Friday, 20 May 2016

Indecisive weather

I know that last time I was here I was predicting the arrival of winter, but I have to say despite the temperatures being a smidge cooler this past week, I'm struggling to believe my own prediction.

Look at these gorgeous flowers which brighten my days at work from the garden outside the window. They don't seem to think it is going to be winter anytime soon.

And then look at this !! 

Pohutukawa in flower in late May - what has happened to our native Christmas tree ? Isn't December "the time" to bloom ? Has anyone told the jolly fellow in red ?

We need to cool our wee planet down  I reckon !

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Winter is coming....apparently

Well we've been at our new place almost a month - I know this because we have our first inspection coming up,  There are still boxes in places there shouldn't be, but never mind. We will get there in the end.

Today we decided to go for a drive and see if we could find some autumn colours. There are some around up here, but not en masse like you get in other parts of the country. So we decided to go to Hamilton and do a spot of shopping on the way. Chartwell Square Farmers - I don't like the way your floor moves for no apparent reason - we both thought it was an earthquake or five, until we remembered that we were in Hamilton and not actually in a seismic zone.

Anyway shopping done we headed for the Hamilton Gardens which I ashamed to say I have never visited before, despite having spent the first 13 years of my life and then a couple more later on in that city. To be fair when I was younger the site was still a quarry, and the gardens themselves were just getting started. We didn't find as much autumn as we had hoped, there were patches but often in hard to stop and photograph spots. However I enjoyed the wander around the gardens and we didn't see everything, so I am sure there'll be another trip sometime soon.

I have just made a spectacular jump in technological accessories and purchased an iphone. So there is lots of learning happening there. I took the opportunity today to start getting to grips with it as a camera in readiness for our upcoming holiday.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Settling In

Well, it has been about three weeks now since the move north, to the other side of the harbour. I'm enjoying it. For the first two weeks my commute was 10 minutes each way ! Quite a difference to 45-90 minutes each way. School holidays made a difference, but even so most days last week were less than 20 minutes each way.

The boxes are slowly being dealt with and it is looking more like home. This weekend I spent an afternoon picking my way through the boxes that had got wet and started disintegrating at the old place. Dry basement indeed ! The movers had done such a wonderful job packing initially that most things just needed to be placed into a new box. Some things needed to be re-wrapped before packing though. Some things mostly wooden bowls were pretty gross, so they have been washed in water so hot it was hard to keep my hands in it, or put through the dishwasher. I'll keep them inside for a bit to make sure they are all well dried out before going back into boxes.

I also discovered all the linen we hadn't seen since Christchurch and some of mine which had been packed around bits and pieces in Wellington. So that has all been washed and aired. Some of it will go back into boxes over the next few weeks. I'm still looking for duvet covers and blankets though - who knows where they got put in Wellington ! 

The weather is still not very autumn-ish so I cant see that I will be needing blankets anytime soon anyway. But if I do, there is the one I had to buy last winter in Christchurch and a couple of others which could be put to use. BUT I really would like to know where my nice woollen Onkaparinga blanket is.

Then, today was Mothers' Day. I had the yummiest breakfast home made for me. Waffles with fresh SUMMER berries, edible flowers and maple syrup. Who would have thought summer berries would still be in the shops in May !! Very spoilt, despite having given strict instructions not to buy me anything - rather save the money and buy me something while we are on holiday. Terribly disobedient ! But much appreciated at the same time.

In other news - we have a pretty good spot to check out sunsets at our new home too.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Changing horizons

It would seem that constantly changing living locations has become as much a part of my life lately as it was when I first left home back in the late 70's and went to live in Australia.

It is happening again this weekend - still in the same country, and the same city - just moving from one side of the bridge to the other. We're quite looking forward to it, though the actual packing and doing it is a bit of a drag. We've broken our lease where we are and the agent has been able to find new tenants relatively quickly. The new place - which only I have seen from the inside - is closer to work for both of us now.

As well as changing residences, there has been a change of roles for one of us. Exciting times.

Once we are there and the boxes have been dealt with I promise this blog will be getting more attention.

In the meantime, there are a few things I'll miss from this side of town. The sunsets - and just lately the sunrises too. (I'm sure we'll still get to experience them post move though) The singing on Sunday mornings at the Tongan church at the end of the road, and the proximity to lots of shopping. Won't miss the neighbours who set off fireworks at all hours of the night, the cars with stereos so loud they set off people's car alarms as they drive past and the hours spent sitting in traffic each day to get to and from work.

We have a whole new suburb or three to discover and from the little I have seen there are a multitude of cafes and stores to browse and try.

I've been busy with a few other researchers helping people on social media with family tree brick walls - very rewarding - and hopefully one day a money-making pastime. I've also been updating my family tree with new babies arriving over the last couple of months and contacting cousins who have been matched through that DNA spit test we did last year.

I saw a post today along the lines of my last one - 5 generation migration and location -  but this one is 5 generations causes of death. Watch out for that popping up here when I have more time on my hand.

Plus, accommodation has been booked and days partially planned for our holiday which is rapidly approaching. Just rental cars, visas and spending money to sort out now.

So while you wait in anticipation for my next post enjoy these pics of some of those sunsets with Maungakiekie (One Tree Hill) on the horizon which we are leaving behind.

Sunday, 27 March 2016

5 Generations of migration and location

Well, my feed has been full of these amazing pedigree charts from fellow genealogists, so I just had to join in. In fact I've done four - my parents, my own and my daughters, to see the differences a generation makes in both directions. 

No wonder that DNA puzzle is hard to solve.

This was all initiated by J Paul Hawthorne. What a great idea.





There you go - not as pretty as they could be, but you get the general idea. You might need to enlarge them to read closely.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

The Forgotten World Highway

You could almost call this the Forgotten blog since it appears that it has been a l-o-n-g time since I have been here.

I've been busy. I have a job now, so not as much time to spend on here. BUT this weekend I discovered some new places and even some "forgotten" places.

It is a long weekend and we thought, we could have a quick break and still have time to do things around home once we were back.

So, we decided to set off for a four hour drive to Ohakune on Friday morning. We thought there would be some traffic issues - we do live in Auckland after all. But nothing could have prepared us for the shambles which greeted us on State Highway One. Once we passed the Coromandel turn off the traffic flow was as normal as you would expect, but then at Hampton Downs we were in a stationary queue of two lanes going south. No information, and no obvious cause. Eventually we made it to Te Kauwhata and turned off to take back roads and leave everyone else stewing in the queues. We knew there were roadworks, and some single lane patches, and just before we turned off we did see a "smart highway" sign advising of delays at Huntly, but seriously. 

So we traveled to Taupiri and saw maybe six other cars - at Taupiri there was no sign of the chaos we had left and we made it to Hamilton very quickly. But no, don't get your hopes up too much about our speedy journey south. Once more we found ourselves in a queue travelling at 5kph just north of Tirau. At this point we seriously contemplated turning around, or at least turning off and heading back home. I decided if it hadn't improved by the time we reached the Rotorua turn off we'd just keep going around the roundabout and start back to the north. Miraculously (and for no apparent reason) the gridlock cleared and all was well. Except that we had been in the car for FIVE hours by this time and weren't even halfway.

All that money spent on an unsuccessful campaign to change our flag to a tea towel when we could have been investing in better roads and perhaps by-roads to be able to divert some of the congestion (like they do in other countries), and driver education as well. But no, we have incompetence of the highest order. Buy up some of the blinking empty paddocks and make alternate roadways for goodness' sake - many farmers could do with a bit of financial assistance right now having blindly gone down the dairy path into a global milk glut !!

...and breathe...

Right back on track now, we took more back roads and eventually arrived at our destination EIGHT hours after leaving home. On a normal day we could have driven to Wellington in that time ! No time to go for a walk, or explore. All we wanted to do was get food and relax.

We found La Pizzeria at the Junction near the railway station and were impressed by the service and the product. YUM. The plan for Saturday was to travel the Forgotten World Highway, so we decided we would get up early, get breakfast and get on the road.

Breakfast was at the Sweet Pea Cafe. It was so hard to choose what to eat, we will need to go back to try out more options, and the smoothies and the lunch menu.

Then we were on the road - a wholly better day that Friday, I can assure you. We drove the Forgotten World Highway from Taumarunui to Whangamomona, and then back all the way home. Here are some of the photos.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Apple Cake #Trovechallenge

On Friday, the beginning of a long weekend in New Zealand Trove issued me a challenge on twitter. To be fair it wasn't just to me they issued said challenge, but hey.

anyway, not being one to shy away from a challenge I was in. Right there, the second they tweeted.

The recipe, an Apple Cake, had been submitted to the Queensland Country Life, a weekly newspaper filled with local rural Queensland news and events, for the Thursday, 1 April edition and appeared on page 7. Queensland Country Life (Qld. : 1900 - 1954), Thursday 1 April 1948, page 7

So, the pantry was checked for ingredients, and apples were purchased from the supermarket. Let the challenge begin !

And here are the results, kind of like a supersized apple shortcake in cake form.

...and D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S !!

we had ours for dessert, with some yoghurt on the side instead of cream.