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Monday, August 28, 2017

Almost spring

Days are longer and it's definitely warming up; we are approaching 20 degrees slooooowwwly. This a big deal for Mish and I as we got gypped last summer (there wasn't one) and the summer before that was cancelled by mum's illness. So we are hanging out for summer days 2017.

Just had a lovely weekend and pottered in the garden and took a couple of walks out and about town.

Wellington's Karori Cemetery is big and old, like Rookwood in Sydney. Rambling and overgrown and pretty hilly. Soldiers section, religious sections, crypts and so on. There was a bit of scrambling and reading of broken and busted inscriptions.

Some were simply...gone.

Sunday we strolled the botanical gardens where there is much winter flowering and spring leaf bud. Glorious rhododendrons in fire engine reds and white magnolia and tulips on the way.

It's a cool garden, sitting above the city with great views across the harbour and the CBD. And finally the dinky kiosk at the top of the cable car has gone and we have a nice big swish cafe with views (and delicious brown rice balls with tahini mmmm - don't get distracted Carol). So we got some nosh and sat on a quiet bit of grass and had an impromtu picnic.

Mish with a sun warmed Henry Moore.

Who doesn't love a meadow?

Monday, August 7, 2017

Winter, windows, shed & cockatiel

A few things have been happening in Wellington.

Shed's done!
That's #3, with a bit of shelving to go in and fine tuning. It's nice and big and dry and fits that corner nicely.

This is the long view past the front door. Am straightening a hose. Will get some deck stain onto the whole deck area one fine day soon to make it cohesive.

And across the winter veg garden (with some sad spinach, spring onions, struggling peas, and the ever perky broad beans). The whole yard is looking like a tip at the moment, half done projects all over, from Carol's driftwood paling fence on the street to stacked timber  bits EVERYWHERE and the compost we are about to move at the bottom of the yard.

And windows are in too.

New uPVC french doors being installed (unplasticised poly vinyl chloride) which sounds horrible I know, (says Mish), but which has many benefits over aluminium and looks good. The original painted timber frame (architrave) stays put and the new window or door joinery is securely screwed into the opening.

Adrian (always singing to The Breeze radio station) has taken out our old timber window. See the corner of the new window on left.

The new frames are in. Double glass panel only takes about 8 minutes to install into each frame. Super quick :)

 All new double glazed UPVC you beaut windows. They look great and we have a warmer house and a slightly quieter one too. No more air and rain leaks, yippee!

Meanwhile, outside.
We bought some wattles to fill a space and they are about to flower. Here's Mish putting them in, With a bit of river rock and mulch landscaping and a new timber retaining wall and bay to hold 'em. Go you yellow things.

Today was lovely, warm and calm. Not spring yet but it is coming. Some blossoms around too, at work in the river valley, not up here on the windy exposed heights.

Had a walk on the waterfront tonight and dinner at the old yacht club right beside a marina. Then another walk and realised it is a full moon. Here's the best I could do with the point and shoot, looking across one of the marinas to Mt Victoria, Freyberg Pool the  blue smudgey lights on the left and St Gerards up the hill.

And, the cockatiel.
Mish heard chirping - it was sitting outside and very happy to come inside. Made itself right at home for about a week, Scoffing our tamari almonds and sitting on our shoulders.

Very sociable bird - Mish made a driftwood perch which it loved.  Couldn't track the owner but we found a kid with an aviary nearby so bye bye birdie.

We were just talking about this photo - it's a moment in time. When we nursed a bird, the last days of the old windows, and Sean's potboilers that he gave us when he came to work on the shed.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Makara Beach walk

Makara is due west of here, about 20km of winding road through paddocks by a creek. Last weekend we got a one day break in the weather (wind, cold, sleet, rain, etc. the usual) and went for a walk up to WW11 gun emplacements at Makara.

Beautiful day.

This is the beginning of the walk up the hill. Makara Beach around the corner on the right and wind turbines not moving on the ridge. Bit of a scramble in parts, right on the edge.

Looking south, bottom of the North Island and top of the South Island. No orca today...well, we didn't see any. Great view from here: snow on the Kaikoura range top of the South Island, and snow on the Tararua range lower North Island.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Friday works

Sean and Mish pondering a deck design dilemma.
Perhaps a different angle.

Then the dishwasher fixer arrived and got to work replacing the chewed hose. Rotten little ratus.

So Sean's hammering and sawing outside, all good. Dishwasher fixer is here, all good. Mish decides she has to get more nails, so off she goes. I'm having a nice cup of tea and games of phone scrabble, talking rats with the dishwasher fixer, and the shed arrives three days early.

Uh oh. Where's the PM?! It's all happening. Had to move a couple of vehicles and here he is,  backing up the driveway.

Sean and I  helped a teensy bit.

PM returns. Phew. This is not my forte.

That's the shed, tarped at the top of the driveway. I can do that. And hammer. All ready for assembling one fine winter's day in the immediate future. (It rained for three days after, so - next week!)

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Sean and Mish discussing shed construction. Much measuring and drawing.  Sean is a couple of doors up, a handyman and he helps us keep the monster privet hedge under control.

So he will build the shed base and then assemble the kit under the PM's instructions. We've decided to deck the whole front entry, over the asphalt, so it goes right up to the new bike shed.

Should be great!

Dishwasher went bung last night and drained water into the kitchen. Oops. Mopped up, pulled the machine out, and found a holed connection. I think it's just wear and tear; Mish thinks rats. So, we have to wash up.

Bit of sun and warmth today so had  a waterfront walk. Oriental Parade, looking back to the city. Some  yachts, rowers, kayakers, but only a dog eager to chase a stick actually in the water (ignoring the 'no dogs anytime' sign).

Saturday's cloud going through.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The day before the shortest day

Warmish days; cold nights.

Got home early and had a snack outside watching the sun go down.

Admiring Mischa's yellow poker collection (as the silver eyes do too, and the ocassional tui).

Friday, June 16, 2017

Ginkgo parade

Early winter. The ginkgo tree at work has had a sudden leaf drop. They are past the best shade of yellow, but here they are, as they fell.

At one stage we had a thick and gorgeous yellow carpet in the car park. The wind and I grabbed some (me with a large bucket and home to the compost).

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Weekend trip to country North Island

Friday we headed up the line to the town of Feilding (yes, spelt like that).

Took about an hour to get out the driveway - van got stuck in the wet grass centre of driveway, sigh. Had to dig the bastard out and get grippy stuff under the wheels. One of the neighbours came to help; we'd helped her do the same thing with her van a few months ago. Mish and the neighbour sat in the back for a bit of weight and eventually the wheels gripped on a bit of driftwood and we squirted onto the road.

Mish had just got a quote for concreting our patch of gravel between driveway and road, so we might do that. And replace light van with a car - definitely doing that!

Feilding is a small town just past Palmerston North in the middle of the island. It's cow country and the town has a cattle sale yard. About a 2 hour drive from here. We went up for a craft and art and vintage show, which was a bit underwhelming (lots of doilies and baby outfits, that kind of thing). Mish did get some wool for felting and miscellaneous arty and foodie things. We've been tucking into peanut butter toast with flax and chia seeds this afternoon.

But we had a nice drive and decided to come back to the little city of Levin and stay the night at a B&B. Had a lovely night - got Indian takeaway  in town and came back to our garden courtyard and dined outside by the pizza oven fire.

Saturday we did the Levin op shops, found a cupboard for the wash house, and dropped in on friends on the way home.

Autumn, getting bombarded with leaves at a cafe table.

Hokio Beach, Levin's beach. One snapper that died a natural death.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Winter sunset

The sun's setting about 5:15 now.

We've got an improved view to the west as the neighbours on our top side took down a pine tree we've been eyeing off. More sun for us!

Wind turbines going slowly, not much wind lately but icy air every now and then. 

Last day of the working week for Carol, and good riddance she says with Amaretto in one hand and sherry in the other mmm. We both had a shocker of a night last night so happy to be home with heater on and feet up, watching sunset and looking forward to three days off. Some nice colour tonight, and a sun shower as well mid photo.

Mish just made parsnip chips for a snack - scoffed.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Maggie project

Ta Da!
My first (and probably last :) ) needle felted bird. Boy, that sure takes a lot of needling!
I do love magpies tho ('cept during the breeding season).

Friday, May 26, 2017


Shopping and lunching with mum; Mish at studio most of the day; finished off with fish and chips on south coast watching planes come and go on a calm evening.
Cool, sunny autumn day.

Almost stepped on a monarch on Island Bay beach.
Our sole survivor is still in the chrysalis, 39 days now but he's green with gold dots so hopefully still alive in there. He's hanging from a swan plant inside, so we work around him and watch daily for a black chrysalis = butterfly about to emerge.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Post hole digging on a very cool Saturday

Winter is here. The air was in Antarctica a day ago. Brrr. There's snow on the eastern hills at 500 mt.

So Mish put on her gumboots and went out. The plumber is coming soon so we had to  concrete a post in beside the vegetable garden. We're finally putting in a second tap. Post is now in and set nicely and we're inside with the heater on.

Lux 2017

Lux is Wellington's annual light show. Most of the works are on the waterfront and up Cuba St.

Mish going cross eyed at one of the most interesting light shows, a cube of psychedelic flashes.

Another favourite was a guy creating soapy bubbles that looked like dancing mercury as they moved up and away. The kids loved that one. Much screaming in the Civic Centre.

Looking into Aotea Lagoon, mysterious words in the water that kept changing but that none of us could read.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Crane flies

The biggest mosquitoes in the world?!
No, Mish. This is a crane fly.
She no bite us. She just resting then she fly away.