Monday, July 29, 2019


Following the Christchurch Massacre various firearms, mainly semi automatic have been banned. 

Doug and his late wife collected firearms.  Doug has already sold the majority but he had some rifles left that came under the scheme because they held more than 10 rounds.

Last Tuesday we went to the local amnesty buy back event.  It was held at Barge Park which was an excellent location.  The start time was 3 p.m. but we decided to go early and arrived just after 2.30 p.m. to find many people already there, some already being processed.  There were also several armed  police outside, something we are not used to here in New Zealand. Doug had seven firearms to hand in mainly Henry and Winchester with one BSA.  

All except the BSA were in new condition still in the boxes and several with the tags still on.  To start with we went to an armourer outside the building who checked that they were all empty.  We then went inside the hall where there were tables with an armourer and a computer operator at each table.  We only waited a short while before being processed.  The armourer had to check the firearms for condition and I think he was nearly in tears saying in some instances that he had the same gun but these were in a far better condition.  It seems such a shame that these are all going to be destroyed however the prices paid were very fair.  All Doug's were rated as new/near new.  

Everyone was very helpful and tea/coffee were available.  By the time we left there was a long queue waiting to be processed.  Everything was valued and processed at the time and all that remains is for the payment to come through.  

I did not think it a good idea to take a photo but below is a photo of an event in a nearby town from our local paper.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019


While on our walk at the Museum grounds we visited the Bird Recovery Centre see here .  This was started by Robert and Robyn Webb in 1992 and is a wonderful centre.  I have taken birds there myself when they have been injured.  I was unable to photograph any of the birds in the enclosures due to the shade but managed to get a photo of a  kereru in a nearby tree. 

By co-incidence at the Growers' Market on Saturday a lady was making flax flowers and selling them in aid of the centre.

Saturday, July 20, 2019


After seeing the trams and old railway engines we walked back alongside the track and went past the old Riponui Pah School with its interesting notices.

Life was very tough for school teachers then by today's standards anyway.

Thursday, July 18, 2019


Our Parkinson walk on Monday was around the Museum grounds.  It was more of a saunter. 
First we walked alongside the sheds where the old tractors etc are brought back to life but, unfortunately, they were not open.  We carried on and walked by the railway tracks to a shed at the back where some old tram carriages were being worked on.  Outside there were some old engines waiting their turn and a machine that they had built from scratch to work on the tracks.  

You can just see on this top photo that the carriage has been completely stripped back at the sides.  They were also making new windows.  This is all volunteer work.

This is the machine they had made to straighten and work on the railway tracks.

The forecast had been for rain but it was a beautiful day.    We have very rarely had to cancel a walk.  Well, we do not cancel but go to the nearest cafe and just miss the walking part but I can only recall one occasion when we did this.  There was a second but the weather cleared while we had our coffee so we had the walk afterwards.

These engines will be brought back to life as time and funds permit.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019


When we did our circular walk last week we came across the new Memorial to the 51 people who lost their lives in the Christchurch Mosque Attacks.  We knew it had been planted but not its exact location. 

It is an excellent location for the trees - across the bridge above the falls.  We have not studied the actual trees but I assume there is a variety.  As we go a different way around the walk every other week we will not pass this spot when we do the walk tomorrow.

Monday, July 15, 2019



This is a small video I took on my phone back in March of Sophie telling us that Kim the Cat is in the kitchen and going to eat her food.  I tried to post it then through the desk top but it didn't work so just tried now on my phone.  Hope it has worked.

Thursday, July 11, 2019


When Doug and I got married and Kim the cat and I moved in we had Kim and Doug's Labrador/Retriever Sophie separated with Kim having full run of the lounge and my bedroom and barriers to keep Sophie out.  As Doug used to have trouble with neighbouring cats hunting the birds he fed he always encouraged Sophie to chase the cats and suddenly there was one living in the house.

The barriers stayed up for over a year and there is still a child's gate on my bedroom door as that is where Kim is fed.  

Finally this winter they are tolerating each other and a few nights ago this.....

they are back to back but only a couple of inches apart in front of the fire.  Kim usually gets to the fire first as she appears as soon as she hears me light it.  

Long may it last.  

Thursday, July 4, 2019


Although our trip to Tiritiri Matangi was cancelled for yesterday the weather was quite good so we did our weekly circular walk from home.  I have just set my phone up with Samsung Health to measure the distance I walk and discovered that this walk is 5.77 km long.  It also gave a graph of the elevation of our walk which fits in with the height of the Whangarei Falls at 26 metres.

I think we are getting a reasonable work out.  The weather has packed up today (should help fill the dams).  Not the best for Doug's daughter who is moving up here from Orewa today.

There has not been a break in the rain today - not usual for here.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019


The first of our winter vegetables have now been in the ground for three months and we have eaten all the pak choi and spinach and been enjoying the swiss chard and brocolli.  The brocoflower and Italian brocolli are  also coming on as well as the later planted beetroot, leeks and more swiss chard and spinach.

Tomorrow we were due to go on a bus and boat trip to Tiritiri Matangi, an Island bird and animal sanctuary.  Unfortunately, the forecast for tomorrow is not at all good and the trip has been cancelled.  They hope to run it later in the month.