It is difficult to imagine what is happening in Armenia at the moment. I hear that there are protests, hunger strikes and it sounds like there is violence also. This is all happening in the rather bleak winter conditions - the protesters have got some committment hanging out in an Armenian winter.
Meanwhile, I am here in safe, warm sunny Nelson. Nelson, where electricity is a given, sewage gets dealt with efficiently and cleanly, drinking water is really drinkable and where I get mad at my nephew for dropping a plastic wrapper on the ground. Where you notice the cigarette butt dropped on the beach, because there is so little rubbish lying around. Kids playgrounds are safe and secure, coffee comes with milk, there 5 brands of baked beans at the numerous supermarkets.
Yesterday i had an almost perfect day, paragliding in utopia (Takaka) then the evening spent camping on the edge of one of the three national parks within an hour or so's drive of Nelson (Abel Tasman National Park). The paragliding was awesome, I had never flown Takaka Hill before, and it was everything everyone had said it was. The views are spectacular when you get above the hill, looking over Nelson, Takaka, Collingwood, Kahurangi National Park and you are flying over native bush.
In the afternoon my twin bro, his little boy and I played at the beach, walked to the resurgence of the Riwaka river (it is a karst landscape - lots of marble and dissappearing rivers) and fed eels at our old house, which is now a cafe. Cody is now 6, articulate, stubborn and adorable.
I am posting pics of my rather cute nephew, and my not-so-cute brother (who i am pleased to say has finally succumbed to the shaving cream-but not before me taking all these pics!). He still has a fishy haircut, Cody (my nephew) thinks it is cool, and all i can say to that is that bad taste must run in the male genes of our family. The thing is that he is pretty ok looking when he scrubs up... Still, it could be worse - right?