Friday, January 31, 2020


On Sunday, after going to Tahi, we drove a couple of hundred metres to Pataua North, a pleasant beach-side community.

Just before we got to the beach we passed this young girl carrying an inflatable pink flamingo on her head and then watched as she got it down to the beach, lay on it for a while before going into the sea.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020


For yesterday's walk I decided to wear my old and somewhat worn Skechers.  Towards the end of last year I tried to purchase some more of them as they are so comfortable but, as with so many things that one likes, they are no longer made so I bought something similar in a lace-up.

I mentioned that the track is very comfortable to walk on.  It is scoria and, over time, has ground to a dust, presumably helped by all the dry weather.

After the walk we went to collect a dress I had ordered for Doug's grand-daughter's wedding in March.  The one in stock here in my size had a mark on it so they ordered me one from another branch.

I wanted to try it on and got a shock when I removed first my shoes and then my socks as my socks and feet were absolutely filthy with all the dust from the track.  I was so pleased I had not worn my new pale grey shoes.

with clean socks on for this morning's walk.

Monday, January 27, 2020


We walked the Waimahanga track this morning.  It is a 2.5 kms track so 5 kms there and back.  A pleasant walk on flat.  It is along the route of an old railway line and there are a couple of bridges that were rebuilt a couple of years ago.

When we stopped at the first bridge a kayak appeared in the distance, then a second then a third.  The tide was nearly full and still rising so they lay flat on their kayaks and managed to get under the bridge.

This is the track.  Much more comfortable to walk on than a cement path.

Sunday, January 26, 2020


It has been suggested that the Parkinson Walking Group goes to Tahi see here for a walk.  I phoned them and three of us went there for a walk today to see the lay of the land.  Doug and I are not too sure about it being a good walk for the group.  It is about 3/4 hours drive along a very winding road and the walk we did, which was the shorter one and the one they suggested, was a bit long and really no more interesting than the walk we do around Lake Waro and was quite difficult in one place.  The cafe is also closing next weekend even though the recent advert said "mid February'.  Anyway, we will see what the group thinks.

The cafe was open today and we had a coffee, iced coffee and cold drink with chocolate brownie for 2  and blueberry cheesecake.

Here are some photos from today.

I liked the shed at the entrance

It has been a hot day  (for here anyway).  When I checked on my phone a few minutes ago it told me it has been 31 degrees C and is now 29 but feels like 31.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020


We have not received any rain in the past week and are being warned that a drought could soon be declared and water restrictions imposed.  The temperature was 27 degrees today with 29 forecast from Friday through to Tuesday inclusive and the forecast is for the Airport where it is usually slightly cooler than in town..  We are watering every day and hope that restrictions are not imposed.

Anyway,  on this hot, dry day Doug answered the phone and was asked  if we would like to buy a load of firewood.  It was our usual supplier (who raise funds to repair old farm vehicles at the museum) so, of course, the answer was yes.  At least with the weather so dry we do not have to worry about storing it straight away.

We will be getting another couple of loads later on.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020


I woke in the night to the sound of RAIN.  We must have had some quite decent showers as the rain barrels were full this morning and they were only half full yesterday.  This was followed by a drizzly morning.  

So there was no need to water this evening.

The purple beans finished a week or so ago and I am letting the remaining ones set seed.  We are getting a few of the Dalmation beans although they have almost finished as well but the Scarlet Runners are just starting so all is not lost.

The larger tomato is Black Krim and this is the third year I have grown them and love their flavour.

This is today's harvest.  The smaller tomato is Russian Red.

Actually it wasn't the total harvest as I picked (gathered) some lovely beetroot this morning and roasted them in the oven.

Sunday, January 12, 2020


As we all know Australia desperately needs rain but we could also do with some here.  We have had windy days for what seems like weeks which dries everything out although, luckily, it was not as windy today.  26 degrees today and 27 forecast tomorrow.

In yesterday's paper it said that last year was the driest since 1943 when records began, that is since I was born!!!!!!

Apparently there is no sign of good rainfall in the foreseeable future.  When I looked at the forecast earlier there were rain showers forecast towards the end of the week but they have vanished from the forecast now.  It is affecting farmers, orchardists and market gardeners plus those of us who have gardens.  I hope we don't get a hose ban as we are watering every day and have been for several weeks now.

More rain dances needed.

Monday, January 6, 2020


Today, being twelfth night, is traditionally the day to take down Christmas decorations.  We have taken the pewter ornaments (my cousin sends me one each year) from the tree.  When Max and I lived further north we had them on a pelmet in the sunroom all year but since moving down to Whangarei I have just used them as a Christmas tree decoration.  We decided it was a shame to put them away for a year so Doug made up a board, painted it then attached them before putting it in the glass fronted cabinet in the sunroom.

We are very pleased with them.  We did not have time to take the other decorations down.  May take them down tonight , or may not.

Since taking the photos Doug has put other ornaments back in the cupboard.

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Gardens and Australian Smoke

On 20th November I posted these photos of the gardens in Laurie Hall Park that had just been planted out.  On Friday we were there again and I was struck by the vibrant colours of the gardens.

Today on the 5 p.m. news on the radio we heard that the Australian smoke had arrived in Auckland and it was dark early.  At that stage it was good here but now, just before 6 p.m. it is getting dark and everything is in sepia.

The photo in the centre is to the north and the other two to the south where the smoke is coming from.  We need the lights on which is most unusual for summer at 6 p.m.  Sorry the middle photo is out of focus but it shows the difference.

Doug just took this photo.

Saturday, January 4, 2020


Yesterday, we had nearly 5 year old great-grand daughter for lunch with her father.  We thought she was coming with her grandmother but plans were changed.  Then, after that we both had appointments with the Osteopath and that was going to be our day but in the morning Doug had a phone call from his nephew to say he had been fishing and would we like some Hapuka.  

After our appointments we headed north 20 kms to Whakapara and spent some time having a coffee and catch up returning with a piece of smoked Hapuka and about 5kgs of Hapuka fillets.  The fillets were so large that I had to cut them into steaks and this is what we ended up with.

and this is it all bagged up.  We have just had some for lunch and it was delicious.

There was also a plate of "trimmings" for the cat and seagulls.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020


We have been making good use of our covered deck area with a visit from grandson, partner and great-granddaughter for lunch yesterday and have just had our lunch there today.  The weather has been good - not too hot, forecast 27 degrees today. 

Thankfully, one of the "cures" from the G.P. for my ongoing cough seems to be working and my cough has almost gone. 

I was talking to my step-daughter in New South Wales yesterday and she had to go as she thought they may have to evacuate but when I phoned today they were still home.  fingers (and everything else) crossed.  I just don't know where it will end with all these massive fires.