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  I was delighted to find a newer version of the same map.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.