On our short road trip on New Zealand's North Island, we spot a giant kiwi nibbling the grass on a distant hillside.
We drive through the Hobbity hills, where every vista looks like The Shire. We stroll through the eggy stench of Rotorua, missing the Lady Knox geyser's daily eruption by 15 minutes. We go down to the glow worm caves of Rotorua by rope, and get through by potholing, blackwater rafting and then rockclimbing out.
We have had hardly enough time to draw breath, let alone do New Zealand justice. But we've certainly tried.
On the excellent girls' day out prior to the wedding, where guests have a chance to meet each other, we battle 48 knot winds to reach Tiritiri Matangi island (the Maori name means buffeted by the wind) while the boys' fishing trip is called off. They sit around in a bar called Carpe Diem while the girls, ever the adventurers, soldier on, encountering rare birds including one straight out of The Dark Crystal and another, the bride's extraordinarily fit grandmother, who leaves us all standing at the age of 79.
Mr Grigg then leads the ladies on a kayak trip off the appropriately-named Big Manly Beach. We meet people who grow Geh-laaa and Brybin ipples (that's Gala and Braeburn apples to you and me). We have fush and chups on the beach, washed down with citrus-flavoured beer.
We are now in Singapore, with more stories to come, including the outcome of the search for the last resting place of my great-uncle, who came out to Australia from England in the 1920s.
That's about it
Love Maddie x
As I write, it’s a mad scramble to get things done before heading off on the annual weekend trip to North Devon. In years gone by, there w...
Everyone loves a good police drama. And there's one going on right now in the village square outside my window. I'm so excited I...
Once upon a time, when I was fit, I cycled up to the most wonderful place on earth. It's in West Dorset and, when you get to the to...
A friend of mine has run into a spot of bother. He's been quoted in a national newspaper article highlighting the negatives of livi...
Well, back in Blighty and the weather vane is toppling over. When it spins round it's like when Hitchcock met Dali. It's like...