Tuesday, March 31, 2020


We were surprised to awake to a foggy morning but knew it would soon clear and leave a stunning day.  Doug released a couple of Monarch butterflies and there were plenty flying around the garden although they all disappeared when I got the camera...

We had our usual walks and Doug has started working on the small garden in the front.  The concrete came from a neighbour who has just re-concreted his drive.  The plants were there but Doug is building it up into a more substantial garden.

My late sown beans have started to set and the seeds I found are coming up.  

On the left are two types of sprouting broccoli and in the middle two types of a small cabbage and on the right some more broccoli sown later.

The seeds I ordered recently from Kings Seeds arrived today although I don't think I will sow them until tomorrow.

 I was just talking to C., Doug's daughter who is doing our shopping, and she said there was quite a long queue outside New World.  The lady in charge asked if there were any "Essential Workers" in the queue and when she saw C's uniform went and brought her to the front of the queue telling everyone that this lady was an Essential Worker and needed priority.

Monday, March 30, 2020


We did the usual walks - I carried 4 kg for Sophie's walk - more of a saunter and  the 3kg on the main walk.  In yesterday's comments Jean told me about a Les Mills Exercise programme on television this morning so we decided to have a look at it.  Unfortunately, it was too advanced and fast for us to keep up with so we reverted to our usual exercise regime.  I am rediscovering skipping - great exercise.

As we are still not able to get either "click and collect" groceries or delivery we have decided to ask Doug's youngest daughter to shop for us.  I had thought I may go myself today but the first news I read this morning was Jacinda Ardern saying ""I do worry that our older New Zealanders who may have a tendency to not wish to be perceived to be putting anyone out may not be asking for the help that we need to give them.
"I really want to again re-state, you must stay at home,'' she said
So, when she finishes work we will phone her (Doug's daughter) and email a shopping list.  
I take  Kyolic Garlic every day and ordered some a week ago and they have just been delivered.  I also received an email telling me that the vegetable seeds I ordered have been dispatched.  I also hope to put an order in for seedlings on Thursday.  
The time seems to be flying and we have not even done today's crossword yet, in fact we haven't even started it.

Sunday, March 29, 2020


We have started to carry 3kg weights on our morning walks now.  This morning on our 1.5km walk we met just one lady twice - she was walking the same route in the opposite direction.  As it is Sunday and we usually go to the gym so we had a gym session on the back deck.  No machines but we could do the floor exercises, steps, skipping, sit ups, etc.  Our aim is to do this every day - we will see.

Just before we did the exercises I put some vegetables on to roast - pumpkin, kumara, potato and garlic and then when we finished I put a ready made gluten free pizza in the oven and lunch was ready in no time and delicious.  

It is another lovely sunny day although a bit cooler at night an early mornings.  We still need rain as the drought continues,

We have had the first death from Covid 19 in New Zealand, there are 514 confirmed and probable cases with seven in Northland and one in our local hospital.  I just hope the Lockdown does the trick.

The purple climbing beans that I sowed on February 19th have plenty of flowers.  It was a bit late to sow them but I have my fingers crossed that we will get some beans.  Because of the drought there is not much else in the garden but I am hoping to get an order in for some seedlings next Thursday.  Awapuni Gardens where I buy my seedlings are completing orders of a set bundle of seedlings once a week on a first come first served basis.  I missed out last week so will try early on Thursday.

Saturday, March 28, 2020


Today would have been Doug's Grand-daughter's wedding day.  She is a nurse and had arranged three weeks' holiday so has been in touch with the hospital and offered to go back to work.  She has been told that they are quiet and she is not needed, at present anyway.

Another lovely sunny day (would have been perfect for a wedding).  It was good not having to get up in the dark as we usually have an early start on Saturday for the Growers' Market. We went for our walk around the streets before breakfast. 

I seemed to be busy all morning, cooking, ironing the table cloth that I washed last night after tomato landed on it and the two hemp and cotton blouses I also washed, we then took Sophie for a walk and settled down to do an on-line shopping order.  Tried New World first then Countdown, with both they only have slots for pick-up or delivery for a week and they are all full.  With New World my registration doesn't seem to have worked as I am not able to log on, so we have two full trollies and that is as far as we can go.  New World told us that trying between 9pm and 11pm we might get a time slot for a pick up but I am unable to log in to them.  We may well end up doing the shopping in person although are not very keen on that.  Sophie will run out of dog food and neither supermarket has the oats we use for our morning porridge and the home made food we make for Sophie.

I am sure it will all sort out.  Some rain would be good.

Friday, March 27, 2020


Quiet again first thing this morning.  We are still on Daylight Savings so when I opened the curtains at about 6.40 a.m. it was still dark.  Usually, most of the neighbouring houses would have their lights on as people get ready for work but this morning all was in darkness.

Of course, with the Lockdown in place today, it would be the day for the toilet cistern to throw a wobbly.  It flushed but then kept running.  Doug tried to stop the water by turning the stop cock off but could not get it completely shut and didn't want to force it in case it came off in his hand and we had water everywhere.  In days gone by it would have been an easy fix with the ball cock needing adjustment but nowadays things are much more complicated.

Doug phoned the Plumber who checked to make sure no one at the house was ill and then a very nice man turned up not much later.  He was able to turn the stop cock off but needs a part to fix the problem (most likely completely new innards).  Luckily, we have a second toilet so he left telling us that next time a plumber is in the area and they have the part he will call and fix the problem.

My cat, Kim, has got very fussy with her food, she is 16 now and has had some teeth removed and also lost quite a bit of weight.  I had just found a food that she would eat and she has been eating it for about a week but last night would not touch it so I put some different food out for her and ended up with 4 different choices.  Finally, this afternoon she went back to the food she has been eating.  I just hope I can buy more of it.  We are going to try doing an internet order tomorrow.

I have been busy, baked and iced a cake, gave the kitchen benches a thorough clean moving all the bits and pieces.  I also got out a new table cloth this morning and washed the table cloth and tea towels.

I have just had a piece of toast with avocado and tomato for my evening meal and a piece of tomato fell off the toast landing all over the clean table cloth and my new blouse. I have just washed the  blouse with some other washing and the table cloth is washing now.  So much for saving water, and  I am exhausted.

Kim in one of her baskets this morning

The clean and shiny kitchen

Thursday, March 26, 2020


We awoke to silence, in fact we had slept in and it was after 7 a.m.  We decided to do our walk around the streets but wait until after breakfast as it was a little cool and we have all day.  While getting breakfast we heard music.  There is a Maori family next door - mother, father and son of about 14-15 and they have recently had a boarder, another boy of the same age.  The boarder must have returned home but whanau (family) have come to stay for the duration as one must stay where one was as of yesterday.

Now there are 3 or 4 adults, two teenage boys and two teenage girls and a toddler.  The music we heard was for exercise.  The whole family did exercises for over an hour.  Stretching exercises, running or walking around the section, steps, weights, you name it they did it.  The "class" was taken by Robert, the father.  I said to Doug that we should have joined in on our side of the fence but we do our own exercises (I must admit  Doug does more than me).  Later on the teenagers were sitting at a table in a tent in the garden presumably doing school work.

So, after we had our breakfast - the usual porridge followed by toast - we went for our walk around the streets and straight away after that we went out of the back gate into the park to walk Sophie through the park and back around the main road as our first walk would have been too much for her.

It is a lovely day and a very pleasant walk.  Then it was through the park behind us and back on the road

We saw very few cars or people on our walk but did meet a New Zealand Post Paxter delivering mail. I did not take a photo so this one is off the net.  

Image result for nz post paxter

Doug has been washing windows and venetian blinds and I have sown some carrots and broccoletti and potted up a couple of seedlings that have appeared in the garden.  We still need rain so I will have to water shortly. 

New Zealand has 73 new confirmed or probable cases of the virus today bringing the total to 283.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020


I started the day with the usual walk around the streets.  Only a short walk just over 1.5 kms. in about 15 minutes.  Doug didn't come today as he was going to do the "weed eating" and mow the lawns.  While Doug did this I did some washing and cooked making a batch of dog food for Sophie and then roasting some aubergine and cooking a tomato and capsicum mixture and getting our lunch.

At 6.30 p.m. we received Emergency Alerts on our phones to say that the National Emergency starts at 11.45 p.m. 

We will still be able to do the walk around the streets from here, around the park behind us or even go to the larger park a short distance away in our neighbourhood but must keep to ourselves.  As we are over 70 we cannot go to the supermarket or pharmacy but must get things dropped off at the door.  This is for a minimum of 4 weeks.

A lot of Kiwis are stuck around the world not able to get home and tourists are going around New Zealand in campervans which could prove a problem.  Anyway, I am sure it will all sort itself out.  The main thing is to keep home and keep safe.

We have not been offered flu vaccinations yet but as we are not going to meet anyone we shouldn't contract the flu.

Keep safe and well everyone.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020


I sent an email to King's Seeds where I was trying to buy some vegetable seeds and have just had a reply telling me  to use their address on the order then mine for the delivery address.  I did and it worked.  They also asked


I had begun to think that they had closed down.  So that will give us something to do over this period.  It has been quite cold today, a high of 18 degrees, Doug has been sorting out fertiliser in one of the sheds.  A lot of packets have been discarded or spread around and others put in tidy order.  

Doug heard on talk back radio that supermarkets are doing internet shopping for the elderly and sick so will look at that although we have had offers.  Four weeks is not that long and I have more than enough jobs to keep me busy.

One of Doug's daughters phoned this morning - she had been to all three of the local supermarkets and the queues were so long that they left empty-handed.

Keep safe everyone.

Monday, March 23, 2020


Things are moving quickly here in New Zealand.  There are now 102 confirmed cases of Covid 19 and we have now moved on to Level 3 alert and on Wednesday will move to Level 4 which is virtually complete Lock down apart from essential services.

Doug's Grand-daughter's wedding on Saturday has had to be postponed.  His two daughters and grand-daughter work for essential services - delivering mail, working in a Rest Home and grand-daughter is a nurse. 

Four of us from the Parkinson group had a walk this morning keeping our distance as required but they have stopped from now on. 

I am not completely sure exactly what we are able to do under Level 4 - I think we will still be able to go on isolated walks (just the two of us).

After the walk this morning we went to two garden centres to buy seedlings or seeds and there were NO Vegetables at all.  I then tried to buy seedlings on line with no luck but am hopeful of getting some seeds of things like broccoli and swiss chard. Will try and do that later. 

We are not sure whether the Growers' Market will continue but hope it will and will go in there first thing in the morning (about 6ish) to get our vegies and eggs if we are allowed.  The supermarket we go to has reduced its hours and now does not open until 9 a.m. to give them time to replenish the shelves.

At least we have plenty of books to keep us occupied - just wish we had some seedlings to plant.

Sunday, March 22, 2020


The border has been closed to all but New Zealand citizens and residents and we have been told that the "over 70"s" should stay at home where possible.   On Friday, after hearing that the Auckland Library had closed we went to our local library and got some more books.  Our library is closed from tomorrow except for pick ups of already ordered books so, after reading  "By Stargoose and Hanglands" blog I checked to see if any of the books were available and have got one "on hold" and put a couple more books on hold as well.  I am not sure how long one will be able to pick books up so have my fingers crossed that I can get these extra books.  They have made all books available for two months instead of the usual 1 month.

We have Doug's Grand-daughter's wedding next Saturday.  At present, we are intending to go to the actual ceremony which is outside on his parents' farm but not sure about going to the reception.  We still plan to go to the local markets which are outside and will see what happens about the supermarket.  May have to do on-line shopping.

As far as the drought is concerned we read in yesterday's paper that the level may go up meaning that we can no longer use a hose on the garden.  We have just been clearing out the old summer gardens and are hoping to get some seedlings and/or seeds tomorrow.  Have heard seedlings are in short supply.

Here is some wildlife from our walk on Wednesday.

Friday, March 20, 2020


We left Whananaki South Beach and joined the track.  It was mainly uphill with the odd downhill slope to make it interesting.  We stopped and sat on a grassy bank to have our lunch with this view

and then walked past more lovely beaches, several of them seemed to be private

We walked until we reached the point we had walked to the previous week.  There was a driveway/walkway in and last week the cyclists we met told us it led to the memorial.  We walked part way last week but then decided to return.  There was a "Private" sign at the beginning but we had since seen a map which showed it as a track to the Memorial so we went along it and it did.

I had a link in my last post to the Memorial.  Looking down on a fine day the sea was churning, goodness knows what it would be like in a storm.

These were the views either way from the Memorial

We then turned around and retraced our steps back to Whananaki.

We had a really enjoyable day not meeting anyone on the actual walk.  I have just found another website which states that the track to the Memorial used to be public but that the current owners have made it private.

Thursday, March 19, 2020


Last Wednesday we did most of the walk from Sandy Bay to Whananaki.  Yesterday we drove to Whananaki. (Amy, we went on S.H.1 almost to Whakapara and then turned right.  It was all tar sealed although very winding).

We knew that well known M.P. Winston Peters comes from there.  He was one of a family of eleven and the majority seem to have done well in the law or parliament (which I suppose is also the law). 

Anyway,  as we were headed south the first thing to do was go across the "longest wooden pedestrian bridge in the Southern Hemisphere".  It was built in 1947 to enable children from Whananaki South to get to the Whananaki School.

Once over the bridge we headed along the road then came to a side road.  We thought this was the correct way but were not quite sure so when a Ute (flat topped truck) came along I asked the man driving and he confirmed that it was right.  We had a short chat then and followed him along the road.  Both Doug and I thought he looked like a "Peters" so when we caught up with him a short distance along the road we stopped and chatted.  He confirmed that Winston was his younger brother and we spent some time chatting with him until another local drove up and we moved on. 

The view towards the beach where we stood chatting.

 We carried on down this road to the beach hoping to be able to walk around the coast to the Capitaine Bouganville Monument but the tide was too high (in fact a rogue wave caught me and my shoes, socks and feet were drenched) so we went away from the sea to the actual pathway to Sandy Bay

it is getting late so more to follow tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020


We had an enjoyable Parkinson's Walk yesterday and planned where we would go on the next two walks however, this afternoon, I received an email from the Northland Parkinson Nurse telling me that all weekly groups are to stop on Monday until further notice.  A shame as one lady who lives alone told me it is the highlight of her week and everyone enjoys the walks and catch up after.

We actually had rain in the night, not a lot but it freshened up the plants.  Tomorrow is forecast to be fine so we are going to the other end of the walk we did last Wednesday.

Doug's grand-daughter gets married a week on Saturday.  Doug's sister and niece had already decided not to come from Perth and now her father's family from England are not coming as all travellers must self-isolate for a fortnight so they would miss the wedding even if they did come.  We don't know what other rules there may be, at present groups of over 500 have been banned and rules for things such as weddings and funerals are to be announced later in the week.

Self isolation has not been brought in here for the over 70's or 80's yet.  One is also able to go outside to garden or go for a walk or run as long as one keeps ones distance from other people.

A large financial package was announced here today and I have not yet caught up with all of it.  

It is a rapidly changing situation.

Thursday, March 12, 2020


Over the summer months it has been too hot to do much walking just our short morning walk around the streets close to home and the weekly Parkinson's walk so, as we had no appointments and the forecast was fine with probable showers for the rest of the week, we decided to go to Sandy Bay and do the walk towards Whananaki.  We did not expect to get all the way - it is a 12 kms walk over "undulating" farm land.  I think we walked through three farms.

Some of the photos are out of order as I have ones taken by both Doug and me.  This was the first beach we looked down on.

This is looking back at a valley we had just walked alongside.

Doug walking along a nice grassy path

Just prior to this photo being taken we had met a couple of cyclists who advised that the Capitaine Bougainville Memorial was in the direction of this road so we decided to finish the walk and do a diversion before our return.  Doug went a bit further than me and could look down at a house in a bay but no sign of the Memorial.  (We plan to do the walk from the other end one day and may get to the Memorial then although it seems as though the tide must be right.)

 This was on our return.  We had looked down at this bay on our outward journey and decided we would go down to it on the way back so we had our lunch here and Doug had a paddle.

The track ahead of us.  We were either climbing or descending which is, presumably, why we are both tired today.

This is looking down at the bay where we had our lunch on our return.

Another bay

and on our way back Doug spotted a Skylark

My phone has thrown a wobbly and is now (hopefully being put right) but Samsung Health told me the walk was just over 9.5 kms.  We thoroughly enjoyed it.

Unfortunately, the promised rain for today has not eventuated and the drought is getting more serious with more areas of drought being declared.