Sunday, 30 May 2021

Rainy day out

A rainy day in today after a rainy day outing yesterday.  My daughter and I braved the weather to watch the team my son coaches play rugby in Dargaville yesterday.  We thought we'd dodged the rain as we didn't encounter any rain on the drive to Dargaville. but it was just waiting for us, big dark clouds rolling in from the sea.

I do so enjoy attending these games of no frills grassroots rugby.  When I swore years ago that my days of trudging up and down the sideline in the rain were over, I didn't for one moment suspect that after 30 years or so I'd miss it.  I have to admit thermal underwear is warmer now than it used to be - that definitely helps.   I still haven't found the solution to keeping my feet warm, think there is an investment in boots in my near future. 

Regular sideline team supporters and a couple of reserves, keeping their hands warm.

Just a few steps and a few years separate the junior supporter from joining his heroes on the field.

Reminding my daughter that's she missing out on the action by pointing her camera at me.

Thursday, 27 May 2021

Life interrupted

The past month is best forgotten.  I can't remember half of it, so that's easy enough to do.  The good thing about being sick is life feels so good when you're better.  A bonus is having two daughters who are angels in disguise.

Today I'm appreciating the sunshine of a mild winter's day.  OK it's not officially winter but it's been feeling like it.  Last night I did not appreciate the cloud that prevented me from seeing the Super Blood Moon.  Luckily, many others had clear skies and have shared their photos.

Tomorrow I will venture out of the house - the excitement!  I have a new phone and I'm keen to try out its camera.   So far, all I have is this.


Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Patience is a virtue?

They say it is and I've lectured my children on its virtues but sometimes I think it can work against me.  

I've put up with a health concern for nearly a year .  I've mentioned it to my doctor a number of times and his responses have been vague, always suggesting yet another modification to my diet.  A flare up last week had me back in the doctor's office and, at last, some plan (if a bit vague) about getting to the bottom of the problem.

Then on Saturday I wanted to watch the local team's game of rugby.  Usually I walk to the games but felt that was a bit risky if I needed to go home quickly so I drove there and parked my car where I could see most of the field.  I took this photo on my phone as I couldn't see the scoreboard from where I was, then I magnified it.  I left during the second half of the match but felt better again a little later and returned to catch the last minutes of the game.

I love the atmosphere of rural rugby.  During a break in play to attend to an injured player, the opposition players called for someone to bring them a drink of water.  Several lads ran out on to the field carrying water bottles, looking oh so proud of their place in the team.

It was during that afternoon that I decided enough was enough, when my life was being impacted to the extent of not feeling confident about walking to see a footy game, not being able to watch a full game without interruption, something had to be done and I'd have to put my Big Girl Pants on and be demanding.

Luck was on my side, my doctor wasn't available on Tuesday (Monday was a public holiday) and the lady doctor I saw swung into action when I had my little hissy fit.   She promised some answers by the end of the week when several test results will come back.  

Yay!  That's all I say.

I think I've found a new doctor!  I simply do not find it acceptable that I have to throw a wobbly to get attention.  I've had dark thoughts when visiting that doc before, thinking I'll smack him one if he gives me that 'oh you poor thing' look just once more.  I want answers, not sympathy.

On a more cheerful note I reminded myself of my mother when I was feeling really cross.  Mum had seen the same family doctor all her life, he'd seen her through 7 pregnancies and he'd seen all of her offspring many, many times over the years.  Any visit to Dr P always started with a catch up about your social life and the siblings.  Anyway, once when I was home on holidays Mum asked me if I'd drop her off at the doctors and to my consternation directed me to a different practice.  I thought perhaps Dr P had retired but no, Mum explained that every time she visited him, by the time he'd asked how all the children were there was never any time left for her and she was sick of it, she wanted all his attention, not 5 minutes at the end of the visit.  I guess I'm more like Mum than I thought.

Monday, 19 April 2021

A 50th and a 1st

I'm glad a hectic social life is a thing of the past.  After an unusually busy social weekend I feel done in.   When I loaded and looked at this photo below I thought the water was moving.  

I know my eyesight is fading, add tired eyes and interesting things happen!

This was the view outside the little hut my daughter, Leone and I shared on Saturday night.  It's a little estuary in Taiharuru, a lovely peaceful spot.  We were the first guests to stay in the hut and appreciated it being offered to us when the other place we wanted to stay was booked out.  My daughter declared that was the first time ever she had put on makeup without a mirror or done her hair using the reflection from the ranch slider.    The owners had also failed to connect the hotwater to the gas bottle and when they installed the gas stove forgot that it needed electricity to turn on the burners.  (The hut is off the grid and relies on solar power.)  But it was in the perfect location for us, so close to where my daughter-in-law was celebrating her 50th birthday party in family friends' cliff top holiday home on the other side of the very narrow peninsula.

The wind carried with it the first hint of winter.  

Georgia over-seeing my grandson, Aiden and great-granddaughter, Lexis.  I love seeing the grandies playing together like this, despite their age differences.

I pray for the day one year old Emilia will be in the photo with them.

Sunday morning we gathered at the B&B where Justine was staying to have a video call with my younger son and little Emilia in Brasil.  It was her first birthday.  

364 days old

I don't have a birthday photo of her yet, just videos, and I can't figure out how to take them from Instagram and save them.

On top of all that activity I was out till all hours on Friday night being the sober driver for Leone's work team after a team building activity.  They seemed to be getting along just fine on the way home.

Monday, 12 April 2021

Filming in the Rain

We've had quite a bit of very welcome rain.

It hadn't started when I agreed to video my son's rugby team playing on Saturday.  He finds it a helpful coaching tool to look back over a game.

Only the most dedicated supporters were on the sideline.

It will be a challenge for him to see much from the end product, mainly because heavy rain  caused very low visibility.  But also because I was stationed further from the field than I would normally be, staying dry on the clubrooms deck.  I had the very justifiable excuse that I couldn't juggle the umbrella and the video camera at the same time.

I had difficulty seeing the ball half the time so just tried to concentrate on the general area of play.  

And I kept getting distracted by that palm tree that looks to be growing out of the goal post.

To complete the weekend I spent three hours with my grand-daughter, Georgia at the lodge tidying a storeroom.  She is so easy to work with, happily follows vague instructions and thinks for herself.  I think she knows me so well, she knows what I mean.  For example, "Just put all that on the third self so I can find things easily." results in just that,  labels facing front, everything sorted by category.  She's a treasure.  It was quite a warm, humid day and boring but tiring work, a lot of carrying and lifting but the smile never left her face.  She's what I think of as a useful person - which is quite high praise in my book.  

Then I think of Rowan Atkinson's, "About as useful as a one-legged man at an arse-kicking competition."  There's plenty of them around but that's definitely not Georgia.

Friday, 9 April 2021

First time visitors

Usually, it's cats that come visiting my place.  I swear every household in the village must have at least two cats.   I had no idea there could be so many cats in one small village. Not that I can complain as two cats live with me.  There's a third that wants to move in but more about that in a minute.  It was a long time since I'd owned a cat when I succumbed to a grand-daughter telling me (quite often) it would be good company for me and I got it into my head that I should give a good life to a rescue kitten.  After all those years of waging war on feral cats! I took that g-daughter and my grandson with me when I went to the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) to choose one and we'd had barely walked into the room when I spotted a kitten that was the image of a street cat I'd photographed in Istanbul a few years ago.  The children had other choices but I'd made up my mind, I wanted that Alley Cat.  The staff warned me that she might be difficult, that I wasn't obligated to keep her but she seemed friendly to the children and I thought she'd get used to me eventually.

She's still friendly to children.  Little Lexis, my g-g-daughter picks her up and lugs her around, strokes her and brushes her and she purrs like heavy machinery.  She purrs when she sits at my feet and when she sits on my face when I'm asleep but can I touch her or stroke her?  She stands beside my bed and touches me gently on the face when she wants me to wake, usually to attend to her demands.  But lift my hand to stroke her and she's gone in a flash.

Two years I've had her and no way does she yet trust me completely.  She's a talker and I mean a loud talker.  Especially if I'm talking to someone on the phone.  I don't know if she thinks I'm talking to her or objecting to me talking to someone else.  

She still bolts if I make a sudden movement or if there is a loud noise.  She will come to see who is visiting if she hears a woman's voice but disappear if a man appears.  I guess bad early life experiences have left her like that.  

The other resident cat is a grand-daughter's cat who needed an alternative home when she moved to Wellington to go to university.  He couldn't be more different.  He's friendly and loves to be brushed and stroked.  Korbi's a cool, laid back cat.  He never makes a sound and when he does it's a pathetic little squeak,  Alley does the talking for them both.  Moving from the city to the farm was a bit traumatic for him but he adjusted quickly after his first run-in with a possum.  And then moving into the village was like going back home.  He knew about traffic and other cats.  He's friends with everyone.   

It was the opposite for Alley.  Thankfully, nothing would entice her to go near the road with all its scary noises.  But it was the other cats that affected her the most.  She was used to guarding her territory against feral cats and didn't take too kindly to her neighbours coming near her new home.  I still occasionally see some of them at a distance but they know better than to come close.  All except for one very pretty little black cat.  It and Korbi are friends and Alley is OK with that as long as they stay on the lawn.  But that little black cat knows no fear, over and over it will come up onto the deck, approach her, and over and over again Alley will fight it off.  But it keeps coming back.  She a big cat and the poor little thing has copped more than a few hidings.

Alley and Korbi are housemates, I wouldn't say they are friends.  They get along OK, have a little play now and then.  I tell them not to, that it will end in tears but they don't listen.  They play fight until one or the other gets annoyed and they then have a bit of a scrap but it's not serious.

The little black cat is now coming into the house and eats their food.  It comes through their cat flap and has the cheek to butt against it if its locked, which I have taken to doing.  It's always locked at night and the would-be intruder has woken me up trying to get in.  Between it thumping at the cat flap and Alley yeowing in alarm, I can get very cranky.  It might be easier to keep it away during the day now winter is approaching and doors are more likely to be closed.

I don't know where its home is, it doesn't belong to any of my close neighbours but it is too sleek and shiny to be a stray.  I thought perhaps it is locked outside while its humans go to work during the day.  The last two nights around 8 pm before I've locked my two charges inside for the night, it has come inside and on both occasions I've looked up from reading to see it sitting in the doorway to the lounge room,  once it was watching me and once it was watching Alley who was sound asleep at my feet.  It's getting really cheeky and I have to make a move in its direction before it runs off.

I feel like we are in a battle of wills.

Anyway, back to this morning's visitors.  Alley was making her alarmed noises and I looked out thinking the little black cat was there.  But, no, it was three goats.   They were just on the other side of the fence, beautiful creatures, big and healthy.  I thought at first two were wearing coats but they were white with brown heads and necks, the other was all brown and a little more wary than the other two.  By the time I got my camera they had lost interest in the cat and moved to the other side of the paddock next door.   There they had a short rest before moving on.  I believe they were eventually rounded up and returned home. There would have been quite a to-do had they made their way onto the croquet lawns or the golf club greens.

As you can see the day was murky and overcast, quite windy too.

Sunday, 4 April 2021

It's been ages since I last saw a rainbow.  Now, as we approach winter I suppose I'll see one around every corner.  Hope so.  Wouldn't that be lovely?

Luckily, I was a passenger in my daughter's car when this double beauty presented itself on Thursday evening.  Easter traffic was horrendous in Whangarei, it seemed like everybody who lives south of us was heading north for the long weekend.  At the time it was raining lightly and between trying to avoid the sweep of the windscreen wipers and the passing power poles, I didn't have much of a chance to get a decent shot, but it was the best I could do.

We had a bit of a storm later that night, then the weather cleared for Easter and we've enjoyed glorious weather since.

My son's football club were celebrating their 75th anniversary over Easter so the good weather was appreciated by many.  Two games of rugby for me over the weekend, haven't done that since my boys played.  The first game was a regular fixture for the senior team against the team my boys used to play for.  My son coaches this team so he was happy as they had a big win.

You know you're in a rural area when the rope to keep spectators off the field is held up with electric fence standards.

That's my son in the middle of the half time huddle in the cap.  And his farm working boots!  Guess he was in a hurry, running late to get away from the farm.  I hope he was telling them they needed to tighten up on discipline (as this armchair critic thought)!

The next day's game was for the 'masters' which seems to be the acceptable term for what we used to call the golden oldies.  The best former club players Vs former representative players.  The players in the local team appeared to be a fair bit younger that the former reps but what the older guys lacked in dark hair they made up for in skill.  I guess when you have the skills to represent your region, those skills never leave you.  A couple of them still had a good turn of speed, too.  

My father used to enter the "Find the Ball' competition in the paper every week.  There'd be an action football photo and you had to place an X where you thought the ball would be in the photo.  He's tell us you had to follow the players eyes, see where they were looking.  Can you mark the spot?

It went that way.

No, wait, maybe it was this way.

Any clue?

On Saturday night my daughter-in-law catered for a formal dinner for 170 guests, with her daughters as her assistants.  I'm of no use in the kitchen, stayed home and enjoyed listening to the music and happy voices drifting across from the hall.  It's been a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

Beds and tautology

Margaret has inspired me.  I simply haven't been able to find anything blog worthy to write about.  Then I read about making beds and I'm trotting off down memory lane.

As a child, our beds had to be made before we left for school, no matter how we protested that it would make us late and "I was making my bed", to the nuns, was not an acceptable excuse.  Even when we were at high school and "I'll miss the train" was the cry and there wasn't another for half an hour,  those beds still had to be made.  After missing the train once and being very late for school I quickly learned to allow just a few more minutes for that bedmaking.

I shared a bedroom with my sister and got into the routine of having my bed made and be well clear of the bedroom before she made hers or there would be a sisterly squabble (polite way of saying all in fight) as she just threw the cover over the tangled sheets and got away with it.  I don't know if I was more annoyed about her not doing it right (in my book) or not being chastised for the sloppiness. I guess Mum with her horde of children just wanted the beds to look made.

I'm trying to remember who taught me how to do hospital corners.  I think it may have been my grandmother.  I don't know why Esme missed out on that lesson, the next younger sister is still a real hospital corner-er.  I know that all my life I've believed that is the only way to make a bed properly.  I drilled it into my children.  Or at least I did my best to.  Don't think I was very successful with the boys.  When my oldest son was 16 he went to board at Flock House, an agricultural and farm training school and I upped the level of bed making supervision.  I wasn't about to be shamed by any lack of skill on his part.  I was delighted when we made our first visit (Flock House was about an 8 hour drive from where we lived) and he showed us around his room.  I admired his beautifully made bed, had my proud mum moment as he lifted the cover to show me the smooth sheets beneath and explained Matron inspected the beds every morning and there were consequences if the bottom sheet was messy and the covers just thrown over the bed.  Even I thought that was a bit harsh but he explained you soon learn how to lift your bum when you turn over so you don't mess up the sheets.

I think it might be because of that hospital corner thing, being proud of a well made bed that has lead to me having a weakness for good bed linen.  It's one of the very few things in which I indulge myself.  At the time of purchase, sheets I bought in 1989 were unbelievably expensive, a total indulgence.  But I parted with the last one just last week.  Well, not completely parted.  I cut away the material that I couldn't see through and kept it for cleaning cloths.

Luckily, my younger daughter had given me a set of beautiful sheets for Christmas.  And my grandson had given me a lovely pair of pillow cases and one of those dressy blankets that you casually drape across your bed to give it that air of elegance.  I don't think I do 'the drape' properly.  I'm afraid my interior design fashion sense is still back in the 50s and 60s and I prefer a spare blanket to be folded neatly across the foot of the bed.

Our days are a little cooler, soon it will be time to swap out the bedlinen for winter.

While I'm rabbiting on about my old fashioned ways...

On a quiz show I was watching last night a question came up asking a contestant to identify an adverb from a list of four words, you know A,B,C or D.  The youngish contestant looked blank and the quizz master asked him had he done any parsing at school to which the contestant looked totally blank.

Shortly afterwards on the News a commentator said, "I personally" and I thought they could make a quiz question about that these days.  Then.  Horror!  I couldn't remember what that was called when you say the same thing twice with different words, like close proximity (one of my pet hates).  

While I was looking it up, it dawned on me I was wasting my time because who cares these days?  Only old dinosaurs like me.  Grammar has gone to hell in a handbasket, most newsreaders and journalists take no care with the words they choose.  Our Prime Minister mispronounces words constantly and my grandchildren imitate that pronunciation.

I thought having a rant would make me feel better.  It's just riled me up.  And was it necessary to add "up" at the end of that sentence?  Oh, I know, I know, everyday usage and all that, English is a living language, yeah, yeah.  I'm going now.

PS  I have no idea why there are different colours highlighted in this post.  Blogger is conspiring against me.

Saturday, 20 March 2021

Smiley scam

I don't think life hasn't been any duller than usual, I've just had less energy to ignore it.  I'm sure that must make sense to someone.  Otherwise, too bad.

I've been lacking distractions.  Maybe my vision has narrowed and I haven't been seeing them.

I got cross with myself for tripping over and doing myself an injury.  I'm glad to say it looked a lot worse than it was but I refused to go anywhere with my bruises and black eye.  Being housebound gave me a bad case of apathy.  Sometimes I feel like giving myself a good shake but just can't be bothered.  

My Gran would sometimes refer to a "sorry state of affairs" and that's what I found myself saying when the best thing to happen all day was an email which opened as follows:

 Dear Mr. Find Sex For One Night here! 

Someone sure got the wrong address!

I thought that was hysterically funny then became alarmed thinking hysteria is a sign of anxiety, not apathy.  Maybe I'm anxious about my apathy.

I'm amusing myself now.  I feel better.

Monday, 22 February 2021


I heard a beach mentioned, thought oh yeah, I know where that is.  But when I came to think about it, I couldn't remember what it looked like.  I have a clear recollection of attending a Christmas party at a workmate's house there, around 15 years ago, can remember the house and everyone at the party clearly but not what the beach looks like.   Maybe I didn't go to the beach?

The day was warm and clear and the more I thought about it, the more I felt like going for a drive on a road that meanders along a narrow peninsula not far from Whangarei, past beaches and through very pleasant countryside, to Taiharuru.

Still waters of an inlet on the left

Waves crashing onto rocks on the right

I found the house where I had once partied and remembered catching a glimpse of the beach as I turned into my host's street. This time I got out of the car and had a good look around.  And consulted my map.  For years I've had an excellent map of Northland.  It's now been unfolded and refolded so many times it is in pieces.  I use Google Maps a lot, wonderful for finding my way to somewhere unfamiliar but you have to know where you are headed, right?  I had entered Taiharuru into my phone Maps but the street sign told me I was at Mc Gregor's Bay.  I now know it is also known at Taiharuru Bay.  Luckily, I'd stopped at the tourist information centre as I headed out of town and replaced my old map.  I was delighted to find a newer version of the same map.  Nothing can replace a paper map in my book for giving you the bigger picture, for seeing the lay of the land, the geography.

Looking left from the carpark

Looking right.  The little boy was obviously familiar with the beach at high tide.  He stopped and waited for a wave to recede before scampering around past the rocks.

My paper map told me I would come to Taiharuru Heads if I followed the road to the end and sure enough a few kms along the road, only about 50km from home, there it was.  Well worth the drive.

On my way back home I turned up one of the very few side roads, Mc Rae Road.  It was signposted as if it were a public road but only a little way along there was a farm gate.  It was open but made me think perhaps I'd come to private land.   I ventured a little further until I came to another gate.  The map shows the road runs down to the water on the inlet side.  I must find out if it's a public road and, if so, make another visit.

View from the second gate up Mc Rae Road

Friday, 12 February 2021

Thanks, Shubham

I'm going all modern today.  I have something to share!

I spent nearly an hour trying to get an online order to go through and even after all the fiddling around (I've resisted using a ruder word) the checkout used my old address, rather than the one I'd changed it to.

And you know how hard it can be to find contact information for some of these mail order sites, don't you?  I managed, this time, surprisingly quickly.  And within 5 minutes I had a reply.  

I was truly impressed.

Shubham must have found my email to her exceedingly old fashioned.

I was feeling my age a little after a busy morning and had a little nap.  Now I'm feeling positively ancient.

She replied:

"Hey Pauline,
Thanks for reaching out. I hope you're having a good one!

I've updated the address on your order and it would be delivered to the address you've shared. 

Let me know if anything else.



Saturday, 6 February 2021

Lost and found

I'm sure it happens to everyone at some time.  Something is not where it should be.  Because I've always been a little forgetful I have developed the habit of always putting things away in what I decree as their rightful place.  Well, obviously not always.  

I remember many years ago accusing my teenage daughter of taking my newly purchased black pantyhose.  I knew where they should be and they weren't there, so in my mind, someone must have moved them.  In this case I don't have anyone else to blame.  Although, I must confess I checked the deep freeze which is where the pantyhose were finally found - under the tub of ice-cream.  No ice-cream this time round and no missing album either.

When my third child was born I started a little album with the details of when each of my children reached their milestones - when they got their first tooth, first words at what age, when they crawled, walked, etc.  I had one for each of them but this one had all the info in the one place and it's been the one I've referred to most over the years.

Now that third child has reached fatherhood (a slow developer in that respect) and he's interested in how his child compares to himself as a baby - and I can't find The Book.  I know I've looked at it since I moved in July, so it's in the house somewhere.  (I also have some stuff in boxes in the shed.)

It's obviously getting at me because last night I had a dream of where to find it and bounded out of bed joyously this morning only to have my dreams dashed.

I'm so cross with myself but it's not helping at all.

I pray it is just misplaced, not lost.

To cheer myself I sat down and looked through my wedding notebook that I've kept for nearly 55 years.

I thought absolutely everything to do with my wedding was written in there.  I see the material for my going away outfit cost $12, my hat a further $5.50, shoes 70 cents (yes, really!)  The material for my Kitchen Tea outfit cost $8.12, another pair of shoes for 70 cents, and new gloves cost $1.25.  Isn't it odd that gloves cost so much more than shoes?   I made both outfits myself but had a dressmaker make my wedding dress.  I haven't recorded the details, I'd guess because the material was bought on layby a fair while in advance and the dressmaker was a friend of a friend's parents and made a gift of her services.

I've also recorded a list of expenses for the groom.  Church fees which I remember were not a set price but a donation to the church and was to be put in a plain envelope and handed to the priest without attracting attention, marriage licence ( £1/1/-) organist and church singer ( £1/1/- each), I was married in June and Australia introduced decimal currency during the previous February and some costs were still quoted in pounds sterling.  On the list was gifts for attendants, flowers for groomsmen and fathers, bouquets for bridesmaids and mothers.  However, my groom escaped the flowers costs as a cousin of my mother's gifted me the flowers and my bridesmaids and I made up the bouquets and corsages ourselves the night before the wedding.  I remember how we handled them so carefully on the Big Day, knowing they could easily fall apart.

There were a few blank pages at the back of the notebook where I wrote my first few weeks' housekeeping expenses as a married woman.  In the first week I spent $25.32 of my $27.95 pay packet and that included $4.25 for a gift and wrapping paper.  I wonder who received the gift?  I wonder what the equivalent of the saved $2.63 would be in today's money.  And yes, I banked it, the book says so.

What the missing book says remains a secret!

Tuesday, 2 February 2021

Long weekend road trip

Nothing better than a road trip with loved ones to visit more loved ones.  

For various reasons I've missed attending nearly all my grandson's birthdays but this year my son and his wife planned to attend Aiden's 10th birthday party so I hitched a ride with them.

My daughter pulled out all the stops, everything was perfect.  Except for the wind, even Justine can't control the wind.  There was plenty of sunshine but the wind made it quite cold outside.  Not that Aiden and his mates felt the cold, they didn't sit still all afternoon.  Apparently, nerf guns are all the go with 10 yr old boys.  I thought that funny - I remember very clearly being admonished for making a pistol shape with my fingers and blowing imaginary smoke off the end of it in front of the child when he was a toddler.  I try to be a good grandmother but it's been difficult at times.

The birthday boy and his dad enjoying a private moment.

Birthday parties sure have evolved.  It would never have dawned on me to go to so much trouble for a child's party.  Mind you, everything I would have given my kids to eat would be frowned upon by the PC brigade, whereas all the edible offerings here were healthy.  Pretty sure it was all lost on the boys but the parents in attendance were impressed.

Must share a few comments from his mates that I overheard when Aiden was opening his presents.
"If you've already read it, I strongly recommend you sell it." (latest Harry Potter book)
"My mother bought it, don't shame me." 
"Oh no, I don't have that one, wish I'd kept it for myself." (as he opened a set of soccer cards that all the boys collect)

The boys sleeping quarters

The wind may have been strong in Taranaki but we had two absolutely perfect summer days for both the trip down and the return.  And, although we were travelling home on the last day of a long weekend, we had very few traffic holdups.  We must have fluked the best hours to be on the highway.  And it was a fluke because if my son had a planned departure time I blew that out of the water when I slept late.  

Westhaven Marina and Auckland city from the Harbour Bridge on Friday

Can't remember the name of this little coastal holiday spot on SH 3 on Monday.

Hah!  You thought you were going to get away without we showing you the mountain, didn't you?  Never.  I love that mountain in all seasons.  The snow has all gone but this mountain loves to show off, he wrapped a pretty cloud around his neck and let it float away in the breeze.