Sunday, 29 January 2017

The Pie Man and the leaning tower of Pizza

Today I had a "Day Rover" ticket on the local trains, so headed to the capital for the day. One the way home, I decided to hop off at a small seaside town. On its one street resides a butcher who makes the BEST chicken pies in the S. Hemisphere. He was surprised to see me, as he knows I live at least an hour's drive north of his shop. "I dropped in to get some pies." He looked over my shoulder expecting my better half to come strolling in too. "Oh I'm on my own, took the train to the big smoke today. I had a brainwave on the way back. I'm allowed to hop on and off the train, so here I am for pies." He started to laugh "Well you know you are always very welcome, lovely to see you, and you're lucky, there are two left".

Half an hour later, I am sat in an almost deserted railway carriage, when two young men got on, one with a pushchair and a sleeping baby, the other a security guy balancing a tower of pizza pieces cut into slices. Goodness knows where they had come from. He helped the young lad with the baby, then proceeded to offer pizza around the carriage. "It's good bro" as he leaned over to Daddy with the pushchair. We all politely declined, but it was such a nice gesture. Kiwis love their pies and love their pizza, but no so much as they aren't willing to share.

Nice, real nice.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Of plums and piggies

Our plum trees are on strike. The three large trees on the boundary have given up on summer and have refused to produce a single plum. The smaller tree by the gate has obliged with a plateful. This year it looks like it will be one small pie instead of several kilos of jam. Humph! Another downside of the saturated summer we have been treated to.

Yesterday, I was able to enquire after the health of the Post Office Pig. It transpired that Sir Hinu Porker had had a bad case of lice. The postmistress was very concerned and so enquired how much the treatment would cost for such a corpulent pig at the vets. Several hundred dollars for the fluid to rub down the lad and rid him of the pestilence by Jove! Our enterprising postmistress then phoned up a few local pig farmers. They recommended that a few gallons of drained engine oil smeared over the lad would do just as well - a kind of suffocating marinade. So, Sir Hinu was rubbed clean of his lice with a beautifying smear of truck oil, and all is now well.

Use number 305 for Castrol GTX!

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Hen sitting

After concluding a very pleasurable week of being Aunty Hen to an unruly mob of clucking youngsters and three stroppy laying madams, I now find I am missing them. In a note to me from her holidays, their owner commented "I see hens in your future". Not sure which crystal ball she was using, but she may be right. Here are the beauties who over a period of 5 days, swore at me, clucked sweet nothings, and projected most emotions in between.

Stalking Pork

Our Post Office owns a pig. It's not a full Post Office, more a dairy with a sub-post office inside. For non-Kiwis, a dairy is like a corner shop, only this one isn't on a corner it is right on the main highway heading north. Anyway, I digress. A few weeks ago, when I was throwing a letter in the letter box, I noticed a rustling of grass next to the box. Snuffling in the knee high grass was a pig. I didn't have time to introduce myself, but the next time I saw our Post Mistress I asked about him. "Is he yours?" to which she replied he was. I automatically thought he was being fed up for a Hangi, but no, the Post Mistress was horrified. "No no, he's a pet pig. He's called Hinu. He's my baby." The said "baby" is the size of our chest of drawers and has a head worthy of a Medieval banquet. I reckon there is 70kgs of bacon rashers on that smiley boy.

I hadn't seen him for a while so enquired about his health. Turns out he had been on romantic stud duties before New Year, and had returned a very Happy Boy, content to rustle around in the long grass and occasionally beg for ice cream from customers.

It makes posting letters a bit of an adventure, as I never know if he is going to stroll out near the fence and give me a cheeky wink.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Chicken wrangling

I am chicken sitting for our neighbouring farm. They have about a dozen free range girls who are very amusing. This morning I got a royal telling off by one madam who had to be man handled off her eggs in the chicken house. She swore and cursed at me, and the girls clucking around my feet just seem to be laughing at me being sworn at. Very undignified for both of us. The cow in the paddock just rolled her eyes.

Walking back from disgruntled chicken, I found a birds nest on the floor, which had fallen out of a very tall macrocarpa. It was woven with wool from the sheep in the same field.

And on the road away from the farm I got a few more raindrop photos.