Monday, 4 December 2017

Southern hemisphere peripatetic lifestyle is underway!

This post was written last week, but life and its busy-ness got in the way of posting it - as well as needing to get some photos off David's phone to be included ...  My apologies for lateness!

Be warned: it is a l-o-n-g post with lots of photos - it covers several days of our travels between Manukau City south of Auckland, and getting home to Waikanae.

We are successfully back home now after collecting the motorhome on Thursday 23 November from the shipping agent's yard in Manukau City near Auckland.

It wasn't what would be described as a baptism of fire by any means - no close shaves, no impacts and no disturbed nights. But certainly not boring, and very much a learning experience as we made our way south.

Originally our plan was to convoy with certain motorhoming friends who shall remain nameless but their motorhome is known as Doris the Glampervan. However, they bailed on us (admittedly for quite good reasons), and we had thought that we may have to stay in motels, given we had no capacity for cooking or hot showers - there are changes required to the gas fittings, earthing for the electrics and non-return valves for the sink, vanity and shower to have the UK-constructed motorhome comply with NZ regs and standards. But when we realised that we could eat out when hot food was required, and shower in motorcamps and, most importantly, make early morning cups of tea there, we decided that we should use the motorhome as it was designed for, apart from non-essentials like power/hot water/cooking, etc. It still proved cheaper than motelling our way home.

We had thought from what we had previously been told by VTNZ (Vehicle Testing NZ) that the first inspection and compliance check would take the whole day. But no, when we arrived with the motorhome fresh from the shipping agents, we were told it was only to be a couple of hours. That entailed a plan change as we had decided to stay overnight quite close to Manukau City, as departing the Auckland region in or around rush hour is an activity to be avoided for short and long term health outcomes based on the actions of stress on the body ...

So being able to leave by noon was a bonus. And because the wait for VTNZ was to be two hours we only did a small amount of shopping after finding breakfast.

The first things on the list were a couple of plates, bowls and glasses - melamine was our preference based on what we had been advised by others. Melamine was sourced in Briscoes which has a sale every weekend and most weekdays - honest injun, guv, it does! But I needed a lie down when I saw the prices. Two plates, bowls and glasses would have set us back about $80, for goodness sake! So after purchasing some non-slip drawer liner stuff, we headed for the cut price Xmas shop next door. Out we came with:
  • 8 milkshake waxed paper cups at $2 the lot
  • 8 waxed paper tea cups at $1.50 the lot
  • 2 packs of 8 waxed paper dinner plates at $1.50 a pack
  • Total expenditure: $6.50
A bargain, I say.
This photo is for my brother in law, Murray - fortunately this bear won't fit in their 5th wheeler, but he does pack down to a small parcel ...

Mel in Manukau, ready for travel home - he went to Auckland in a suitcase with no complaints. Didn't need to be vacuum-packed for that journey. You can see that so far, the bed hasn't been made up.

Inspection passed and off we went southwards to Otorohanga, taking the bypass on SH39 from Ngaruawahia, with me driving quite tentatively, and once off the motorway, pulling over to let traffic behind me pass. In the Auckland and Waikato, almost no-one tooted or signalled thanks, b*stards.
I think this is Mt Pirongia which I haven't seen up close before. When I was at Teachers' College in Hamilton, a landlocked city on a flat and swampy plain, I missed Taranaki dreadfully - the mountain, the sea, the hills and the clear air. Fifty years later, this mountain doesn't have the same power to depress me as it did back then.

Do I look relaxed?

We overnighted in the Otorohanga Kiwi Campgrounds - quite a lovely place but the individual sites are quite small and we could hear the neighbour's quite loud TV clearly, even with all our doors and windows shut - on a steaming hot evening. But food, a couple of chardonnays and our quiet radio assisted in keeping the calm on board. And earplugs inserted when I went to bed also helped.
Nibbles for dinner, using paper plates and measuring spoons to serve hummus ... It's a luxurious lifestyle we have!

The next day we headed down to stay with Jim and Judy at Onaero in North Taranaki. Our route took us down State Highway 3 through Piopio where we stopped for a nice breakfast at the Fat Pigeon Cafe. I did need fortifying sustenance as we had recently passed a property with two signs:
  • one stated PRO TRUMP
  • the other stated MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN
  • and the stars and stripes was flying. 
I knew some NZers liked the Dumpster, but I did not expect to see signs here proclaiming such sentiment - quite turned my stomach ...

We had decided that one of the things we wanted to do with the motorhome was explore all brown signs - you know the ones I mean - for tourists. Well, we didn't quite do that but we did stop off and re-visit a few places that were part of my past:
  • at Awakino we pulled in a had a look around the one or two streets, looking unsuccessfully for a friend's bach (must have been in the one street we didn't check out)
  • at Mokau we didn't go down to the river or to the sea but we did stop off at the Tainui-Wetere Domain to the south of the village. Once there we stopped and chatted with a couple who have lived in their 5th wheeler for a fair number of years and then had a cup of tea with them. Diane and Wayne are lovely people we will keep an eye out for as we travel about. Diane has persuaded me by example that a selfie stick would be a useful acquisition ...

Diane and Wayne with us outside their 5th wheeler at Tainui-Wetere Domain just south of Mokau and close to the river mouth

That's SH3 beneath the hills and all that clear space for camping!

  • at Tongaporutu we:
    • briefly pulled in to the lookout (fabulous view along the river and out across the bar at the river mouth)

    • drove down to look at our old bach on Hills Road - not a twinge of nostalgia was felt - it's a part of my life that was lovely while it lasted but outlived its loveliness and its accessibility
Before we arrived at Jim and Judy's we passed the end of their road and drove into Waitara to visit my lovely sister Dee. The darling woman had got in vogel bread and tomatoes for a lunch snack, but as I am due for a colonoscopy on Wednesday I wasn't allowed any seeded bread or seeded veges/fruit, dammit. But so lovely to see her after several months of our absence.

Then back to Onaero to Jim and Judy's for lots of catching up, great dinner, and an early night for me. We slept in the motorhome and it was great to wake up to the birds and the sound of the sea.

We had brunch in Waitara at the new Wayfinders Cafe in the old Masonic Hotel. Yummy food and good service. Then back to the Waitara Marine Motorcamp and some lessons in waste water disposal - we need a hose to attach to the outlet pipe as the dumpstations do not have a drive-over drain but are offset. I need to ask Dee again what the coupling is called as we have both forgotten ... Doh!
Dee and Murray with the Dodge and the 5th wheeler that has been their home for about 11 years. Makes our motorhome look small!

We had thought of spending that night at Oakura, not far west of New Plymouth, but realised we needed to be back in Waikanae by today (Monday) so only had two more nights of adventures this time. So we needed to go a bit further.
Now THAT is a mountain! Mt Taranaki is just beautiful. What with that almost in our backyard (we could see it from the playground at our primary school) and the beach and river at Tongaporutu where most of my weekends and holidays were spent, was it any wonder I thought Hamilton a landlocked uninteresting prison?

A very Taranaki rural sight with cows on the way to the shed (dairy parlour to you UK readers). A lot of farmers now have tunnels under the road to prevent traffic delays, but I used to love the frequent stops for cows moving between shed and paddock, and sheep being herded along the road by the dogs moving them between paddocks.

We did stop off at Tim's place in Opunake where we are to spend Xmas and determined we could happily park up outside his fence - very level, quite sheltered, and if we need power, I am sure we will be able to send the cable inside the house.

Then on to Kaupokonui Motorcamp for the night. A plain, no frills place beside the river and close to the sea. We don't have any levelers for under the wheels to make sure we are not sleeping/dining/sitting up- or down-hill. So I crossed the river on the footbridge and collected a few suitably-shaped rocks  and positioned them in front of the driver's side wheels and moved the motorhome carefully on to them. Better, but not totally level. Survivable though, so no princess and the pea moments ensued.
Love that black sand!

The strata and the effects of the wind, river and sea. Mt Taranaki is not far away and I am pretty sure the strata here reflect the eruptions centuries ago.

It was warm but a bit breezy, as it generally is on the beaches, so the cardigan was necessary in the early morning. However jandals are required wear on the beach!

 Some interesting finds on the beach: the animal bone (the sign on the bridge says to watch out for wild cattle in the sand dunes ...), the portuguese men of war (bluebottles with very painful stinging on contact - hence the need for jandals), the huge range of different stones/rocks which I guess indicate the volcanic nature of the area


The strata are so easily seen - the three on view here are not much taller than David, and then it's sand dunes for a long way back. I noticed that further up the coast these strata were much taller and higher up the cliffs. (Am I obsessed with this stuff? Possibly ...)

The riverbank a couple of hundred metres away from the rivermouth. Most people swim there as the sea is rough, has undertows and the summer crop of bluebottles to make it unpleasant and not very safe ...

The next day (yesterday) we decided it was time for two things:
  1. exploration
  2. staying at either a POP (Park Over Property) or a CAP (Charge Applies Property). Both are private homes with space for motorhomes/caravans and a range of facilities, the former generally doesn't charge.
So our explorations took us:
  • to Ohawe Beach to see the soldiers' memorial (British troops only, nothing for the Maori who also died defending their land) 
The memorial at Ohawe Beach. We thought that any memorial for the Maori who fell in these Land Wars was likely to be at the marae, so we will ask our friend Autry who grew up at Ohawe Beach.

  • into Hawera for brunch (OK quality food, with yummy gelato for afters) 
  • down to the coast at Patea
  • inland at Waverley looking for a former battle site (not found), 
  • a stop at Waverley at two shops:
    • the Glass and Art Gallery - some absolutely beautiful stuff there - do stop if heading through there as it is wonderful. And also stop at:
    • the Book Bank - this is owned by Patrick who is formerly of Masterton and who came to collect David's dad's books when David's mum died. I had a look around and saw a book that looked familiar. I pulled it off the shelf, opened it to the flyleaf and there it was:
      • John McDonald, 68 Cole St, Masterton - such a lovely feeling to know his legacy continues.
  • then a drive from Waverley down to the beach to freedom campsites that Patrick had told us about. Well, we will be staying at one of them for certain sure! Just superb, looking out over the cliffs to the sea.
 We called in to Mary and Alan's to see their new (and very beautiful) new home in Wanganui and then had McDonald's for an early dinner (never again - it truly is crap).

And then on to Whangaehu where we stayed overnight at a CAP belonging to Phil and Diane. A lovely peaceful place and very nice people. A cup of tea by the outside fire, followed by wine by the outside fire, followed not much later by bedtime ...
David and Phil, with the motorhome in this lovely rural place.

Phil restored this Morris 8 and they take it out to all sorts of rallies - driving it there, not getting it transported. Apparently if it doesn't go, it doesn't travel!

Isn't it beautiful?

We had breakfast in Bulls at The Mothered Goose - we would not go back there as it was the poorest breakfast we had all trip. Their homemade bread was tasteless and stale.

The drive down to Otaki Beach to visit Derek and Ted on the way home, was littered with stops:
  • a couple of them to remedy rattles, and 
  • one toilet stop - it is SO decadent to be able to pull off the road, stop the engine**, and go and use the loo on board! ** The engine has to be turned off so the waterpump will work. A safety device, we think, so no one will use the facilities/kitchen while the motorhome is underway.
After Derek and Ted had oohed and aahed in a suitably appreciative fashion, we had a cup of tea with them and headed home - only one stop then at the supermarket for bread, milk and fizzy wine. While David shopped, I hovered and phoned Bruce and Gary to come up for a celebratory champenoise.

Once in Rata St, I parked without any hassle on the impeccably constructed pad (thanks, Luke), and immediately filled a bucket to clean off the Taranaki cow poo we'd driven through there.

Only one bottle of bubbles was consumed, which was quite abstemious of us all, but as we only had one available it was pretty inevitable really.

OK, I think that brings us up to date to Monday a week ago. Quite a lot has occurred since then, but those events have to be the subject of another post - to be done later! I have Christmas stuff I am on a mission to complete!

Friday, 17 November 2017

The motorhome has arrived in NZ!!

Yesterday the motorhome swam its way into Auckland - well, the ship it was in berthed there and hopefully, the motorhome was unloaded - we damn well hope so, as the ship left again late last night ... Our fingers are crossed that all is well with it, that nothing has been removed and pilfered, that no damage has been sustained en route. 😓😨
This is the screenshot from the Marine Traffic Update service about an hour or so before the ship (Heogh Seoul) berthed in Auckland.  We have been using this service to track the ship since it left Southampton. Updates are not always provided - if the ship is outside the range of the landbased tracking system (i.e. between South Africa and Perth, and between Brisbane and NZ) we just had to wait until it reappeared - nerve-wracking stuff!

All being well, we are flying up on Wednesday to do all the necessary things to get it inspected, certificated, signed off, validated, COFed, registered and whatever else is required on the Thursday. Then we will commence to wend our way slowly home.

When I woke at about 6am today it was to the sudden realisation that the pile of mulch outside the lounge could be in the way if I cannot reverse the motorhome down the driveway and on to its parking pad - the back up plan is that I drive down forwards past the pad and then reverse into it. AAARRRGGGHHH!!! I am reasonably confident that I will be able to do the reverse down the driveway thing, but just in case I cannot, I need that pile of mulch gone.

So today, when our friends, Mary and Alan who stayed with us overnight last night, discovered that the concert they were going to in Paraparaumu didn't start until 4pm, I decided that it was fine to co-opt Mary into coming out and helping me do the newspaper and mulch thing.

What a team! What speed and efficiency! It did make a big difference that David loaded the wheelbarrow when I delivered it back empty, but essentially, Mary and I got a lot done very quickly. So now
  • the garden outside our bedroom is completely covered, 
  • the back garden where Rob and I had to install the edging has been rectified with additional mulch to cover up the newspaper that had re-surfaced during the edging insertion
  • the strip of garden by the driveway has been replenished and 
  • mulch has been strewn under the verbalium hedge on the other side of the driveway.
The mulch pile has diminished greatly, and I reckon that I could get the motorhome in position to be able to reverse back on to the pad if necessary. So, the panic is over!

Thursday, 16 November 2017

A clean goat

I looked closely at Mel the other day and realised he was well overdue for his annual bath - by well over 18 months in fact! His nose was grubby and his belly looked decidedly beige instead of cream.

He's spent time on the boat, up in Scotland with the grandsons and then he's had 18 months or so on the boat by himself before we arrived in May this year. He came home with us in October, happily vacuum packed for the journey and we are pleased he didn't require an internal examination in case he was a drug goat as opposed to a mule ...

So yesterday was bath day.


Yay!! A bubble bath!

I'm in - see, Uncle Murray, I love it!!

Time for total immersion therapy!

My sister Dee and her husband Murray think it is very inhumane and unkind of us to put him in the washing machine to spin, but honestly, he loves it. And imagine how long he'd take to dry if we didn't. Or there would have to be some extremely inhumane wringing out done ...

And as a sop to them, I didn't hang him out as I usually do, i.e. pegged by his toes and fingers (cloven hooves, really). Instead he dried like a wuss - inside a towel hammock. So he would feel quite manly, I did peg his front hooves to the side of the towel - actually, it was to stop him falling out if there was a gust of wind ...

He is now clean and fresh as a daisy!

The best use for newspapers

Work in the garden continues - fortunately I have the lovely Kay who is a champion weed remover and who appears to be able to bend and crouch happily for a couple of hours at a time.

She has made great strides in clearing much of the rampant spring growth - she is certainly much faster and more decisive than me, that is for sure.

Her coaching was that if I wanted not to be paying her to come a re-do the job constantly (the growing season in Waikanae ceases for a 5 minute period on 32nd July ...), I needed to mulch bigly. She added to that coaching that newspaper below the mulch suppresses weed growth. So a call went out for newspapers - David and I don't buy them anymore as we can adequately depress ourselves by using our internet access to read how the world is going to hell in a handbasket - why get the hardcopy version of the same good mood suppressants?

So Bruce and Gary, as purchasers of a daily newspaper, have been co-opted into saving theirs for us; and Kay has re-activated her newspaper collection from friends to be re-purposed at Cafe Rata. She also brought a large stack of A4 papers she was about to put in the recycling.

I already have a large stack of mulch out in the driveway - such a stack that I have needed to reverse the car from the road into the garage as I currently don't have the space to turn in front of the garage.

So work has commenced. First I place some paper, and if it is a bit breezy, I wet the paper with the hose to lessen the chances of it blowing away. I then plonk buckets of mulch on it from the wheelbarrow which I have pre-loaded. Pause, stretch the back and repeat x lots.

It all looks rather lovely.
The beginnings of the newspaper and mulching.
And more mulching ... See the lovely clear mowing strip?
Well, it did, until the pesky blackbirds and thrushes came along scratching and flicking in their greed to find bugs, beetles, worms. I am amazed at how strong their flicks are - a bit like kicks and flicks in the jive: I am sure that contestants on Strictly Come Dancing could learn a thing or two!

I started writing this a week or so ago and then got distracted.  But I am back now.

The sight of mulch spread randomly over the brick mowing strip and the lawn was driving me nuts so I went off to buy some garden edging for Rob and me to install. It is about 150mm high (6" to people in the UK and US - isn't it ironic that the US is so wedded to imperial measurement ...👍😜)

It was a two person job - I made a cut with the spade, Rob cleared out that channel and inserted the edging and I collected buckets of potting mix to ram down and keep it firmly ensconced. There was a slight difficulty as the bricks have concrete behind them, so the edging is not right next to them. That required the purchase and planting of small seedlings to soften the line and cover the dirt that is in front. OK, so now the thrushes and blackbirds can continue to rootle around in the mulch and I won't have to go out and clean up after them all the time.
There are pansies, alyssum and a couple of other types of small plants (names unknown to me) in there now. The rooster is one of several china birds protecting the base of the lemon tree from marauding thrushes and blackbirds ... I have several white teapots that I may paint eyes on to exacerbate the scare tactics ...

It was such a successful technique that I have replicated it along the driveway garden - that one I was able to do myself as the concrete was straight-edged - it had been boxed on construction. That one too is looking great, so the last one to be done is the strip of garden along the back of the house - the birds just love it there as they can rootle around in the shade and find shade-loving bugs. And of course such bugs aren't on the surface and need to be excavated for ...😟😡

Needs a sweep, but you get the idea. More daisies and osteospermums are required so I am transplanting a couple of the latter from another part of the garden where they aren't so spectacular, and I have about 7 daisy cuttings on the windowsill in the kitchen working hard to develop roots! In the garden in front of the fence are the cosmos which are the result of two seasons' seeding from wildflowers sown back in 2015 - a few cornflowers also come through, but the cosmos are the most hardily evolved as repeaters!
The newspaper and mulching are on a temporary halt at the moment - my back is getting sore from all the bending. And I've been doing planting as well, so something had to give. But the good news is that the heap has reduced to the extent that I can now reverse the car out of the garage and turn to head out and away for shopping/breakfast/shopping/visiting ...

David is being called in to assist with news-mulching - he doesn't like gardening but is happy to help with tasks that don't require him to differentiate between weeds and plants, as well as those that don't require him to watch where he puts his feet! He's been clearing the area below our cabbage trees just off the driveway - Rob had used it as a bit of a dumping ground for garden detritus when the bin and bags were full; and the arum lilies we discarded thought they were being relocated and sprouted like mad things, dammit. David's done a sterling job - digging the area over and sifting the soil to remove any pesky lily roots and corms (right word?) We are going to add 80 litres of potting mix and some horse-poo tea to the sifted soil as it looks fairly lifeless to me, then I will sprinkle seeds over it and hopefully, in a few weeks it'll be hey presto - wildflowers!!

David's pile of sifted dirt with potting mix at the ready. The horse-poo tea is in a bucket in the shed - keeping away from the flies. Under that slab of concrete there is probably a water bore - we could get it operational again, but it would require plenty of money and digging and the latter would put the cabbage trees at risk. We'll just have to keep using town supply for watering the garden.

Caitlin's rose - looks and smells beautiful. It always flowers at this time of the year - tomorrow is the ninth anniversary of her death, and I will have some of the roses inside.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

A weekend away with the boys

On Thursday last week, David flew off to Brisbane to see his sister's new home (I was originally going to go, but work came along and we cancelled my ticket, then work got deferred/postponed/cancelled - not sure which - and it was too expensive to re-purchase my ticket). So I decided on a weekend with the boys.

I joined Bruce and Gary at Pete and Warren's place in Carterton. It was the Wairarapa Agricultural and Pastoral Show and we were going on the Saturday.
Two Toyotas - my small old grey/silver one, and B&G's beast. And the view from my bedroom over to a neighbours' place
Pete and Warren have two of these large plastic magpies - great for changing birds' minds about flying through their verandah - and pooping on the way through ... I think I need a few strategically placed around our garden to discourage them from scratching so actively for lunch in the bark/mulch and spreading it all over the place. GGGRRR!!!

Warren loves having the livestock grazing on their two paddocks. He feeds them the grass clippings and they trot up and down the fence line by the driveway when he is mowing that section - just waiting (and reminding him) for the clippings to be dumped over the fence. Talk about the grass being greener ...

But Friday night came first and there was a modestly sized gathering at P&W's place - much chat and laughter, and for me, a couple of new faces. Still and all, I went off to bed early and slept as soon as my head hit the pillow, I think. I hadn't slept well the night before, as it was the first night David was away and my imagination runs riot about the noises the house makes ... 😫😨😱

So even though there was loud chat, lots of laughter, a bottle of chardonnay** swept off the bench to the floor with a resounding crash, I slept on. And even though the front door was right next to my bedroom, I didn't hear anyone leaving. 😴

We had consulted the A&P Show programme and there seemed to be a general consensus that the shearing and the wood chopping had to be seen for some reason. I lost the guys almost as soon as we arrived as I had to get cash from the EFTPOS service, so I wandered lonely as a cloud while they wandered elsewhere. I managed to buy an Xmas present for a friend, a loaf of ciabatta (merely as comparison, you understand, as I had taken a home-made loaf over to P&W's and I wanted to see what the differences were) and a wet weather fedora-type hat for me - I am starting a collection of that hat style as it is the only one that suits me, and as Kirsty says, if you like it, get one in every colour ...
This wee dress was in the sewing competition, and it reminded me of the dresses that David's mum Mary used to have made for Kirsty when she was little.

I couldn't find the guys and I couldn't get in contact with them either, so decided to walk back to the house - it was sunny and warm with a slight breeze, so not too hot. I did wonder if my silver shoes would be up to it, but they seemed fine.

However, shortly after I got to the main road (the state highway no 2, no less) I got a text telling me where they were. A text exchange followed and Gary said he'd pick me up as they were leaving. I was instructed to wait at the Clareville Nursery and Garden Centre. Of course I was obedient; I had been there the day before with Pete and while he spent about $5 on a marrow plant and a pumpkin plant, I'd spent $75 on a rhododendron, a climber and a tree.
The first rhododendron. The second one is a very very pale lemon - so pale it is almost, but not quite, white.

So while I waited for Gary, of course I had to go in - $32 later for another rhodo, Gary turned up. I did tell him it would have been cheaper if he'd told me to meet him at the cafe ...

Lunch was out at a lovely cafe in Carterton. Very friendly service.

And I liked this tip jar - not that I approve of tipping, mind you - esp not in NZ!

Real grated chocolate on these cappucinos! Yummy indeed!

Warren borrowed Gary's Johnny Cash hat - an actual Johnny Cash hat from the US, not just a cheap knock off, I tell you for real.
The food was lovely but I was still full from brekkie - toasted cheese scones and scrambled egg with lots of other yummy stuff in, so I couldn't really do it justice.

Then a nana nap for me and a SCAN for the others, as they are not nanas. SCAN is a senior citizen afternoon nap. It even sounds medicinal, whereas a nana nap just sounds elderly ...

Dinner was out at a very nice Thai/Vietnamese/Malay restaurant called Marigold which is BYO alcohol - Carterton is quite small, so fusion is important and BYO is a key success factor. Even so it has about 5 or 6 eating out places plus takeaways. And Marigold was quite busy - filled with diners and takeaway customers. I was still full so didn't finish my Tom Ka Gai either. ** Gary had swept the chardonnay off the bench the night before, but told me not to worry - he had a Ponder Estate chardonnay in the boot of their car - I do like their style as they travel with their own wine stash! Ponder Estate chardonnay is VERY nice indeed! It was good I was sharing, as I didn't need more stuff in my stomach!

And then breakfast on Sunday was at Everest cafe in Featherston which is south of Carterton, so it's on the way home for Bruce and Gary and for me. So a three car convoy, followed by a very very nice breakfast for all of us. But boy oh boy, I didn't need any more food for the rest of the day, and ate very little on Monday too.
Gary (under the paddle), Warren, Pete and Bruce with his back to the camera
Warren had grilled asparagus in bacon with poached eggs and rosti

Gary had the Everest Big Breakfast - in the ramekin is cauliflower cheese - interesting addition for brekkie, but seems to fit somehow.

Pete's quiche was apparently nice but didn't really have the breakfast look ...
My eggs benedict - very yummy

Bruce had ranch eggs - they weren't called that, but it's what they were. Kidney beans, tomatoes, chorizo and eggs poached in the mix. I have made these before and the eggs take ages to poach in a tomato mix - clearly tomatoes have a lower boiling point than water!

Then home. And as I came on to Gray's Road in Plimmerton, almost out to State Highway 1 and within about 20kms of home, I get a call from Pete - AAARRRGGGHHH!!! I had left my plants behind!!!

Stupido in extremis - I has been so careful to check the bedroom, the lounge, the kitchen for any of my belongings. but I hadn't looked outside where the plants were nestled in the shade under B&G's bedroom window!

So on Monday, I drove over to collect them - good to see P&W after such a long absence 😏

They gave me a cup of tea and some girl guide biscuits to sustain me for the trip home. Which led to a discussion about where Griffin's biscuits are made now, which led to Pete looking it up on line. Which led to the shock and horror finding that Griffin's gingernuts are now made in the Philippines - triple AAARRRGGGHHH!!! That's the end of buying them then! An NZ icon being made in the Philippines? What is the world coming to?