2017 Head of Yarra – Em’s Rowing

Rowing season really started to kick off last weekend with the Head of Yarra event.  Em was in Division 2 and a calamity of errors with their race but they still came third.

Basically they were still getting in the boat when the race started…so they were 3 minutes late to the start…but they overtook 3 boats to come second on time but after a penalty was applied back to third.  However when getting medals they were called out for the gold and then half way through getting medals had to give them back and get bronze.

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Em was in the forth seat and so 5 person from left…first seat starts at right.

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Malaysia New Zealand Chamber of Commerce (MNZCC) Ball 2017

The New Zealand community in Malaysia is one that is friendly and sociable and great to be a part of.  The 2017 MNZCC Ball last night was no exception as Datacom booked two tables for the festivities.

It was my first chance to have my entire leadership team together as one for a great night of eating and dancing.

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It has taken me the past 4 months to build this team for Datacom Malaysia as attracting the right talent takes time to ensure you get the balance needed for success.  I am confident however, that I now have a strong team in place that although young has a maturity to it.

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The dinner and ball was well done…as you could only expect when NZ Tuna, Lamb and Wines are flown in Smile 

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Here is looking forward to next year and hopefully with better planning I can get Kerrie to fly in.  She will need a party night by this time next year as Em will have just completed VCE Exams!!!

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The Ship Inn at Lathom – Liverpool to Leeds Canal

Linking the major cities of Liverpool and Leeds in the UK, the Liverpool to Leeds Canal is the longest canal in Britain.  It is 127 miles in length and in its hey day was crucial for hauling coal and merchandise .

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Last Sunday Kerrie and I took a pleasant morning walk along the canal at Burscough enjoying exploring one of the locks and seeing how various people have  restored their Canal Boats as they sit on the sided moored.

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We were hoping for brunch at The Ship Inn at Lathom but it did not open until 12pm and so instead we had a great brunch at the Jack & Gin back at Burscough Wharf. The staff at the Jack & Gin were so friendly that it really capped off a pleasant morning.

Of course that meant we had to go back later than evening for dinner at The Ship Inn. Which we did and it was also outstanding with some great Cask Ales on tap that along with my duck and pheasant main set up nicely for my long flight back to Malaysia that night.

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The Ship Inn is nicknamed the Blood Tub with two stories behind this…

Story 1…As a ‘navigation’ pub for workers on the canals and nearby ‘graving dock’ and then as a watering hole for competing canal boat crews, a certain amount of fisticuffs amongst the would-be clientele was not unusual. The feisty landlady refused to serve the bloodied combatants, insisting they first clean up in a water filled half-butt outside her proud establishment. This became known as the ‘Blood Tub’, a name that ultimately was transferred onto the pub itself.

Story 2…An early landlady was a famed producer of black puddings. She sourced her ingredients, particularly pigs blood, from her farmer customers. The deals were largely barters, exchanging jugs of blood, which were emptied into a barrel, for ale; which was then carried off in the same jugs – hopefully thoroughly swilled! The barrel of blood was known as the Blood Tub, again the name being adopted for the pub.

You have to love history and the stories that build up!!!

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Manchester Christmas Market

I have been travelling to Liverpool-Manchester area for some 20 years now to visit Kerrie’s family and in that whole time we had never been into Manchester City. 

Well Kerrie and I fixed that last weekend with a visit to the Manchester Christmas Markets and I was just blown away with how beautiful the city is with its wide streets and pedestrian areas amongst beautiful old buildings and many shops and made all the more special with the markets.

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It was a cold day and so we started off with a Hot Coffee laced with that little something extra – Cointreau in my case!!!

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Of course this was not to be out done by a little tasting of the Toffee Whiskey…or a Wimberry Tart.  What is a Wimberry you ask?  Or at least we did of the baker…it is a European Blueberry or sometimes called a Bilberry.

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Strolling through the markets there was lots of typical Christmas Market fare on offer and lots of good German Beer and Food to be had.

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Pretzels, sausages and toffee…did not help my Ketosis diet much!!!

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It was beautiful day out and the market meant that I did not mind the shopping that much.

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Entering Tokyo DisneySea

There is no doubt that Tokyo DisneySea is unique to Tokyo and a absolutely not to miss Disney experience. The girls and I had not been to a Disney for many years and so we were super excited as we queued with 1,000’s of others and then joined the organised mass as we rushed into Tokyo DisneySea upon opening – I say organised mass because the pilotless and structure of the Japanese in such a situation is outstanding…everyone obeys rules and everyone moves without pushing.


This trip was designed to be a family trip with the Hobson’s to celebrate Frank’s 13th.  Unfortunately we were missing Kerrie as she had just started a new job but in a late surprise we discovered that the McPherson’s were also in Tokyo and they joined us for this first day at DisneySea…a huge surprise to have 3 families of old ADFA mates together some 30 years later!!!

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DisneySea, as expected, was spectacular with huge scene setting lands to explore.  More posts to come but I have put a selection of photos below that show the lands of DisneySea.

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20170711 31 Toy Story Mania - Tokyo DisneySea - Day 1 - Tokyo Disney





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Meiji Jingu Temple – Tokyo

Meiji Shrine or Meji Jinu Temple is dedicated to the spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife. The Shrine is located in a forest that covers an area of 170 acres in Shibuya, Tokyo.

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At out time of visiting it is under restoration for the centennial anniversary in 2020 of its establishment and so parts were not accessible.

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Otorii (The Grand Shrine Gate) is the biggest wooden “torii” of the Myojin Style in Japan. It was rebuilt in 1975 modelled in size and shape of the original gate from 1920. The material is Japanese Cypress which is 1,500 years old from Mt. Tandai-San, Taiwan.  Height is 12m with length of cross piece being 17m and the diameter of each pillar 1.2m

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We entered from the main gate at Harajuku Station and exited at the opposite end near Sangubashi Station. A refreshing ice cream break at the Family Mart opposite the station while waiting for our train was needed after the hot walk through the shrine.

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Harry Hedgehog & Bunny Cafe – Roppongi, Tokyo

A stop into Harry Hedgehog & Bunny Cafe on our first day in Tokyo did not satisfy our hunger as the only food served was meal worms for the little hedgehogs.

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The little guys were very spikey to hold as they wriggled around trying to escape but the trick was to rub their tummy and they curl up into a ball.  Molly was OK without gloves but Em was a bit of wimp.

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For about 2,000 yen you get a table to sit down an feed the hedgehogs for 30 minutes.  We were able to walk straight in at around midday on a Monday but we noticed queues building as we were leaving and some large queues other times we passed later in the week.

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