Blue door

 On many of our trips to the other side of the North Island, we pass a farm with this building set up on it in Turakina. Each time we pass it, I wonder about it and finally got around to searching for its history.

I only found two or three references/pictures. Apparently, it was a one-room school house that was dismantled and reassembled on the farm about 60 years ago. 

Here is a link to a Flickr account with other photos:   https://www.flickr.com/photos/brian_robinson_nz/11989609706


Ngaere Triump Cheese Factory

 I don't get to Stratford much lately but it happened to be a lovely day this week when we passed this historic dairy on the way there. I had taken a great picture of it many years ago but can't find it so have been wanting another one.

The Ngaere (pronounced Nie-ree) Co-operative Dairy Factory was formed in 1893 and built in 1894 to make cheese. 'Triumph' was the brand name of the cheese that was exported. It closed in 1977. 
You can click here for more history on this lovely  place.

If you'd like to see the old dairies that we have found over the years, click here!


Hawkes Bay cleanup

 We spent the first few days of November on the East Coast of the North Island in the Hawkes Bay area for a little get-away. They are getting back to normal after the effects of Cyclone Gabrielle back in February. There were lives taken, homes lost and so many roads and bridges destroyed.

Much of the devastation was not due to the water, believe it or not. The cause of most of the problems was--is--due to logging slash washing down the hillside and filling up riverbeds. Slash is all the bits and pieces that loggers leave on the ground after they fell the trees and move on. So much of it has been scooped up, some farms just covered with the piles with no place for crops.

For some reason, pine trees grow seven times faster here than any other place, even if the quality is a bit lower, so there is a lot of logging going on. For years, we have seen slash on the hillsides and wondered why it's not sold (or even given away) as firewood  since most homes outside of the big cities have a fire burner for heat.

Here are some photos...

At the mouth of the Mohaka River

Slash still caught under this bridge.

Obviously, the laws concerning slash are being reviewed.

These are just the sad side of our trip. Happier photos are on my photo blog!


River of Words

Queenstown lakefront

Along the wall is a ribbon of words.

 WAIPOUNAMU (poem down by Queenstown lakefront)

by David Eggleton

Hoisting history on his back like a sugar – sack,
The swagger strides along greenstone trails.
All night the crib creeks are humming home,
And drowned towns float in their canvas shrouds.
They are just the ghosts of their original selves,
An emotional investment looted by snow-melt for,
Schemes to answer the question of illumination.
To tap this yearning for a golden age,
Singing shepherds held wisps of tussock
Which curled like lighted Chinese joss-sticks
On the fan – tan tables of sly-grog dens,
Frozen in that glacier known as the past.
In the forgotten graveyards, hair grows into grass
While wind sifts the sweet vernal over and over,
Like diggers letting gold dust pour through their fingers.
The Kingston flyer is chuffing
On the great Northern Railway to Wakatipu,
John Turnbull Thompson cut the run holders loose
With a panoramic survey and the confidence of a faith healer
In the middle of Queen Victoria’s royal century,
When the boom-time harvest of Celtic place names
Seeded central like a nouveau-Hiberian dialect
From Balclutha to Glimmerburn to Glendhu bay.
Winter arrives on time in a glitz blitz of powdery snow.
The hoar frost in a Quartztpoils of ice crystals
Turning weeping willows into frozen chandeliers.
Some strung the coils of number eight into fences
As trail bikes took to the state highway with a roar
And the rain shower passed a plume
Over small towns that are hardly seen for hills.
Tarns prickle with bubbles from upland soakage
at the start of Wakatipu on mounts Humboldt and Forbes.
Pasture stands four- square
To the intersection of lakes Hawea and Wanaka, from where
Nat Chalmers shot the gorge in a flax raft with his guides
After descending Mount difficulty in flax sandals,
The first Pakeha to see Lake Wakatipu, for which he paid
Reko and Kaikora a three legged pot – Te Kohoa!
Viper’s bugloss is the honeyed heart of the hive and veranda shadows are dark as delphiniums.
The four-fold path of the farmer leads to hot and cold taps, the meat-safes a Muslim bag, but the kerosene lamps gone
The way of aunt Daisy’s and uncle scrim’s voices on the wireless
Or goals from the boot and pine-tree when rugby took a capital.
Braids of rivers run dreadlock plaits from a taniwha’s
Stone head, so his blind eyes spurt waterfalls
and his chest is the sucking valley of a mudslide,
when swollen rivers heave against mountain flanks
and sinkholes laden with silt roar old man floods here!
He’d ride the whaleboat molyneaux from its tributaries
To the sea, or disgorge the matau of its spears and hooks,
If they hadn’t drained the hydro-electricity, way back.
Rivers rule our lives, gurgling, puddling, dripping,
Working the lake country round like a greenstone,
Turning out a tiki of interlocking curves flowing
Into Waipounamu, which breathes its green glow,
Of purple grape froth trickling a ripe roses scent
And beetroot palate into our salad day memories.
Views of the lake in its many moods: sometimes quiescent,
Like a windowpane stippled with rain, behind which
Cucumber leafage and swollen twigs revolve, and you
Can imagine fridge-full’s of rare home brews,
Or spiced-plum brandy, tots doled out to travellers;
Sometimes waves snapping fierce enough to whip out
All the tent pegs in canvas-town, with a wind able to upturn a wedding marquess’s trestle tables tomorrow.
Days of wooden coach wheels bumping out of Ida valley on the old Dunstan road in journeys of the pioneers.
Days realising meteorological balloons into a delicate apricot sky
In this landscape we invent, as it invents us –
From rock flake and spring water, from a skiff of froth
Tumbling over a weir into the afterglow of the Aurora.


somebody's darling


It's amazing how big the human heart really is and this is one instance that has withstood the passage of time, even if it isn't all true. 


I must be getting old

There is not a lot of stuff on tv here that interests me and Hubby doesn't watch much at all. One thing we watch most evenings is 'The Chase' but the adverts for even that one hour make me wonder about society. It seems that little by little, the world out there has forgotten how to share and now it is sending the message that making yourself happy is the most important thing in the world.

*A couple rush their kids to bed so they can enjoy Maccas delivered without sharing with the kids.

*I don't even remember what the ad is for (that's how annoyed it makes me), but a lady pulls up next to another car and looks--just looks--over to the car beside her with a kid in the back seat rapping to a song on the radio. Kid's mom looks over, smiles with a snark and turns up the radio and joins the singing.

*A grocery store advertises the pans you can get there with several people out-and-out lying to someone on the phone so they can stay home and cook.

*And, then, there is the ad with people being disappointed about their choice of car because someone they know bought the car that they really wanted.

I know these ads don't represent most of the world, but it's sad that they should be sending such self-absorbed messages.

And then the shows that make a mockery of marriage:

*Married at First Sight

*90 Day Fiancé

Goodness, what is this world coming to?


Puzzling World

We passed this place in our travels, but didn't have time to stop. It sure looked interesting! 

Here is a link to their website!


Memorial to US Marines


In Queen Elisabeth park in Paraparaumu, there is a memorial to American Marines.


Some NZ trivia

Some of this is personal observation, some was blatantly stolen from various websites.

In New Zealand you can get milk from Bulls.

Auckland, the largest city in New Zealand, has the largest Polynesian population in the world.

There is no tree on Auckland's One Tree Hill, but there was one until a few years ago.

Most native New Zealand trees are evergreen. Not pretty green, but definitely green.

The only accordion museum exhibition in the southern hemisphere is in Dargaville.

This country is the size of Colorado or the UK and would fit into the Caspian or Baltic Seas.

Lake Taupo, the big lake in the middle of the North Island, is the worlds largest volcanic crater.

There are over ten million beef and dairy cattle in NZ.

The Kiwi bird, which is about the size of a domestic chicken, lays an egg that is almost a quarter of its total body weight.

New Zealand is actually some 1,000 miles from Australia.

We have the world's:

largest flightless birds [ the kakapo],
largest earthworms,
greatest timber volume of any tree [the kauri]
heaviest insect [the Weta].

If you live in Gisborne, you are living in the first city to see the light of a new day.

New Zealand has one of the highest car ownership rates in the world, with 884 per thousand people.

We have the first documented case of 'exploding trousers'.

Unlike most countries around the world, New Zealand Pizza Hut offers chips with its deliveries.

New Zealand is one of only three countries that have two official national anthems.

The Wildfoods Festival is held in Hokitika, New Zealand each year. You can sample icky cuisine like possum pate and fried duck tongue.

Bungee jumping was invented here, as were
tranquilizer dart gun,
milking machines,
ear tags for animals,
disposable syringes,
blokarting and
THUS proving that there's not much to do here when it's raining! 

Here, same sex marriages, prostitution, soliciting, and brothel keeping are all legal.

Ninety-Mile Beach isn't.

New Zealand oversees two overseas territories, Tokelau and Ross Dependency (in Antarctica). We also keep an eye on the Cook Islands and Niue.

Wellington, the capital city, is windier than Chicago!

New Zealanders consume 4kg of chocolate per capita annually.

The Maori name of New Zealand is Aoteroa, which means "Land of the Long White Cloud."

New Zealand has 6000 kilometers of coast line and nowhere is more than 120km from the coast.

There are no native predators here--no snakes or lions or tigers or bears, oh my!

New Zealand has every climate in the world.

Each year New Zealand has about 100 to 150 quakes that are big enough to be felt. The last fatal one was 2016.

The longest road bridge in New Zealand is the Rakaia River Bridge and is 1,757 metres long.

The population of the city of Sydney, Australia, is greater than the entire population of the country of New Zealand.

We have one ski resort called The Remarkables and one called The Aspiring.

Ernest Rutherford, who is known as the father of nuclear physics for his orbital theory of the atom, is from New Zealand.


SS Waitangi

 May 5, 2023 marks the 100 anniversary of the sinking of the SS Waitangi on the beach at Patea. 

I have several photos from when the sands scattered and revealed the remains of the ship.






The local paper ran an article with some photos of the original ship.


Meet Bruce

 We moved to our little house about a year ago. Mickey seemed happy at the new place with his chip-controlled cat flap. After a few months, we went for a 4 day trip, as we had many times before. Hubby found a lady to feed him while we were gone, so we didn't have to worry. 

Apparently, something happened to him soon after we left as the lady never saw him at any time and the food wasn't eaten. 
We were devastated that he never came home.

Fast forward to last Sunday... Out of the blue, Hubby asked me if I was ready for another cat. I, of course, said, 'Sure' and he began telling me about a very friendly cat that needed a home.

It seems the cat belonged to the owners of a small store in a nearby town but he was left behind when the store changed hands about a month ago and the new owners chased him off.

A concerned neighbor lady put a plea out on the FB page for a home for him and Hubby told her we would take him if a family with kids didn't want him.

Long story short...we have a new family member and his name is Bruce. 

They guess he's about 7 years old and as friendly as cats come. He loves being petted and wasn't scared at all when he got to our house. He's finding the best places for a nap and seems OK that we won't let him outside yet. I don't think he will wander too far when he finally gets to go out but we'll see after we get him chipped and looked over by the vet.


My garden...

With all that has been going on with Hubby's knee (and recent broken toe!)
I haven't had time or much inclination to start my garden here.
I had scattered some seeds and bulbs but the weather has been quite
un-summer like and now autumn looms.
Oh, well! Next spring will be better :)

I did manage to get some angel-winged begonias hung up on the
front porch.



Update on the house with something special

 A while back I posted about a house down the road that was in a battle to survive--the house with something special.

Sadly, the court decided that it was not historically valuable and would be torn down. 

According to the article, "This assessment found the whare was built later than initially thought, and that the interior room was part of the building, so permission was given by the Crown entity for the building to be bulldozed."

We drove by a few days later and it was gone.


I'm OK!

Thanks to all those that expressed concern about the
flooding. That area is around Auckland, far north of me, over 2 hours drive.
We have had rain but nothing unusual.



our night in jail in 2016

Our last night in Christchurch was spent in the Jailhouse Accommodations at the locally converted jail. Click here for their website. 

Being a backpackers' hostel, I expected it to be loud but the 'inmates', even though most of them were pretty young, were well-behaved and respectful. That's our room with the bunk beds!


St Michael's, Stanway

There is not a lot to be found about this church except it still holds regular services.
The Anglican church has been operating for 126 years 
and was designed by Frederick de Jersey Clere.