Chris's rant fest travel blog

Xmas tree

Katie opens a present

Korina opens a present in the style of Mia/Zoe

Sam opens a present

Martin opens a present

Another present for Korina

Korina and Sam model their scarfs

Me opening a present

Xmas breakfast

Korina and I feed the swans

Martin, Sam and me

Korina teases a swan with some bread

Me feeding a swan

Kent countryside

Kent country estate

Roman tower

The only time Korina will ever be the same height as Katie

Martin making Yorkshire puddings

Me pouring the first of many wines

Heavily laden plates

Katie and Sam

Representatives of the West Malling women's institute

Katie and contents of an xmas cracker

Me imitating a pirate

Aftermath 1

Aftermath 2

Snowy West Malling 1

Snowy West Malling 2

Me and my snowman 1

Me and my snowman 2

Korina and world's smallest snowman

World's smallest snowman

Our snowy Leeds st 1

Our snowy Leeds st 2

Harry Potter...err...Korina @ King's cross

Movie Clips - Playback Requirements - Problems?

(MP4 - 1.80 MB)

Xmas greeting

Still not knowing anyone in Leeds, we decided that an orphan's xmas with Katie, Martin and Sam in Kent would be a better option. Being the middle of winter, we expected nasty weather, but as it panned out, xmas day and boxing day were both very sunny but cold - strangely reminiscent of a Dunedin summer!

As you will see from the photos, we all did very well from xmas - I received a lot of very much needed casual clothes and also gave myself a new snowboard jacket. Unfortunately my present from Korina did not arrive due to the xmas mail, and we are still trying to locate it. I gave Korina a 'Red Letter Day' - these are a really interesting concept over here, that you can give someone 'an experience'. This could be anything from driving a Ferrari to going bungee jumping or learning how to cook / garden with a tame celebrity. Check out for more detail...

For Korina I chose a day at a Rally driving school - where she gets to learn how to do hand brake turns, power slides and generally drive like a lunatic! I was a little apprehensive whether it was something that she would like, but as luck would have it, the gift was a big success. Much crazy hand waving ensued.

Otherwise on xmas day I enjoyed the feast that Katie and Korina prepared with some help from Sam. The girls each made one dessert each, so it was a little like the West Malling chapter of the Women's institute! (sort of an old-fashioned association over here for wealthy ladies that make chutneys and the like)

Although a little disappointed at the lack of a white xmas, two days later we were not to be denied. A cold snap came through dumping 10-20cm of the white stuff on most of England. Much hilarity ensued playing with the snow, making snowmen and pummelling the neighbourhood kids in a snowball fight...the snow did make it a bit difficult to travel up to Lincoln for New Years, but with some assistance from Katie and Martin we managed to find a train that was running and we were then on our way...

Thanks to everyone that sent Korina and I gifts this xmas. It was a little strange being so far away from everyone, and it made it that much easier knowing that we were still a part of everyone's thoughts back in NZ.

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