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

Friday, October 31, 2014

First Stop Featherston and a taste of Southern Comfort

It was first stop Featherston when we met up with our SLG friends yesterday at Les and Anne’s home for a cuppa before we set off on our mystery day. 

PA300005 First stop Featherston

Originally we had planned to take the caravan over the hill and stay with Anne and Les for a couple of nights.  But the warning for gale force winds over much of the country and in the Wairarapa in particular made us change our plans to just taking the car over the next day.  Not so lucky were the Joblins who were setting out on a holiday.

CRUNCH:High winds near Mt Bruce flipped a caravan on its side, rolling the towing ute on to its roof. PHOTO/LYNDA FERINGA
High winds near Mt Bruce flipped a caravan on its side, rolling the towing ute on to its roof. PHOTO/LYNDA FERINGA

The Wairarapa Times-Age newspaper reported that a rogue blast of wind has been blamed for blowing away the holiday plans of a Wairarapa couple after flipping their caravan and vehicle soon after they set out yesterday morning.  Bideford farmer Rob Joblin and his wife Deborah were travelling to Waikato in their late-model ute with a quad bike on the back and a caravan in tow, when a gust of wind lifted the near new 6 month old 6.5m caravan and ute and flipped them over.  What a terrifying experience for these people, and we were so pleased that we had decided to play it safe with the weather and stay home the previous day. 

We drove up to trendy Greytown and lunched at the Corner Cafe, a very busy place with quite a steady stream of customers coming through the door.  Plenty of choice on the menu, from fish, burgers, toasted sandwiches, pancakes and home made pies
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At the Corner Cafe

Across the road from the cafe is the “Samuel Oates Gum Tree”, one of three seedlings stolen from a wheelbarrow parked in front of the Rising Sun Hotel in 1856, so the story goes.    Parkvale settler Charles Carter had employed new migrant Samuel Oates and his mate Fairweather to bring a wheelbarrow laden with goods, including two dozen seedling gum trees bought from Sydney over the rough Rimutaka Hill Track.  The men were parched and in dire need of quenching their thirst so stopped for a while at the Rising Sun Hotel.  When they recommenced their journey taking the wheelbarrow to Mr Carter, they noticed that three seedlings were missing.  One seedling was planted here in the grounds of St Luke’s Anglican Church, and the other two planted in the Rakaunui Homestead – since removed as they became dangerous as they aged.  This last remaining Australian Mountain Ash is still going strong and seems very healthy. 

PA300008 Samuel Oates Gum Tree in St Luke’s Anglican Church grounds

Next stop was further north to Clareville to visit Damon at Southern Comfort Beds.  Damon makes his beds by hand and most of the components are sourced from New Zealand.   He talked us through the process starting with the wire spring base, which needs to be checked and tightened as necessary.

PA300014 It all starts with the springs

PA300018 This is covered top and bottom with hessian, then felt is stapled around the edge

Next comes a couple of layers of foam which are glued in place.  Damon didn’t get his trusty glue gun out while we were there – the fumes would make us all high as kites, he  said!  Just as well, as we all had to drive back over the mighty Rimutaka Hill later in the day so would need clear heads for that.  The pre-quilted covering is sewing upstairs.  Damon works on his own and manufactures about 25 or so mattresses a month.

It was very interesting seeing how a hand crafted mattress is put together.  Damon can also make made to measure mattresses of any shape, such as the rounded edge ones often found in caravan and campervans.  We finished our factory tour with a look through the Showroom at the various mattresses on display.  John decided to try one out for size.

PA300013 John in the Showroom

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