Hometown? Christchurch, New Zealand
Current Residence? Why are you there? I’m currently a semi nomadic creature based partially in Adelaide and partially in Brisbane. This is due in part to my job, but mostly so I can accumulate airline status points in the hope that one day I will be so lucky as to experience the thrill of walking on cheap red carpet past my fellow human beans with my nose pointed slightly to the sky, then sit in an enviable seat at the front of the plane like it ain’t no thing.
Occupation? What is your current project? Structural Imagineer, this is similar to an Engineer but I substitute technical ability with bullshitting ability. My current project is a 50,000 bean capacity stadium which will be used for such sports as Cricket and Aussie Rules Football.
Favorite activities? As I write this it has become starkly apparent that my level of senility is worrisome, a matter of months ago I would have answered in quick fashion with cool activities like skateboarding and surfing….and this would have been at least mostly true. Sadly however, my Alue’s have seen naught but golf courses and tennis courts lately.
Favorite cereal? My old friend Dick Field makes a wonderful muesli. Whats the last creative thing you did? What is the last thing you made by hand? Engineers are generally of a pretty dreary disposition, I do nothing to rescind this perception.
What do you find most comical about Australia? Would you recommend Americans and Europeans come looking for jobs down there? I’m from this part of the world so most aspects that one would find comical are normal to me. In saying that, the political discourse here is a comedy. I guess it would be a pretty good place to move to, the mining sector is going gangbusters and Aussie is one of the healthier economies getting about so yes, there is money to be had.
Would you rather watch Aussie rules or American Football? I would rather watch Rugby.
How was your trip to Bolivia and what was the highlight? The Bolivia tour was insane. Taking no advice from anyone and using my ignorance as a guide I decided to champion a road-trip from Santa Cruz to La Paz via Sucre, Potosi, and Uyuni. We hired a 4wd and were told, in all seriousness, to avoid driving at night at all costs. My good friend Jim did what any conscientious, yet foolhardy young chap would do, and based our travel time from Santa Cruz to Sucre solely on Google Maps.
We set out after a huge night on the local grog a little later than desired but convinced it was a leisurely 5 hour drive…..9 hours later we were at around 4000m above sea level, it was pitch black, and the feeble excuse for a road that our Landcruiser, and our collective mental composure had been clinging to, finished abruptly. We were faced with what appeared to be a dried up river bed providing no apparent delineable path and pathetic visibility levels due to whirling dust storms. Fear consumed us and Jim started crying, or maybe it was me that cried….no it was definitely Jim.
There wasn’t really one discernible highlight to be honest, just the collective unforgettable memories of driving through a country that is predominantly untracked past the typical tourist route, with good friends and no map. A country that is brutally poor, geographically diverse, sometimes beautiful, sometimes tragic, sometimes friendly and sometimes dangerous.
What is the best adventure you have taken your Alues on since you have been together? Probably said Bolivia adventure, my Alues and I discovered a special bond on the Uyuni Salt Flats where the glare is intolerable to the naked eye. While others were lamenting their lack of vision I was sharp like an eagle, like a big soaring eagle mildly hallucinating after following the local custom of chewing a billion cocoa leaves and drinking some kind of petroleum based liquor.
How did it feel to win the NZWJA 2011 picture of the year? Do you think you'll be able to repeat? Any secret spots lined up? It felt wonderful, probably the biggest achievement of my life. I definitely won’t be able to repeat such an act as we’re expecting the sport to explode over the winter. And what with the youngsters these days, good lord I’ll be lucky if they remember me. Maybe I’ll have to do another tour to stay on top.
Place you want to move next and why? I just swim downstream. There’s a new rugby stadium in Paris on the cards which I’ll be gunning for.