Monday, March 6, 2017


The move went well and I was very pleased with the Removal firm that I used.  Doug and I moved all the smaller items and just left the larger items of furniture for them.

Still boxes and spare furniture everywhere but the lounge, kitchen and dining area are comfortable. We have moved the fridge and Doug has started to build a cupboard/larder where it used to stand. When that is finished I will have a lot more storage.

Apart from trying to empty a box a day I have been busy preserving peaches from "our" tree.  I try and do a pan a day.  In spite of neglect over winter the garden is looking good and my plants make a show at the front door.  I find it hard to believe that it is nearly a fortnight since I moved but, of course, life goes on around the move.  We had a trip up north to a funeral and the usual gym sessions and Parkinson's walks etc.

One of the rose bushes which has flowered continuously over the summer.

Mainly zinnias in the front border.

Begonias and streptocarpus that I brought from Kamo.

This bromeliad that I brought from Kamo looks as though it is about to flower.

Part of one of four trays of peaches left to preserve.  It is just a seedling tree growing behind the garage but the fruit are delicious.  As well as stewing and freezing them I made a peach crumble yesterday.  

After a hot dry summer it is forecast to rain tomorrow and the rest of the week so we picked a lot of the remaining peaches this morning.

Doug is doing his utmost to help me settle in and it just seems right.  It is so much easier for him not to have to drive between Kamo and Tikipunga several times a day and better for me not having to ask him to bring items from the deep freeze.  (I only had a fridge/freezer and the bulk items have been kept in Doug's larger freezer.)

Monday, February 13, 2017


Only two more sleeps to go till moving day.  On Sunday my stepson came up with a friend to help.  I asked him to cut the hedge along my drive.  It is actually my neighbours' hedge.  He didn't take long and I think it looks great.  Meanwhile his friend, Erika, swept up all the clippings.  The red bits you can see on top are on the neighbours' side.

A couple of nights ago I noticed the cacti next to the garage was in flower.

and now the frangipani is starting to flower.

I think we are on track with the moving.  Lots has been given to the family, Hospice, Women's Refuge,  SPCA and this morning the Salvation Army are picking more up from Doug's.  Not much is left in my house now except the furniture for the removers on Wednesday.  That will leave Thursday for the last of the cleaning.

A new life starts.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

IT'S RAINING !!!!!!!

Yes, it is finally raining and there has been lovely steady rain all night.  The forecast is for it to continue for most of the day - yipee.  A drought was declared last week.  New Zealand has been like two separate countries this summer.  Most of the country has had a lot of rain whereas Northland has been hot, dry and sunny.

We have had the occasional forecast of rain but it has come to nothing until this.

New South Wales has been in the same situation and yesterday we read of floods in Sydney but it looks like our rain will just be steady.

It is wonderful not to have to do watering to keep everything alive.   It won't be enough to break the drought for the farmers but it is so very welcome.

The temperature has dropped as well. In the past weeks it has usually been over 30 degrees whereas the forecast for the next couple of days is in the early 20's.  At the moment the forecast is for light rain on Monday and Tuesday, fine on Wednesday (for my move) then rain again for Thursday to Sunday which would include the purchasers moving in on Friday.  We have often had these forecasts over summer and they have come to nothing.  Anyway, although the rain is much needed I have my fingers crossed for a fine day on Wednesday and, hopefully, Friday as well.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017


When Doug bought his house at the end of 2008 he redecorated.  He is doing it once again.  First he sold the lovely bedroom suite he had built for one of his daughters many years ago and then decorated what had been the spare bedroom.  Now he and Sophie have moved in there and he has just painted what was his bedroom and is soon to be mine and Kim's with entry to the new cat run through the open window.

The first two photos are the "before" with Sophies bed beside Doug's

It has now been painted in the colour scheme from my current house that Doug redecorated over winter and is ready for my furniture to arrive in just a fortnight's time - so much to do in the meantime!!!!

While Doug is painting I am sorting through cupboards and we have been either giving items to his family or selling (in the case of the bedroom suite) or donating to charity.  We have to fit the contents of two houses into the smaller of the two.  Hey ho....

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Unfortunately, my cat Kim is scared of dogs (and people) and Doug's labrador, Sophie barks at cats and, if they run, chases them.  To keep Kim safe Doug has just built a cat run onto the side of his house.  Kim will be confined to one end of the house and Sophie the other and Kim will be able to get into the run through the Master Bedroom window.

Yesterday I took some house plants around to Doug's and they are now sitting happily on a table in the cat run/shadehouse.  I do hope Kim likes her new home and appreciates all the hard work that went into building the run.

Friday, January 20, 2017

House Sold

My house sale went unconditional today and settlement is in four weeks on 17th February so it will be all go between now and then.

Doug is working on the finishing touches for the new cat run to keep Kim safe today and will then start work on painting and enlarging the lounge.

So I will be moving from this

to this

On the right is a deck off the lounge and Doug will incorporate this into the lounge - something he had always intended to do.  The house was built for the local constable in the days when there were  such things.  Next to the front door was a cupboard where all his "police items" were stored.  

Monday, January 16, 2017

Whangarei's Ball Clock

A group of men in Whangarei has been working on a ball clock for several years.  The prototype is now running and was open to the public at the weekend.  Naturally, we went along. It was quite difficult to photograph but was fascinating.

The following is an excerpt from the local paper about a year ago.

The model includes a clock portion as well as a "fun" section designed to teach passersby the basics of physics. It even includes a small lifting version of Te Matau A Pohe Bridge.
"It would be getting up towards 1000 hours that we've spent on it," said About Time project team member Graham Brice.
The ball clock has four main rails, one labelled with seconds, two with minutes and one with hours.
The bottom rail represents the hours; the next rail represents 10-minute increments; the third, one minute increments; and the top rail, seconds, in 15-second increments.
The top rail receives a ball from a racheted electronic motor every 15 seconds dumping it onto the rail below every minute, while the other balls disperse.
Every 10 minutes, one of the "minute" balls drops onto the 10-minute rail below, while every hour, one of the "10 minute" balls becomes an hour marker. Confused?
Imagine trying to build it, complete with a washing machine motor and series of cogs that have to deliver balls.
"Something has gone wrong pretty much every step of the way," said committee member Pete Romer.
Mr Brice said he was "very proud of the creative imagination and endeavour the team have put into it."