Friday, 23 June 2017

Celebrating a Life. Pete Goodridge

We went to Pete's Big Sendoff on the Summer Solstice.
Sad to see him go,but happy thoughts and celebrations of him and how his actions had touched so many.

Songs were sung, and,as he had chosen a while ago, "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" by Eric Idle was sung led by his daughter and son and joined in by the 300 or more of the rest of us.

He had been to a burial at the Memorial meadow a while  ago and said he'd like it here, with the sheep grazing over him in the Winter, at the top of the slope with a good view of the rolling hills of Gwent.   He has a view of a field of barley and a wooded slope as well,for a man who planted trees.  All that,and as a is good clay soil.

Then up the road to his local pub, where a sign greeted allcomers..we are sorry but the kitchen is closed today as we have lost our great friend Pete.
Inside a great Pete style buffet awaited and people played boules outside..the only sport Pete had won an award for!
The weather was perfect for doing as he had to three persons that you'd never met before...and to many old friends.

One comment came from just expected him to come round the corner and say "and how are You today?"

It was a great Sendoff and left you feeling sad but glad.  
He always said he'd never reach 65..

Saturday, 10 June 2017


sewing hard to finish Woodchip's quilt before we go to stay with Carpenter and family.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Peter Goodridge

Potter, friend for 44 years, mover of Art running his company Artworks, previous director of the International Ceramics Festival in Aberystwyth, Big Pete will leave a massive gap in many hearts all round the world.
Died June 1st, the first day of Summertime, aged only 61.

Missing you.  

Celebrating your life.

Saturday, 3 June 2017


Taken just now, at about 10.15 pm,(BST), looking towards Rothesay and the Bens.
The view from my study window can be distracting.....

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Spring Fling break in Kirkcudbright

We had two days going round Spring Fling this year, starting with Hannah and Dougs' workshop at Lochdougan House.   It was good to see four studios open there, one painter,one painter/printmaker and a fused glass artist.
On via Christine Hester Smith at Barnbarroch (and good coffee and flapjacks!) where Wendy Kershaw was the visiting clay artist again.
I bought The Pirate an early birthday present....a Badger, Badger coffee mug.....

We stopped in Kirkcudbright for a late lunch by the Harbour...and ended up staying there overnight, rather than driving home and returning.
It is a fascinating wee town with much history, including being known as an Artists' Town. Many have settled here, visited, been inspired by it over the past 120 years and more.
I was fascinated by all the doorways and ginnels.

There are still fishing boats working from here, mainly scallop dredgers, but only about half a dozen.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

pottery progress

The stock shed is up, carpeted , shelves bought and erected.
The boxes of stock have been emptied onto the shelves, plus some of my archive work and collection.  Perhaps I ought to sell some of the latter...but when I look through it , it can be inspiring....

All the photos from New Zealand are in one file on the computer now, the next step is to sort them and edit as well.  
There is so much to do, I'm running out of time on a rainy days!  We are now catching upon the rainfall, nicely timed for planting onion sets.  Warm weather and high pressure is promised for next week and we are looking forward to that. I cannot say that I've appreciated returning to cold windy weather, even though it is now the same in New Zealand, plus snow...but at least it is getting on to Winter there!!

Friday, 12 May 2017

we're back...

But we wish we could have stayed....
We've done a lot of sorting and tidying,  grass mowing, stock shed erecting, the past week.

We've managed a few short rides out on our bikes, but being travel lagged it feels as if the brakes are on. I managed to avoid picking up a bug on the plane, but I've picked up a home grown cold..bleagh! It doesn't make feeling enthusiastic about anything very easy!!  However,it will pass, especially if we learn how to relax and get in some R & R .

We had a walk and explore around Irvine yesterday, and had ice cream, and tea in a cafe/restaurant on the harbour. Most enjoyable, and purely in the course of research ...well, partly...if any Family come to see us it is good to know where to take them.

Now I'm back online with a new modem and what looks like a good deal (surprising what the companies will do when they lose you completely for three months....)
Three months' worth of photos need sorting, Etsy seems to be changing, it is all systems go....hopefully!

Tuesday, 2 May 2017


Blogging has been on the back burner, as we've been busy riding bikes...and driving...I've done over 2,500 km on four wheels in the past fortnight....
The Pirate was only out of the top 6 in his World Masters events once...and then he was 7th! He won one bronze and one silver in the track events on the Avantidrome in Cambridge and I won a gold and two silvers there.
We have caught up with most of our old friends and made many new ones. If all goes well we'll be back for Summer 2018/9.......
I've managed to cook the battery of the tablet computer on top of all that... When you plug it in to re-charge, and instead of seeing a grey battery shape filling up with blue, you see a thin red line at the bottom, and a large yellow, black edged triangle with a large black exclamation mark.......I think that the battery, at least, is dead!!!!
Now we have landed back in Whanganui to return borrowed kit and say farewell for now to friends I can use the i-site computer and catch up online, before we head off home on Thursday.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

gone racing!

The World Masters Games have begun...we survived hunting for reasonable/free parking in Auckland (ha ha!!!!!) and the delights of trying to sleep in the Backpackers in downtown Auckland. Impossible til about 3.30 am!! Even the staff were phoning the police about cars cruising around with Boom boxes on full blast, shaking the very fabric of the building!
We rode our criterium races around the tank storage off Wynyard Quarter on the Saturday, and the 20k time trial early Sunday morning on closed roads along the Waterfront and back to Queens Wharf. We both did good times but won nothing.
The Cloud exhibition Centre was full of an exhibition of Maori traditions and crafts and singing and chanting on the stage. Fantastic!
Now we are staying in Hamilton and racing on the Avantidrome. Pursuits this morning..I was first off! I qualified fastest, so now I have to ride the final at 6pm. More different races for the both of us over the next two days, then back up to Auckland.
We'll be staying with a friend that I haven't seen since 1971!
The road race for the Pirate on Sunday, then we head back South to return borrowed bikes and make our farewells to friends before flying back up to Auckland and away home to Scotland.
Hoping meanwhile that the cold weather hasn't devastated the garden at home, and that the workshop has stayed watertight....

Saturday, 15 April 2017

quiet weekend

Our friends where we stay have bought a campervan, so they are away for their first stay away.
We have our last weekend here, looking after house and dog.
Easter is a time of contrasts. Everything is closed, even the small shops, on Friday and Sunday. Apart from that, the Easter sales are on and the Warehouse shop is heaving, the main street busy as if everything will be closed down for a week!
We have collected the hire car that I'll be driving for the next two weeks. I'm getting used to driving an automatic again..and now even the most basic car has all these extra 'bells and whistles' !!
Out for a drive today to catch up with more friends in person instead of online. It will be interesting to see a small town, to where they are in process of moving, on foot instead of passing through on the Intercity bus!

Friday, 14 April 2017

and breathe easy....

Cyclone Cook veered to the east, so mainly missed Auckland, although a horrendous amount of rain preceeded it.
Thames, Coromandel and the Bay of Plenty got hit..,again,.then Wellington and down the east side of the south island. Apparently this cylone followed the track of cyclone Giselle in 1968 which led to the loss of the Wahine ferry as she came into Wellington Harbour and 50 people were drowned. So naturally people were concerned about this one.
Today has been absolutely beautiful. Sun, light breeze and totally relaxed...after a night when it was hosing down with rain, and at 3 am the pool by the house had 6 inch waves from the wind!
We were lucky to join in on a training session on the velodrome, only shortened by 5 minutes by a light shower.
Now it is a beautiful evening, sitting here with a few birds singing, the sound of children playing further down the Mount and traffic noise from SH4 at the foot near the river.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

just a bit wet, again

Wet again...Cyclone Cook is on the way, and it looks like the storm will track the whole length of  New Zealand. Hold onto your hats, again.

Monday, 10 April 2017


I'm still concerned about going to Auckland for the world masters games. There will be 35,000 competitors, plus officials and volunteer helpers.
Auckland has a serious homeless problem, plus it has been hit with flooding three times in the past few weeks. Some homeless people live in motels and the like, and are being pushed out, offered fuel money to go elsewhere if they are lucky.
Normal daily rates start at about 200 dollars a night for a bed. Who knows what will be being charged now.
We can get digs two hours away..but with one event starting at 7am.,..a quandary.

one of those beautiful days

A day starting with fog, slowly thinning out through mist then haze to a beautiful sunny day, with just a light breeze .
A day off the bike, so walk into town, meet for coffee, an early lunch...then a mooch around town just enjoying the atmosphere.
Luckily a lift was available to save walking back up the hill!
It is as if the weather has been taking a breather and relaxing before the next storm rolls through.

Saturday, 8 April 2017

sunny..just for the weekend...

The sun is back and it is a relief!!
Our little group of riders are taking advantage of this to have three days in a row using the velodrome to train. The World Masters Games are not far away, starting on 22 April in Auckland therefore we must use the local velodrome when we can.
We aren't the only ones glad of the weather, after a short road ride this morning we saw vintage motorcycles heading out on a rally, and across the river in Aramoho, cars converging on a local pub for "petrolheads breakfast" !
Back to rain by Tuesday we have heard. Ah well, its nice while it lasts.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

wet Whanganui

With a sigh of relief, the River City got back to normal today. High water was at 8am, roads re-opened by 11am. We're still getting rain showers, but the danger so far a can be seen, is over. The weather is set fine for the weekend, so perhaps we can get in some outdoor cycling for a change!