Wednesday, August 5, 2020


Today would have been my father's 115th birthday.  How is that possible and where has the time gone.  Dad died in February, 1985, six months before his 80th birthday and I still miss him a lot even though I had been living on the other side of the world for 20 years when he died,  I had several trips "back home" and, of course, letters, aerograms and the occasional, very expensive, phone call.  This  leads me to another anniversary.  Monday was the 55th anniversary of my arrival in New Zealand aboard the S.S. Flavia.  We hit storms between Tahiti and New Zealand and the ship was badly damaged and on all the news headlines.  

As far as my bank in England is concerned I phoned them last night just as the news came on at 7 p.m. here.  It took me about 20 minutes  to get through to a Live Person.  Last time I phoned them I set up  "my voice is my password" which made that part easier.  

I thought that I would just have a new activation code emailed to me but the man I spoke to took me through the whole process of setting the Secure Key up.  This is a gadget that generates a number to enable me to access my account.  There were  so many passwords and secure questions to get through.  One of them is a phrase where one has to enter say the 2nd, 6th and second to last letter or number in the phrase.  There was also a question to answer and another password.  Along the way my computer threw a wobbly so I had to start again (in hindsight I think it may have been easier if I had just been given the code and done it slowly on my own but never mind he was very helpful).  

I had assumed I was talking to someone in England but when I asked where he was meaning what county or city he said the Philippines.   I was on the phone for 50 minutes - goodness knows what that cost but at least it is now done.  At that stage I didn't feel like accessing my account and doing the transfer of funds to New Zealand so I left it.  This morning, I was able to access the account and make the transfer with no problem.  It should all show up in a couple of days.

As far as the patient is concerned, he is continuing to improve.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020


The pills for Doug's gout seem to be working and he is feeling a lot better.

On June 18th I was unable to access my U.K. bank account as the "Secure Key" had died.  I phoned the bank (more than once) and was finally told a new Secure Key had been sent and by separate mail an activation code.  The activation code arrived on 7th July but not the Secure Key.  I phoned the bank in U.K. again on July 18th and they were to send out another Secure Key and had a code emailed to me which I was told would also work with the first Secure Key if it turned up.  Are you with me?  

Today, finally the Secure Key mailed on 19th June has arrived, that is six and a half weeks, as long as the old Sea Mail used to take.  When I had a look at the activation code it expired on August 1st.  I will have to try and get through to the bank again tonight.  No wonder I am feeling stressed.

We both had Podiatrist appointments for today and I had cancelled Doug's and had confirmation about mine but mid morning I had a phone call from the Podiatrist wanting to change my appointment to Thursday afternoon at 3.30 p.m. (not my preferred time as the traffic is heavier with school children being picked up) but I agreed.  It did seem a bit odd as she said I had been double booked.  The appointment was made 6 weeks ago.  Never mind.  A repeat of Sophie's medication for her hip had to be collected so that was done this morning and books dropped off at the Library.

I have just had my walk and am going to put my feet up and read (and possibly fall asleep as I didn't have a  very good night).

If I can get the new activation code tonight I will, hopefully, be able to access my bank account tomorrow.

Monday, August 3, 2020


This morning I discovered that Doug had a very bad night with his Gout and the whole foot was swollen so I cancelled going on the Parkinson's walk and took him to White Cross which is an After Hours and Emergency Clinic as we knew Doug would not get in to see a G.P. at the practice we go to today.  Actually, I just phoned the practice to make an appointment for myself and there is nothing available until next week.

We got to White Cross just after  8 a.m. and I think there must have been just one doctor on duty.  There were not many people in the waiting room.  We waited for about three quarters of an hour and then went through to the Examination Room where a nurse checked Doug's blood pressure which was up, presumably with the pain, temperature etc. and then left us to wait.  It was another 30 minutes before the Doctor came in.

As far as Corona virus is concerned there were perspex shields in front of the desk staff but one had to go to the side to talk to them as one could not hear through the perspex.  There were no masks apart from the Doctor which made it very hard to understand what she was saying.

She gave Doug some anti inflammatory drugs and said he should check his blood pressure at least once a day so when we got the prescription we  bought a blood pressure machine.

When we left the surgery the waiting room was full so we were pleased we had gone in early.  There is a doctor shortage so we just hope that some of the Kiwis returning because of Covid are doctors as we could use some more here.

When we got home we had a very late breakfast and then Doug put his feet up and fell asleep.  The foot is still very sore but he says he feels a lot better.  As for me, I am exhausted.  There are usually two of us getting firewood in, cooking, doing dishes, feeding animals and birds but I got the jobs done and then cooked us a late light lunch, got the rubbish and recycling ready and have just put it out.

Hopefully, Doug will continue to improve. 

Saturday, August 1, 2020


It was good that we caught up with all the things that needed doing away from home on Thursday.  Doug has now got Gout.  (Yes, David, it could be diet related).  He has had it before but last time was 18 months ago (I know because of the date on the pills he was given for the pain).

While he put his feet up yesterday, a very rare occurrence,  I got some jobs done in the garden.  Doug piled up some large prunings in the trailer a while ago and, as they were dry, I cut them up into the wheelie bin for Monday's collection.  I then removed all the cauliflower plants.  Because of the weather I left the plants in place when I picked the caulis.  Anyway, I pulled them out and cut them up into the compost bins.  

We are pleased with this year's vegetable garden.  The carrots have done really well and, when I have weeded and got some ground ready I must sow another lot.  All the greens did well and I was amazed at the sugar snap peas, I picked some for lunch yesterday and today.

I also had a long phone conversation with my stepdaughter in New South Wales and then went for the usual walk and had just got home when Doug's eldest daughter called in so we had a chat with her.

Today we have had squally showers and Doug has got his foot up again and was joined by both Kim the cat and Sophie, the Labrador.  I made an apple upside down cake.  I think it must be reasonably healthy as it is made with ground almonds and not a lot of sugar.  The only butter is in the topping.  It doesn't look as attractive as previous ones, a bit pale but actually tasted better.

As I had the oven on I made Doug a batch of Anzac biscuits and we put some in the freezer.  After lunch I went for the usual walk and then we had a cup of tea and small piece of cake.  Very tempted to have a second small piece but will resist the urge.

Thursday, July 30, 2020


Doug had his pre-op appointment for his Hernia Operation this morning so we drove across town to the Hospital for the appointment which took an hour.  His had the usual tests and lots of questions and then had to walk up stairs.  I always walk up stairs when I get a chance so joined him and the nurse.  I think we went up 5 flights.  All was o.k. 

While we were near town we went to the Main Library.  There is a branch a 10 minute walk from home but the Main Library has a better selection.

It was lunchtime so we went to the Cafe de Paris where we had a pot of tea and shared a slice of gluten free cake while we waited for a big breakfast for Doug and Buckwheat Galette with mushrooms, blue cheese and potato for me.  I remembered to take photos this time.  It was all delicious.

We then went to a couple of shops before driving to the Supermarket then the doctor's for a blood test that was needed for Doug's Pre-op.

When I checked out my library books the machine told me there was a book on hold at our local library so we went there to pick it up and got home a little after 3 p.m.   

Hopefully, we have done everything and won't have to go out except for a walk for the next few days.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020


We had a planned 6 hour power cut today while a nearby transformer was replaced.  (Actually, the job only took just under 4 hours). 

We decided that as we would be without power we would  go to a beach and, at the last minute, decided on the above.  I have driven past the entrance to Uretiti hundreds of times when we lived further north and were on our way down to Auckland. 

The day was cloudy and a bit cool but it is winter after all.

Uretiti Beach

We then drove on to Waipu and went for a wander down the street.  We called into a cafe for a cup of tea (delicious made with real leaves).  On discovering that they had gluten free pies we bought two lamb and kumara pies (one gf and one ordinary to take away)

We then drove along the coast a short way to Waipu Cove.  Unfortunately, a shower came over just as we got there so we ate the pies in the car.

When we finished our pies we decided to go home but we had only driven a short way when the rain stopped.  Never mind, we will go back another day.

Monday, July 27, 2020


Today, we walked the section of the shared pathway which goes into town.  There were 9 walkers and, as everyone was a good walker, we managed a bit extra and went across Rust Avenue to Cafler Park before returning the way we came.  It was a bit cool but a nice sunny day and, as usual, we finished with a cuppa and chat at a nearby cafe.

Doug is currently at the dentist as he had a filling come out a couple of weeks ago.  

A mural we passed as we neared town.  I see the iconic kiwi buzzy bee (Prince William was given one when he visited as a baby).  Also in the top photo our Bascule bridge.

and in the bottom one our pedestrian bridge and canopy.

The magnolia are in flower.

While we were walking I received a message from Doug's youngest daughter who has the Rural Mail Delivery Run and while she was putting some mail into a letterbox she had a visitor get into her van.