Tuesday, 28 March 2017

fair start, stormy end

A group ride today, going up a side valley called Long Acre. The first two photos are returning down the valley. The bank had slipped..a fence renewed..and then a couple of months ago, more rain and tremors. 
We are learning to be aware of even small tremors now.
The afternoon was spent gardening, as a thankyou for a bike loaned in January and February. The Pirate gave our friend's mower some tlc...and tested it by mowing his lawns! I did some weeding and sweeping.
Home again by bike and this was the sky across the Whanganui Valley...rain tonight I think, and possibly tomorrow.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Sunday, 26 March 2017


We had a day apart...Pirate had a bike ride, I went round workshops and galleries in the Annual Open Studios event....and there will be more next weekend!

Thursday, 23 March 2017

plant i.d. ???

This plant looks as if it may be parasitic on the roots of the shrub, whether on dead or live matter.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

travelling and meeting

Waking at 5.30 am, it wasn't worth risking returning to bed. Out at 6am..to a clear sky, stars and a quarter moon on the quarter year. By the time we  boarded the Bluebridge ferry at 7.30 dawn was arriving...twelve hours daylight to go.
A light breakfast on the ferry, then a quick right turn out onto the Cook Straight and we left the smooth waters of Queen Charlotte Sound. As we rounded the point into the last run into Wellington the ferry was surrounded by a pod (?) of porpoises.They were jumping around the bow, leaping at the side and diving under the ship.

We had a three hour break in Wellington, time for a leg stretch, shopping in the organic stores on Wakefield Street by the Youth Hostel and coffee in Zuma next door. Walking through streets like canyons, school groups in "crocodiles" after trips to Te Papa museum, hordes of shoppers and students...after three hours we'd had enough!
We did see the biggest wooden building in the world..once the government building, now part of Wellington University.
Next was a three and a half hour intercity bus ride, which sounds a lot, but the seats are comfortable enough, the driving good, the driver's humour typical Kiwi...dry...
The trip's highlight was meeting Pohangina Pete, a fellow blogger, at the bus stop in Palmerston North.
I'd hoped for more than a ten minute stop, as we had had half an hour on the way South..but it wad great to meet for real and maybe we can get to Pohangina before we leave.

Monday, 20 March 2017

last day in Blenheim

A month in Blenheim has gone quickly..we are now noting things to do Next Time.....
The friends we have been staying with have been away for a week, so we have had more chances to get to know local people better (and vice versa).
We found a local community enterprise cafe called Joocy Loocy NZ, sited in an old furniture shop just off the centre of town (John Street). The coffee , food, and welcome are good! There is one large section with trestle tables for artists/students/school students to work or do homework. Small businesses can rent desk,computer and printer space by the hour or week...good for small start-ups.
Artworks are around the place for sale and herb plants too.
Every community needs a place like this.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Renwick Ride

Today we headed for Renwick, further up the Wairau River valley ,about 10 k or more from Blenheim.
A couple more small presents sourced, coffee drunk and on our way to Renwick we had to go through the middle. Our chosen route was blocked by a large lorry on its side on a corner..guarded by a few police cars and with a crane preparing to lift it.
The diversion was fortunate..we saw a Morris Commercial van and Renwick Museum..small but very interesting.
Then we headed for Brancott Road, past the Heritage Centre of one of the largest wine producers in Marlborough. It is yet another dead end road with to branching dead ends..the Pirate is training up hills...I just go as far as I want, take photos and listen to the sounds of the countryside.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

getting agricultural...

After today's ride in gentle sunshine and a quick lunch, we wandered up th path by the Taylor River to Brayshaw Park.
This is the home of the Agricultural Machinery Museum, as wll as many other thingsm  a place well worth a visit any day,
Many photos taken, the Secretary, who was on duty that day, made us a cuppa, and both he and the pirate having been in their respective airforces, talked aeroplanes!
Footsore already, we retraced our steps, pausing to watch a new concrete path being laid for cyclists and walkers. Readymixed concrete being delivered by lorries, but the finishing all done by hand-and done well, too.
One thing we noted eas the lack of damage or graffiti...in the whole of the last two weeks work, one small heart outline and one set of dog pawprints....would that be so in the uk ?