Sunday, 7 August 2016

A bit forgetful

Yesterday it was sunny enough to dry laundry on the verandah (in spite of the snow on the hills). Unfortunately, I forgot them overnight, and woke to brick hard towels. My better half will be not be impressed as he likes the soft and fluffy variety! These were frost/abrasive standard!!

The paddock has taken a bit of time to de-frost from the overnight minus two, but the sheep found the snug sunny spot, so they are all huddled there. This was the view from the kitchen at 9am.

I have always been fascinated by a local fence which circles the property of a local celebrity chef. It is covered for nearly a kilometre with lichen on every bar. This morning I remembered to take my camera to immortalise it.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Winter or Spring?

We are meteorologically challenged. Our cherry trees are blossoming, the birds are trying to take over the post box to nest and the daffodils I planted last year are up and smiling already. To add to the confusion, we are expecting minus 2 degrees tonight and there is snow on the mountains. Welcome to climate change I suppose!

All three cats have gone to bed before us each evening, which means we have to shoe horn our way under the duvet so as not to disturb them. Only one was in evidence today, keeping an eye on the flax plants in case any rodent ran out. He did this from the comfort of the sofa,(perhaps you are detecting a theme by now?)

Meanwhile our neighbour has acquired 60+ dairy cows and is fattening them up on the field opposite. We are hoping we don't get any escapees in our garden like earlier in the year.

And as I still believe it is winter I continue to knit hats for the Seafarers Centre in Wellington.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Goldilocks and the 3 cats

Well, we did adopt 3 cats, and they do rule our lives. The boys like our bed on winter nights. The problem is, they weigh 12kgs between them, and we only have a queen size bed!

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Life's milestones

Last weekend a friend and "next town neighbour" died very suddenly. He hadn't reached his 60th birthday. He was a local chief, well respected across the various iwi in this region. The Maori use the word "mana" a lot to denote respect and influence. This friend had a lot of mana, both with his people and with politicians and the church. He was also a key figure for negotiating outstanding Treaty settlements.

But all these "worldy" attributes were not what made him great in the eyes of most. It was his humour, compassion, aroha (love) and the hard work he put into the community he served, and for every committee he sat on and group he associated with. He was wise and had integrity. He was a family man who with his wonderful wife raised some amazing kids.

The space these kind of men leave in the Maori community is large. Role models in any culture are not easy to come by. For the Maori people they count men of God and mana to be invaluable. I am sad because although I don't believe anyone is irreplaceable, in many respects this man will be.

He now lies in a grave under a beautiful tree in the grounds of the Maori Cathedral, Rangiatea. I stood on a hill to watch the mourners leave the cathedral and come and say their goodbyes. In the cathedral and outside, I counted over 400. They had come from all over NZ, and islands in the Pacific sent Bishops as their representatives.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Paddock diary

It has been a bit quiet in the paddock recently. However, one of the latest pheasant brood has decided that our gate and fence is his. These were taken on a long telephoto lens this morning, just after breakfast and a shower of rain.

Our ginger hunters thankfully have the good sense to stay away from him, and if Mango's response to a noisy chicken is anything to go by, the pheasant will live to a ripe old age!

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Patisserie perambulations

Until today I didn't know there was a pastry called Koenig Amman, which sounds like the German for "The King of Amman", which I suppose refers to King Abdullah II of Jordan (who of course is half English).

The said pastry was purchased in a Vietnamese bakery in NZ.

Not French, or even Jordanian; Vietnamese.

Heck, who cares, it was FABULOUS. Sort of a multi-dimensional Danish pastry (oh help, another nation!), filled with custard and fruit.

Eh voila

And following leaves of pastry with cherry tree leaves (don't you love BBC links), here is a photo of our driveway. I love leaves and trees and colour, and we have them in abundance at the moment.

Happy Monday.