Thursday, April 30, 2020


Our day started with the usual approximately 1.75 kms walk around the streets followed by our breakfast of porridge and toast.  Sophie (the Labrador) gets some home made food along with biscuits and dog sausage and this had run out so I put that on to start cooking - a dried soup mix of lentils, peas and pearl barley with brown rice, some chopped dates, turmeric, coconut oil and desiccated coconut is cooked then a couple of kumara (sweet potato), a couple of carrots and a beetroot grated are added plus oats.  This is cooked in a large saucepan and then, when cold, put into 3 storage containers 2 of which are frozen.  I start it off and Doug does the grating.  

After that Doug went outside to continue clearing the front flower garden ready for its winter planting and I did some baking.  I baked Doug some more Anzac biscuits they didn't spread as much as the last batch but I was assured they tasted just as good.

  I also baked some Ginger Oaty Biscuits from a recipe that Rosemary from Where Five Valleys Meet posted recently.  I substituted gluten free flour.  They spread more than I expected and the first batch was just one giant biscuit with the next 2 batches not far behind.  I broke them into pieces and I must say they are delicious.

By this time it was after midday so I got on with lunch and then got the washing in.  (Still no sign of rain).

It is now time to do my skipping (100 skips) and then I think I will put my feet up for a read.  Our grocery order is due between 6 and 8 p.m. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2020


A while ago someone asked to see our vegetable garden.  In spite of the drought things are doing well. There is some perpetual spinach

some carrots

 the cabbage are doing well

and the broccoli and cauliflower

when I planted the beetroot they didn't look the best but they are doing well

only a few sugar snap peas

The forecast rain seems to get further away each day so a little watering with the watering can is in order.  Meanwhile I am still picking a handful of beans a day although I don't know how much longer they will keep providing.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020


We have gone back down to level 3 but are still virtually in Lockdown.  A lot of businesses are now able to open if they can do it without public contact and safely.  The first thing I heard on the radio this morning was that there were long queues at McDonalds.  There must be something wrong with me as that is the last thing I would want especially first thing in the morning.  I had been hoping that with takeaways being closed people would get used to cooking and enjoy it.  

We will still be staying put as everyone is asked to stay home where they can.  Doug had to get some repeat medicine for Sophie and went for a drive to the next suburb he said there was a lot of traffic on the road.  

I thought I was adding to my supermarket order for Thursday but, when I had finished, I was asked to find a time slot and realised what I have done is make a new order.  I will have redo it all again  but did not have the energy at the time - I had thought I was doing so well.  Bother.....

This morning it was misty with a very slight drizzle to start but soon cleared up and has been another sunny day.  The weather forecast shows a possible shower on Saturday so I had better water (with the watering can) tomorrow.  

Monday, April 27, 2020


When I woke this morning there was a message to tell me that Stella had died (overnight our time) .  She died peacefully but had none of the family with her.  Apparently, someone could have been - they were told she had deteriorated and when they phoned back to arrange a visit she had already died.  So not a good start to the day.  I phoned my cousin (her brother) straight away and we had a long chat about various family members. We then changed our routine and had breakfast before going on our walk later than usual I then set about finding some photos of our grandparents.  Could not remember where they were but eventually found them.

There were 11 cousins - 3 girls and 8 boys - we are now down to 6 with only me left on the female side.  At the start of Covid 19 I never expected a member of my family to be killed by it.

R.I.P Stella 05/03/1924 - 26/04/2020

Tomorrow we move back to Level 3 of Lockdown - many businesses will be able to open if they can do so safely with no contact.  We missed today's briefing so will find out more in the news tonight but it won't make much difference to us.

Sunday, April 26, 2020


I have mentioned previously that I find it more difficult to remember what day of the week it is without the usual prompts such as the gym or walking group.  Yesterday (Saturday) afternoon I went to put some rubbish in the wheelie bin and it wasn't there.  I assumed Doug had taken it to where he was working to make it easier to put rubbish in so when he turned up I asked him where it was.  He looked at me as though I was asking a silly question and said he had put it out on the kerb.  On seeing the look on my face he said it's Monday so needs to go out.  When I went to retrieve it I found he had also put out the recyclable bins as well.  Glad I am not the only one.

First thing this morning the phone rang and it was a cousin from the Welsh Border.  His sister (my oldest cousin who has just turned 96) has been in a Rest Home for some time and I knew she had deteriorated and been moved to another Rest Home and was not well with shortness of breath.  He was phoning to tell me she has been diagnosed with Covid 19 and was taken to Shrewsbury Hospital but, as she kept removing the tubes, she had been moved from ICU to a Palliative Ward.  It does seem as though she is holding her own though.  They are finding it very difficult not being able to visit her.

Apart from that it has been a lovely sunny day in which we both got some gardening done.

Saturday, April 25, 2020


Today is Anzac Day when Australians and New Zealanders remember the dead and wounded from all wars.  Usually there is a Dawn Service at the Cenotaph but, because of Lockdown, this could not happen so at 6 a.m. this morning I was standing at the end of our drive with my cellphone and "Wonderboom" to listen to the Dawn Service.    I know a couple of people will be interested in it so here is the link - hope it works

It was a lovely service.  When I got down to the gate at about 5 minutes to 6 a.m. there were several other people standing on their frontages.  It appears that they had not taken a radio down with them and several thanked me for sharing it.

It was quite dark - there are actually two couples standing at their gates and the round glow is a street lamp.

After breakfast we went for our usual walk around the streets and spotted a lot of poppies people had made from whatever they had on hand - here are a few

This teddy has been there for a while but today was sporting some poppies

.When we got home we had breakfast, caught up with the papers and then I made some flapjacks (oat slice).  In spite of the early red skies and cold start it has been a glorious day.

Here is the link to the tribute mentioned in the comments below.

Friday, April 24, 2020


I had planned a quiet day doing some baking today but we had a heavy shower at about 6 p.m. yesterday and the gutter was blocked.  This meant that today Doug was up the ladder to clear the gutter on that side of the house.  Needless to say I was holding the ladder and passing whatever was needed.  Anyway, now it can rain with no problems (unless the gutters on the other side of the house get blocked.  Of course all these jobs take a lot longer than one expects.  

While we were doing this I noticed that the pipe that runs under the garden to let heavy rain get away had also blocked so I had to prune some bushes and clear it out.  It was mainly full of snails but is now clear.  

By the time these jobs had been done it was time to get lunch.  Today is Doug's grand-daughter's birthday, a friend's birthday and friends' wedding anniversary so time to make some phone calls.

Keep safe

Thursday, April 23, 2020


Another day in Lockdown.  The second kilo of gurnard arrived.  They had only sent 1 kg instead of two so it was good to receive the second lot.  It was sent late yesterday afternoon and received at about 10 a.m. today and promptly repacked and frozen.

As it was fine we both went out in the garden - Doug did some more clearing of the flower garden.  I gather some flower seedlings should be available shortly.  Meanwhile, I carried on clearing up at the back of the sheds.  There were two large plastic drums filled with pine cones that Doug bought from Girl Guides or Boy Scouts not long after he moved here (11 years ago)  they had been covered with an old door and plastic and then, over the years, old plant pots had been piled on top.  The other day I sorted and stored the plant pots so today I lifted the door off and transferred the cones from one of the containers into a couple of rubbish bins.  The rest will have to wait until these have been burnt (used as firelighters).  I then did some more clearing.  There is still plenty to do but it does look a lot better.  (not sure what I did to change the print).

We kept going until just after 1 p.m. when it started to drizzle and then had lunch of gurnard.

The "before" is the top one!

The poor water lilies have been waiting for a pond for 11 years so, hopefully, they will get one soon.  The "fence" at the end was just made with bamboo so that  will have to be replaced.  I am pleased with the job so far.  The containers were all piled at the end and now we can see them to sort out what stays and what goes.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2020


I find it hard to believe that 4 weeks in Lockdown has passed already.  We went out in the car today for the first time since Lockdown began.  We drove to the surgery where a nurse and her assistant were waiting at the door - a drive through for vaccinations.  A car in front of us - must have been just one person  then  our turn.  We had our flu vaccinations sitting in the car.  We didn't know the nurse but knew the Health Care Assistant well so caught up on news.  We then went to the garage to fill up with petrol and were surprised to see that they had red Kiwifruit for sale so bought some of them as well.

It is a lovely sunny day today and I did three loads of washing which should be dry by now.  The forecast had been back to rain tomorrow but I just checked and there is no rain in the ten day forecast.  Thank goodness for what we got yesterday. 

Doug has just gone out again to pick up some more wheat and slug bait.  It is pre-ordered by phone, paid for by credit card and then can be picked up between 3 and 4 p.m.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020


It rained in the night and we had a nice gentle rain all morning.  I sowed my sprouting broccoli seeds in egg cartons and this morning had to make holes in the bottom as they were full of water.  It will take a lot more to ease the water shortages but is wonderful for the garden.  I had covered the brassicas to stop the white cabbage butterfly and took the covers off today and was amazed at how much they have grown since they were planted 12 days ago. 

The rain cleared just after lunch so we took Sophie for a slow walk around the streets where it is eerily quiet.  Earlier Doug answered the phone to be told we are to be at the G.P.'s surgery at 11.30 a.m. tomorrow for our flu vaccinations so I will be going out in the car for the first time in four weeks.

I finished my last library book so Doug had a look through his books and found a few for me to check out.

Should be fine again tomorrow.

Monday, April 20, 2020


I was very impressed with New World On Line shopping.  I had a phone call just after 8 a.m. checking on the few items that were not available - the lady went through the items with me and checked whether I wanted a substitute or not.  In the end there were just three items not available - no baking powder - Countdown didn't have that either last week, Vanilla Extract - I still have some and some baking powder and gluten free breadcrumbs that Doug asked me to get for a recipe he saw - we will just make them.

I also finished the jigsaw

Max and I used to enjoy having a narrow boat holiday on our visits to the U.K..

Our Prime Minister has just announced that we will stay at Alert Level 4 for another week until Monday 27th at 11.59 p.m. so basically Tuesday 28th then go to Level 3.  This level will be much the same for us.  People are still asked to stay (and work from) home as much as possible.  Food outlets and other businesses will be allowed to open for contactless delivery.  Construction and Forestry will be able to restart work keeping at a safe distance.

After 2 weeks if there is no further problem we will move down to Level 2.  We think that we will be staying home for some time yet.  We have found i-shopping excellent (even though I do prefer to choose my own).  For both of us our hair is getting a bit out of control but then no-one else sees it.  Still not sure at what level the Library will open but I am sure I can find something on the shelves here or, possibly on-line.

I think it was the right decision.

Sunday, April 19, 2020


This morning we did housework and, while I was dusting, I came across a jigsaw puzzle.  It is years since I did a jigsaw but decided it would be a change from the crossword I was in the middle of so just before lunch I found a couple of trays and started.  It's not large but enjoyable.

While I was getting lunch Doug did a bit more of the autumn clear out of the garden and I got these last three roses of the season.

Tomorrow we find out whether we stay at Level 4 or go back down to Level 3 with more businesses able to open.

Saturday, April 18, 2020


From last night's weather forecast we were expecting heavy rain today but instead it has been sunny with the occasional shower.  At least our water barrels are now full.

Today was the first day that we have not had a live Covid 19 press briefing but there are 13 new cases in the country.  

Doug has been getting on with doing the autumn clean up of the flower garden.  I, meanwhile, phoned a friend and had a long chat then pricked out some of my vegetable seedlings before getting lunch.  We went back to rice today as, since the temperatures began to fall, we have been eating more mash or roast vegetables and have now run out of potatoes and kumara (sweet potatoe).  We will (hopefully) get both in our supermarket delivery on Monday.  Still rice is no hardship and I also have gluten free pasta.  

So we now wait and see - on Monday we will be told whether level 4 is to continue or we go back down to level 3 with some more businesses being able to open,  It will mean that restaurants could have contactless food delivery.  Apparently, lots of people can't wait to have takeaways.  I am afraid they would all go broke if they had to rely on us as I much prefer my own cooking with real food.

Friday, April 17, 2020


New cases  8 and number of  deaths  2 bringing the total deaths to 11.  Yesterday, our Prime Minister gave details of what  is likely to happen if we go down to Level 3.  On Monday the Cabinet will meet (virtually) to discuss the situation and a decision will be made as to whether we stay at Level 4 next Wednesday or come down to Level 3. 

I hope they don't go too soon with this but so far I think the decisions made have been good.

On the home front not much to report apart from a nice heavy shower although it only lasted a couple of minutes.  I finally got around to doing some baking - Anzac biscuits for Doug (not gluten free) and a Gluten Free Chocolate cake.  The sun is now shining again.

Thursday, April 16, 2020


There was a new sign on our walk this morning.

Just after breakfast a polystyrene box was delivered.  We were pleased with the delivery as it had only been dispatched at 4.30 p.m. yesterday (presumably from Auckland)

It was supposed to be 2kgs of Gurnard but only contained 1 kg.  I phoned them up and was told there was a shortage and we should receive the other kilogram tomorrow.  We enjoyed some for our lunch and the rest was frozen in packs for two people.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020


Three weeks in lockdown now.  The weather has turned and is much colder with showers although at the moment the sun is shining.  In spite of the showers we were advised this morning that Level 3 water restrictions come into force tomorrow.  That means no using hoses, sprinklers or irrigation systems.  We can still water the garden with a watering can thank goodness as the showers have not been enough for the seedlings we planted.

This is a photo of our main reservoir it is the second lowest level since it was built in 1969 and the other dam is at the lowest level since it was built in 2003.

Water level at the Whau Valley Dam has fallen below 50 percent, prompting Level 3 restrictions to come into effect from tomorrow. <note>Thur</note> Photo / Michael Cunningham

On the garden front I am very pleased with the beans I sowed in the middle of February.  We have had several pickings so far with more to come.  I have never had beans this late in the season before.

Near the beginning of Lockdown I happened to hear someone advising that the best green vegetable to buy for the lockdown was cabbage.  We don't usually eat a lot of cabbage preferring broccoli but on my first order I bought a whole cabbage and we have been eating a leaf a day.  Today's leaf was shredded and cooked with the beans, a carrot cut in matchsticks and sweetcorn.  The remaining uncut cabbage is keeping extremely well. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2020


Nearly three weeks in Lockdown now and the weather has turned.  It is much colder 15 degrees and down to 12 tonight and we have had rain showers which are much appreciated.  I have just lit the fire for the first time.

Supermarket delivery arrived promptly and the man delivering it told us (from an appropriate distance) that he is actually a contractor who does the deliveries and not an employee of the supermarket.  Very pleasant chap who also employs others to do deliveries.

I was going to start planting out some of the vegies I grew from seed but the wind was too cold.  Hopefully it will be a bit warmer tomorrow and I can get the job done.  Four more deaths in New Zealand today bringing the total to 9.  The number of new cases is dropping though.

So we have had a lazy day. The local paper now has more crosswords and sudoko so we have been occupied doing them.  What a life......

Take care and stay safe.

Monday, April 13, 2020

DAY 19 LOCKDOWN - Phone calls

First thing this morning I heard my phone "beep" and checked to find an email from a cousin on the Welsh Border.  He is new to technology and the email had been forwarded by his son as he had sent it to him by mistake.  As his email address was on my desktop I decided to phone him rather than email and we had a lovely long chat and put the world to rights.

My friend "E" and I flatted in 1966 not long after I arrived in New Zealand.  She now lives on the Gold Coast and visited us about this time last year.   It is her birthday today so, after our walk and breakfast I phoned her and had another lovely long catch up. 

Yesterday I phoned my step-daughter in New South Wales and left a message but when she phoned back Doug answered the phone so they had a long chat and I phoned her today to catch up on more news. Doug phoned his sister in Perth.

I then phoned a cousin near Toronto and Doug is now talking to a lady from the walking group.

We always try and keep up with friends and family but don't usually have so many calls in one day. 

We didn't get much else done apart from the two walks - one for us and a slower one for Sophie. 

I finally managed to get a delivery slot at New World the supermarket where we usually shop.  It is for next Monday and has the advantage that I can add items up to 24 hours prior to that. 

So Doug and I are quite happy here in our bubble.

Sunday, April 12, 2020


Today is Sunday, Easter Sunday.  When one is retired it can be hard to remember what day it is but now it is even worse.  There are usually things that remind one of the day - for us the gym on Sunday, Parkinson walk on Monday etc. but now there is nothing - every day is just like the previous one.  

We are lucky as we do not have to think of things to fill in our days.  There are lots of jobs waiting to be done and today, as rain showers are forecast Doug has been up on the roof of the deck area and finally got the flashing up alongside the house.

I am sure most people have areas where items are just dumped.  When I moved here three years ago Doug had an area at the bottom of the garden where empty flowerpots were stored and he also made shelves in a covered area nearby where my fertilisers were stored.  My late husband, Max, had made up lots of fertiliser mixes for various plants and the jars I still had were placed here and that is where they stayed.  Today I have been sorting through the last of them, spreading them then stacking the flower pots in the shelves and generally tidying up the area.  Underneath the pots there are some large bins covered with timber and plastic and Doug tells me that pine cones are stored in them so that will be one of the next jobs to uncover them, they will be good for firelighters but Doug is worried about bugs being in them.

Just as I finished sorting the pots we had a shower of rain but, unfortunately, it did not last very long maybe ten to fifteen minutes, still light rain is forecast from tomorrow through to Thursday so I have my fingers crossed.  The trouble is that the forecast keeps moving forward, still we must get rain sometime.

Saturday, April 11, 2020


A quiet day today.  Didn't meet many people on our morning walk and those that we did meet automatically veer away from you.  It is as though one has very bad B.O.

The death toll for New Zealand doubled from 2 to 4.  People still try to go to their holiday homes and get turned back by Police.  

Doug has remade his archery target and we put hoops in the raised beds and covered the brassicas in netting to stop the white cabbage butterfly.

While Doug practised his archery I just did my 100 skips.  I am hoping that one good thing to come out of the Lockdown will be an improvement in my bone density.

We have also been enjoying the chocolate cake I made yesterday.

Friday, April 10, 2020


Wow... a powerful Coronavirus Letter To Humanity
The earth whispered but you did not hear.
The earth spoke but you did not listen
The earth screamed but you turned her off.
And so I was born...
I was not born to punish you..
I was born to awaken you..
The earth cried out for help...
Massive flooding. But you didn't listen.
Burning fires. But you didn't listen.
Strong hurricanes. But you didn't listen.
Terrifying Tornadoes. But you didn't listen.
You still don't listen to the earth when
Ocean animals are dying due to pollutants in the waters.
Glaciers melting at an alarming rate.
Severe drought.
You didn't listen to how much negativity the earth is receiving.
Non-stop wars.
Non-stop greed.
You just kept going on with your life..
No matter how much hate there was..
No matter how many killings daily..
It was more important to get that latest iPhone than worry about what the earth was trying to tell you..
But now I am here.
And I've made the world stop on its tracks.
I've made YOU finally listen.
I've made you take refuge.
I've made you stop thinking about materialistic things..
Now you are like the earth...
You are only worried about YOUR survival.
How does that feel?
I give you fever.. as the fires burn on earth.
I give you respiratory issues.. as pollution fills the earth's air.
I give you weakness as the earth weakens every day.
I took away your comforts..
Your outings.
The things you would use to forget about the planet and its pain.
And I made the world stop...
And now...
China has better air quality.. Skies are clear blue because factories are not spewing pollution into the earth's air.
The water in Venice is clean and dolphins are being seen, because the boats that pollute the water are not being used.
YOU are having to take time to reflect on what is important in your life.
Again I am not here to punish you.. I am here to Awaken you...
When all this is over and I am gone... Please remember these moments..
Listen to the earth.
Listen to your soul.
Stop polluting the earth.
Stop fighting among each other.
Stop caring about materialistic things.
And start loving your neighbours.
Start caring about the earth and all its creatures.
Start believing in a Creator.
Because next time I may come back even stronger....

Not sure who penned this - it turned up on Facebook this morning.  A second death here in New Zealand and the number of cases slightly up.  Still that is expected for a while yet.  

Even quieter here today.  Supermarkets are closed and people told to stay home and not go to their holiday homes.  Lots had been turned back by police yesterday.  I don't know what part of "stay home" they don't understand.

Thursday, April 9, 2020


We awoke to a cooler day today - forecast only 19 degrees.  We skipped our morning walk and, after breakfast, both got down to planting the seedlings.  Eight bundles that should contain 9 plants each although many have more than that.  

The lettuces went into a couple of pots and everything else into the garden beds that had been prepared.  We timed it well as, just as the last plant went in we had quite a nice shower.  No more rain forecast until "light rain" on Sunday through to the following Friday.  We shall see.  Earlier in the week we were told that at the end of this week the Council was going to decide whether to increase our water restrictions because of the drought.  Have heard nothing more.   Hopefully, there will be enough rain in the forecast to keep the current status. Areas further north still have high restrictions.

The number of confirmed and probable cases of Covid 19 have dropped again - a total of 19 for the country today.  I do hope this means that we have got it early enough.  New Zealanders are still allowed back into the country and stricter quarantine is coming into effect from today which is good.

I had a cyclamen on the dining table but it was getting past its best so went out in the garden this morning to pick some flowers.  Our garden is well past its best at the moment but I was pleased with what I picked.  When I got inside Doug asked where I had got the flowers as he didn't think there were any to pick.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020


Yesterday I was talking to a friend (on the phone) and she mentioned that her daughter had managed to get her a supermarket delivery slot by going on line at 4 a.m. so when I woke just before 5 a.m. this morning I got up, logged on and checked for a slot.  I managed to get one for next Tuesday, the 14th.  If I had left it until the usual time that I get up (7.00 a.m.) I would have missed out and had to try again tomorrow.  It still seems odd placing the order so far in advance but we are lucky to be able to get the delivery slot.

The time has flown by and it is amazing that we have now been in lockdown for a fortnight.  There were more people around when we had our morning walk just before 8 a.m but everyone kept their distance - we may have passed  8 or 10 people instead of the usual 1 or 2.  Doug then put ten Monarch Butterfly caterpillars in to his cage.

I casseroled the blade steak that we got in our recent butcher's order and we had some for our lunch.
We had just finished lunch when the courier arrived with our vegetable seedling order.

We received

Silver Beet (Swiss Chard)
Perpetual Spinach
Sugar snap peas

I had hoped for Broccoflower but all in all it is a pretty good mixture.

A shower started just as we opened the box but has since stopped. Still we decided to leave the planting until tomorrow in the hope of some rain overnight.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020


This popped up on my Facebook feed this morning:

Image may contain: one or more people and people standing

History repeats itself. Came across this poem written in 1869, reprinted during 1919 Pandemic.
This is Timeless....
It was written in 1869 by Kathleen O’Mara:
And people stayed at home
And read books
And listened
And they rested
And did exercises
And made art and played
And learned new ways of being
And stopped and listened
More deeply
Someone meditated, someone prayed
Someone met their shadow
And people began to think differently
And people healed.
And in the absence of people who
Lived in ignorant ways
Dangerous, meaningless and heartless,
The earth also began to heal
And when the danger ended and
People found themselves
They grieved for the dead
And made new choices
And dreamed of new visions
And created new ways of living
And completely healed the earth
Just as they were healed.
Reprinted during Spanish flu
Pandemic, 1919
Photo taken during Spanish flu

Monday, April 6, 2020


Another quiet but busy day today.  Doug cleared and prepared another garden bed ready for our vegetable seedlings when they arrive.  Managed to  grab a bundle online yesterday and they were dispatched today  so they will most likely arrive on Wednesday.  We won't know exactly what we have until they arrive.  Rain showers are forecast on Wednesday for a whole week except Saturday.  The soil is bone dry although I have kept up the watering of the beds ready for the seedlings.

Doug went out in the car - quite an adventure during Lockdown, he had to pick up a repeat prescription in the next suburb and, while he was out was able to get some wheat for the birds at the Farmlands shop.  We phoned to order it and he had to be there between 3pm and 4pm and said that only two cars were allowed into the car park at a time and everyone's goods were laid out in a tent with the purchaser's name.  He said it was very well organised to keep people apart.  At the pharmacy he went to the drive through window.  

I made a cake and a batch of tomato and capsicum sauce and we had some of the sauce with our lunch of sausages and mash.  While we had lunch we listened to Her Majesty the Queen.  What an amazing lady.  Her speeches are always excellent and to the point.  Well done Ma'am.

It is starting to get cooler now and may not be long before we start lighting the fire.  That is as interesting as our days are at present.  

The total number of covid 19 cases in New Zealand is 1106 and it appears to be levelling off.  Hopefully we started our Lockdown early enough.  We are very impressed with both our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern and the Director General of Health, Dr. Ashley Bloomfield.

Sunday, April 5, 2020


After I showed Doug the lovely paintings of birds on David's post (Travel with Birds) he took some photos of paintings from our copy of Raymond Ching's New Zealand Birds.






                                                                     BLACK SWAN

My first On-line supermarket order arrived as promised today and there was very little that was not available.  Unfortunately, one of the two cat foods I ordered was not available and the other was limited to two but  Kim is refusing all commercial cat food at present. She did seem to enjoy some of the mince we had for lunch.

Saturday, April 4, 2020


At Waipu, about 40 kms away a couple built two large bears out of hay bales  They are 4m tall.  Doug's youngest daughter takes the mail to Waipu every morning and sent us this photo.

The couple who built them had seen them in the States and decided that they now had time to build them.  They had not heard about the Bear Hunt at that time but they have been very popular.

Friday, April 3, 2020


We do not eat a lot of meat but it is nice to have some.  I ordered

2 -x bacon hocks,
1kg mince,
1kg blade steak for a casserole,
a 2kg piece of sirloin ( would have got Scotch Fillet but it was sold out)
1 kg bacon

Just as promised the order arrived this morning - all vacuum packed

Most of it was put in the spare fridge in the meantime and the sirloin was cut up giving us 12 slices.  One slice is plenty for the two of us so 11 slices were wrapped and frozen

The remaining piece was cut in half and was delicious for our lunch.  Apart from that it has been a fairly lazy day apart from walking Sophie.It is a lovely sunny day 26 degrees, quite hot for this time of year.

Thursday, April 2, 2020


Another perfect autumn day here - it will mean watering again tonight unless we happen to get a heat shower this afternoon.  

I heard of a company doing online fish orders so have put an order in for a couple of kilos of our favourite, gurnard.  I also had confirmation that our meat order is ready so, hopefully that will be delivered tomorrow.

On the supermarket front I managed to find a delivery slot but our needs had changed since we made the original list  and when I got around to sorting it I was told we had lost the slot as it had timed out.  I had not realised I had to put the order in straight away.  I spoke to a neighbour (on the phone) and she had also managed to get a slot so, hopefully, I will be able to get one tomorrow - delivery won't be for a week. 

We had a different walk today as I had a birthday card to post for a friend in Australia so we walked down to the nearest mail box.  

Missed out again on  vegetable seedlings so will try again on Sunday when they have the next lot.  I have sowed 6 seeds of each of pak choi, Swiss chard and spinach.

The little shopping centre just down the road - usually busy 

the same with the round-a-bout - usually lots of cars

then walking back home along an empty street.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020


Yes, we have been in Lockdown for a week now.  Yesterday I heard about the Bear Hunt.  People put Teddy Bears (or other toys) in their windows for children to find. 

I promptly got out Teddy and Golly.  There is a story to both.  I went to the same school for 13 years and boarded in the last year as my parents moved away.  I discovered that most girls had a Teddy Bear and commented on this to my mother and the fact that I had never had one, so my 21st Birthday present was Teddy, he has been with me for quite a while now.

Golly was a different story.  Not long after Doug and I met we went on an Arts Trail and I spotted Golly and commented on that fact that I hadn't seen one for so long (remembering the ones that came with Robertson's marmalade).  The outcome was that Doug bought Golly for me.  He is knitted. 

Today's walk was a lot slower as we went Teddy Bear hunting. As I commented to another older couple doing the same thing it is great for children from 3 to 93 (or even older).

So here are some of the bears and toys we came across: