As I write this it is just under three hours to 2022. I will not be seeing in the New Year, it will arrive quite well without me waiting for it and the Growers' Market beckons bright and early tomorrow morning.
This is a spray of roses that I picked this afternoon. They were reaching over the fence so I decided to bring them indoors where we could enjoy them.
Where does the time go? It does not seem possible that it is a whole year since my last birthday nor does it seem possible that I have been on this earth for 78 years but I must accept it as a fact.
Doug suggested we go out to one of the many restaurants at the Town Basin today but I said I preferred to stay home and have a quiet day, cooking a simple lunch so that is what we have done. We had steamed rice with fresh carrots, beans and courgette finished with some soy sauce and maple syrup and sauteed scallops. It was delicious.
Doug knew the date of my birthday but thought it was tomorrow so had a rush to finish his gift.
It is a delightful small carving of two fish. Max and I got the piece of coral in Queensland back in the 1960's
The vegetable garden is coming on well. I have been watering it every night (I know it is better done in the morning but that does not seem to fit with our routine). Yesterday, we finally had rain forecast and it was pleasantly cooler but stayed dry so at 5 p.m. I went out and started to water even though there were black clouds around as I thought the rain may well land somewhere else. I had been watering for a few minutes when I heard a noise like a freight train and realised it was the rain. I turned off the tap and put the hose away just in time as huge drops came down with thunder and lightening. It did not last long and then went to a light drizzle but it was very welcome.
The "bunnies" were a Christmas gift. In behind them are some newly planted lettuces.
The first of the Capsicums is ripening. Also have red and orange.
It is hard to get a photo of the tomatoes but a lot have set. Just have to wait for them to ripen.
and basil with them
The beans are looking good.
and two types of cucumber, these apple ones and Lebanese which we have been eating for a while now.
Christmas day dawned sunny and bright (just after 5 a.m.). We made some phone calls, I answered some emails and made several smoothies to take with us. We had just over a 30 minute drive to the new home of Doug's two grandsons.
We arrived just as the others did. Doug's daughter and ex-husband were there (he always joins in family festivities) his Granddaughter who is expecting her first child in May, his 2 Grandsons, the partner of the eldest and Great-granddaughter.
Since they moved to this house Doug's youngest grandson has taken up baking and they all started with fried bread (a New Zealand speciality with the raw dough being fried, some delicious pastries filled with spinach and cheese, he had also made some milk bread which he said started with making a roux and he had made and iced a very nice triple layer chocolate cake. There were also the usual nibbles of camembert, grapes, crackers and a host of other things.
We sat and chatted nibbling on these and then it was time for a lunch of ham, lamb and chicken with roast potatoes, salads, asparagus and multicolour baby carrots.
We then opened the presents before sharing various deserts, pavlova, trifle and fruit salad and I had a gluten free trifle which I made in a Bonne Maman jar which was a perfect size for a single serve.
Once home, we put our feet up for a while before watering the garden and then watching The Chase, The News, The Queen and Repair Shed before opening our other presents at 9 p.m.
The temperature reached 29°C so we did not go to the beach but stayed indoors with the aircon going. A thoroughly enjoyable day.
Yes, it is already Christmas Eve here, 5.45 p.m. as I start writing this. It has been a busy day. Finishing wrapping presents and then a funeral to attend. Not the same singing in masks and I found it quite difficult with a triple layer mask on.
We were going to roast a leg of lamb at lunch time to take as our requested contribution tomorrow but as the funeral was at 11.30 we put the roast on after a light lunch and have just enjoyed roast lamb with all the trimmings. (We roasted two legs of lamb, one for us and one to take).
Doug made some presents this year. For the two great-grand-daughters he made little wooden baskets. The nearly 3 year old has a teddy bear in a blanket and various chocolates
and the 7 year old has a garden trowel set and some seeds also with some chocolates
We are having lunch with the family at Doug's Grandsons' house near the beach at One Tree Point, the two brothers share a house with the partner and daughter of the eldest.
The youngest has just started baking so yesterday Doug made him a Bread "basket".
Life has been pretty busy here lately and I have not caught up on reading blogs but hope to after Christmas although the main activity at present is gardening and we are about to go and water now.
I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and, most importantly, Healthy 2022.
On Monday, the final walk for the year for the Parkinson Walking Group was along the Waimahanga track and Doug took his camera.
There was a little Fairy Village in a Puriri Tree alongside the track. (A little hard to see because of the sun and shadows).
Then these two vessels moored up, the one on the right is a Fullers sightseeing boat, not sure about the larger one.
Along the track were pohutakawa, rata and Jacaranda trees and then the mangroves.
After the walk we drove a bit further to the beach and had our caffeine fix at a picnic table. The weather has been perfect and is set to keep fine till after Christmas with the forecast for the next few days at 26° or 27°C.
This year as so many things were cancelled due to Covid the Council put on a trail of lights around the Loop Walkway so, last night, we decided to go and it was the perfect night for it. As it gets dark so late at present we set off in daylight. First we walked up to the main shopping street where a Christmas tree was decorated
and I liked this display in my favourite shoe shop.
As we got to the Town Basin the sun was beginning to set. (As always, it looked a lot brighter than the photo).
The Hundertwasser building has had the security fences removed.
The new Restaurant has opened and was full of diners.
Some of the vintage boats on display
Another restaurant full up.
We decided not to walk right around The Loop but went as far as the pedestrian bridge
and looked across at the Bascule bridge
Returning, we could see the lights on the trees the other side of the river
and on our side of the river
Another couple of restaurants at the Town basin also full