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. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2022


Our bananas were covered in a blue plastic bag for protection from the elements and any vermin so we could not see whether they were ripening or not.  We had decided to pick them anyway but had put it off until we had cleared the boundary fence.  On Friday I happened to notice ripe bananas lying on the ground.  They had over-ripened so we set to to pick them.  It is a big job as the bunches are quite heavy and high up but we got them down and then cut up the stems for mulch around the remaining plants.  Seeing they were over-ripe we decided to pick the second bunch as well.  This is still quite green but we think/hope it will ripen.  Anyway, even though a lot of the bananas have split they are absolutely delicious, far tastier than any bought in the shops.  We have given quite a lot away but still have plenty as well as the green ones to look forward to.
A bowl of ripe bananas

The rest of the bunch hanging up to ripen.

The second bunch as we were picking it.

The plants after the first two plants have been removed.