Tuesday, June 30, 2020


Yesterday we drove to the vets to get some wash and treatment for Sophie's ears.  Unfortunately, the treatment is on prescription and new rules state that an animal must be seen at least every six months for prescriptions so we made an appointment for today at 11 a.m.

After doing a load of washing (which is just sitting in the porch as the day is damp) and dusting and vacuuming, we took Sophie in to the vet.  She was examined, had her claws cut and we came home with the necessary items and a wallet a lot lighter. 

We seem to be going there rather too often these days.  Kim the Cat has healed quickly where she had the infection from a bite lanced about ten days ago.  Unfortunately, her stomach/bowel problems continue but she seems happy enough. 

I find it hard to believe that tomorrow is July and half the year has gone already.

Monday, June 29, 2020


Once again the forecast rain and thunderstorms did not materialise and, so far at least, we have had a sunny day.

A few days ago I noticed a recipe in our local paper for a persimmon cake and it was gluten free.  I have never cooked with persimmon before but the cake sounded delicious - it was made mainly with almond meal and had cardamon in it which makes anything taste good.  To start with I could not find my ring-tin but came across it yesterday.  We only had a couple of persimmons left and it is the end of the season so today was the day.  It was an easy cake to make - not large but I will make it again - it would be good with most fruit.  and it was DELICIOUS and would be good either as cake or dessert.

Sunday, June 28, 2020


The vegies are coming along quite well.  The carrots seem o.k.

   and so does the pak choi in spite of some leaves being eaten

the sugar snap peas are doing well and I keep picking a few at a time.

This cauliflower was not meant to be miniature but never mind

I think this one will be better.

The broccoli is coming on nicely

The cabbages are doing really well and some are starting to heart - I think we will be giving some away.

the beetroot is also coming on.

There are also a couple of pots of lettuce that we have been picking as well as chard, perpetual spinach, leeks (that have a lot of growing to do) and some sprouting broccoli that I grew from seed.  All in all I am happy with the vegetables.  To make things even better it has been a lovely sunny day with just one short shower.

Saturday, June 27, 2020


A beautiful sunny day here today, a couple of short showers but nothing much.  It is winter but I just went to see if I could find some thrushes or blackbirds to photograph but none were around.  Instead I found the roses are in bud

and so is the geranium (pelargonium) .

The garden that Doug built up at the end of March is coming on well.

the guavas that have just finished fruiting have set a fresh lot of fruit.

Friday, June 26, 2020


It was fine when we awoke this morning so we went for our walk around the streets.  I can't remember when we last did this as we stopped because of the weather and then feeling rotten with our colds.  Anyway, we are both starting to feel better and it was good to get out and walking.

The rain didn't hold off for long so the wash I had done was hung in the porch.  I see the levels of the dams are 66% and 71% and from tomorrow we will be allowed to use hoses to water gardens or wash cars etc.  not that the garden will need watering for a long time yet.  We are still asked to conserve water as much as possible to get the dams full for summer.

A  new pillow bed arrived for Sophie - I ordered two and just one has come so far but she liked it and lay on it straight away.  I just hope it helps her joints.  I have put an old candlewick rug on it that my old Irish Setter used to like although the cover is washable.  I think we will buy some more so that we can have them around the house for her.

I just took another photo to show the thickness of the bed - it looks very comfy.

Thursday, June 25, 2020


Yesterday, I got a request for a photo of the doves at their feeder.  They are fed on an old round plastic table (about a metre wide) .  To start with it was just the table but the cat from two doors down kept catching the birds so the plastic legs went and it was raised on a wooden frame.  He still managed to catch the odd bird so it was raised a second time hence its odd look.  Unfortunately, the doves still flick grain onto the ground and then go down there and get caught occasionally.  The piece of plastic netting in front of the lemon tree is to slow the cat down - there are pieces of netting all around the garden to stop him hiding.

We have tried many times to get a photo of the doves feeding but as soon as one thinks of getting the camera they all fly away.  Anyway, Doug persevered this morning.  (The forecast had been rain but we enjoyed a dry morning.)  Every time they were on the table and he went to take a photo they all flew up on to the workshop roof.

He did manage to get a good shot of the White eyes at their feeder.

and FINALLY managed to get a photo of some of the doves on their feeding table.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020


Good for the dams and for lazy indoor days but not good for going for a walk or doing anything outside.  Doug has just put some wheat out for the doves and says that he thinks every dove in Whangarei must have come for a feed, the table is covered in them.  

Last night Sophie had trouble getting up in the lounge after sleeping for a couple of hours so Doug asked me to look for a dog sleeping pad for her.  She has a wonderful bed with a foam mattress in his bedroom  that she just loves but he wanted something smaller that can be used in the dining room or lounge.  The wet weather will not be helping her joints any more than it helps ours.  

I found a couple of good looking pads but could not find out if they were available in-store so have ordered them on-line.  The Covid Lockdown has got us used to buying things on-line whereas we would have tried to get them locally before, also, the shop that has these pads is at the other side of town so delivery will be good.

So, apart from getting some beef bones on to cook to make stock for some soup and doing some things on line the day has just disappeared the way they all did over Lockdown.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020


Back in February, Doug got his state of the art hearing aids.  He is thrilled with them and they have made a huge difference to BOTH our lives.  

Not long after getting them he had a problem with the speaker in the earplug turning around which means the aid does not fit.  He took it in and the receptionist turned it back  but it has happened frequently since then.  Yesterday his hearing aid fell out - luckily it was on the chair but it would be easy to lose so he phoned and made an appointment.  The only time was 8.30 this morning.  He duly went in and was told it is a known problem but there is a different  earplug that should solve it but there is an $100 extra to pay for each ear.  Now these hearing aids were expensive and, apparently, Doug told him in no uncertain terms that as there was a problem which had already been admitted to he should not have to pay extra. 

I gather it  is going to be sorted as a  free Repair and they will get in touch with Doug when they have the new part.

Doug then went to the Supermarket and did a shop before coming home.  We then drove down to the local Library as a book I ordered following a blogger recommendation  "Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine" had arrived and we had some books to return.  

While Doug was away I did some washing as it was a fine day with some wind.  The washing got dry enough by lunch time to air  in the dryer just before showers started again.  Rain in some form is forecast for the whole of the next ten days.  In spite of this we are still banned from using hoses and the main dam is at 58% and the other at 61%.

I am now going to put my feet up and start my new book.

Sunday, June 21, 2020


A miserable wet day today, just drizzle all day.  We happily slept in and apart from me doing a load of washing and putting it in the covered back porch (which was a waste of time as the air is too wet for it to dry), we have done very little.  

Doug cooked lunch which was delicious.  I am amazed at how quickly the Hyacinth that I bought two days ago has grown and the smell is heavenly.

This was on Friday 

and today, Sunday.  It is a bit lopsided but is starting to straighten up.

We are both tired and not going on tomorrow's walk.  Don't want to pass this bug on to anyone else.

Saturday, June 20, 2020


One thing I have not mentioned is that we have both got colds - well, Doug came down with  a cold and I seem to be getting it as well.  This morning I was woken at about 3 a.m. by him coughing.  I got up to see if he wanted a drink and checked an email that had come in.  It was from the bank telling me that they could not reply to the email as it was not secure and suggesting either a phone call or Live Chat which is what I had been on when my account could not be found (going around in circles).  I went back to bed but kept thinking about the bank so got up at 4 a.m. and made the phone call again  Living down here I can't phone in the daytime.  This time I persevered.  I finally got an answer - unfortunately the line was not good and it wasn't helped by the high voice of the lady helping me (I think high voices are always harder to hear). 

The good news is that my account is still active - I don't know why the person helping me on the Live Chat could not find it.  The lady I spoke  to is arranging for a new Security Code gadget to be sent to me so I should receive it in 2 - 3 weeks hopefully.  I think she said I should be able to use the account with an app on my phone but I do not want to do banking on my phone and the line was so bad that I could only get the gist of what she was saying.  Anyway good news as I thought the account had been closed for some reason.

We both ended up sleeping in and it was nearly 8 a.m. when we woke to a wet day.  We have done very little apart from catching up with some phone calls.  It is quite cool so the fire is going as well as some heaters.  Kim continues to improve and is in front of the fire. 

Doug has just taken Sophie out for a walk through the park and around the road.  He had just left when I had a message from Doug's grand-daughter who lives on the outskirts of town who wanted to call in with her daughter .  When I said he had just gone into the park she said she could see him as they had stopped at the swings to burn off energy so I had better put the kettle on.

Friday, June 19, 2020


The sun is shining today which always makes things better.  Kim seems a lot brighter.  The wound is quite large but the painkillers and the antibiotics will be working.   I was quite sure it was going to be a one-way trip as it looked so nasty on top of her other health problems and loss of weight.

I tried to phone the bank in England last night but gave up.  There is overload because of Covid 19 so even though I was on a line for people from overseas I was advised to wait.  I just hope I get a reply to my email.  I may try Live chat again tonight to see if I can get any other suggestions.

We had a short drive to the next suburb to get a few things and enjoyed the sun.  I also bought a Hyacinth that was reduced to half price because the support had cut across one of the flower buds - it looked in need of a loving home - rain forecast for the weekend.

Thursday, June 18, 2020


A wet, drizzly day today and I hoped to get some computer work done but first there was a pot of soup to get going.

I then tried to log in to my U.K. bank account (I have this account as, when my mother cut me out of her will, she left me a small life interest and this is where the dividends go).

To log in I have to generate a security code on a small "gizmo"  Today, when I went to turn it on it was blank, no low battery just blank.  I then tried a Live Chat, gave him my account number and told him the problem.  He asked for the account number on my debit card.  I said I didn't have one but surely it would be the same as I only have one account.  He asked me to check the number which I already had but I did it again.

The final result was that he could not locate my account.  The chat lasted nearly an hour.  No gizmo to log in, no sign of the account - I am wondering if the bank has cancelled my account without telling me.  I was told to phone them which is always a problem from here so I was given an email address and sent an email off straight away.  I wonder how long it will take to get a reply. 

I will most likely try to get through on the phone tonight as I want to know what has happened to my account.  There is not a lot in it but should be another payment in a week or two.

After that I had a go at a couple of other computer problems and failed with both.

This afternoon when I gave Kim the Cat her worming liquid on the back of her neck I felt something near her rear end and she was very tender.  I tried to have a look and it looked like a large scab.  It is a fortnight since I had her at the vets as she has lost weight and I thought this problem might be the end of the line.  I phoned the vet and managed to get an appointment for 4.30.  The vet shaved the area and lanced a "boil"? she then gave her an injection of antibiotics that will last for a fortnight and a pain killer that should last a few days.  She is not a happy cat but at least it wasn't as bad as I feared.I hope she is feeling a bit better tomorrow. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2020


This morning I had an appointment at my G.P.'s surgery for a Spirometry test.  I was referred for my test in January and, of course, Covid 19 has delayed everything.  I was not looking forward to it as, when she made the referral, my G.P. said it would feel as thought my lungs were going to explode.  We also had the car booked in to the garage for a check of the brakes as Doug felt there was a problem. 

As we were getting ready to go out Doug had a phone call from the Hospital offering him an appointment with the specialist today at 1.30 p.m. about his Hernia as it has been "popping" out rather too regularly lately - (twice in the past week) I phoned them on Monday but we were not expecting to hear back straight away.    

So we dropped the car at the garage this morning - then Doug dropped me off for my appointment and went to do a supermarket shop while I had the test.  My test went very well.  It was arranged as something showed in an x-ray I had previously but my lungs are slightly above average for my age, weight, height etc. so that is all good.

We returned home and I cooked up a batch of mince that Doug had bought (or rather vegie stew with a little mince) and we had it for lunch before heading to the Hospital.  Getting the operation all depends on "points" and Doug's meant that he would normally get the operation in a couple of months but because of Covid 19 that will extend to about 6 weeks or more.  

We then went to pick up the car and the mechanic told us he could not find a problem and there was no charge.  How good is that?

Another day has gone by with nothing ticked off my "to do list".  Still some other things were achieved.  Hopefully, tomorrow I will get some jobs on my list done.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020


One of the headlines in our local paper this morning was "Some Brits want war with NZ".  It appears that some people, unhappy with the way Boris Johnson is handling Covid 19,want the U.K. to declare war on New Zealand - they will then surrender immediately so that Jacinda Ardern can take over the reins in the U.K.  Apparently International Law states that you become the de facto government of a country you defeat.

On a not so good topic we have two new cases of  Covid 19 - two women who came into the country from U.K. and were granted permission to drive to Wellington on compassionate grounds.  It appears they did not have many contacts thank goodness so, hopefully, it will be contained. 

Monday, June 15, 2020


Today was our weekly non-Parkinson's walk although I was told that we are now able to walk officially as a Parkinson's group again.

We met at Kensington and walked the path alongside the railway.  This is great for people who want to walk into town and also links the majority of (if not all schools) in the area.  It is well used.

We came across these toadstools

I have no idea what this plant is - it looks really healthy so suppose it is a weed.

There were a couple of clumps of kangaroo paw.

The trees alongside the path look very autumnal.

Below is an oak tree that has not lost its leaves yet alongside a clump of banana plants

There were also quite a few avocado trees with fruit on them.  They won't be ready for a while yet and they were the other side of the railway track.

Sunday, June 14, 2020


We all had a good time. We had not met up since January and Great-grand daughter turned 1 at the end May.  We were amazed at how well she is walking (and how good she was).  After lunch we went into the park behind us and she walked/ran all the way down to the swings.  Unfortunately, there is no tots swing but she happily had swings on both her mother and grandmother's laps then climbed up and went down the slide before walking back again.  

It was decided by everyone that we must do this more often - I think fortnightly was mentioned.  

We are now exhausted.  As Doug said - there is a good reason people have their children when they are young........

Saturday, June 13, 2020


I have made a couple of vegan apple and berry crumbles today using a mixture of coconut oil and olive oil, one was a blackcurrant and apple the other a raspberry and apple - using the last of the berries from the freezer.

We have also moved the furniture around on the deck as Doug's daughter and other grandson are also coming to lunch now.  We have been so pleased with the new covered deck.

I have just found the new blogger so am adding photos of the deck to try it out and, so far, it seems just the same.  The top photo is a bit dark - of course it is heading towards winter now and I was also photographing into the sun.

Friday, June 12, 2020


Just over a week ago Doug made a G.P. appointment for me as my chronic sore throat was getting worse as it tends to in winter.  The earliest appointment was today.  Of course, the throat was not quite as bad today but I still wanted to discuss it with her.  Last night I decided to look out a report from when I had a specialist appointment about my throat which I thought was a couple of years ago.  I found the report and it was five years ago but also mentioned visits to the specialist going back to an operation on my nose in the 1960's.  The cause of the sore throat is my nasal passages and she was able to make a few suggestions.  I realise it is just a matter of managing.  I was also able to have my annual diabetic check done and get a form for various blood tests.  The doctor is very good in that she doesn't rush things but that tends to make her run late which meant that it was well over an hour before I came out.

When we got home I made some tomato and capsicum sauce from our tomatoes in the freezer as I think yesterday's beans need some more sauce.  I then started to make some hummus.  I was quite certain I had a fairly new jar of tahini but when I went to get it I found there was just a small amount in an old jar and I must have imagined buying the new one.  Anyway, I went to Mr. Google and used some peanut butter instead of the tahini.  I then realised that the first of our lemons is not quite ripe so used some apple cider vinegar instead.  I actually think I prefer it to the "proper" hummus and I know Doug will as he has never been a fan but as he loves peanut butter he is bound to like this one.

Thursday, June 11, 2020


Growing up in England baked beans always came out of a tin with "Heinz" on the label and then, when I moved to New Zealand it was a tin with "Watties" or "Oak" on the label.

My late sister-in-law was an American war bride and, when she gave a party (which was quite frequently)  she always made delicious baked beans from scratch.  I have often thought about doing this but, when I watched a New Zealand Lockdown cooking programme recently where the beans used were a tin of cannelini and a tin of kidney beans I printed off the recipe.  

We have Doug's grandson, his partner and 1 year old coming over at the weekend and they have recently become vegans so it seemed to be the ideal time to try this recipe.  I cooked it today using onion, garlic, a tin of tomatoes, herbs, paprika and cumin.  We tried just a little and think it will be great at the weekend with some roast vegetables and  some hummus which I will make tomorrow.  I will also make a vegan crumble for afters. and serve it with coconut yoghurt.  

I also made some vegetable soup which we are about to eat.  I had planned to make the hummus but, as usual I planned too many jobs.  Still, there is always tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020


With the power being off for scheduled maintenance, after doing some work in the garden, we went into town for lunch at the Bistro de Paris where I had my usual Buckwheat Galette, today's was with mushrooms, potato and blue cheese - delicious. Doug also had the same as last time, the big breakfast.  There was a steady flow of customers.  I did notice hand sanitizer near the door but apart from that it was back to normal.

We then walked down the main street, which was no different to a usual Wednesday, to the A.T.M. at our bank.  I needed to get some cash - we have needed cash a few times during lockdown for firewood etc. and I was able to borrow from an envelope we had ready to give Doug's grand daughter at her wedding which had to be postponed due to Lockdown.  We didn't have to go into the bank, just use the machine outside but there was a security guard only letting a certain number of people in at a time.

Then it was a visit to browse at Trade Aid where we ended up buying  a couple of cane baskets for our firewood.

We then drove to the Supermarket for our first "live shop" since Lockdown began.  Apart from the perspex screens at the checkouts it was just the same as before, then to the Pharmacy for repeat prescriptions - no sanitiser there.

The power cut was a lot shorter than we were told so the power had been back on long before we got home.

The day started quite cold but warmed up during the day - I see it is set to get down to 6 degrees tonight.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020


No difference for us as, apart from our walks - I did the usual walk around the block and Doug took Sophie for a shorter walk - we have been home.  We could, however, have gone to bars, clubs, restaurants etc. with no social distancing.

It seems like life is back to normal apart from people coming into the country will have to go into Managed Isolation or Quarantine for at least 14 days.  This will particularly affect people who want to return for a funeral or to visit someone who is dying.  

Tomorrow we have a planned power cut from 9.30 a.m. to 3 p.m. so will be going into town and having lunch there.  It will be interesting to see what the town is like.

Monday, June 8, 2020


It was quite cool (8 degrees) this morning but turned into a lovely day.  We did the same Monday walk we have been doing lately - The Loop - but it looked really special with the light today.

The dredge was heading down  river with its load

Some of the walkers in our group ahead of me

A rower out practising

I love the shape of this gum tree (Eucalyptus)

The Wave and Waka sculpture

The waka on its own (canoe)

The Bascule bridge being opened for the dredge

It was such a lovely day that I did a load of washing (towels) when I got home at 12.30 p.m. and it is dry now at 4 p.m.

Just checked and it has been announced that we move to Level 1 tonight at midnight.  That will mean things back to normal except for the border which is still closed.  From what I heard on the News this morning Auckland went to level 1 at the weekend with everyone in bars and cafes.