Friday, May 31, 2019


We were very impressed with the Maternity Hospital.  It was opened in 2016 and even has provision made to enlarge it when necessary.  The tile murals at the entrance were lovely.  This is one of them.

Image result for whangarei maternity unit mural

If you are interested there is a video here which shows you around the hospital.

We have a Long Weekend coming up  - Queens Birthday Weekend so a good time to keep off the roads.  For us it will be the usual - Market etc on Saturday morning, Gym on Sunday and the Parkinson Walk on Monday.

The vegetable garden is producing really well and we have been eating plentiful supplies of  silver beet (Swiss chard), spinach and  pak choi fresh from the garden.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019


I have not posted for a while.  Life just seems to have been too busy.  Today was no exception but, apart from the appointment we already had in town, we got to go to the Maternity Unit to meet a new Great-granddaughter.  Doug's Grandson and his partner had a 9 lb 11 oz baby girl at 8 p.m. last night.  She is to be called Theia Grace  and is just adorable.  We both had a cuddle as she was passed around.  She is the first local great-grandchild.

Mother, baby and father are doing extremely well.

Friday, May 17, 2019


Another lovely day although a bit cooler first thing.  We decided to do the circular walk from home again.

Last night I got a half leg of lamb out of the freezer so we peeled some potatoe, kumara (sweet potatoe) and Buttercup Squash and put it all in the oven at about 160 degrees. 

The stream as one enters the bush doesn't have a lot of water.

I happened to look across the stream above  and realised the view is up the hill to the spot I took the following photo on a previous walk.  The colours are not as good looking from the shade but if one looks closely one can see the house in both photos.  A wonderful property going right down to the river. 

When we get to the waterfall this is the first set of steps taking us to the top of the falls.

As we got home there were two Monarch Butterflies on this daisy.  We have the Monarchs everywhere.

The walk took us about 80 minutes and, when I checked, the lamb was cooked so I removed it to rest and turned the oven up to brown the vegetables.  Went out to the garden and picked some silver beet (chard) and in no time we had a delicious meal.  Nothing flash but very tasty.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019


This oak table came from my late husband's parents when they downsized in the 1970's.  I don't know how old it is but they most likely had it in their bach or holiday home.  I am not sure why the left leg has had some stain put on it but it is a useful table, the right height for our small television.  

It has always seemed a waste of space under the drawer so this morning I asked Doug if he could make some shelves for magazines out of some leftover ply.  This is the result.  More practical and looks better.

Monday, May 13, 2019


Reading the post by John from "By Stargoose And Hanglands" made me think of Wicken Bonhunt which I knew had nearby windmills.  I looked it up on google and came across not a windmill but a pub.

The Coach and Horses

Only one publican was mentioned a Thomas Nash in 1851.  Thomas was my great, great grandfather.  His daughter, Lucy, embroidered this sampler two years later and I have it on my bedroom wall.   She was 13 at the time.

Sunday, May 12, 2019


Australia is going to the polls later this month and a survey has just revealed that  Australia's most trusted politician is New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern. Surprise, surprise.

Saturday, May 11, 2019


We had a slightly later start than usual for a Saturday morning but I was surprised on opening the curtains to find a heavy fog. 

As usual we went to the Growers Market  followed by walking Sophie at the Town Basin.

Then we did our weekly supermarket shop and by the time we returned home the fog had lifted and it was a lovely sunny day.,

Friday, May 10, 2019


I see it is 9 days since we did the circular walk from home down to the river then up to the Whangarei Falls and back home.  We finally found time to do it again.  The forecast for today was rain but, although we had some showers overnight, it has been fine.

It is a walk we enjoy as the scenery varies.  It is about one and a half hours which is a good length and includes both walking on the flat and some hill.

Even though it was just nine days since we last did this walk there seemed to be a lot more fallen leaves this time.

Who would have planted a tree in the middle of the access to the bridge.  Seriously though it is great that the tree was left there and not removed.  I think I can see someone hiding behind it.

It was a bit cloudy so I took my small folding umbrella which acted as insurance against the rain.  A very pleasant walk.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019


I thought it was going to be a quiet day today.  Several general tasks needed to be done, the mundane sheet changing and washing, cooking a batch of food for Sophie and making some soup as well as a visit to the Osteopath in the afternoon.

Doug's eldest Grand daughter has just taken a transfer here to Whangarei and we had a message this morning that her hubby and just turned 4 daughter, Kowhai, were coming up for a couple of days and going to call in here.  It was great to catch up with them and we were able to give a  book to Kowhai that we purchased at the recent Arts Trail. 

They are staying out at the beach in a friend's bach (holiday home).  We had a cuppa and some scones, cakes and sausage rolls before heading to the beach.  Doug and I  then had some leftover lamb for lunch and headed into town. 

I have only just started adding beetroot to vegetable soup.  I use the usual vegetables, garlic, onion, kumara (sweet potatoe), carrot, buttercup squash and a beetroot with some red lentils and a little grated ginger.  To speed the process I grated the vegetables and, after cooking them in some stock I used the best tool I have ever bought - my stick mixer.  The soup ends up a lovely deep colour which varies depending on the quantities of each vegetable.  We had this for our evening meal.

I added a little cream to my bowl.

Monday, May 6, 2019


Today is our second wedding anniversary.  We went on the usual Parkinson Walk which, this week, was at the Quarry Gardens.

We ordered a roasted leg of lamb and vegetables from our friendly butcher and while Doug collected it I picked and cooked some kale.  It was delicious and we have a nice lot of cold meat left - a bonus.  Lots of messages and phone calls from friends and family - it is always good to catch up.

It has turned cold (I see the forecast was for a high of 19 degrees C.) and we have had some rain showers so the wood burner has been lit.

Sunday, May 5, 2019


We have been meaning to go to both the Octagon  and the Riverbank Theatres in Whangarei and finally last month we booked to go to the Octagon so today after going to the gym we went to see the farce "See How they Run".

It is a 50 seat Theatre and also has a Dining Room where we  had very tasty roast beef before going through to the theatre for the play.  In the interval we all went back to the Dining Room for dessert and tea or coffee.  We had a good laugh and met some interesting people.  What more could one want - a good day.

Saturday, May 4, 2019


This morning at the Growers' Market we noticed a pretty shrub that was new to us.   There was only the one  plant so we bought it and it is now planted in the front garden.  There was only the stallholders plant label so I took a photo with my cell phone.

                                                     I planted it among the stock seedlings.

This is a Statice that we bought from the same stall a couple of months ago.

and some nice bright pansies from my friend who stayed with us.

Friday, May 3, 2019


I just looked back and see that I planted most of our greens on March 30th so that is almost five weeks ago.  I am pleased with their progress.

                    This is the seedlings prior to planting - quite a few were for the flower garden.

                                                                     and this is now 

I have just planted out a punnet of beetroot seedlings.  Last year was the first time we had grown them from seedlings and were very pleased with the result.  I had a punnet which would normally hold 6 seedlings but have just counted and there were 40.  Now all I have to do is wait.  We only have one plant of the last lot left so will have to rely on the Market for beetroot a while

Wednesday, May 1, 2019


I love autumn.  We have not been walking much over the summer months and, this morning, decided to go on a "round walk" from our house.

We walked up to the main road and down the hill.

Then along Paranui Valley Road

at the end just before we entered A.H. Reed Park was a new seat built around some Cabbage Trees.  We didn't stop though.

Into A.H. Reed Park 

then alongside the river

the green of the Chestnut tree looks more like spring than autumn.

We walked past the Redwood Trees

then over the swing bridge

still alongside the river

to the Whanagrei Falls

we walked up to the top of the Falls and the Park at the top.

then along the road and back home.  At the bottom of this valley is the river we walked alongside.

It was a very pleasant hour and a half walk.