Success is getting what you want; happiness is liking what you get

Monday, September 30, 2013

Tararua Rodders Hot Rod Show

It was a “Boys Day Out”  yesterday when Geoff and I went to ogle all the fancy cars at the Hot Rod Show.  Just by way of any example of what was on show was this 1948 Ford Club Coupe, which has been completely rebuilt over the last 16 years.  The running gear has been fully restored, together with the 351 Ford Cleveland engine, the upholstery renewed, and the original paint was stripped right back.  It is now painted in Ford’s Phantom purple.

P9290018 1948 Ford Club Coupe

There were many fine examples too many to choose, but another that took my interest was a pick-up truck that had been completely reworked and looked like it had a lot of Dollars spent on it.

P9290014
The show was a case just about every vehicle was V8 powered.

There was only one caravan in the show that I saw, so I had to take a photo it. The retro look of the 1960s Lilliput caravan towed by an appropriate car of a similar era looked classy together.

P9290016 Lilliput Gazelle Caravan all decked out retro style

Another area that was right up our ally was an area outside where some extreme 4X4 vehicles were showing off their paces over a couple of mounds of dirt. We both would have had a go at that as we both done 4 Wheel driving previously.

P9290021 Highly modified 4X4 Toyota (I think!)

We also met an old work mate of mine who just happens to have a very valuable 1960s Bathurst Holden Monaro and was cruising around the show.

A good way to spent a wet Sunday morning.

Friday, September 27, 2013

In case we forget

Now we have joined the ranks of the retired, we realise that we are slowly getting older.  Creaky knees seem to go hand in hand with grey hair, these days.  Hopefully we are not starting to forget things – wouldn’t that be awful!  But just in case we forget our name, help is on hand.  All we have to do is check on the outside wall of our villa.  But we may still forget things – now just where did we leave those keys? 

P9270001
Robin knows he did not quite get it centred on the brick, he said he was too busy making sure it was level!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Life returns to normal

After weeks of watching the America’s Cup races on TV each morning,  it is now all over.   Last week the country was buoyed up with a large lead on the scoreboard, and it only seemed a matter of a day or two until Team New Zealand had the cup firmly in their hands.  But it was not to be, and over the last week Team Oracle won race after race, and our advantage was whittled away.  Today was  “Do or Die”, the last race in the series with both teams on 8 points each.  Congratulations to Team Oracle who won so convincingly.  And commiserations to Dean Barker and Team New Zealand, who sailed their hearts out, but it wasn’t to be.  We are so proud of the gutsy effort they put into their racing, day after day, in very challenging conditions.  Too much wind, not enough wind, fog, mishaps, whatever was thrown at them, they met it head on. 

So there will be no more watching TV at 8.00am every morning, while we eat our breakfast.  We all became armchair sailors, marvelling at the speed of those huge catamarans as they zipped through the water standing up on those tall foils.  It wasn’t sailing as it used to be, with these huge, quite fragile high tech craft.   The race is now over, and life returns to normal.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wellington City

A couple of appointments today in the Capital city meant a reasonably early morning drive of 90km each way.  Luckily most of the commuters had driven to work several hours earlier, so our traffic consisted of vans, trucks, buses and shoppers.  “We won’t need our coats”, I glibly asserted before we set out.  Was I wrong – the rain was bucketing down by the time we had reached Wellington.  So much for our plans of parking the car up somewhere or other, and travelling through the city by bus, we would get drenched while we waited for a bus to arrive.  On to Plan B and drive through the city to both places, hoping to get a handy park each time.

P9250001 Wellington in the rain

One appointment down, and another to go, but we had plenty of time for a long lunch.  The Bordeaux French Bakery is so handy to the Eye Specialist, so there was no choice really but climb the steps and be transported into a place packed with Parisian delights.

P9250007 Now, what shall we chose for lunch?

Choices are never easy, and after I walked up and down the counter, peering at all those goodies, and reading the descriptive cards, I finally chose a toasted bagel with salmon and cream cheese.  Robin had no trouble making up his mind, and his choice was one of the spicy Barvarian barbecued sausages which we could see slowly turning over on a bed of rollers, served in a bread roll with mustard and plum sauce.  And you could hardly expect us to eat at a French Bakery without ordering one of those delicious pastries for dessert, would you?
.
The eye specialist had a new fangled machine only days old and the technician was having “learner driver” troubles with it.  She called in a staff member to help, then another, so there were three of them leaning over the controls.  All the while I sitting up straight with my chin on the chin rest trying hard not to move position, while concentrating on the blue flashing light.  Finally they got the hang of the new contraption and the photos of my eyes were sent through to the specialist’s computer for him to view.  Then it was his turn to shine bright lights at me as he gazed into my eyes.  After previous problems with cataracts and a detached retina, my eye health is now very good, I’ll come for another check-up in 12 months.  The only painful part of the appointment was paying the bill!

Leaving wet and windy Wellington City behind us, it was another 90km drive home.  Must admit I had a bit of a senior moment when I was expecting the car to turn off at Ngauranga and up along the Hutt Motorway.  Just as well I wasn’t driving, I’d momentarily forgotten we now live in Levin.  But Robin had his wits about him, and continued homewards bound along the correct route. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Helping the Aussies

There was a “rat-a-tat” on the caravan door on Saturday morning.  The Aussie tourists had got their rental motor-home bogged down in the sodden ground at the Greytown Campground and couldn’t move.  Could someone help them?  Sure, they were told, but not till we had finished  watching the America’s Cup race on TV.  Once the race had concluded, all the blokes went outside to help.  The Aussie started up the engine, put the camper into gear, and five caravanners of assorted shapes and sizes started pushing.  Not that their combined muscles made the least little difference, the van remained firmly stuck in the mud.

P9210001First they pushed from the back

Perhaps if they rock the motor-home from the front it might relieve some of that pressure and get those wheels loose?  So they tried, and tried, but no – the vehicle was still stuck fast.

P9210002 Then they tried from the front

Onto Plan C.  Just as well Robin has a big grunty 4WD – he could tow it out.  He backed the Toyota Landcruiser to the front of the stranded motor-home but………..  what shall we use to pull it out?  Did anyone have a rope?  Luckily Peter had one tucked away, and it was soon attached.

P9210004 Attaching the tow rope

Robin accelerated slowly and carefully and the rope tightened.  Success at last, the motor-home was freed from the muddy site.  But the moral of the story is that Robin put his towing strop in the 4WD as soon as we returned home – you never know when it might be needed again.

P9210006 Landcruiser to the rescue

The Aussie campers were pleased to freed and could finally get on their travels again.  It turns out that they are olive growers from Yackandandah, Victoria.  As a token of appreciation for our help, he gave our group a couple of packets of Dukkah which his company produces.  That certainly made for quite a different type of nibbles later in the afternoon at 4zees.  We purchased some French Bread from  the trendy French Bakery up town, plus a bottle of extra virgin olive oil.  Not everyone had tried Dukkah and olive oil before so we had a quick run down of how to taste it.  With the bread cut into rounds, take one and dip it in the bowl of oil.  Then dip the oiled bread into a dish of Dukkah, and enjoy.  We had two to try, golden spicy nut made with macadamia nuts and sesame seed, and the darker olive and tomato variety.   Mmmm, just love those tasty Mediterranean flavours. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Greytown Campground

The falling rain and sodden grounds didn’t dampen our weekend rally one little bit.  There was a roomy kitchen area available, and we certainly made good use if it over the weekend.  Sadly, this time around, the weather was not fine enough to sit outside.  Most of us wandered up to the local shopping area in the rain on Saturday morning to spend a few dollars and help the local economy.   Greytown is one of those “trendy” shopping towns, and attracts a lot of weekend shoppers.  We like to visit the local independent butcher when we are camping here, who produces a great range of tasty gourmet sausages, black puddings and salamis.  I couldn’t help myself and bought up large, enough for several extra tasty meals.  Just up the street from the butcher, we noticed a rather unusual car for sale on the back of a truck.  Anyone looking for a racing car?
 P9210007 For sale in Greytown

Everyone joined in with the “brain teasers” on Saturday night, although we noticed that some brains worked better than others.  The judges decision was loudly challenged at times when the answers were given, but it was all good fun.  Although we sometimes have to wonder at the thought processes of some of our members.  The ladies put their baking skills  to the test and brought along a plate of their favourite home made slice for a shared supper.

President Derek had a pleasant duty to perform on Sunday morning when he welcomed new members Barry and Dianne into our club.  They had attended the obligatory three rallies with our club members and we didn’t scare them off, so that was good.  We hope they enjoy many happy years caravanning with our club.

P9220009 Derek welcoming Barry and Dianne into our club

After an early lunch, we all packed off and headed for home.  The rain was still falling as we sloshed around in the wet and soggy grass doing those jobs which must be completed, hooking up the van, winding up the legs, then it was “goodbye all”, and off we went.  Our journey took us north through Carterton and Masterton, and up and over the Pahiatua Track.  Just as well Robin was concentrating hard on his driving over this narrow, windy part of the journey, as a large number of big bulky milk tankers came barrelling towards us, on the way from Fonterra’s Pahiatua site.  Every morning, New Zealand farmer shareholders milk their cows, the milk is stored in refrigerated vats on the farms and collected daily by the large tankers.  Fonterra’s Pahiatua site processes 1.4 million litres of milk each day from farms across Northern Hawkes Bay to Southern Wairarapa and Wellington, turning it into 55,000 tonnes of whole milk powder each year.  We think we must have met most of those large tankers on our way home.

We met plenty of these on the road

The rain clouds followed us home all the way, and we dodged showers as we unpacked the caravan. In came the food, the clothes, the big bag of laundry that needs dealing with.  Another rally weekend over, but no matter the weather, it is always great to get away.

P9220014 Dark clouds on the drive home

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Tootling down to Greytown

Friday morning it was goodbye to Pahiatua and hello Greytown, an easy drive down through the Wairarapa.  Greytown Campground is in such a pretty setting, with native tuis and woodpigeons very easy to spot in the as they fly around the tall trees.  Neil and Ann Smith are the new camp managers and have already made many improvements to the facilities and camp sites. 

P9200041 Greytown Campground

We all arrived early on Friday afternoon, and the eagle eyed blokes soon spotted that Peter and Elaine had a new car.  “Want to look under the bonnet?”, Peter asked.  There was no stopping them, it was like bees to a honeypot, nothing beats checking out a mate’s new car purchase.

P9200030 What’s under here?

The campground is set in the historical Soldiers Memorial Park, and the land was purchased in 1920 with money raised by the community.  The adjacent O'Connor's bush, 8ha, is one of the last remnants of lowland forest in Wairarapa, with huge totara, matai, titoki, and tawa trees, some up to 400 years old.  This tranquil area provides food and shelter for many native birds, tuis, wood pigeons,  fantails and grey warblers.  The sports field, croquet green, tennis courts, children's playground and camping ground were added largely by community working bees and helped by various grants.  In 1922 117 lime trees were planed to commemorate the 117 soldiers from the community who died in World War One.

P9200036 Impressive Memorial Gates to the Motor Camp

P9200035Native trees in the adjacent O'Connor's Bush

The sunny Friday weather came to an abrupt and in the evening when lightning lit up the skies and thunder boomed overhead.    The campgrounds soon became sodden and we sloshed across the muddy grass all weekend, but that was nothing compared to disruptions the storm caused over the hill in Wellington.  Power was out in many areas, the heavy rain caused flooding, and   some flights in and out of Wellington Airport were cancelled.  Our little band of campers got off quite lightly, by the sound of it.  And Muffy slept blissfully through each and every thunderclap, curled up safe and sound in the caravan.
 Fork lightning over Wellington. Photo / Twitter.com/charcarruthers
Fork lightning over Wellington. Photo / Twitter.com/charcarruthers

Friday, September 20, 2013

Pahiatua Golf Club

We were all packed up and on our way, leaving Levin behind to travel north and then through the winding Manawatu Gorge, stopping at Woodville for a few necessary purchases.   As an avid book reader, I was quite amused to see this quote by Groucho Marx painted on the wall of the local bookshop.

P9190016Sign seen at Woodville

Just a few km heading south, we turned off SH2 into the beautifully manicured grounds of the Pahiatua Golf Club, our overnight stop on the way to the caravan club rally at Greytown.  The car park was full of golfers who had arrived to take part in the Thursday afternoon “Haggle”.  They were organised into teams and off they went, teeing off, and pulling their golf trolleys behind them.   

P9200027 Our overnight stop

A couple of hours later they straggled back from the golf course, loaded up their bags of clubs back into their cars, and went into the club rooms to the bar.  One of the men knocked on our caravan door and invited us to join them in the bar, so we did.  The golfers were a bit taken aback when I walked into the bar with Robin.  One of the golfers was all set to tell a risqué joke, and was worried that as the lone female in a bar full of blokes, I might be offended.  “Go right ahead”, I said, “I belong to a caravan club and hear all sorts of jokes”, so out came the one about the bull-frog.  Not to be outdone, Robin raced back downstairs to retrieve a joke from the caravan, one he was planning to tell at our usual Friday night get-together, and proceeded to read it out to all the golfers.

P9190018 Robin reading his joke to the golfers

It wasn’t till well after 5.00pm that the golfers finally finished their drinks and drove off home, leaving the car park clear so we could finally manoeuvre our caravan into place for the evening closer to the building. 

P9200019 Parked overnight at Pahiatua Golf Club

We strolled through the lovely grounds the next morning.  The grounds around the club rooms were heavily planted with flowering shrubs and trees, I noticed some Camellias, Daphne and Ericas.  Young lambs were feeding close by, including an interesting looking piebald black and white lamb.

P9200023 Unusual black and white lamb

P9208108 Robin spotted a rabbit hiding in the grass

And down by the gate there was a rowing boat going absolutely nowhere with Sailor Ed at the helm.  In fact, that waterway looks rather uninviting, don’t you think?

P9208111 Sailor Ed in his boat

Many Golf Clubs offer their grounds for campers to stay overnight.  These facilities usually offer power, water, showers and toilets, (although there was no power available at this particular club) and the prices for an overnight stay is very reasonable.  As well as bringing much needed extra funds into the club coffers, campers get to stay somewhere safe overnight in pleasant surroundings.  We also provide extra security, just by being there.  It is a win-win situation all around

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Time to pack the Caravan again

It’s a great feeling to know that if we want to go away for an extra day or two over a caravan club weekend, we can.  And why not?  The sun is shining, the road is calling, and tomorrow we are off, towing our holiday home behind us.  Most of the packing is done, with just the perishables to go in tomorrow.  Plus the cat of course.  We are spending the weekend at Greytown, in the Wairarapa, but with having an extra day we will stay one night somewhere or other on the way.  Wonder where we will end up?  Then we will join our caravan club buddies for a fun weekend.  Sounds pretty good to us.

As Brad Pitt stated “I always liked those moments of epiphany, when you have the next destination”.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Just in case you ever wondered?

 

Ever wondered just how many days you have been on this earth?  According to fellow blogger Jean, who learnt all about this vexing question, she provided the link so we can all find out.  Simply enter your birth date, and it will tell you in days or years, and the day of the week you were born.

http://korn19.ch/coding/days.php

Being a little older and wiser than Robin I can boast 24801 days, which is 3543 weeks and 0 days.  That's 67 years and 329 days, including 17 leap years,  in other words, 815.03 months.  I was born on a Tuesday, my last birthday was a Tuesday and my  next one (coming soon, don’t forget the cards and presents) will be on a Wednesday.

Robin has been around for 24112 days, which is 3444 weeks and 4 days.  That's 66 years and 5 days, including 17 leap years,  792.17 months.  He was born on a Friday, his last birthday was a Thursday  and his next one will be on a Friday.

So how is that for some useless information? 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Back Yard Duties

We’ve been busy working away in the back yard, finishing off the raised garden.  The new shrubs were planted, I chose two different flowering hebes because the bees just love them.  The weed mat is down, that’s a necessity for people like us who don’t really like gardening at all.  Then a good covering of bark chips and there, an easy care garden.  Those bark chips don’t go far, we purchased two bags then had to go back and buy another one.  The garden then got a good watering, and hopefully everything will thrive.

P9140019 Watering the back garden

As the shrubs start to grow into sturdy little bushes, they will fill up the garden nicely.  We may well add a couple more small trees or shrubs, and we are keeping our fingers crossed that the transplanted kowhai trees will survive.  I like the look of bark gardens, as it certainly cuts down on the weeding.

P9140020 Flowering shrubs to keep the bees happy

Danny the Caretaker and his son arrived to do a bit more work on our back lawn.  There are a couple of bare patches which need attention.  When our extra concreting jobs were done, the contractors dug out the unwanted soil as they prepared and boxed up for concreting.  There it sat in two piles until Robin used it up in the raised gardens.    Danny and his son raked the ground and sprinkled grass seed around, requesting that we keep it watered.  No problem, Robin can do that.  Now, where is that sprinkler?  He looked high and low but couldn’t find it anywhere.  It’s not in the garage, or down in the almost empty lock-up.  Perhaps it was one of the many things we sold for next to nothing at the garage sale, thinking we would never need it again?  Who knows.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Spot the Difference

Thanks to fellow caravanner and blog reader Geoff for giving us the “thumbs up” after reading about the purchase of our new pale blue Toyota.  Can anyone else see what is wrong with this photo?

P9040013 Something is not quite right

As Geoff pointed out, the wheel trims are not the same on this side of the car.  We hadn’t noticed that while checking out our new purchase.  Consequently, the car was driven down to the dealership, and the difference politely pointed out.  What could they do about it?  As it turned out, they were aware of the problem, had ordered a new wheel trim and it was ready and waiting.  But….. they couldn’t quite remember which car it was for, probably because we had since taken this car home.  Now, why couldn’t they have told us that at time of purchase, we wondered?  Never mind, the trim was speedily replaced and we were on our way, happy little campers again.
 P9120004 That’s better, matching wheel trims

The car was supplied without a copy of the car manual, but we have been assured that the book has been ordered and should be received shortly.  That’s what we want to hear – courteous service goes a long way and makes for happy customers.

Friday, September 13, 2013

That’s a real bloke’s tool

Just how long does a birthday last?  A couple of days, it seems.   The actual birthday yesterday finished with a birthday meal last night to Breakers in Paraparaumu.  There seems to be a chain of of these casual family dining establishments throughout the country and this particular restaurant has only recently opened.  It was doing good business and we noticed that most of the tables had been reserved for reasonably sized groups.  The meal was tasty, in fact we had the steak special of two for the price of one!

Today we drove up to Bunnings in Palmerston North to get Robin his new Ryobi drill.  For those who want to know the specs:
Compact Drill Driver Kit, 4.0ah Lithium Battery & 1.5ah Lithium Battery, 2 speeds, 24 torque settings, LED light and on board accessory holder, 2 batteries, and comes with a carrier bag.  It all sounds rather technical to me, but it was just what he wanted.  So why not – he will be able to potter around to his heart’s content.

P9130007Robin’s birthday pressie

We bought a few things for the back garden, they will probably get dealt with later.  As for now, it’s just about time for a cuppa and a piece of that birthday cake.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

He’s been waiting a long time

It’s Happy Birthday to Robin today, another year older but still hale and hearty and enjoying life.  After all – he’s not that old!  We started off the day with sautéed mushrooms on toast for breakfast, then he opened up his birthday cards and a couple of gifts.  The presents covered the necessities of life, he said, a large jar of home made pickled onions, a pack of his favourite Tui beer, and a large quantity of chocolate!  What more could a man want on his birthday? 

P9120002 Happy Birthday to Robin

Actually, there was something else he wanted, and he has been waiting years and years.  As he keeps reminding me every birthday.  Each year, he trots out the story of one particular birthday quite some time ago when I had promised him a home made carrot cake, but didn’t get around to making it.  Why?  Who knows, that part of the story is lost in the mists of time after all these years.  So finally, this birthday he finally gets his wish.  Here it is at last, a carrot cake with cream cheese icing,

P9120006 He’s been waiting a long time for this

There’s another birthday gift coming, but he has to buy it for himself.  That way he will get exactly what he wants.  Robin wants (needs) a new battery drill and has been checking out possibilities and different brands.  He’s whittled the choices down and we now need to travel to a larger town to make the purchase.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

First drive in the new car

I took my first “solo” drive in the new blue car yesterday.  After many years of happily driving  around suburbia in Lazuli it felt strange driving a different vehicle.  This one has six gears, for goodness sake, although I suspect 5 and 6 could well be for travelling on the open road.  I’m certainly not going to worry about them for a while.  Robin sent me on my way full of good advice.  The clutch pedal must be depressed when the motor is turned on or else the car will not start.   I should be able to remember that.  Starting off slowly, I drove carefully out of the village -  I wouldn’t want to knock over any of the other old folks who live here.  Luckily they were all inside their homes having a nice cup of tea and I didn’t see a soul as I went on my way.

It always takes a little while to get the feel of the gears, and most importantly, just how sensitive the brake pedal is.  Must admit it is an easy car to drive, and I parked up without mishap in the shopping centre car park.  Locking the car with the remote was a new experience for me, and off I went, shopping list in hand to complete a few purchases.  Out with the remote on my return, the lights flashed and I opened the door and climbed back in.  That was easy.

OK, I remembered to press the clutch pedal down, but why wont the key go in?  Perhaps I’m putting it in the wrong way?  No, it’s still not going in the key hole.  This is getting embarrassing, I really don’t want to get the cell phone out and ring Robin to come and rescue me on my first time out in the new car.  Then the penny dropped.  I was trying to start the little blue Toyota with the Landcruiser key.  Ooops, no wonder it wasn’t going to work.  Crisis over, and I was soon on my way home.  But we won’t tell Robin, will we?

Monday, September 9, 2013

More to see in Upper Hutt

After checking out historical Golder Cottage yesterday, our SLG friends stopped for a tasty lunch then moved on to Expressions Gallery.  Ashley was organising our day out, and thought we would be interested in the two quite different major exhibitions on show.

The Gloaming exhibition featured sculptures from Johnny Fraser-Allen’s incredible children’s fantasy series.  He has worked at Weta Workshop as a Conceptual Designer, Sculptor and Model Maker since he was a teenager, contributing to such films as King Kong, The Chronicles of Narnia, Tintin and most recently the Hobbit. His work on The Gloaming is a combination and celebration of nearly a decades worth of skills learnt in the fantasy special effects industry, and put to use to create his own take on the Faerie mythologies of the world.  There were some rather scary models on display, so we presume that they would appeal to an older age group.  Very young children would no doubt have night-mares!

 
P9080037

The intricate models are real little works of art and have to be seen close up to appreciate the details.  Large photos are also on display and we were told the story behind them  The models were taken  down to the South Island and placed in various areas of  the West Coast Forests, resulting in rather lifelike photos.

P9080041 Models and photos at The Gloaming Exhibition

The second exhibition was more down to earth than woodland creatures and showcased the skill of New Zealand's leading rugby photographer Peter Bush.  Rugby is our national game and has a huge following in this country.  Peter Bush  describes capturing an All Black game as 'a total workout', he chased the game up and down the field, while others set up their cameras and waited for the game to come to them.

P9080045

“Hard on the Heels” featured over 100 images of great All Black moments, games and players over a 60 year period.  The  exhibition was drawn from Bush's vast library of photographs and features personal favourites, the controversial and contentious, alongside humorous, candid behind-the-scenes shots.

P9080047 Checking out some of the rugby photos

P9080048 Running with the ball out of the mist

Photos of players scoring great tries, the team performing the haka, weary players covered in mud, and shower room banter, the photos brought back memories for anyone who follows the game.  And even a non sporty type like me could appreciate the raw talent of tough Kiwi men trying to keep their hands on that bullet shaped ball at all times.  For All Blacks, winning is everything, there is no prize for coming second!

Our SLG friends had a very interesting day out, something for everyone.  Then it was back to Ashley’s home for afternoon tea.  Thanks to Ashley for putting it all together.




Sunday, September 8, 2013

Historic Golder Cottage

Imagine bringing up 12 children in a tiny colonial cottage in the late 1800s.  This was the life of Jane Martin and John Golder who married in 1877.  Jane was the first white girl child born in Upper Hutt.  John built the cottage himself, adding to it over the years as the babies kept coming.  He also made much of the household furniture.  We visited this very interesting little time capsule today with our SLG friends.  Yes, we have visited before some years ago, but we always seem to find something new to see at these sort of places.

P9088085That’s me walking through the door at Golder Cottage

The tiny rooms were crammed with furniture, mementoes and family photos.  The inside of the cottage has not been redecorated and the walls are still covered in scrim.   The beautiful timber dining table is just one of the many items of furniture made by the talented John Golder.  Two wooden mantles in the house were decorated with crotched lace edging with patriotic sayings such as  “God bless our soldiers in the trenches and our sailors on the sea”.

P9080011 Sitting room

P9080025Cooking was done on the coal range

P9080024The tiny scullery

Two tiny bedrooms were up the top of a very steep and narrow staircase.  Goodness knows where all those children slept at night.  Lovely vintage nightgowns and undies were displayed, and hand made rag rugs were scattered about the floors.

P9080019One of the tiny upstairs bedrooms

Sadly, John Golder was killed in 1902 when his horse bolted and the trap overturned.  Jane was left a widow with a very large family and there was no such thing as a Widow’s Pension to help out in those days.  Their eldest son Alexander never married, and helped with bringing up the family.  Jane Golder died in 1942, and the cottage stayed in the family for another 40 or so years when Miss Theresa Golder moved into a rest home at the grand old age of 92.  Ownership of the cottage was transferred to the Upper Hutt City Council to preserve it as part of the city’s heritage.

P9080032 Our group outside Golder Cottage

We admired the gardens and commented that we remembered a huge kowhai tree in the front lawn from our earlier visit.  This had to be removed as the tree trunk was rotten and in danger of falling down.  But a new kowhai tree has been planted in it’s place and is now in full flower.

P9080030 Young kowhai tree in flower

It was a very informative morning, and I helped out with the fundraising with the purchase of a couple of jars of home made jam from the sales table.  The cottage is staffed with volunteers who work hard to keep it going, so every little bit helps.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Who is this rallying in our patch?

No caravan rally for our club this weekend, but the Wellington Caravan Club was holding a rally up here in our home town.  Quite close by, as it turned out, in one of the local Primary schools.  So being the friendly folk we are, we invited ourselves along to their Morning Tea.  As long term club caravanners, we know to take our own cups and the makings with us, and presumably someone would point us in the direction of some boiling water.  Plus we also took along our folding chairs, in case the group was sitting outside in the fresh air.

The members of the Wellington Caravan Club warmly welcomed us and invited us to sit and join them in the Staff Room for Morning Tea.  Found the urn full of boiling water in the kitchen and made the coffees.  Then a plate full of muffins magically appeared and was presented to the VIPs, (that’s us).  We were well acquainted with most of these people so had a very pleasant catch up with them all.  A lot of banter, and a few laughs, and the morning passed pleasantly.  So that’s how we managed to attend a rally, albeit briefly, without actually having our own rally.  It’s not long now till we go away again, our caravan club has a rally planned in just a week or two, over the hill and far away in the Wairarapa.  Yes, we are looking forward to that.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Goodbye Lazuli, Hello ????

It was a wee bit sad to say goodbye to Lazuli.  We had owned the Holden Astra since 1996 and she had given us good and faithful service.  Hardly missing a beat, and over all those years, not a great deal had gone wrong with her.  But Robin thought it was time she went and started looking around for a replacement.  If there is one thing I hate, it is looking around car yards.  So he started hanging about the local car yards, kicking tyres or whatever it is prospective buyers do.  Then I had to go down and see what he had found.  If it was up to me, I would have kept the car for a few more years, after all, it seemed fine to me.  But then – what do I know about cars?  Not much, really.  A few days later we took Lazuli down to the car yard and left her behind.

DSCF5462 Goodbye, Lazuli

Forms were signed, and keys handed over.  Then the sales girl presented us with a big bunch of lilies and a box of chocolates.

P9040010 A thank you for buying the car

The new (to us) purchase is a 2009 Toyota Corolla Hatch Diesel car, painted pale blue called “Shimmer”. 

P9040011 Let’s take it home

“What shall we call the new car”, I wondered aloud, “Let’s call her Shimmer”.  Well, that went down like a wet balloon.  Why do we have to call it anything – it’s only a car, was the reply.  I’m not listening, she will be Shimmer to me!

P9040013 Our new car

We still have the Toyota Landcruiser 4WD of course, what else would we tow the caravan with.  That car doesn’t have a name, but then, it’s a blokes car,isn’t it.