Central Plateau, North Island

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

Tuesday 31 March 2015

A Pine Tree, a Pin Cushion and a Fire


The tree was felled, the rounds were cut, the photos taken, some sewing all done,and today the last bark and the pine needles were burnt. There are no fancy clothes or shoes for this work, cotton gear in case of a spark, a hat in case a spark landed on my hair, and gloves  to make sure no thorns did more damage.

The last bark off the gum tree


Slow motion at the fire

We finished at 12 noon!!! Hugh took the quad back to the shed, I watched the fire, He came back , called out “ I need some help” I ran over, and he looked poorly. “I need the ambulance!!!”   How often have I heard those words. Pale, clammy, light-headed and short of breath. I feared the worst.

He had been sitting down most of the morning, after  he started  the fire, I continued to heave the small branches, and watch them slowly turn to ash, more goodness for the garden later on.

Slowly back to the house, on the  phone, soon the familiar green and yellow vehicle arrived,( best of all, I had time for a shower, a very fast one, and a change into clean and tidy clothes before they arrived) ,2 lovely young men from Feilding. Blood pressure, oxygen stats,  blood glucose then an ECG, then a second one with more leads. They were so thoughtful and shaved the spots first before putting on those  very  adhesive  patches.All was normal, Whew, what a relief.

Then they both agreed Hugh should see his GP, today. I almost laughed. There seems to never be an emergency appointment available.  ( that is a sign of a very popular and thorough doctor) They phoned, the surgery rang back,  and said   no appointment until tomorrow morning>>>++++++++++

“ What part of, ‘this man needs an appointment today’ did you not understand???”      a few seconds wait, then the reply,    “Yes,   3 p.m.  today,  thank you, that will  do.”

We were there on time, all checked out OK, Hugh’s meds need to be tweaked, until he feels something like  normal.I am so thankful for the men in their bottle green uniforms, all medical services, and wonderful friends, all ready to do anything at all to make things easier.

Quotation of the day,  by Aldous Huxley

“There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception”

Greetings from Jean

Monday 30 March 2015

From the Pine Tree to the “Pin Cushion”


Some time ago Kate   gave a link to  Cheryl  at   The other Pin Cushion contest      . All you had to do was become an “ Honorary citizen in the Kingdom of Coco” , ( I emailed the immigration department right away) then  make a pin-cushion, take a photo and email it to her. Sounds so easy doesn’t it? Well, life got in the way down here, what with Doctor’s visits, hospital phone calls, pain meds and more. I finished it on Saturday, sent the photos yesterday, and Bingo!! There it is    on     2015 pin cushion contest  photos

I can see some stunning entries.

For my entry, first, Mike felled the trees, the huge trunk was cut into rounds, and I selected a mighty fine one, with no cuts across the grain. Then I found a standing tree with lovely bark patterns. A few photos, some editing, then the fun to print those onto photo fabric. A bit of cropping, then some sewing. It was meant to look like a log on green grass, but somehow didn’t play the part. The brown was not clear, the green grass was brown, maybe it thought the summer drought was still in vogue . Then a friend suggested I turn it upside down. Well, that looked a lot better.

So,  that is how  “  The Real NZ Pin Cushion” was made.

First in the queue

Pine tree rounds #1


Bark for pin cushion


pin cushion  top #1pin cushion  the other way round,sitting on the grass

I recently found a wall hanging I started some years ago, and like this, mine  was muted, dull colours, grey, fawn, brown, and a little black, it is still waiting  for a finish !!!! A friend did hers at the same time,all lovely bright pinks and purples, blues,  mauve and a little dark thread for contrast.  This was our dear friend Jeanette’s , and a few weeks ago when her daughter and grandies visited, Joyce and I  had great happiness  to give this to her, with all the love we had shared together.

Maybe we could call it

 “ The Three J’s Wall Hanging”

Jeanette did the placing of the wool and threads, I did some of the stitching, and then the quilting onto the backing, and Joyce finished it with a binding. It was finished just a few weeks ago, and as we all know “ Good Things Take Time”.


Wall hanging in fleece and thread #1

Quotation of the day ,author unknown

“ Tread out into the wider walks of life, and find happiness and enjoyment every day “

Greetings from Jean

Monday 16 March 2015

A Day at The Beach, #2


The machine in yesterday’s post is a “self propelled boat trailer” used for large boats, huge boats, where an ordinary trailer and winch will not suffice,  in areas where there is no harbour, jetties, or a safe launching ramp .There is a lagoon at Castlepoint, but launching there and access to the sea depends on wind and tide.

Ormond Engineering  is  an Australasian based engineering business , with products that range from fishing,mining, and industrial to health care .

Sentences in italics courtesy of the internet.


Oren's engineering abilities has very few boundaries. We have been busy decommissioning a GE Innova system at a Catheter Lab in Wellington. These X-ray systems are used in cardiac and vascular procedures such as angioplasty etc. This system will be reconditioned and resold so we had to be very careful removing all the equipment and cabling


X-Ray system at Wellington  Hospital Catheter Lab


I wonder if this is where Hugh was, in 2012, after his heart attack and then in the cardiac unit at Wellington Hospital.He did say the surgeon talked away, explaining everything,  at the same time  he was looking at a huge screen where everything was outlined so clearly.


We are specialists in the manufacture and assembly of self driven boat trailers used for beach launching large vessels. Our first trailer is used to launch a 50 ft. vessel that is the largest jet powered boat in the Southern Hemisphere.


Photo taken with my Canon 550D

on board and coming ashore


Outer Limits

Outer Limits is designed by Teknicraft, built and launched in Wanganui in 2001 by Q-West, it is specifically designed and built for New Zealand's coastal conditions.


Length : 43 Foot / 13 Metres
Engines : Twin Volvo TAMD 74 EDC Diesel Engines
Propulsion : Twin 292 Hamilton Jet Units
Cruise Speed : 22 to 25 Knots
Top Speed: 33 to 36 Knots.


Hugh has a video of the boat being launched, and I did a fast frame of the retrieval.There was a lot of wind noise, and I can see I need a sound muffler for my camera before I do this again.


Castlepoint Day out #2

We have escaped the wind and rain that Cyclone Pam has brought to many northern and East Coast areas,  and as Pam moves south, the Chatham Islands are in readiness, with warnings in place. I hope they are safe.


Updated, 5.45pm, Monday 16 March 2015

Cyclone Pam is still moving south east and is expected to maintain its intensity, or may even intensify slightly, reaching the Chatham Islands around midday Tuesday. A warning is now in place for severe gales, heavy rain and heavy swells for the Chatham Islands.



Quotation of the day,   from Freidrich Schiller

“ Lose not yourself in a far off time,

seize the moment that is thine”

Greetings from Jean

Sunday 15 March 2015

A Day at the Beach


Today was another goodish kind of day, so we set off.No wind, some sunshine, and finally arrived at Castlepoint. Shown as Here on the map. In the map the other day I pointed out  where we live, inland a little way, between Wanganui and Palmerston North.

Castlepoint on the East Coast

The wind was blowing, a sign that the tail end of Cyclone Pam would arrive there late tonight or early tomorrow.  One little dinghy, high and dry, a huge crayfish  fishing vessel, the last run for the season. It was launched and retrieved with a self-propelled launching cradle, more photos to come tomorrow, as the crayfish boat came back in from the last run of the  season.

Castlepoint Lighthouse

Telephoto lens, the Lighthouse

One little dinghy

Nor'Wester, a cray fishing vessel

on board and coming ashore

Castlepoint Lighthouse from above

Quotation of the day, author unknown

The lighthouse stands firm, the signals shining brightly in  their own pattern,  sending out messages of safety and security for the sailors at sea”

Greetings from Jean

Weather, yesterday, today ,and tomorrow.


Thanks to all who have asked if we will be in the path of Cyclone Pam. We live in the lower North Island, closer to the middle, and far away from the East Coast, where the tail end is expected to  cause heavy rain, flooding, large seas  and  severe gales .  TVNZ news has posted videos and photos of the devastation, and our thoughts are with all those in  Vanuatu, and other areas. Photos courtesy  of the Internet.

We live where the little black dots , diamonds   are, to the   right of the words.Most of the area from Gisborne then south is where the expected rain and wind will  cause many problems.


Cyclone Pam  expected path

This was the heading on New Zealand’s Metservice page, and it went straight to a video, there is also a blog, with updates and more videos.

Metservice NZ

The rain radar map for Sunday  15th, 7 p.m. shows the heaviest will be north of us.

Rain Radar 7 p.m. Sunday 15th March


Infrared Satellite image, taken at 3.44 a.m. Saturday 14th March


Courtesy of the Internet……  ( this was  Saturday a.m.)

The above image is an infrared satellite picture of TC Pam taken at 3.44am this morning. Infrared images are colour coded to show the temperature of the cloud tops, which may extend high up into the atmosphere. The eye of the tropical cyclone is the light coloured dot in the middle surrounded by the dark blue (cloud tops of about -82C). What this image shows is the intensely cold cloud tops of thunderstorms surrounding the relatively warm eye of the tropical cyclone. This temperature contrast is one of the ways forecasters can estimate the intensity of a tropical cyclone from satellite imagery.

Category 5 Cyclone satellite imagery 

Update on Sunday 15th March. Courtesy of the internet….. referring to the image below…

(refer to yesterday’s 5am blog update for a comparison). The green colour indicates the cloud top temperature of the thunderstorms surrounding the eye is about -65C, while this time yesterday they were -82C, suggesting that the cyclone has weakened. However, winds near the centre are still estimated to be over 200 km/h.

TC Pam, Infrared satellite image, 3.44 a.m. Sunday 15th

Quotation of the day, author unknown,

“ Real and true friendship doesn’t need daily  conversation or closeness, it will live in your heart no matter where you are”

Greetings from Jean

Friday 13 March 2015

Look who we met on our day out


Thursday, another day out, and off to the Manawatu Gorge, and the Bridge Cafe. Some very old farm machinery there, reminding us all of how hard farming was in those days. No air conditioned tractors, padded seats, quad bikes,just plain hard work and bone shakers. They have chooks, chickens, and a stunningly bright rooster. Then the wee fellow,on his way back to Tauranga, in the family motor home.He had a wonderful harness  on ,  no  doubt so he could be clipped in safely for travel.

Old plough, single blade

Old Farm Machinery, a real bone shaker

On my tall perchWaiting for the ladies to come

Me and my Gals

Almost sitting on my feet

The little fellow we metAt the Bridge Cafe, Manawatu

He stood still for a second or two

Thank you all   so  much from my heart for your encouraging words, good wishes, prayers and more.Far beyond any words I can find in return, but as you know, when trouble  looms large, blog friendships are larger, and you have  helped me cope and wait, in a much better way.

Some days are sort of OK,others not so good, rarely a reasonable day,then it is snatched up in an instant, and we have “ A Day Out”

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Friends we meet along the difficult roads of life help us miss the potholes and travel along the smoother paths more easily”

Greetings from Jean

Thursday 12 March 2015

Run, Rabbit, Run,Run,Run


The little bunny is having such fun, the other morning, when out for his constitutional, he first chased a sparrow, then a blackbird.He seems to be the only one living in a hidey-hole behind a pipe, a very safe place. then he hops about, sits on his back legs and has a wee wash, then breakfast. Ginger Boy has given a chase, but wasn’t interested in anything serious at all, Whew! What a relief!!!

rabbit #1

rabbit #2

This has been cropped, so not as clear as the others. All taken at 8 p.m. not great light, and I couldn’t get closer. Those ears pick up the slightest sound from so far away.

rabbit  #3, cropped

Life continues. Firewood is being thrown into the shed, all dry, and a wonderful sight, waiting for those cold winter days. The two trees that have been felled, one is slowly being cut into rounds, waiting for the helpers to arrive for more serious heavy work.

Best of all, good/great/ truly wonderful  news, one step up the ladder, the referral letter has arrived at Wellington Hospital, 6 days after our visit at Wanganui. It will now be assessed for urgency.  After 18 months of waiting, this is a miracle, hope the next wait is not so long !!!

Quotation of the day, by William Faulkner

“ And sure enough even  waiting will end…

if you can just wait long enough”

Greetings from Jean

Wednesday 4 March 2015

Entertainment, indoors and outdoors…


How close can you go

November, 2012, a baby blackbird was in the garden, Felicity ventured, sniffed, jumped back, and finally left it to fly away.

The other day, on her short legs, she raced inside, from the small pond area, across the lawn, up the steps, and sat under the dining table. Dangling from her mouth was a small rabbit. She held it so gently. There is a family living there among the agapanthus, our Ginger Boy sits and studies the area so closely. This small bundle of fur sat, ran into the other room, hid under Hugh’s chair, scuttled round, Felicity tried to follow, not intent on anything but a game. Finally Hugh caught it, I held it in a towel, and talked gently, telling it that safety was down the track, in long  grass, with some sunshine. 20minutes later, it had walked away. All was safe. One photo, all the others too blurry, how can you hold a camera, get a good shot, try to catch a rabbit, kneel on the floor, huddle round the fireplace, all at the same time???

rabbit under the chair

That was the other day, today our tree feller arrived, one bare tree  trunk, one TALL  pine, and a gum, all done safely, falling in the exact place where they should. Lots more firewood, such is life, I can see some serious days of outside work coming. We have lots of help for the cutting, and splitting, thank goodness.Safety meant I had to be a long way away, even  at that distance  the crash was so loud.

Tallest pine ready for the chop

Pine tree falling

gum tree waiting

To the right of the truck,  in the  third  photo,is the red plane, Hugh made this, the propeller spins furiously when the wind blows, and we know the direction as well. So many visitors have asked if he was a pilot at some time?  NO, but he would have so liked to.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Like the trees, stand  tall,

be not afraid to go out on a limb,

be happy with how others see you ,

and enjoy the view from up high,.”


Greetings from Jean

Sunday 1 March 2015

Autumn has Officially Arrived


March heralded itself in with a cool morning, a hot day, and a clear night sky, just to make sure we all know the season is upon us. The flowers have ignored the summons, and keep on blooming, The Gossamer grasses wave gently in the breeze, Cosmos and Japanese Anemone show that gorgeous pink, and the wee stream ripples down from the top pond to the lower one, giving the goldfish some much needed oxygenated water.

Gossamer Grass with long fronds

One Cosmos

Japanese Anemones


Little stream from the top pond

Life continues at a slow pace, and I am so thankful for any day that is slightly better than anticipated. The firewood is slowly  being thrown into the shed, letting the underneath pieces dry more,  smaller wood for the chip heater that heats all our hot water is totally dry, Security and bliss is a shed full of wood before winter arrives.

Quotation of the day, from  Walt Disney Company

“Laughter is timeless.

Imagination has no age.

And dreams are forever.”

Greetings from Jean