Thursday, July 31, 2014


Our wonderful brother-in-law, John Curlett, died today.  He was a true gentleman and gentle man.  He was Max' sister's husband and this photo was taken at our wedding in 1970.

Monday, July 28, 2014


This morning our weekly Parkinson's walk was on the road around the airport at Onerahi.  The weather was perfect.  Just wonderful after weeks of rain.

To keep the warmth in during winter Doug installed a couple of cat flaps on internal doors for me.  One between the living and sleeping areas and the other (below) between the laundry (where the cat flap going outside is situated) and the hall.

The magnets on the flaps were quite strong and I found the noise of the cats coming and going in the night a bit much so Doug removed the flaps for me.  It still keeps the warmth in but is silent.

This is the face that greeted me when I went into the hall this morning.  Kath was in the laundry looking into the hall.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


The Rest Home Bus had taken residents to see the floods so, when we were there this morning we checked which roads they had been on and set off to see for ourselves.

We went to Hikurangi and turned off at Jordan Valley Road then drove  back through Hukerenui.  When the Rest Home went on Monday the water was lapping at the road.

This isn't a lake but the Hikurangi Swampland which is usually grazed.

A few miles further on and the cows are grazing happily on higher ground with the floods in the background.

We then came across these lovely rocks with moss? covering them.

There is still a lot of rain in the ten day forecast so I can't see it going down anytime soon.  This is the swampland that drains over the falls I posted a few days ago.

Monday, July 21, 2014


On a recent walk at Tikipunga Park we came across this little gem.  I don't know its name but thought it looked delightful.  I just love the colour.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

More Water

When my friend, Elaine, was visiting from Queensland at the end of March we visited the Wairua Falls and it looked like this:

We visited it again today and it now looks like this:

It drains an area known as the Hikurangi Swamp which always floods in wet weather.  (It is now 4 days since the rain stopped).

The main highway north is closed due to a slip and the road that goes past this falls is now the only route north.  Although I have heard that trucks are now able to deliver supplies to the north the sign at the beginning of this road said "No trucks" so I am not quite sure what the story is.

Saturday, July 12, 2014


After four days of rain we finally have some sunshine and decided to do the walk from A.H. Reed park to the Whangarei Falls.  The river has gone down a lot but is still high

I took a photo of this stream meeting the main one last time we did this walk and the water was barely running.

                                            One side of the path is running with water.

I didn't go any closer than this as the wind generated by the rush of water was so strong.

and this is the waterfall in December.

                                               The path was running with water.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Got off lightly

It is still raining heavily with strong winds but I got off lightly.  I just heard on the news that the number of properties without power has increased.

This morning I spent about an hour outside cutting up pieces of lasiandra.  This is always very brittle and I lost some in the last storm a few weeks ago.  The other casualties were half my tamarillo tree and a jacaranda that had worked loose and was blowing around in circles.  Doug arrived just after I finished cutting up the lasiandra and tamarillo and he cut the top off the jacaranda and we will see whether it survives.

After some soup for lunch we went to visit Max and happened to arrive just as the National Party candidate, Dr. Shane Reti, was setting up.  We were very impressed with him.  He spoke about his life and aspirations and then, in Maori tradition,

We then went for a short drive to see the Whangarei Falls after all the rain.

Half of the top of the tamarillo tree has broken off.  I hope it will heal and regrow.

                                             It doesn't look very big lying on the ground.

                     It was hard to get a photo of the pieces that had broken off the lasiandra.

This is the pile of lasiandra ready to be cut up.  The leafy pieces were cut up for compost and the wheelie bin while the woody parts are cut up to dry for kindling.

Looking down from the top of the falls.  The walkway across the river at the top of the falls had been closed.

                             This is a photo of the falls from below taken last December

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Weather and Pot Belly Stove

There is a storm on the way.  Forecasts for 130 kms an hour winds, thunderstorms, heavy rain with downpours of 25 - 40 mm per hour.

The ten day forecast does not have one "sun symbol' in it so it is batten down the hatches and stay inside for today at least.  The wind was howling all night and there is a macrocarpa tree across both lanes of a road not far from here.  The rain is just starting.

On the home front the latest project for Doug was the surround for my pot belly stove.  It is directly opposite the front door and the kitchen and looked like this

It now looks like this with the surround made of rimu to match the woodwork in the kitchen.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Where does the time go

It is now a week since we went to the Far North to visit some of my friends there, all elderly, the oldest being 94 and still living on her own.  .

Anyway, Wednesday last week was WET but the forecast was for an improvement so we headed off reasonably early on Thursday morning leaving Doug's lab, Sophie at the kennels on the way.  (She didn't even give him a backward glance as she bounded in).

We had some showers and then it cleared with low cloud in the valleys.  Going over the Mangamuka's we were up in the clouds and as we went down Victoria Valley into Kaitaia the sun shone and we had a wonderful couple of days.

We did the visiting that I wanted in Kaitaia.  When we arrived at the home of the 94 year old lady there was the smell of freshly baked bread.  It was nearly ready to come out of the breadmaker. I quickly pointed out that I was gluten free before she had the chance to offer it to me and she then told us that the last person she offered a loaf to took it and she  had to bake herself another one.

We  had a delicious lunch at the Beachcomber Restaurant before heading to Waitangi as I had booked a night at the Copthorne Hotel.  It was very comfortable and the meals delicious with an excellent breakfast consisting of lots of fruit both fresh and stewed with gluten free bread, cheese and ham.  A cooked breakfast was also available.

We then headed back to Kerikeri where I browsed the "Op Shops" and visited another friend for a cuppa after having lunch at the gluten free cafe.

Home just in time to pick Sophie up from the Kennels.

It was only two days but I felt refreshed for the break.

                                         Clouds in the valleys as we headed north

                                        Boats moored near the hotel at Waitangi


                                       A hang glider in the distance

                                             and closer up

 We then headed past the Waitangi Treaty grounds and golf course and took the back road to Haruru Falls

                                                 Haruru Falls

                 where there were some very friendly ducks

                               Smaller falls near my friends' house in Kerikeri