Friday 28 February 2020

To lent or not to lent

Definition of Lent: "a solemn religious observance in the Christian calendar that beings on Ash Wednesday and ends approximately 6 weeks later before Easter Sunday. The purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer for Easter through prayer, doing penance, mortifying the flesh, repentance of sins, almsgiving and denial of ego"

We travelled up north again on Wednesday to view another property and on the way up just past Whangarei is a historical church which I will post about soon. Just inside the fence is this sign about Lent. I wasn't really sure about what it meant so I looked it up, hence the quote above.

My idea of giving something up at the moment is more about lifestyle for example we can't afford to buy meat much and 5 years ago I started having issues with food allergies and reflux. I found that eating carbs such as pasta, rice, bread aggravates this so I tend to eat meat maybe once a week if we're lucky, fruit, veges, lentils, chickpeas etc which is easier to digest.  We recently discovered that supermarkets here sell things like cauliflower and broccoli rice which is great to use as a substitute for a pizza base, instead of bread I use gluten free wraps and avocados are perfect as a spread.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday

Wednesday 26 February 2020

The Ark in Kaiwaka

On my travels through Kaiwaka over the years I've driven past this building on the main road plenty of times but I've wondered what the significance of the bird is outside.

Apparently the dove figurehead was created by local Peter Harris in 2014 and in 2017 after the building being empty for some time it was bought by new owners Heidi Clark and her husband Anchal.  The couple were inspired to provide a communal space for business owners to come together and offer their services that benefit others.

One room has been taken by a naturopath and another room been taken by a local community group Kaiwaka Cares. Anchal takes yoga classes along with meditative music based on ancient chants and traditional Indian drums.

The building has also been blessed by a local Maori Kaumatua (elder).

Linking up with My Corner of the World.

Monday 24 February 2020

Graffiti in Topuni

I had a bit of cabin fever on Saturday so I drove around Topuni which is mostly a forestry area with lots of trucks that go in and out of side roads loaded with timber.

I've driven past this bridge/railway line next to the main highway numerous times and each time it seems to have new graffiti added to it. I have no idea what any of it says but it seems to catch my eye.

Not sure if you could class it as a mural but I'm adding it this week to Mural Monday and Our World Tuesday.

Saturday 22 February 2020

Travels back up to the far north

Yesterday we drove back up to Kerikeri, this time there was myself, the other half and my mum came along for something to do. We looked at 2 more properties both were pretty much brand new and lovely but again it seemed like there were so many other lots of people looking too. If we aren't successful with either one we will just have to keep plodding along until we get something.

I popped into my old work and said hello to my old friends, the contract where I am currently working 1 day each week runs out next week and I am reluctant to sign a new one if we aren't going to be here so I am a bit up in the air at the moment but nothing else I can do.

We are due to get some sort of rain with thunderstorms forecast for other parts of the country, but as we saw yesterday it looks like everywhere in Northland is brown with no grass - I feel for the cattle out grazing in fields.

At least here we don't have to be out of the house by a certain date, everyone but myself has work so it's not like it's urgent - maybe we can win lotto or something but until then we just have to keep trying.

Tell me about your week...

Thursday 20 February 2020

Coates Memorial Church

On our last trip out to Matakohe just before we drove home again I talked the other half into walking down the drive next to the museum so I could have a look at this church.

The Coates Memorial Church opened in 1950 and the architect was Horace Lovell Massey (Massey is a well known name in the Kaipara region).

Inside it's very clean, tidy and well maintained. Mr Massey was also part of a firm named Massey, Morgan, Hyland and Phillips who also designed the nurses home at Napier Hospital (1925) and the Fallen Soldiers Memorial Hospital in Hastings (also 1925). From the research I've read he also designed many other churches, crematoriums and fine houses.

Matakohe is a farming area which was first settled around 1860 by farmers and labourers from England, there were no roads or trails - the only link with the outside world was the sea right through the Kaipara inlet.

A big Kauri gum industry developed here around 1867-1870 by the settlers and from memory the earliers grave we saw was from the 1880s. The name "Coates" as per the name of the church is another well known one for the area - in fact one of our last prime ministers was Gordon Coates who lived in nearby Maungaturoto.

Some information taken from the Maungaturoto - History of the Kaipara Facebook page.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Monday 17 February 2020

Hotel de Brett's Spotty History

One of my photography passions is photographing some of our country's old buildings, this is one is packed with history. Hotel de Brett's is located on the corner of Shortland Street and High Street, it's listed as category 2 under the Historic Places Trust.

These days it's a boutique hotel but it first opened in 1841 known as "The Old Commercial" being Auckland's first hotel.  It operated for 118 years until a fire burned most of it down, Dominion Breweries refurbished it in 1959 and renamed it what it is today.

In the 1980s I worked in Auckland city for about 1 years and remember this old icon well as it has hosted many kiwi bands such as Th'Dudes and Hello Sailor.  In the late 1980s it became a backpackers hostel then in 2006 four hoteliers returned it to it's former glory.

The interior is a mixture of NZ art and design with retro 1950's chairs and couches - I'm pleased it's still being used personally.  As for the spots on the road I've since found out that Auckland City Council had them painted due to this particular place being being a high pedestrian used road. They are meant to draw awareness from all road users to be sensitive to other road users - it's a good idea and should be used in other places too I think.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday.

Saturday 15 February 2020

Bits and pieces for the week

And the drought continues....we were meant to have 2 cyclones visit us this week - one coming from Vanuatu and the other from the South but unfortunately they are going to spread their rain and wind onto the South Island of NZ who really doesn't need anymore moisture due to recent flooding.

We have a water delivery due on Monday, luckily we ordered it over a month ago - good timing as water carriers are no longer taking orders.

And the Coronavirus seems to be creating some issues here, as far as I know we haven't had any confirmed cases here but many asian kiwis have been ostracised which is sad because people really need to open their eyes and do their research into things like this.

Valentines Day came and went here, the other half and I don't normally take part in it, to us we do things for each other throughout the year. We think it's important to show we care all the time not just one day of the year. What are your thoughts on it?

Thursday 13 February 2020

The end of Summer in sight and I couldn't be happier. Our town is quietening down now with only a few holiday makers up over the weekends. Apparently we are meant to be having 2 cyclones coming over the country in the next few days, one from Vanuatu and one from the south and it's meant to be only grazing over us - pity because we still need the rain.

We haven't heard about the rental properties we applied for yet, must be in short demand because the other half said the last 2 he looked at had another 6 lots of people there as well as him. My daughter has been sick with a flu, but she's on the mend now - I started feeling like I was coming down with it yesterday so when I felt freezing cold it was strange being dressed up in winter clothing huddling on the couch under a blanket but today I seem to have come right again.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Monday 10 February 2020

Robert Street Art

Thank you everyone for your commiserations on our drought situation, we have a little bit of water left that we are being very careful with that hopefully should last us until our delivery next Monday.

Moving right along...this is another mural by NZ street artist Rodrigo Rozas that I found in Whangarei recently, not sure of the name but it's on the corner of Robert and John Street. I posted a few months ago about one of his in Hikurangi.

Made from spray paint it was made in collaboration with fellow artist Mighty Duke.  Rodrigo is a visual artist from Chile, who graduated in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in applied arts from Northtec. His art has a focus in street art, airbrushing and portraiture. He has completed many commission murals for schools, gyms and local business around Whangarei and the Northland area.

A few people have asked about the man's facial expression. In Maori culture the poking out of the tongue was used in warfare to intimidate the other side, kind of like what you would see in a rugby game where the All Blacks do the haka.

Linking up with Mural Monday and Our World Tuesday.

Saturday 8 February 2020

More water restrictions

This week for us has been another dry one. We are nearly at the point of running out of water in our tank and a delivery for us has been scheduled for the 17th February but I don't think we will last until then. Yesterday I rang and emailed other water delivery companies from Dargaville to Waipu and range of quotes came in from $850 to $360 - the expensive one can deliver right away but the others have a 2 week late as they are all flat tack. We have been filling up empty bottles at my work and in other towns and everyone else from here to the top of the Far North are in the same boat, in fact from what I read this morning towns like Kaikohe have about 3 days of water left - people have resorted to washing themselves in streams and rivers. Apparently there is a cyclone due next weekend, won't hold my breath we will get anything out of it though.

This photo that I took of my daughter patting some donkeys and miniature horse (there were more in another part of the field) in Paparoa was taken a few months ago when we actually had green grass, now it's all brown and dry...

Thursday 6 February 2020

Te Tiriti o Waitangi

Today for us is national Waitangi Day which remembers the day the treaty was signed between the Europeans and the Maoris.

This marae located in Paihia was opened in 1922 replacing the original 1881 building, I'm not sure what happened to the earlier one. The land next to it was where the Declaration of Independence of New Zealand (treaty) was signed on 28 October 1835. 5 years later 300 more chiefs sat on the same spot to debate the treaty and signed it on 6 February 1840 at the home of British immigrant James Busby now known as the Waitangi Trust including the museum.

When I was going through the public school system in the 1970s and 1980s I remember being taught the basics of the treaty but when we visited this spot and the museum last Spring it was a truly eye opening experience. We walked out of there feeling quite humble - if you haven't visited the museum I urge you to as it really is well worth it. This year we are very thankful that NZ is the country it is today, we still have many improvements to make in the process of being more accepting of each other but it's good to be a Kiwi.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday 4 February 2020

It's bubble time!

Down at MOTAT (museum of transport and technology) in Auckland they have Bubble Weekends for the kids.  Part of the show is bubble wands where some of the workers use implements to make giant bubbles - this photo was taken in early Summer last time we were there and the kids looked like they were having a blast.

They also have UV bubbles, bubble painting, a bubble performer, bubble machines and kid in a bubble (not sure what that's about).  They must have the event periodically because it's on again in the 2nd week of February - I'm surprised given the North Island's water restrictions.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday and My Corner of the World.

Sunday 2 February 2020

2020 Paparoa Show

Yesterday was going to be another boring day at home for me until I read online that the Paparoa A & P Show (Agricultural and Pastoral) was on, I had forgotten about it.  I probably wouldn't have gone until I asked my other half if he was working over there, luckily he was so I got him to drop me off and pick me up later. Moving along...this is one of the food trucks they have there - now if you haven't tried a bacon butty or a seafood fritter you're not living. Bacon Butties - bacon sandwiches. Seafood fritters - a type of fritter that is full of seafood, like oysters, mussels, fish etc.

This is an event that attracts people from all of the surrounding areas. Paparoa for us is a very small country town about 35 minutes away - it's very much a farming region so local farmers will bring their stock to show. This family bought pigs, lambs and goats so people could experience like a petting zoo.

Unfortunately we are still in the midst of a drought here, we haven't had rain since last November and with it being Summer here the temperatures have been in the late 20s early 30s - there has been word from the weather forecasters that we are due for 40 degrees celsius next week.  This area is for the horses and rodeo - I'm not a fan of roping and catching cows but that's just me.  These were some of the riders warming up for the event.

This guy was more than happy to pose for my camera shot - he was part of the rodeo too.  A bit of info about Paparoa: there is a population there of about 270 people. It has a hugely rich history of Maori tribal warfare and settlement in Colonial times. In the 19th century it became a major shipping and boat-building centre when Kauri milling was an industry.

As I was here in the first couple of hours this photo was taken looking out over the horse trailers that were being set up - more would've been here as the day progressed. I did end up seeing one of my best friends there though so it was good to catch up with her.

Another event was calf showing. 2 of my children when they were growing up took part in calf club, where they were given a calf by a local farmer, they met up once a week to get to know the calf, train it and then the calves were taken to school for their calf club day - if their calf behaved and they lead it around the ring well they were given ribbons for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

This was the senior calf showing event, they would've had junior later on. As you can see in the background the land looks quite dry. They must've had a bit of rain here as the grass in this picture is still green. Where we live everything is brown, we haven't had rain since last November so we are desperate for some moisture. We have had temperatures going into the 20s, 30s  but next week 40 degrees celsius has been predicted.

I love these guys. Can't ever beat a Scottish Highland Band - the sound of the bagpipes is just awesome. After spending a couple of hours here my other half picked me up so thankfully I was back in the air-conditioning of his work truck.

Just to be clear there would've been way more events happening after I left such as wood chopping, equestrian and sheep shearing, I just couldn't stay any longer.


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