Friday, December 30, 2022


 Forecast for today was 26°C so decided to go for a walk in the bush to celebrate my birthday.  We did the Loop walk at Taheke Falls and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Not a long walk the Loop is 3 kms. about 5 kms. altogether but it rises quite steeply.

Because of the angle of the sun I was only able to photograph a glimpse of the Falls.

When we got to the top we stopped and had some refreshments and enjoyed the birdsong.

Looking back at some of the steps we went down.  It shows how high we had climbed.

The trunk of a kauri tree

Back home for lunch 

Saturday, December 24, 2022


It is 2 p.m. on Christmas Eve as I write this.  A pleasant day 24°C, cloudy with possible afternoon showers.  We have been getting afternoon showers for a few days now.  Great for the garden.

Tomorrow is forecast to be 25°C with afternoon showers possible once again.  We head to Doug's Granddaughter's farm for a family gathering.  There will be about 30 people from her family and that of her husband.  Two lambs will be cooked on the spit and everyone takes either a dessert or salad.

We received about 20 Christmas cards (some still to be opened as they are with presents) and my favourites came from two cousins on the Welsh Borders.

So, as the card above says: Wherever you go and whatever you do may all your Christmas wishes come true.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022


On Sunday Doug finished the paling fence.  It took him less than a month for the actual fence which is pretty good considering the weather as we have had a lot of rain.

A couple of photos from the neighbour's side.  They have the "better" side as it was easier doing it from their drive rather than our garden.

Our side of the fence

We are extremely pleased with it.  Once we are sure there are no more creepers coming up we will get some more plants in the garden.  

Thursday, December 15, 2022


Today was the Graduation Ceremony for the Police Wing 361.  There are now 56 new constables and Doug's Grandson was the top student.  He is 27 and has had other jobs previously and been waiting all through Covid to get on the course.

We sat for 90 Minutes and watched the live stream of the ceremony.  (Unusual for us to stay still for so long).  

So Congratulations, well done.  Here he is receiving the Koruwai or cloak from Police Commissioner, Andrew Coster and  the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.


and being applauded

Monday, December 12, 2022


Today's walk was at Reotahi and, after days of rain it was a beautiful day.  We met at Onerahi and carpooled from there.  

The Pohutukawa flowers (also know as New Zealand Christmas tree because of its red flowers) was flowering well.

Another plant in full flower was the Flax

The walk takes you along the coast to Little Munroe Bay below. It was high tide so we didn't venture on to the beach 

The weather stayed fine all day and Doug even managed to get some more palings on the fence in the afternoon.  At 9 p.m. it is still 18°C. very pleasant.

Rosemary: very similar to bottlebrush but the flowers are round. 

Thursday, December 8, 2022


Sunday was another sunny day and Doug kept working and got all the top railings up.
Monday was good as well and we had a lovely walk along the Onerahi waterfront followed by byo morning tea. We had just walked in the door when we got a call from Gary (the son of Stan who Doug went to primary school with). Gary is over from England visiting his Dad and we had time for lunch before they came around. It was great catching up with both of them. Gary flew home yesterday. We then drove the 6 kms to Steve's Honey to pick up a carton of his delicious Bush Honey with Manuka. He told us that the market has fallen for Manuka honey and he is now adding more to his bush honey. 
Tuesday started fine but there was a heavy rain warning for Wednesday. While I continued weeding Doug managed to get the palings up on 2 sections of the fence before the rain started.
It has rained ever since (now Thursday evening). Doug did manage to get enough palings chamfered for 3 more sections when the rain eased slightly this afternoon.
Tomorrow we are having brunch with Granddaughter and baby Ella. It is still forecast to rain until Monday.
Hopefully the rain will sto
p for Monday's walk which is a bit further away than usual. 

Saturday, December 3, 2022


I dug the first of our new potatoes today (Cliff Kidney).  They were delicious with homegrown beans, courgette and baby carrots.  No photo as we ate them straight away with some sausages.  Actually, if I had realised I was going to dig the potatoes I may not have cooked the sausages as the vegetables were  delicious on their own.

 It is a beautiful day today let summer begin.  Doug did some more work on the fence and is ready to put the top rail up tomorrow.  I did some more weeding.  We stopped work as the sun was too strong.

Friday, December 2, 2022

A Busy Life

 This morning I got up at about 6.30 a.m. Fairly standard for this time of year.  I did a couple of loads of washing and got it out on the line and had breakfast before starting on weeding the flower garden alongside the new fence.  

Meanwhile, Doug was putting the bottom rail on the fence.  He put a rail along ground level  to hold the soil in yesterday.

I persevered at it as once the palings go on I won't be able to weed from our neighbour's drive and it is so much easier.  I am pleased with the result and Doug has sprayed the remaining creepers once again in an attempt to kill them.  I got to the end of the fence at about 1 p.m. then returned some English Country Living magazines to a neighbour and received the latest one.  I then went to the street around the corner with some lachenalia bulbs for a lady who had requested some.  She has hurt her knee so hasn't been down our street for a while.  She offered me some English Snowdrops and some bluebells although, most likely, not the English ones.  I said yes to both. I was surprised about the snowdrops as I didn't think they would grow here.

Back home I made two loaves of bread a gf one and a wheat one. The gf one is baked and ready and the wheat one is in the breadmaker.

I then made a stir fry for lunch which we have just finished (3.15 p.m.) I must now send out an email for the Parkinson's walk and catch up with a few things on the computer. 

This is a fairly typical day, although we do not put a fence up regularly, there are always lots of jobs needing attention.  I must say I much prefer this and dread the thought of not being able to garden or do other jobs.

I actually have a list of "office" jobs that need attention but I think most of them will have to wait for tomorrow.

So far I haven't done much towards the fence as our neighbour has helped when needed.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022


According to yesterday's local paper we had five times the usual monthly rainfall for November and that was with  2 days still to go.  At our Airport 360 mm was recorded well ahead of the previous November record of 257 mm. Records began in 1943.

No wonder the ground was so wet when Doug was digging the post holes. We do seem to have had a lot of wet days although a lot of that rain was from the extra heavy downpours we have had recently.

Anyway, the posts are all in the ground now and the post hole borer was returned for a refund as they were all dug by hand.  We have just had a visit from our 3 year old and nearly 2 month old great-granddaughters who came to lunch with their mother.  A very pleasant time was spent over roast chicken and all the trimmings.  25°C with the possibility of a heat shower later on.

Saturday, November 26, 2022


 On Tuesday Doug got the first two posts in the ground.  He had bought a post hole borer but because of all the rain we have had the ground was easier than he expected to work so he dug the holes by hand.  The water level was nearly to the top of the holes.  On Wednesday he mentioned to me that he had a painful tooth so I phoned the dentist and we were given an appointment for 8.15 a.m. the next day.  We thought it was just for a check-up but she did an x-ray and put a temporary filling in saying that if it lasted a year she would put a new one in but if it didn't last long the tooth would need to come out.  Yesterday, Friday, Doug went part dug all the remaining holes (20).  He dug down about 10 inches with the spade - a lot of it was digging through gravel or scoria so it was hard going. Today he and our neighbour finished the holes off using a hand borer and put the posts in doing half the fence and bracing each one which the concrete sets.

While they were working on the fence I have been busy in the garden, mainly vegetables.  I did some more clearing and planted half a dozen lettuces, a couple more tomatoes, a yellow and a red capsicum and one aubergine.  I have never had any luck with aubergines so it will be interesting to see what happens with this one.  I also put some more posts in for the tomatoes.  Even though I was late putting them in I see there are quite a few fruit already set. I also did some weeding in the flower garden.  

Wednesday, November 23, 2022


A couple of weeks ago I checked the posting dates for Christmas mail and found that for U.K. it was 18th November.  Other years I have had trouble with mail not arriving by Christmas even though it was posted in time so I bought some Christmas cards and started on letters to accompany them.  When we went to Mangawhai last week I took the cards for U.K. and Canada and posted them.  Below is the list of posting dates.

Last night I phoned a cousin for his 89th birthday and during the conversation he asked about our bananas.  I wondered how he knew about them and he told me the card had arrived on Monday.  I suppose it is better to be early rather than late but it does seem a bit early.  This week I posted the cards to Australia and wonder when they will get to their destination.

I used to send a lot of cards but now only send them to people who are not on the internet or unable to receive e-cards for some reason. This morning I received a call from a friend who also received a card. 

Monday, November 21, 2022


Doug has been working hard and the boundary is now clear ready to start building the new fence. We bought a post hole borer at the weekend and arranged for the posts and concrete to be delivered on Wednesday. The palings and railings are all stacked up under cover.

A bit hard to see as it is cloudy today.  The fence will be built with the palings on our neighbours' side as it is easier that way.

We had a lovely walk around Lake Waro in Hikurangi and everyone enjoyed the home baking in the cafe afterwards.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022


There are never enough hours in the day.  The boundary fence is gradually coming down ready to put the new paling fence up.  I cannot remember if I mentioned that we are going to build the fence ourselves.  Doug as the fencer and me the helper.

Last week we had two storms, one on Wednesday and the other on Friday.  There were strong winds and  a lot of flooding around and we had a very wet lawn but it soon dried out.  

I staked the foxgloves and they survived except from the smaller ones on the large white foxglove so I picked them and put them in a vase.

I was quite surprised that the gardenias are looking so good in spite of the storms.  They are so pretty.

Yesterday we drove down to Mangawhai and met up with an old school friend of Doug's they often talk on the phone but he hadn't seen her for about 40 years so it was great to catch up. We drove on the coast road from Waipu and it was a very pleasant drive.

We got home just before our Japanese Cedar palings were delivered (the cypress rails had been delivered the previous day).  We now have to order the posts, screws, stain, concrete etc. and will be able to start the job.

The bananas have been wonderful.  This is one of the later bunches.

and this is the stem with just a few bananas left.   We picked just under 9 kgs from this bunch.

Friday, November 4, 2022


We ordered a 6m skip for the creepers we had cut down from the fence and other rubbish

and were quite surprised when the one below arrived (a 9m skip)  apparently they didn't have any of the 6m available so gave us the larger one instead (at no extra charge).  It arrived on Monday and has been a busy week clearing up and filling the skip.  

being taller it was a bit harder putting the rubbish in but we have made good use of it.  The old garden edging is in there and a lot of prunings that were too large for the compost bins.  We have it until Monday so may well find more over the weekend.  As you can see it is cloudy today and a shower or two would be very welcome.

On the banana front we have almost finished the first bunch as we have had several visitors this week.  The second bunch that was green when picked has started to turn colour.  The ripe ones were on the far side so I had to spin them to get a photo.  Today's visitor was one of Doug's nieces and, when we asked if she would like some bananas asked what type as she has been eating locally grown ones and wasn't interested in going back to the shop ones.