Tuesday 30 May 2023

A Cheese Scone


It has been a very grey day today but thankfully no rain.  

I went down to the Lake again this morning for a short stroll, and, after returning to the car, I stood and watching these Canada Geese as they sailed past in perfect formation.

Just down the road I called in at Café Fresca and treated myself to a cheese scone and a hot chocolate.

The scone was delicious but far too much for a morning tea, so I took half of it home with me and finished it for lunch.

This afternoon, I seemed to spend all my time on the phone talking to people.  Finish one conversation and start another!  I guess it happens that way sometimes.

Hope everyone is feeling great 😊



Friday 26 May 2023

A Lake and A Rocket


This morning was most dismal, with thick fog blanketing our world until nearly 1pm.  Then (yay!) it cleared away to a beautiful afternoon, albeit a bit cool but the sun was shining.

I made the most of it by visiting Hamilton's Lake for a while – lots of others had the same idea as myself and the boardwalk was quite busy.

This was the view looking across towards the rowing club, and you can still see the remnants of the fog bank on the horizon.

Back home, Son invited me to watch the live launch of Rocket Lab’s Electron satellite with him.  He owns shares in Rocket Lab so likes to keep in touch with what they are doing.

The unmanned rocket launched from Mahia Peninsular near Gisborne, on a beautiful afternoon (no fog down there!), and travelled 90km in a straight line upwards in 2½ minutes.

At 550km above the earth, the rocket/satellite settled down and began preparation for the next step – which I believe is joining up with another satellite already in orbit. 

Together they will be used to keep track of weather systems, particularly major storms.

Technology may have its downside (as does everything), but I think it is wonderful that rockets like this can be utilised to give up-to-date information that may help save the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of people by giving adequate warning of disastrous weather.

Our sun is fading here for the day and the temperature is dropping.  No major storms on our horizon, just more fog!!

Have a great weekend everyone 😊



Thursday 25 May 2023



My goodness, is it really over a week since I have been on blogger?  I guess that is what happens when you don’t much feel like doing anything.

From dreary weather at the start of the week, yesterday was a gorgeous blue sunny day and I managed to get a lot of washing dry out on the clothesline.

Today looks like it is going to be the same.  I may even be tempted to spend some time in the garden.

Sunlight streaming in the dining room window

For a while now, I have felt like my income isn’t being managed very well.  I have enough to meet all my needs, so the urge to operate under a budget was almost zero (you do that when times are hard!).

But one of my sons has persuaded me to do a free trial of YNAB (You Need A Budget) and now I am getting into it, I realise how much more I could be doing with my money.  

It operates a little differently to a normal budget, and I’m really quite impressed with it!

This week I have visited a sister-in-law who recently returned from a three-week holiday in Australia.  She came home with some amazing photos and great memories.  Isn’t it wonderful that post-covid we are now able to travel around again?

Now it is getting cooler, most nights we have the fire going.  Both cats were always a little frightened of the fire, but as they grow older they appreciate the warmth more. 

Mittens always sleeps in my room, but Millie is getting braver each night and slowly getting closer and closer to that lovely source of warmth.

Have a great day 😊



Wednesday 17 May 2023

New Teatowels


I am quite fussy with teatowels.  I like them to be a good size and dry well, and cotton is usually the best option.

Several years ago, I bought some and they have lasted well so I went searching for some more that were the same.

Nobody seems to have them anymore, presumably because nowadays most people use a dishwasher!

With a bit of searching, I discovered a commercial outlet that also supplies the public.  Waikato Cleaning Supplies had a great range of all types of cleaning products, and I found exactly what I was looking for.

These teatowels came in a pack of 12, are 100% cotton and made in Pakistan.  They have now all been washed and ironed ready for use.

I like to iron in my bedroom (often the sunniest room in the house) and Mittens always comes and supervises!

The teatowels are now neatly stacked in the linen cupboard – the old ones will be cut up and used as rags.

I am already using the first one, and am very impressed with how well it dries.  Hopefully, they will last as long as my previous ones did – perhaps they may even outlast me!

The last two mornings we have woken to heavy fog that doesn’t clear away until lunchtime.  The sun shines for a couple of hours and then the cold sets in again. 

Winter is starting to make itself felt 😊



Monday 15 May 2023

The Elm Tree


It is about this time every year, in late autumn, that I always remember our Elm Tree.

It grew on a property we lived at for nearly five years, and every late autumn the tree would treat us to its bounty of golden leaves.

Sometimes I wonder if it is still growing, and if the people living there now appreciate its beauty like we did.

Sometimes I miss my little greenhouse too.

Today has been the usual sort of day.  Did the dishes, tidied the house, made the bed – all those little daily things you do automatically.

Then I made a visit to the supermarket for a few groceries before discovering one of the cats had brought up a hair ball on the sheepskin rug, so that had to be washed. 

I planted the sweet alyssum seedlings I bought, and removed some of the dead leaves from the silverbeet plants.

And I made an appointment to have a consultation with a hairdresser about my hair.  It would be around ten years since I last went to a hairdresser, so maybe it is time I updated my appearance a little!

Margaret 😊


Sunday 14 May 2023

The Plant Barn


It has been a quiet weekend here, and for most of it the weather has been fairly pleasant.

I decided to do a Google search to see what local garden centres we had around the area – I usually shop at the big commercial places, but wondered if there were any privately owned ones still around.

That is how I discovered The Plant Barn.

Visiting it was a bit like stepping back in time, to what garden centres used to be like many years ago.  A lot of the plants are propagated by the owners and the place itself sprawls out into little hidden areas that are so much fun to fossick through.

Under some trees, tucked into a back corner, I found the daphne I have wanted for ages and also an old-fashioned purple violet.

It was lovely to see this monarch butterfly sunning itself among the plants.

It is almost time to make dinner.  We usually have something easy on a Sunday night, and tonight it is going to be scrambled egg on toast.

Margaret 😊

Friday 12 May 2023

A Day Out


My monthly excursions out of the city have not been happening this year, but today I made up for that and went north to visit Waiuku, a small township near Pukekohe.  I had an ulterior motive for my visit – there were some graves in the cemetery there that I wanted to photograph.

After all the rain we have had the last ten days, today was gloriously fine and sunny and a perfect day for wandering around a cemetery!

Then it was a ten minute drive west to Karioitahi Beach (don’t ask me how you pronounce it!!) on the coast, where I enjoyed lunch while looking out at the Tasman Sea.

The tide was on the turn and the waves were rather turbulent.  I watched one extra large wave rush up the beach, so avoided getting too close to the water!

Many of the waves were a dirty brown colour from all the sand sediment that was being churned up.

From there, it was a pleasant drive through countryside to reach Clarks Beach on the Manukau Harbour.  Not much to see here except Auckland Central on the horizon and a proliferation of large expensive-looking homes.

Just up the road was the Waiau Pa Cemetery (more photographs!).  It was situated beside this charming Presbyterian Church that was built in 1914.

Tonight we have another Chiefs rugby match to watch, and then I am looking forward to a quiet weekend enjoying some of the forecast sunny weather.

Might even get out in my garden for a while 😊



Thursday 11 May 2023

The Home Butcher


I was sorting through some old photos today and found this one from just over fifty years ago.  

I grew up on a dairy farm and about once a year my father would get an animal butchered for our beef (he slaughtered the sheep himself).

The butcher would arrive and humanely shoot the steer before preparing it and hanging it up as shown in this picture.

The carcass would remain like this overnight, then early next morning it would be all hands on deck. 

My father helped the butcher cut the beast up and my mother would divide the cuts into portions suitable for freezing.  Us children would get given the job of helping to package the meat into plastic bags and sealing and labelling them ready for the freezer.

Nothing was wasted.  Fat was rendered down for use as dripping, and scrappy bits of meat were put through the mincer.

With the end of the job in sight, we would be released from our chores and usually given a few scraps of meat to play with. 

I remember my brother and I lighting small fires and trying to cook them.  I don’t remember eating any of the burnt offerings we ended up with!

Things have changed a lot over the last fifty years 😊



Wednesday 10 May 2023

My Hyacinths Are Confused


This afternoon, during a short break between rain showers, I went for a wander to check on my potted plant babies.

They are all doing well – although some are looking rather bedraggled with all the rain.  I’m sure they will perk up again when the sun comes back.

I planted three hyacinths in this trough, hoping for some fragrant flowers next spring.  However, after only 4-5 weeks, here they are preparing to flower!

I’ve always believed that hyacinths needed to be chilled before they could flower – hence, the planting them in autumn to get cold over winter.  Then they will burst forth and flower when the temperatures rise again. 

Well, that was meant to be The Plan anyway.

I’m not sure what is happening with these ones.  Our weather has been warmer than usual this autumn, and certainly nothing cold enough for chilling bulbs.  Perhaps they were commercially chilled before I bought them? 

Who knows?  Their fragrance will still be enjoyed anyway.

I wasn’t the only one taking advantage of a short break of fine weather.  This praying mantis was sitting on some grass drying itself off.

Have a happy day 😊



Tuesday 9 May 2023

The Weather


Sometimes weather can change rapidly.  I knew there was a storm on the way today (although, once again, it is forecast to go mostly around us), so was up early doing the things I wanted.

First up was a short walk in the wind beside Hamilton Lake before heading for the supermarket. 

Back home, I managed to get some lettuce seedlings in the ground before the rain arrived late morning.

It got steadily heavier into the afternoon, and there was a bit of surface flooding around the place.  It is now evening and the rain is still steadily falling.

Many places around the country are under warnings to prepare for heavy rain and strong winds, thunderstorms, and possible tornadoes.

I’m not sure if the storm is really bad enough for all these warnings or if officialdom is becoming paranoid about warning people of possible adverse conditions.

Maybe some people need to be told everything, but I just hope that a Cry Wolf situation is not being created as that could have disastrous results when we do have the occasional severe storm pass through.

I watched a replay of the Coronation Concert at Windsor Castle last night.  What they can achieve now with drones is nothing short of amazing.  Loved it.

Margaret 😊


Monday 8 May 2023

The Crowning of a King


Here we are again, another Monday and the end of another weekend.  The big highlight this time was Saturday night when Son and I settled down to watch the coronation of Their Majesties, King Charles III and Queen Camilla.

Lady Susan decided to join us and even wore her tiara to celebrate the occasion.

Being a lover of pageantry I enjoyed the whole show, but what I found most moving was the solemn and sacred central part of the church service, when Charles was consecrated before Almighty God as a King.

It made me realise how much the monarchy and the Christian religion are a part of my cultural history.  Both have been impacting the lives of my ancestors for over a thousand years.

The very fabric of my life has its roots in monarchy and religion – our form of government, our language, the basis of our society’s law and order.

These things are way above the pettiness of everyday life, for no nation can survive without a basis of some kind to regulate how it operates.

I may not always agree with how the monarchy operates or the impact that the Christian religion can have in our lives, but my own ancestral heritage is rooted in both of these institutions.

I am glad for that.  It gives me a sense of belonging to know that the fabric of my life today has roots that stretch back into the dim annals of history.

Long live King Charles III.  May Almighty God bless him with a long and peaceful reign.

Margaret 😊


Friday 5 May 2023

Bottoms Up!


When I was a child, we used to say that “bad” weather was only good for ducks.  Nowadays, I appreciate the days when we have some rain and I don’t need an excuse to stay indoors and do very little.

The last few days have been dreary.  We have had overcast grey skies and light drizzle with heavy showers – once again (and I am not complaining), the worst of this latest storm is missing us.

This duck, at our local lake, was totally unconcerned with the weather and continued searching for food.

After doing the usual daily housework, I have been sitting at my computer and continuing to publish my family history on  I seem to have amassed an incredible amount of information over the last fifty years!

Millie (our fluffy black cat) has been keeping me company – she discovered a bed sheet on the airing rack and pulled one end down to the floor and curled up inside it.

It means I will have to rewash the sheet, but she looks so cute and comfortable that I haven’t wanted to disturb her.

Coronation Weekend is looming, and I will be staying up that night to watch it live on TV.

Whatever the weather, big smiles and happy hearts can make the day bright and cheerful 😊



Monday 1 May 2023

A Quiet Weekend


I have never known a cat quite like Mittens for being able to show her emotions clearly on her face.

This is her Expectant Face as she sits patiently waiting for her dinner to appear.

It is Monday today and we have dreary weather, with overcast skies, wind, and the odd bit of rain.  It is the edge of an ex-tropical storm that is making its way down the country.

The weekend was fairly uneventful.  I was feeling tired so never achieved very much, certainly nothing worth writing about!

The weekend's highlight was Saturday evening, when we watched our local Chiefs rugby team play the Canterbury Crusaders.  The match was here in Hamilton but we viewed it on TV, not joining the 24,000 people who packed out the stadium to capacity.

It was a good game.  Both teams were evenly matched and the score hung in the balance for most of the game, but in the end we won 34 to 24.

Have a happy day 😊



My header photo for May 2023 is the Hurunui River in North Canterbury.  One of Canterbury’s braided rivers, it is 145km long and flows from the Southern Alps down to the Pacific Ocean.  Brown trout and eels can be fished here, along with seasonal runs of sea-salmon and whitebait.

This photo was taken in early winter, 2012.