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Thursday, June 7, 2018

The month of May - in Australia

And we had a lovely autumnal time in the month of May, staying with pals from Tasmania to northern NSW.

We flew to Hobart via Melbourne on May 1, and stayed a few nights with Dave. He ran us around and up the mountain. Ferried over to MONA and walked around for hours.

Did the markets too, and saw an interesting doco about an outback Aboriginal women's choir: The Songkeepers. That changed our minds about German  Lutheran missionaries - they  did good!

Hired a car and drove up to Windermere and Launceston and stayed  a few nights with Merran on her lovely estate - so like Robertson. Pulled a few weeds, enjoyed the fire, hung out at the cafe, did a circuit of the Tamar River. and caught up with Ruth and Bronson who now have kidlets.

Then flew to Ballina and spent a couple of nights with Nicola and Jane, walking the beach boardwalk and more cafe time. Awesome view from their living room - I could have just stayed there.

Picked up another car and drove down to Rita and Sandy at Grassy Head. Had  a lovely little fish on the beach - no fish - and walks on beach and headland.

Drove to Sydney and Castle Hill and spent about 10 days there with John, Mischa's dad, doing family stuff. And cafes! Autumn in full swing around town, and some weird stuff, like jacarandas in flower (should be November), and spring bulbs out (in autumn). It's too dry and too warm.

Caught up with lots of old friends and family and  buddies from schools past, and all the new babes.

With a bit of shopping too, and some city time walking around the Vivid light show and art galleries.

Sydney is a construction site; cranes everywhere. Even seen through the trees from the Reid house now.

Vivid Sydney

    We sat quaffing an alcoholic beverage on the forecourt of the Uproar House watching the spectacle unfold.

The steps beside the Sydney Opera House sails changed with lurid colours, the people becoming the artwork. This was the best.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

More works around the house

The fire pit just before we bricked an edge  around it. Smoking up the neighbours heheh. We now have a bench seat and the pit looks much more finished now. I pruned mum's bay tree down to a bush and we kept the lot for this fire. Threw on some branches and it crackled like fireworks and smelt fabulous.

Then last week my lovely uncle Earl passed. Mum's brother. Nice funeral with lots of family, music and motorbikes; as mum said, he would have loved it. We went back to mum's place for a bit of dinner.

Me, Greg and Cliff (gesticulating), with mum watching one of her favourite shows, The Chase.

Greg, Cliff, Ness, David and Mark in mum's little house.

Took mum over to see Arlene today and thought the stick combo was cute. Arlene just home after her second hip replacement, and Lizzie photo bombing.

Mish has worked all day on her planter box under fish, and a beautiful day it was too. Classic autumn. Now she's making baked lime yoghurt chicken mmmmm.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Warm in autumn, until today!

Wandering the waterfront on a sunny afternoon, watching jumpers on the 8 metre diving platform. She took ages to go, but with lots of encouragement from friends she eventually did, screaming. It's a popular spot and the water is still warm around Wellington. Lots of dolphins close in and whales across the strait in Kaikoura.

And lots of great sunsets. Mish out the back trying to capture the end of one on a phone. Fugget it. Get your camera out and do it properly.

Meanwhile, Mish is making plywood boxes. This is because there are holes in the living room wall.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

CubaDupa 2018

Wellington's biggest and jumpiest street festival, yesterday and today. Mish had a market stall for her felt works on the Saturday. We got in there early, had a yummy breakfast, and set up her stall. Most artistically, as you can imagine.

It was in front of Toi Poneke, where her studio is. We parked at the back, and then had a birds' eye view of the music and acts and people for the next  seven hours and it was great!

Here's Mish setting up. She sold four pieces and has a possible commission.

We took turns going out for food and music and to enjoy the vibe.

This is the corner of Cuba and Abel Smith St, looking down to Mischa's stall in the white gazebos and sound stage beyond. There was another stage behind me and one of my left. They are still setting up here.

And Mish with her first work sold.

It rained on and off, and the sun came out, and everyone carried on, dancing in the streets. Great music from all over the world on multiple stages. We had a really good day.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Saturday night at the demolition derby

A family affair. We have fond memories of family trips to the stock cars in the 1970s, so we decided to have a little get together and go again. Love the mini stocks with teen drivers, and the finale was an 80 car demolition derby. No pics of any of that though.

Lots of noise and hot dogs and ice creams. Lovely warm evening, as you can see from t-shirts.

Cliff and Ness.

Norm, Alexander, Arlene and some other girl...oh, Mark under hair.

Mia stuffing in ice cream, Andrea  and Colton.

Between races.

That's a genuine NZ hot dog, a battered sausage on a stick with loads of ketchup. One is actually extremely yummy. More than one...

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Long February days

Cyclone Gita swung by after smacking Tonga, and we had some weird weather. This is an eastern sunset which is a bit rare. Muted colour in an unusual place.

It was a typical storm at our place, wind and rain, but just north and south of Wellington got hammered with gale force winds and floods. Trees down, roads out, roofs off, beach washed away.

It's been so warm the cloud can't get away. The sea is balmy and most swimmable.
An afternoon view from the living room, looking west to Mt Kaukau.

The week before, Mish and I had a paddle at Plimmerton watching a solid cloud bank on the sea. Thick as. That's the South Island on the obscured horizon, Mana Island on the right.

And we walked by some interesting brick mosaics by the water. They copped very big waves at high tide. Hope they are still there!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Waitangi Day 2018

Tuesday; a lovely day to have off work.
Mish felting in her studio and me out wandering with camera.

Titahi Bay looking west to Mana Island (cleared for a sheep station in the 1800s and now being reforested, and with a very numerous lizard population).

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Summer continues

With a bit of a cold snap for a couple of days, but we're back into it now. Even Mish was out in shorts today.
And the bumble bees are busy  in the lavender. We've been moving some lavender plants to create a lavender edge to the deck. Should be great in  a couple of years.

We have monarchs around and caterpillars and cocoons. All good so far, this year.

The Interislander ferry going out this morning.

Lovely day, no wind turbine movement and then a light cool breeze and hot sun. Had a spin in Mischa's 'new' car, a little red  2010 Honda Fit/Jazz, and a walk over at Titahi Bay.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Mid summer swims and butterflies

Beach weather.

At Worser Bay last weekend. Even Mish got in.

Snorkled around the rocks - some lovely green lipped mussels hanging out.

At Lyall Bay today. Didn't even need the wetsuit. Baby waves but nice for an actual swim. Large pod of dolphins smashing fish across the bay for hours, leaping out of the water and chasing them around. Most engaging.

Looking into Cook Strait from my comfortable and uncrowded spot on the sand -  interislander ferry heading to Picton in the distance. This is like being on holiday!

Meanwhile in Newlands, they're baaaaaaaaaaaack!!

Monarch caterpillars munching away on last year's swan plants. Plenty of leaf action here so bro Cliff and kids brought some of their caterpillars over when they ran out of leaves. Hope we have better luck than last year: total flutter byes from lots of caterpillars and cocoons = zero.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Paella lunch and the end of the planter box works

The day before most of us went back to work, January 8, we made a paella and had a family lunch here. Mmmm.

Mum, Mark, Cliff, Colton and Mia lounging.

And extra lounging; Christmas can sure take it out of you.

But, before lunch, the boys helped us move a pohutakawa in a wine barrel down to the bottom of the yard where Mish had prepared a nice deep hole. Here's the finished planter box behind, pre plants. That'll be jasmine we have managed to layer over a few months, up in the veg garden. We have roots, lovely - free plants. And some sweet peas Mish has ordered online - special ones, of course.

We are about to have a doozey argument putting tree into hole...oh well. I'm  'just do it' and Mish is 'do it slowly and properly'. Anyway, it's in and it'll love it there and it looks great!

Since then it has been raining on and off the whole time. Which is brilliant as we have been pretty dry. Most of NZ is in drought and it is raining all over - too much in some places of course - so we could be coming right.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Happy new year, friends!

We've had some great summer weather over the Christmas new year break.  So nice as we got ripped off last summer (what summer?). Two weeks off work in warm/hot days with a cool afternoon breeze. 

Had a delightful snorkle at Island Bay marine reserve a few days ago and shot away with the Olympus Tough. Water still pretty cold though, about 15 degrees, so despite my brilliant 4/3 wetsuit  stayed in only about 20 minutes. Hands and feet went numb. Goggles fogged too so didn't see much except the coast's luscious seaweed garden. But loved it. There's a dive shop close by and they hire  #7 wetsuits so have talked Mish into coming out soon for a snorkle. 

And some dude going by without a  wetsuit on, too tough.

Mish on another day at Island Bay (with island). Great place for evening fish and chips.

On the other side of the harbour,  we had a paddle at Eastbourne. 
Looking to the east over to the city.

  Such a warm day; getting a free hot rock treatment. Aaaah.

And later, a coffee at a new container cafe at the Seaview Marina. Bright idea, right on the water, with boats pulling up outside.

Mish has also been working on the bottom of the yard building a long planter box with scavenged materials and left over roofing bits. This is looking up the yard; new house site on the left. Mish sweet talked the digger guy to give us a few buckets of topsoil, and he gave us enough to fill the planter box - excellent! New owners happy, they had to pay to dump truckloads of soil to clear the site.

We've started to shovel the soil in, SO much easier on  middle aged woman than bringing it down our steps in wheelbarrows from the driveway.

In the next photo, two gates are in place, wired to concreted posts. Long gate to come, on their right. The plan is to grow jasmine climbers all over the gates so we have a fragrant green wall between us and our two adjacent neighbours at the bottom.

Mish doing her usual 'stare and think' design process - this can go on for some time, but the results are usually good.

All we wanted was some rain to make the summer break perfect and the ground less cracked, and good rain has arrived. It's been very dry over the whole country. Ripper of a storm has blown over from Queensland and hit the north and south of us so sea has been raging with whitecaps in the harbour and a king tide today.