Monday 29 August 2022

Is It Spring Yet?


By the calendar, official Spring doesn’t start for a couple more days but Nature is not a calendar watcher. 

Spring has definitely arrived here, with birds nesting and everything putting on new growth.  Even the lawns are growing faster (ask Son, he is back to mowing them every 7-10 days!).

We are still having typical spring weather though, with cool nights and warm days.  The fire still gets lit most nights but that probably won’t last for much longer.

My little garden gets sun all day long and everything is thriving.  I have stopped removing the strawberry flowers to let them set fruit (I wanted the plants to grow a little before fruiting), and they are looking great.

Today I did some much needed tidying up in the garden, planted some lettuce seedlings, and sowed seeds for nasturtium, salad burnet, and radishes.  I now have dirt under my fingernails! 

Have a happy day 😊



Wednesday 24 August 2022

Farewell Mello


Yesterday we sadly said farewell to our gentle vegetarian rat, Mello.  He had a good life, short though the life of rats is, but it was time to end his suffering.

What really broke me up was seeing Rattle, one of the new younger rats, nudging him, licking him, and finally lying over top of him in mourning. 

It is so easy to believe that animals do not have feelings, but many of them (if not all of them) definitely do.

I took this photo of a punga tree fern while walking in Hamilton Gardens yesterday.  I was so happy to be able to walk for 30 minutes without stopping – my legs were wobbly, but that is to be expected after so many months unable to do anything.

It seems that a lot of my exertional breathlessness and utter exhaustion has actually been a side-effect of one of the medical drugs I was taking.  Now I have stopped taking it, things have started to dramatically improve.  I hope it continues!

The first signs of spring are appearing.  The grape buds have burst and the distant trees are getting a slight haze of green about them.  Summer is on its way!

Have a great day 😊



Friday 19 August 2022

The Cycle Of Life


Covid has been responsible for many things.  Today I had personal experience of one of them, when I attended a Memorial Service for a much loved family member who passed away twelve months ago today.

At that time, the country was in various states of lock-down, there were restrictions on gatherings, and vaccination mandates were the order of the day.  With a widely scattered family, the decision was made to dispense with a funeral and have a memorial service instead, at a time when all would be able to attend.

Funeral or Memorial Service, it was always going to be a sad occasion.  When someone close to us dies, they take a little something of us with them – and leave a little something of themselves behind with us. 

It is never easy, but death is part of life and the cycle continues on.  I came home this afternoon and received a photo of New Life – a niece has just had a scan for the baby she is expecting in February.  I am thrilled for her and her partner, as I know they will make great parents.

Life is like a beautiful rose – first the bud, then the bloom, and finally, the petals start to fall ….



Sunday 14 August 2022

Eggs Benedict


It has become a bit of a tradition that my husband’s family gather together once a year for a happy luncheon, where we can all catch up with each other.

Yesterday Son and I attended this luncheon at St Kilda’s Café and Bistro in Cambridge.  There were about 24 of us altogether and it was great to meet up with them all, especially as many of them are now into their 80s and not as mobile as they used to be.

I chose Eggs Benedict for my luncheon dish and was not disappointed.  The eggs were cooked absolutely perfectly, the hollandaise sauce was delicious, and it was paired with a yummy chunk of freshly smoked salmon.  The hash brown (potato) was a little much but that was easily left on my plate (just me, I noted others ate all of theirs!).

With good food, friendly service, and a happy family, the day turned out really well.

I hope everyone has a happy weekend 😊



Thursday 11 August 2022

An Egyptian Temple Garden


Hamilton Gardens are noted for their various themed gardens, and a new one opened last May.  Today I had my first opportunity of visiting it.

The Egyptian Temple Garden of 4000 years ago was a place that celebrated the meeting of this world, the heavens, and the underworld.  Only priests and royal persons were allowed to enter, and it was, of course, much much bigger than what is represented here.

So much attention has been paid to getting the details correct that the place was measured in the ancient Egyptian system of cubits.  The garden director visited Egypt to meet with experts in antiquities to make the garden as authentic as possible.

Possibly the most surprising part of the garden is the brilliant colours.  In many old tombs in Egypt the colour has now faded, but chemical analysis reveals how vibrant the colours used really were.

Our themed gardens make an awesome place to wander around, and there were quite a few people out and about today (I was quite pleased with myself for avoiding photographing any of them!).

Margaret 😊


Thursday 4 August 2022

Heart Tonic


After all these weeks (it feels like months) I am beginning to feel more “normal” again.  It appears I may have been fighting some kind of virus (not covid), as it certainly knocked me back.

There still appears to be some irregularity with my heart (a different issue) and I have completed my hospital tests and am now waiting for the cardiologist to make his report.

Progress on the new bridge crossing the Waikato River near us

I drove myself yesterday, for the first time in ages, and went to the herbal shop and liquor store.  The two places sound a bit incongruous when placed together, but I did have an ulterior motive.

Hawthorn berries are a well-known heart tonic, so I thought I would make up a syrup that I could take.  The recipe I have is completed in stages, one using alcohol to create a tincture-like tonic, and the next to create the actual syrup.  (I will post the full recipe if and when it turns out successfully)

Having bought 150g of dried berries at the herbal shop, I went to the liquor store and purchased some “43% alcohol” brandy.  Two cups were added to the berries and they are now soaking together for four weeks, with instructions to shake the jar each day.

Who knew brandy was so good for your health?  Taken in moderation, it almost appears to be an Elixir of Life!  (Have a look on Google and see for yourself).

Have a happy day 😊




This was the road we travelled on the way out to Cape Palliser Lighthouse and the most southerly point of the North Island, a place I visited in October 2020 while doing a road trip around the Wairarapa.