Monday, 26 August 2019

By the beach

I had a night at the beach which is only 40 minutes away but the lifestyle is a bit of a contrast.  I stayed with my daughter in a renovated old house sitting right on the harbour.  Road access was up a little side street I've driven past for years and had no idea the beach was just on the other side of the houses.  

Most of the houses along that side of the road have gates opening on to the grassed verge to allow boat access to the harbour.

Saturday was a changeable day.  Brilliant sunshine one minute, then dark clouds, blustery winds and heavy showers.  

Looking to the left towards the marina entrance

Around a bit to the right is the Marsden Point Oil Refinery.  There was a huge container ship at the wharf.

The light constantly changed throughout the day.

The interesting, craggy peaks on the other side of the harbour are Mt Manaia at Whangarei Heads.  The legend is they represent the family of a Maori ancestor who were turned to stove through ritual chants in a dispute over the infidelity of his wife.  

Sight of the weekend for me was seeing this magnificent sight going slowly down the channel heading out to sea.  I'm pretty sure it is the R. Tucker Thompson, an iconic tall ship which is usually based in the Bay of Islands.  A few minutes after I took this they had another two sails up and were picking up speed quickly. 

Sunday, 18 August 2019


I don't know how there are any flowers left on my rhododendron tree, there are so many carpeting the ground below it.  The wind has been strong today and the little flowers being blown against the windows are making little pitter patter sounds.

I have lovely flowers inside the house, too, thanks to my younger daughter who I met in Matakana for lunch on Friday.  She had been in Auckland to speak at an event she organised and we'd arranged a catch up along with Caralee, her guest speaker from the Gold Coast in Australia and Caralee's mother.  

Justine and Caralee are Instagram bloggers (I think that's what's they're called). It's a whole world of stuff I don't understand.  They both write about healthy eating and lifestyles.  And the number of people who read their posts and follow them is astonishing.  Caralee has published a few cook books and has 12,100 followers.  My daughter has 3,900 which I thought was pretty out there until I met Caralee!  

Anyway, I now have a lovely, modern cook book - professional photos, high quality paper with pretty basic, healthy recipes and Master Chef presentation.  I think it belongs on the coffee table more than in the kitchen where I'd worry about getting it messy.

Mothers and daughters enjoyed a first class lunch at the restaurant at the Sculptureum in Matakana.  If I close my eyes I can still see (and taste) that beef cheek.

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Spy camera

My camera is still being temperamental.  I suspect the 'fix' was temporary.   The cell phone takes OK photos but doesn't perform as binoculars as well as the camera does.  With my eyesight not as sharp as it used to be, I'm now in the habit of reaching for the camera when I want a closer look at something.

Something caught my eye on the farm the other day.  A flash of white where there shouldn't be any.  I used the phone and the result was no help whatsoever in identifying the white thing - it had moved!  So my guess was it was a vehicle across on the side road.

But I quite like the photo I got anyway.  The little white you can see on the left is a puddle from recent rain. 

Oh yes, there has been a lot of rain.  Today we're having several seasons in one day.  This morning was warm and sunny.  I heard the roll of distant thunder as I was heading home from the lodge.  An hour or so later a poor excuse for a storm passed over us,  now it is dull, overcast a bit windy and getting cold.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Early morning in the bush

It's not often that I go to the lodge early in the morning.  Let's face it I don't do anything much early in the morning.  My 'not a morning person' itis has intensified since I retired.  I nearly said it's got worse but there's nothing bad about it in my book.  

The way I look at it is I appreciate early morning delights all the more because of their rarity.  I must be getting old, I said that without smirking.

The sun peeking around the corner had the ferns glowing. 

and around the corner ...

Friday, 2 August 2019

The big box

A neighbour picked up some serving bowls, plates and cutlery for the lodge on the last day of a sale in town.  One of the lovely big plates was the last in the shop and we wondered if I might be able to get a couple more on line.  Yes, I could - at the sale price, too.

I pondered the wisdom of having them delivered by post but reasoned if a store sells china online they must know a thing or two about packaging.  And it made more sense to have it posted than to make a trip to town to pick them up.  Our road is in a terrible state at the moment and I sometimes feel guilty when I use it and add to its deterioration.  The mailman will be coming along the road regardless.  I pity the poor man - and the school bus driver - who have to drive it every weekday.  Let's hope that our neighbourhood letter of complaint to the council doesn't fall on deaf ears.  Last time someone complained the council sent out a truck load of gravel and two men with shovels to fill in the potholes! 

A couple of days later when the mailman arrived at my back door and removed a large box from his van I thought it must be a delivery for the farm.  But, no, it had my name on it and "Fragile" stickers, so I toiled through the many layers of packaging wondering what it was.

I now have enough bubble wrap and brown paper to keep me going for life, I think.  I just hope I can iron the wrinkles out of all that lovely brown paper.  There is so much of it, it seems wasteful.    

There was more brown paper in the bottom of the box and my cat has decided that she now has a comfy new home.  I couldn't even get her to open her eyes for a photo.