Just realized I forgot to put this video up on here after I posted it onto YouTube a couple of months back. A small video montage made from footage shot from around Brașov in Romania in July 2014.

I will be editing up another couple of videos soon, so I’ll post them up when I get the chance.


Early morning walk to the underground at Kings Cross.

Early morning walk to the underground at Kings Cross.

Six months on in the UK and I haven’t been able to feel entirely settled.

Each day is a mixture of love and hate with living here. My industry has such a wide pay scale and competition that good pay to work was much harder to come by than I expected. The first couple of months were tough and while I worked on one production early on (a post for entirely different time) I finally got a full time job working for a equipment hire house as a tech and driver. While I was convinced I could help on the technical side later, I have missed out on that chance and now just prep and deliver kit like most people at the job. I do miss working on broadcast but I also realize in helping with a London 48 Hour team and their side productions over the past few months that I also miss working as part of a team on something in production as well. My inabilities to decide on one specific area of work has really stopped me from zoning into a certain area of work here as well, being that I am still interested in camera, post, and film production. Combined with the pay and need to cover our living costs, I can’t gamble on taking contract work or having to work for next to nothing in order to climb the ladder here at this time so instead I just continue to enjoy what I can.

This isn’t supposed to sound entirely like a bummer. I do enjoy my weekends and seeing what I can around the city with my free time. While driving I also enjoy seeing parts of the city I wouldn’t see and seeing some crazy things now and then. There are lots of things to see and do and so many interesting areas. Over the Christmas/New Year I also got to see other parts of England which was amazing, and I’ve also got to go to several events that just wouldn’t be possible elsewhere.

Driving for my job has also had me visit some amazing places like Elstree Studios (where the original Star Wars and The Shining were filmed among others), Abbey Road Studios, the O2 Arena, Pinewood Studios (007, most of the Marvel films in the UK, etc.), and more. Every day has been interesting and because the company is small enough even the more experienced kit room people still drive around a reasonable amount. Plus I am still certainly learning new skills or adding to the ones I already had previously by being there.

But I think, barring seeing and getting some other work, in June or July I probably will be moving again to Budapest, Hungary to spend at least another year living there instead. My partner Rebecca is heading there at that time and it just isn’t cost effective or probably great for my sanity to stay in the UK at the kit room for up to another year before she comes back. Once we finish in Hungary then we will look at our options which may include returning to the UK where Rebecca can work and I can look into my options in the industry here where possibility the pay won’t be as big a deal at first but we will have to wait and see.

Until such time as I leave I will just continue to make the best of the opportunities I have in London and to learn as much in the kitroom as I can.


Today I sold my car. Kind of.

I have it still for another few weeks until I actually drop it to the buyer so I can get to and from work until my last shift on May 23rd, but I’ve accepted the offer and taken half of the price with the other half due on delivery. But my trusty white Toyota Corolla Wagon is coming to it’s end of my ownership.

My car as it was in May 2014.

My car as it was in May 2014.

It’s hard not to be connected to your car when you’ve owned it for some time. I purchased the car back in March 2007 and in the past 7 or so years I’ve done over 150,000km and it’s never given me any mechanical issues. The only problems I’ve had come down to the usual wear and tear; batteries, tires, belts, etc. The car was built from standard shipped in parts but not overseas like most cars on our roads, instead it was one of the NZ built cars, something they stopped making in 1998. My car was made and put on the road in December of 1995. The ownership history is an interesting mix of being used for a government department, a rental car agency briefly, and several private owners. The car was well serviced when I got it and I’ve tried to make sure it’s been well kept as much as I could.

With it I’ve driven around the country at least twice in most places. In the past year with having to drive much further to work than before I’ve been racking up around 700km a week on average, with a total of around 37,000 in just the past 12 months alone. A total added to easily by two road trips also undertaken at the time. By the time I hand it over the car will be at over 330,000km in total. I can only wonder what it’s future will be but I’m sure it’ll continue to be just as reliable as it has been for me.

Visa 2

An update to my original article on my Ancestry Visa application

While I’d originally been told that the application could take up to 12 weeks to be processed, surprisingly the Visa arrived in less than two and half weeks. I posted the package at lunchtime Thursday, and Wednesday-week later received an e-mail telling me the Visa was dispatched and my materials will be returned within a few days. The package arrived before lunchtime on the following Monday. It begins in mid May and provides me with up to 5 years cover for my existence in the UK.

Now I just need to get there around August and find a job…


UK Visa Page

Having to constantly log into this page hasn’t been the worst of my issues, but it hasn’t helped…

It’s been a few weeks since I last made a post on here, and most of that has to do with the requirements of working towards getting my UK Ancestry visa… which is almost over, as far as me sending the application. I’ll then have to wait up to 12 weeks for it to be returned to me which at this point, if it’s that long or longer might be cutting it a bit close to our travel time.

The system that allows you to get the visa is very obtuse, partly one assumes to make sure it’s kinda idiot proof and they don’t just allow anyone in, but sometimes it’s just generally vague and occasionally back to front and I don’t know if that’s intentional or not. For example the Ancestry visa information on the UK Border site doesn’t tell you any specifics on what you may need for your application. However once you’ve filled out your form details via the online application site, paid your application fee, and set an appointment for Biometrics (where they scan you finger prints and take your photo)… when you turn up to the Biometrics appointment they give you a sheet which has more information on it about what they specifically want from you as visa application evidence. At that point it’s like “Gee, that might be more helpful at the start before I filled out the forms.”

I also found the forms I printed for the biometrics were missing information the website gives you while filling out the forms, and silly me forgot to take along my passport (obvious I know) like it said in small print on one particular page but not on any of the print outs I was supposed to take. So I’ve had to rebook.

That also was difficult. Or not. In the end I could change/cancel my original appointment online and rebook it for another time. But the person at the biometrics didn’t tell me this. And I otherwise had to call an 0900 paid toll phoneline and then also pay $12NZD on top via credit card to get them to try to rebook it for the next day, which they didn’t. Nor did they tell me I could just do it myself on the online application. And this was after ringing and ringing and ringing just to get someone. And the first time I called, their line – which was terrible quality – dropped out. So I had to start all over again.

In a slight panic the following day trying to find out if I was re-booked, tried calling them again only to never get through. A call to the local Immigration office where the biometrics are held didn’t help that much (they tried, but the system doesn’t give names for the biometric interviews until the time comes) and a suggestion to try the British High Commission only resulted in the same websites and numbers I knew because they are apparently completely separate. In the end I just re-booked online as I mentioned.

The internet is mostly, thankfully, helpful for the problems you’ll face as far as people telling you what they sent…. but it’s even unclear as to what you need to send so much. Things like birth certificates and name changes files are obvious, and while you need to show you have money to live in the UK while you look for work… how much they consider correct is up in the air. Some people have reported to have as little as 3000NZD (or about 1500 UK pounds) and still got through, but then again no one is that sure about it.

None of this also deals with me having to get all the birth certificates, and the problems with errors on those I had to deal with… or the overall costs for all this ($570 for the visa application, probably like $30 in phone calls, more again in petrol, parking, etc. and then the certificates which must have been between $150-200 in total).

In any case this is what I’ve put in my package for evidence, and I’ll write another post later letting you know if I got the visa or if there was problems. Which I hope not as that might cause later issues.

1 x Visa Application Printout – signed at Biometric Appointment
1 x Booking Form for Biometric Appointment – signed at Appointment
1 x New Zealand Passport & Photocopy of ID Page
2 x Passport Style Photographs – Meeting required UK format standard
1 x Grandfather’s Birth Certificate & Photocopy
1 x Grandparent’s Marriage Certificate & Photocopy
1 x Father’s Birth Certificate & Photocopy
1 x Parent’s Marriage Certificate & Photocopy
1 x Personal Birth Certificate & Photocopy
1 x Proof of Current Employment and Remuneration Letter from Employer
8 x Most Recent Payslips from Current Employment
1 x Certified Bank Statement showing current funds for UK Travel
1 x Letter confirming certification of Bank Statement and Account
1 x Recent Curriculum Vitae
6 x Job seeker website confirmation e-mail printouts
1 x Pre-addressed returned Signature Courier bag for my materials to be returned to me

Wish me luck…


Dunedin Harbor Basin

In around four and a bit months from now I will, all things going to plan, be traveling overseas for the first time. Why it’s taken me so long is due to so many reasons not worth writing into this because… well it would take days to write and read no doubt… but it’s been that I have wanted to leave my country and see more parts of the world for a very long time.

For around 15 years I would stare out of my parents front window to a view, not that different than shown above, wondering what was outside of my hometown of Dunedin in New Zealand’s South Island. Until my late teens I didn’t even really venture outside of my own city however, and neither me or my parents could never afford any real travel barring a couple of trips around Otago or into Central Otago in the early 90’s.

I don’t know when exactly my viewpoint really changed on wanting to visit more places, especially given when I was younger I was the type of kid who would really want to stay at home overnight. Not being at home was rare for a while. Sometime around 11 or 12 or so I guess that changed and I would do the usual sleepovers at friends watching movies and playing games (usually stuff beyond our age range we probably shouldn’t have been watching) and having pizza and other junk food. But sometime around high school, and with outside access to the world via the internet in the mid to late 90’s I guess I got more keen on the idea. And so I spent more time thinking about places I wanted to see and things I wanted to do…

It wasn’t until a year or two after high school that I finally went to see a more distant part of my own country, visiting our capital city of Wellington and my good friend Andrew for 3 weeks at the start of 2002. That was my first plane trip, my first visit outside of the South Island, and I had a great time. After this I studied in Wellington for 6 months in the second half of 2003 and it became my second home over the following three years (I went between the two at least a dozen times) until in late 2006 I moved there once more and have been living there since.

I’ve been lucky though, between work and other trips I’ve managed to see a great deal of my own country in the past 12 years or so, probably almost 80% I guess. Most people don’t even see that much of their own country before travel overseas I’m often told and New Zealand is so varied and interesting I feel lucky to have seen everything I have. One day I will return and see the other 20 or so % I’ve missed out on, but currently it’s time to look forward to seeing new places overseas…