms are basic at the Napier, but lovely nonethless and the bed was comfy as! 

More tomorrow! 

XXX

Sunday, 2 December 2012

NZ16 - I have an album!

I am back on blogging form, and am very, very, very chuffed to give you some good news. (For me anyway) Before I go into telling you all about my adventures in Napier, which is where I am right now, I'd like to tell you about some singing I've done. 

My talented friend Ben Hooper, who I've known for a few years now, wrote an album of songs. When I first started out working in TV and film as runner, a good few years ago now, he asked me if I'd like to sing lead vocals on it. Fast forward a bit, and when I was finishing up on Merlin, we started recording, and finished just before I came to New Zealand. 



Ben has been mixing away, finishing it all up back in London, and basically doing all of the hard work while I've been gone, and then "Eleven" by Poppy Fields was born. 


There are backing vocals from The Hardings, Alex Bingham and Rob 
Heard and I'm very proud of it. You can download it on Itunes and listen on spotify. Please go and support us, listen, rate and download! 





Next Blog, Napier adventures! 

XXX