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

Thursday, 29 November 2012

That’s the South Island down there

Another quick trip to Levin, and another picnic lunch on the way home – this time at Paraparaumu Beach.  We certainly were not the only ones enjoying a lunch stop at the beach, other cars were parked up enjoying the view as well.  Seagulls got their feet wet on the foreshore, and wheeled about in the wind, having a fine old time.  While overhead small planes took off from the nearby Paraparaumu Airport  and roared overhead.  The clear conditions made the distant mountains of the  South Island very easy to see on the horizon.

DSCF3465 The South Island away in the distance

Parked close by was “M V Aihe” of Kapiti Tours.  This company takes customers to the nearby Kapiti Island, a bird sanctuary run by the Department of Conservation.  A permit is essential before visiting Kapiti island and must be booked prior to arranging the ferry transport, and a maximum of 50 permits per day are issued.   We have visited Kapiti island several times over the years and the abundant bird life on this predator free island is a delight to see.  This is a wonderful trip for any travellers passing by.

DSCF3467 Kapiti Tours
DSCF3470 Lunchtime at the beach looking at Kapiti Island

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Another busy old day

My goodness, the days go fast lately – there’s nothing like keeping busy to run away with the time.  We went our separate ways this morning, and I think I had the best deal, by the sound of it, with just a few bags of things to donate to the OP Shop.  Robin had the back of the 4WD loaded up with yet another pile of things for Earth Link to recycle.  Getting our old, large, and very heavy TV into the back of the car what quite a challenge – they just don’t build them like that any more.  In went the old drier which needed a bungy cord to keep the door closed – that was easier to man-handle.  Don’t forget the old fold up stretcher, with summer practically here this will sell easily in their shop, I expect.  In went another old heater, and various bits of metal for them to recycle.

DSCF3454 There’s a TV in there somewhere

Robin was unaware that Earth Link have a charge of $20 to take a TV off a householder’s hands.  No problem really, as it is much cheaper than a trip to the tip.  But it had to be cash only, and yes, you’ve guessed it, Robin didn’t have $20 in his wallet.  So that meant a visit to the money machine to get the cash and back again to hand it over.  Next on the list were visits to the Post Office to put in our temporary change of address for the next few months, and the AA to buy some Road User Charges for the 4WD.  That should be easy, wouldn’t you think?  But no, both purchases involved long frustrating waits in a queue.  He returned home hot and grumpy - it just wasn’t his morning.

A bit of lunch soon put things right, and then we tackled the kitchen.  Didn’t quite manage to get everything packed away, as we ran out of crates and cartons.  But I think we did very well.  Here’s another lot all ready to go tomorrow.


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

For Licorice Lovers only

After yet another 200km round trip to to Levin and back today, to put another car full of cartons in our lock-up, we rewarded ourselves with a trip to R J’s Licorice factory shop.


What natural herb is fifty times sweeter than sugar, has been beloved of world leaders from Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen to Napoleon, has been used to treat most common illnesses, and grows on all five continents?  Licorice, of course, a perennial herb belonging to the pea family.

Roger Halliwell founded the company in 1995 after managing, then owning, Granny’s Licorice, which was then sold to Nestle. Roger knew there was a good market for it, so he decided to buy the vacant factory in Levin, and invited his son Regan, who was travelling overseas, the chance to be a founding partner. Regan is now RJ’s Managing Director.  The company now has export orders  from U K worth several million dollars.

DSCF3448-001 Inside the factory shop

The factory shop offers a full range of licorice products, including licorice rolls stuffed with chocolate, and raspberry and blackcurrant licorice.  But I’m a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to food, (or just a fuddy duddy, Robin says)  and was quite happy to purchase a couple of bags of licorice allsorts off cuts.  That’s more to my taste.  Robin can eat all the weird and wonderful bits in the bags which I won’t touch!

DSCF3451 Yum, licorice allsorts!

How nice to find that our new home town has a thriving licorice factory.  No doubt we will find all sorts of other interesting places in the town once we move into our new home - we will keep you posted.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Somebody stole the bed, Mum!

Our cat Muffy is not happy.  Strange things have been happening in the house over the last month or two, and today, would you believe it, but somebody stole our bed!  Muffy likes to sleep in late in the morning, have a leisurely afternoon nap, and then generally walks up the hallway once she has eaten her dinner for an early evening snooze.  None of that happened today, as someone came into the house and stole the bed. It used to be right here, in the bedroom, and now it has gone.

DSCF3447 Where has the bed gone, Mum?

Muffy didn’t know, since she is only a cat, but we had arranged for Central Markets to come and take the bedroom furniture away.  The lady of the house had decided that we deserve a brand new bedroom suite to go with our new house – no argument!  The blokes from the market arrived in their big truck, cast their beady eyes over our furniture, and offered us a measly sum to take it off our hands.  As we had originally planned to donate the furniture to the local Op Shop, we accepted their offer.  After all, some money is better than no money at all.

DSCF3443There it goes, loaded on the truck

While Robin was watching the furniture being loaded, he was astounded to see Muffy on the back of the truck too.  Seems that she really didn’t want that bed to go away.  Bringing her back into the house, he popped her inside one of our big cartons which was waiting to be filled.  There – let’s see you get out of that, Muffy!

DSCF3444 Out of harms way in a large carton

We will be sleeping in the caravan (parked in front of the house) for the next week till we finally move out.  So Muffy will have a comfy bed to sleep in, after all.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Here we go again

We’re still busy with another round of packing boxes and cartons.  So just what are we putting in them this time around?  Down came all the photos off the wall, each one wrapped carefully in bubble wrap before placing in a carton.  Robin’s half forgotten wine collection filled another couple of boxes.  The wine glasses, crystal bowls and platters have all been safely wrapped and boxed.  Computer stuff, all sorts of electrical cords, a tall ladder and steel cabinet, garden pots and ornaments, it all got packed away and loaded onto the green trailer, and taken up to our lock-up.  Then of course it all happened in reverse, as everything was unloaded.  The red sack barrow borrowed off Robin’s brother Gary is proving invaluable.

DSCF3432 It’s a hard job, but someone’s got to do it

When everything was safely stored away, the roll-a-door pulled down and padlocked, we took ourselves off to the Levin Adventure Park for our picnic lunch.  Youngsters were busy having fun in the playground,  family groups were enjoying their own picnics in the sunshine, and a large group were busy munching on fish and chips straight out of the paper, the very best way to eat them.   The park Kiosk offers indoor seating if the weather turns inclement, plus boiling water for that all important cup of tea or coffee, and a microwave to heat up something for lunch.  We took advantage of the available hot water to make our coffee. 

DSCF3437 The Kiosk
DSCF3435 Coffee time

After our tasty lunch of piping hot coffee, and  bacon and potato salad sammies, we drove around to see if any progress had been made on our new home.  Nope, not yet, it still looks just the same, so no new photo.     Perhaps next time we visit we will have something new to share.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

View from the Top

On our return home after visiting our friends Geoff and Pauline at Wainiomata yesterday, we stopped at the top of the hill to enjoy the view.  And what a glorious view it was. 

DSCF3422 The Lookout at the top of the hill

The view to the left shows Somes Island in the middle of Wellington Harbour, a large natural harbour, with views of Wellington city in the background.  The harbour was officially named Port Nicholson until it assumed its current name in the 1980s.

DSCF3423Wellington Harbour and Somes Island

This view shows the industrial area of Gracefield in the foreground, the Hutt River making it’s way into the sea, and Petone Beach and township.  The first European settlers to arrive by ship into Wellington landed at Petone beach on 22 January 1840.

DSCF3424Hutt River and Petone
DSCF3425Hutt Valley and housing on the Western hills

I can remember how excited I was as a young girl when my brother took my elder sister and I for a climb up the hill.  As we reached the top, I got my first glimpse of the sea, the river, the hills and tiny little buildings.  It was an amazing sight from a completely different perspective which I had never experienced before.  I really thought, at my young age, that I was seeing the whole wide world all at once! 

Thursday, 22 November 2012

An Afternoon at the Movies

We met up with our SLG friends yesterday for lunch at the little village of Pauatahanui, on the edge of the Pauatahanui Inlet.  This is a shallow wet basin mainly covered in rushes and home to many water fowl and fish, and is the only large area of salt-marsh and sea-grass in the Wellington region.  But we weren’t there for a nature afternoon, but for an afternoon at the movies.

Pauatahanui Inlet. Photo: Jeremy Rolfe.Pauatahanui Inlet – photo courtesy of DOC

In 1904 a Community Hall was erected on the site of the current cinema, with many vaudeville acts, plays and musical items performed.  During this time of WW11 the hall was used firstly by the Home Services and then the US Marines, with the result that the floor was wrecked.  Sounds like a whole lot of jiving was going on! After the war a new floor was put in and the hall reverted to hosting dances and balls, before falling into disrepair and it was finally demolished in 1966.  The site took on a new lease of life with the building of the Light House Cinema which opened in in 2006.

DSCF3415 Light House Cinema

We went to see the film “Arbitrage”, which told of hedge-fund magnate Robert Miller whose world came tumbling down when the extent of his shady fraudulent dealings surface.  Added into the mix is his affair with, and the subsequent accidental death of his young French mistress.  Starring Richard Gere (all of us ladies still remember him dressed in that smart white uniform in “An Officer and a Gentleman”) and Susan Saradon as his long suffering wife.
DSCF3414 Arbitrage, starring Richard Gere

Once back home, we went looking for the dictionary - just what does “Arbitrage” mean, or is it even a real word?  Yes, indeed it is.  The meaning is “the simultaneous purchase and sale of the same securities, commodities or foreign exchange in different markets to profit from unequal finance”.  So that’s something new we have learnt!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

It’s starting

Another load of boxes – another trip to our lock-up unit in Levin.  We were lucky to beat the rain on the 100km trip up.  In went boxes of books, crates of glassware, tools and a shelving unit.  I had been worried that we might be running out of space, but there is still plenty of room left.  There will certainly be enough room to fit the furniture in when we bring it up in a week or two.

Inside the Lockup Still lots of room left

Kathryn came with us for the day, and this gave her the chance to have a look at Dot and Derek’s new home – incidentally in the same village where we are building our new house.  After we had enjoyed a lovely lunch we took a short walk to see what was happening on our little piece of land. The top soil has been removed and the plot has been levelled and pegged out.

Looking North Site has been levelled
Reinforcing Waiting for the Pad to be laid Reinforcing mesh to be used in the concrete floor

There’s not a great deal to see, but it is a start, and that’s exciting!  Robin spoke to a couple of builders working on an adjacent house, and they confirmed that they would be laying our concrete floor shortly.  “You had better do a good job”, he told them.  I don’t think they were too worried, though.

Monday, 19 November 2012

One man’s trash….

Our newly furbished green trailer was laden up with a whole lot of junk, as was the back of the 4WD.   Out went the old filing cabinet, a rather sad looking trolley, my old iron and ironing board and all sorts of other metal items no longer required -  all going down to Earth Link.  They will send the metal items to the metal recyclers.  Added to the load were some things for them to sell in their shop, a couple of small glass tables, a heated towel rail and gas heater.  These will bring in some much needed funds for the charity to continue with it’s good works.    Earth Link was happy to accept these items to recycle or for resale,  and we are happy to clear out some more “stuff”.

DSCF3396 One man’s trash

The empty trailer was soon loaded up again.  This time with a couple of old window frames, left over when we replaced windows in the house.  These were gratefully accepted by the local building recyclers.   One man’s trash is certainly another man’s treasure.

We’ve got a big day tomorrow.  We are off to deliver another lot of crates and boxes to our lock-up unit in Levin.  And we can see if any work has been started on our new house.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Registered, Warranted, and raring to go

The green trailer has passed it’s Warrant of Fitness with flying colours.  With a new floor, shiny new bolts holding everything taut and tight, it has been registered too so is all now completely road worthy.  Our friendly mechanic asked how old the trailer was, as often blokes tend to leave their trailers outside in all weathers.  It was built in 1987, so it is a fair age, as trailers go.  No wonder it needed a bit of work to get it up to scratch.  
DSCF3388Raring to go

The first job for the trailer will be on Monday when a whole lot of stuff will be loaded up and taken to Earth Link.  This organisation takes donations, including old electronic items, which are then repaired and resold, or recycled.   Then on Tuesday we will be taking another trailer full of belongings to our storage facility in Levin.  This shifting lark certainly makes for a busy life.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Trouble and Tribulations

One of our caravan club couples, who wish to remain anonymous, have had more than their fair share of troubles lately.  Part way into the journey for last week’s rally, they suffered a flat tyre, luckily before they started climbing up the steep Rimutaka Hill, with all those twists, turns and tight corners.  Ok, the husband thought, no problem, I’ll put the spare tyre on.  A security guard had kindly stopped to help our couple change the tyre.  Out came the spare, but oh, oh, there was a bulge in it!  They can’t go far on that.  What to do now?  The security guard offered to store the caravan overnight in a secure area for our intrepid couple, and they gladly accepted his offer.  They would spend the night at home tucked up in their own bed, and return in the morning to purchase two new tyres for the caravan.

And so they did, but that didn’t go to plan either, with the first company not having the correct tyres in stock.  Finally the tyres were sourced, and two new tyres were fitted to the caravan, with the repaired tyre relegated to the spare wheel.  Happily our couple made their way safely over the hill, to join us all at the rally venue.  Everyone was full of commiserations as they related their tale of woe.
DSCF3337 Tyre talk

But wait…..their troubles weren’t over yet.   Unknown to us, when driving home from the previous rally weekend, the front window of the caravan blew out in the high winds!  This took a while to repair, and the job was done just a few days before their attempted trip over the Rimutakas.  But over the weekend the window pane seemed to be slipping down, and coming away from the rubber fittings.  Everyone was most concerned – we could see a disaster happening when they drove home.  A phone call to the insurance company told them  to get in touch with the  the glass company.  And the glass company’s solution?  They would call around and nail boards over the window, through the caravan walls.  That offer was firmly rejected.

With a bit of Kiwi ingenuity, a temporary repair was made to get the caravan home.  Our caravanner found some lengths of timber, and screwed them top and bottom on the interior of the window.  The stone guard was threaded through the top rail, with bungy cords strapping it securely down.  And inside, an extra length of timber was wedged tight to hold the temporary repair in place.

DSCF3353 Temporary repairs

Off they went, to drive carefully home back over the hill.  But as we were waving them goodbye, someone called out, “The door’s open!  Stop, stop”.  Of course they didn’t hear our calls.  Dave jumped into his car in hot pursuit, and found them down town, after they had just lost a hubcap.  Oh dear, what else is going wrong.  With the hubcap collected, and the caravan door safely locked tight, off they went again. Luckily they made it home safely without any further mishap.  And the window pane is due to be fixed again later in the week – with a better job being done this time, we hope.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Eclipse of the Sun and Charlie’s Birthday

There’s been a lot happening today, in our little corner of the world.  People around the world have been eagerly awaiting the total eclipse of the sun - one of the most dramatic of celestial events; yet it can be very difficult and potentially dangerous to observe. An eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth and Moon are aligned allowing the Moon to cross the Sun’s disc. Here in New Zealand we could only see a partial eclipse, as the eclipse path falls 1200 km north of New Zealand.  The sky definitely stared to darken as the morning wore on, but we didn’t dare take a peek.  Without proper eye glasses and dire warnings of becoming blind if we dared to look at the sun, we will wait to view this exciting event on the TV news tonight. 

Over the Wellington region the maximum eclipse was at 10:34 am when the Moon covered about 76% of the Sun, the eclipse ended at 11:47 am when the Moon moved off the Sun’s disc.

solar eclispe graphicInfo and diagram courtesy of Carter Observatory

And for royal watchers everywhere, it’s Prince Charles 64th birthday today and he is having a very special birthday bash at Government House, in Wellington.  Sixty four other people who share the same birthday were invited with their spouses, to share this very special day too.  The Prince and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, are here for six days as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Celebrations.  The royal couple was welcomed to the capital at Government House with a warrior challenge; a karanga or call of welcome; and a haka or ceremonial dance.

Prince Charles officially opened a new visitor centre at Government House - New Zealand's Diamond Jubilee gift to the Queen.  "I couldn't think of a better, happier place to spend my birthday than here with all of you in New Zealand, and we've been so touched by the welcome we've been given here, and of course in Auckland, and by all the kind New Zealanders who have shown us such warmth and friendliness."  The birthday party was hosted by the Governor General, Lieutenant General Sir Jerry Mateparae, whose birthday it is also.

charles 1
Prince Charles and Camilla with Sir Jerry Mateparae and wife Janine cut into one of 64 kiwiana-themed cakes created for his 64th birthday.
Photo courtesy of “The Dominion Post”

Monday, 12 November 2012

Joint Rally at Clareville

Saturday dawned fine and sunny at Clareville, but the wind got stronger as the day progressed.  Not enough to stop us sitting outside, but the wind gusts blew any unattended chairs over, they went down like a row of dominoes!

DSCF3347 Sitting outside in the sunshine

Bill’s new TV aerial caused a lot of interest, as the other blokes gathered around to check it out.  Any new purchase always causes a flurry of excitement, as the men are keen to see what new products are on the market.

DSCF3332 Peter and Robin checking out the new TV aerial

While relaxing over 4zees, we could hear an awful racket from a whole lot of sheep.  Something was going on behind that stand of trees and I just had to go and see what it was.  Goodness knows what the farmers thought when I appeared, camera in hand, but the young man was kind enough to tell me what they were doing.  The family lease land from the A & P Society, and ewes and lambs had been penned to check them out, see if any needed treatment, and drafting some of the lambs for sale.

DSCF3338 Penned up with nowhere to go

The noise was deafening, with both the ewes and lambs continuously bleating.  Not only did they not like being penned, the sheepdog was watching them closely, and the two farmers were man-handling them.  The poor sheep squashed up into an even tighter bunch as I approached the pen with my camera and shot a few photos.  No wonder they had a lot to complain about.

DSCF3343 Drafting the lambs onto the back of the ute

Due to the windy conditions, our planned communal BBQ meal didn’t go ahead.  We had hired the Vintage Car Club rooms for our evening entertainment, and our guests eagerly gathered  to see what we had planned for them.  Club member Selwyn had kindly brought along his equipment and we had a film evening.

DSCF3350 Selwyn at the controls

And what a film it was, full of action and heart stopping moments.  We showed a DVD of the movie “Unstoppable”, which told of an unmanned runway train, full of toxic chemicals, careering along with no way of stopping it.  Will it derail and obliterate the towns alongside the railway line?  Based on a true story, and starring Denzel Washington, it was certainly an exciting film.  And just because it is a kiwi tradition, all the film goers were presented with their very own box of Jaffas!

DSCF3352 Unstoppable!!

By Sunday midmorning the rally was over, and we packed up, said our goodbyes, and happily made our way back to our respective homes.  All except one pair of caravanners, they weren’t happy at all  – but that’s another story!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Rural Delights

For a couple of townies, coming to Clareville A & P Showgrounds for our weekend caravan rally is always a delight.  The wide open spaces, surrounded by paddocks full of sheep, and the adjoining stockyards and huge hay barn makes this a great weekend venue.  Our caravan club Heretaunga, was hosting a joint rally with both the Wairarapa and Wellington Caravan Clubs, so we made sure we arrived bright and early. 

DSCF3327 We were the first to arrive

The weekly stock auction was taking place just over the way so I just had to go and check it out, camera in hand.  Wonder if I’ll find some pigs?  Stock numbers were down this week, I was told, and there were no pigs changing hands.  Plenty of sheep, cattle and calves though, all bellowing, bleating and in the case of the young ones, calling plaintively for their mothers.

DSCF3323 We don’t want to be here
DSCF3324Young calves waiting to be auctioned

This handsome fellow with a double set of horns was in a pen by himself.  There was a school group looking around the auction, with clipboards in hand. “I wonder what sort he is?”, I asked, presuming that these were a group of country kids.  One of the boys looked at the label.  “That breed’s a ram”, he informed me with authority, reading from the label.    “That’s not right”, I pointed out, “a ram means that he is a male sheep”.  He looked at me, but I could tell by his face that he didn’t believe me. 

DSCF3322 The mystery ram

The friendly auctioneer was sitting outside in the sunshine, waiting till it was time to go inside and start work.  He told me that the ram is an Arapawa Island sheep, now known as a “rare breed of New Zealand origin”.   Historical records suggest that sheep have been known on Arapawa Island in the Marlborough Sounds for at least 130 years.  The first sheep were probably escapees of a flock of mainly Merino origin known to have been introduced in 1867, the original stock having undoubtedly come from Australia. The Rare Breeds Conservation Society of New Zealand was formed to conserve, record and promote these breeds with the particular aim of maintaining genetic diversity within our livestock species. 

DSCF3326 The auctioneer

The bus selling food and drinks comes to the stock sale each week.  As we read the blackboard menu, Robin couldn’t resist the thought of a steak and onion sandwich for lunch.  Take-aways it was, with a hot bacon and egg sandwich for me, and we shared a pot of chips.
DSCF3330 Hot take-aways for lunch

Caravans rolled in all afternoon, found themselves a site, and hooked up to the power.  By the late afternoon, there was a select gathering of  twelve of us, representing three caravan clubs. Friday of any rally weekend is generally a laid back day, and we enjoyed a get-together of 4zees (happy hour) out in the sunshine.  Then later in the evening we met up again in the huge hay shed for chatting, and relating any jokes we had gathered up to share.  The resident pigeons fluttered about overhead and Peter had us all worried when he swore he saw a rat scamper by as the light was fading.  No doubt there are rats and mice galore amongst all those hay bales, just keep them away from us ladies – we don’t want anything nasty running up our trouser legs!

DSCF3334 Towering bales of hay

Thursday, 8 November 2012

He’s getting there with the trailer

The trailer repair is coming along slowly, one step at a time.  The rusty bits have been sanded off, and most of the metal has now been painted a rather fetching shade of green, using rust inhibiting paint.    (The tin of paint purchased didn’t go as far as he thought, so Robin will need to buy another one). 

DSCF3316 Painting the trailer

The new floor of marine ply has now been bolted on to the chassis.  The friendly staff at Mega Mitre 10 cut it to size, which was really helpful.

DSCF3317 New floor on the trailer

It’s after 5.00pm and Robin has declared he’s done quite enough work on the trailer today.  Time to relax with a cool drink.  Jobs still to be done include fixing the electrical wiring, getting the trailer registered, and taking it down to the garage for a Warrant of Fitness.  By next week it might be all finished and roadworthy.  Watch this space.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Decisions, decisions, and more decisions

Our little brains were working overtime yesterday.  We had an appointment with the builder’s liaison officer to talk about our new dwelling.  Up for discussion was the electrical plan – were we were happy with the power points, TV connections, lights, and all that sort of thing?  These days everyone needs multiple power points with all the equipment a home seems to have.  For example, in the spare bedroom we need power points for my sewing machine, free standing light, the computer modem, router, printer, the list goes on.  The general consensus seems to be to make every power point a double, have more than you think you might need, and don’t forget to add several Sky TV connections in various rooms as well.

We discussed (and came to decisions on) sliding doors and exterior ranch sliders, that wasn’t easy.  Do we want them sliding left to right, or right to left?  More decisions to be made.  But wait, it gets worse.

What about interior colours?  Now, we weren’t expecting to have to make these very important choices so early.  The table was covered in sample books as we looked at carpets, vinyl flooring, bench top and kitchen cabinet wall samples, plus paint colours.  We hummed and hahhed a bit, tossed out anything we really didn’t like, (such as too dark, too bright, too “in your face”) and finally made what we thought were good choices.  Were we finished, we wondered?  Not quite, just a quick decision on the choice of kitchen drawer handles.

Two hours after starting our meeting, we were free to go, with a list of items to check out ourselves.  What a marathon meeting that was.   To clear our heads, we drove down to the windy beach, looked across at Kapiti Island, and ate our picnic lunch in the car, with sea gulls to keep us company. 

DSCF3312 Lunch time at Paraparaumu Beach with the seagulls

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

How many Years, did you say??

We’ve just celebrated our wedding anniversary, and we’ve had 29 happy years together.  It certainly doesn’t seem that long.  To celebrate we went out to a local restaurant for dinner last night.  Being a Monday evening, a lot of places tend not to be open.  Local restaurant Graze also caters to the adjacent motels units, so we knew it opens every evening.

DSCF3305 Kitchen utensils decorating the wall

Roast pork was on the menu, and there was quite a large crowd in the dining room.  One of the diners came over to say hello to Robin – someone he knows from his volunteer driving duties for the Cancer Society.  She told us that it was a big family group, having a meal together after giving her 90 years plus uncle a good send off earlier in the day. 

DSCF3308 29th Anniversary meal

Happy Anniversary, we toasted each other.  After our roast pork dinner we finished our meal with apple crumble and boysenberry trifle for dessert, and it was all very tasty.  So that’s 29 years down, roll on 30.  There’s plans brewing for that anniversary, I’ve already warned Robin.  Just make sure our passports are valid, I’ve told him, and I’ll take care of all the arrangements.  We will be celebrating that one in style!

Monday, 5 November 2012

Any Old Iron?

During our never ending clean up duties, Robin had gathered a whole heap of various metal pieces.  Old wire netting, a metal tray or two, a few copper pipes, some stainless steel and aluminium.  Even an old brass basin.  All very nondescript stuff really, and some of it covered in rust.  Into the back of the 4WD it went, to go down to the metal recyclers.

DSCF3304 Loaded up and ready to go

The workman sorted the metal into categories, and weighed each different type.  This was Robin’s first trip to this facility, and he was pleasantly surprised to receive a moderate amount of cash for a load of old junk.  Thanks to Derek for the metal disposal advice, otherwise the whole lot might well have ended up in the tip.

I’ve been sorting out and getting rid of stuff too today.  Posted off two Trade Me (NZ version of EBay) parcels today to buyers of unwanted things I’ve found in the cupboards.  It’s amazing just what I’m coming across tucked away in cupboards and drawers which I’d forgotten about.  Then I delivered two big bags of clothes and books to the Hospice OP Shop.  The way I look at it, each box or bag we get rid of, is one less that we have to pack and carry away when we leave!  And of course, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Here’s dust in your eye

Robin’s got a big job on, and not much time to get it done and no “Bloke” to help.  After years of sitting outside in all weather, his trailer needed some work to get it roadworthy.  More work than he first realised, to tell the truth.  Lifting the ply wood floor right off revealed that the timber struts had disintegrated, the metal chassis was covered in rust, and the bolts on the axle had almost rusted through.   We need the trailer to help us shift, and to carry packed boxes and crates to store in our lock-up.

DSCF3294 This bolt has almost rusted through

He got to work with his electric drill and wire brush, working away at removing the rust from the metal chassis, sensibly donning a pair of safety glasses first.  There certainly were plenty of flecks of old paint, grit and dust flying around.  Something lodged in his eye, and I had to play nursemaid for a while.  I peered into his eye, washed it out with warm water, and still he said he could feel something in there under the lid.  I think the particle had grazed the white of his eye, and that is what he could feel.

DSCF3291 Sanding off under here
DSCF3293And here as well

It’s dangerous work, being a home handyman.