Central Plateau, North Island

Central Plateau, North Island
View from a friend's farm

Saturday, 18 February 2023

2023 in New Zealand, January and February

 The New Year started as normal, but in January,Hugh had a bad fall, nothing broken,  he is fine now, I had one visit to ED with angina, not too serious, home after one night, life continued. 

Early February, Cyclone Gabrielle was north of New Zealand, tracking her way south. The met office kept a close eye on her travels, and   gave an estimated arrival here. 

The cyclone was downgraded to an ex-tropical cyclone. 

The rain came, gale winds, Northland and Auckland received deluge after deluge, on the West Coast two volunteer firefighters lost their lives, attending to a callout.

12 February, a National State of Emergency was called. 

This gives Government the power to call on so many other services to assist. Further resources can be used and priorities set in support of a national level response. Army,Navy, Airforce,   and more.

The cyclone travelled south, and caused incomprehensible damage. Flooding, homes totally destroyed, the Hawkes Bay region, where my Mum lived for some years when they travelled here from Scotland, has been hit the hardest. So far 9 lives lost, stock gone, roads destroyed, homes filled with silt and debris and harrowing tales of loss and survival.No power, no water, no cell phone coverage, the Navy ships are arriving at Napier Port and a little further north with supplies, generators, food and water. Helicopters are delivering food and medical supplies to places further out that have no way of travelling.

One family lost their 2 year old daughter, a man lost his 3 precious dogs, as he assisted another family to move horses to a safer area. Many more stories that are way too sad to read or post.

Some photos from the Internet. My friend Maureen in Auckland and I talked this morning, and know how fortunate we are to have had no damage, we can look out our windows, talk to our friends,

One friend has just sent me a txt to say he is safe, another posted on Facebook that he was safe too.

Amid all this our 61st Wedding Anniversary came, and went. I truly could not bring myself to celebrate in the current situation elsewhere.

Quotation of the day, from  lyrics in " The Living Years "

 by B  A Robertson and Mike Rutherford

"....  I  just wish I could have told him in the living years ...

Say it now,  say it loud, say it clear,..."

Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 29 December 2022

Garden Flowers

 I am so thankful all my northern friends are safe after the snowstorm that has surpassed all others. So many have lost their lives, emergency services stretched to the max, and travel disrupted all over US and Canada.

Meantime down here, the garden has provided some lovely blooms. Recently our Doctor and the rest of the staff were given Lilies and Callas, along with some edible goodies.We are again so thankful for all the care they have given us , but during  this last year especially. I didn't get photos of their flowers, one bunch for each  , but the tall white lily continued to bloom. Then Google gave me handy hints to preserve Hollyhock flowers. It seems you cut the stems on a slant, then sear them. Hugh had his handy gas blow torch and did the task so quickly, but it also burnt the tinfoil dish I held them over, and his workbench has some marks too.

The mauve petunias have flowered so well, I need more to fill in the whole bed there.

And after some helpful advice from younger daughter, I added more foliage to the lilies  and here is the result. Nowhere near as beautiful as some of her displays. I need some floristry lessons !!!

These are all from her own garden, in the far south, I think this was one of her arrangements for a friend's husband's funeral.
Another display of a  southern floral arrangement, summer blooms from Otago. 

So we continue to the end of 2002, looking forward to 2023, hoping to get some unfinished "stuff" finished, given away, or discarded as in the too hard basket now.

Quotation of the day, from Rudyard Kipling,

" Gardens are not made by singing 
" Oh, how beautiful" , and sitting in the shade."

Greetings from Jean.

Sunday, 25 December 2022

Season's Greetings to you all

 The Christmas Season seems to be so different this year, summer here seems to be late in its arrival,  ,  and in the US and Canada, the storm has taken over everything, travel disrupted, plans cancelled, power outages, the last update was 1.5 million without power  in  Canada, with bad weather from B.C. to the Maritimes.

And while you will undoubtably have a very white Christmas, this morning we have a clear sky,  today with a temperature reaching 20C, or 68F.

The Golden Lilies with red hollyhocks showing in some places,  from earlier this year last summer.

And an archive photo of Hugh and myself on my birthday some years ago, July 25th, mid winter here,  we drove up from Ohakune to the southern side of Mt Ruapehu, where the Turoa ski field is.  This is just  to show all my friends in the North that we do get snow here, and I actually have been in it.

So this is to wish you all, my dear  friends here and far  away ,  a Joyous Christmas, stay safe, stay warm, or down here, enjoy the sunshine, sea or lake .

Quotation of the day, author unknown.

" Christmas is a season of great joy:
 a time for remembering the past and hoping for the future.
May the glorious message of peace and love
 fill you with joy  every day"

Greetings from Jean

Friday, 16 December 2022

While we were in Rotorua this happened

 We recently had a few days in Rotorua with our older daughter. Meantime at home the flowers bloomed victoriously !!!

Hollyhocks reached for the sky, translucent petals  .

Last year, this was the beauty , the same colour in this year's plants, all self sewn.

This year.!!!

The lilies that grow shorter and in pots all bloomed.

The the Japanese Iris flowered , I thought this was lost, the flowers do not last long but are so beautiful. 

The Rotorua  feline family, Ruby,  Wally, a possible Maine Coon, and Milo, a very recent ginger lad. Milo at the back, obviously, Ruby at the front, and Wally with his tail hanging over the deck.

The lawn needs mowing again,, the passionfruit vines have died, maybe the roots got waterlogged this spring, however we can always plant more.

Quotation of the day, author unknown,

Enjoy your home, it's always a joy to return.

Greetings from Jean

Monday, 5 December 2022

Pre-Loved Lily Sale.

 This has to be the best sale I have ever been to.

The NZ Bulb Nursery at Feilding had their lily bulb sale on Saturday, Hugh took the trailer and we arrived at about 7.30 a.m. I promised him a cafe breakfast afterwards, but we decided to go straight home, so today had a lovely morning tea at Whanganui. A small way to repay him, but did go shopping afterwards, to a BIG store.

The gates were to open at 8 a.m. by that time the cars were arriving so quickly, and when the gates were opened, the first lot of people rushed in, like it was a BIG store Boxing Day Sale.
I strolled in, according to my mature age, was given a sheet with flower colour photos, and names, and this was printed in a map form.

There were pallets with crates piled high, and a lot of customers seemed to know exactly what they wanted. Staff were so helpful. Photos courtesy of NZ Bulbs.

This was a screen shot of the time-lapse video, can you see the man with a brown jersey holding a crate high up? I think I am at the back of that lot of crates,White hair and dark purple jacket, but then, I could be mistaken as there were so many there.

  After I had chosen 14 crates, the young  gentleman and lady  staff members loaded them onto a trolley, manhandled that out to the road and loaded them into the trailer. The young couple  from near Hawkes Bay who had loaded their little car to the top...had already said they would help, as they knew how difficult it was to steer the trolley over the metal.

So we, and others, will have White Christmas, deep red, deep yellow, pale pink and deep pink flowers next season. I left the orange ones for everyone else. 

And... they have another sale in January. Hugh said, " No, once was enough" as he waited so patiently, a friend wants more, so we will go in her huge wagon.

Some stay here, some for my friend, and some  going to the far south next year, with a drop off to a new friend in Waimate.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

" You will miss the sale bargains if you stay safely at home"

Greetings from Jean.

Tuesday, 25 October 2022

Spring flowers

 The lawn has started to show lovely growth, not quite needing a cut every week, but looking good after winter. 

Spring flowers are adding some colour to the garden now.

Cream Bearded Iris, flowering early, a few pink Ixia, almost finished their display.The small lemon tree in the background is fruiting !!!

Moxie's daisy bush has started to give lots of pink flowers.

Purple Granny Bonnet showing through the Japanese Maple shrub.

Two Mauve and purple Cineraria plants.

The Rays of Hope wall hanging is coming along slowly, last week I found in a fabric shop two spools of black bias tape fusible, what a great way to do the stained glass strips. This is the  lower part, similar shorter sections  will be added to the top,  the strips are fused to the thin interfacing, then the black bias added and sewn down, even though it is fused, stitching makes a better finish, a gift for a friend who doesn't see my blog. I just have to figure out how to do the words, Faith,Hope, Love in applique and fuse them to the centre cross. Out of all my batik scraps, and they are in MASSIVE supply, the red was the only one I had trouble to find. The right hand block  has yellow topped pins still there. 

Here is the finished wall hanging, courtesy of the internet, a pattern from Carolyn Morris, if you Google her and the pattern, you will find the story behind this beautiful quilt.

Days continue to be warmer, the firewood is handy in case of a late cold night.

Thank you all SO much for comments after the quake, we are a long way from the epicentre, and no damage, here of further south. It was deep and out in the water off the top of the South Island.

Quotation of the day, from John F. Kennedy

" Change is the law of life.

And those who look only to the past and present are certain to miss the future"

Greetings from Jean

Friday, 14 October 2022

Early morning wake up jolt!!!

This morning just after 3 a.m . Boris leapt off our bed and raced to safety in the guest room. Next thing we had rumbles and a shake, the quake was centred over 160km  km in a straight line  from us, north west off French Pass, the channel between the mainland at the top of the South Island  and D'Urville Island. The deepest colour is where the quake was felt the strongest, then medium orange, palest was where it was felt lightly. The small circle in the blue is the centre of the quake. Courtesy of the Internet. 
According to Geonet New Zealand, the earthquake was  5.7 magnitude, a depth of 146 km, and 65 km northwest of French Pass. 

French Pass is the channel between D'Urville Island and the mainland, there is a whirlpool there, and the current races through.Treacherous waters, all boats need to be aware of the danger.

This is the road from Havelock, through Rai Valley, out past Elaine Bay, Waikawa Bay and finally there. Vehicles are warned of extreme gusts, and to be aware of this, many years ago  a van was blown off the road!!! There is a beach there, a jetty, and a small camping area.The small school, a one room building built in 1913, was  closed in 2006.
We stayed there in 1986, at the almost end of a year in the South Island with our caravan,  went for a few days, that turned into 3 wonderful weeks.A small community that welcomed us with such generosity. A meal with the then District nurse, Peggy Young and Alan, wild venison, so yummy,  the school pupils who came to my rescue to help pull down the caravan awning when a gale blew through,  while  Hugh was taken to D'Urville Island with a local man, on the mail run.

Memories to last my lifetime.

Southern Hospitality at its very best.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

" Earthquakes are an unpredictable hazard"

Greetings from Jean