Friday, 27 October 2017

An icy start

I know I haven't been around much lately but I have managed to find some pics to put up for the photo challenge over at 
I live, I love, I craft, I am me with Hawthorn. Most of them were taken while we were on holiday earlier in the month. I hope to get back to normal in the not too distant future, in the meantime I will visit and post when I can.

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1)  Making
We have been away on holiday for a few days and decided to go into the city centre for a bit of a stroll and look around. It just so happened that there was a street party and a good crowd of people. Amongst all the food stalls were one or two more interesting ones and this one caught our attention. An ice sculptor at work. Making!


And I'm sorry there are two pictures but I wanted 
to show you some of his finished work (even though they are not very clear).



2)  Empty

Once more two photos but you need to see the size of the pre meal 'while you are waiting snack' to appreciate the empty bowl below. We were out with our grandson, his partner and friend while on the same holiday. An enjoyable meal followed.





3)  Starts with an F

On another nice day we decided to go and have a look at the 'Cardboard Cathedral' which is being used in place of ChristChurch Cathedral after it was devastated by the earthquake almost seven years ago. This is the font just inside the entrance. The font and base are made from beautiful wood but the upright is cardboard. 



4)  Paper
Now this one is from the archives. We went up to Alexandra one Saturday during the blossom festival a few years ago to watch the procession and just generally hang. When I was young I always thought the procession floats were decorated with blossoms but of course I now realise that is not possible if we want to have summer fruit. So these lovely floats are made with tiny paper flowers.



5)  Neat
I think this tiny pansy is neat. It was only half an inch 
across and those little light dots on the purple are actually
 specks of pollen. I hope you agree this little flower has a neat 
little face as well as being so dainty and pretty.



6)  Street
Still on holiday. On the day we went to view the cardboard cathedral we also found this memorial to the 185 victims of the earthquake across the street. It stands on a street corner and is quite poignant. It consists of 185 white painted chairs. The tiny chair in the front is a baby's car seat and what makes it more moving for me is that it represents a young girl and her tiny newborn baby from my town. They were killed when a building collapsed onto the bus they were sitting in at the bus stop. 


7)  Kettle
This one had my brain ticking over...what to do that was different? Copper kettles? Nah. Electric kettles? Nah. Then one night...an 'Aha' moment. We have a sports field in the city named Kettle Park! So last weekend in I went and took a photo and here it is. Football (rugby) and football (soccer) are both played here but not in the same areas obviously. The park adjoins the beach just over to the left and a wild wind blows off the water at times during the winter. Believe me I know - I've stood in it whilst watching my grandsons playing football (soccer).



8)  Unexpected
Another holiday pic - when we went out with our grandson for an evening meal we saw this round, glass topped table in the main bar but didn't take too much notice. It wasn't until we were leaving that we managed to have a closer look at it - a well in the middle of the bar! Totally unexpected. This is taken looking down the well and that is a light reflecting off water at the bottom. Unfortunately I never thought to find out the background story to share.


9)  Vase
Not very original I'm afraid. I mean what can you do with with 'vase'? I asked myself. And so all I came up with was this pic of shelves of vases in the Warehouse. A real challenge here so I'm interested to see what others have done with it :)



10)   My choice
Back to the holiday pics. I would love to have a ride in a punt sometime. It always seems quite romantic to me. This is a punt on the Avon River in Christchurch. Taken after we had spent a restful afternoon strolling around the botanic gardens.


Thursday, 14 September 2017

Busy, busy, busy

Well some people have been today. Today our number one son and DIL moved to their flat in the city. They were up and working away while my GKB and I were still counting the zzzzzzzzzzz's.
Breakfast was over, the washing machine was running and boxes and bags were beginning to mount in the hallway and kitchen by the time we surfaced.


A friend was arriving at 10:30am with a ute and trailer to help move them and we were ready to go when he arrived. The flat is in an older part of town but only 2 years old and is really lovely. In fact my son whispered in my ear that 'this is the sort of place you and Dad need, Mum'. It is quite compact without being cramped and has just a small yard with a small raised garden. Ideal for a couple with no family, it has 2 bedrooms and a reasonably large living area. No photos of it though, sorry.


DIL took us all out for lunch before we came home for the last load. We went to a local garden centre and although it was a relatively cool day with a bit of wind we sat outside, the only place with a table for five. We didn't notice the wind though once we got talking and our meals arrived. Once back home I supervised while the men did the heavy lifting :) Then after a coffee they were away and we are once again empty nesters. The house feels strange and quiet but no doubt we will get used to it once again.

Have a good week,
Diana

Saturday, 9 September 2017

A slow week

It's been a slow week.
My little mother has gone home and it is 
a bit strange not having her in the house.
Our son and DIL have also been offered a flat 
and will be moving into it in the next couple of weeks.
We shall be empty nesters once more.

Tete a tete - miniature daffodils

My GKB and I decided to drive to Outram one day
 to see if the cherry blossom was out yet. It wasn't 
so we opted for an ice cream instead. While we were 
eating it I spotted the spring bulbs on sale 
and decided to buy a pot for DIL to take to her new home.
They are getting past their best now but will be lovely
 in a pot next season.

Chopped and ready to freeze

I was rostered on this week to do a meat dish for our church outreach and as the man in charge was to be away he asked me to do a big pot of potatoes as well. That was fine but what he failed to do was let the lady know who usually cooks the veges and she had done a big dish of roast potatoes. Oh well. For some reason our numbers were down so we decided not to use my spuds and I brought them home. I'll freeze them and turn them into a potato/vegetable bake dish for next week. AND I shall remember to tell everyone, lol.


I finally found a Jan Karon book and must say I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I found it a bit hard to get into as looking at the cover I imagined Mitford was an English village and couldn't work out why the author was using American words and expressions. Thank goodness for the internet, I looked up Jan Karon's books and discovered these ones are set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, phew. You don't realise how much easier it is to read something when you have it all in context rather than a wrong world view of it. I found it very hard to put this book down :)

Enjoy your week
Diana

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Little mother...and a scavenger hunt


For those of you who have been asking about my little mother, she is doing well and talking about going back to her own home at the weekend. She takes care of all her own personal needs and is walking well. She hasn't walked for so long she had to ease back into it and now walks around the yard and up and down the footpath outside the house. I'm sure she will cope well with the help she has coming in and with my brother and me keeping an eye on her. We have a hospital visit this afternoon just to check all is well. Thank you for your care and prayers.
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I didn't think I was going to get all the photos this month but I enjoy the photo challenge and was determined to take part. Last night I found my final picture. Once again some are from the archives but I think there is only one I've used before. Most are new. I hope you enjoy them.

1:  Relaxed
This is our old boy, Claude, not long before he began to lose condition prior to his death. One of his favourite places when he wanted a snooze. The wood chips under the fern still held the heat of the sun as did the large stones. Very comforting for an old fellow. We miss him even though he has been gone a couple of years now.



2:  It begins with an M
and it's Mum, aka my little mother. She was only young when this was taken, in her early 30's I think, and looking at all the nappies on the line I'm guessing this was not long after my youngest brother was born. It was hard work with all those cloth nappies to wash every day but a fact of life. I rather like this photo of Mum, a peek into life as it was only half a century ago.
(I hasten to add that is not our house in the background
 but part of the neighbouring property).


3:  Time for...
...a hot chocolate on a cold winters day. We'd been out shopping and it was time to warm up. Really delicious and I love the marshmallows on the top to sweeten it rather than using sugar.


4:  Tangerine
I'd been wondering what to put up for this prompt and was going through some photos and spotted a pop of tangerine in this picture. We held a country gospel service at church a couple of weeks ago and one of the singers was wearing this lovely tangerine top :)


5:  It begins with an O
I was trying to think of something out of the ordinary for O. I thought I could look for something 'oresome' as a famous sportsperson once spelt it but then decided to just go for 'ordinary'. So this is my ordinary kitchen table with an ordinary bowl of fruit on it. And of course there are oranges in amongst the fruit. 
It also has some O shapes in it such as the table, place mats, fruit bowl, grapes and cake plate, none of which begin with an O.


6:  Whiskery
This is Missy. Isn't she gorgeous? I was visiting a friend when Missy decided to take advantage of the sun and leapt up on the back of my chair. I was going to put up a photo of one of my brothers, he has whiskers and looks like Santa Claus. Unfortunately he looked a bit cross in the photo I had so I decided on Missy instead. We can call her face whiskery I think, and she's cuter than he is anyway :)


7:  Lace
We went into the Octagon a few years ago to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the gold rush in Otago. Of course a lot of people were in costume and character and my GKB was chatted up by a 'lady of the night'. This is her back view with the  bodice all 'lace'd up. 


8:  Bridge
A road/rail bridge over the Taramakau River on the West Coast of New Zealand. Yes, this bridge is shared by trains and cars, trucks etc. There are barrier arms at each end of the bridge to stop road traffic if trains are coming. We always found it exciting when we were kids and wondered whether the car wheels would get stuck in the rails. When we went over at Easter a new road bridge was being built alongside this so I'm wondering how long it will be before this bridge is no longer in use or whether it will still be used for rail traffic.



9:  Letters
How to be original with this one? This may not be terribly original but while I was thinking about it I realised that whenever I was sitting in the doctors waiting room  I looked at a large wall hanging (about cot quilt size) with the alphabet on it, so I went in and asked permission to photograph it. What makes this a bit unique is that all the letters are orientated to New Zealand flora and fauna, that is why I study it. I always admire the work that has gone into it, all the individual panels have been beautifully cross stitched. People are so talented.


10:  My choice
My GKB took this photo of a goldfinch under our rose bushes. Isn't it beautiful? It was feeding on the chickweed that I had been thinking I should get out and remove very soon. We have never seen goldfinches on the property before and if the chickweed is what is attracting them then as far as I am concerned the chickweed can stay!


joining everyone at:
for the monthly photo scavenger hunt

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Notown Catholic Church

The Roman Catholic Church of St Lawrence O'Toole.
The church was built in 1866 in Notown on the West Coast of New Zealand. Later it was moved to Ngahere and after it was replaced
 it was moved to Shantytown (museum village) in the 1960's.






A beautiful little church, lovingly restored and 
still used as a wedding venue in the old pioneer town.

I haven't had a church to share 
for a long time so thought I would 
share this with inSPIREd Sunday

Thursday, 17 August 2017

A short stroll around the lake

While my little mother was in hospital recently I had the opportunity to go for a stroll around Hamilton Lake or Lake Rotoroa as it is known in Maori. Ten minutes walk from my motel I found the lane I had been directed to and walked from a busy city street to a tranquil lakeside walkway.


There  were marvellous houses backing onto the lakeside, some with low fences and others opened up to the lake vista. 
The lake was surrounded by native flora and of course
 a lot of bird life.


Quite a number of cheeky Pukeko,


a solitary Shag,


Mallard ducks,


a few Australian coots, (related to the Pukeko)


and a good flock of Canada geese.


I came across a wonderful children's playground


with this fabulous climbing fort. 
There was also a nice cafe nearby but I never went in,
 I didn't have time as I was heading back to the hospital.


Of course there were also the usual doves or pigeons, 
you don't go far without seeing them around.


The sun was getting low in the sky as I headed back
 to the entrance and I got this shot of the lake.

I enjoyed this nice peaceful walk, away from the 
hustle and bustle of the city and everything happening at the hospital, a lovely way to recharge my batteries.

Monday, 7 August 2017

Been and gone and back again

Little Mother and I have flown north and returned. 
Just over a fortnight ago we had a call from the hospital in Waikato
 saying they had a space for her.
The Seaward Kaikouras.
South Island
So of course it was all on, flights and accommodation booked 
and bags packed. Medications reviewed and blood tests not done because we ran out of time and the relevant forms hadn't arrived. They were eventually done in Waikato.
Mounts Tongariro and Ruapehu in a sea of cloud.
North Island

We spent five days in Hamilton, for my little mother most of it was in hospital. But she is now home and recovering with a new lease on life.  Mum will stay with me for a few days until she is given the all clear to go home.
Taranaki, Mount Egmont.
North Island
We are very grateful to the cardiac team as well as to all who have kept her in their prayers. Thank-you so much. 
We have a very good God.
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The Kaikoura ranges.
South Island
I took photos of the mountain ranges from the plane window and thought you might enjoy seeing some of them.
The Southern Alps.
South Island
If you would like to read the legend of 
It's a romantic story :)

Friday, 28 July 2017

Scavenging again

For photos that is. Most of them are from the archives, some are new. We haven't been out and about much in the last few weeks what with my GKB being a bit under the weather and then the snow followed by floods. I hope you enjoy them anyway even if you have seen some of them before. 

1:  Crane
We had been to Nunobiki Herb Garden at the top of the Ropeway (cable car, gondola) overlooking the beautiful city of Kobe in Japan. Travelling back down and naturally taking photos of the view we spotted this building being constructed. The crane was in the centre of the building on a gantry and as the building pushed skyward the crane was also heading skyward. Three photos I'm afraid.




2:  Ring
A cinnamon roll (ring?) I had for lunch one day whilst out with my GKB. Technically not a ring but with a smidgen of imagination it could be - it's circular, sort of :)


3:  Set
My DIL was baking and when I went out to the kitchen this is what I saw. I have never seen a cake cooling like this before but apparently it stops the weight of the cake from flattening itself. Who would have thought? Not me. Anyway I thought this cake was well enough 'set' to put in this post. I hope you all agree :)


4:  Light
Light reflecting off the top of the display case containing antique pocket watches. We took this photo in the jewellers/watchmakers shop in Shantytown earlier in the year.


5:  Bow
The bow used to be the pointy bit of the boat and landlubbers like myself could tell one end from the other. But looking at these two ships I'm not sure which end is the bow and which is the stern but I believe the ship on the left is bow toward us. If not we can see both ends of the ship on the right so one end must be the bow. Mission accomplished! Phew.


6:  Spring
Out visiting the local vet one 'spring' day and this was 
what I saw over the fence. 'Spring' lambs and one
 of them is 'springing'. 


7:  Open
Only 'twasn't. In fact it had been shut for a couple of weeks and was due to reopen the following day. We took this while strolling around one of the city suburbs one lunchtime and thought number  one son and DIL might be interested in visiting Kamome for a meal sometime. 


8:  Grand
We certainly felt grand sitting in these throne like chairs when out for dinner one evening with friends while on holiday. If we had realised how grand the setting was going to be we might have taken some grander (cringe) gear to wear. Still everyone enjoyed the dinner and the company and that's what it was really all about.



9:  Park
A sign pointing to a car park in a national park. Jacksons is a small place in Arthur's Pass National Park in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. If you blink  passing through you could well miss it, literally. There's a pub and not much more. That is the car park on the left, the sign on the right and it is surrounded by beautiful national park. 


10:  My own choice
A Thrush singing his lungs out one grey day.
 Just enjoying being alive



Joining Hawthorn and friends over at