Monday, January 28, 2019


Doug built this windmill from scratch when he moved here.  It is fully functioning and can be turned into or out of the wind.

Here are some photos with me to give an idea of size.  I am 5' 6" tall.

When our nearly 4 year old great-grand daughter visited on Thursday the first thing she had to do was check if anyone was inside (Note the door and windows).

Wednesday, January 23, 2019


This is the cartoon from our local paper yesterday.  For those who don't know her Jacinda Ardern is our New Zealand Prime Minister and is currently in Europe.  She has just had a meeting with Theresa May about Trade after Brexit.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Our view

Yesterday when I posted photos of our Sunflowers and the huge cosmos At Rivercrest Cottage commented that it was nice to look out and see green so I thought I would take some photos of the view from the front of the house.  The houses on our side of the road are higher than those on the other side so we look out over them.  Admittedly, we do look across at the houses but I enjoy the greenery.

It has been cooler for the last few days but is forecast to go back to 27 and 28 degrees for the rest of the week with the possibility of some  much needed light rain on Saturday.  I  wont hold my breath though.

Sunday, January 20, 2019


Last year I grew some sunflowers from seed obtained in a promotion from New World Supermarket.  I collected some seed but planted it fairly late this year because of a cold snap.  They are flowering well (more are behind the cosmos).

The cosmos, on the other hand, we bought as seedlings.  The one on the left has behaved as we expected - not grown too big and has flowered.  We are not sure what is going on with the others - they just keep on growing and, so far, not one flower. They are taller than me and take over most of the flower bed.  I can just see some small buds forming so hopefully there will soon be some flowers.

Saturday, January 19, 2019


Doug always feeds the birds.  He buys a bag of wild bird seed every week as well as dog sausage for the seagulls and fruit - citrus or apples.  Recently, when I suggested I should pick the tomatoes before they were quite ripe so that the birds wouldn't get them he said to leave them as the birds would eat the apple he gives them instead of the tomatoes.  

Yesterday, I didn't get around to picking our vegies until about 7 p.m. and was shocked to find two half eaten tomatoes on the ground.  It turned out that with Doug starting a new project yesterday and finding an unexpected problem he had forgotten to put an apple for the blackbirds hence them eating the tomatoes.  

He remedied the situation straight away and no more eaten tomatoes.  It obviously works.  

Thursday, January 17, 2019


I had a couple of incidents of great service yesterday.

The first involved my smart phone.  As the motherboard was recently replaced I have to re-install all the apps that I had on it.  I was installing one of the apps when I got a message from Samsung that I did not fully understand or know what to do about.  

I looked on the service sheet for the recent work and phoned the number on it expecting to get through to the New Zealand Service Department.  Instead I got through to a lovely man in the Philippines.  He was able to solve the problem remotely and also sorted out a couple of small issues I had not yet tackled and said that if I had any other problems to give them a call.  I didn't realise that such good service still existed.  (This was all on a freephone call).

The other instance started several months ago.  We often use chopped tomatoes from a company  called  Della Peruta Vincenzo S.p.a , we also found some baked beans from the same company that Doug found delicious but I wasn't sure whether they were gluten free or not.  I emailed them and got a prompt reply saying they were checking and would get back to me.  I heard nothing until yesterday morning when I got an email from a different lady at this company.  It appears the first lady left the company and she was going through the contacts and emailed me their brochure thinking I was a commercial customer.  I emailed her back telling her I was a consumer wanting to know about gluten free.  She told me all their products are gluten free and asked for my phone number.  Just as I was going to bed last night she phoned from Milan.  She had excellent English. She also sent me another email today with more information.  I have not had time to open this yet.

Unfortunately, when we were in the supermarket today we looked for both the tomatoes and baked beans and neither were available but I am quite sure they will come in again some time.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019


We have two Crepe Myrtle plants and the first of them is in flower at the moment.

The tomatoes have also started to ripen.  We have several varieties in different beds.  These are the first ones

At the recent Garden trail we went on we purchased several plants.  The last one to be planted is the Abutilon which has only just come into flower.  The lady we bought it from couldn't tell us the colour but we are very pleased with the colour we have got.  The little plant is only about 8 inches high.

The forecast is only 24 degres which is much more pleasant.

Monday, January 14, 2019


The temperature has dropped to a high of 23 degrees today and we had some  very good rain showers with more forecast for tomorrow.  Wonderful.  There is nothing like rain to get the garden growing.

We have just planted more plants so it was perfect timing.  I even sowed a few bean seeds today.

Sunday, January 13, 2019


Sophie has just had her annual haircut.  She is a Labrador Retriever cross and so has longer hair.  Last year it was trimmed very short and she ended up with sunburn so we asked for it to be left slightly longer this year.

She wasn't in the mood for having her photo taken.  My cellphone tells me it is 30 degrees today.  Although I think it is slightly less than that it is still hot.  It must be a bit cooler for her though.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Norfolk Island Hibiscus (Lagunaria patersonia)

The Norfolk Island Hibuscus in the park at the bottom of our garden is in flower at the moment.  The flowers are only small but very pretty and there are lots of them.

A close up on the flowers

Taken in the park this morning

Taken from our garden.

Meanwhile the beans are producing well.  Still 600 to 700 grams a day.  We have been giving them away to family, friends and acquaintances.

The yellow beans are having a rest.  They supplied us well over Christmas but have now stopped bearing although new flowers are appearing.  The scarlet runners so far are not doing very well whereas the purple beans (they turn green when cooked and are from seed saved for many years) are producing well as are the Dalmation bean (green with purple speckles) and the shiny fardenlosa.
We only have two plants of the Dalmation bean bought as plants at the market.

The weather continues hot (for us) and dry 25 to 28 degrees forecast for the next few days so still watering the vegetables in the morning and flower borders at night.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Le Cafe de Paris

My cell phone went dead yesterday for the third time in a month and so I took it into 2 Degrees today for it to be sent for repair or replacement.  As this was close to  le Cafe de Paris we decided to there for an early lunch.  It is owned by the daughter and French son-in-law of Shane  from Roses, Lace and Brocante blog.  We have been there before but it was only last week that Shane mentioned it was her daughter's cafe. 

Once again we had a delicious pot of tea.  We like the fact that they have china cups and a quirky teapot.  Tea is always better from a proper cup not a coffee cup.  Doug had the burger once again but this time the French version.  He declared it "the best ever".  I had a Galette again - this time with mushrooms and it was delicious.   I was pleased to see it was busy and Shane's daughter said it had been busy over Christmas which is good. 

They moved here from France 16 months ago and opened the cafe in April.  Good to see it doing so well.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Another Good Day.

A beautiful morning for going to the Growers' Market and then walking Sophie at the Town Basin.

We then did a quick supermarket shop (didn't need much as there is still lots of food in the fridge and garden).  It was then home for breakfast and time to pick the vegetables and then water them.

I then made up a batch of food for Sophie which comprises rice, unflavoured soup mix, coconut and coconut oil, turmeric, dates, grated kumara, carrots and beetroot and oats.  I do a large pot full - two thirds is frozen for later use and one third kept in the fridge for her.  While I did this Doug worked on our front gate which had started to stick this morning.

Yesterday, Doug had a call from one of his nephews to see if we would like some fish so we went for a drive and, after spending time catching up on the news we came home with 4.75 kg of  filleted and boned Cod.  We have just had some for our main meal at 4.30 (likely to be our only meal apart from breakfast) and the rest has been parcelled up and frozen.  It has been a lovely sunny day and I will go out shortly and water the flower garden (I water the vegies in the morning and flowers at night).

Tuesday, January 1, 2019


I have mentioned before that this house was a rental prior to Doug buying.  There was a lot of work to do and he had a sick wife to look after.  For a cupboard in the dining room he purchased a white melamine cupboard.

It has served its purpose well.

I had a look for a hutch dresser that would fit in the gap but couldn't find one the right size so Doug said he would build one.

It takes up less space than the old cupboard but has more shelves (yet to be filled).  Thank you Doug.

It was a lot of work.  Of course nothing is ever square but I think he has done a wonderful job.