Friday, July 20, 2018


The painting finished, we phoned a carpet layer expecting a long wait but he came the very next day to lay the carpet.  The furniture has been moved in and we have started to gather books from storage for the book shelves. 

There are still various pictures to assemble and the rest of the books and some items to display but we are pleased with the result so far.  The curtains are temporary and, once the rest of the lounge etc has been repainted, new ones will  be purchased.

In the bottom photo there is a cat in the basket on the settee.

Sunday, July 8, 2018


There has been a lot of work by Doug to get the sun room ready to start painting.  The power plugs have been installed and finally it is ready.  Then it will be time for us to get the carpet that he bought in 2008 out of its storage in the garage to check that it has survived without being eaten by some chewing insect.  We will then buy some underlay and arrange for a carpet layer.  It will then be time to sort out what furniture will fit where.  It is a long narrow room but has made such a difference already as, instead of being a cold windswept deck it is now a sunny room.

Friday, June 29, 2018

A BUSY DAY (well they all are really)

We both had some books due back at the library so I decided to walk there and get some beef bones for soup on the way back.  It was a lovely walk (took me 45 minutes including going to the butcher and the supermarket). 

When I got home it was time to make the stir fried rice for lunch (the recipe I base this roughly on is labelled Nasi Goreng but I doubt it is much like the real dish.  Anyway, my version with pork was delicious. 

Doug had been working on the new sunroom while I went to the library and after lunch the electricians arrived.  They are so busy these days that it took three weeks for them to be able to come.  They were very obliging and with Doug working alongside them putting the wallboard up they got the job finished.  We had thought they may have to come back to finish as the first part of the job had to be done before the wallboard went up. 

I did a bit of work in the garden this morning and, after doing the lunch dishes got back to the job.  When Doug moved here  10 years ago he planted some climbers and they and a self sown grape have got a bit out of control so I am cutting them back.  It was a great day to be outside working. 

I had a little bit of pork left after lunch so I took it off the bone and cut it up.  I had a good friend, Isabel, who sadly died a couple of years ago.  Her husband spent a period as a lighthouse keeper.  They had two young sons and it would have been hard coping with infrequent drops of food, mail etc.  She gave me a recipe with the not very interesting name of rice fritters and said her boys loved them.  I decided to make these using the leftover rice and adding the leftover pork. 

I beat an egg with a little milk.  Added the rice and pork cut quite small.  I then added self-raising flour, seasoning, grated cheese and some small cubes of feta.  I put spoonfuls into a greased pan and cooked them until done.  They were delicious with some plum sauce. 

We did well from the smaller half of the leg of wild pork.

Thursday, June 28, 2018


What to do with the leftover Pork?  I had thought of a curry but didn't really feel like it today so I steamed some rice and we had a stir fry with it.

I stir fried a chopped leek, some matchstick carrots, quartered and sliced kumara,  added some Pak Choi and cubed pork with some soy and oyster sauces.  I added some stock and thickened it with a slurry of cornflour it was delicious over the steamed rice.

Tomorrow, we will have another type of stir fry.  I will stir fry the leftover rice, add sliced kumara, sweetcorn, the pork and something green.  I will season it with a little curry powder and some soy sauce.  I expect there will be enough pork for another day but we will wait and see.  Sophie likes pork as well!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018


First thing yesterday morning Doug cut one of the pork legs in half and we left half out to thaw.  Cold enough to do that at present.

This morning I woke at 6 a.m. so got up and lit the fire then heated the oven to its top temperature (250 degrees) and prepared the pork.  I had a base of red onions, garlic, kumara and thick slices of apple.  The pork was put on this and some rosemary placed on top with salt and pepper.  I then poured a bottle of  Buderim Ginger Beer on it, covered the meat with some butter paper then the lid on my roasting dish and it went in the oven. I turned the temperature down to 150 degrees,

At about 10.30 a.m. we looked at it and added some more ginger beer.  We ate it at midday with some mashed potatoe, kumara and butterkin squash and some kale from the garden.  It was delicious.  It is some time since I have had roast pork and I am looking forward to much more as there are several more legs and forequarters in the freezer plus the shank end of the one we had today.  There are also plenty of leftovers.

Life is good.

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.