Sunday 27 February 2022

A Zwilling Knife Set


I had the good fortune this last week to win an online auction for a Zwilling J.A. Henckels meat carving set made in Germany.  

When I married, we were given a boxed carving set (knife, fork and steel) for a wedding present and used it for many years.

Over time, however, the box disappeared, the knife blade separated from its handle, and all that is left is a steel and fork buried in the bottom of a drawer.

Now I am getting rid of a lot of these things I no longer use, I decided to replace what I wanted with something that had some quality.

I loved this set as there is a gold embossed hunting scene on one side of the knife blade, and the box itself has another scene on the inside of the lid.  The handles are apparently made with antelope horn.

I did some research and Zwilling J.A. Henckels is one of the leading knife manufacturers in the world, which made my purchase feel even more special.

I have no idea how old the set is, and the lady I bought it off did not know either, but this will not stop me from the enjoyment of using it.

“A knife is only as good as the one who wields it”

Have a happy day 😊



Tuesday 22 February 2022



New Zealand uses the date format of day – month – year, which makes today’s date a perfect palindrome. 

Only, it doesn’t work if you are American and use a date format of month – day – year!

I think our humid hot weather has been catching up on me, and the last few days I have been struggling to do much of anything.

One day, however, I did manage to look in on a local charity shop and (of course!) came home with two more Little Treasures.

The bowl is cut glass, not crystal, and has a small chip on its exterior base.  I thought it would make a lovely container for a pot plant (perhaps for the maidenhair fern I have been wanting to buy for a while now), but I’ve discovered it also makes a great salad bowl!

My other purchase was this little pea pod salt-and-pepper set.  I thought it was rather cute, but it is so long since I actually used a proper cruet set that I have forgotten whether it is the salt that has more holes or the pepper – help!

Have a cheerful week everyone 😊


Tuesday 15 February 2022

Four Lakes In One Day


On Sunday our city of Hamilton was hammered with severe gale-force winds from the remnant of Cyclone Dovi.  On my way out of the city this morning, it was clear to see how much damage had been caused – trees blown down, large and small branches lying everywhere, and leaves in piles larger than appear in autumn.

The Council has been moving through to make sure road and path access was available, and the debris has been left to be cleared away when they can.  Quite sobering to see, but thankfully there was not more damage or injuries caused.

Fitzgerald Glade, on the road to Rotorua

For my February get-out-of-the-city excursion, I headed for Rotorua.  All of this area was once a prime tourist destination, and it was sad to see how many businesses were shut (but hopefully not closed down completely) during this covid time.  It must be such a struggle for some of them to survive.

My first stop was Lake Rotorua in the heart of the city, where I sat for a while and watched seagulls, cormorants, coots, mallards and black swans.

Lake Rotorua, with some of the city in the background

Then it was on to Lake Tikitapu (usually called the Blue Lake), a pretty crater lake that is popular with swimmers and water skiers alike.  I went for a paddle along its pebbly shoreline and found the water pleasantly warm, and was thrilled to see a little tomtit flitting among the trees (sometimes I think I need to buy myself a good camera!).

One corner of the Blue Lake

At Lake Tarawera there was a tree waiting for a little car to park beneath its shady canopy – the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic lunch while enjoying the peace and quiet.

Stoney Point Reserve at Lake Tarawera 

A drive to the end of the road showed an amazing number of houses clustered together like a long strung-out village in this semi-isolated spot, each with a view of the mountain and the lake.  I imagine many are most definitely well outside my price range!

Mount Tarawera across the lake (it last erupted in 1886)

Heading back into Rotorua, a short detour took me to Lake Okareka.  Not as popular as Lake Tarawera, it nevertheless still had a significant number of homes built along some of its shoreline.

At the end of this road there was a Department of Conservation campsite, and several campervans and a couple of tents were in evidence.

On the shores of Lake Okareka

The drive home took around 90 minutes and included several lots of road works.  At one spot, my poor little car had to negotiate melted tarseal with only a thin layer of rough metal spread over it – I was afraid much of it would stick beneath the car but I think very little actually did.

I am so thankful I am able to make these little monthly excursions to different places.

I would recommend it to everyone! 😊



Friday 11 February 2022



I don’t know about you, but I am not very fond of little black furry creatures with four legs and a tail.

Millie, Mittens kitty sister, has been catching a lot of field mice lately and bringing them into the house.  Usually, she meows a certain way and Son goes and rescues the mouse and sets it free outside. 

Only sometimes he is not fast enough, and the mouse escapes to hide beneath some piece of furniture – we have had them under the coffee table, under the lounge chairs, under the dining dresser, and behind the fridge.

(On the good side, that meant the fridge had to be removed from its position – a difficult process – and I was able to take the opportunity to clean behind and under it.)

Image courtesy of

Yesterday I was using a bucket of water to sluice the dust out of our bath (it is never used, but it does accumulate a layer of dust in the bottom), and a mouse leapt up at me.


Water flew all round the room, Mittens dived out the nearest window, and Son came running to see what was the matter.

Poor little mouse!

It must have been curled up inside the plug hole but I have no idea how it got into the bath.  Son soon caught it and it should now be living happily ever after in the field behind us.

Mice don’t belong inside a house!

Margaret 😊


Tuesday 8 February 2022

The Adventures of Brush


After nearly five years of daily use, I have a feeling my hairbrush has decided it is time it had a change of scene and maybe got retired.

Brush has worked faithfully every day since it began work in my service, but I must admit I have taken it very much for granted.

It often travels with me, but on my recent trip to Tauranga, Brush decided to escape my bag and hide itself on the back seat. 

This turned out quite detrimental to its health, as I put the seats down when moving some furniture and Brush found itself very squashed.

All its bristles were flattened out sideways, but a bit of tender loving care brought most of them upright again (they are made of rubber).

Brush with friend Mirror and rival Comb

And yet, Brush was not satisfied and ran away again!  This time when I was housesitting, it managed to elude my packing efforts and hid itself beneath the bed.  Naughty Brush.

I searched and searched but could not find it after arriving home, and it was a couple of days before my sister-in-law rang to say she had found it lurking in a corner under the bed.

Brush is now back home, sulking in its drawer and threatening to pull all my hair out.  It is very upset that Comb managed to do most of its work while it was gone, so our relationship now is one of uneasiness.

Perhaps if I am really nice and give it extra attention over the next few days, Brush will consent to working for me for another few years 😊


Sunday 6 February 2022

Pot Luck Dinner and Other Things


Last night I was invited to a potluck dinner, where each person contributes a plate or two of something for the meal.  I took Savoury Eggs (sometimes called Devilled Eggs, but mine are sweeter) as my dish and was most happy to see them all get eaten.

(I will let you into a little secret – I hate taking a plate somewhere and having it only get picked over or ignored and then end up bringing a whole lot home again – it makes you feel like a failure somehow).

During the morning yesterday, Son and I watched a replay of the Opening Ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics at Beijing.  The live coverage was at 1am, so a bit early for us!

I was very impressed with the light show at the beginning, as it was quite spectacular.

This photo shows the New Zealand contingent entering the stadium.  We first sent a team to the Winter Olympics in 1952 and have only ever won three medals – a silver in 1982 and two bronzes in 2018.

The Ceremony wrapped up with the obligatory fireworks display after the Olympic torch had been lit.

We are meant to have rain today – which we are becoming in desperate need of – but so far there has only been sporadic bursts of light drizzle.  Even the other side of the city has been getting more than us!

But I am not complaining.  The cloud cover, the air moisture, and the cool wind, are all combining to keep the temperatures down into the low twenties (Celsius) which is much nicer than what we have experienced recently.

It is also a long weekend here, with Waitangi Day being a public holiday.  It is not something that we observe with anything special, although some regard it as our National Day, because it has become too associated with protests and Treaty of Waitangi settlements. 

Being of European descent, it unfortunately appears to now have little relevance to our lives although we used to celebrate it as a time to remember and be proud of our country.  How times change.

Wishing everyone a Happy Weekend 😊



WOOHOO! I just had to add this on (4.30pm):  New Zealand just won it's very first Gold Medal at the Winter Olympics 🥇😄

Well done, Zoi.  Congratulations from all of us!


Hard boil several eggs and peel and cut in half when they are cool.  Mash the yolks with salt and pepper and bind them with some salad dressing.  I use Condensed Milk Salad Dressing, a popular retro-kiwi salad cream.  Spoon the yolk back into the whites and press down lightly to hold it in place.  Serve them on a platter and decorate as desired.

Condensed Milk Salad Dressing: put 1 tsp dry mustard powder in a jug and add ¼ cup vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar).  Whisk together to dissolve the mustard.  Pour in a 395g can of sweetened condensed milk (must be genuine condensed milk, not palm oil) and stir until it is mixed together and become thick.  Store in a lidded container in the fridge, where it will last for a few weeks.

Thursday 3 February 2022

At Sixes And Sevens


Have you ever felt like the world is rushing by, that day is following day far too quickly, and your head gets to feel in a bit of a whirl?

That is what the last couple of weeks have been like.  Feeling tired from not sleeping properly on hot nights probably hasn’t helped.

My last uncle passed away, which has upset me a bit.  The only one remaining of that generation now is an aunt by marriage.

My uncle was 95 years old and until very recently was able to live in his own home alone.  His wife died about ten years ago, and I know I am going to miss having him around.

I spent several days housesitting for one of my brothers.  Some readers may remember I used to look after Merlin the Cat and Rusty the Dog as well as the housesitting.

This time I only cared for Rusty, as Merlin recently made his way over the great Rainbow Bridge in the sky.

As has Shadow, one of my son’s rats.  I am not very keen on rats, but Shadow was a favourite of mine with his lively personality and cheeky ways.

Mittens (one of our cats) has barely left my side since I returned home last night.  Three times she bounced up onto my bed just as I was falling asleep, to make sure I was really there.

Nice to feel wanted, LOL.

I am almost finished organizing my music files.  I even found several children’s stories amongst them – anyone care to listen to Thumbelina, or perhaps Jack and the Beanstalk?

I have also uncovered several photo albums that were my mother’s, that I have been hanging on to for years feeling I should keep them.

However, the majority are only photos of their various trips away – do I really need to hang on to someone else’s memories, even if they were people I loved?

I’m thinking perhaps I will pull out the family photos and maybe the best of the travel ones, but what to do with the others?

There has been one bright spot in the last ten days, and that is where today’s photos have come from.

I spent a day beside Tauranga Harbour, sitting under the shade of a tree but still coming home with a bad dose of sunburn.  The joys of having fair skin!

It was a day of peace, watching the tide come in and then going for a paddle up to my knees – no waves at this beach, and it is very flat so that is as deep as it gets until one reaches the channel across the other side.

I also managed to do a quick ink sketch while sitting in my chair under the tree.

My apologies for not visiting anyone else’s blog during this time either. 

Today is a new day, so hopefully things will improve from now on 😊