Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Take the Weather

If you are me, or have been constantly in my vicinity, you have had a glorious run of weather. The Wellington region had clear, sunny days for Christmas and New Year while other parts of NZ had deluges and cyclones. I travelled the length of the North Island and saw it all in warmth, sun and calm. All just another part of the very charmed life I lead.

Today I officially head back to work. Like Richard (Of Richard's Bass Bag) I have already put many hours into getting set up, but these were according to my own timetable, not someone else's. The unrelenting heat has been just lovely, but now it needs to turn down. I won't be able to lie around with hokey pokey ice creams, recline in the shade over a glass of sauvignon blanc or idle away the hours in a cool cafe. Reality is about to bite, and very hot weather is only pleasant when you have all the time in the world to set about achieving absolutely nothing. May we now have cool nights and clear days, about 20 degrees celsius, please.

Album of the Day

Track/Video of the Day

See what I did there?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Sporting Terms

I am not in the least bit sporty - well not conventionally sporty. There is however one activity that I excel at and in which I always emerge triumphant. Until now I have always just thought of it as 'wheelie bin bouncing', a clumsy term for jumping into one's bin and reducing the volume of rubbish by considerable compacting through jumping. My bin is only emptied fortnightly and a single miss in sending it kerbside can spell rubbish disaster. By necessity and sheer persistance I have honed my skills to ninja level in this sport. If one actually calculates the cost of each individual empty by the bin company this is another excellent motivation in ensuring it is jam-packed full. So I was particularly saddened to read about Jason Gunn's unfortunate accident while engaged in my sport.

Poor Jason managed to topple over backwards from the bin and sustain several breaks to his back in the landing. I send my sincere best wishes for his speedy recovery, and though he is clearly an amateur at the sport I propose honouring his contribution by officially renaming the activity as 'gunning'. The dictionary definitition will read something like this:

gunn, v.i. & t. Leap into wheelie bin in order to compact contents

In the interests of public safety I must caution new gunners to take care when gunning. When the wheelie bin is ready for gunning ...

... move it to a location where the gunner can have support while gunning. We don't want any more gunners doing a 'Jason' and bringing our sport into disrepute. My technique is to jump from the raised seating and grasp the opposite fence.

Safe and productive gunning can then proceed. Happy gunning everyone .... keep safe out there!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Five Years On

On this day, five short years ago, I was on the move. It was a Tuesday and the long Anniversary Weekend holiday had been spent in a packed up house in Stokes Valley, after two energetic packers had spent the preceding Thursday and Friday putting all my worldly possessions into boxes for the big move. I was leaving the bush for the beach. Five years on I still marvel at how blessed I am to be living here. Here are a few 'before and after' shots. I think it is safe to say my chosen style for home and garden involves a lot more 'stuff' than the the minimalist approach preferred by the previous owners. However, their meticulous approach to tidiness and cleanliness were a major selling point.

















Long may the cluttering continue. 2016 is shaping up to be another stellar year, and so we move on to the much anticipated ....

Album of the Day

Track of the Day

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Great Summer Road Trip Comes to an End

Another stopover in Hamilton where I mixed with the local riff raff.

A late night trip to the casino turned $20 into $38 before striking a jackpot of $900!  Thank you, Outback Jack!

Hamilton Gardens were well worth the visit the next morning ...

... then on to Taupo and back to home, where a little black cat was very pleased to see me.

Petone Ponderings looks forward to resuming our Summer Season of postings. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Great Summer Road Trip, Day 10

The morning was spent exploring the wee settlement of Kohukohu. This is reached by car ferry from Rawene and it is a busy, frequent service.

Kohukohu is a beautiful, serene town and one I had wanted to visit for a long time.

Continuing the 'we've got the oldest' theme of this trip, I was intrigued by this sign.

The bridge was the first stone span in New Zealand and is the oldest surviving bridge overall. In the old photos it looked to be very pleasing to the eye, but has been allowed to be partially buried and largely unloved today. Come on Kohukohu, sort this out.

At midday it was time to hit the road for the first leg of the return journey. We didn't get far before a stop at Opononi was called for. Northland really does sand dunes very well!

I still have my stamp album from childhood and I recall the issue and collection of a stamp featuring Tane Mahuta. Back then the traveller could touch and lean on the mighty kauri, but we are taking much more care now. You can still get very close, but Tane is given a little personal space and has his own dedicated Department of Conservation officer on hand to keep the fans at bay.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Great Summer Road Trip, Day 9

The rain was just starting to fall and was at times very heavy as we headed west (actually, west, south, north, east, west ... these road signs are very confusing) and in just over two hours completed the fifty minute trip from Paihia to Rawene, on the Hokianga harbour. The sun was shining as we arrived in this lovely village. 

Accommodation is in the charming Postmaster's Lodgings, and the following photos are particularly for our regular blog visitor, Sue, who will appreciate the decor!

As much as I would like to lie around in my splendid room, I will take a walk around the area and soak up the charm a little more.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

The Great Summer Road Trip, Day 8

They really need to be a little more precise with the road signage up here in the winterless north. When you are setting off for Kerikeri and see a sign that says 'Mission House' it is easy for the out-of-towner to assume that this is the mission house, sometimes called Kemp House, that is right next door to the Stone Store you are heading for. This is not the case. There is a Te Waimate Mission House, too. Luckily this mission house is absolutely exquisite and comes with a beautiful church and historic graveyard, and the hours taken getting lost and exploring it are well spent.

They really love being the oldest in things up here, so today I saw the oldest and second oldest buildings in New Zealand, and the oldest oak tree and oldest pear tree. More importantly I walked the Waitangi Treaty grounds - very, very special.

Oh, and eventually the Stone Store was located, too!