Central Plateau, North Island

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

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Too Much or None at All


We have had flooding in our area, and all round, our home was safe, huge amounts of water on the lawn, 187mm , or just over 7.25 inches, according to the rain  gauge.  and the Tutaenui Stream at our boundary was a raging torrent. In some areas, people are stranded,  families  will not be able to return home for a month or so, only by helicopter now, and many homes are uninhabitable, and have to be demolished.  Fences, trees, roads and bridges are so badly damaged in many places.The power stayed on, but no Internet for days, and then I had to reset the modem router. So a lot of catching up to do, probable no comments until I am back to  normal .We have so much to be  thankful for .

Here is the track to the stream, January 2014, when Ginger Boy first came to our place

Ginger Boy down the track

This was  last Saturday, the water came up to where Ginger was standing

Flooding June 20th  Eel corner covered

When the water drained away, we were left with a wonderful sand bank.

Sand by the eel corner

Latest update, this week I had a visit to the Ophthalmology  Clinic, cataracts are starting, but the glaucoma is not a worry at the moment. Huge relief.

Wednesday, a long trip to Wellington Hospital, a lengthy and so thorough, Anaesthetic pre-assessment. This was 2.5 hours long, and it is all go from now on, and hopefully not too long to wait. Hugh is relieved, maybe a little,  maybe quite a bit…apprehensive. Several days stay down there, and recuperation, they didn’t suggest any time-frame at all.

We have sunshine today, after some cold mornings, but in  the South Island, record low temperatures,   photo and data from the internet.

Minus 20 Celsius at Pukaki, near Mt Cook, on Tuesday  22nd June. Aucklanders complained, needing puffer jackets and thermal underwear, as they had a 3Celsius morning. A bright spark on TV told them to harden up!!!

Here is frost at Tekapo, inland South Island

frost at Tekapo


-25.6C, 1903, Ranfurly, Central Otago
-21.6C, 1995, Ophir, Central Otago
-21C, 2015, Omarama
-19.8C, 2015, Pukaki Aerodrome
-19.7C, 1943, Ophir, Central Otago
-18.9C, 1878, Bealey, Canterbury
-18.6, 1939, Manorburn Dam, Central Otago
-18.3C, 1918, Ranfurly, Central Otago
-17.9C, 1968, Omarama
-17.5C, 1930, Manorburn Dam, Central Otago

These temperatures are all taken in habitable areas, so  it would be a lot colder in the peaks of the Southern Alps.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ You will miss the water, only when the well runs dry”

Greetings from Jean

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Are You My Dad?????

Today Boris and Ginger Boy met, and I think they both wanted to be friends.  A  few meows from each one, no fighting or even a cuff/pat or hiss.   However Ginger  Boy walked off, after a minute or so,  Boris waited on the step, then finally ran down the path.
Now, can he look any more astonished than this ???
Boris and Ginger Boy
The morning routine is, get out of bed, have a snack,visit the bathroom, and curl up on Hugh’s side of the bed for another hour or so.He is a very affectionate kitten, growing fast, loves the outdoors, his first visit to the garden was  last Tuesday, and he looks longingly at the leaves blowing, and tall trees!!! He has already climbed the Silver Pear, and the  Wintersweet. The cat door is not a problem, he leaps in and jumps out as if he has done that for  years.
Boris on the bed every morning
Ginger Boy has the thickest winter coat I have ever seen, and the ruff round his neck is as large as when he first arrived, in December 2013. The first photo was taken in January 2014, when I saw him stay still long enough  .He was still very shy then, and ran at the slightest noise.  It has taken all this time for him to become tame enough so I can pat him, but this is on his terms, and only when he is eating. Under the table, forget that, he backs away, and when he is asleep on the settee, he opens one eye and stares, as I put wood on the fire. No wonder he sleeps inside every night!!! Warm, cosy, a fleece bed waiting/
Ginger Boy and his winter coat
Here he is in January 2014, maybe after a year or so of living totally outdoors. Guess he needed that thick  coat even on summer evenings.
Ginger Boy in January 2014

We have had gale winds all day, and by the morning I think more glass panes from the glasshouse will be blown out.
Quotation of the day, from Tennessee Williams
“ For time is the longest distance between two places”
Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Yesterday, as it was from dawn to dusk


Wednesday 3rd June, started as usual.Coffee by the fire, check emails, make porridge, and then print my words for Judith’s funeral

sunrise  in the East

That was when it all went wrong, The wireless printer  didn’t show on my laptop, the jar of flowers tipped over and spilt water everywhere, and I worried about my ability to be able to  stand   and say some words.

The Big Chair and equipment

Off to the optometrist, a scheduled appointment for new distance glasses, new frames, and a  document I need to have when I get my driving licence  before my 75th birthday in July.

Lots of “ Look up, look down, then to the left, now to the right” Can you read the bottom line? NO, Can you read the top, second and third lines, NO, only the top 2. Try this, is it any better? Not much… Now I want to do ONE more test, this is after drops, a sort of tiny piece  of paper waved over my eyes, so I had more drops, and more trying not to blink.How hard that is.

glasses lensestest sight glasses

Now, I don’t want to worry you with anything else today,,,, but….

Well I believe in straight talking, is there something else wrong.. as this is after I was given the news I have the start of cataracts,  in both eyes.

Well, the space?? Somewhere??? isn’t as good as it should be, maybe the  beginning of really early glaucoma. I want to refer you to the Eye Clinic at Wanganui Hospital.More sophisticated equipment….. Hooray, There might be a wait, the usual few months, this isn’t urgent.If they decide you need something done, they laser a small hole??? Somewhere??? and seemingly this will work?? For all time? a short time?? I will wait and see, and try SOOOOO   hard   not to consult Dr Google!!! I was too stunned to ask more questions, but will do when I get the wonderful new glasses with superb frames next week.

Next, a  visit  to Dennis , Judith’s son, a few flowers, a card, some muffins for the freezer, a hug, some tears, and a smile.

Home, connect my laptop to Hugh’s printer and print the words.

Judith’s funeral service, a truly loving   family  event, lots of tears, some laughter,  a slide show with photos of Judith, her family, her children, her Mum, sisters and brothers, and words from her sister  Chrissy,  her son Frank, her daughter Diana,  and on behalf of her daughter Veronica who was not able to come, she is in hospital, and then  others were invited to speak. Why did I worry so much, I didn’t need to look at my words at all,apart from a prompt at the end.By this time my eyes were full of tears, and I couldn’t read at all, even if I needed to.


“”The ship leaves the harbour and sails over the horizon, gone from our sight, but others on the distant shore shout “Here she comes”.”

True friends are precious and rare, and memories of our friendship will be with me always.”

Later, total strangers came and thanked me for my words. I guess that made our friendship so much more special, to know that others appreciated what I said.

Home in a light drizzle, the fire still glowing, and then that magical moment of sunset.

Looking to the west


Sunset 3rd June  2015

looking to the East, above   the house rooftop

Eastern sky  in the evening.

Down the driveway, cherry tree leaves glow, and give a carpet on the ground.Flowering Cherry Trees, with Eastern sky behind


Cherry Tree Leaves on the ground

Quotation of the day, from Stanley Horowitz

“ Winter is an etching, spring a watercolour,

summer an oil painting,

and autumn a mosaic of them all”

Greetings  from Jean

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Wellington scenes on the second trip


We had another trip to Wellington on Tuesday, to the airport, Kaz flew home to Dunedin, then a little further south to the farm. A fine day, no wind, but still big swells from the south. Along Cobham Drive are some sculptures, and here are some, photos from Hugh or courtesy of the internet. I now know how difficult it is to take window photos!!!

Leon van den Eijkel and Hutt Valley engineer Allan Brown of Metallion Ltd.

"All the trees in my city had been cut down for heating so we children didn't know what a tree was. We had only black and white images of them. So we made urban trees from all sorts of wood, trips of cloth, broken pieces of glass and iron we found on the street."

Wellington Urban Forest taken from another view

Phil Dadson's Akau Tangi has been unveiled on Cobham Drive, taking its place alongside the four other pieces in the Meridian Wellington Wind Sculpture series: Pacific Grass, Tower of Light, Urban Forest and Zephyrometer.
His sculpture is made up of 10 painted steel poles topped with moving metal cones shaped like windsocks. The cones move with the wind and make sounds in certain wind directions.

Akau Tangi sculpture, Wellington

Kon Dimopoulous Pacific Grass

Pacific Grass is a 13 metre high composite rod sculpture by Kon Dimopoulos located on the Traffic island at Cobham Dr and Calabar Rd in Mirimar.

"Pacific Grass is a celebration of movement. It is like a ballet in which 1550 different characters have their own part choreographed and moved by the wind.

"Like music in dance, wind is the critical element in this production, shaping and forming with its influence." - Kon Dimopoulos

Presented to the city in 2001, sponsored by Meridian Energy, and assisted by the Wellington City Council.

Pacific Grass, wind sculpture near Wellington Airport

The Zephyrometer is a civic sculpture by Evans Bay, Wellington. It was made by Christchurch artist Phil Price and installed in 2003.[1] It is a kinetic sculpture consisting of a concrete cylinder holding a 26m tall needle which sways to show wind direction and speed (Wellington is known to Kiwis as "Windy Wellington"). The needle consists of fiberglass exterior around a wooden framework. After being damaged by lightning on August 14, 2014, it was restored on May 13, 2015.

Zephyrometer, courtesy of Internet

There was so little wind along this road, nothing waving, but nevertheless, all are wonderful, either static, or moving.My favourite is the “ Pacific Grass” the reeds rattle in the wind, so real.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Go with the wind, or change your direction in life”

Greetings from Jean

Monday, 1 June 2015

Blogger Problems as we are in Wintertime mode.

There is a problem with Windows Live Writer and Blogger,
This is world wide.
 I have already tried to do one post here, clicked on something, and... it vanished!!! Photos take so long to load, have I been spoilt for too long with what I am used to?
Today was the official first day of winter. The Cherry Trees have glorious colours in their leaves, and most have fallen to the ground.
Meantime all is OK, Boris is doing so well, Ginger Boy has a thick winter coat, Lady Felicity is still in denial that a new feline person is living here!!!
Last week a very dear friend left this world forever. I miss her so,
 life is fragile, precious, and friendships are to be valued deeply.
Quotation of the day, from Abraham Lincoln, ( maybe)
" The problem with internet quotes is that you cannot always depend on their accuracy"

Greetings from Jean