Friday, June 22, 2018


We awoke to sunshine this morning - wonderful.  According to the headlines in the local paper we had 214 mm in 30 hours.  I know that a 22 cm high straight sided bucket that was empty has overflowed.  State Highway 1 - the main highway that runs from the top to the bottom of New Zealand was closed because of flooding just north of us.

Anyway, the sun is shining and it will all dry out.  We went in to Kamo to get a couple of items and then to the Park in Tikipunga and had a good walk with Sophie.  It was great to get out and stretch ones legs.

The river was very high - one can usually see the rocks here and Doug kept Sophie on her lead as we didn't want her being swept away and over Whangarei Falls.

When we got home I made a pear and date cake (I think it is the first time I have made it gluten free and it was delicious.  Doug meanwhile got on with the sunroom.

The clouds are coming in now.  This is the view from the new sunroom.

LATER; I was just going to close Kim's cat door when I couldn't find her.  Luckily, I looked behind me and noticed the chairs I had covered while Doug was working with the wallboard.  I lifted up one side and problem sorted.  She is very happy in her "tent".

Thursday, June 21, 2018


Lately when storms have been forecast they have bypassed us and gone further south but this time it seems to be just us (north of Auckland) who have it.  It is now the second day of non stop rain.  The wind has eased but it is cold 10 degrees at 4.30 p.m.  The fire has been going all day and Doug has just ventured out in the rain to get some more firewood. 

I have just been reading on Facebook of all the roads closed by flooding, fallen trees etc.

I made a different sugar free jam - blueberry with a little cut up prune added for sweetness, thickened with chia seeds.  I did add a teaspoon of honey.  Tastes good.

Tomorrow is forecast to be fine for a couple of days.  Hope so as Doug wants to get on putting up the wall boards that are sitting outside on the trailer under a couple of tarpaulins.

I have not ventured out for two days now.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


It is not often that we get rain all day but today is one of those days.  There is also wind and the temperature has dropped.  The fire has been going all day and I have not even poked my nose outside.  I have managed to catch up with answering some emails and cooked up some food for Sophie (legumes, rice, vegetables, oats etc.). 

I also made a batch of pikelets (small buckwheat pancakes) for afternoon tea.  We don't usually have the luxury of afternoon tea.

This afternoon we received a chilly bin of wild pork from a friend of  Doug - I think there about three legs and three forequarters (possibly  more - it was frozen and went straight in the freezer).  I have never cooked wild pork (boar) befoe and would appreciate any suggestions.  Long and slow is the obvious thought but what about flavourings.  

I imagine Jean from All Points of the Compass would have ideas and also Cro as you mentioned hunting wild boar in a recent post.  

Any suggestions appreciated.

Sunday, June 17, 2018


Yesterday, we decided to start a little later than usual and got up at 7 a.m. to go to the market.  We enjoyed our market shopping with the produce changing with the season.  It was then down to the Town Basin to walk Sophie and buy some Apple Cider Vinegar at an eco shop. A couple of months ago I purchased some items on line and they didn't quite reach the "free postage" level so I added a bottle of Goulter's A.C.V.  It was delicious and we were pleased to find it available in bulk to fill ones own bottle in an eco shop close to where we walk Sophie so that is what I did yesterday.

We then went to the Supermarket for the items on my list but when I noticed some pasta I decided to buy a couple of packs of mince and some mushrooms as an extra.

We got home about 9.30 a.m. and after breakfast Doug started work on the sunroom and I started preparing and cooking food.  First I diced lots of vegetables and the mushrooms and cooked the mince.  Once that was cooking I cut up the salmon I had bought and froze it in individual portions.

At this stage it was getting close to lunch time and as we are having our main meal I started making a fish pie.  I had bought a large fillet of Monkfish and put it into some seasoned milk to cook.  I had cooked extra mashed potatoe yesterday for the topping as well as a couple of hard boiled eggs.

I had just got to this stage when Doug's eldest Whangarei grandson arrived with his partner.  They were moving from home into a flat and he had come around at 7 a.m. to borrow a trolley to help with the move.  We sat and had a catch up with them before they headed off to do their first supermarket shop.

I then finished the fish pie and we had it a short while later with some broccoli from the garden.  After lunch I made some soup having boiled some bacon bones and, separately, some split peas and lentils the previous day , so I just had to prepare the vegetables and add the stock then the legumes.  Once this was cooking I packed up some mussels that we had bought at the market.  We bought two pottles but, as each one does us for two meals, I like to divide and freeze them so we have four packs in the freezer now.  They are the most delicious raw mussels.

I then trimmed up a piece of topside ready to cook first thing today.  After that I had a shower and put my feet up for a  few minutes while making some phone calls.

Afterwards we had our soup for our evening meal and settled down to watch the U.K. Antiques Road Show followed by a half hour of news and then Phil Spencer's Stately Homes.  I managed to stay awake for Antiques and the Stately Homes but suppose it is not surprising that I had a sleep during the news.

This morning I got up at 6 a.m. and put the topside to cook in a slow cooker and we have just eaten it with some mash and red cabbage.  I will now get the mince packaged up ready to freeze for some instant meals.

Friday, June 15, 2018


One day later and the fibreglass batts are in place.  It is looking better already.  Doug  has done a great job.  It got very hot in there and it is not the nicest job.

There are a couple of small gaps where the power points are to go in next week.

Thursday, June 14, 2018


Today we bought the wall boards, insulation batts, nails, glue and the necessary toy, sorry tool, to attach the finishing timber.  The electrician is due next week - let the work on the inside of the new sunroom begin.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


Our Parkinson Walk yesterday was a new walk.  The Council is putting in a shared cycle/walkway alongside the railway line from the city centre to the suburb of Kamo (where I used to live). when finished it will be 6.5 kms long.

The first part of it has just opened so we went to the Regent and walked into the city and back.  It was a very pleasant walk followed by delicious coffee at a cafe we hadn't visited before.

The forecast had been for rain but, once again, it held off.  Last night there was a storm that hit the country, that missed us as well but caused damage further south.