Sunday, 29 July 2012

Life down on the farm.

After four very wet days in Hastings we headed back toward home on Friday in brilliant weather.

A herd of heifers being moved on the road near Ballance.A herd of heifers being moved on the road near Ballance. A sight not seen a lot these days.

We had been invited to call into Don and Sandra’s rural property for a couple of night’s. It’s always nice to get out on the farm for some R & R.

Feeding out time on Don's farm.Feeding out time on Don's farm.Feeding out the hay on Don Webbs farm. The cattle are waiting patiently at the gate to be let in.In the distance the cattle are waiting patiently at the gate  to be let in.

It transpired that Don was heading away on Sunday morning to Fielding with the Vintage Machinery club, so Saturday evening we fed out some baleage (silage) ready for moving the cattle onto fresh pasture on Sunday morning. As Don wanted to be away early Sunday morning it was to be my job to feed out a couple of bales of hay and shift the cattle.

Let the herd into the feed out paddock.Let the herd into the feed out paddock.

Easy peasy, the only problem was having Dot with me the cattle were a bit shy of strangers and took a bit of coaxing even though they may have been hungry. They eventually plucked up the courage to move through the open gateway and were soon tucking into their favourite fodder.

Tucking into the fodder.Tucking into the fodder.

Monday, 23 July 2012

To Levin and on to Hastings

This week-end is the first Heretaunga Caravan Club rally since our return from our South Island tour.  It was nice to be back on the road even if it was only a short run up to Levin. We stayed at the Playford Park Camp which is under new management. There have been a few changes since our last visit some 7 or so years ago. It was good to catch up with all our friends in the club and meet 2 new members accepted into the club this week-end.

The rally was also the AGM for the club where yours truly was elected as Vice President for the next 12 months. Saturday evening we all headed off to the Cosmopolitan Club for a celebratory drink and a meal. A great time was had by all.

Sunday afternoon and it was time for everybody to head home except in our case we did a hop skip and a jump 5km further North to our friends farm at Koputuroa Rd. We had sent Don and Sandra an email to say we would be calling in but they got the dates mixed up and were surprised to see us. We only stayed overnight but still had a great time. After some sight seeing around Levin we went back to Sandra and Don’s for some lunch of rotisserie Pork and Apple sauce or Crab Apple jelly. Yummee.

After lunch we set off for our next destination of Hastings. Leaving Levin the weather was quite good but by the time we reached Shannon gale force winds had sprung up and we were blown all over the road. Dot was not a happy chappess but we just had to keep going at a greatly reduced speed. This extended our travel time by nearly an hour. These conditions lasted just about all the way to Woodville where the wind dropped but the rain kicked in. This was the scene all the way to Hastings. As the afternoon wore on the rain intensified and by early evening it was a down pour. Dot was met by her cat Simba who now lives with Richard with a big love and cheered her up immensely.

Parked at Richards in Twyford, HastingsWe are now parked up at Dot’s son Richard’s property on an orchard on the outskirts of Hastings.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Lazy Susan!

Recently we have been on the hunt for new (or new for us) furniture. Over the years with a growing family we had purchased veneer furniture in the past due to the fact that it was much cheaper than quality timber furniture.

Since moving back into our home we decided that this time around we would only buy good quality timber furniture.  After all there would not be another opportunity on our retirement incomes.  Our choice was New Zealand Rimu being a lovely golden coloured native timber.  Unfortunately this is now becoming  very hard to find and therefore has become very expensive.  Our option was to purchase pre loved furniture which could be restored sometime in the future if need be.

Lazy Susan on TableRimu extendable round table dining suite.

We have been very lucky with our purchases and have found a lovely round Rimu dining suite in great condition.  We also fell in love with a Rimu Welsh Dresser which although several years old looks great in our dining room alongside the suite.

Welsh DresserWelsh Dresser.

Yesterday being a totally miserable wet Sunday, we visited my Aunt and Uncle in Maungaraki for lunch. Bill although being 80 years of age is an amazing wood turner.  He does this as a hobby and had made me a Lazy Susan to place in the middle of the table.  Fantastic, I am thrilled with it.  He sourced the Rimu himself and the basic raw material looks nothing like the completed article.

Lazy SusanLazy Susan with lace doily under a protective piece of perspex.

Now we are in a position to entertain our friends and return the wonderful invitations we have had from them.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Fog delays flights!

This week there has been an unusual amount of fog throughout the country delaying flights from all the major airports.  Wellington fared slightly better than most, but this photo taken out through the window of our lounge shows the fog coming up the valley.  Wellington and the harbour in contrast were in brilliant sunshine in the distance.

Foggy morning9.20am yesterday morning looking down the valley.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Didn’t they do well?

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.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.

It was with some sadness that we saw the passing of the English Electric multiple units (EMU’s) last week. These hard working unit’s have served the Wellington region since 1938. The first batch were slightly different to the post war version having vents in the entry/exit doors.

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

Over the years they have been refurbished several times but underneath they were still the same old units. Eventually the older units were retired and replaced by the Hungarian built Ganz-Mavag units which were not an immediate success due to them not being built as per specifications. They were oversized for the tunnels and the track beds had to be lowered to enable them to be used. I wonder if they will still be around after 70+ years service. Time will tell.

Hungarian built Ganz-Mavag unit in origianal colours.Hungarian built Ganz-Mavag unit in original colours.

Just recently the latest Korean built Matangi EMU’s were introduced and put into service without too much ado. The remaining English Electric EMU’s are now being withdrawn and scrapped but there are some people out there hoping to preserve at least one set for posterity.

Wellington rolling stock L-R 3 rows of Hungarian stock circa 1980, 2 rows 1946 English Electric stock and the latest Korean Matangi stock.Wellington rolling stock L-R 3 rows of Hungarian stock circa 1980, 2 rows 1946 English Electric stock and the latest Korean Matangi stock.

One interesting piece of history to come out of all this is that Dot’s Aunty Gretta was a passenger on the inaugural train back in 1938 as a 7 year old and was invited to travel on the final service before withdrawal. What an achievement.

scan0002As printed in the Hutt News (notice any resemblance to Dot?)

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The night the earth moved (Literally).

Ten thirty six pm and we were sitting in the lounge watching the TV news when there was a rumbling through the house. An earthquake!  It went on for a couple of seconds before it grew in intensity lasting for over 2 minutes.

Ornaments started to shake, rattle and roll but luckily they were well held down with blue tack and the cabinets are screwed to the walls. Early reports that the earthquake was 6.3 on the Richter scale but it was eventually reported as a massive 7.0, larger than the Christchurch earthquakes. The only saving grace was that it was centred 240kms deep somewhere around South Taranaki. Had it been shallower the results could have been catastrophic. Phew, that was close!

Monday, 2 July 2012

Fighting For Food!

Whilst living in the UK we spent a lot of time watching all the native birds feeding on our bird feeders we placed in the hedgerows beside our narrowboat Gypsy Rover along the canals.

Fighting for foodFighting over food.

Prior to returning to New Zealand we purchased the frame shown in the photo. Now back in our house the frame has been erected at the back of the garden where it borders native bush to encourage the bird’s to feed here. The only addition is the 2 coconut halves which have been filled with fat and bird seed.

The bird’s gave the feeder a wide berth for the first week or so but they have now got used to it and their numbers are increasing everyday. We can see them waiting in the nearby bushes for their turn for a free feed.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Dear oh dear.

Having now acquired just about all our requirements in furniture we can say that the house now resembles a home. We have been having the odd hiccup like the other morning when unloading the dishwasher I found that everything on the bottom rack was still grubby. Further investigation revealed the bottom spray arm was jammed and that it was a screw in fitting. Pulling it apart I found that even though the arm was stainless steel it had worn a groove and split causing it to jam. Knowing full well that the age of the machine was against me I tried to procure a new arm. The agents would have to order one in which are now made in plastic and it would cost me $65. No thanks, I will try our local white ware recycler.

Spray arm  showing it worn through and split.Spray arm showing it worn through and split.

This gentleman didn’t have one in the shop but promised to check his bulk warehouse. Sunday morning, yes SUNDAY, and he sent me a text to say he had one and I could come and collect it. Without further adieu  we hopped in the car and went to collect it. He told me that he doesn’t usually bother with taking these arms off because of them being stainless steel and presumably indestructible. However while checking several machines he found various stages of wear including some others that had also split but luckily he found one that was just about mint condition. He will now save some of these for future use. How much did this cost me? A mere $10 and the machine should be good for another few years service.