Saturday, 30 January 2021

Cooling down

Photo of Lake Aniwhenua, Bay of Plenty

I'm pleased to say the heatwave is over and although January is usually our hottest month of the year we have noticed that mornings are starting to slightly darken and nights are cooling down. Although my birthday isn't until mid March, B bought me a new tablet on sale so that I can do more reading so I've been busy downloading books.

I'm looking forward to a change of seasons so I can get out and explore new places when we go on holiday in this space 👩

Linking up with The Weekend Roundup and Weekend Reflections.

Thursday, 28 January 2021

The heatwave

 There are many many air conditioning units and ceiling fans going full blast here - we've been having a major heatwave. Parts of the country over this week have reached record temperatures, one of my cousins who lives in Timaru said they had gotten up to 42 degrees celsius and there was a news story on the other night about the paint on the side of someone's house melting.

In our aspirations to stay cool here I've discovered my favourite drink is a simple cold water with ice cubes and lime cordial, I take it in my drink bottle as well when I go to work and it is very refreshing.  '

So what are you doing in your part of the world to stay cool/warm?

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Signs of Summer...and Covid

This week we are meant to be up to 29 to 30 degrees celsius, that's boiling hot for us kiwis. I snapped this photo at work over the weekend, it's good to see both lots of Monarch butterflies and bumble bees enjoying the flowers.

So we thought that we were doing well here but yesterday we got news that there was 1 case of Covid with the new South African variety who had tested positive in the Northland community. Northland for us is about 1-2 hours away in another region, we are classed as being far north here so although the authorities have gotten onto it very very quickly it's good to know that the person used their phone to scan into every single place they visited which helped immensely to track and trace where they had been.

Hopefully it's kicked people into gear to scan their phone apps everywhere they go.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday, Through my lens, Tuesday Treasures, My corner of the world and Wordless Wednesday.

Saturday, 23 January 2021

Waitangi Marae

Just after Christmas we took my parents to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, now that they have the museum there the whole place has grown quite a bit. After going through the museum and looking over the peninsula we wanted to visit the Marae which is not only used for huis (meetings) but is also for performances for tourists and kiwis. The reason this area is so important is that on this land the treaty was first signed between the British and the Maori.

We waited outside for the performance that was happening inside to finish and once everyone came out we walked in and took photos. Now normally if you're not Maori you have to be welcomed onto the Marae grounds, you can't just enter but this one is for everyone and most Maraes aren't lit up like this. Along the walls are the most amazing carvings, weaving and artwork - this really symbolizes our culture.

Linking up with The Weekend Roundup and Weekend Reflections.

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Haere Mai

This dolphin sculpture in Paihia is near the waterfront and gives a "Haere Mai" meaning "welcome" in Maori to visitors arriving on cruise ships or on the ferry, of course with our borders being closed we haven't had any cruise ships in from overseas in nearly a year.

Anyway the plaque on the front offers a prayer for the sculpture and describes how we must take care of the dolphins for they are the mammals that originally led Maori to the Bay of Islands and Paihia.  This region was one of the first settled areas in New Zealand.

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.  

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Lunch in Paihia

Mondays for B and I is usually our Sunday. He works Tuesday until Saturday and I work Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays so Monday is the only day we both have together. We drove out to Paihia after looking online for somewhere to enjoy lunch and right on the waterfront at the wharf we found it.

 The CBK Craft Bar and Kitchen restaurant had a good looking menu so we chose a small table overlooking the water. He ordered cheeseburger and chips which came out looking huge and in the end he couldn't finish it, I chose an asian ginger style slaw which was delicious. After forgetting to scan my Covid app I had to find the barcode on their front door as we went out.

Remember our plans for wanting to move to Perth? After talking to my dad about it (he use to be a customs broker who organized for people and businesses to ship containers in and out of the country) we worked out it's going to cost somewhere over $10,000 NZD. So unless we find that money and find a way around Covid it's going to have to be postponed until the time is right, if it even happens at all.

There is a big push here for people not to be complacent with scanning themselves in when they visit businesses and unfortunately only 25% seem to be doing it. Hardly anyone does it anymore since we don't have any cases out in the community. The way I see it is all it needs is one to sneak through and then we are back into lockdown, I would prefer to be notified via my phone app that I've been somewhere where a positive case has been so that I can self isolate.

How are things where you are? Do you have to scan as well or make a note of where you have been?

Linking up with Our World Tuesday, Through my lens, Tuesday Treasures, Wordless Wednesday and My Corner of the World.

Monday, 18 January 2021

Paihia Rotary Mural

 While looking for murals last time we were in Paihia I saw this one on a bench chair outside the Paihia War Memorial Hall. Painted as part of the Focus Paihia Project this one was chosen for their 50th birthday celebrations in February 2013.  A competition was held, members had 3 weeks to design and construct a seat that would be quirky, colorful and and eye catching while promoting both Rotary and the Bay of Islands Rotary Club branch. This one won a $100 prize which was used by the club for further community projects.

Linking up with Mural Monday.

Saturday, 16 January 2021

Kawakawa Memorial Library

Last time just before Christmas when we were last in Kawakawa I spotted this tiny building because it kind of reminded me of an old small town jail.  But apparently it was built in 1921 by the people of Kawakawa in recognition of the lives lost in WW1.  It became a museum santioned by the RSA on Anzac Day 1988 following an exhibition of military photos and exhibits.

Linking up with Weekend Reflections and the Weekend Roundup.

Thursday, 14 January 2021

Otamatea Marae

 One advantage of being back in the Kaipara region last year was that I got to go on road trips so I could take photos of places I hadn't seen in the 8 years I lived here.  Otamatea Marae is in the small country town of Maungaturoto and was established around 1946 as the ancestral marae for the Ngati Whatua people.

The wharanui (meeting house) was originally the whare runanga (assembly house) at Shelly Beach which opened in 1887. It was relocated to Tanoa to sit next to the Kakaraea Church in remembrance of the 1825 battle of Te Ika a Ranganui (the Musket Wars).

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 12 January 2021

Beware of Kiwis

In many New Zealand towns there are these signs that say "Kiwi Zone". At the entrance to Rainbow Falls is this one, because there is so much native bush where the birds live in their burrows under the ground. In fact in most Department of Conservation walks the sign at the entrance usually says "no dogs".

Dogs, cats and stoats are some of the Kiwis worst enemies. Many people unfortunately just don't care and don't understand the birds are a protected species, even taking a dog into these areas on a leash is illegal. 

There is the Kiwi Avoidance Training that owners can take their dogs to which teaches the animals  to steer clear of the birds. I don't know if I agree with the type of training which involves the use of electric collars but until someone comes up with a different method I guess this is it.

The trainers interestingly enough found that the breed of dog was found to influence the training with terrier and working breed dogs showing higher levels of avoidance from the training and non sporting dogs showing the lowest levels of avoidance.

Linking up with 
Our World TuesdayTuesday TreasuresThrough my lens and My Corner of the World.

Monday, 11 January 2021

Kiwi in Paihia

 My daughter and I spotted this mural in Paihia just before Christmas on the side of a phone cabinet, we have attempted to find out who painted it without luck. In case you're not familiar with Kiwi birds; they are noctural, mostly come out of the bush at night to hunt for food like worms, insects etc. They are flightless with long beaks and they are one of our protected birds. 

Linking up with Mural Monday.

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Travels through Collingwood

Collingwood in the Nelson Tasman area is one of those little towns where the people are friendly and it's not far from the Kahurangi National Park and Farewell Spit. When we drove through it was one of those early Summer dreary days where it rained constantly. B and I stopped at a local Four Square (like a corner shop or dairy) to buy brunch and found a good supply of healthy food so I bought a tub of yoghurt and muesli to munch on while we drove around. We had borrowed B's sister's car and discovered how good the brakes were along the windy steep roads through Golden Bay

Just over a year later and life has changed dramatically...who would've known Covid would come along turning everyone's life upside down? Last Summer we were going through drought mode but so far it's rained twice and although most houses here have air conditioning (rentals by law have to have at least one), ours is in our lounge we have only had to use it once as opening up our doors onto the deck seem to bring a good breeze flowing throughout - the fan in the bedroom is proving to be handy as is sleeping without blankets.

Because people can't go on holiday overseas and with Summer being holiday season for Kiwis they are instead choosing to travel around the country. Lots of festivals going on in different places and up here the extra traffic is blocking the main roads during the day. By the end of January life should be a bit more back to normal once most people go back to work and schools start up again...

Stay safe wherever you are - kia kaha. Linking up with the Weekend Roundup and Weekend Reflections.

Thursday, 7 January 2021

Okaihau settlers memorial 1868

During Winter last year after we came out of our national lockdown before I started working I visited the nearby town of Okaihau. A tiny settlement, the name of "Okaihau" means "place of feast of the winds" and at the time of the 2018 census the population was 1,236 people. 

This memorial in front of the rugby club commemorates the first settlers to the area who arrived in 1868 from Canada.  

Linking up with Skywatch Friday.

Tuesday, 5 January 2021

The long long walk

So last week I decided to go for a walk over the local Heritage Bypass Bridge and back home again, all in all it should've been at least a 30 minute walk which is good for me. On the other side of the bridge though I spotted a path I hadn't seen before so I decided to see where it led. I couldn't resist taking a photo through the railings of some ducks that were making their way along the river. The photo below is a Kauri cleaning station, we have alot of these around the country to protect our native trees - people basically are suppose to rub the soles of their shoes over the cleaning brushes on the ground and then step onto a water spray that then disinfects.

I thought that the trail I was walking on would take me out somewhere near our local fairy pools as it familiar scenery.


As it happened the walk took alot longer than expected and I found out that so many people run/jog along this path for fitness.


 After walking for nearly an hour I ended up.....At Rainbow Falls - by this stage my legs felt like they were going to fall off and I ended up calling my youngest son to come out and pick me up, it would've been a long walk back into town.

Linking up with Our World Tuesday, Tuesday Treasures, Through my lens and My Corner of the World.

Monday, 4 January 2021

Steve Downs in Paihia

 Another mural we spotted in Paihia - this one on the side of a bar/restaurant painted by an artist named Steve Downs who is a Hollywood/Mexican/Irish abstract impressionist and honeybee preservationist.

He is also the founder of Beecasso Live Bee Removal Inc who focuses on a chemical free humane approach to bee removal. He began producing art and music events under his trademark Beecasso in 2014.

Linking up with Mural Monday.

Saturday, 2 January 2021

The legend of Lake Kuirau

Back when we lived in the Tauranga there was a day we made a trip out to Rotorua with my daughter. We wanted to show her the hot pools as the whole region is full of geothermal activity. One of the walks was at Kuirau Park where the ground and water wasn't just hot but we could see the sulphur which turns a yellow/orange colour.

Here is the story behind it:

Lake Kuirau use to be cool enough to bathe in. According to Maori legend a beautiful young lady named Kuirau use to swim here, however a large Taniwha use to live in the lake.

The Taniwha would watch the girl swim until one morning he rose up and seized her. Maori believe that either she died of fright or he was taken back to the Taniwha's lair but whatever happened she was never seen again. The Gods were so angry that they made the lake boil to get rid of it. From that day on the Lake was named Lake Kuirau in memory of the lady who use to swim in the water.

Every now and again we read news stories about people who accidentally fall in (there's usually not much left of them after) or those who try to cook their food in the pools but usually there are warning signs up everywhere to stick to the paths and steer clear.

Linking up with Weekend Reflections and The Weekend Roundup.

Stock car racing

We spotted this stock car in Murchison last time we were there about a year and a half ago. Looks a bit beat up and well used but I do enjoy...