Friday, April 30, 2021


It was a cold start to the day again and  I got joined just before dawn.  A small body pressed against my back.  The temperatures seem very low for this time of year.  I hope it is not the start of a long, cold winter.

Bobby is continuing to eat his special food, albeit reluctantly.  He looks at the food and then at us and will, eventually eat something so, as long as he eats, we will leave things as they are.  He looks healthy and seems happy enough.

He has decided that his bed is where Doug sits on the settee and jumps up there when we go to bed.  I suppose it is still warm.  His other favourite place is on the back of a chair on a crochet rug where he can look out of the window.

Thursday, April 29, 2021


We awoke, slightly later than usual, to a lovely day so I did a load of washing.  We were still eating breakfast when we received an email from the daughter of one of Doug's cousins.  This lady is the daughter of the lady whose funeral we attended recently and that is the only time we have met although we had previously been in touch by phone and email.

She and her husband had been down south and were passing through Whangarei and wanted to call in if it was convenient.  It was so a half hour or so later they arrived and we spent a lovely  2 - 3 hours catching up over a cuppa.  The time flew which is why I am not sure whether it was two or three hours, most likely three as it was after midday when they left.

Just as they arrived Doug answered the phone and it was a fellow blogger so once our visitors left I phoned her and we had a good chat.

A few weeks ago we took our Nissan La Festa in to the nearby garage for a new petrol pump and they have been unable to find one except for a very expensive one through Nissan which would not arrive for four months so we went and picked up our car from that garage and phoned the other garage we use and asked if they could try and source the part.

We heard back a few hours later that they have sourced one (they, obviously, have different contacts)  it is still expensive but half the price of the one through Nissan.  They would not be able to fit it for four weeks so, once it arrives we will pick it up and re-book the car with the local garage to fit it (hopefully less than four weeks).

We finally ended up having lunch at about 2.30 (more of the snapper we were given baked with a knob of butter, some parsley and Sauvignon Blanc).  

I then heard that a book I had on hold from the library had arrived so a quick trip out and we both have some new library books. 

Bobby was not eating yesterday but made up for it in the night and then has not eaten today.  He goes to his bowl but rejects it.  As he is on a special diet we can not give him anything else.  He seems happy enough but if he still refuses to eat we will see the vets as to whether we can feed him normal cat food and give him the pills once again.  There was no trouble giving them to him in some chopped up heart.  We have reluctantly decided that we will do our best for him but are not going to get any further x-rays done as there is no guarantee that any cure will be found so we will keep him happy as long as we can without breaking the bank.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021


Doug was not feeling well last night with a sore throat.  He felt as though he had a cold coming and this morning was a bit worse and I was starting to feel under the weather so we phoned and cancelled our flu vaccinations.  When we feel better we will re-schedule.

Bobby was not very well yesterday afternoon either and was not eating. He didn't want his breakfast either.  We were already taking him to the vet for a blood test to see how things were going so mentioned our concerns to the Vet.  One thing we discovered was that the pills were only for one month with the special diet long term (or we think the pills could have been long term).  We were both certain that both were for the rest of his life.  

So we left him at the Vets for the blood tests and she phoned later to say that the levels for his Thyroid are now good and she had given him an injection to help his digestion.  We picked him up, paid another hefty bill even though we were given a credit for the pills we will not need, and brought Bobby home.  

Thank goodness he has been eating this afternoon.  We were told to let the Vets know how he is doing.  The next step would be more x-rays so I hope he continues to improve for his sake and our bank balance.

Apart from that it has been a good drying day.  We have been lucky lately with rain at nights and lovely days.

Food keeps appearing, yesterday we were given a box of Persimmons and today some smoked mullet although it didn't arrive in Whangarei till late so we will pick it up tomorrow.

Monday, April 26, 2021

ANZAC Weekend

 Yesterday was Anzac day, a day when we remember those lost in conflict.  As it was on a Sunday today is a public holiday.

Our Parkinson's walks continue anyway so we had a very pleasant walk alongside the river from Whareora Road to Mair Park this morning.

Being a public holiday not all cafes were open so the group came here for their caffeine fix afterwards.  There were just 10 of us on today's walk.

When we got home there was a message from Doug's nephew asking if we would like some fish so when everyone had gone we headed 20 kms. north and had a good catch up.  We returned with 2.5 kg of snapper fillets and after a very late lunch I packed and froze it leaving some in the fridge for tomorrow. 

We have been having some lovely autumn weather and I took these photos on our morning walk a couple of days ago.

Being so far north we do not get the autumn colours that they do in the south but I still enjoy them.

I just went outside a few minutes ago and noticed the lovely full moon and unusual cloud next to it.

We have appointments for our flu jabs tomorrow after taking Bobby in for a blood test.  He seemed to be doing really well until today when he was not keen on eating so we will ask the vet to give him a check as well.

I read in the local paper on Saturday that Covid vaccinations are now available but we will have to wait a fortnight after having our flu jabs

Monday, April 19, 2021


Our Parkinson Walk was around the Loop today.  The only photo I took was of the reflections of the supports of the Bascule Bridge.

The other day we read that the world's largest aluminium yacht the Sea Eagle II had arrived in Whangarei so, after our walk, we drove down to have a look at it.  It is the one on the right.  The one on the left is closer and is called Clan VIII

We then noticed the scaffolding and white cover thinking it was something on shore but when we went to investigate it was another "yacht" Senses, from Georgetown.

It is great for Whangarei that all these super yachts are coming here for repairs and/or maintenance.

If you should wish to hire any of these yachts the costs are on the links.

Saturday, April 17, 2021


 We have a wonderful Bird Recovery Centre here in Whangarei run by a husband and wife.  They need funds towards a new boat which is used, among other things, for rescuing and releasing sea birds.  We read recently about the publication of a book of poems and drawings with a strong conservation message where all proceeds go to the Bird Recovery Centre.  

Today we went in to town to buy a couple of copies, one for us and one for a friend's birthday.  It was larger than I expected, 170 pages and I  have only given it a quick glance but here are a couple of items.

Being a soft cover book it was not easy to photograph.

Sunday, April 11, 2021


Because it was so wet yesterday, rain all day, Doug did not let any of the butterflies out of the cage.  Luckily, in spite of the forecast for rain, it is sunny today so he has let 16 out.  He puts them onto a piece of shade cloth on the mandarin tree.  Half of them flew away immediately but there are seven here still drying out.

When we went back indoors I noticed Doug had one on his shoulder.

Doug released another 3 butterflies.  19  a daily record.

Just checked at 5 p.m. 2 more. They will wait till tomorrow if fine.

Saturday, April 10, 2021


 A miserable day today - windy and wet.  It is not really cold (reached 20° C) but the damp feel has led me to light the fire.

I suppose it will be the first of many over the next few months.  Que sera sera

Friday, April 9, 2021


 It feels quite autumnal today.  We had an unexpected shower this morning and then went out and did some heavy pruning (mainly cutting back some Tea tree) that was encroaching on  a punga fern, a guava and our lemon tree.  We also did some mulching.  

While we were doing this I was cooking some vegetables for a cream soup - two types of sweet potato, squash, carrot, a small beetroot, onion, garlic, potato, red lentils, cooked in stock.

We ended up having a late lunch (our main meal) then I whizzed the vegies  up with a stick mixer.  We will be having it for our evening meal shortly.

Bobby seems to be progressing well and is quite relaxed.

Our cream and red roses continue to bloom.  

The dahlias are just about finished.  They are about 4 feet high.

Still a bit more trimming to do on the tea tree but the other plants now have some light.

The finished soup.  It almost looks like tomato although there is none in it.  It is the small amount of beetroot giving it the colour.  I will heat some up right now for our meal.

Monday, April 5, 2021


Today, the Parkinson Walking Group did a walk from Vinegar Hill Road.  On the left is a stream and a few years ago it was planted with Natives.  The main tree here is Manuka (as in Manuka Honey).

A little further on it opens up and you can see through to the hills

Looking up into a large Pohutukawa tree

On the right of the path is the Kamo Pony Club and as one goes further on the rear of one of the Retirement Villages in the area is visible.

We had eleven walkers today

It was a pleasant walk on a pleasant day.

After the walk everyone came back here for tea/coffee, hot cross buns, Easter eggs, corn bread and various biscuits and plenty of chatter.

Friday, April 2, 2021


It has been another busy week.  The forecast heavy rain did not eventuate until last night and it was steady rather than heavy.

On Tuesday it stayed fine.  Doug had an appointment in town in the morning and nearly 3 year old great-grand-daughter came for lunch with her mother (the highlight of the week).  Unfortunately, they could only stay for 90 minutes as we had appointments in town in the afternoon as well.  We then did a little shopping.

Wednesday and Thursday flew by.  I had my exercise class on Wednesday - designed to prevent falls and have also done some baking.

Doug has been working on the outside covered deck.  I am sure we are not the only ones who have people coming and do a tidy up.  We have the Parkinson walking group coming for their caffeine fix on Monday.  Not sure how many, it was 16 last week but is usually about 12 or 13.    Doug has built a new bench and made room so that we can have electric jugs there for tea coffee making and putting out the mugs etc.  He has also given it all a thorough clean.  It all gets regular vacuuming and brushing and I am sure no-one but us will notice any difference but it is a good excuse to do an "Autumn Clean" getting ready for winter.

The temperatures have been good - in the 20's with 25° on Wednesday.  At least with the rain we had last night we won't have to water the garden tonight.

Tomorrow is Market day again and we will try to be early as it is usually busier on Public Holiday weekends.  Daylight Savings ends tomorrow night thank goodness as it is still dark at 7 a.m. and we are tending to sleep in.

Flowers have been moved from the tables ready for Monday.

Space for the Electric Jugs and two new boxes that Doug made to hold gardening bits and pieces with the new bench top above the shoes for mugs etc.