Central Plateau, North Island

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

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Gold and Green and more colours

Do you remember the story of our overnight stay in Oamaru?

Short version, we were in the butcher’s shop, waiting to collect the HUGE ham for the wedding, I mentioned we could not get any accommodation for the night, one lovely tall good looking ( did I mention YOUNG as well )  said we could stay with him. Another  very kind gentleman suggested the same. Then Jill, standing just behind me, said “ Come and stay with Alister and me”. We did. The  ending of this tale is that I made a large toy bag for their grandson Jack, ( our way of saying a huge thank you )   posted it down to the South Island ( this time with Track and Trace ) and it might have flown to Australia by now. In true Aussie colours, dark green and gold applique words.The letters are really yellow, but just do not show as well in these photos.  Here it is.

Jack's Toy Bag #4Jack's toy bag

Jack's toy Bag #2

Jack's Toy Bag #3

Made to last, be dragged round the concrete, dumped in a sand pit, and taken out on trips and holidays. Enjoy your time in Australia, my new so generous and wonderful friends.

The month of March colour was Yellow, and Golden Ted sneaked home by a whisker, one day ahead of closing. He has a blue skipping rope and handles, and again is in batik fabrics. The background is not pale blue, but a homespun fabric  in pale calico colour. This is going to go to Christchurch at the end of the year, when all the coloured Teds are made.

Yellow Ted March 2018

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ Yellow, the colour of sunshine,

joy, happiness, intellect and energy.

Let it be with us throughout the world”

Greetings from Jean.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

One Day After Another

The days seems to slip by, with some things started,  and others finished.

The garden continues to show glorious colours, with

Brunsvigia Josephinae, this year 3 bulbs all flowered.

Brunsvigia Josephinae

Brunsvigia, so many flower heads this year,2018

The  Miscanthus Sinesis has the beginnings of those feathery heads on tall stems.

Miscanthus grass with feathery heads on tall stems

The sedum is another  colour below the grasses.

Purple Sedum

I tried to resurrect the post that would not publish, but had an “error 404” every time. So here are some  pics from our last ferry trip coming back to Wellington. They will all have some blur, it is in reality salt spray on the windows.

Waiting in the queue at Picton.It was a cool start. Maybe about 5  Celsius. ( Cool for March down here in NZ )

Picton, waiting to board the ferry

Marlborough Sounds, as the sun started to shine through the clouds.

Marlborough  Sounds, through the window

Cook Straight is ahead, the rocks  are the last  we see of the Marlborough Sounds.

On the ferry,  Cook Straight is ahead

We  were on the lower vehicle deck, it is a “drive through” and 3 cars went out ahead of us. The man is standing in front of the huge door which opens down, with a  lot of sirens sounding, and huge hydraulic rams working.

On the ferry at Wellington

Here is the door partly opened, taken through the windscreen.

Ferry door is opening

I had a full day at Palmerston North Hospital on Wednesday. It poured on the drive in, and was still raining most of the morning. The Myoscan appointment time was nigh!!!

I managed, with some help, to find the “ Nuclear Medicine” department, and after meeting the others in the waiting room, had my weight taken, and the radioactive tracer injection. Then a wait, and the first scan. The machine was like this, but I went through feet first. Not a comfortable table, a bit like concrete!!! But every staff person was so caring, and made the whole day go much better than I had anticipated.( until the stress test!!!)

Image result for Gamma camera photos

Then after that scan, a wait of almost 2 hours, then off to the second floor for the stress test.This was not much fun, in fact it was hard work.Not a treadmill or an exercycle, but a drug, ( Dobutamine)  to make my heart think it is exercising to the utmost. I had to march on the spot for FOUR minutes!!!

“ Pace yourself, try not to walk too fast but lift your knees higher, remember that 4 minutes will seem to be a long time” was what the specialist told me at the start. He was  absolutely correct. He started to give me the countdown, after 2 minutes, and encouragement as well, asking if I was short of breath.YES, did I have pain, yes, could I please lift my knees higher yes , as it became harder to breath or talk.

An ECG was done at the same time, and I think the antidote was also given by  the infusion pump at the end, that took another 4 minutes until I felt slightly better. This was a scary procedure, and after having a treadmill test last year, know which I would prefer.

Then another walk, very slowly, downstairs,another lovely orderly was with me, his reassuring words helped so much.  A short wait, another scan, this time about 10 minutes, then get dressed and off home.Phew, I was so glad to have a coffee after none for over 24 hours.  My GP should get the results on Friday.

All staff were so caring, as we waited, in those in-glamorous white dressing gowns, over the standard green gown that did not fasten anywhere,as staff walked to and fro,  two of us were told “ Ladies, you are so elegant”, another commented, “ Waiting for the Day Spa!!” another “ Good Luck”, how  we  all needed a load of that.

Quotation of the day from Denis Waitley

“ A smile is the light in your window that tells

others there is a caring, sharing person inside”

Greetings from Jean

Thursday, 15 March 2018

We are home.

The red night sky gave us a warm welcome. The crossing was calm, all  is well at home, boys and girls so happy to see us back.

Night Sky March 2018

I did another post, a bit longer, edited, posted,  and then deleted one  internet photo that was too wide, and cannot publish it now.

I hope to have a few more photos through the salt spray windows  as we came  through the sounds. We will see.

Quotation of the day, author unknown

“ No matter how far you travel,

the return home is always via the best road”

Greetings from Jean.



Monday, 12 March 2018

East to West, a Bluebird Day.

Sunday dawned with a clear sky and almost a frost at Springfield.

The day before,late afternoon, the Trans Alpine Express tootled  along on its way back to the East, so many tourists hanging out of the open rail cars, I guess I am on at least one photo and maybe a video,going back to China or Japan, I hadn’t time to get my camera out.

I can see it now “Look at that crazy lady waving like mad at us!!!”

Photo courtesy of the internet. The Trans Alpine Express on the way from Christchurch to Greymouth, South Island, New Zealand.

Image result for trans alpine train nz photosLouise ,at Bahara, , Springfield,  made us so welcome,and the girls and boys did too. Call in here to enjoy the peace and beauty of the south.

Bahara Accommodation

I have just phoned Louise and she so kindly has given me permission  to post some photos from their web page.Eat your heart out at these, I need to be back in winter to get that much desired “Quilt on the Snow” photo. Happy Anniversary, I hope you have as many years of happiness together as Hugh and I have had.

The alpacas all smiled to order for this one. Courtesy Bahara web page.

2014-10-02 17.29.01a

Winter  white, beautiful.


And one more from Bahara’s web pages, the far unit was where we had the most peaceful night, and where I stood on the deck, to wave at all who passed along the railway lines!!! Thanks so much Louise.We will be back.


Back to my Canon, one alpaca looked on in curiosity,and one little hen obliged as well

Springfield Alpaca, just looking.

One of the girls at Springfield

Sunrise at Bahara. the day would be fine.

Sunrise at Springfield, 11th March

Arthur’s Pass was definitely the best drive of all, so many places to stop easily!!! So, here wo go,from start to end.

Still early morning and shadows from those huge mountain ranges.

Pathfinder and trailer on the way to Arthur's PassOn the way to Arthur's Pass, shadows.

shadows on the bridge, on the way to Arthur's Pass

The darker part is shadow from the hills to our left, the Eastern side. The paler part  is rocky, with a lot of very bare places.

Pathfinder and trailer on the way to Arthur's Pass. #2

A lot of windscreen views.here is one.

Windscreen view on the way to Arthur's Pass #2

There was mist rising in the distance, above  Lake Pearson, high in the Waimakariri Basin.

Mist  in the distance on the way to  Arthur's Pass

More shadows, this is exactly how it was that morning at 9 a.m.

Sunlight and shadows on the way to Arthur's Pass

Arthur's Pass National Park sign.

More rocks, this would all be covered in snow in winter.

rocks and scree on  the way to Arthur's Pass

Above the viaduct,we didn’t try to cross the road with the trailer, this is a huge engineering feat.

Photo courtesy of the internet.

Related image

this is the corner just above the viaduct.

Above the viaduct on the  Arthur's Pass road

A wee bit of snow,left over from 20th February.

Snow on the way to Arthur's Pass

We left the Pass road,a brief stop at Kumara, we were there in 1986. The Pathfinder looks so shiny after tar seal roads!!!No dusty metal today.

Kumara stop.

Over the Taramakau River bridge, road and rail all together!!!

Bridge over the Taramakau River, rail and road combined 

Then that salty smell,and the vast Tasman Sea on our left.I could almost see Australia in the distance.ALMOST, as 2000km is a tad too far.!!!

Rocks below the road to Greymouth.#2Rocks below the road to Greymouth

We are well on  the way to Westport, to stay a night with a friend who moved from our home-town to down south.

Pathfinder on the way to Greymouth

Quotation of the day, author unknown,

“Kindness and generosity

will always be remembered ,

many years after they have been given with no

thought of a repayment”

Greetings from Jean.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

From the East towards the West

This morning we left Oamaru,a cool start to the day. Our destination was Springfield.

We started at the lower arrow, left side, from  Oamaru, went to the second arrow,Methven, and finished at the third arrow at Springfield. An easy 255 km,  or  158 miles, Maybe the easiest  distance of any day so far.

Tomorrow we go to the left hand-side arrows, at Westport.

South Island map with more arrows

We drove over the Rakaia River, one of the most heavily braided rivers in New Zealand.  A river very popular  for jet boats, trout fishermen, and tourists.  At last, a good safe place to stop for some photos.The teal colour is how it is, details below courtesy of the internet.

The Rakaia and Rangitātā are the only two major rivers in New Zealand that originate from high-altitude glacier-dominated mountain sources. They flow more than 100 kilometres across the Canterbury Plains to the sea. The mean annual flow in the Rakaia is 221 cumecs (cubic metres per second), but it is estimated that by 2018 it may be as low as 76 cumecs, because of water taken for irrigation. During a flood, it can be as high as 3,700 cumecs.

The Mighty Rakaia River #1

The Mighty Rakaia River #2

The Mighty Rakaia River #4

The Mighty Rakaia River #5

If you look closely, there is a jet boat in the centre, travelling up the river.

Rakaia river and the jet boat

We arrived at our motel in Springfield after some “ Pics on the road”!!

Mt Hutt Ski Fields in the distance

Mt Hutt ski fields in the far distance.

One of the staff here, just looking , but not at me.

Springfield Alpaca, just looking.

Latish evening shot, roses ,poles, and mountains in the distance.

Springfield roses, power poles and mountains

Quotation of the day, from Steven Wright,

“ Everything is within walking distance

if you have the time”

Greetings from Jean.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Guys and Gals on the Farm

We are a little further south, and staying with Hugh’s cousin, who was our”flower girl”  in February 1962. Jan and Phil’s married daughter Sara, with Greg, and the two littlies, Jack and Luke have their own home across another paddock.

Pepper, seen below, and Salt, photo further below, both delightful ladies, are in yet another paddock .look at her eyes, Pepper was so friendly.

Pepper's eyes at Winton

Sisterly love!!! Salt and Pepper together.

Cosy together at Winton

Our wee ginger boy Boris, has a much larger and very white namesake down here. Boris, saved from disaster, continues to have a charmed life.He is taller than the top of a car, and a lot taller than myself!! So tame, he eats out of your hand.

Boris, the big boy at Winton

All the sheep seemed so happy to accompany me along the paddock, saying “ Can I get closer?”Yes, those are the same shoes I bought in Blenheim,  very comfortable and keep my feet warm and dry!!

my feet and one ewe at Winton

One of the flock, so happy to stand and look.

Your knees need a wash, at Winton

On Wednesday  we visited Invercargill and Bluff. The quilting fabric shop was shut!!! So we continued to Bluff.The lookout has a circular pathway ramp to the very top. and as I hate heights, tried so hard not to look down below.

Bluff Port,looking out to sea.

Bluff Port looking out to sea

The sign showed various places, and if it was a clear day and you could see forever. Stewart Island is down there somewhere in the mist and fog.  Antarctica is way beyond the horizon!!!

In the distance, Stewart Island

Bluff Lookout with names of places

Bluff signages

Bluff Port from the lookout.

Bluff Port from the lookout

A very narrow entrance, and some skilled piloting of big ships to enter and exit safely.

Bluff Port

Tall communication towers at the lookout.

Part of the Communication centre towers at Bluff

The map is one of the  lower half of the South Island. Bluff is immediately below Invercargill. Invercargill, bottom centre, we are a little north of there, Winton is signposted,  today, Friday, we travel back to the left , up to Oamaru. A little more than half way up on the coastline on the left.

Image result for south island map

Quotation of the day,  author unknown

“ If everything seems to be going well,

you obviously do not know what is ahead”

Greetings from Jean.