Friday, June 11, 2021


Vegetarians read no further.

When we went to the Supermarket on Tuesday I was surprised to see a joint I have not seen for a long time, a Wing Rib of Beef, and it was on special so it came home with us.  It was a good sized roast and was in the oven on Wednesday and it was delicious.

Lots of roast vegetables and we barely touched the joint.   We had it again yesterday and today and I doubt if we have eaten half of it yet so some will be frozen and a cottage pie made as well.  Great value.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021


It is not often we get periods like this but it has rained and blown right through the Long Weekend.  At times I thought the chimney was going to come down the wind was so strong.  We barely went outside the door for the whole weekend.  Looking through the window  the Tithonia Diversifolia or Mexican Sunflower that is just coming into flower was getting blown in the wind.  It is taller than me so catches the wind at the best of times.

Yesterday, Tuesday, there was a break in the weather and we ventured outside to survey any damage before going out to do various errands.  The above had some small branches broken so we removed them and put them in as cuttings.

The main damage was to the poor mandarin tree.

As it is still connected to the trunk we are hoping that by leaving it there the fruit will continue to ripen.

So the weekend was spent mainly by the fire reading.  Luckily on Friday I noticed these very late roses on an extremely tall stem still in bud and picked them and they are opening very nicely.  They would be battered if I had left them.

The weather is now showers rather than continuous rain and I just noticed a Monarch Butterfly on the Mexican Sunflower.

Friday, June 4, 2021


I keep seeing advertisements that cheques will not be accepted after the middle of this month as they are being phased out.  I can't remember the last time I used a cheque.

It might be a couple of years ago as I used to bring a small annuity over from England by using a U.K. cheque and banking it into my New Zealand account but I started doing that by internet banking and it is so much easier.

I know my brother mentioned last year that his bank in the U.K. did not have internet banking which surprised me and was wondering about other places.

Are cheques still used where you live?   


Monday, May 31, 2021


 We woke to a thunderstorm on Saturday but it didn't last long and the rain stopped so we went to the  Growers' Market.  When we got home I looked through the Venetian blinds and thought there were black clouds coming but when I lifted the blind I realised it was thick black smoke from a house on fire a few streets away. 

I dialled 111 and luckily it had already been reported and we heard a fire truck shortly after but we could still see flames.

Luckily there were working smoke alarms and everyone got out safely.  There were four fire engines and 20 crew.  Everyone has been rallying around the family.

Sunday was sunny and I finally managed to do some work in the garden and got about 15 of the broccoli and kale seedlings planted out and did some weeding.  I also collected leaves from the park behind us and put them into various compost bins.  Some of them have been nicely chopped up by the mowers.

Doug went on the Parkinson walk today but I stayed home and baked a cake then when things warmed up I collected more leaves for the compost.

While all this has been happening the South Island has had a red alert storm and there is major flooding in Canterbury with bridges washed away, roads and farms under water and people being told to stay home unless they have to evacuate.  The storm is not over yet but we just saw on our news that Lake Taupo in the middle of the North Island is almost at its lowest recorded level and rain is desperately needed there.

Our forecast for tomorrow is fine but only 16°C.  

Friday, May 28, 2021


Patrick from the home insulation people came this morning and gave us a quote for putting fresh insulation in the ceiling, insulation under the floor as well as a ground moisture membrane.  
There is an 80% government subsidy for this so the cost is not too bad.  

There is some insulation in the ceiling cavity, it may have been put there when the house was built in 1973 as I think that is when people started to insulate their houses or it could have been a bit later but it is no longer doing its job so an extra layer will be put on top of it.  

The only downside to this is that they are not able to do the job until July 22nd - eight weeks away.  I will be putting everything back in the airing cupboard in the meantime.  

It has been a nice sunny day again and the butterflies are enjoying our new plants.  I also put three caterpillars in Doug's cage.

The largest box under the house contained old bottles.  I got around to unwrapping them this morning and look forward to giving them a wash and removing the last of the paper to find out exactly what they are.

Thursday, May 27, 2021


Finally, we got some jobs done.  It was a sunny day and tomorrow we are having our house checked to see what extra insulation is needed so we had  to make sure that under the house and the way to the roof area were both clear.

After doing some washing I emptied out the airing cupboard as that is where the access is to the roof.  Meanwhile, Doug had removed the lawnmower from under the house as well as several boxes.

When he moved here 13 years ago he put a few boxes under the house so it was interesting to see what was in them.  We still have several to sort through but got rid of quite a bit that was no longer needed.  Lots of cardboard is folded ready for the recycle collection.

I had hoped to plant out some of the kale plants but by the time these  jobs were done we were tired and, after lunch put our feet up.

If tomorrow is not raining as forecast we may get into the garden.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021


Finally, I think we are on the mend, not coughing as much .  It is just over 4 weeks since we cancelled our flu jabs because of the cough/cold and we have still not had them but we did go to the Podiatrist yesterday and it was lovely to have my feet tended to as well as my annual diabetic foot check.  

We also went to the vets to get a further supply of antibiotics for Bobby as, although he started to improve, he then started sneezing again.  He is happily lazing in a weak sun at present.

The weather has not been good - cold with intermittent showers - so we have not done much at all.  Morning crossword and Sudoku and, later in the day, the code cracker.  Apart from that keeping the fire stoked and cooking lunch has been enough for us as we have not had any energy.

I did manage to get outside about a week ago and re-pot three hyacinth bulbs into a larger pot.  Once we are fully recovered  and we have some sunshine I have kale and broccoli seedlings that need planting out.  A while ago I hurriedly sowed several different varieties and they could do with pricking out.

The Tagetes Lemmonii and Pyrostegia give a nice splash of colour when looking out of the dining room window (photo through window).