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

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Tiny Tomatoes and long Purple Beans

Although the man of the house would like to be away travelling in the caravan week after week, it’s been nice to have a lazy weekend at home.  Not that we’ve been too lazy, there have been the usual household chores to do.  And places to go, such as down town to get the gas bottle refilled.  Yes, that’s the one, the bottle which ran out of gas last weekend late at night.  Luckily we noticed that the red light was flashing on the caravan fridge before we turned in for the night.   But now its refilled, and it’s always sensible to carry a spare while we are travelling.  The gas was refilled safely inside a shed, and Robin warned me not to get too close with my camera, in case I made sparks.  I certainly wouldn’t want to cause an explosion and blow the place up!

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Refilling the gas bottle

We are enjoying lovely warm summer weather here in New Zealand, and our small garden is doing well.  We have eaten the row of lettuces and replanted some more.  The tiny tomatoes are starting to colour up, these small ones have quite an intense flavour.  And we have planted a row of mixed beans – just look at these purple beauties!  There are green ones growing too, amongst the long purple ones.

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From our small raised garden

And after cutting back the passion fruit vine rather too severely, we are pleased to see a few fruit and flowers appearing.  Nowhere near as many as we had last year, but really, we didn’t expect any fruit at all this year.  He’s learnt his lesson, and next year Robin will prune the vine with a much lighter hand.

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Fruit and flowers on the passion fruit vine

Summer means it’s BBQ season and we have been enjoying cooking outdoors.  We had New Zealand lamb chops cooked on the Weber last night, with mushrooms and sweetcorn too.  And our traditional Sunday breakfast of bacon and eggs, with some of those lovely sweet tasting little tomatoes, was also cooked outside this morning.

Our elderly cat Muffy wants nothing more than to keep up close and personal to one or other of us.  Presently she is squashed up on my lap against the table as I tap away.  It can’t be terribly comfy for her, as she keeps slipping and sliding, and I have to readjust her legs.  But she is determined that this is the place she wants to be right at this moment, and that’s where she is staying, squashed up or not!  At her age, we feel she can have what she likes, anything to keep her happy – and quiet!  Senile vocalisation can get rather trying!

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Muffy on my lap while I’m trying to blog

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Big Day out in Wanganui

The big white bus arrived, with our friendly driver Peter at the wheel, and a bus full of Probus members climbed aboard for a day of adventure travelling to Wanganui.  The first stop on our intinery was to look through the St Stephen’s Anglican Church at Marton.

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St Stephen’s Church, Marton

This lovely old church was completed in 1872, and made from native timbers of totara, rimu and matai.  The interior glows with the dark honey colour of the timber panelling, and light floods in through the stain glass windows.  The bell tower served for many years as a fire warning before the fire station was built.  We were given a potted history of this lovely old building, and then had a cuppa at the adjacent church hall next door.

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Inside the church

Re-boarding the bus, we then drove on to Wanganui, passing a caravan on the road and we noticed something white fluttering in the wind as we started overtaking  We first  thought that perhaps a curtain was stuck in the window, but this was much more serious, and the whole front window was missing.  Whoops, wonder how that happened?

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There’s been a slight accident

Bushy Park Homestead and Sanctuary in Wanganui was our next stop.  Built in 1906, it sits in stately grace admidst lawns, colourful flower beds, and has a wonderful view of the surrounding countryside.  This wonderful property was bequeathed to the Forest and Bird Society in 1962 by Frank Moore, to be preserved in perpetuity in its natural state.The  homestead is surrounded n three sides by a large expanse of forest and an area of  wetlands and is a sanctuary for many species of native birds.  Our group enjoyed a finger food lunch in the dining room, where we were told all sorts of facts and figures,  including the fact that originally 10 gardeners originally worked on the property.

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Lunch in the dining room

We were then free to look around the homestead and beautifully manicured grounds, or take a walk along the many bush tracks.  The homestead is run as a B&B and it would be a lovely place to stay for a special occasion, as I mentioned to Robin, perhaps our next anniversary could be a caravan free zone just for a change?

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All the rooms had original furniture

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Standing on the steps of Bushy Park

In 2005 a 4.8km predator proof fence was completed around the 98 hectare forest, wetlands and homestead grounds.  Constant vigilance is still needed to ensure that the sanctuary remains predator free, including checking numerous traps regularly -  work  done by a large number of volunteers.  Several endangered bird species have been re-introduced: toutouwai, (North Island Robin), tieke, (Saddleback), and hihi, (Stitchbird).

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Driving back down the long bush clad drive, our next stop was just along the road where we visited a Walnut orchard. 

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Following the owner we were taken through the orchard to look at various plantings of walnut trees, but I must admit I was more interested in checking out the free range nut eating pigs.  And here they are – just look at those cute babies!

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Cute little piglets

Heading back on our homeward journey, there was just one more stop to make.  On our way through Sanson we had dropped off an order at Viv's Kitchen, for some of her world famous cream horns, to collect on our way back home.  Yum, guess what we had last night!  It was a great day out.

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Here come the cream horns

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Noises in the Night

If you like the hot sun beating down, Te Horo was the place to be over the weekend.  Sheltering under hats, sunshades, and awnings, was the way to go, and especially those lovely large shady trees, big enough for a large noisy group of happy campers to shelter under.  We certainly made good use of the shade provided during the weekend.  With 17 caravans, 6 motor homes, 1 5th wheeler and 2 tents camping at the school over the long weekend, there were hordes of campers everywhere.

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Some of the vans at Te Horo School

Now – about those noises, we arrived back at our caravan after the wine tasting and raffle drawing followed by a friendly neighbourly cuppa to find our fridge light flashing red.  Didn’t need to guess what that was, the gas bottle had run out and needed replacing.  So out came Robin’s tool box and he was soon busy using his electric drill unscrewing this and that, taking the nose cone off the front of the caravan, more unscrewing as he undid the cradle supporting the gas bottle.  Then crash – as the new gas cylinder slipped out of his hands into place.  Everything was then noisily replaced while I stood there training the torch on the correct places so that he could see what he was doing.  And in all that time, possibly 15 minutes, no one peeked through their curtains,  and not a single camper stuck their head out the door to see what was going on.  We could have been burglars up to nefarious business, getting ready to tow a caravan or two away, or perhaps removing wheels and gas bottles.  We’ve decided that we either sounded too honest out there in the dark of the night, or maybe everyone was away in the Land of Nod and just did not hear a thing!

At Regional rallies such as this, it is always great to catch up with friends from other clubs whom we hadn’t seen in a while.  Such as Pauline, from the Wainuiomata Caravan Club.  Pauline and her late husband Geoff were part of the group who travelled with us on our South Island Odyssey a few years ago.  She still continues to rally with her caravan club, and uses a tent these days, or hires a cabin in cooler months.  We were very impressed with her tent and she has everything to hand.  Tidy plastic units hold the kitchen things nicely, and with a bed, table and chair, BBQ for cooking, basin to wash dishes, she is very well organised indeed.

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Pauline loves camping

The weekend finished on Monday morning when the banners were removed from the hall, everyone thanked the Wellington Caravan Club for running the rally, and we had our last cuppa together.  The Wellington Club did a great job of organising the weekend, especially when they were thrown a curve ball just a few weeks before the rally weekend as due to take place.  The original venue was suddenly not available, so in panic mode, frantic phone calls were made to find another school.  Happily it all worked out in the end, with Te Horo School proving to be a great second choice.  The clubs gathered underneath their respective flags and we had our club photos taken.

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Heretaunga Caravan Club members

It was time to say our goodbyes to one and all.  Dot had done such a good job of driving their motor home down on Friday to the rally, that she decided she would get in a little more practice and drive it home again.

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Dot in the driving seat

With a visit to the dump station on the way home, it wasn’t too long till we arrived back home safe and sound.  The caravan was unpacked, the first load of washing was put on, and it was time for a late lunch.  It was another great weekend away.

Monday, January 25, 2016

An evening of Song, and Tea at Ruth Pretty’s

Our Saturday night entertainment in the hall was provided by the talented Ian Palmer of Feilding, who led us through an evening of singing and dancing.  It started off quite low key, with everyone joining in a sing-along of well known songs.  Ian walked around the hall, welcoming us all, telling the occasional joke, churning out the tunes.  Some braved the hot temperatures and got up to dance, but really, for us, the evening was all about the music.

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Ian Palmer, Musician

It’s a well known fact that some of us feel we are loosing our memories a little as we get older.  But strangely enough we can all recall the words of those songs we knew and loved when we were young.   We sang along with gusto to songs recorded by Cliff, Elvis, Ringo and Boney M and never missed a beat.  My only regret of the evening was that he didn’t play the alternative NZ National Anthem,”Ten Guitars”, my favourite, so I could sing along to that as well!  It was a great evening, and so nice to see everyone getting involved.

Sunday was another perfect day, as far as the weather was concerned.  We started off with our usual Sunday morning breakfast of bacon and eggs, cooked outside on the BBQ.  That’s always a good start to the day.

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Sunday morning breakfast

Dot and Honey came calling and the two cats quietly sniffed each other as they renewed their acquaintance.  Then Honey turned tail while Muffy held her ground.  We were pleased that there was no hissing or cat fights involved, but don't think they will ever become best buddies!

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Honey and Muffy

The legendary Ruth Pretty Catering was just down the road, we were told.  Wellington caterer Ruth Pretty Catering is renowned for corporate events, weddings, private parties and large-scale extravaganzas, and had a cafe on the premises too.  Dot and I decided to walk down to check it out and make a booking for our group.  The premises weren’t as close as we were led to believe, and we arrived there hot and sticky, finally making it up the long, long driveway.  We were intrigued with all the lichen growing on the fence rails alongside the driveway.

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Lichen on the fence and corn in the paddock

By the time we retraced our steps and finally made it back to the rally our legs were tired, we were even more hot and sticky, and just a little grumpy as well. But we soon got over it, and sensibly drove back down on Sunday afternoon for our coffee date.  We had originally planned it for just for the girls, but the husbands decided they wanted to come too.  And why not, they were very welcome to join us.  At just $6 for a coffee and cake combo, it was very reasonably priced, we felt, that even the most curmudgeon type of husband wouldn’t complain.

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Afternoon Tea at Ruth Pretty’s

There was a Wine and Cheese on the programme for Sunday evening   There were three varieties of Yealands wine to try, Pinot Gris, Savignon Blanc and a Merlot and Alan and Judith hosted the evening.  Robin is the wine conessior of the family and rated the Merlot his favourite, while I‘m not too keen on still wine and after tasting the two white varieties, stuck to water after that. 

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Alan and Judith served the wine

The raffles were drawn, with the big prize of a week’s holiday in Taupo.  We can report that the big prize was  not won by us, we are sorry to say.  And we didn’t win any of the other raffle prizes.  The Wainuiomata Caravan Club scooped the pool, with every van taking home a raffle prize – how about that for good luck!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

First Days at Te Horo School

After an overnight stop at Otaki, it was a short 5km drive down to Te Horo.  Such a short drive, in fact, that we arrived in no time at all.  We weren’t the first on site, by any means, and were directed to the back part of the playing field, behind the climbing apparatus and monkey bars.

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Around the back at Te Horo School

There were builders on site erecting a large aluminium framed school hall, and a few terse words were exchanged.  “You can’t park here, this is a building site”, we were told.  Yes…. but the school grounds have been hired out for a caravan rally.  In the end, sanity prevailed, and we assured the foreman that we were a bunch of well behaved oldies who wouldn’t be breaching the security fence, and would be departing on Monday morning.  As the builders weren’t working over the weekend anyway, it was all a bit of a storm in a teacup.

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Working on the new school hall

Other vans kept arriving during the day, and we ended up with four Hamilton built Leisureline caravans parked in a row.  There were two Elites, one Southern Star, and one Platinum.  What a fine line-up.

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Leisureline Lane

Our long weekend away, Wellington Anniversary weekend, was not an ordinary rally weekend.  Every two years we have a Regional Rally, with each of the four local clubs taking a turn to host the event.  This year it was the turn of the Wellington Club, and the festivities started off with a piper leading the parade of banners into the hall for the official opening.  Shall I let you in on a little bit of gossip?  The smart looking piper has a secret life as an undertaker!

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The piper

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Carrying the banners into the hall.

The 18th Central Regional Rally was officially opened and we then it was time for supper and some mixing and mingling, meeting up with friends from the other clubs in attendance.  We donned our club colours of orange tops and hats, not an easy colour to wear, and only brought out for official occasions like this.

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Some of the Heretaunga Club members

The Saturday lunchtime sausage sizzle was well attended, with the pair of us opting for bacon and egg sandwiches, hot off the griddle.  Very tasty, and even nicer eaten outside under the shady awning.

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Kath and Selwyn waiting for their lunch

Happy Hour was spent sheltering under one of the large shady trees on the property.  We were kept entertained by the antics of the large New Zealand pigeons (Kereru) flying around from tree to tree.  Being such large, heavy birds, they often land quite clumsily on the branches as they look for fruit, flowers and buds to eat, but it was too difficult to get a photo of the birds through the heavy foliage.  We did notice two colourful hula-hoops high up in the branches, thrown up by the school kids who probably expected them to drop back down to earth.

And in such glorious weather, what better than a BBQ for our evening meal?  Pork steak, portabello mushrooms topped with cheese, and zucchini all cooked to perfection on the Weber, served with green salad, and eaten El Fresco.  That’s the life!  Then we had to get a move on, make our way to the hall for the evening entertainment.  Wonder what that is all about?   We'll find out when we get there, I presume.  .

Thursday, January 21, 2016

On the way to Te Horo

What could be nicer than a nice long holiday weekend coming up away in the caravan, especially as the TV weatherman has promised good weather.  We hooked up the caravan and left home in the afternoon, with our ultimate destination being down SH1 at Te Horo.  But why not overnight at Otaki, we thought, especially as we had been especially invited to stay at Geoff and Eileen’s rural property.  So after a short 24km trip we backed the caravan up the drive and got ourselves settled for our short stay. 

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Staying in Otaki for the night

We spotted some tail swishing going on through the trees at the next property, so I went to investigate.  And sure enough, there they were, several cattle enjoying their life in the country.  They weren’t too concerned with me creeping up on them to record photographic evidence of the “secret lives of cows”.

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The neighbours next door

A group of Rosellas were busy flying in and out of the grove of fruit trees, calling happily to one another as they  pecked at the fruit.  Although I would dearly have loved a photo or two, the birds were having none of it, and scattered when I approached.  They are regular visitors to the property, we were told.

It was the cooks night off from kitchen duties, so it was fish and chips all round for our evening meal.  Once the orders had been rung through, the blokes  drove down to collect our meals, and soon arrived home with fish fillets and chips.  And very nice it was too.

Now, what’s this all about, I wonder what’s happening here?  I came outside to find Geoff holding the ladder, while Robin was peering at the roof with a tape measure in his hands.  It’s all to do with the solar panels, I was told, measuring to see how big they are.  Ours are adequate for our holiday needs, but certainly not as big as some of the people who live permanently in the vans have on their roofs.  Especially those who run coffee machines, and all sorts of electrical appliances off their batteries.

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Whats happening here

As the evening drew to a close, the sun sank down in the west, colouring the clouds over Kapiti Island.

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Sunset over Kapiti Island

Tomorrow we are heading on to attend the Regional Rally at Te Horo, organised by the Wellington Caravan Club, with the grand total of 4kms to travel.  We certainly won’t be jet lagged travelling that distance, will we?

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Blue Dome Sunday

It’s been a lazy kind of Sunday today.  One of those beautiful “Blue Dome” kind of days where the warm sun is shining, the gentle breezes blow, the birds are singing in the trees, and best of all, we are enjoying a quiet weekend at home.  The morning started, as usual,  with a cup of tea in bed.  The first one to wake gets up to put the kettle on, make a cuppa, and bring it back to bed to share with the sleepyhead who would have woken up while all this activity was going on.

And Sunday wouldn’t be Sunday without Robin’s speciality, a cooked breakfast of bacon and eggs.  Plus tomatoes for me.  Yum, that’s a great family Sunday tradition.

I took a quick trip down town mid morning to purchase some seedlings to replenish my flower pots.  Note to self:  remember to collect a trolley next time.  It’s not a good look to arrive at the checkout clutching tightly at four punnets of seedlings, handbag, and shopping bag, especially while  wearing a white top which ends up getting covered in potting mix all down the front.  After waiting for the sun to move around a bit, the pots have now been replanted, so that’s my most important job of the day done.

It’s been lovely sitting outside in the fresh air, under the shady sun umbrella, sipping on yet another cuppa, and just relaxing as the world goes by.   Especially when we reflect on a couple of our favourite UK narrow boat blogs which we read this morning, when they described waking up on a canal which was iced over!  Full throttle ahead to break the ice must be quite an experience in winter cruising.

And Robin read on his motor home forum today where a Leisureline caravan owner (like us) discovered that his caravan had been stolen from the storage area.  So around he rushed, quick smart, to put the wheel clamp back on our van.  How heartbreaking it must be to lose your van to scum bags like that.

With such a nice day we just had to have a BBQ for our evening meal, tasty pork sausages, onions, and zucchinis cooked on the Weber.  Salad too, of course, and a nice cool dessert of fresh strawberries, blueberries, ice-cream and jelly.

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Summertime means BBQs

The garden needed a good watering, so that was done in the early evening once the temperatures had dropped a little.  That should keep our tomatoes, beans and lettuce growing.  It tough life, living in paradise as we do,  but someone has to!

Friday, January 15, 2016

A lovely day for a drive

It was back to our old stamping grounds of the Hutt Valley yesterday - we had places to go and people to see.     And what a lovely day it was for a drive, blue sky, warm temperatures, just another typical day in paradise for us.  As usual, there were various road works to slow the trip down, such as on the narrow  Pauatahanui Road where workmen were busy resealing the road surface.

It was sad to notice that several buildings in the central Hutt Valley which related to our (separate) early years had been pulled down recently.  Such as the King’s Cross Hotel where Robin had worked many years ago.  He took a second evening job as a bar man to help out with house building costs as a young married man way back in the early 70s.  And I was saddened to see that the Horti Hall in Laings Road had been demolished as an earthquake risk.  It was here that I attended the Sunday afternoon Capistrano Youth Club when I was a young teen, where I learnt to rock’n’roll, and where I  met my first husband.   Those were the days.  The Town Hall is being strengthened, and the Horti Hall will be replaced by an Events Centre.

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The Horti Hall used to be behind the fence line, right next to the Town Hall

Any trip to the Hutt Valley is a good time for Robin to travel down to Petone to fill up the water bottles with fresh aquifer water.  But now it is also available just across the road in Dowse Square.  In fact, two stations have been available here for a year or two, and we didn’t even know about it.  That’s what happened when you move out of the area, you just can’t keep up with all the changes.

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Water filling station in Dowse Square

We had travelled down especially for the day to enable me to check out an exhibition in the Dowse Art Museum and then we treated ourselves to lunch at the adjacent cafe.  The food was very tasty, but why oh why does the music have to blast out while we are eating?  We suspect that the music is more for the staff to enjoy than the patrons
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With a little time to kill before our next appointment, we parked down at Petone Beach to do a little people watching.  Good keen blokes were pounding along the path in their jogging gear in the heat of the day, family groups were walking by with the kids on scooters, skate boards, or safely ensconced in their push chairs.  Being such a lovely summer’s day, there were plenty of children building sandcastles or frolicking in the shallows.  The wharves and CBD of Wellington City were off in the distance, with suburban houses perched on the hill sides.

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Petone Beach looking across to Wellington

We watched as a variable oyster catcher walked along the water’s edge, probing for food with his long, bright orange beak.   Usually these birds are always seen in pairs, so we wondered where the mate was.  Previously shot for food, variable oyster catchers reached low numbers before being protected in 1922, since when numbers have increased rapidly. They are long-lived, with some birds reaching 30 plus years of age.

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Lonely variable oyster catcher without a mate

Then it was time for our afternoon visit to P&E’s new home, and they have settled in nicely to their new abode.   We were welcomed by this cheery fellow standing on guard duty.  This is no ordinary gnome we were told, he is practically antique, and had previously belonged to our host’s Mum for many years.   We had a lovely afternoon, having a tour of the new home, and catching up on news.  

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Welcoming committee

Saying our goodbyes, it was time to head home.  Pauatahanui Inlet looked as pretty as a picture with the pohutakawa trees with their touches of red flowers starting to appear.

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Pauatahanui Inlet

Joining SH1 we soon caught up to all the workers on their long drive home after a day of toil.  Never mind, as retirees we don’t have to deal with this every day,  just now and again if we are late heading home.  It was a great day out, and we ticked everything off our “to-do list”.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Happy 70th Birthday

We attended a very special birthday party in the weekend.  John is a member of our SLG and had reached the grand old age of 70.  (Gulp, it can’t be that old, didn’t I turn 70 a wee while ago?)  We joined John and Jan, their family, and lots of friends at the Summerset Village where they now reside, for a lovely afternoon.

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Birthday Cake

John’s birthday cake reflected his Scottish heritage and featured the Gunn clan motto - "Aut Pax Aut Bellum" which means "Either peace or war".  Incidentally, I am also part of the Gunn clan, as I discovered during a previous trip to Scotland.  John comes down the Jamieson line, while I am descended through the Wilson line.  Which really means that John and I are long lost cousins, I guess.  That’s what I tell him, anyway.

A few speeches were made, the birthday cake was cut, and photos taken.  So here is one of our SLG friends there to help John celebrate his birthday.  Almost a full house, with just one away with a previous commitment.

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Happy Birthday John, from your SLG friends

Platters of delicious nibbles kept arriving, sandwiches, savouries, tasty little meat balls, and lovely plates of sweet treats.  As we nibbled, and chattered, I recognised one of John’s friends in another part of the hall.  Who was he?  I was sure  I knew him from somewhere, but just couldn’t quite remember where.  Finally I approached him and we went through various scenarios, work places, clubs, neighbourhoods.  Finally we cracked it – he had worked for Post Office Headquarters in Wellington, as both Robin and I had, in our earlier working life.   I’m pleased we sorted that out.


Friday, January 8, 2016

Taking the Slow Road

Trips away in the caravan are always fun, and what is nice these days is that we can take our time, if we want,  getting to our destination.  Not at all like the trips when we had to work for a living.  Then we had to rush from here to there, often over long distances, trying to see as much as we could.  Taking the slow road is so much more relaxing.

After a couple of days at the Drop In Rally at Foxton School, just taking things easy and enjoying the lovely hot weather, it was time to move on.  As planned, we stayed at several “new to us” venues over our holiday.  Such as the car park behind the Dannevirke Services and Citizens Club.  Lovely friendly staff, and we stayed here at no charge, so made sure they received some patronage from us at the bar.  Just a shame we were too early in the week to enjoy a meal in the restaurant, otherwise we would have dined there in the evening.

Our next new destination was Ashcott Park, Ongaonga, in a lovely rural setting.  No other campers came to stay, and we didn’t even see the property owner, so had to leave our fee in the letterbox for him.

And our third new venue was Mathews Park in Norsewood, another rural stop, with the Ruahine Ranges in the background.  Once again, we camped alone, but the Small Bore Club next door kept things lively when they started firing their rifles.

We stayed at a couple of old favourites as well.  Ashurst Camp with it’s lovely old shady trees is always a joy to stay at, as is the apple orchard POP in Hastings.  And we enjoyed some company from our caravan buddies too.  Dot and Derek were at the Drop In Rally, and stayed a couple more days than us before moving on, and Don and Pamela joined us at Hastings for several days.  The Hastings Rellies were visited several times, we were invited around to share a delicious roast lamb meal and we caught up with all the family news. We never go to Hastings without buying some fish and chips from Hawkes Bay Seafood, the best fish and chips ever!  Then we ticked a couple of things off our Bucket List, visiting the International Police Museum at Dannevirke, and the National Aquarium of NZ at Napier. 

On reflection, we are pleased we came home on Thursday, rather than Friday as originally planned.  There have been wind warnings today for high sided vehicles (that means us), so it is just as well we are safe at home today.  As well as the strong winds, torrential rain has been falling during the day.  I think it’s my fault, as I insisted that Robin water the garden last night after all that neglect with us being away. Or maybe Robin’s to blame after all, as he washed the 4WD before the rain arrived today.  Whatever……. as the grand-daughters say.  Luckily the garden survived while we were away – just look at those beans!  Our broccoli have tiny little heads, which just need to grow a little more, the lettuce and silver beet are ready to pick, and there are even some baby tomatoes coming along.

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Silver beet, broccoli and beans

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Some flower pots survived

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Homeward Bound

We never did get anyone else camping in Mathews Park in Norsewood with us.  So we enjoyed the solitude, and the bird life flitting around.  The resident tui kept us entertained, flying here and there, chasing other birds away from his patch, and tucking in to the nectar from the flax  flowers to keep his strength up. 

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Tui on duty, surveying his kingdom

There is nothing nicer than catching a lovely sunset at the end of the day.

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Sun going down in the west

Although we didn’t have any other campers in Mathews Park, we were not entirely alone during the evening.  Members of the local Small Bore Rifle Club met in their club room next door to the camp and the distant crack of rifles could be heard over the TV.
  
Next morning dawned a little cloudy so I did not get a nice clear photo of the Ruahine Ranges as I had hoped.  The large paddock over the back of the camp  looks like it is almost ready for hay cutting.

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Ruahine Ranges

Our time in Norsewood had come to an end and it was time to head home.  The caravan was hooked up to the car, and we stopped at the handy recycling bins on the way out of town, to rid ourselves of plastic, glass, cardboard, and a bag of rubbish.  Driving through the narrow, windy, Manawatu Gorge, I try not to think of rock falls and land slides, it won’t happen to us, surely?  It’s always rather sobering looking ahead and seeing the road jutting out over the edge and propped up on all those piles.  Perhaps it’s better not to think about it too much.

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Manawatu Gorge

Of course, we got through safely, so what was I worried about.   Once home, we unpacked the caravan, stopped for a bite of lunch, then finished the cleaning.  It’s all ready now for our next time away.