Monday, April 29, 2019


For about 6 or 7 years Doug has had a mesh cage for Monarch caterpillars.  The problem is that the Asian wasps attack the caterpillars and kill them so we put them into the cage with some Swan Plant, a type of milkweed.

Apart from saving the caterpillars from the wasps it also means that if the weather is bad the butterflies can be kept in the cage for a day or two and then released.  Doug didn't count the number of butterflies released this year but last year it was over 300

Sunday, April 28, 2019


Friday was a little easier.  We had Doug's Grandson and his wife here for lunch and a catch up.  They are due to have our third great-grand daughter next month.

It was good to spend some time with them. 

On Saturday, as we were driving to the Growers' Market we noticed the Main Street was closed off and there were cars on display.  After we had done all our chores we returned to town.  It turned out that the four main streets were closed off.  It was a show of hot rods, saloon cars and motor bikes and there were people everywhere.  The weather was great and there were several bands playing.  

I had expected just a few cars but by the time we had walked around the whole area it was getting a bit late to go home and prepare lunch so we went to the Cafe de Paris again where I had my usual buckwheat galette and Doug had a delicious looking Burgundy Beef pie with chips and salad.

Just a few of the cars on display.

Saturday, April 27, 2019


Thursday was Anzac Day (Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand that broadly commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders "who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations" and "the contribution and suffering of all those who have served".).

We  got up just after 5 a.m. and went in to town to the Dawn Service.  The local paper estimated that there were about 6,500 people there.  It was a very poignant service. Every year 30 names are read from the list of fallen on the cenotaph and it will take 21 years for all the names to be read out.  This is just the ones in the city itself as there are numerous war memorials around the area.

There was a strong police presence (as there was at all services with many cancelled as a result of the Terrorism in Christchurch) however, although we saw several police cars, we did not see any police.  

It was then home for breakfast and a finally a fairly quiet day.

Friday, April 26, 2019


After the busy weekend we were both fairly tired but Monday is the day for the Parkinson walk.  We pick up a gentleman who lives nearby and has lost his licence.  This time it was down to the waterfront at Onerahi.  We did the easier of the walks and, as it was Easter Monday and the cafes would be busy, we went to the home of one of the walkers for our morning cuppa (and hot cross buns).  Most enjoyable.

We dropped our friend back home and had some lunch then Doug went to his daughter's to do some work for her while I stayed here and caught up on some gardening.

I think we would both have enjoyed a siesta but there was not enough time.

My glasses fell at the weekend and got trodden on so on Tuesday we had to go to town to get them straightened as well as the Library and the Supermarket.  Just before we left home we had a phone call from Doug's grand daughter who was having a birthday the following day and as she was coming in to town she wanted to call at lunch time.

So, once we got home, I made a quick lunch of ham, pineapple, potato cake and salad with grapes to follow and we had an enjoyable time catching up with her news and the plans for her wedding in March.  She asked us to her birthday meal the following night but we declined as we had a busy day coming up.

After she left Doug mowed the lawn while I did the dishes and emptied the dog food/beer fridge in the laundry as we had bought a new one which was being delivered the following day.  I had nearly finished this when the phone rang and it was Gary, the son of Doug's friend, Stan, from primary days.  They were in town and wanted to call in.

Gary has been visiting from England - his father had a heart attack not long after he arrived so he has spent most of his holiday caring for him.  Gary is finally flying home tomorrow and Stan's other two children plus a partner will be driving Stan and his vehicles in convoy down to the South Island as he cannot stay in his current isolated house.  They had eaten so I made a cuppa and they stayed for an hour or so.

On Wednesday, my friend Gill and her husband were coming up from Auckland as it was their 20th wedding anniversary and a mutual friend had arranged for us all to have lunch at the Town Basin.  Our new fridge was delivered before Gill and Ken arrived.   We then met up with another four for lunch.  It was a really busy but most enjoyable day.

Thursday, April 25, 2019


While on the Art trail at the weekend we enjoyed frequent views of the sea and harbour.  On both days we found a nice spot at a beach to eat the frittata I had made.  Unfortunately, the tide was out but it was still enjoyable. 

We went as far as Ocean Beach and watched some surfers.

As we walked between two venues this fretwork fence caught my eye.

We managed the majority of venues on the Saturday but went to the remaining ones on Sunday afternoon after going to the gym.

Monday, April 22, 2019


We have had a wonderful weekend.  On Saturday we did the Whangarei Heads Art Trail.  I just checked here and it is six years since we did it.  

There are a lot of talented people here.  We hadn't intended buying anything but ended up with several small items including:

some pottery flowers for our garden,

 some more for a birthday present

 a nice little painting of a fantail for an anniversary present

a lovely little vase.  We were told that it was not fired in the usual way but wrapped with leaves etc and then placed in a bonfire.  Apparently the decoration is random.  I have photographed both sides.

A nice Maori Kete made by an English lady.  The handles go right around the bag to make it extra strong.  Ideal for the market.  Doug can remember his grandmother making one of these each time they went to gather shellfish.

There were a few that we didn't have time for on Saturday so went back on Sunday when I bought this glass jewellery.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019


Another lovely autumn day and we had to go into town so went on down to the Town Basin to purchase a map for the upcoming Art Trail.  While we were there we had a couple of ice creams and sat and people and cloud watched.  It is School Holidays and, although it doesn't show in the photos, it was actually very busy.

We had a short stroll to buy a couple of items and passed one of the many murals around the town.

then back to the car next to the playground.

Sunday, April 14, 2019


We have been very pleased with our fruit crops this year, in fact we have been very pleased with all our crops.

We have a large quantity of stewed peaches and raw tomatoes in the freezer.  The blackberry and raspberry plants (one of each) that we bought last year gave us far more fruit than we ever imagined.  Now we are just starting to pick our Cherry Guava (also known as the Strawberry Guava among other names).

This photo was taken about a week ago and we have been picking a few every day.  Just enough to keep us going.  The lemons and mandarins are not ripe yet. 

The winter vegie plants are coming along nicely and the blueberry bush that was in a sorry state when we were given it is looking good.

The nights are getting colder and days are about 20 degrees C.

Friday, April 12, 2019


Doug lived in Helensville from the age of 5 until he moved to Whangarei ten years ago.  On Tuesday we decided to go for a drive as it was a lovely day.  It was the first time he has been back since he moved here and he noticed quite a bit of change.  Mainly businesses closed and replaced by fast food outlets but that seems to be happening everywhere.

The railway had been shut down before he moved and there is  just one goods train a day,

Our first port of call was the doctors' surgery and the lady he wanted to see was there and thrilled to see him.  We then called at a couple of houses and no-one was home so we went to the cafe at the railway station and had an enjoyable lunch and cup of tea.

After that we had a short walk in the town centre and phoned the first lady we had missed and she had returned home so we drove out to see her and have a look at her garden.

We then went back to see if Doug's next-door neighbour was now home and she and her daughter arrived just as we did.  We were lucky as she had been in hospital a few weeks ago so we would have missed her.  

They had recognised Doug as he got out of the car and were so pleased to see him.  She told me that "I have a good one", but I already know that.

It was a lovely day out and we don't intend to leave it as long before our next visit.