Friday, February 26, 2016


A fortnight ago we walked up the Ross Track to the summit of Parihaka and discovered several people waiting for a helicopter which was going to fly a Kohato (rock) onto the new viewing platform.  We had known that it was about to happen but not which day and so we waited with Council staff, reporters, cameramen and other walkers.  It was quite a tricky operation as there is a War Memorial on the summit as well as several trees.

As we didn't know we would be seeing this I didn't have my camera with me (note to self - it may be time to upgrade my cell phone).

Last Saturday was the unveiling.  As usual we went to the Growers' Market and then walked Sophie on "The Loop" at the Town Basin.

There was a celebration for the opening of a new portion of the track.

After going to Doug's  to leave Sophie and have a coffee we walked up the Ross Track again to see the official unveiling of the Kohatu..

There were so many people there that it was hard to get photos so yesterday we went up by walking from Whaeora Road and up the Ponga and Dobbie tracks - a much longer walk and more of an effort in the heat of the day.

It was a better day for photos.

If anyone wants to read about it I found this link to the Council website.

Monday, February 22, 2016


Doug's youngest daughter, C, took voluntary redundancy from her job as a motorcycle postie last year.  (Time flies so fast I am not sure how long ago this was). Anyway, since then she has been working for various Rural Delivery drivers doing their runs.  Prior to Christmas she was working 12 hour days, starting at 4 a.m. to sort her mail ready for delivery.

It was suggested that she may like to purchase a run that had come on the market - it is a shorter run and has a lot of potential.  

She had to have a new red van and, only needed a small one.  These are quite hard to come by here and she was lucky to get hold of a Suzuki and in the right colour.  

Doug had a Rural Delivery run many years ago and C. later took the same run on so knows what she is doing.  The van came completely bare with no covering at all on the floor and also needed shelving suitable for holding the mail.  Father to the rescue!

After all the red tape Doug only got the van last weekend and she started the run today.  We have had heavy rain during the week and several other things on.   Anyway, Doug first of all covered the floor in ply (it took 2 sheets),  then carpet and an aluminium strip edging so it doesn't catch when parcels are put in.

The tray will hold small parcels and underneath is tucked a nice folding trolley with room for other parcels.  I hadn't seen one of these trolleys before and will look out for one. 

In the front is shelving to hold the boxes of letters.

and in the centre is a fixture for her to put the cards with details of Rural Delivery Box holders on her run.

He then installed a flashing light.

The Rural Post signs are temporary second hand ones and she should get "the works" shortly.

It was finished just after lunch yesterday - just in time.  We will get an update later as to how her first day on her own run went.

Saturday, February 20, 2016


Rosemary at "Where Five Valleys Meet" has just had a quiz to identify Swan Plant flowers.  Even though Doug and I have numerous plants I did not recognise the flowers (that will teach me to look more closely).

Anyway, Doug has built a cage covered in mesh to raise the butterflies.  He picks swan plant and keeps it fresh in a jar of water replenishing it daily.  He then collects the caterpillars to keep them safe from wasps.  

I took these photos in November but don't think I posted them.  

I took these photos today of the swan plant and its flowers and seedheads

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


I like to have flowers in the house all year and they must come from my (or Doug's) garden.  Yesterday, I picked some brightly coloured zinnias from Doug's and, when I got home, found some different coloured alstroemerias.  With a couple of pieces of greenery I like the effect.

Not exactly a flower this time but I liked the look of this when I was doing some pruning early this morning.

Saturday, February 13, 2016


On Saturday mornings Doug picks me up at about 7 a.m. and we go to the market before walking Sophie.  

Whoever wakes first phones the other at about 6 a.m.  I don't have a phone in my single bedroom, only in the master bedroom so I have the cordless phone by my bed.  Last night I forgot to put it there.  

When I go to bed I lock up securely - the new closed-in porch is locked as are the front and laundry doors which go off the porch.

This morning Doug phoned me at 6 a.m. no reply (as I didn't have it with me and couldn't hear it from the other room).  He phoned me again five minutes later and again a third time.  By now he was wondering what had happened to me so put Sophie in the car and came around here.  

Luckily, I gave him my house key about 3 years ago (how time flies) in case of an emergency and he managed to get in.

Meanwhile, I was fast asleep oblivious to all this.  I woke up to hear a key in the laundry door and then the lights went on.  Doug said that all the way here he was wondering what could have happened to me.  It is so good to have someone who cares and worries.  

I must not forget to put my phone on the bedside table and Doug must remember that he can also try my cellphone which was with me in my bedroom.

Still, the main thing as far as Doug was concerned is that I had not collapsed.

One photo from our Parkinson's walk on Monday - a lovely track.

Thursday, February 4, 2016


Although I refer to Sophie as a Labrador she is actually a Labrador/Retriever cross.  She has been feeling the heat with this hot, humid weather so, this morning, she had her first ever haircut.  I think she looks great.  She had the works - haircut, shampoo, blow dry, perfumed and nails clipped.

"Before" photos:

and "after" photos