Saturday, November 30, 2019


Apparently it was bird poo that caused the outage that shut down the whole of Northland on Wednesday.

The investigation has narrowed the site down to an area close to a tributary of the Kaipara Harbour.

From the N.Z. Herald

Birds, their nest material and their poo can trip circuits, causing power circuits to trip and disconnect. Photo / Supplied

Away with the birds, taking over power pylons. Photo / Supplied

Perched high up in a power pylon, a heron peers across the Kaipara under a brilliant blue sky.
The bird launches into flight, relaxing into the air and letting loose a stream of poo that splatters across a pylon.
On this occasion, says Transpower, it believes it's likely the stream of poo formed a bridge for electricity creating a "flashover" effect.
This is the scenario Transpower has described to explain the three-hour power outage that affected 92,000 homes and businesses across Northland on Wednesday.

Thursday, November 28, 2019


At about 9.30 a.m. yesterday morning I was multi-tasking (as usual) printing Christmas letters to send to the U.K. while talking to a friend of Doug in Australia when everything went dead.  The power had gone off.

It turned out that one of the two high voltage circuits that feed Northland had tripped and the second was down for maintenance, this left the whole of Northland without power - 92,000 properties.

Doug had an appointment to have stitches removed from his face and, as we assumed power would not be needed for that, we went in to the surgery.  On the way there was a policeman on point duty directing traffic.  Without power the surgery had no record of the appointments for the day but the nurse was able to remove the stitches and we went on our way.  (Luckily the cost was included in the cost of the operation so no Eftpos was needed).

We were then going to visit the Library, the Chemist and the Vets but decided to go home as power would be needed for the transactions, however, when we got back to the intersection the traffic lights were back on so we went to the Library only to find their power was still off.  We were able to find some books (using the torch on my cellphone) and check them out manually.

Just before we left the power came back on so we decided to go to the Cafe de Paris for lunch where their power had also just been restored and go on to the Chemist and Vets for our other purchases.

The first to have power restored was the Hospital and emergency services.  One other major place without power was the Marsden Point Oil Refinery which shut down as part of its safety procedures.

The Council was urging people to conserve water to make it easier for the system to recover when power was restored.  It certainly makes you realise that we depend on electricity for just about everything these days.  The power was off for about 2.5 hours and, in fact,business stopped in the whole district.

The extent of the Northland power outage on 27/11/19.

Monday, November 25, 2019


For today's walk we headed north to Hikurangi and walked around  Lake Waro and then the rocks alongside it.  Another lovely day and we had a good walk followed by a cuppa at a nearby cafe and then discovered an excellent wholefoods shop a bit further down the street. 

When we got home Doug finished putting the ply on the new roof.  We are having to water the garden regularly now and there is no rain on the immediate forecast.  I picked our first Courgette/zucchini 

Sunday, November 24, 2019


We skipped the gym today so that Doug could get on with the new roof.  The sheets of ply are 1.2m x 2.4 m x 12mm and Doug has managed to put 6 of them up today (I think he would have carried on with the last two if I had not put my foot down.

It is hard work getting them up onto the roof.  While he was doing this I prepared our lunch, did the dishes and other jobs that needed doing.  I was allowed to help align a couple of the boards into the joiners.

We are waiting to see how dark it becomes and may have to put a skylight in.  Tomorrow morning is the Parkinson walk so we will see whether he is able to get some more done in the afternoon.

Already it is a lot cooler without the hot sun coming through the clearlite roofing.

Saturday, November 23, 2019


I finally got around to taking a photo of Boo Boo Sushi.

I think you will have to enlarge the photo to see it clearly.  It is on a roundabout so I took the photo from a distance.

Friday, November 22, 2019


The re-roofing of the Back Porch has been put on hold due to other things taking precedence and some strong winds.  The latest was the funeral yesterday for the lady who started and ran the Parkinson Walking Group.

Anyway, today Doug has been able to get back on the job. First he put up the noggins on the new part and has just finished removing the old clear lite roofing.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019


The Parks department of the Whangarei Council does a wonderful job and, one day, I must try and get some photos of the roundabout gardens.  However, yesterday, Doug had an appointment so I walked down through Laurie Hall Park into town to window shop.  The gardeners had just finished planting and were about to water the new gardens.  They will be lovely in a few weeks time.

We generally have our main meal of the day at midday and then something light in the evening.  I always enjoy this time of year for the salads (terrible photo) but a salad, mainly from the garden with avocado and smoked salmon on toast was delicious last night and will be on the menu quite frequently over the summer months.

Saturday, November 16, 2019


I had intended to put a mix of our photos on my last post but ended up with just mine so here are some of Doug's - of both the sculptures and the gardens.

Thursday, November 14, 2019


The Sculpture Northland Exhibition is being held over ten days at the Quarry Gardens.  It is an annual event but is the first time we have been.

This year there are 150 sculptural works on show.  The weather has been variable to say the least with a cold, wet day on Tuesday where we had the fire lit all day however yesterday was fine so after a visit to the Library we went to the Quarry Gardens.  It was very busy but they had plenty of volunteers directing traffic and we were lucky to get right in to the Gardens to park as many were out on the road.

Here are some photos I took.

As you can see the sculptures were very varied.