Saturday, April 28, 2018


We got much needed rain.  This morning we went to the Growers' Market at about 6.30 as usual and the rain was heavy with strong wind gusts.  Even though we had wet weather gear on I was soaked to the skin.  Doug's umbrella was completely munted after being blown inside out by a strong gust that also lifted the awning on a stall dousing me in water.  We still managed to walk Sophie and then go to the Supermarket before coming home for breakfast.

For the rest of the day we had steady but not heavy rain.  Our water barrels that were nearly empty are now full to overflowing.  It was good to have a day off from outside work.

My brocolli plants got knocked over although the silver beet and perpetual spinach look fine.

Friday, April 27, 2018


Yesterday, we took a load of rubbish to the dump and then went to ITM to order some timber for Doug's timber stash as we had noticed it on special.  After that, as we had the trailer on, we went to Mitre 10 to buy some more timber and a sheet of fribrolite ready to replace the door that goes from the porch to the bathroom.
After a quick lunch Doug started work. This was the outside before the work started

and from inside the bathroom (we had a folding screen in front of the old door).

Framing underway

Yesterday afternoon he got some temporary building paper and fibre board on and then finished the job today.

and this is the finished job which just needs painting.

The painting didn't get done as the timber we had ordered yesterday was delivered and had to be stacked.

Not sure when work will continue as we have been told to expect a "Tasman Tempest" bringing gale force winds and heavy rain from tomorrow.  Rain is forecast till Wednesday.  Doug will not be able to start on the inside jobs as he will have to go and get the necessary gib board, insulation batts etc.

It was a productive day as I managed to mulch some more hydrangeas, cook some bacon hock and pea soup for lunch and a bolar roast for tonight.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018


Doug's previous Labrador, Sandy, would destroy any toy in a matter of hours.  About 20 years ago a friend gave him Squeak, a Dinosaur Egg, soft latex rubber toy that squeaks when you squeeze it and a head pops out.

Doug did not expect Squeak to last very long but she is still going although the Latex is starting to perish with age. 

When Sandy died in 2011 Doug was not going to get another dog but relented and took on Sophie who had been left 24/7 on a deck.  Her owners were going overseas and she was going to be put down as no-one wanted her.  Doug being soft hearted took her in.

Sophie has never been interested in toys except Squeak.  She treats her like her baby and picks her up gently and gets upset if she squeaks.  She takes her to bed and everywhere else.

As you can see she  is covered in hair and a little worse for wear but still intact - not bad after 20 years.

Sunday, April 22, 2018


The outside of what was the Verandah but is going to be the Sunroom is now finished.  Doug decided he was going to finish the outside before tackling the inside.  We have been so lucky with the weather and when it finally starts to get worse it will mean that he has indoor jobs to do.

This was after he had finished the timber work but before painting.

and now it is all painted.

He has plans for the bare wall.

the ramp and small deck for Kim the Cat

He is going to start another outside job before working on the inside of the Sunroom.

This house was originally built for the Constable in Tikipunga in the days when one had such things.  The door on the left of the porch went into the Constable's cupboard where he kept the "tools of his trade".  Behind the door now is the second toilet which is in the bathroom.  Before starting on the inside of the Sunroom Doug is going to do the work necessary  on the outside of this wall.  He will then tackle the inside of the bathroom after finishing the Sunroom.  Can't have him getting bored!!!!!

Monday, April 9, 2018

Captain Percy's Ngunguru River Trip

About a week ago we had an email asking if we were interested in going on this trip.  We had often talked of going  so answered in the affirmative.  Saturday was a lovely day so we did our Market shopping early and got out to the boat in plenty of time for the 10 a.m. departure.  We had expected to be going down stream towards the harbour but actually went up stream to the area where the settlement of Kiripaka had once been when it was a coal mining area.  We were given books with photos of the area as it had once been and had an excellent commentary along the way.

When we set off the river got quite wide fairly quickly

This is one of the photos from the book we were given with the train line running in front of the Manager's house

There were some signs of where the workings had been.  This was the incline where the coal was brought down from the mine and the empty wagons went back up - a lot like the Denniston Mine we visited last year.

On our return we went past our starting point.

The river then got really wide, more like a lake.

This house had been barged down river from the mining settlement.  After the road was put in it was left to deteriorate and the mangroves have grown in front of it.

This was the same house when it was still lived in.

We then went to a delightful property where we ate the lunches we had brought with us.

This was the view from the jetty

and the boat we were on.

on the way back we saw these shags on a branch in the water

and back to our starting point four hours later.  A most enjoyable day.

Friday, April 6, 2018


There seems to have been a lot going on in our lives lately but in any spare time Doug has been working on the veranda.  He decided to concentrate on the outside first (while this wonderful weather lasts).  While he has been doing this I have been working on giving the garden an autumn tidy up.

It it is very time consuming doing all the finishing work.  Today he has painted the outside walls and re-affixed the down pipe.  He will then clear out under the deck and enclose that before moving to the inside. 

We have something on for the next four days but he may be able to get some work done in between.

The new cat "door" and her special bowl made and given to us by my stepdaughter's partner.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018


I sent an Easter card to a cousin and friend which ended with church bells ringing.  This led me to google church bells.  In the process I came across this which we think is delightful.  


Monday, April 2, 2018


Trains used to run from Auckland to Whangarei and further north but the service has been run down so that now there is just the occasional freight train that goes out to the port.

This weekend carriages hauled by steam engine JA 1275 have been running.  We have heard the toots of the engine all weekend.

This morning was our usual Parkinson walk which was around The Loop.  It was a beautiful day.

After the walk we decided to see if there were any seats available on the train.  We were not very optimistic and were not surprised that the seats had all been sold.  We had time to go for a quick iced coffee before heading to a good vantage point to see the train.  I have always loved steam.  (a couple of big kids)

We then came home where Doug did a little bit more on the house.  (He is finishing the outside before he starts on the inside and it is time consuming fiddly work.) and I did some gardening.

On the news tonight we saw the Red Arrows celebrating 100 years of the R.A.F.  lead by a New Zealander.