Monday, 30 December 2013

Depends on your perspective!

The following photos were all taken within a couple of minutes of each other last evening.  Almost from the same spot.

IMG_8827Blue sky to the south.IMG_8826Hazy to the west.IMG_8828North west and its getting darker.IMG_8821North and the black clouds are gathering.This is where the heavy downpour came from 5 minutes later.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

A bit of history.

After yesterdays blog I did a bit of detective work to see what I could find out about the old English Electric multiple units used on the Wellington commuter network.

English Electric unit with second refit colour scheme change.English Electric unit with second refit colour scheme change.

The first consignment were ordered in 1936 and delivered 2 years later solely for the electrified Johnsonville line. It wasn’t until 1942 and 1946 more units were ordered for the Hutt Valley and Porirua lines. These arrived in stages up until 1954.

First major modification with the single hedlight changed to twin lights. A Ganz-Mavag unit in the background with the first change in colour scheme.First major modification with the single headlight changed to twin lights. A Ganz-Mavag unit in the background with the first change in colour scheme.

The vehicles that have found their way into preservation are all from the 1949-54 batches. Three 2 car units and 1 three car set are genuinely preserved but a further 8 trailer units have been bought for other more unusual purposes. The fire service bought one as a fire fighting training module and the SAS bought 2 for anti terrorist training. The remainder are in Nelson (3) and the Hibiscus Coast (2) as accommodation units. The latter 2 apparently being in a sad state of repairs.

English Electric unit as built. I believe they originally had a silver stripe along the side.English Electric unit as built. I believe they originally had a silver stripe along the side.About to board a new Matangi electric unit to Wellington.Now on to one of our new Matangi electric units I am off to Wellington.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

What a shrink wrapped train? –Yeah Right!

What to do on an indifferent sort of weather day. Get out the Gold Card and go for a trip of course. A car ride down to Waikanae to catch the train into Wellington for starters. These new Matangi Electric units are certainly swish and a match to anything we travelled on in the UK.

So realistic. The bird from the movie So realistic. From the movie "The Hobbit".

Passing through Paekakariki where the steam preservation group “Steam Incorporated” are based we got a fleeting glimpse of a carriage painted blue covered in plastic. A mental note was made to have a closer look on the return journey. Approaching Wellington the weather changed for the worst with rain showers.

Gandolf in flight.Gandolf in flight.

Arriving in Wellington it was across the road to McCafe for a bite to eat before we caught the bus out to the airport. We were not planning on flying away but wanted to view Peter Jackson’s giant eagles/birds for the Hobbit movie. Gigantic and realistic is the only way to describe them. Mooching around the airport terminal for half an hour and then it was back on the bus to the railway station.

Gandolf in flight.The closeup of Gandolf in flight.Gollum fishing for his tea. To can visualise the size by the size of the mere mortals underneath.Gollum fishing for his tea. You can visualise how large by the size of the mere mortals underneath.

On the return train trip were better able to view the mystery blue carriages wrapped in plastic. They were in fact a pair of the recently retired English Electric unit’s circa 1938. Unfortunately they were a modified pair with twin headlights unlike the original huge single headlight. Why the colour blue and the  plastic wrapping, I  can only assume it was protection from the weather as the sheds are probably already full of other rolling stock.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Wishing Well!

New garden addition! Will we be asked to move it?New garden addition! Will we be asked to move it?

What a lovely birthday present which now adorns our front garden. Just trying to cover up the manhole.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

He’s dead Jim!

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Oh no, after a weekend away recently we returned home and my computer immediately did a Microsoft update.  The dreaded blue screen kept appearing after the screen froze and then restarted.  Now here’s me blaming them and after several different attempts to correct the problem, it was obvious I was getting no where. Despite the picture we don’t suspect Google Chrome.

Time to call in the computer expert my son Brent.  Christmas day was spent trying to resolve the problem between times celebrating with Christmas Dinner (New Zealand style BBQ).

After several hours work and changing the hard drive and memory to no avail, the decision was made that it had to be a hardware and not software issue.

Just out of warranty of course, but here in New Zealand the Consumer Guarantees Act should cover such a problem, we hope, time will tell.

Luckily we still have the old computer I bought for his lordship in the UK so a quick sort out of the software required and we haven’t lost too much.  Luckily I managed to backup all the files, photos and whatever before it was too late.                         

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry-christmas-greeting-card-in-animationTo all our followers, family and friends we wish you a Merry Christmas.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

It’s my turn now!

Happy Birthday to me.  Yes it was, my long overdue 21st birthday party. Smile  Well we can dream can;t we?

Our wonderful friend Sandra decided that as Dot was not in the habit of birthday parties, this year I would have a BBQ at the farm.  Wow was it wonderful, surrounded by several of our new neighbours and friends, I am not used to all the fuss.  I think I might have another 21st again.

Multiply the candles by 7 - Yeah rightMultiply the candles by 7 - Yeah right

For my birthday Derek bought me a small something for my garden.  A photo will follow.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Birthday Boy chooses Lunch Venue!

Today we were heading home from our stay in Tongariro where we were also visited by our friends Jenny and Robin. This photo of us both surprised me as to how much like my sister I am.

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Driving along route 46 Mt Tongariro was still belching steam high into the air from several different sites.  This has been intermittent since the eruption last year from the thought extinct volcano. It now has monitoring equipment set up as a warning system due to its proximity to the world famous Tongariro Alpine Crossing.  

Mt Ruapehu still has snow despite the warm weatherMt Ruapehu still has snow despite the warm weather

The plan was to stop for lunch at a venue of the Birthday Boy’s choosing. Well we stopped alright. Only to be met by the Proprietor that the Council had arranged a compulsory food seminar so it was early closing.  Sorry.

Lunch venue - Yeah rightLunch venue - Yeah rightMangaweka AirportJust looking for a break in the traffic!I didn't know there were Giraffes in Mangaweka!I didn't know there were Giraffes in Mangaweka!

Not to be outdone it was on to Hunterville for second choice.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TRACEY

We wont say which big one it is.  Sorry we cant be with you.  Hope you can enjoy your birthday present soon. Winking smile

IMG_1446Those were the days!tracey

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

The storm clouds are gathering!

After a leisurely breakfast and Derek had done a little cleaning at the NZMCA Park we were on our way across the Desert Road. It was a beautiful warm morning with brilliant sunshine.

The storm clouds gathering over the Central Plateau New ZealandThe storm clouds gathering over the Central Plateau New Zealand at 1pm today.

The forecast was for storms over most of the North Island this afternoon and as we drove over the Desert Road we could see them approaching.  We missed all the thunder and lightening that they received at Tongariro at the same time.  After a short sharp downfall it was all over.

Monday, 18 November 2013

A walkabout through Marton

Captain Cook who discovered NZ was born in Marton England but this monument was commissioned by Marton Historical Society NZ in 2004.Captain Cook who discovered NZ was born in Marton England but this monument was commissioned by Marton Historical Society NZ in 2004.IMG_8773IMG_8774Although there are signs of a dying town the wonderful old buildings are a delight to see.IMG_8777

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IMG_8778This beautiful mural also adorned a wall in the town.

Marton here we come!

IMG_8767Here we are at Marton NZMCA (New Zealand Motor Caravan Association) Park.

We had to go and check out the new NZMCA acquisition in regards to the old Marton Motor Camp.  What a great purchase and all the work done by volunteers to make it such a wonderful site.  Marton the town advertises itself as a Motorhome Friendly Town, the only one we have heard of.

IMG_8770A wander through the Park

We arrived early afternoon before wandering into town for lunch and a look around.  Derek cannot remember ever being here before just as I couldn't remember being to Eketahuna .  I think the brain remembers what it wants to at times.

IMG_8771A beautiful park on a beautiful day.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

We’re on the road again!

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This weekend we have spent a great weekend with fellow members of Wellington, Wairarapa and Heretaunga Caravan Clubs in a combined rally at a small country school north of Masterton.

Now what have we here?Now what have we here?

We have all come away with a suntan that we never had on arrival.  Boy was that sun hot.  Not that we are complaining, of course.  Temperature in the van was in the high 20’s.

Parked at Eketahuna Motor CampParked at Eketahuna Motor Camp

After lunch we all packed up and gradually headed our own ways.  We are heading for Tongariro again for a few days so decided to check out Eketahuna Motor Camp on the way where our club is holding a rally at Waitangi weekend next February.  Pulling into the camp around 3.30pm we were surprised at the number of campers here.  Two pulled out not long after our arrival, (rather late in the day we thought considering most camps require you to leave prior to 10am).

Old swing bridge circa 1890 at Eketahuna.Old swing bridge circa 1890 at Eketahuna.

After afternoon tea we wandered around to see what was here, a walk down to the old swing bridge of 1890, but there is not much left of it.  Looking into the river there were signs of large trees being blown down and signs of recent high river levels.  Derek was disappointed to only see one brown trout in the river.

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Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Are we alone?

Today we decided that we would head to the movies for the second time this week. This is new for us We haven't been to the movies for so long we cant remember the last.

We saw “One Chance” a few days ago which is the life story of Paul Potts the opera singer.  We were in the UK when Paul won Britain's Got Talent in 2009 and it was great to watch his life story. We both had tears in our eyes at various times during the movie and well worth viewing.

Are we going to be on our own?Are we going to be on our own?

Today we decided to take advantage of the concession together with complimentary morning tea to see “Captain Phillips”, highly recommended by our friends Jenny and Robin. We thought we were going to be the only ones in the theatre but just as the movie started we were joined by one other couple Another great movie.  We could get used to this!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Fish What Fish?

Yesterday with good fishing forecast it was off to Waitarere Beach to try out Don’s Kontiki. Muggins being the only one in shorts was designated the one to head into the surf and set the Kontiki going.  There is about 2km of nylon on the Kontiki but we only let out about a km or so after baiting the 20 hooks on the long line.  Straight out into the surf we let it go for about 15 minutes before turning it off.  Then we sat down for half an hour or so, had lunch and then wound it back in again. What did we catch? only one Sand Shark.  Never mind there’ll be plenty more opportunities this summer we hope.

Waitarere BeachThe beach was looking quite deserted once we had headed south away from the other fishermen.Parked on Waitarere Beach baiting up the long line.Parked on Waitarere Beach setting up.Baiting up the long line.Baiting up the long line.Getting ready to launch the Kontiki.Getting ready to launch the Kontiki.Off into the wild blue yonder go I.Off into the wild blue yonder go I.Our only catch. A miseable Sand Shark.Our only catch. A miserable Sand Shark.IMG_8756Back into the drink he goes.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Chocolate Éclairs for Afternoon Tea!

This afternoon we had surprise visitors bringing Ohakune Chocolate Éclairs.  Bruce and Julie are our wonderful neighbours from Levin who also travel a lot in their motorhome. 

Today they were heading for Taupo for a few days and decided to drop in and surprise us with four enormous éclairs from a favourite shop in Ohakune.  They were lucky to get them as normally the shop has well and truly sold out by lunchtime.  

Afternoon tea made a well deserved break for Derek who had been busy painting.  Time to have a cuppa and a long chinwag on putting the world to rights.

See you guys at home when we all get there. Smile

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Someone knew when to go on holiday!

IMG_8734The burnt timber is cut out and ready for the new iron.

After the recent fire it would have to be this week that the roof would be taken off and repairs done before the new iron was replaced.  Two days cutting out the burnt timber and replacing the rafters before the iron was put on today.

IMG_8740It was getting too close for comfort so we moved.

We had to move the motorhome from alongside the house so that no accidents could happen with the manoeuvring the long sheets of iron.

IMG_8738Wind and rain forecast – hurry up.

The weather forecast was not encouraging but at least it was not as bad as it was supposed to be.  Odd showers when the old iron had to be put back temporarily until the rain stopped and the new sheets could be lifted into place.

IMG_8742Getting there slowly.

The roofers expected to have the new iron on before lunch.  Yeah right. More like 4.45pm before leaving us with no satellite reception for a few days.  Never mind we have an alternative on the roof of Gypsy Rover, but no sky reception, never mind.