Central Plateau, North Island

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

Wednesday 30 April 2014

A conversation

apple and knife #1

Yesterday afternoon I had a phone call. let’s call the gentleman Mr X

  • Mr X” I am calling from Computer Technical Support, and you have a problem with your Microsoft System.”
  • Jean “ Oh Dear ( HUGE SIGH), what can you do to fix it?”
  • Mr X,  “ Turn your computer on”
  • Jean,” Which one, the laptop, the desktop or the iPad , they are   Apple or  iMac, so I think someone has given you the wrong information”
  • Mr X “ Do you not have an Android”
  • Jean “ No.  and I do not want you to  phone me again about this, you are wasting my time and yours”
  • Mr X “ Do you have a knife, and do you have an apple?”
  • Jean. “ Yes”
  • Mr X.” Get the knife, peel the apple, cut it into slices and eat it, you will be a very healthy lady”
  • Jean “ Do you really get paid to do this?”
  • Mr X “ You are a very bold lady”
  • End of conversation.

This is totally true, slightly abridged,  apart from some of Mr X’s words that I asked him to repeat, a foreign man, maybe from India, or a country near there,  with an accent that made him hard to understand. He had to spell the word “ Knife” so I knew what he said!! Hugh was listening and waiting to see what I would say this time.

I had a phone call similar to this some nights ago at 11 p.m., but this was late afternoon, and I already had in mind what I would say, apart from blowing a whistle into the phone. How many people, and some of us elderly and so unsuspecting, would turn our computers on,

( Pity about the iMac and iPad ,  both on my wish list!!!)

and then give  out the password or more. How do they do this, surely a  shred of morality would be in  their minds.

We have a  grey morning, no frost, coffee by the fire, a good book to read, bliss in anyone’s world.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Don’t  stare at the closed door too long, you will miss the window opening”

Greetings from Jean

Sunday 27 April 2014

Pink Blooms


Some years ago another dear friend, Hector, gave me a Brunsvigia  bulb, this had first of all  been passed to him I think from a grandmother or elderly relative. Some years my bulbs have blooms, others they are dormant, one year I counted  32 stems. Not quite as prolific this time, but spectacular.The first two photos are this week, the last one was taken last year.

brunsvigia single stem


brunsvigia  in sunlight

Brunsvigia framed

The spectacular Brunsvigia josephinae has the largest flower cluster in the Amaryllis family.  With a massive bulb up to 9 inches wide, it is reported to be the world's largest bulb!  The "Candelabra Lily", also known as "Josephine's Lily", makes a radiating flower cluster almost 3 feet across! ( Sourced from Internet)

The other plants growing so well are Cosmos.I planted them, grown from seed, along the side of Hugh’s workshop. Some weeks ago, they were pulled out, dirt dug up, fertilised with great care, and carrots planted. TWO whole packets, Guess what grew? Yes, Cosmos in the hundreds. I have already carefully pulled some out and transplanted, they are doing well in another garden area.

Cosmos, not carrots.

And the quince tree is producing hundreds, well maybe dozens of  fruits. They have been given away by the bags full. Quinces loaded on the branches


Quotation of the day, words from the song  “ What A Wonderful World”  , written by Bob Thiele (as "George Douglas") and George David Weiss,  first recorded by Louis Armstrong  and released as a single in  1967 ( another source says 1968).

“ And I think to myself, what a wonderful world”

Greetings from Jean

Friday 25 April 2014

We Will Remember Them


Today in New Zealand, we  remember our men and women who served overseas . ANZAC,  Australian and New Zealand Army Corps . Memorial services are held throughout the country. This morning in Auckland, both the Australian and New Zealand National Anthems were sung, a tribute to both countries.

Today I remember my dear friend Walter, who left NZ in 1940 and   began his training as a Naval Officer in Suffolk. He progressed through the ranks, from Ordinary Seaman, to Commanding Officer, HM ML 106 ( a motor launch), and then to  Senior Officer of the 51st ML Flotilla. Walter had a bad stammer, and he was very aware of this. the group of some 15 cadets were under the command of a very Senior Petty Officer.  The S.O. slipped the trawler from its berth, and began a manoeuvre to  turn it, Part way through this, he turned to Walter and said, “ Drake,  Take Over”.

Immediately Walter gave the commands, “ Starboard 15, Stop, Slow Astern”

He realised that he had given these commands without a stammer, and for him, a massive  personal victory.

In 1944, he was awarded the DSC ( Distinguished Service Cross), for courage, skill and devotion to duty when in command of ML 106 on 34 mine laying operations. There were many more operations, either cancelled or aborted due to  bad weather or mechanical failures.

Walter had a dream, to write a book about his time in HMS, but long time injuries as a result of those many hours on the bridge in freezing  conditions, meant his health was not the best for  some years. The title was to be  “ Not To Yield” words taken from one of his favourite poems, Ulysses, by Lord Alfred Tennyson.

Walter was in Auckland Hospital for his 91st birthday. The staff on the “Merino Ward” were so helpful, I posted the parcel up some days earlier, and they gave it to him that morning, 4th March. The       “ Mariner’s Compass” wall-hanging was then put on the wall in his room, and many staff came to give him birthday wishes, and comment on his gift.


Walter in Cornwall Park

Walter's Compass #1


Shortly after this,  Walter passed away in his sleep, on 15th April, 2010  .His daughter,  Kristine, sent the wall hanging to the Felixstowe Museum, where it hangs, together with many more  naval memorabilia from those years. For me, this is  the highest  honour  in my life, to know that a small part of my quilting will be there forever.

These were the words  sent to Walter in 2010.

To Walter

Happy 91st Birthday 4th March 2010

The Mariner’s Compass

Not sitting in the binnacle with the bridge just up above

No shouting down the voice pipe “Starboard 15. Stop Engines, Slow ahead”

A Mariner’s Compass in quilter’s terms, sewn with needle and with thread.

No swinging gimbal and no glass cover for salt spray protection

The four points, North, South, East and West, and others for direction.

Remembering those words; “To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”


Quotation of the day, written by Pericles, ( 495- 429 B.C.)


Each has won a glorious grave -

not that sepulchre of earth wherein they lie, but the

living tomb of everlasting remembrance          

wherein their glory is enshrined.

Greetings from Jean

Sunday 20 April 2014

Hugh’s Ideas for Today


Hugh suggested I use some of his photos, as I have  not been out and about lately.

A good while ago we went on the Kahikatea Walk,, it was a  very wet day!!!

Jean on Kahikatea Walkway #2

Dacrycarpus dacrydioides or kahikatea (from its name in the Māori language) is a coniferous tree endemic to New Zealand.

kahikatea fruit, courtesy of the InternetMature Kahikatea  Tree Nz.

Another of Hugh’s photos, with friends we went on a tramp from the Ohakune Road to Blyth Hut, this was a fine hot day, in February 2009.  Summer gear, but thermals in a pack as we walked to a higher altitude of 1380metres,  or 4527 feet above sea level. I was not doing very well, and on the return tramp, had several stops, with angina. Bruce commented later he thought he might have to  call a chopper, I was pale, maybe  “ grey to white” is what he said, and very short of breath. A last sit down, he took my pack, and sort of between Hugh and Bruce, they managed to get me up the sets of steps that are way too high for short ladies.However all was well, we arrived back at the wagon, to everyone’s relief, another sit down, cold drink, and on our way home.

 Jean exhausted on Blyth Hut return walk

stream on the way to Blyth Hut, with some PP

Small waterfall on the way to Blyth Hut Feb, 2009


Blyth Hut, DOC photo


Blyth Hut in Snow, courtesy Tony Graham.

This is a beautiful area, and I am so thankful we did the tramp back then. Thanks, Bruce and Jeanette, great companions.

The answer to yesterday’s photo,  spot me if you can,…second row  down, 3rd from the left. We were a very happy group of pupils in those days.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ If you are not happy about the path you are   walking, choose a new one”

Greetings from Jean.

Saturday 19 April 2014

Classes of 1954, 60th Reunion


Recently Papakura High School had the 60th Reunion, it was opened in 1954, and Jeanette and I  were what are  called “Foundation Pupils”   and have been friends ever since,. We so miss our  dearest Jocelyn, who passed away when in her 20’ s  . I was not able to be there, too far to travel, and Hugh still not 100% and better to be at home for a while yet.  I  have heard of the ones who did attend, the celebrations, how the school has altered since our days there.Can you see me? All will be told tomorrow. Jocelyn is on the  far  right hand side,  third row from top , Jeanette 3rd from the left  in the same row.

1954 FORM 4 PRO (3)

Today I took my Bernina to the wonderful fix-it man in Levin. Mr S. He has worked a miracle, and   it is running so smoothly now. I took Mrs S some quinces, we have them in a huge numbers. Hugh and I went further South  to Otaki, the small town of “Outlet Shops”!! Glorious looking, some shopping, and back to collect the weighty machine. When we left…Mrs S gave me a jar of quince jam. the  most lovely  gift for Easter.

Easter Greetings to you all,  enjoy the days of maybe a public holiday, fine weather, family visits, and friendships with each-other  across the miles and kilometres

Quotation of the day, from Lao Tzu

“Kindness in words creates confidence.

Kindness in thinking creates profoundness.

Kindness in giving creates love.”

Greetings from Jean

Thursday 10 April 2014

Views from the Fence Lines


I am ever hopeful that when I see a suitable photography subject or landscape, there is a place to stop. Country roads offer lots of places, and  often you need to climb up  a bank, clamber though long grass, or hop over puddles. All in the day’s fun.

Some fence lines to link up with Tex at Run*A*Roundranch.

I’m not sure where the sheep was, not one of ours, or our neighbours.

Through the fence

These  were taken on the road between Taihape and Napier, almost on what is called “ The Central Plateau”

Farmland in the Central Plateau


The fence line on the drive to Napier

This was taken in November 2012, from our own back fence, in early evening.

Through the fence

Quotation of the day, from Cole Porter and Robert Fletcher

Oh give me the land, lots of land
Under starry skies above
Don't fence me in
Let me ride through the wide open
Country that I love
Don't fence me in
Let me be by myself in the evening breeze
Listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees
Send me off forever but I ask you please
Don't fence me in

Greetings from Jean

Monday 7 April 2014

Flowers from a previous Year


There are not many flowers here now,  and  apart from some faded Cosmos, very sparse. These were taken a few years ago, mostly with my other Canon Ixus.

Camellia bloom


day lily 4


Day Lily lemon

Day Lily soft pink

Down here, we have ended Daylight Saving, a misnomer, as how can it be saved, do we store it away for a rainy day ( Haven’t had rain much at all for ages), some people think we have a longer day??? Usually there are 24 hours, one dear old lady imagined her day would be longer. So tonight, at 6 p.m. it was  quite dark.

Hugh continues to be so much better, less pain, no crutches, truly the miracle is lasting a lot longer, and days are a lot happier all round. We see the specialist on May 1st,  brought forward by 3 weeks ( Joy of joys!!), meantime I have been told, family orders, tell Dad not to overdo it now he is able to walk by himself.

I have  been doing some sewing . YES.. in 2011.  … I did what was called “ Saturday Sampler”  ..9 blocks, but when I looked at them late last year, decided they needed some more to make a decent sized quilt. Some new batiks have been added, and today the Bernina gave me some problems, tension not right no matter what I tried. I think I must have altered the presser foot tension when I sewed through, or tried to, some thick cord. Rang Jenny, and have the number of her wonderful “fix-it” man in Levin. So if this  adjustment  fails, we might need a drive south.Here are some of the blocks, the paler fabric is really a mossy green. I found the deep blue fabric at Masterton, just right for showing up the paler ones in the blocks, the lady there said “ It makes the other colours POP “. Hooray..

BOM 2BOM 3BOM 4BOM 5more fabric for more BOM squaresBOM 6

BOM  sashing and edging fabric

Quotation of the day, author unknown.

Our lives are like quilts , made with bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love.

Greetings from Jean

Thursday 3 April 2014

Another Beautiful Autumn Day



The leaves are changing colour more and more every day.in the early morning sunshine they glow gold and burgundy for those few minutes.

I look at them and try to forget any problems in our lives right now. Not a “miracle lasting” day today,  pain is  back again, so a very go-slow,  for Hugh. I did some sewing, a thank you gift for our “Silver Chariot” man, Kevin. Some phone calls, and now an evening meal to concoct!!!

Autumn leaves on the Cherry Blossom Tree


This had a dreamy look to it, a ’la Monet???

Cherry Blosson tree #2

While I was there, Felicity followed, and played in the leaves.

Felicity in Autumn leaves

A few Cherry Blossom trees still have green leaves, I wonder why they don’t all  change colour at the same time.

Leaves still Green in April

Quotation of the day, from Marcel Proust


Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

Greetings from Jean

Wednesday 2 April 2014

Only a Man would get it all So Wrong.


From a dear friend to me to you.

It all began  with an iPhone...
March was when our son celebrated  his 17th birthday, and we got him an  iPhone. He just loved it. Who  wouldn't?
I  celebrated my birthday in July, and my wife made me  very happy when she bought me an iPad. I loved it.

  clip_image002Our  daughter's birthday was in August so we got her an  iPod Touch.She loved it.
My wife  celebrated her birthday in September so I got her an  iRon.

It was  around then that the fight started..
What my  wife failed to recognize is that the iRon can be  integrated into the home network with the iWash, iCook  and iClean.
This inevitably activates the iNag  reminder service.
I should be out of the  hospital next week!! iHurt!!!!

I continue to be so grateful and thankful for all your caring and thoughtful words, Hugh is slowly improving, he still has some pain, and it is always there at 3 a.m. What a time to start my day!!! The crutches stay in the bedroom some of the time, he can drive the wagon ( what a relief, no more… Keep up the revs, look out for the truck, speed up and pass, there’s a place to park!! ) and we are every hopeful that the so called “ quick-fix” might last a lot longer. There is still  so much that he cannot do, and we are very grateful for help from friends and family.

Autumn has turned the cherry tree leaves to gold and bronze, other leaves falling more every day, and daylight hours have shortened so much. Today, sunshine all day, both outside and in my heart,I have so much to be so very thankful for, and you, my friends, make it that way.

Quotation of the day, from Hubert H Humphrey

The greatest healing therapy is friendship and love.

Greetings from Jean