Hovedøya ruins

My friend Izabela and I headed to Hovedøya island in Oslo fiord during the summer to see the ruins of the Hovedøya Abbey, a Cistercian monastery. The monastery was completed on the 18th of May 1147 and closed in 1532.




Camping at Liepnitzsee

We chose the hottest weekend of the year to go on a bike camping trip to Liepnitzsee, a small lake north of Berlin. Heat exhaustion and bike tire problems did not manage to spoil a great weekend out. The water was amazing and so was the company 🙂

Ryan Hellyer (me)

Me about to get into my new tent :)




Cycling to Liepnitzsee
The cycling path

Annika heading to bed for the night

Annika heading to bed for the night

Swimming at Liepnitzsee

Annika and I

Annika and I

Ryan Hellyer (me)

If you want to see butt pictures from the trip, just let me know 😉

Leipzig city

Anna, Hanna, Teresa and myself made a day trip from Berlin to the nearby city of Leipzig. There are lots of beautiful buildings and parks in the city and is definitely worth visiting if you are in the area.

Teresa, Anna and Hanna figuring it which way to go

Teresa, Anna and Hanna navigating our way around the Leipzig city center







Cycling to Bernau

I went on a cycle tour to Bernau today. We took an awesome route on super smooth roads. The total distance was 110 km, so I definitely feel tired now 🙂 I do still have a little pep left in my step though, so I’m apparently in better shape than I thought 🙂

Whizzing along at speed


Robinson Jenny

A very exotic looking, yet randomly located Chinese restaurant we stumbled across in the middle of nowhere.

A very exotic looking, yet randomly located Chinese restaurant we stumbled across in the middle of nowhere.

Small pond

Dave Hall

Dave Hall

A picture of Dave during our school years

I was chit chatting regularly to a good friend of mine from my high school years. We had a plan to meet up for lunch some day when we were both free. Then he just sort of dropped offline and I didn’t see him for ages. People do that sometimes, they just get sick of the online world or get distracted by things in the real world, but they eventually pop back up. This time, he never returned. I then moved away from New Zealand. I have a plan to return for a visit early next year, so during my Friday lunch break, I decided to do some hunting online to track down where the heck he is to see if we could finally meet up. The damn bastard couldn’t be found on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, anywhere. It was like he’d just disappeared. I hunted through old friends names on Facebook, hunted through photos, nothing, zip, nadda. I was getting ready to message some of our old friends from school to see if anyone knew what the heck he was up to and how to get hold of him. Before doing that, I Google searched his wife’s name in the hope that might churn something up.

At this point I found an article saying he had died 🙁 in March 2009. It would have been March 2009 that I last heard from him. What I thought was just Dave dropping offline for a bit, was far more serious 🙁 🙁 🙁

Some memories of Dave

I have nothing but positive memories of the dude. We stole cars (we called it “borrowing”), microwaved aluminium foil, made homemade explosives and went on crazy driving trips at breakneck speed on roads not designed for sideways action.


I still remember dicking around in physics class with him once. He had a CD from a Playstation game which we were listening to the music from. One person had one ear phone in their ear, and another person had the other earphone in their ear. Dave declared that the singer was singing 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and that was weird. The other person said Dave was nuts and that they were clearly singing 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10. Dave and I then ended up in a hot debate about whether the other person was nuts, or if it was caused by stereophonic sound. I won that debate 🙂 We then had a huge long discussion about sound technology for hours on end. He loved discussing technical stuff in depth and debating how the innards of things worked.


He often drove a bunch of us home from school (he was the only one with a car). He had this hideously crap old Hillman Avenger. It was slow as hell, but Dave tried to overcome it’s shittiness by driving the wheels off it. One day when we were on our way home, three of us on the backseat decided it would be fun to all jump out of our seats at once when we got to a corner where we knew Dave would be absolutely cooking it. It was mostly just a joke, as we didn’t think us three kiddies in the back could make any difference to the cars handling, but as soon as we lept up in our seats the back off the car swung wildly out of control and we ended up at a hideously scary angle on the road. Much tyre squealing later and we all decided that we would never do that again 😉


Another day at school, we decided we needed to stock up on beefier water guns, so we trundled off and bought the biggest ones we could find. On our way back to school, we decided to stop at McDonalds for lunch. We waltzed in, sat down with our combos and chowed down. At this point, our school rector (principal) pulled into the carpark and walked into the restaurant. We realised he was looking for us, so we called him over, offered him a cheeseburger and pulled up a seat for him. That was the only time I recall seeing our rector smile, as he smirked at our brazen approach to being caught. He never did punish us for that 🙂

Naked women

Another time, I had brought to school a picture of a naked woman. It was being handed around the class, when a teacher (Mr Andrews) realised something was up and walked on over, snatched it out of someones hand, then asked “who does this belong to?”. Being the honest little fellow I was, I stuck my hand up and the teacher said “I’m going to show this to your mother! How do you think she will feel about this?”. My response was “That’s fine, but you don’t need to show her a copy as she already has her own copy. She’s who I got it from.”. I was working on the assumption that the teacher would believe a big lie better than a small one; apparently my assumption was correct as he never mentioned the picture to my Mum 🙂 I still remember Dave just staring at me with a blank face and saying “your Mum really gave you that???”. I thought he was actually going to wet himself when I told him I just fabricated the whole story.

Barry Ogan

For every class we attended at high school, some minion would come around to do a roll call. With our regular teachers, this worked just fine as they knew who we were. But one day when we had a relieving teacher, Dave decided it would be funny to tell them his name was “Barry Ogan” and that his name was not on the roll because he was new (Barry Ogan is a play on the name “Bogan”). The relieving teacher promptly put his name on the list of absentees. When I heard about this, I pointed out that there was a guy called Barry Rogan at Tokomairiro high school in Milton, so the next time he had a relieving teacher Dave said that he was Barry Ogan who had transferred from Tokomairiro high school. After doing this a few times, someone in the school administration added Barry Ogan to the school roll! We thought it was hilarious that someone had fallen for the prank and printed the mystery bogan boy on the roll. Eventually one of our assistant principals came around to investigate who this mysterious “Barry Ogan” was and one of the smarter teachers pointed out that it was clearly a prank 😉 “Barry Ogan” never made a return visit to our school but his legend lives on 🙂 Dave did show up as absent for quite a few classes due to this joke 😛

RIP Dave! You are sorely missed.