Monday, November 30, 2020


 It was a warm but cloudy day for our walk in Quarry Gardens this morning.  It is a walk we both enjoy as there is always something new in flower.

The Chris Booth Sculpture

an unusual small alstroemeria

Although it can become invasive the Acanthus looks good.

I am sure this seedhead/flower (not sure which) has grown since our last visit

The water lillies are just coming into flower.

A pretty grouping of plants

There were two of this benches

There were ten of us today on the walk which finished, as usual, in a cafe.

Sunday, November 29, 2020


Doug's grand-daughter finally got married yesterday at Waitangi in the Bay of Islands.  We were tasked with driving the cake up to the venue so some parts of the journey were a bit slower as there were road works near Kawakawa but we got it there in one piece.  It only just fitted in the back of the car.  (Pity about all the plugs in photo).

It was a perfect day, sunny with a nice cooling breeze, and the Bay was looking stunning and so was the bride.  The farm is 2,000 acres and operates as an Angus stud and sheep farm. It was a short drive in to the woolshed where the reception was held and where we took the cake when we first arrived.  We drove several kilometres across the farm to the wedding venue on a Promontory overlooking the Bay with a Marquee nearby where nibbles and drinks were served after the ceremony.

As we entered the farm we passed a farm workers cottage but did not see any other houses even though there are the owners and their three offspring living there.  They also have a bach (holiday home) on a far beach.

It was a long day as we started at 6 a.m. as usual and went to the Growers' Market and Supermarket and didn't get back home from the wedding until 9 p.m.

There photos were taken at the Copthorne Hotel at Waitangi.

and these photos were at the venue

This was the permanent Marquee

which looked over this view

with a short walk down to this beach

The venue ready for the guests.

We reckoned there were about 80 guests.

Friday, November 27, 2020


 On the Garden trail there was one property that grew large quantities of bananas, water lilies and Lotus.  When we were talking to the owner, buying a couple of banana plants, we asked about the Lotus and he mentioned that they had some packets of the puffed seeds for sale and asked whether we preferred sweet or salty.  Doug, of course, said sweet so we bought a packet of Caramel flavoured.  I see they are sweetened with Jaggery and it says Gluten Free, Vegan and No refined sugar.  I also see that they are produced in India but the company name on the packet is in London.  

Anyway, they are absolutely delicious. They are called Karma Bites

Wednesday, November 25, 2020


 We have just collected Bobby and he had two teeth removed as well as the cleaning and an antibiotic injection.  He is happy to be home. Nearly $600 later he is now part of the family and has his own vaccination passport.

Apart from that it has been a quiet day catching up on chores.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020


We decided to take Bobby to the vets for a check up.  Doug phoned and got an appointment for 11 a.m. so I got on with the calendars for posting to Australia and,  Doug dropped me off and took Bobby to the Vet while I went to the Post Shop.  Bobby did not like being in a cage and howled all the way.

We like both the vets and this time it was Natalie and she gave him a good check - he was good once he was out of the cage.  Apparently he has hair balls and his teeth need a good clean.  She was not sure if they could do it today so suggested we bring him back tomorrow but Doug did not think we would be able to get him back in the cage so they kept him and  if they can't do it today will do it tomorrow.  In the short time he has been with us he has left a gap now he is not here.

Anyway, we came home and I made a tray of mini sweetcorn loaves as the previous batch had somehow disappeared.  

On Sunday Doug put his feet up and fell asleep to be joined by Bobby.

Monday, November 23, 2020


 The Camera Obscura was opened at the weekend and, coincidentally, our walk today was around the Loop so we called in to have a look.

The view of the Camera obscura from the bridge.

and at the entrance

You walk in to a spiral and there is a hand rail as it is pitch black.  When your eyes become accustomed to the dark you can see the inverted picture which is a view of the Bascule Bridge

and here is the "photo" turned right way up.

Further around on the Loop we came across this new "sculpture"  I should have taken a photo of the sign - it was something to do with Climate Change and looks as though it is made from grass or something similar.  It was in shade so I was not sure if anything would show.

Sunday, November 22, 2020


This weekend was the Whangarei Garden Discovery - a garden trail in aid of the Quarry Gardens that were devastated by the Weather Bomb in July.  It is held every two years and there were 16 gardens .

On Saturday, after our usual visit to the Growers' Market and Supermarket we headed off to the gardens that were out of town.  There were a great variety and we must have walked quite a distance.  Unfortunately, we were in the garden that was furthest away when we got a call from Doug's eldest daughter to say that her husband had a fatal stroke.  Her daughter was with her and we went straight to her house when we got back.

She didn't want to stay in the house or in our outside room so we came home and moved some tables out of the sunroom and brought our trundler bed in and I made it up for her.  She brought her smallest  dog (of 4) with her so Bobby went outside on the deck.

This morning she went home to walk the dogs and has spent the day with her daughter and grand-daughter so we toured the remaining gardens in town.

We then had a short lie down before I started to do the cards for U.K. and Canada.  I only send cards to people not on email but there are still a few.

The gardens we visited varied from small suburban gardens to a large farm that was growing bananas, pineapples, lotus plants and waterlillies.  

Friday, November 20, 2020


Another busy week.  I suddenly realised that we are getting close to Christmas mailing dates and I hadn't even looked at making calendars.  Of course, here in the Southern Hemisphere, it is spring which is a busy time of the year with growing seeds, potting them up, planting them out etc.  Anyway, I had a look to see if I had enough photos for a calendar and managed to find 13 (one for the cover) and I have them on order (I got 2 first to check they were o.k.  (We send a lot of calendars as everyone wants them).  Not sending to the Northern Hemisphere this year as, apart from the astronomical cost of postage,  the postal service is a bit erratic.

We also spent a morning shopping for Christmas cards, Christmas presents and a yellowish umbrella to take to Grand-daughter's wedding in a week's time.  (In case of hot sun or rain showers).  

I have also been busy baking - a cake yesterday as neighbours came around for a cuppa and today some sweetcorn mini loaves which are delicious and will be good for me for lunch tomorrow when we go on the Whangarei Garden Discovery (16 gardens to view around the area).

Our Oak Leafed Hydrangea is looking good this year.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020


Yesterday's Parkinson Walk was from the Information Centre to the Raumanga Falls and it was good to have some shade as it was quite warm.  We could see this white faced heron hunting in the long grass ahead of us and it flew off as we approached

The path went under these lovely shade trees

and the into the bush 

and we could see the waterfall

There are a lot of large rocks, presumably from an eruption many years ago.