Welcome to my blog. Thanks for dropping by. Hope you'll stay and enjoy reading about where I've been and what I've been doing!

I don't mean this to be a replacement for personal emails, but it gives me the chance to put up photos and my scrapbook layouts, so I don't block up your in-boxes, or have to send the same photos and stories to everyone separately!
Thanks, and welcome, to the followers of my blog. I'm very honoured that you enjoy it. Drop me some comments from time to time! It's good to hear what you think about the posts. Come back again soon.

Thanks also to Mary of Mary's Mixes for doing all the work on the blog's heading. You are great, Mary!

Monday, 30 June 2008

Two scrapbook layouts for Carena

At home with Vena, Carena and Caitlin! Carena is a designer of digital scrapbooking material and subscribes to the same website as I do, which is how we "met" in the first place. When I realised I would be passing through her hometown I asked her if maybe we could get together, which she agreed would be great! I spent a night with the family, AND had a demonstration from Carena in how to make a picture frame with a ribbon or something tied round it. My effort is in the next layout. I think it's OK!? This first one seems to be a mishmash of unrelated objects but Carena will recognise them! Love to you all over there, and thanks again for my stay with you!

And here are the two of us together!

The second layout is from Caitlin's first day back to school after the holidays. She's all ready with schoolbag on her back to take Carena and me into her classroom for a quick tour before the bell rang!

I finally and reluctantly left Wakefield in the afternoon and headed off through wine country, for the ferry at Picton, leaving South Island behind and crossing back to North Island. It was dark by the time the ferry left so the lights were on in Picton as I looked back through a sea streaked window. Wellington next!

Talk again soon!

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Golden Bay

Well, that's the end of another week!

I caught a young shoplifter at work on Monday night, a kid we know quite well and have suspected for some time. It was sheer luck that I spotted him on the CCTV screen while I was on my break! Of course he was devastated to have been caught and tried to wheedle his way out of being searched, pretending that it was only his phone he was hiding under his jacket. However I finally got him to the office and made him turn out his pockets, and there we got him!!! It was Joyce, as supervisor, though who dealt with the situation from then on, threatening to call the police but finally calling his parents. Being assured that they would deal with him when he got home -he wasn't looking forward to his dad's reaction - he was also banned from returning to the shop. I do hope it taught him a lesson. I know when I was a little kid I stole money from my mother's purse, and was threatened with the police when she found out! I never ever did anything like that again! It frightened the living daylights out of me!

School ended for the summer today so we had lots of noisy teenagers in the shop tonight buying drinks (Coca Cola etc.)and sweets for celebratory parties! Linda, my oldest friend - since nursery school 55 years ago - retired from teaching today too, so I hope she got through the day without too many tears! It's something she has looked forward to, but it must still be sad to be leaving a school where she has been for so many years. Good luck Linda! See you this weekend to hear all about your last week!

Well, another few photos from New Zealand to finish off today's blog! My cousin Maureen took me on a drive on each of the two full days I spent with her. The first day was to Farewell Spit, the long sandbar that curves out like a finger into the Marlborough Sounds.

This picture doesn't really give a good impression of the Spit, more of the sand flats when the tide was out. The Spit is on the horizon.

On route to the Spit we passed through Takaka, a pretty town with beautiful hanging baskets and quaint buildings.....

.....an attractive modern church......

..........and beautiful painted murals. This one shows an old map of Golden Bay and the Spit, with local birds, including a whte heron, and a pohutukawa tree - dubbed the New Zaland Christmas tree.

Then we came to Waikoropupu Springs, commonly called Pupu Springs.

On the way along the river to Pupu Springs

Along the path there were quite a number of woven flowers on clumps of flax still growing. This is a sacred Maori place which maybe explains the flowers?

This is the main spring. It bubbles up from the floor of the lake, some 14000 litres a second, so little wonder it looks like the water is boiling!

Coming back to Motueka we took a turning to Bainham to visit an old shop. The old lady is said to be retiring soon, so I should imagine the shop will close. It's a wooden building that would have been the general store at one time for a fairly large rural community well spread out on farms round Golden Bay. It is now on the edge of a long distance walking track - the Heaphy Track - so I reckon must get a lot of business from walkers, as it's not really the type of place one just passes by.

On the second day the sun was shining and it was a glorious day with new snow on the distant hills!

Mapua Wharf.

There were several rather lovely shops to explore at Mapua. My favourite was the arts and crafts gallery where I saw this alered art piece!
It seems a trend these days to take an object and alter it, with sometimes stunning results! I loved this guitar!

At Kaiteretere beach

and along at Little Kaiteretere beach

Some of the houses here are large and rather ostentatious!
This one features the Inglis family crest! Wonder if we are related?

Well. I started this on Friday night, last night, and now it is Saturday afternoon! Thanks to all of you for dropping in, and also for your encouraging emails!
Talk again soon!

Friday, 27 June 2008

Reaching Maureen's at Mot

This is a view along the Buller River with the autumn colours that I meant to put in yesterday's blog but I'll just start with it today.

This is Lake Rotoroa (not Rotorua) in the Nelson Lakes National Park. There is good walking in the Park, and although overnight stays may be made en route, the water taxi can ferry walkers to and from points that converge on the lakeside, making it possible to do short stretches, perhaps in a day.

The next few pics could almost be of Scottish mountains.

Nearing Motueka

The main route north was on the other side of this bridge but I decided to do a short drive on the opposite side, following the Motueka river.

and here is Maureen's little cottage at Motueka. It was on the climbing rose that I saw the butterfly in the next shot. It was twice or thrice the size of our butterflies!

I had to adjust the lighting and the exposure in this photo to get the butterfly to be visible, so the sky and the rose hips are not as vibrant as they were in reality.

There's a lemon tree in Maureen's garden and feijoas land in her flowerbeds from a tree next door.

These are feijoas! They have a very strong perfume, not at all unlike Ralgex the deap heat cream you rub in to relieve sore muscles! These ones tasted OK but they need to be riper!

Maureen and I pose for a photo beside the beautifully painted screens, done by Maureen's landlady's daughter. You can get a better impression of them in the next shot below.

I think this is so nice.

Next time I'll show you photos taken on the two days I spent with Maureen. However for now it is time to say goodnight.

Talk again soon.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

More on New Zealand

Well, I left NZ temporarily to catch up on local happenings so let's go back there now. (I wish!)

This was taken down the coast north of Hokitika. I thought the sea was pretty wild and beautiful so I'm putting it in here before my journey leaves the coast and heads inland.

And just before leaving Pancake Rocks here are some wekas, grazing outside the DoC (Department of Conservation) information office.

Cape Foulwind is where two ocean currents meet, causing fierce storms.

Tauranga Bay near Cape Foulwind is home to a large colony of fur seals. This is a small group within the colony.

The signpost here at Cape Foulwind is like the one at Bluff that points to capital cities to the north.

Now we head inland to drive through the Buller Gorge and on to Murchison.

The hotel on the corner is where I stayed the night, and the supermarket is where I overheard a customer ask "Where are the eggs?" - the most common enquiry in our shop!
Getting late now and I have had a few problems with uploading tonight, so I will wish you goodnight now till next time.
Talk again soon.

Monday, 23 June 2008


I mentioned I had been with our U3A garden group to visit Kevock Garden last week, so I must put in a few pics from there. Laid out over 40 years ago by physicist and horticulturalist Sir John Randall, the garden is situated on a steep bank overlooking the North Esk river. Once a year it is opened to the public under the Scotland's Gardens scheme, but otherwise groups may visit by appointment only. The house itself at the top of the slope was designed by Morris and Steedman and built in 1959. It still looks remarkably contemporary today.

Kevock is probably better known for its nursery gardens, but on Friday we were privileged to be allowed to see the garden itself at Kevock Road, near Loanhead.

It was a warm and sunny afternoon, thankfully, as we explored the little paths, glades and clearings, finishing off the visit with question time over a cup of tea and a biscuit with Dave, from Forres, the chief propagator of the nursery gardens, and a look at the plant stall where some of the group bought plants to take home.

I'm not going to give you a lecture about the various plants we saw, you'll be glad to know. Just enjoy some photos. If you want to enlarge them, just click on the photo. Most of them will enlarge though there may be one or two that won't. No idea why that is, or what I can do about it!!

One last pic and that's me for today! It has taken most of the day to get this uploaded! Hope you enjoyed the flowers! Talk again soon!

PS. I think the photos I position centrally are the ones that don't enlarge! I'll just have to put pics in on the left or right sides of the page from now on!