Thursday, June 27, 2019

KERERU or Native Pigeons

The pigeons are in place on their branch.  The large one looks a bit paler in the photo.  Doug was quite keen to paint them but they are made of Corten steel which is designed to rust quickly and can not be painted.

Anyway here is the finished result.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019


Doug was going to make something to put on the blank wall at the end of the new sun room but, last week, we saw some metal birds advertised and bought a couple of different sized Native wood pigeons.  These came with a free small fantail.

The idea is to hammer them into a tree trunk but as the fantail is so small one would be hard pressed to see it so the obvious place to both of us was the front of the garage.  

The branch it is on is actually in front of the wall not straight on it.

Doug is at present working on the support for the branch that the wood pigeons or kereru are to go on  so watch this space.

Saturday, June 22, 2019


When I moved here Doug built a run on to the outside of the house by my bedroom and we had a cat flap put in the window.  This has worked very well.  Kim is locked inside at night. 

In fact it may have worked a bit too well as the curtains ended up getting very dirty where she came and went at night.  I have just bought some new curtains and Doug has built a frame to go around the cat flap so that the new curtains stay clean.  It should work.

                                               With the curtains open.

                                           With the curtains closed.

                                              I put some bubble-wrap over the door.

It didn't take her long to get used to pushing through the bubble wrap.

Thursday, June 20, 2019


This morning I prepared another lot of persimmons for drying.  Persimmons are the only fruit (or veg) that I have dried and I wondered what other people use their dehydrators for and how they use the finished product.

I  put the dehydrator on just before 7 a.m. and then phoned our power company. Most things to do with any company have to be done on line nowadays.  I needed to change something and tried to log on to our power account but, as I had apparently not used it since getting married, all I could log into was the account for my previous property.  I tried all sorts of things including trying to set up a new account.  In the end I gave up and phoned the company yesterday.  After about five minutes waiting I was offered a call back which I gratefully accepted.  Unfortunately, this did not happen so I thought phoning at 7 a.m. was my best option.

I got through to a most obliging young man (at my age they are all young).  He put me on hold while he sorted it out using an alternative email address.  One problem had been that they had offered us a 15c a litre discount on petrol but we had to use Doug's card and use it on Saturday.  We did this only to discover that the card number they had was an old one .  He entered the new number and then, after hanging up emailed me to say that they have given us the discount again and we have until the end of next month to use it.  Finally some good service.

I recently posted a photo of one of our Dams with a low water level.  Yesterday I spotted an article informing us that our other Dam is at its LOWEST EVER level and we will be in serious trouble if we don't get a reasonable amount of rain over winter.  Here's hoping.  A small start today as we have had light rain on and off.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019


On Friday the meal at Alzheimer's was, as usual, delicious.  We had coq au vin and mine was followed by a delicious chocolate pudding.  I have frequently said I don't want a dessert but it is always provided.  We ended up sharing a table with a local Member of Parliament and his partner who was originally from America.  He is also a practising G.P.  Very pleasant company.  

Saturday seemed to disappear quickly.  We did the usual trip to the Market, dog walk and Supermarket and then I cooked a Bolar roast as well as a pot of mince which I froze ready to make cottage pies.  

Sunday, we went to the gym and then out for lunch.  We have a lunch together twice a year and had a good turnout on Sunday.

Monday was the Parkinson walk and we did one out at Portland which we had not done for some time.  This was followed by refreshments at a new cafe we had not visited before.

At the market on Saturday I bought a large bag of persimmons so I got up just before 6 a.m. and started getting about half of them ready for the dehydrator.  I then had a dental appointment at 11 a.m.  Once home we had lunch and went on our weekly walk.  A bit colder today - 7 degrees right now at 9 p.m.  I have just brought the dehydrator inside and will leave the fruit to cool overnight.  I will then bag them up and freeze them.  I don't want to risk any going off.  

Friday, June 14, 2019


On Monday we skipped the weekly Parkinson walk  as we both had tickly throats and felt as though we were getting "man flu" or some such disease.  Luckily, we have held it at bay so far.  

On Tuesday we had three appointments in town and some shopping to do so it disappeared quite quickly.

Wednesday,  was cloudy with a slight drizzle so we picked that day to do our circular walk from home.  We timed it well as the rain got quite heavy just after we got back.  Luckily I had moved the washing under cover before we left.

Thursday and Doug's daughter from Orewa came up to see her father about the building report on the house they are buying just around the corner from us.  Then in the evening, (last night) we went to see the Phantom of the Opera put on by one of the local theatres.  It was wonderful - such a professional presentation, but they have to be of a high standard to obtain the rights to perform it.  

Today has been quieter.  Jobs being done around the house and a call from daughter to say that the house sale has proceeded and she will be moving up in three weeks.  Tonight, we go out to dinner at  Alzheimers  which will mean good food and good company. 

Friday, June 7, 2019

WEEKLY WALK (in reverse)

This week we decided to do our circular walk in the opposite direction. 

Whereas when we walk in the other direction we go up a lot of steps to the top of Whangarei Falls going this way we decided to take the path on the other side of the Falls which goes down gently.  It starts off going under a lovely old Puriri Tree.  I took several more photos going down this path but I only had my phone with me and, obviously, moved so the other photos were quite blurred.

Anyway, we walked alongside the river and came to the Redwood Trees

and the swimming hole although it is not swimming weather at the moment (11 degrees C. right now)

                                                          Through the bush

                                                 and alongside the stream

then back along Paranui Valley Road and up the hill on Kiripaka Road.  I think we will be alternating with this walk as it is pleasant in both directions.

Monday, June 3, 2019


Our Parkinson Walk today was up Whau Valley Road to the Dam.  We were all shocked to see how low the Dam is.  It has been a wonderful summer and autumn but we hadn't realised just how little rain we have had.  The forecast was for a cold and wet Queen's Birthday Weekend  but Auckland received a lot more rain than us and have for the whole year so far.  We had some showers and it has been cold.  In fact when we were at the Dam my phone told me it was still only 7 degrees.

There is not usually a "beach" at the Dam.

It is a bit hard to see but the round structure in the foreground is, in fact, the overflow.  We need a lot of rain before we get anywhere near the overflow level.

The view looking back down the valley

Once again we didn't need our raincoats.  It was a lovely day and a very nice walk.