Central Plateau, North Island

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

Monday, 27 April 2015

Almost all the colours of a rainbow and an update on the USAR team

Amidst the sadness with memories of the 100th centenary of the landing at Gallipoli, the disaster we couldn’t even imagine in Nepal and nearby Kathmandu, a friend sent me this link.
Lilac-Breasted Roller Bird
Courtesy of the Internet, a Lilac-Breasted Roller Bird.
Looking at those feathers, the tiny feet hanging on, clear eyes, and tail feathers for balance in the air and wind, I can find some joy in  our world.
A team of USAR ( Urban Search and Rescue)  personnel is leaving from New Zealand Sunday night  for Nepal ,  flying to Singapore  then on to Kathmandu. Supplies were gathered at the Auckland City Fire  Station, before being loaded onto a commercial flight. The 37-strong team  come from Auckland,Palmerston North and Canterbury.
Details below, and photos,  courtesy of the Internet.
USAR team members with equipmentUSAR team supplies ready to be loaded
New Zealand is one 22 countries sending teams to help with urban search and rescue efforts.
Teams from India, Pakistan, the United States, China and Israel are already on the ground there. The 37 member  team was drawn from New Zealand Fire Service members in Auckland, Palmerston North and Christchurch. The personnel going to Nepal have specific expertise in rubble pile rescue, and the technical rescue experts will be supported by paramedics, a doctor, a structural engineer, logistics personnel, a command and control element, and a Ministry of foreign affairs and trade liaison officer.
The team will be self-sufficient with 12 tonnes of equipment, including food, water, power and rescue equipment.
Cooper said USAR just last month received its international accreditation, allowing it to operate overseas.

 Update today, Tuesday 28th April.........
The Urban Search and Rescue (Usar) team, which had been stood down overnight, could go in future but New Zealand would be guided by the Nepalese authorities.
The decision was made to stand the team down after the Nepalese "with the benefit of reflection ... decided they couldn't absorb more capacity right then".
The airport was seriously congested and four flights from India had been turned back because they couldn't get down.
"We completely understand the Nepalese Government's decision and based on our own experience of managing the Christchurch earthquakes, we know that dealing with international offers of assistance can be fast moving and needs can change rapidly."

I am glad that our small country can contribute in such a practical way to help those in Nepal, Kathmandu and other areas where help is needed so much.
Quotation of the day, author unknown
“ Compassion, courage and hope are in every heart,  and even the disasters of huge proportions will not destroy  these qualities”
Greetings from Jean

Saturday, 25 April 2015

We Will Remember Them


Scarlet Poppy

Today, April 25th, ANZAC day, a commemoration of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, with ceremonies held throughout our country and overseas. 2015 is the 100th centenary of the landings at Gallipoli, and many of the people attending there are from here and Australia. Dawn Services have been held, veterans marched, hymns sung, and in Rotorua  our grandson, Josh, has attended the dawn service at Muruika war cemetery at Ohinemutu.  Prefects and house captains from Rotorua Lakes High, along with others,  will be there, a privilege and an honour.

The  poppy was one of the first plants to grow  and bloom in  the mud and dirt at Flanders, and is a symbol of remembrance of war. A poem by  Canadian physician  Lieutenant Colonel John  McCrae, ( born in Guelph, Ontario, Canada) who wrote it after presiding over a funeral of a friend and fellow soldier, Alexis Helmer.

In Flander's Fields

Tears have been shed, memories talked over, friends and comrades gather together, and we here accept and acknowledge the sacrifices made, for those who left our shores, fought, lost their lives, or returned to be a part of New Zealand again.


They shall not grow old

Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 16 April 2015

A Trumpet Flourish at the letterbox today


I slowly walked to collect the  mail , feeling a little under the weather, Too much outside work!!! A day off with lots of rest and TLC is in order…

The post arrived

Then I opened the letterbox!!! A Yellow packet, with my name on, and the beautiful wildlife series of Canadian stamps.  The 10c Dragonfly, the $1 Burrowing Owls, and the $2.50 Young Wapiti ( or Elk).And… no postmark on the stamps, a collector’s dream come true. They will take pride of place in my old , very old, more than 64 year old… stamp album. If you Google   “Canadian Stamps” all the information is right there, and you can see the other wonderful stamps in this series.

Stamps from Canada

I carefully opened the packet, and mauve tissue paper, wrapped so carefully, and then there were the buttons,all the way from http://grandmacocosdesigns.blogspot.co.nz

The beautiful mauve tissue paper


Grandma Coco's buttons

Little cat faces, flowers, and a square one, green and white.  That one will be perfect for son-in-law’s next birthday  present ( hand made naturally) on 17th March. The cats will be on a special item all for myself, and as cats are my favourites, this is something I will always treasure, Thank you so much Cheryl.

Cheryl at  The Kingdom of Coco  hosted  her own “Pincushion Contest”,  honorary citizenship was arranged through the “immigration department”, and all done online or by email. SO easy. then we made our pin cushions, emailed a photo, and bingo,all done. When the contest was finished, and pin cushions admired, Cheryl announced that each of us  was a winner, and would receive some of her very own hand made buttons. You can see them here at her very own little shop,  find it right here


Heather from http://www.heatherpearson.com also sponsored  a prize, a book from the “Book Depository” and her choice was  Balle Rose, by Regina.

Our Rotorua family came for a few days, and the 2 trees that were felled a while ago, are all cut,split, and in a  huge heap.  Thanks so much, Hugh and I are amazed that it is all done, and not possible without your help, hard work, careful lifting, loading the little trailer, and heaving onto the pile!!!

They left for home this morning, and the home is so quiet now, Some snow on the Central Plateau when they drove down, but warmer today, and no frost here. 

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Every day is a competition, give it your very best shot, and you’ll always be a winner”

Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Silver Rose, a dream to drive, and own.


Recently, our friend from Auckland stayed for a night, on his way home, a flight to Christchurch, a ferry crossing, and then here. His reason, purchase of a Porsche car, one of 3 of this model in NZ. There is a whole website dedicated to the 1988 944, with owners all over the world registered there. Low to the ground, that familiar throaty gurgle, and pride of place on our lawn.

Silver Rose

This  car is a 1988 944 Turbo S (2.5 litre). The factory produced 1000 of these examples, all painted in a colour known as silver rose. Hence, amongst Porsche aficionados, this model is simply referred to as the Silver Rose. Actually, because of its performance and desirability (in 1988 it was widely regarded as the world’s fastest 4 cylinder production car – 250 bhp  ( brake horsepower) brand a top speed of 162 mph: 0 to 60mph in about 5.3 seconds), the factory made a further 635 units in other colours. However, the initial 1000 are the true collector’s models.  The Silver Rose, amongst other things, is specially equipped with fully adjustable sports suspension and roll bars, a limited slip differential, bigger (Porsche 928) brakes and a larger KKK turbocharger.

I believe there are 3 of these models in New Zealand.



Silver Rose at Graestone, 2015


I can see I need to alter the settings, so there is no black bar at the sides, never mind next time. Off to the Doctor today to hopefully remove stitches after minor ear surgery. The good news will be a clear biopsy, then the bad news of having to  pay!!!

No photos, but I did get a wonderful present after the  surgery was over” Would you like a present?”, “ Yes please, do I get a jelly bean”

Held out my hand, and a quilters delight, tiny surgical scissors, tweezers and forceps. They all are “single use only” but they are so good at snipping threads, and getting those caught in the  machine’s innards out of tiny places. Maybe I get some more today.

We have rain, rain and more rain,  65 mm overnight, the stream is dirty and fast, and heavy rain forecast for many other areas.

Quotation of the day, by Boris Pasternak

“Surprise is the greatest gift which life can grant us”

Greetings from Jean