Friday, January 31, 2014

Walking Sophie

Over winter Doug stopped walking Sophie as she had a bad leg but it is a lot better and I have been joining them again for walks which we now take  alongside the Hatea River from Whareora Road to Mair Park.

Twice in the last week we picked up what I now know to be a Giant Dragonfly.  They were both on the path and the first one was the largest but I didn't have my camera with me.  When we lifted it up there was a wasp underneath it and we noticed that the back part of the Dragonfly's body had been eaten away.  It was magnificent with a body the size of my little finger.

The second one we found was smaller and seemed to have less gold but I did get a photo.

Just prior to seeing the Dragonfly we saw a couple of Tui and I managed to get a photo of one (black with a white tuft of feathers under the chin)  Actually the black turns to wonderful multicoloured sheen in sunlight.

Sophie waiting (patiently or otherwise) while we look at the Dragonfly.

I liked this peeling trunk of a young kauri tree.

This is as far as we walk and Sophie has a swim in the river before we return.

During the week Max' son came up to visit his father and after walking along the river we went to the kauri board walk in A.H. Reed Park  and this is a photo him with  Doug beside a much larger kauri tree.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

2 Ambulances and a Fire Engine

Yesterday was our usual Parkinson Walk (or it was supposed to be).  The day dawned wet but 9 of us turned up to do the walk we had decided  on last week - the Ross Track up Parihaka which starts at the end of Dundas Road.

It starts off as a gentle walk until one reaches the "stairs"

I know I have taken a photo of this before but am unable to find it so this is one from "the net"

We walk in pairs where the track allows often changing as we go.  Yesterday, I ended up walking with a lady in her mid to late 80's I will call her Anne.  When we got to the top she had had enough and so I stayed with her while two others went back down and someone was to drive up to collect us.  We were getting cold so I suggested we start walking down the road which was much easier than going back down the track.

We were then picked up and taken back to our starting point.  Anne's water bottle and pills (essential for Parkinson sufferers) had ended up in someone elses pack. I had been giving her my water but she needed to take her pills

When we got back most were there except Doug and a gentleman in his early 80's lets call him Bill.  I was told they were not far behind so I went back up the track to meet them.  I got a bit worried as I headed further into the bush and up the stairs again then after another 5 minutes walking I came across them sitting on the side of the track.  Bill's legs had given out and he kept falling so Doug sat him down in a sheltered place and called the ambulance (being assured that the ambulance was the correct thing).

Bill was carrying Anne's pills and water in his pack so I took them back down to her.

When I got there I discovered the ambulance had been and then left again as it requires the Fire Service to go into the bush to get anyone out.

I then went back up again to let Doug and Bill know what was happening.  He was starting to get a bit cold.  With our wet weather gear we had all been getting hot and steaming up and, once we cooled started to get cold.

Anyway, I was not there for long when three fireman arrived carrying a stretcher.  They checked Bill out and there was no emergency so they put him onto the stretcher and. with Doug's help,carried him back out.  As you can imagine it was quite a job getting him down the "stairs".

When we got back down another ambulance came to check Bill over and, as there was someone there to drive him home we left as Doug's daughter had driven up to have lunch with him.

The Parkinson walks have been going for two years now and this is the first "incident" we have had. I must say I was quite exhausted at this point having been up and down so many times.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


Northland's Hare Krishna community held its first Ratha Yatra Chariot Festival today.  It was a really colourful and enjoyable event.

We started at the Town Basin and the Chariot was pulled using people power through the centre of Whangarei stopping in the Town Centre for celebrations then continuing on to Cafler Park Rose Gardens where a delicious meal was provided for all comers.

Everyone was happy and friendly.  After the parade bananas and water melon were passed around, then we all sat down on the lawn and the meal was brought to us.  Lassi to drink and a delicious eggplant and tofu stew with steamed rice.  I also saw what looked like a chickpea dish being served on the other lawn.

Friday, January 10, 2014


Today (January 10th) is Max's birthday.  This photo was taken yesterday when the Rest Home held its Birthday afternoon tea for residents with birthdays in December and January. (I think it is usually monthly).  It was held in the Rest Home part of the complex and Max who is in the Hospital was put in a wheelchair and taken down.  Unfortunately, he didn't really know what was happening and after he had his cake and cup of tea got very agitated.  (He was going to be too tired for work).  I took him back to the Hospital Lounge and left him to have a snooze.  

I have several presents for him that I will take in today so hope he is having a better day. (some are better than others).  I found it really sad yesterday as the others attending were not suffering dementia and there was a lot of conversation going on around us which is all lost on Max.  

After several days of 29 degrees it was much cooler yesterday with some very welcome heavy showers.  24 degrees forecast for today and tomorrow.

Friday, January 3, 2014


Today we drove up to Russell - mainly to see a "girl" I went to school with.  She and her husband are in New Zealand visiting their son in the South Island and came up to Russell for a short break.

It was about an hour and three-quarters to drive up the winding coast road and we arrived at about 10.30.  Time for a coffee, some quick "op" shopping and then we went to the Pompallier Mission.  It must be over thirty years since I was there and it has been brought back to how it was originally under the French.  We had an excellent guide who took us through the process of tanning leather, printing and book binding (using the same leather).

We then headed for the Duke of Marlborough Hotel and met Diney and her husband - it must be over fifty years since I had seen her and was great to catch up.  I took some school photos with me and we reminisced over a delicious lunch.

Then it was time go back home, this time via the car ferry and SH1.  A most enjoyable day.