Monday, October 29, 2012

Parkinson Walk Monday 29th October

Today's walk was in the grounds of the Museum and Heritage Park at Maunu.  In spite of the forecast we were, once again, lucky with the weather.

 The above is an old school and I should have taken a photo of the rules for teachers which included that they must not marry during their term of contract,  be in a vehicle with a man other than father or brother, skirt to be no less that 2 inches above ankle, not wear bright colours, sweep the classroom daily etc etc.
 There are two different train systems in the complex and this is the main station.  (Kauri is just on the outskirts of Whangarei.)

 The above is an old (octagonal) church from Oruaiti in the north.
These hens and their chick were delightful

 This shed of old tractors was the only one open today.  There were photos of the tractors before they were done up.
 This little model of a tractor and driver is a work of art.
The complex is built on the Clarke family land and the old homestead is still there.  This was the grave of (I presume) the original Clarkes.

None of us had seen a white peacock before - he was a real show off.

We then headed further into the country to Maungatapere to the Office - a cafe in what was the office of the former Dairy Factory and enjoyed a coffee and chat and sorted out where the next walk will be.

Oh, and at the start of the walk we were joined by a photographer and reporter from our local paper, the Northern Advocate who are doing an article on Parkinson's

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Haemochromatosis (and a message for Cro)

I have mentioned that I have been feeling low for a while.  I had some blood tests a few weeks ago and it showed that my Ferritin levels are continuing to rise.  I was then given a blood test for Haemochromatosis.  It turns out that I have just the one gene so a note to Cro that it may be an idea to get checked if you haven't already been.  There is a possibility that you could have one or two of the genes and, even with just one it could be passed on to the younger Cro's (or is that Magnon's)

Not being of a medical bent I had not even heard of this but it appears that early diagnosis is vital.  You can check it at Haemochomatosis.  (Whoops I left an r out but it should still work)

I, meanwhile, am still unsure why I have high ferritin levels and my G.P. is arranging for me to have further blood tests in a couple of months and I will have an ultrasound shortly.  I don't feel ill just exhausted - it is an effort to get out of bed in the morning and by lunchtime I have a habit of falling asleep once again.

Still, I visited my lovely hubby today and he seemed fine although he told me he has just been elected Mayor of Whangarei and he is worried about how he is going to cope.  He later told me that he used to have a wonderful wife.  When I told him that I am his wife he got upset and said that I had left him.  I then visited my friend, Isabel, and we had a coffee and chat before I came home for lunch (and fell asleep).

Still, spring is definitely in the air and I have been managing to do a little weeding each day.

Every day there seems to be something new .  The colour of the new spring growth on the tree (the name of which eludes me at present) is just amazing.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Parkinson Walk - Monday 22nd October.

It is some time since I have been on one of the Parkinson Walks - I just haven't had the energy.  I decided I must attempt this one.  It started, and finished, in the Quarry Arts Centre and there were plenty of seats along the way so I managed the whole walk.

Like several of the other walks we have done it is right on the edge of town - I am most impresses with the maintenance of the paths in these walks.

Following the walk we had a look around the Arts Centre.

The wavy roof is hessian with cement =- some of the buildings are reaching their "use by date" but it is a fascinating area and they have some good exhibitions on.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Bird Bath

We have had a bird table but no bird bath.  For some time I have been thinking of using the stump of a tamarillo to put a dish on for the birds.

I have been completely lacking in energy for some time but this morning decided I was going to get something done.  I actually took a couple of "before photos" and then moved some karaka trees in pb's.  We brought these seedlings with us and they were going to be put in the wasteland behind us that belongs to the High School but that has not happened.  Three of these trees were standing on soil and have actually sent roots through and are thriving, the others are in need of some TLC.

Anyway, once they were removed I cut down the flowering bush which I understand is a native fuschia - it was self sown and I have taken a couple of cuttings which are growing well so I cut this one down and painted it with a gel.  It was shading my small veggie area.

I then got my trusty saw and tried to cut the top of the tamarillo evenly.  When I cut it originally I did it on an angle as we were hoping it would re-shoot.

Having it reasonably level I found a piece of timber and nailed that onto the top of the stump and placed the terracotta coloured dish on top.

I just went down and took a couple of "after shots" and it looks as though it has been used as the "table" was quite wet.

I have left two of the karaka trees that have sent their roots down in the meantime.  I bought the baby bath at a garage sale and used it for seedlings but then it ended up with self sown plants.  I have removed these and will fill it with fresh mix and re-sow it with some veggies.  I also noticed that the larger of the cabbage trees (also known as palms in Cornwall) is about to flower.

Last week I weeded th chard that it planted there and also put a few more in.  It still needs some more tidying and the pots of dahlias need some new soil and feeding ready for the summer.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


All the spring flowers are starting to come out.  The weather is typical spring with sunshine one minute and the next wind and rain.

I visited the Rest Home today and took a photo of M's fiddle rug which was given to him by the family of another resident.  I also took him the centipede and he did seem to like that.

 The main thing he seems to prefer on the fiddle rug is the wool pom-pom which I have already replaced.  I attached the rubber ring hand exerciser while I was making the new pom-pom.
 My first two roses.  The Burgundy Iceberg is in bud.

 The Australian Frangipane is covered in flowers again this year.
 These pinks are from a small cutting I bought at a church fair.

The Statice was in the reduced bin at the garden centre - I doubt if I would have bought it otherwise but it has done really well
I took this photo of the sage flowers before cutting them back.

The Snowball tree is doing well and in the  background the plum tree is covered in fruit of various sizes.  The Banksia rose is something I always wanted and never got around to buying.  When we arrived it completely covered what we call the rose hut.  It took a lot of work cutting it back and now I am keeping it as a standard.  The trunk shows how old it must be.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I am always on the lookout for something to occupy my hubby.  At a recent Alzheimer's Carers' Meeting someone mentioned that her husband liked to stroke a soft toy and in the latest issue of the Carers' Magazine there was an article by a lady whose father, a former surgeon, has Alzheimer's and he used to enjoy a puzzle made of painted wood and webbing.  I couldn't imagine nor find this toy and managed to get in touch with the lady concerned who contacted her stepmother for a photo.

I then received an email telling me that the stepmother had purchased the toy for my hubby.  I phoned and offered to pay for the toy and postage but this was declined.  It arrived today.

 The above is the wooden toy - it is quite small - just 26 cms long but, as you can see,  can be made into various shapes.

Yesterday, when I was having my hair cut I mentioned that I had taken my hubby a soft toy and was planning on getting some more whereupon I was given four soft toys.  So now I have a plentiful supply to take to him over the coming weeks.  Time will tell which one or ones he enjoys.

 This centipede is great - one of the segments makes a crackling noise when pressed, a couple have  bells, one makes a noise when squeezed and a couple are just soft.  I hope this will be a success.

Then there are the three soft toys above.