Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Gotcha for once!

IMG_0481_thumb1Surprise, surprise who’s 70 then?

Derek had ideas of quietly having a birthday and nobody knowing. I had other ideas and together with Sandra we had been scheming for weeks. Invitations were sent out via email with the venue at Sandra and Dons home.

PB2100172_thumb1On arrival Jenny caught the surprised look on Derek’s face.

Sandra had invited us for dinner and Derek thought nothing of the invitation although 6pm would have been later than usual.  I opted to travel on an alternative route with an excuse I wanted to check out a future rally venue.  I knew that if we travelled straight there Derek would see all the caravans on the front lawn and would smell a rat immediately. 

IMG_0484_thumb1Sandra explaining how she first met Derek 21 years ago.

It took a while for it to sink in with friends from the Caravan club and Menzshed already there. I don’t think I have ever seen him so stuck for words.  But he soon settled down and we had a great evening.

IMG_0487_thumb1Cutting the cake.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Out with the old!


New Zealand Reserve Bank is gradually issuing new banknotes. There are slight differences but more security issues built in.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Brookfield Scout Camp

We arrived around lunchtime to find two of our members already in attendance, the others arriving shortly after. We were located in what they call the paddock, close to toilets and showers.

Brookfeld Scout Camp.Lined up on the paddock at Brookfield Scout Camp, Wainuiomata.Two members from Wararapa on the other side.All on their lonesome, well not quite, the others are just out of the picture.

Settling in we were watching the weather as to whether we needed to change our plans to visit Wellington tomorrow via the Dominion Post East West Ferry compliments of our Gold Cards. As all our members are now over the official retirement age we all have cards compliments of the Government for free travel concessions.(conditions do apply with restricted hours but not on weekends).

After the usual 4zz’s we had a get together in the hall after dinner for the usual catch-up and jokes before discussing our plans for the following day. We opted to give morning tea a miss and head straight for Days Bay Wharf at 10am in three vehicles to catch the 10.30am ferry crossing to Wellington. The day looked brilliant although the wind was forecast to rise later in the day.

Dominion Post Ferry TicketsOur Ferry Tickets.

IMG_0437-001Turning to pull alongside the wharf at Days Bay.

IMG_0440-001Here we are all set for embarkation.

Sommes IslandA quick drop off at Matui (Sommes Island) and we were off.

Oriental Bay from WellingtonOne side of Wellington’s picturesque harbour to the other.

Moored up at Wellington Wharf.Alongside the Ferry Terminal in Wellington.

Breaking up into several groups we headed off to check out the Wellington waterfront. Some of us to the Maritime Museum in one of the old wharf buildings. We planned to return around 2.30pm to be back for the compulsory 4zz’s and hopefully to miss the stronger winds on the harbour. A great Lunch was had by all in various restaurants before meeting back at the ferry for our return. The harbour was decidedly more choppy this time around as we headed out towards the heads to Seatoun Wharf, although we never stopped, before heading straight back to Days Bay. A couple had opted for the later ferry so that they could take in Petone Wharf and Matui again on the way back.

Wellington Maritime Museum in the background behind the Fire Brigade display.Wellington Maritime Museum in the background behind the Fire Brigade display.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Eat your heart out Geoff!


Where else do you get beauties like this? But the Chocolate Éclair shop in Ohakune.  A shop that is only open to catch the snow trade in the winter, closed now until next year. We had to visit it on Friday going up to Tongariro and then on our way home on Monday before it closes for the season this week.

IMG_0405Must keep an eye on his driving now.

IMG_0279Of course I go everywhere too, I love this travelling lark.

This weekend we are at home catching up on chores after being away the last two weekends and before we head off again.

What a life this retirement is. Brookfield here we come.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Great Success

Auto Trail logo_thumbLogo designed by fellow member Leicester Fifield of Geraldine.

Nv7cyDgTzC3lI36uqvBm9gOmuw4kPH4VpHVPEG-qhR8Autotrail Motorhomes at the rally – spot the intruder!

Labour weekend in Levin turned on a wonderfully sunny weekend after the heavy rain on Thursday and Friday evenings. Somehow we had been selected  to source a venue and run the rally for the NZ Autotrail owners club. We had a wonderful weekend catching up with old and new friends.  The fact that we know longer own an Autotrail was of no consequence and we have been invited back for any future rallies.

kGLc94hO-hKh6sVY5iOeEIYonpNoiMCporeElxKZtvoYours truly all set for the registrations.

P1080837Dot’s down to work.

Silverdale, one of the local clothing manufacturer’s had donated a gift voucher which was an early bird prize that was drawn on Friday night.  They profited by a large number of the attendees walking across and spending up large on quality clothing on Saturday morning.

Dan Monk of Auckland Motorhomes had donated a portable BBQ which we used as our major prize in a multi draw raffle. Members of The Levin Menzshed had also made two lovely wood turned Rimu bowls which were two of the prizes.

We had a wonderful evening with dinner catered by Raewyn’s in the Conference Centre at the AP&I showground's in Levin.

j7kTzQeeT6dQtiIpUI988FA9YKzLI4AhCj4_RJG4wU8Audrey the winner of the portable BBQ together with Derek.

Sunday morning we headed off to Foxton by bus to attend the annual Foxton Spring Fling. A wonderful day was had by all and the visit complemented the talk by local historian, Tom Hayes, the day before.

1A replica mill, reconstructed from an original flour mill on show in the AP&I show grounds.

27De Molen windmill Foxton.

38_thumb[1]The Foxton Horse Drawn Tram was taking rides.

UJsLEEzR_2DdzWqbXA3bz2Aw6J3n9p-bJpoSgrTXB8o_thumb[1]A beautiful Barrel Organ was attracting a large audience in Foxton.

mAPliAp8c1CC1d2HYfgJPCHBkbZwszq3KBlc4c6jpfENow who’s that with her arms around my husband?

We were exceptionally happy with the way the weekend went and from all the compliments and thanks we received, maybe a hard act to follow even if we do say so ourselves.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Labour Weekend Autotrail Rally!

P1080059The third New Zealand Autotrail Owners Rally was held in Hamilton New Zealand in June. Can we match this?

This weekend yours truly are hosting a New Zealand Autotrail rally in our hometown Levin, even though we no longer own an Autotrail ourselves since the recent sale of our beloved Gypsy Rover. Don't tell anyone, will you? Hope we don't get too much flack!

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Visiting Government House.

On Tuesday our caravan club was very privileged in having a private tour of the Governor General’s House by the Basin Reserve in Wellington.

Government House-003

Up early we were to drive the near one hundred kilometres to be there before 10.15am. We had to consider peak hour traffic but had enough time to check out our lunch venue before arriving.  We were all on time to meet up with our tour guide Owen  and had to wait at the gates for the Police Security Guard to open them for us.

Visitor Centre - originally the garage for the governmental cars.Our entrance to the visitor centre , once the garage to the Governmental cars.

Heretaunga Caravan members in front of Government House.Heretaunga Caravan members in front of Government House.

The house was closed for 3 years in 2008 for major strengthening and refurbishing to bring it up to todays standard at a cost of over $40million.

Enjoying the Conservatory.Relaxing in the Conservatory.

Native Rimu Timbers in the HallwayNative Rimu Timbers in the Hallway

Maori Carving by the staircase.Maori Carving by the staircase.

The Levin ladies behind the Levin Chair.The Levin ladies behind the Levin Chair. From Left, Dot, Jenny and Lorraine.

Ready for dinner? Anyone for dinner?

Beautiful Mosaic table of unknown origin.Beautiful Mosaic table of unknown origin.

Built between 1908 and 1910 the property consisting of nearly 12 hectares bordering Alexandra Park and the town belt below Mt Victoria on land that was previously Mt View Lunatic Asylum.

The remains of the wall to the Lunatic Asylum with early graffiti.The remains of the wall to the Lunatic Asylum with early graffiti.

Early Graffiti.Early Graffiti.

The tours are free of charge and bookings can be made online or by phone. Information at

Tours can only be arranged when the Governor General (the Queens Representative in New Zealand) is not in residence.

We couldn't have picked a better day to visit as the tour had been organised months in advance.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Shakedown Cruise!

Last weekend we took our new baby out on its first outing in our ownership.  Surprisingly enough the layout is the same as our earlier motorhome but 1.4metres shorter.  Believe me that makes a big difference with storage.  But we will adapt, wont we?

IMG_0003(2)Our first view by email!

We had had ‘Gypsy Rover’ for sale for sometime as now we aren't living in her we planned to go smaller.  We received an email from a Blenheim couple as to whether we would be interested in a swap with their motorhome for ours and a cash difference.  Well it was worth looking at we thought, after many emails and phone calls back and forth, we finally agreed to meet in Wellington and view each others vehicles.  They made the trip on the Inter Island Ferry to meet up with us and were so confident they had booked a return trip with ‘our’ van a couple of days later.

IMG_0278Now I know I shouldn't be on the table …….but I do like it here.

But we were the harder to convince, many hours were spent over and under their vehicle until we proceeded with the deal.  I must admit Derek put them through the hoops and large amounts of cash (on their side) were paid to correct several problems.

IMG_0279Peek- a- boo I can see you!

IMG_0283The lounge area the same as before.

IMG_0284‘Watford’ the teddy lives here. (we found him in Derek’s hometown lost on the road while in the UK).

IMG_0286Beautiful upholstery and a lovely picture on the flat panel TV.

IMG_0288The kitchen area is a lot smaller, although the van can sleep 6.

IMG_0289Looking towards the cab.

IMG_0281We even managed to erect the attached awning.

Our first trip away was only 20 kms north to Foxton Boys Brigade Camp with the Heretaunga Caravan Club .  There were many extras supplied with the motorhome, new side walls on the awning, new carpet and a brand new stove.  All in all, not too bad, there are a few things we need to do but in the meantime it has not interrupted our busy travelling schedule too much.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Gypsy Rover is sold!

GypsyRoverDon’t think you have seen the last of us though, more exciting times ahead.IMG_0002This is the replacement. More to come.