Sunday, 6 March 2011

Retirement and more!

I haven’t been too active on my blog recently, but I have been busy in other areas. One thing that I have been up to  is retiring from work :-) This is one of those life events that you know will happen eventually. When it arrives, you think - wow, I’m a free man, I don’t have to go into work anymore and I can follow my dreams. I can also wax lyrical on my blog if I want to. So now that I have got time to paint and write and keep fit I have decided to go to New Zealand and then Australia. Well you would wouldn’t you! The trip starts on 16 March when I head off to Auckland. I will stay in NZ till the end of April and I’m planning to do as much cycling as possible. Although the trip is nearly on me, I haven’t got a very well worked out plan of where I will go and what gear I will need. Don’t get me wrong, I have been reading about NZ and looking up cycling information on the web, but it was only this week end that I thought I would see if it is possible to take my bike with me in a bike box. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before, because I took the bike to India a couple of years ago without any problems. This time I got some inspiration from the web-site Barry and Margaret Williamson who cycled a 4,641 mile circuit around NZ in five months a few years ago. Have a look at their web-site, its pretty impressive. http://

I haven’t left everything till the last minute, I have tickets arranged and travel insurance and some NZ dollars ordered. Between now and 16 March, there are quite a few things to do, starting with checking about taking my bike… I will keep you posted!

Painting and drawing has taken a back seat recently, but this is something I hope to put right as I travel around NZ. But I did manage a sketch, when I was waiting for a flight from Belfast International airport at the week end.


  1. Hi, Ray!
    Come and enjoy your life!! We're still in summer. You can enjoy swimming. I swam 1200m today. Refresh yourself and have fun. Paint lots and eat wonderful food:).
    Cheers, Sadami

  2. Hello sadami
    I'm looking forward to swimming cycling and painting and of course the sun. Good to think that we will be on the same continent.
    Good luck