Sunday, December 16, 2018


Everything was going well until yesterday morning.  Doug was vacuuming the deck outside and I went into the office not realising that he had the vacuum cord pulled tight across the doorway.  It all happened so suddenly.  I came crashing down on my face and my glasses pushed into my nose.  I heard a crack so not sure if nose broken.  I bruised my knee, jolted my poor right shoulder and neck.

It is actually much more colourful than the photo.  Tomorrow I will try and see the G.P. to get it checked.

I had thought it would be nice to have a photo for my 75th birthday in a fortnight but didn't expect one like this.

Thursday, December 13, 2018


Monday was a busy, tiring day.  We headed up to Kaitaia to visit friends up there.  We left home at 8 a.m. and made good time to Kaitaia (about a 2 hour trip).  We managed to visit all the friends we intended  as well as having a pleasant lunch and got back home at 7 p.m.

On Tuesday we were still quite tired but went into town to do some shopping for gifts and I ended up buying a trinket for the tree.  It is actually "a dream catcher" but it just took my fancy.

Yesterday, Wednesday, we were supposed to go down to Orewa to visit Doug's eldest daughter but she is coming up here on Saturday so it saved us a trip.  Just as well as I managed to get a cancellation for Intense Pulsed Light Therapy for my eyes.  Something I dislike and the only good things about it are that it is quick and seems to help.  We then went into Kamo to pick up Doug's cuckoo clock which has been in for service (it was given to him by his late wife for his 70th birthday so was overdue for a service).  While there we had a prescription to pick up and I ended up buying a couple more trinkets that caught my eye.  Not the best light for the photos.

As well as this Doug is busy building a hutch dresser in the dining room but more of that later and I have been busy with the usual chores plus getting final presents and cards organised.  I think we are on track though.

Thursday, December 6, 2018


Every year my cousin north of Toronto sends us a Pewter Ornament - this year it is of chipmunks.  I received it about a month ago and usually don't open until Christmas Day but last night I not only decided to open it but to put the Christmas decorations up as well.

The tree is in almost the same position as last year but the big difference is that last year it was outside on the deck with some corrogated roofing protecting it from the weather whereas this year it is inside in the new Sunroom.  

Apart from the new pewter ornament each year I also buy something for the tree, not that I have done so this year.

                                                          and in the Front Hall

I also put up the wreaths at the front door.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018


I have been waiting for some Hollyhocks in the garden to flower and was surprised when they turned out to be black.  They must have been a punnet of seedlings I bought somewhere but I had no idea they were black.  Here they are :

with our first poppy

and the lovely oak leafed hydrangea

                                                         the gardenia is in flower

                                                              and one of our alstroemeria

Sunday, December 2, 2018


At the beginning of October I posted some photos of the unusual trees in the Park behind us.  I have since sent the photos to the Council and have had this response:

"Thanks for your query.  These are a variety of cypress tree (possibly Italian) but I’m not 100% sure.  The effect is unusual and has likely come about as a result of damage (vandalism) when the trees were young, forcing the trees to produce new leaders, which is what we see in the strange shapes.  Ironic that vandalism can result in something visually creative sometimes!"

When I thanked him he added this:

"It was an educated guess that this is what happened to them, based on their form.  It is possible that the result is genetic but I would still argue that damage at the formative stage was the most likely cause."

Friday, November 30, 2018


This is the last garden on the trail that I am going to post about.  I had been there when I first moved to Whangarei so about 8 or 9 years ago.  There is a garden around the house with a magnificent view  over the lake that the owners made from a swampy area.   We then walked through some native bush with large rocks thrown up by a nearby volcano many moons ago.  This brought us to the other side of the lake and the walk back up to the house.

The house

The view from the house across the lake

Walking through the bush with the volcanic rocks.

The lake

Wednesday, November 28, 2018


We visited 8 gardens on Sunday, the two small ones I have posted about.  They were all interesting and very different.  This was another spectacular one.  The owner was telling us that they bought the property fully developed 3 years ago but continue to work on it.  The long drive to it was interesting but neither of us thought to take a photo of it.   Doug was thrilled to come across the pigs as he used to keep pigs many years ago.

There were lakes everywhere and the plantings were wonderful.