Thursday, May 31, 2012

Last day of May

It is hard to believe that tomorrow will be June already.  The day dawned with a misty drizzle which cleared for short periods.

After the usual morning chores I put some washing on and went outside to do some clearing.  I cut back  a hydrangea and then cleared some ladder fern.  The ladder fern was growing at the top of the stone wall when we bought the property and I am finally getting around to cutting it right back.  O.K. I know it will regrow but it will, hopefully take a few years to reach its current  proportions.

I remove a small amount each week, mainly because of disposal.

I have also been looking at the Yukka near the bathroom window.  On looking back I see it is a year since I transplanted the smaller shoots to make a hedge at the bottom of the garden.  Well, the original plant is starting to tower over the house and I was thinking of removing it but wondering why it hadn't flowered.  Today I looked more closely and can just see a bud emerging so, once it has flowered the largest trunk can be removed.  There are lots of new shoots around the base.

 The above photos show the ladder fern that I am cutting back.  I am hoping that it will be somewhat under control after this.  I have been working on it for several weeks now.  About half a wheelie bin at a time.

This is the yukka that is now taller than the house and in the bottom picture you can just see what I assume is a bud.

This was the yukka a year ago.  A much better size

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I got a surprise this morning

 when I read perpetually-in-transit over my morning bowl of porridge and discovered she had given me the sunshine award.  I always enjoy reading her posts but still feel very new to blogging even though I have just realised it is 13 months since my first hesitant post.

I have just learnt something new i.e. how to put the link to "perpetually in transit" above.  I will also enjoy reading the other blogs that she nominated.

After thanking the kind giver, I am to choose 10 bloggers, who, in my opinion, “positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere” and then answer a few simple questions about myself.

I recognize that not every blogger wishes to receive awards, in which case please feel free to decline. It’s even possible that some have already received it and are running out of space on their virtual mantelpiece. The main thing is that I’m given the chance to highlight some of the  blogs I enjoy and offer them for further exploration, so, without further ado, here are my choices. They come from near and far, some are long-established, others newer and still small. Some post very regularly, others quite infrequently. The one thing they have in common is that I enjoy reading each and every one.

As you can see I copied the above from Perpetually in Transit.

starting over accepting changes-maybe

Hillside house

mums simply living blog

grandma linda's house

Hello and welcome to my little corner of the world

the art of not working


cottage tails


and, of course my baby brother


These are in no particular order and I apologise to anyone if I have the name wrong.  (I have tested the links).  As I say this is all new to me.

Now the questions

Favourite colour: blue (although having a blue school uniform for 13 years did put me off it for a while)

Favourite animal: cat - ours are such company (although a dog to take for walks would be good (our cats would not approve).

Favourite number ----- can one have a favourite number?

Favourite drink:  depends on the time of day - coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon and a red wine in the evening.

Facebook or Twitter:  Although I do belong to Facebook I very rarely check it.

Your passion: Reading

Giving or Getting Presents:  Giving - I love watching someone, particularly a child, open presents.

Favourite Day:  Preferably warm, not too hot.  Although with lots of friends succumbing to cancer any day above ground is a good one.

Favourite flower:  Whatever is out in the garden at the time, preferably with a scent.

I think I have got the links correct.

Apart from this award I had a lady, Chris, who has recently moved here from earthquake prone Christchurch over for morning coffee.  She has moved to the street where M. is in the Rest Home so I walked back with her and  went to visit him.

Luckily, he was in a better frame of mind as far as I am concerned and I stayed with him while he ate his lunch and then left him to dose while I came back and had mine.

It has turned cold again (one day quite warm the next bitter but that is our autumn) so the fires are lit.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Monday Walk - 28th May

As forecast this morning dawned with heavy rain however by 9.30 a.m. when our walk starts it had cleared.  We met at the Clapham Clock Museum at the Town Basin and walked past the Waka and Wave sculpture to the end of the peninsula where we could see the new  bridge being built.  At this stage the clouds darkened and there were a few spots of rain.

On our return we had coffee in one of the cafe's and I went to the Whangarei Art Museum where there are exhibitions of their own paintings including the Goldie and an exhibition of Papua New Guinea Art.

                                                              Boatsheds on the river
                                                 The waka (canoe) and wave sculpture
                                            Building the new bridge
                                              The hillside on the other side of the river
                                             The waka and wave sculpture on the way back
                                               The tail end of the waka
                                                Reyburn House (Northland Society of Arts Gallery)

                                            Papua New Guinea paintings
Whangarei's Goldie painting (repatriated from the New Zealand Embassy in London by former Prime Minister, Helen Clarke)

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Growing up there were always fresh garden flowers in the house and this is something I have always continued.  Even though it is well into autumn now it is amazing how many flowers are still around.  This is my main vase at present.  (Now why did the photo come up above this paragraph rather than underneath it!!!)

There are some late roses, lavender, alstroemeria, a gorgeous camellia and some lovely dark leaves the name of which eludes me.

I don't mind some dust as long as there are flowers, no that isn't right , I don't mind dust anyway, flowers or not but there must always be flowers.

Have just picked a couple of bunches of flowers - violets for a friend whose husband died suddenly a year ago tomorrow and some mixed garden flowers for a lady who has invited me to lunch today to meet up with some old friends who are in Whangarei for a couple of days.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Walk - 21st May

We were lucky with the weather for our Monday walk.  Showers had been forecast but they held off.  We walked around the Airport at Onerahi.  A group of eleven of us.  We got a bit separated as some were able to walk faster and further than others but a good time was had by all.

There were a few showers later as I did some shopping and drove home and about 4 o'clock the temperature dropped and the rain started.

I don't know how I will cope with winter as I have two fires going and Google weather tells me it is 15 degrees C.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday, May 20th

My stepson came up today and we planned to take M. out for lunch.  Unfortunately, when I phoned Alice Court at 9 a.m. M. had just had a fall.  His blood pressure had fallen again and it was not advisable to take him out.

Stepson came up anyway and we visited M.  He thought he had a blood transfusion this morning and was most upset that I hadn't phoned him.  As usual he thought I hadn't visited for months and we had all the usual stories of my affairs and overspending.

We stayed for about an hour and then went to the Town Basin for some lunch.  It was a nice sunny day although the wind was quite chilly.  Tomorrow the Parkinson group is going for a walk at Onerahi Airport so I hope the rain holds off.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The past week

Even though M. is now in the dementia unit the stress is still there.  Last week he had three falls.  On Tuesday I took him to the doctor as he had cut his head and elbow and the G.P. was unable to visit the Home.  I also stayed with him for several hours to keep him sitting down as he kept getting up and wandering and was very unsteady on his feet.  Luckily he appears not to have hurt himself in the other two falls.

Yesterday, I had to get him to the Hospital by 9 a.m. for an appointment to check his Glaucoma.  I ordered a wheelchair taxi and this made things a lot easier.  He got quite upset with the standard eye test and so they didn't try the visual fields test.  After the specialist had checked his eyes he said that the Glaucoma is under control with the eye drops and there is no need for another appointment for 18 months.

I have not been on the last two Parkinson's walks because of other commitments (yesterday's eye appointment and a vinyl layer coming last week) but have started going to a new Scottish Country Dancing class that has started in Kamo.

The Monarch caterpillars have not done very well.  The first little bush got eaten up completely but I shifted several to another one.  Unfortunately, only three have survived.  I think it was praying mantis as I have found a couple on the bushes.  Anyway, I have just brought two chrysalises inside and there is one caterpillar that has just gone into the "J" shape prior to the chrysalis stage and I will bring that inside later.

I hope it isn't too hot for them as I have two fires going today but it is rather too cold for them outside.

Friday, May 4, 2012

They're at it again

It feels more like winter than autumn at present.  This morning the first thing I did was light the pot belly stove but I was still cold so lit the wood burner in the sitting room as well.  A neighbour just told me it was down to three degrees C. last night.

In spite of this the Monarch Butterflies are optimistic and yesterday I noticed eight caterpillars on a small bush that only reaches to my hip.  It will be interesting to see whether they survive.  If they reach the chrysalis stage I can always bring them indoors.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Following my post on the Anzac Day Service Perpetua gave me a link to her post on Armistice Day last year.  This reminded me about my late mother-in-law's only brother.

He sailed from New Zealand on 18th November 1917 leaving behind his wife and 10 week old baby daughter.  He wrote a wonderful letter about his trip on the S.S. Tahiti - the Captain was Lt. Commander Evans R.N. who went to the South Pole with Scott.

There is  a wonderful account of going through the Panama Canal but it is not my letter to post.  I will just copy the menu for Christmas Dinner


Huitres Natural
Cons a la Imperial
Sweetbread vol au vent
Timbales Blue Cod
Roast Sirloin Beef
Roast Forequarter Lamb
Roast Gosling with seasoning
Boiled Turkey
Asparagus a la Piencontaise
Green Peas
White Vegetable
Queen Olives
Potage a la American
Pigeon a la Egyptienne
Ice Homard
Yorkshire Pudding
Mint Sauce
Apple Sauce
Oyster Sauce

Xmas Pudding
Macedoine Fruit
Swiss Trifle
French Pastry
Crutes a la Indienne
Brandy Sauce
Mince Pies
Almond Rock
Hard Sauce


Roast Pork
Boiled Potatoes

Xmas Pudding
Macedoinne Fruit

There could be some spelling errors as what I have is an old typed copy from the original.

He finished the letter on January 7th, 1918 just as they arrived at Liverpool.

On the 13th February, 1918 he died at Tidworth Military Hospital of Measles and Pneumonia and was buried three days later at the Military Cemetery there.

My husband has Everard as his second name as does another member of the family and when I have finished this I will phone the original Everard's daughter.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Boswell's Track, Onerahi.

Yesterday's walk was along Bowsell's Track at Onerahi. It is a formed along the disused Kioreroa-Onerahi Railway Embankment which serviced the Onerahi Wharf between 1911 and 1933.  It used to have a 300m timber truss bridge with a 10m lifting span to allow boats to pass.

It  now passes through mangroves with planting along the sides of the track.  The weather was cloudy but we did not get the forecast showers.  There were numerous Tui flying about and singing as we walked.  They are always a joy to hear.

 The walkers setting off.
 The view across the mangroves towards the harbour
 One of the bridges
 The small river
 A colourful Banksia
 Houses at Onerahu viewed across the mangroves
 The sign at the end of the track where we turned around and headed back.
The track.