Monday, 28 April 2014

Three little kittens

Our stray mother cat (from last year) has been back and has brought a trio of pretty kittens with her. While our Claude was out and about she went into the neighbours' wood shed and took over his nest. 

Our old fellow, Claude

We know this because the neighbour told us that Claude had walked into their lounge, found a sheepskin covered arm chair and made himself at home for an hour. This became a habit (it's just as well we have accommodating neighbours) so they decided to investigate and found the mama cat with her babies. 

kitty #1

kitty #2 aka Fluffybum
After a couple of weeks she brought them out to play in the sun and eventually they were wandering over to our place and helping themselves to Claude's food and water. He didn't mind for a start but when they got bigger he wasn't quite so tolerant and began to box their ears.

third wee kitten, I'm camouflaged - you can't see me
Two of them were quite bold but the third was a timid wee thing and it took a long time for her to come with them. She had a sore eye and I don't think she could see as well as the other two.

Eventually I had the job of catching them and taking them to the SPCA. One got away in the house and I finally caught up with her her in the bathroom. She was a cutie.

I'm hiding and you can't see me
The fluffy kitten was taken on by a neighbour so that left only the third wee girl to catch. Not an easy task. But I did it and took them on a journey so they could be vaccinated, desexed and re-homed

Fluffybum and kitty #1 waiting for Claude to finish eating

I now have the mama cat giving me the evil eye from over the fence!

Till next time,

Thursday, 24 April 2014

ANZAC Day, April 25th

In honour of all those men and women 
who have fought and died in foreign places 
to secure our freedom and our way of life.

The Ode of Remembrance
 taken from Laurence Binyon's poem, "For the Fallen"

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

 We will remember them.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Easter greetings

Christ is risen

He is risen indeed!

Happy Easter one and all

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

A brush with royalty

As some of you may know the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have just been visiting our fair country. And they brought Prince George with them. I have said elsewhere that I am a royalist so it was exciting to discover that they were going to visit our city. And then to hear they were attending the cathedral service on Palm Sunday was the icing on the cake. 

Tickets were made available to the cathedral parishioners and then to the rest of the diocese. After that the general public could apply. So I was in like Flynn. I think I was probably among the first. And tickets duly arrived for me and my little mother. Great excitement.

And then of course it was 'what to wear, what to wear'. Anyway youngest daughter took me shopping and we found a lovely jacket to wear with my good trousers but unfortunately on the day I felt the cold. Plan B came into effect and I wore the coat my sister had sent me from Australia and I'd only worn once before. Little mother wore her nice light jacket and looked lovely and insisted she wasn't feeling the cold. They made them hardy in those days.

We set off and arrived in plenty of time, went through the police check at the gate, we common people didn't get to go up the steps at the front, we went in through a side door and past several policemen. One young copper got quite embarrassed apparently when he had to tell the bishop he couldn't park his car in his usual place. 

We didn't worry about hats but some of the ladies were dressed up to the nines and looked lovely

No  cameras allowed inside so no photo's. I did say to my GKB to bring the camera and take a photo of us outside the cathedral - but he forgot. Never mind, such is life. He wasn't that interested really and was just acting as taxi driver on the day. So I made sure he took one when we arrived home and before we went inside.

leaving the cathedral with the Dean

We had a terrific morning, the duke and duchess were lovely and relaxed, and I have to admit that I fell in love with the royal family all over again. It was the closest I will ever come to royalty, just 2 inches between me and the duke with no barriers between us at one point, exciting!

And something that was really special was knowing that the family were excited for us. My sisters got in touch from Australia, my son and his wife from Japan, my grandson rang from out of town and our daughters both called to see how we had enjoyed our morning. Magic.

They leave the country for Australia tomorrow and I hope they enjoy their time over there as much as we have enjoyed having them here.

I had to share my excitement with you.
Have a great week,

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Still 'heading to the caravan'

Last time I wrote about the trail to the caravan 
I think I left you at Ettrick in apple and pear country, 
where we had just had scones and coffee for morning tea.

Drive up the road for just quarter of an hour  and we come
 to the hydro town of Roxburgh in the Teviot Valley.
 This was once a thriving gold field town 
but now has only a small population of approx 750.
If we are leaving home a bit later we usually drive on to Roxburgh for a bite of lunch at one of the local tearooms. 
Like Lawrence it has become a service town and 
a stop for tourists, so has quite a few cafes 
and one or two boutique style shops.

Next door to the tearooms is a little shop I like to go into and browse (ahem). They have some beautiful stuff and I have been known to part with my money and come out with something 
that I like but don't necessarily need. 
Like Christmas decorations in May. Oh well.

The dam was built in the 1950's and is reputably 
a great place for trout and salmon fishing, 
although my GKB has never stopped to find out. 

Back in the car and now we don't stop until 
we get to Alexandra where we sometimes
 stop off to buy a few groceries. This was another major 
gold mining area and has a great museum of the era.
My grandparents were up here in the early 1900's as young marrieds and I remember my grandmother talking 
about the bitterly cold winters and the ground 
being frozen solid to a depth of 3 feet for months on end.

The land in the Teviot and Alexandra areas
 is so dry and barren and I always feel sorry
 for the pioneer women who first came through here.

The clock on the hill was a great marvel when it was first put up, and you can drive up to it and have a great view over the town.
The Clutha river passes through the town, flows on  down to Roxburgh, and has the most volume of water
 in any river in the country. I love the beautiful colour it is. Someone once described it as being turquoise and 
on a good day it is. You can't tell from my photo though.

We're nearly at our destination now but first a detour into Clyde.
This is where my GKB and I sometimes come to buy an ice cream and sit and just be. It is a sleepy little place apart from when it has it's wine and food festival. This is orchard country, stone fruit, with the odd vineyard thrown in for good measure.

A lot of the orginal buildings are still in use, 
like the hotel in the picture above. 
The city fathers have done a good job of 
preserving the historical feel of the old town while there
are also a lot of new homes being built on the outskirts.

Oh, did I mention this is where My GKB and I were married?
In a little stone church just around the corner
 from this street above.
I have a photo of the church, taken just recently,
 but do you think I can find it? No.

Now up the hill, past the Clyde dam and into the gorge. 
Twenty minutes driving beside Lake Dunstan 
and we arrive at our destination. Cromwell.

Set the caravan up, make a coffee and relax.
Orchards, vineyards and the lake on the doorstep 
and only an hour or two driving gets you to
 most of the southern tourist spots if you want to go.
What more do you need?

Well, I hope you've enjoyed your little trip through the gold towns. 
We always do.

Have a good week,