Sunday, 31 March 2013

Quilt for sale!

Here it is, finished at last!  It has taken many hours of work over the past months, all by hand.
The small squares are 1 inch squares, and the overall size is 24.5 inches or 62 cm square.
The cloth is 100% cotton, as are the sewing and quilting threads. The wadding/batting is made from sheep fleece, and the edging is polyester satin ribbon, sewn with polyester thread.

It is now for sale- NZ$600 or GB£330 or US$500  .

I wonder if it will go?   The Pirate is wearing two hopes it will sell, we need to eat!!  The other hopes it doesn't as it could be seen as a bit of family history.

Thursday, 28 March 2013


Autumn is drawing in slowly.  The days here are still hot (27 degrees) but the nights are chill with a nice cooling breeze in the early hours.
Each morning we awake to fog, but this has burnt off between 9 and 10 each morning.   We're doing road rides and track training on the velodrome when it isn't too hot, to keep our fitness and health ticking over ready for the British 2013 track season.

With luck we'll return home with not too great a temperature difference, if Spring does finally arrive properly! Meanwhile we hear and see reports of snowdrifts at home and in Wales.    Just over two weeks to go....

We've been packing and booking buses and an overnight stay before we fly, yet still it doesn't quite feel real as yet.

The Pirate is off soon to Oz to see his grandson who will be celebrating his tenth birthday  next month, then when he returns here it will be All Systems Go with the final packing and farewells.

All mixed in with this, I have finished sewing the quilt, and I've signed and dated it...just need to finalise the title.....then it will be for sale.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Model T Ford

Now, there should be no argument about this says on the WOF (warrant of fitness=MoT) sticker on the windscreen....1926, Model T Ford....

The mechanism inside the nearside frontwheel is the speedometer.

passion fruit?

I think these are edible.....any comments?

Monday, 25 March 2013

keeping up with technology

I've found (hopefully) the right version of Skype and have step is, I think, to register with Skype....

step by step, I'm slowly getting there!!
   It may seem a bit odd that this Great Step has only been taken with three weeks before we return to Scotland, but the MD and J and the Boys will still be over four hundred miles away.  As will be The Carpenter and the Oily One.   The Wizzard will "only" be about two hundred and fifty miles away.

It could be a help for the Pirate to see his grandchildren more too.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

the dog is waiting....

Izzy has been nagging The Pirate with her eyes for half an hour.......and now they are off for a walk to pick up windfall apples and feed them to  the local Kune Kune pig .  Izzy and her are great friends!

The apple harvest is good here this year, the crab apple trees in the park by Virginia lake are laden down.

The sun is still hot in the day, but there is a chill in the air and a nice cool breeze at night.

The snow in Scotland made the NZ news this morning.   The Isle of Arran has been hit particularly hard, with telegraph poles snapped like matchsticks, so no power, and farmhouses disappearing under snowdrifts.

The house where the Pirate used to live has been snowed in for days, the nearby village is passable but not good.

We'll be getting his generator sorted for next year!!

walking the dog...uphill!

We've done some new walks with Miss Izzy over the past couple of days....

looks fairly innocuous....

 going up...and looking down!!

Today we tried the next hill over....

People train....and race....up the Durie Hill staircase. There is even a special layby where you can park for an hour at the bottom!

You CAN walk up the spiral staircase to see the view.....not for me, thanks!!

There is also a first World War memorial a few yards further on...

and The Pirate was brave enough to go to the top!

we went down in the elevator to river level - cost, $2 each...Izzy goes for free!

then you have the tunnel...

down again...relief!!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Tour of the Northland

Couldn't miss that one!!

My first view of the Pacific Ocean  at Orewa

 Dry pasture near Whangarei, where the 4 day Tour of the Northland is based. 500 riders in five groups according to one hand cyclist
 Our "digs" in Dargaville...
 past riddled with wood boring beetle holes, but still beautiful and built with a grand view.
 On our way in the Bagage Train, ahead of the riders, going towards the Waipoua Forest, where the biggest Kauri trees are. Tane Mahuta is the name of the biggest one, just off this road,  the girth is 45.2 feet and the total height is 168 is estimated to be between 1250 and 2000 years old.     Some tree!!
 Looking over dry paddocks to the Tasman Sea
 looking out to sea across Hokianga (natural) harbour from our accommodation in Opononi.

 Jandals on the beach.....Kiwi as !!
 another dry sunset
 On the way to Paihia, ....
 coffee stop!!
 car ferry from Opua to Russell
 passenger ferry from Russell, across the bay to Paihia
 All sorts of craft!!
 and all sorts of fishermen too.  This is a Marlin.
 New Zealand has its own style of red phone boxes
 Looking back across the bay to Waitangi, of treaty fame, to Russell, which was the capital city before Wellington.
 The last day of the tour was it was last year!!  Was this the end of the drought?
 The Pirate won the 70+ group prize by over half an hour, and was the oldest rider in the race.   Not bad over four hilly stages, total 340 km .
Stephen Cox, the organizer  is on the left of the picture  and Nathan Cox (his son) the race director is on the right.
Stephen was a international New Zealand rider on the road and is now the most respected event/race organizer in New Zealand.
We travelled with the MyBike team from Whangarei, fifteen of us, riders and helpers, a disparate crew brought together by the love of cycling.   We made good friends, mucked in together and all worked hard, whether we were on the bike or not.
And the next day?.....mostly, back to dry weather...