31 January 2013

The same the whole world over

There are worse places in the world to be stranded than Hawkes Bay Airport.

Some mechanical problem it seems.....

The scenery was spectacular and Air New Zealand provided refreshment chits.

Ooops....the mechanic had the wrong size spanner....

You see the same scenes at every airport  all over the world.

 Arriving to spend the week with Nana....it is still the school holidays here.

 Waiting in more ways than one...

Finally we were re-routed to Nelson via Auckland......

and this dad-to-be made it in time.

29 January 2013

Cape Kidnappers

A day trip to Cape Kidnappers to view the gannet colonies.
Cape Kidnappers is southest of Napier on the East Coast of the North Island in the Hawke's Bay region.


 We hitched a ride on the tractor trailers that take you along the beach, spectacular scenery to be seen along the way.

 The gannets are handsome,if smelly,birds with butter colored heads and smart black markings. See the fluffy, voracious chick.

But, the drama was when  a stingray  washed up on the beach, it was thrashing about quite violently.  Mums and dads rushed to retrieve their little ones out of the water.

Finally two brave Kiwi blokes managed to scoop it onto a small surf board and return it to the waves.

25 January 2013

The Garden at Johns House

How delightful is this garden at Johns House in Hawkes Bay, specially as I know it is -21 degrees in Toronto.

The Albizzia or silk tree is new to me, a fast growing,shade tree with delicate, feathery blooms and a lovely shape. 

 Apparently we have missed the best of the roses, but they look pretty good to me.

|Dahlias always look best in a mass like this I think.

Hydrangeas  are bigger than dinner plates.

The piglets in the paddock at the end of the garden have doubled their size in a week it seems.  they wag their tails like dogs.  They are Kunekune, New Zealand pigs, make great pets and this lot will find new homes fairly soon.

22 January 2013

a day at the races

A day out at the Hawkes Bay race track in Hastings. We always take in a meet when traveling,  if we can. 
  I think you get to see a slice of life at the track.
 Delighted that Lisa Alpress was riding, I remember seeing her race in Christchurch several years ago.

. The King of Rock came in for me. I won ($5 each way, my usual bet)  on two of the first three races, but it was all down hill from then on.

It was Family Day, with games for the kids on the track between races. The sack race, hobby horse relay and tug o' war..

The setting was gorgeous and the weather perfect.

Unfortunately the day did not draw much of a crowd, the serious punters being inside, at the bar, where they could watch 5 different TVs with races from all over NZ taking place, this included trotting races and the dogs!!

18 January 2013


I found everything I needed in Hastings. 
A new battery charger from Dobsons Photo Shop. 
A tape measure from Knit World
and a pedometer from Rebel Sport


 along with goodies from a couple of op shops.

 Although Hastings is starting to suffer from the usual invasion of big box stores and super markets, I liked it a lot. Extremely  friendly and helpful people.....Kiwis do love to chat.
 Beautiful architecture...look at those fantastic street lamps.

I went to the  community arts center, housed in an old china store,  and  a very well curated Art Gallery....more on that later.
I missed their Opera House, but there is always another time.

The day I arrived in New Zealand I sniffed out the lively Farmers Market....jet lag couldn't stop me.
There is also a race track, but that is another story.

13 January 2013


 We are staying in the center of an apple growing district between Hastings and Havelock North.

 The trees are laden with fruit, whether in the orchards or by the side of the roads.

Fabulous color, pattern and texture everywhere.

Such abundance.....

 I hope the apple farmers are having a good season.

08 January 2013

meet the neighbours

Arrived in New Zealand with a dreadful cold, worst I have had in a decade, but soon cheered up and was made welcome by the neighbours. They live in the paddock at the end of the garden.

3 somber alpacas, perhaps they would rather be in Peru.

 A small herd of benign cattle, about  8- 10 of them.

Then there is Misty, the miniature horse, who stands 26" to the withers, I am told.

Misty loves to gallop about, but she has a bit of an attitude, thinks she is the paddock princess.

 It seems the only one to stand up to her is Mrs Pig, seen here with her 5 greedy offspring.

Lastly there is Mr Pig, quite the ugliest pig I have ever seen.  I guess Mrs Pig thinks he is OK.

More on the pigs at another point.

02 January 2013

in with the new

My Christmas present was a new iron!!  Another from Reliable.....

The old one was about to bite the dust. Reliable is not to blame entirely as I freely admit I did not look after it as I should ,leaving it on all night on several occasions and other forms of abuse.The new model is a bit heavier, a good workout for the upper arms, the right side at least.

 Not my most favorite activity but needed for things like this, and this......and even these, that sometimes arrive in a crumpled mass.

So here's  to a few more years of happy ironing.

And for us all, lets hope for a friendly and more kindly year.........

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