Friday, January 25, 2013

Home and back

Home after ten days and wedding anniversary for Marilyn and terry as well as mum and dad so a quiet dinner at Marilyn's with all participants.

Intended to have time at the beach but it was booked so the sewing room called and I did some bits and pieces but not as much a spent time at school completing tasks for Phil. Work started officially on the 21st for me and it has been a long week with things getting settled. Seems a very quick start to the year but hopefully Monday will go fine with all the new kids on the block.
My cousin and husband are staying at my place this weekend as they are completing the round the mountain cycle race so I have to start training for 2014. I am in Auckland for a cliff Richard concert and Tiffin Tea at the Langham Hotel with Stephanie. Nice weather and looks like lots more to come.
Alice and David both in Wellington this year so that is good. Alice starts in hospital in two days so the parents are getting here settled into her flat etc.
On the sewing front I have made myself a new oven cloth and nearly finished a Christmas wall hanging that I stitched twelve years ago. Have to wait for help from Marilyn to get the binding right.

Embroidery guild this year have chosen to register a piece of work for completion by December so I have chosen my Latvian mat and Maree chose Walk on the Wild Side for me as we'll. if I get a couple of weekends at the beach I will get a lot done. Have to schedule them into the diary now to get there I think.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Russell awaited

Another day of less useless facts but great information gained from the Pompallier House tour. A very entertaining guide who kept us entertained for nearly an hour with her descriptions of the printing, tanning and book making processes that went on in the 1840's. most exciting life and some of the saying we can attribute to the printing process are; upper and lower case as this is where the letter sat for the typesetter, mind your p's and q's (person who returned the type to the right box) and first impressions - the first print taken after the page is finished typesetting. During the tannery and leather making section we all learnt about skiving off which is not avoiding the dishes but actually trimming the leather to make it thinner and finer.
Lunch was had at the Duke of Wellington Hotel and it was delicious. I had the calamari on David's recommendation. Thanks Kim. A walk around to the church and a look in various shops then an afternoon tea snack and catch the ferry back to Paihia. A walk around the town around so we could visit all the gift and souvenir shops. A further drive the street found us at the Stone Church which was another tourist spot. We explored the grounds and Maree declared that she had fallen in love with graveyards again.

Wednesday 9th January.
Today we departed from the north and our lovely country cottage. We were packed and ready early - must be something in the water, so departed and onto the west coast. A detour to Te Waimate Mission House, plenty photos, chat with gardener and another tourist spot crossed off the list. On the road we then turned off to Rawene (setting sun in Maori) for morning tea at the boats shed cafe. Tea, coffee and hummingbird cake with a paddle in the Hokianga Harbour we were on the road again. Next stop was Opononi to check out the dolphin statue which has been gone for a while to be repaired and is hoping to be replaced by a bronze one. Another paddle and then onto the forest to see Tane Mahuta (giant kauri tree). 70 kms later we stopped for lunch at Dargaville and a search for a magnet for Stephanie with no joy.
Last section of driving without a stop at the kauri museum but a stop at puhoi for cheese saw us nearly get to the Auckland bridge before the rush hour traffic slowed our return to Stephanie's. unpacking of the car was completed quickly and we all relaxed with a pizza night and tv.
A wonderful break away with lots of knitting done.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

To the top and back

This was the big day out so quite an early start. Picked up at Waipapa we boarded the Dune Rider bus/truck on our way for adventure and exploration. Our driver Daniel was entertaining from the beginning and I managed to accumulate at least a dozen useful facts. Here they are:
1. Ninety mile beach - NZ road rules apply.
2. 90 mile beach is only 63 miles/105 kms in length and the buses only travel 73 kms along it.
3. Planted pines in Northland dried up streams in the 1800's
4. If dolphin bodies are found the local wifi bury them but keep teeth, jaws and some bones.
5. Lighthouse on Cape Reinga was built in 1941, automated in 1987 and run from Wellington.
6. Mary Jane Bennett was the first lighthouse keeper.
7. 800 year old pohutukawa tree at Cape Reinga does not flower.
8. Big kauri log at Gumdiggers is worth $500k if dug up and milled.
9. All buried kauri logs found are lying east to west and called swamp kauri. They can be buried over 100,000 years.
10. Paerangaranga Harbour - shipped silica sand to Auckland until 1995.
11. Te Kao kumera variety only grown in this area.
12. Nga Take means flock of birds. The Godwit flies non-stop 12,000kms return from Siberia each year.
13. In 1910 the first oil in NZ was made from peat dug up at Kaimaumau by Mr Trevor Oil.
14. Dwarf avocado trees only grow to 5 or 6 feet.

That's it for the useful facts, hope you enjoyed them. The map below shows the route that we took and the triangles are the stops we had.

Map sideways sorry.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Day 3 There really are beaches.

Another leisurely start and into town for the farmers market. Included also the art and craft market with some nice items but also the regular items. We purchased a few items for delectation and I also got a cool Xmas decoration. A short walk up the Main Street and coffee later we were on the road around to the coast to kauri cliffs, Matauri Bay, Tauranga Bay and Whangaroa. Nice relax on the beach at Matauri Bay with a read and a paddle. Onward to a few more stops then at Tauranga Bay we paddled again, had a cuppa and ice cream then onto Whangaroa. This was our last stop for the day.
Once home we decided to try the vino by the pool so eventually all were in and splashing around. Quite nice sipping and supping by the pool. Dinner was another BBQ experience with chicken kebabs while Stephanie made the salad. A quiet evening followed with a movie, stitching and diary writing. Early to bed as we have a big day tomorrow.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Nearly a museum visit

A leisurely start to the day after breakfast found us driving down our road to Opito Bay, supposedly a good beach. Very stony and designed for boats rather than sitting and drawing. After a paddle and beach scavenge we drove back to the Helen Clarke bypass and the Stone Store. A wander up to the Anglican Church and graveyard with Interesting family dynamics. The stone store certainly had an interesting array of items so I purchased a postcard and aniseed balls for mum. We did not pay the required sum for the visit of the stone store, kemp house and mission area and guided tour so missed the museum. Also later in the day drove past pete's museum as well. Far too many museums already passed on the drive here.
Lunch at The Pear Tree was delicious and I had a goat cheese and onion tart which was tasty. Stephanie had figs with blue cheese while Maree had a huge hamburger. A drive to the beach at the end of the road was a waste of time but still a pleasant drive and great views although no photos taken. Back to Keri Keri and a browse through shops, art galleries, chocolate and fudge factories then onto wineries and booking for dinner.
No photos will be posted unless taken with iPad as did not bring gadget to transfer photos from camera.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Northland jauntings

Today is the day we arrive at Keri Keri for our summer holiday. A good day's driving with a few stops saw us have a fun time at puhoi cheese for coffee stop, walk around Warkworth, stop at Hundertwasser toilet in Kawakawa and finally Keri Keri. Lovely little cottage our home for the next five days.
Lunch stop at Whakapapa.
Maree has also inspired me to practice making marks on paper so a stop at Warkworth produced an art book, pencils and watercolour pencils to make marks with. It should hopefully stretch my creative muscles one hope in preparation for the new year of BJP as well as creative Stitchers 12x12 pieces.