Sunday, 20 November 2016

New Shakeland

It's been an awful week for New Zealand. There have been three major earthquakes in the last century, on Sunday night / Monday morning, no 3 arrived. 7.8 on the Richter scale, doing major damage to North Canterbury and the capital Wellington.

I happened to be up when it hit at 12.02am. I was in the bathroom at the time, but got myself to the bedroom quickly and lay down by the bed on the floor. The shake was massive, and we didn't get the worst of it. It was felt throughout New Zealand.

So six years after Christchurch was levelled, we have to start again, again.

Once again the amazing courage and resilience of the people in New Zealand has emerged, but at huge cost. Prayers would be appreciated, donations to the amazing NZ Red Cross even more so.

To try to strike a note of normality, we went out for our usual weekly coffee this morning. It was good to see that for some of creation, life just continues. Mrs Blackbird was stealing crumbs and whipped cream (!) from an abandoned plate when we arrived. Then we saw her fly to the rafters and snuggle down onto her nest.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Gardening for beginners

We have a huge garden. It was planted by someone with easy maintenance in mind. But it still takes a lot of work, and we aren't as young as we would like to imagine we are.

Last year, for the first time, I planted some beans, and was delighted that they actually grew! Having a vegetable garden was a novel experience for me.

This year, I have repeated the beans, and added sweet peas as they are the favourite flower of my childhood.

But there is a thorn in paradise; we have had nocturnal bunny chomping. No sooner had my beans started to do their upwardly mobile manoeuvres, but they were nibbled down in their prime. I suspect Hortensia hare, as she is huge and beautiful and looks like she eats three times a day.

So my scarlet runners are going to have to run a lot quicker if they are to outrun the hungry hare.

After the great scarlet runner discovery, I nearly tripped over a large and thankfully very dead rat on the lawn. It is always difficult to know which of the "boys" has been busy, but judging by the soporific positions of the ginger today, I think it my have been him.