Monday, September 30, 2019


Over the winter I had some potatoes that were starting to shoot so planted them.  Last week Doug got some of the beds ready for spring planting and found these lovely new potatoes. Enough for a few meals for the two of us.

Saturday, September 28, 2019


I don't know if anyone else drinks vegetable water but Doug and I both enjoy it.  His children and grandchildren are not interested which means we don't have to share.

I usually make a mash of potatoes, kumara (sweet potato) and pumpkin.  I lightly salt and
cook this first and then pour the water onto our greens to cook them.  It is this water that we then drink and it is delicious.

Thursday, September 26, 2019


Yesterday we got back to doing our weekly walks from home.  We had stopped while I was having my eyes done.  We decided to do it slightly differently which meant we had less walking on a main road.  We walked up past the Whangarei Falls to Sands Road.  This leads to a short unformed track which took us through to Clapham Road .  We did this the other way around recently but walked down the main road to get to it.  This time we went past the Paranui Falls into A.H.Reed Park then along the river to the Whangarei Falls, up the steps and back along the road.

The forecast was for rain but we were lucky and the showers held off until just after we returned.

the old Chestnut tree is coming into leaf.

According to Samsung Health the walk was 7.32 km long, took us 1 hour 42 minutes and the elevation went from 62 metres at the lowest to the highest of 135 metres.  It was a very pleasant walk but after not having walked for a few weeks we found we were quite tired afterwards.  Still this is the walk we plan to keep doing on a weekly basis with other ones in between.

Monday, September 23, 2019


Today's Parkinson walk was back to the Quarry Gardens.

There were several new signs, this one showing the making of the lake.

We had an enjoyable walk followed by the usual refreshment stop.  Unfortunately, our leader who started the walking group about 8 years ago had been in hospital and was not with us for this walk.

After a spell of dry weather we have much needed rain forecast for tomorrow.  I have enjoyed being out in the garden over the weekend having been given the all clear by the ophthalmologist.

Saturday, September 21, 2019


The weather has been great this week.  A bit on the cold side first thing but lovely sunny days to follow.  This morning was no exception and, being Saturday, we went to the market first where we were pleased to find fresh scallops back for sale.  A packet ended up in our market bag along with some local cheese, rocket and watercress.  Not a lot needed today as we are still eating the vegetables we planted in autumn although we did buy an Echium, Pride of Madeira, plant and a punnet of lettuce seedlings. 

We then went down to the Town Basin for our walks.  Doug has a slow walk with Sophie while I have a faster walk.  

After doing our supermarket shop it was home for breakfast.  I then casseroled some lamb shoulder chops before cooking half the scallops for lunch.  The rest were frozen for another day as we already had a scotch fillet roast in the fridge.  The lamb casserole will be frozen in two person lots and the frozen scallops eaten when the beef is  finished.

Yesterday, I had my final check up for my eyes and will see the optician in about a month to check on my glasses.  All good.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019


I have mentioned before that my stepdaughter lives in the Southern Highlands between Sydney and Canberra and that they have had a major drought for what seems like years.  It is getting really serious.  Yesterday she told me they had rain forecast and this morning I received an email that they woke to SNOW  and that the gauge had 20 ml of rain and the rest was snow.  It will be great if they get some more rain but it will take a lot to break the drought.

It is, of course, spring here in the Southern Hemisphere.

Sunday, September 15, 2019


For his birthday Doug received some more metal birds from me.  There was a larger Fantail to go with the smaller one.

and the two Kereru have been joined by a Tui.

This close up photo is harder to see because of the shadows.  The two Kereru have weathered to a lovely brown which the Tui will do in a short time.

Friday, September 13, 2019


The Waratahs are looking good.  I had my second eye operation yesterday and a check up today.  All was good and I have a final check up in a week. It all seems to have gone very quickly and well.

It has still been a busy week.  Wednesday (9/11) was Doug's birthday.  He wanted a roasted Scotch Fillet and vegetables from the butcher so that is what was ordered.  We thought his youngest daughter was coming to lunch but there was a misunderstanding and she came on Tuesday as Wednesday is a busy day for her Rural Delivery (postal service).  In the end his eldest daughter came to lunch on the day.  She is vegetarian so I cooked some fish for her and she was able to have the roast vegies and greens.  Doug's phone decided to die so we then went and bought him a new one and when we got home two of his local grandchildren called in to wish him Happy Birthday.

It was good having the roast as there were plenty of leftovers for the following days.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019


Doug's eldest daughter who has recently moved up here and now lives just around the corner asked her Dad to make her some bird feeders.  This is the result.

It only took a day for the birds to start using them.

Sunday, September 8, 2019


The main birds that feed from the sugar syrup are the Silver Eye also known as White Eye and the Tui.  They also have a selection of halved mandarins or tangelos to feed from.

The white eyes are so fast it is hard to get a photo so here is one from the web.

Image result for white eyes bird

Friday, September 6, 2019


Feeding time is a lot like a certain Hitchcock movie.  About ten years ago Doug started by feeding "No Feet" but gradually her friends arrived as well.

Yesterday's cataract operation went well.  One is covered from head to toe with only the eye that is being operated on left uncovered.  The only uncomfortable  part of the operation was removing the cover from around the eye as it is stuck to the face.  Piece of cake.  Apparently my sight is already better in that eye without glasses than it was previously with glasses.  Roll on next week for the other eye.

Sunday, September 1, 2019


Today is the first day of spring and it really has been a spring-like day.  We have not really had a winter as such in fact I bought a winter coat but have not worn it.  The Monarch butterflies have been emerging all winter.

We have had some wet days but more drizzle than rain.  Lately, it has been cold in the morning but good days if one could keep out of the cold wind.  In spite of this the spring flowers seem to be early this year.

I just went around the garden and took a few photos.

I leave these cyclamen in a shady place and bring them out when they start to flower

There are several cinerarias

The blueberry we were given last year is coming into bud

The poinsettia has been in flower for a while now.

I think this rose is on a bush that has not been cut back yet.

These New South Wales Waratahs will be a show before too long.

There are a few daffodils

including this lovely clump of miniature daffs which have been flowering for a while.

Some stock and geraniums

A yellow Red Hot Poker or is it a Yellow Hot Poker.

some more cinerarias

 and my hanging pansies.

We are still picking the various broccoli  that we planted and there are lots of chard, spinach, beetroot and leeks.  Will have to start clearing some beds shortly for summer veges.