Friday 31 January 2020

We have a decision!

So....we have a decision on where we will move to. The other half had a talk with his area manager who has given him the go ahead on moving and working back in Kerikeri. We are stoked! Yesterday I drove the 2 hours there and back to look at a rental property, we have applied for 2 so fingers crossed we get something. There were quite a few people viewing the one I looked at so obviously I think rentals are hard to come by up there.

On the way back I stopped in Moerewa to take a photo of their local Otiria Marae. I have a thing for Maori Maraes - I just love the carvings and the artwork on the buildings.  I never go straight onto a Marae, it's like someone barging into your own house without being invited - I always take photos outside the boundary, it's more respect than anything.

The history of it is that in 1950 Judge Pritchard of the Maori Land Court opened the war memorial hall, on the left of this photo. The tablet on the outside is dedicated to the memory of the pakeha and maori men who gave their lives for their country. 3 years later the work began on the Marae - the carvings were begun by Eramiha Kapua and finished by Hori Waititi. Governor General Sir Bernard Fergusson opened it in 1964.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Wednesday 29 January 2020

Quandaries and dilemmas

Yesterday morning I walked from our house up to the surf beach, then back down through the campground then up home again - the whole thing took me about an hour and a half. Boiling hot day and so many more forecast until at least the end of February - not a drop of rain in sight. It's so hot that the tar on our road was melting. I did manage to climb up to the top of this hill though, only about 50 steps so it wasn't too hard on my knees but was good exercise. One of those places where I could see over the whole beach and coastline. I did stop to help a group of ducks cross the road, luckily no cars were coming so they waddled from one side to the other.

A dilemma exists for us at the moment...our plans to move to Whakatane? Well the other half has decided that he would prefer to move back up to Kerikeri so we are in a quandry - I don't mind either way but I just wish we had a decision. I sound impatient don't I? The other half has spoken to his area manager about it and is awaiting not just a phone call back but also contact from the area manager in Whakatane to tell us whether he has the job or not. Where I've been working on a casual basis just before Christmas, they've offered me permanent work but it's only 1 day per week which really isn't enough - I've tried looking around for other work but in a small town it's virtually non existent, the the best option is to move especially since none of us are very happy here.

Do you think we want things to happen in life in our time because we are impatient and don't want to wait for when it will finally get done? I think just feels like it is dragging on. Will keep you posted.

Linking up with My Corner of the World.

Sunday 26 January 2020

Mokofusion Tattoo Studio

During our last trip to Whangarei while my daughter was busy with her appointment I took my camera and went walkies. A couple of streets away I spotted this painted mural on the side of a tattoo studio, I can only work out a portion of the words which say "Barbers and Tattoos".

This particular studio, Mokofusion Tattoo and Barbers is located in Walton Street and seems to have no particular style they specialise in. I really like this one. I have 3 tattoos on my body that were very carefully thought out before I got them. The first one on the back of my neck is mostly coloured orange and is 2 koi fish swimming in the opposite direction because of my star sign, the second one I got was on my upper chest, a small one of an Irish 4 leaf clover in honour of my Irish ancestry. The third one I got was on my right arm of a mermaid, I plan to get the whole arm coloured in different types of ocean creatures as I really love the sea but this takes money that I don't have.

Linking up this week with Monday Murals and Our World Tuesday.

btw I have some more news for you...

Friday 24 January 2020

The book of secrets

I photographed these large Scottish Thistle flowers in Waipu recently - considering this town was originally founded by immigrants from Scotland it's quite fitting that these are growing in the center of town.

I've been putting down my laptop this week and trying to make an effort to get back into book reading. One I'm about halfway through is called "The Book of Secrets" by Fiona Kidman which is about this very subject, the first settlers to this area and how they came to be here.

"In 1854 a group of settlers, led by preacher Norman McLeod established a community in Waipu in the northern part of New Zealand. The community had followed him from Scotland in 1817 to found a settlement in Nova Scotia, then to Australia and finally to New Zealand. It is the story of 3 women entangled in the migrations".

Have you read anything worth sharing this week?

Wednesday 22 January 2020

Kakaraea Methodist Church

This is a place I've been wanting to photograph for a long time. Located about 20 minutes or so out of Maungaturoto in the Kaipara along gravel roads the Kakaraea Methodist Church was first opened on Sunday March 29th 1874 and built under the direction of missionary Rev. William Gittos for the purpose of being the central church for his mission to the Maori in this region.

Unfortunately the entry door was locked so I couldn't take decent photos of the interior, so this one I had to make do with through one of the windows.  Apparently the church has special significance as the land it stands on was deliberately picked because of it's tapu (sacred) status in connection with the death of Hautatu (Chief Arama Karaka) and others at the battle of Ranganui (part of the musket wars). Otamatea Marae which is nearby and is the meeting place for the local Ngati Whatua tribe - it is still used today for events and tangis (burials).

Linking up with My Corner of the World and Skywatch Friday.

Monday 20 January 2020

Kauri Bushmans Memorial Reserve

The other half and I drove out to Paparoa yesterday, about a 20 minute drive away to visit the Kauri Bushman's Walk - it's nice to see at their entrance they have a system for people to clean their shoes because of Kauri Dieback Disease which is killing many of our native trees.

Kauri dieback disease is something that infects these trees - it gets in at the root and causes root rot, bleeding of resin and yellowing of the leaves, eventually it kills them.

This was a relatively short walk - think it took us about 15 minutes to walk around the loop but there wasn't anyone else but us so it was quiet and peaceful.

Not a big a forest as Waipoua for instance where Tane Mahuta lives but it's an easy walk so good for little ones.

This plaque next to the entry explains that the reserve was purchased in 1954 by the Kauri Bushman's Association Bird and Forest Protection Society of Whangarei and the Otamatea County Council. It was dedicated to the memory of pre-first world war Kauri bushmen who worked before 1914 when the area was first being settled.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday.

Saturday 18 January 2020

The Edwardian Austen Family

I've had a bit of a disappointing week unfortunately.  After a couple of months asking my sister and brother in law for our family photos I finally got news yesterday that I could pick them up. My parents moved into a smaller house about 3 years ago and they didn't have room to store them so my sister has had them in her garage.

Once I got there I was astounded at the condition they were being kept in. I had to climb over a very grassy ride on mower, various exercise equipment and stacks of winter firewood only to find instead of the photos being carefully stored in damp proof bags they had been thrown into buckets next to spiders webs and ants nests. I don't blame my sister as I don't think she knew, her husband had apparently put them away. I've managed to scan all them them to save to my photo collection but I have to say this one is my absolute favourite.

This is my nana Dorothy Mavis Austen born 1914 as a baby with her mother Minnie Rose Mackie - I'd say the photo would've been taken around 1915. My nana and I were very very close, probably because I was dad's first child - every chance I got I spent with her and my step grandad. The frame for this photo looks like it's had it so I will probably buy a new one this week.

I just love it. On a very positive note my youngest passes his restricted driving test, he was very anxious and nervous but so happy when he got the good news. What's something good that's happened to you this week?

Wednesday 15 January 2020

A dry Summer in Waipu

It's very very dry here, so dry that a total fire ban has been introduced recently.  We drove past the Waipu Cemetery yesterday, one of my favourite places full of old Scottish settlers to the area and saw these hay bales sitting on the brown grass.

Sometimes in Summer we get people calling the fire brigade even if someone has a barbeque going - in our town and many other smaller towns they have a volunteer fire brigade so anytime the siren wails the members have to put down whatever they are doing, even if they are working to go and respond to the emergency.

This year there hasn't thankfully been many times the siren has gone off, I guess the locals and holiday makers have finally gotten the message about what a fire ban means. Fingers crossed it continues until we get a good dose of rain.

Linking up with My Corner of the World and Skywatch Friday.

Monday 13 January 2020

Mint Floral

On our scorching hot day in Whangarei last Friday I happened to be in a nearby park and saw this artistic creation on the side of a building. 

According to their website they sell award winning flowers and gifts for occasions such as weddings, sympathy, birthdays and gifts - I'm not really a flower person but I quite liked these candles and aromatherapy products. I like to sometimes light some incense or some lavender oil in my burner at home - smells so nice and my skin dries out quite alot so I'm always using hand cream.

Apparently in 2016 and 2017 the owners were awarded the Northland Business Excellence Award in Retail for "customer choice" so they must be doing something right.

Linking up with Mural Monday and Our World Tuesday.

Saturday 11 January 2020

Having a rest

Yesterday my daughter and I drove up to Whangarei for her optometrist appointment to get new glasses. While she was seeing the doctor I walked around a few streets with my camera, the heat was pretty stifling and I think wearing jeggings was probably the wrong thing to have on. There's so many roadworks on the way there and in town itself, we couldn't wait to get home.

We have to go up there again next Friday so she can pick up the new glasses - something cooler will be on the cards I think...

Thursday 9 January 2020

Back to Whakatane

Well it looks like we may be moving to Whakatane. The other half grew up there, his parents and sister are buried there so when he applied for a job there just before Christmas we kind of thought if it happens it happens if it doesn't it doesn't.  I quite like the town, it's about an hour out of Tauranga and which I hated living there but Whakatane is pretty and a bit of a nicer place.

Last time the population was counted there was about 19,000 people living there and is the 3rd largest urban area behind Tauranga and Rotorua - other local towns are Opotiki and Kawerau. It's been a toss up between here and Greymouth but on going through the costs involved it's become obvious we would need more money to move there at this point.

For us, this year has already been eventful with family things going on. My oldest son who is nearly 25 years old has moved out in what was quite a stressful situation. Things have been brewing for a few months in regards to his attitude towards the rest of us, there is a thing called respect and while he has mild aspergers there is a limit to how much you can take from people - he certainly wasn't raised to be disrespectful but I think with stresses going on at his work he hasn't handled it very well. I'm hoping once he cools down he will be in contact again as I don't like having animosity and anxiety hanging around - it festers and creates hate.  I miss him but at his age I think he's at the point where living at home with the olds was cramping his lifestyle and he needs to get out there and spread his wings.

We will see what happens....linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Sunday 5 January 2020

Country Life in Summer

On Friday when I was at work I noticed the sky outside for most of the day was a sort of gray colour and the clouds were filled with smoke, most likely from Australia - so sad those fires are still going.

Sadly though our sky in Northland and for most of the North Island is orange... We are just fortunate here that although the grass everywhere is dry and each day is as hot as the one before, we haven't had any major fires.

Now that Christmas and New Year's is over my hours have dropped from full time to part time of 2 half days per week so it's not really enough but it's better than nothing at this point. While driving home on Friday I stopped at the intersection of Wellsford and Tomarata and saw this sign that has recently been put up. One good thing about living in the country is that local farms quite often sell produce from their driveway, they usually have some sort of honesty box nearby to put money into. This week the other half managed to buy me a bag of ripe avocados as I practically live on them.

Thursday 2 January 2020

Wild and Windswept Farewell Spit

Another place we visited in Nelson was this expansive place Farewell Spit - quite a long drive out, took us about roughly 2 hours but unlike where we live the scenery wasn't boring. After leaving the carpark we walked out onto this beach and carried on for at least 20 minutes.

After walking along a track for another 30 minutes we climbed over sand dunes to read this very wild and windswept beach that looked almost like no one had ever been there. 

This huge piece of driftwood caught my eye and I took photos of it from different angles. FYI Farewell Spit is at the northern end of Golden Bay. Known as Tuhuroa meaning "explore" it is the longest sandspit in NZ.

Although it looks like wind in these photos it is actually fog, we spent the whole time in Nelson with overcast rainy weather. The dunes are constantly exposed to very strong winds around 25 km/h.

At some point along the beach I spied something moving near some more driftwood - it turned out to be this Fur Seal sleeping on the sand. It's best to stay away from wild ocean critters so we carefully walked past and hope it wasn't going to be harassed by other people as they sometimes are. This beach is a popular place for Pilot Whales beaching themselves on the sand.

After walking through some farmland privately owned which had been opened up to the public we walked past herds of cows and sheep being moved into an upper paddock.

It was nice to see this little well with a sign saying "This wishing well is here for you whatever you wish for I hope comes true". I think in total we walked about 10 kms - good exercise and we were shattered once we got back to the car.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday


  Photo taken last time I was in Westport. I do like brightly painted buildings, especially old ones like this. I personally prefer to make ...