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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.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Anzac Day ride to Pencarrow Head

A beautiful autumn day. Warm and windless. We drove around the harbour to Eastbourne and the end of the road, then cycled out to the bottom of the island and Pencarrow. That's about 8km and lots of people had the same idea today.

Had a picnic and a beachcomb and enjoyed the surf for a bit.

Mish in a broken paua shell.

Then, as we had the bikes in the van, we stopped at a shed place and made free with all the sheds. Putting the bikes in, and taking them out, and much measuring of course. No one around, so that was fun. We're aiming to get the ebike out of its portable shed (the van) and into a shed beside the house, with the other bike and a workbench and power! (For the Mish power tool collection.)

That will make three sheds on our property, which is probably enough...

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Easter weekend at Castlepoint

Castlepoint is on the east coast of the North Island, over the Rimutaka hill and through the Wairarapa's trendy towns and paddocks straight across to the coast.

Thursday we had the tail end of a cyclone come down the North Island, so the sea was windswept and interesting for a few days over Easter. So we had a nice combo of sun and rain, for walking and reading and playing phone scrabble.

Scramble up to Castle Rock, and view from the top.


Panorama looking north  east and walking up to Castle Rock.

Deliverance Cove, named by an early missionary after his ship found it by accident in a storm.

Track to Castlepoint lighthouse.

Looking out over the churned muddy sea.

We rented a bach for four days there. Busy because of Easter and school hols, but not crowded. One shop, some surfers, boats and fisher folk, a Triumph car rally, and loungers like us.

Here's one. There's a seal colony near Cape Palliser.

Beach soccer with a pinecone. Lighthouse in the background.

Admired the mudstone sandstone rock layers on on part of the beach, beautiful lines laid down a while back.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Cocooning in autumn

One monarch caterpillar has cocooned!

On the swan plant, and on a leaf, which seems pretty goofy. The plants are at the bottom of the garden, but they are still getting buffeted by winds. Must be strong goop holding it on.

This one cocooned yesterday. Metamorphosis is underway.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Judy 1923-2016

365 days of missing you so much mother. Sometimes for a second I forget you've gone.
My favourite tea, usually placed on the bed as a welcome home present, isn't there - or when I eat a delicious prawn dish that I know you'd really enjoy - and then I remember.

I especially miss your beaming smile and your incredible nurturing love and support that you gave and gave to me, to all us kids and to dad. You were always interested in hearing about my news and proud of me. Always 'thrilled to bits' to do things together and tackle any adventure with gusto.
You really embraced the true spirit of travel; being open to appreciate different cultures, customs and cuisines. Over the decades you steadfastly kept in touch with your many overseas friends via Christmas cards and letters.
You were often self deprecating - too much so. Downplaying your achievements (co head girl at Meriden, graduating from Sydney Uni aged 20 with a science degree in 1943). But your intelligence and love of learning shone through all your life with a constant interest in science, languages and  prodigious reading. You also had a phenomenal memory for people's names, places you'd traveled and phone numbers. Family and friends' birthdays were never forgotten and you were the oracle when it came to spelling and grammar.

I'll never forget you and dad whupping Carol and me at tennis when you were in your 80's for god's sake. And you had an earth shattering sneeze that could wake the dead.True grit.

I will always be in awe at your unflinching stoicism - you never ever complained, despite being in pain (because that would be 'BORING!!').

Dressing down wasn't your style either - you always dressed so well and looked beautiful.

I'm so proud of you - after your death your decision to be a donor enabled your corneas to be transplanted to give better sight to someone in need.

Lastly, dad and I measured your Sequoia today. You'd be chuffed to know its over 100 feet tall and looking truly impressive. Must be all that lovely rain you're sending its way.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Day off Friday

Taputeranga Island in Island Bay, Wellington, looking into Cook Strait.

Headed round to a bay further south. The southerly blew up suddenly and the bay filled with white caps and lifted sea spray about way in the air, so it looked like smoke on the water.

Picked up seven or eight hungry monarch butterfly larvae (caterpillars) from Arlene's place today and relocated them to our luscious swan plants this morning. Chomp chomp.
Standing by for cocoons and flutter byes.