Books Read 2020

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Making New Friends

 

I’ve had a really lovely day today.  First up I spent most of the morning with Chris from diet-coke-rocks.blogspot.com – pop over and visit her if you are not already a follower. 

I’m always a bit nervous when I meet a new person but she was so easy to talk to – we laughed and yakked and laughed some more.  It was great and I hope we can repeat it again soon.


A random picture from my archives


After leaving Chris I visited my brother and his wife.  He had an operation yesterday to remove a large cyst from his eyebrow and is now looking like he has been in a fight with someone!

Have a happy day 😊

Margaret.


Sunday, 25 April 2021

ANZAC Day 2021

 

Anzac Day, 25 April, is our national day to remember those who have fought and died for our country and for Australia (ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps). 

The name originated in 1915 when our combined troops set out to capture the Gallipoli Peninsular in Turkey.  Their attempt was futile, and many men lost their lives.


I watched the National Commemoration services on TV

This was the Dawn Service at Wellington


The 11am Wreath Laying Ceremony, also in Wellington


Two of the many wreaths that were laid


After being placed on the stand, the wreaths were moved to the steps


A lone trumpeter playing the Last Post (Dawn Service)


It is sobering to think of how many good men and women have died in the name of freedom.

We shall remember them.

Margaret.


Friday, 23 April 2021

A Cracked Windscreen

 

I was on the road fairly early this morning so I could take grand-daughter down to Taupo to stay with friends for the weekend.  It took us about two hours to get there – it could have taken longer if my windscreen had shattered instead of simply cracking.

Something, perhaps a piece of metal, hit us soon after leaving Hamilton.  It left a deep indentation and a small crack that continued to grow throughout my journey.   Thank goodness I have insurance cover for windscreens, as I can see a new one being needed.




As we entered Taupo we decided to stop off at Huka Falls on the Waikato River.  

I am glad we did as there seemed to be more water than usual, and the colour of the water was a gorgeous deep aqua mingled with the white foam.




There were a lot of people there, almost as many as we had when tourism was in full swing. 

This weekend is a long one, with Monday being a holiday to celebrate ANZAC Day (our national day for remembering those who have fought for our country), so that may have contributed to the number of people out and about.




It took me a lot longer to come home again, as traffic was beginning to build up.  Thankfully, most of it was going in the opposite direction.

There were a few idiots making bad driving decisions, but on the whole the traffic was well behaved and flowed reasonably well.

I was still happy to get home safely again 😊

Margaret.



Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Maize Silage

 

Agriculture is a great way of watching the seasons change.  It is currently time to harvest maize silage (for cattle feed) – heading for the end of autumn but before winter wetness arrives.




Driving on country roads at this time of year means almost inevitably that you will meet a harvester and/or trucks with high sides and tractors with trailers. 

The whole plant (cob, leaf and stalk) is chopped up finely together and loaded into a vehicle to be carried away to a silage stack.  Often the stack will be on a different farm, the farmer having purchased the crop for his own use.




Once the silage has been dropped off at its storage place, it is rolled firmly and shaped into a stack before being covered with tarpaulins and tyres until it is required for use as highly nutritious winter feed.




The sun is shining this morning, but we have a slight possibility of thunder later on.  Time to get the washing hung out so it can dry before any rain comes 😊

Margaret.


Sunday, 18 April 2021

R.I.P. Prince Philip

 

A good part of today has been spent watching the replay of the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in London.  It played here live in the wee hours of this morning, so I was happy that it was replayed during the day.




I think Prince Philip would have approved of his funeral service (he planned most of it himself, although it had to be scaled down because of Covid regulations).  It was simple, dignified, and honoured a man who had devoted his life to serving his Queen and country.




Only 30 people were allowed to be present at the funeral, but in a way that made it more private and family-like instead of a huge state affair with hundreds of people present.

For me, it made it more personal and I found I could sympathize more with The Queen and her family in their time of sorrow.




Losing a loved one, whatever the circumstances, is always difficult.

Margaret.


Thursday, 15 April 2021

Tis the Season for Flu Jabs

 

With winter approaching, the season for having a Flu Jab has come around again.  I had mine last evening, for protection against the three main influenza strains that are currently circulating.

I never even left my car!  All I had to do was turn up at my appointment time, check in with the attendant at the entrance, drive up to the nurses’ station (set up in the carpark) and hey presto, all done.  Park up and wait for twenty minutes, then head home.  All very straight forward.

We had an incredible thunderstorm early afternoon yesterday.  There was a lot more lightning than we usually get and the thunder was almost continuous.  I like to count between the flash and the sound to estimate how far away it is (a remnant of my childhood, no idea if it works or not!), but it was too much on top of us to do that. 

We had a short very heavy shower of rain with the storm but that was all – not nearly as much rain as I expected.

Our cats are usually fine with storms but this time they both were upset.  Millie hid in a dark corner, and Mittens raced around trying to find a way to escape.  It must be difficult for animals, not understanding the cause of frighteningly loud noises and flashes of light.  Humans have the logic process to help us deal with them.


A different thunderstorm, but you get the idea


Wishing everyone an enjoyable day 😊

Margaret.


Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Kakahi Falls

 

Tikitere, named Hell’s Gate after a comment made by the Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw, is an area of violent geothermal activity located close to Rotorua City.

Being privately owned, an entrance fee is charged to visitors – in my view, it is money well spent to experience this amazing place where “myth and legend come to life, where the earth boils, mud heals, and steam disappears into the clouds above.”

One of the quieter gems of Tikitere is Kakahi Falls, the largest natural hot water falls in the Southern Hemisphere.




The waterfall is a constant 40 degrees Celcius (about the temperature of a hot shower), and was a sacred place where local Maori warriors came to bathe to help heal their battle-weary wounded bodies.

It was here they could wash away the lingering spirits of war before they returned to normal life in their village.




This healing tradition continues today, with the spa opportunities offered at the site.  I found the scenery awe-inspiring enough, without covering myself in thick mud!

Have a happy day 😊

Margaret.


Saturday, 10 April 2021

Weekend House Sit

 

The weather today is dull and dreary, with occasional rain showers and not a spot of blue sky to be seen.

One of my brothers has a milestone birthday this weekend, so he and his wife and a couple of friends have gone to New Plymouth for the weekend to celebrate.

I am happy to be able to housesit for them and take care of Rusty and Merlin. 

Rusty is a bit of a coward when it comes to noise, and last night when it began to rain he shivered and shook so much that he made the whole bed wobble like a jelly.  In the end I put his day bed into the bathroom and shut him in there (he is used to that). 

He was fine this morning, and is now curled up on top of the sofa – trying to make up for all the sleep he missed out on last night!




Merlin, on the other hand, curled up in a living room chair and stayed sound asleep all night.  Today he has been outside glaring at the wet grass (funny how cats don’t like to get wet), before curling up on one of the porch chairs and watching the birds.

We have doves, sparrows and blackbirds all feeding out on the lawn, and Merlin just sits and watches them.  Birds seem to have an inbuilt instinct as to whether a cat is being a threat to them or not.




I was sorry to hear this morning that Prince Philip had passed on – he came so close to reaching his century.  Knowing what it is like to lose a beloved husband and long-time companion, I feel for the Queen at this time as I know it will not be an easy adjustment for her after being so long together.

Share a smile and a hug today, with someone you love 😊

Margaret.

 

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

All Is Good

 

Thanks everybody for all the birthday wishes.  My appointment went well yesterday and life is looking good.

Son and I had a good drive up to Auckland and home again.  The traffic was heavy at times but most of our trip was an enjoyable drive.

The Weather Gods smiled down upon us, and even gave us some amazing cloud formations to look at.




My appointment was on the northern side of Auckland, across the Harbour Bridge.  As we came home again, I was able to take this shot of the city’s harbour skyline.  

Normally, when driving, I don’t have this opportunity – there is nowhere to safely stop and it is far too unsafe to try and take a photo when I’m behind the steering wheel.




Most of today I spent with a sister-in-law – we even managed to do some family history research together – but I was a little late coming home and got caught up in the evening rush hour.  I should be getting used to traffic now!

Nothing to worry about though, and I arrived home to find son had cooked up some chili mince and we were able to have nachos for dinner.  Nice for a change.

Have a happy day 😊

Margaret.


Monday, 5 April 2021

Time Goes On

 

Hard to believe we are already into April, time seems to be going by so fast lately.  Is it really that many years (decades!) since this photo was taken?




Another birthday has rolled around and made me another year older.  I had a really great day, and was invited to dinner by my dear brother and his wife.  We had lamb roast and it was delicious.




Autumn is slowly advancing and our nights are getting cool enough now for a blanket.  Morning fogs are becoming more frequent.

Won’t be long before I’ll have to fish out the hot water bottle again!




Tomorrow, son and I are off to Auckland again.  I had to drive up there for an appointment on the day before Good Friday – it took me two hours to drive up there and three and a quarter hours to drive home again because of all the traffic leaving the city for the long weekend.

Traffic tomorrow should be much better, and I will enjoy being a passenger for a change.  Might even get a chance to take some photos!

Have a great day,

Margaret 😊