Friday, 23 June 2017

A different catch.

The fish weren't biting so my GKB took photo's instead.
Here's a sample.

Did you spot the fishing rod?

Monday, 19 June 2017

Pike River Mine

Several of you asked about the relevance of the manikins at the entrance to the Pike River Mine in my last post. Below is an excerpt from Wikipedia explaining about the explosions that occurred at the mine in Nov. 2010. I've written a bit of an update further down.

The Pike River Mine disaster was a coal mining accident that began on 19 November 2010 in the Pike River Mine, 46 kilometres (29 mi) northeast of Greymouth, in the West Coast region of New Zealand's South Island. A methane explosion occurred in the mine at approximately 3:44 pm (NZDT, UTC+13). At the time of the explosion 31 miners and contractors were present in the mine. Two miners managed to walk from the mine; they were treated for moderate injuries and released from Greymouth Hospital the next day. The remaining 16 miners and 13 contractors,[2] often referred to as the twenty-nine,[3] were believed to be at least 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) from the mine's entrance.[4]
Following a second explosion on 24 November at 2:37 pm, the 29 remaining men were believed by police to be dead.[5] Police Superintendent Gary Knowles, officer in command of the rescue operation (Operation Pike) said he believed that "based on that explosion, no one survived."[6] A third explosion occurred at 3:39 pm on 26 November 2010,[7] and a fourth explosion occurred just before 2 pm on 28 November 2010.[8] According to the new mine owner, Solid Energy, the bodies of the 29 miners who died there may never be recovered.

It was a very tragic time for the people of the coast which is a relatively small community with most people probably knowing someone concerned in the disaster. The families of the miners have been campaigning ever since to have the remains of their men brought out so they could be given decent burials but the government hasn't allowed that to happen. They said the mine had to be sealed up without anyone being able to go in to see if it was even possible to do. The families put up the 29 manikins to remind the drivers of vehicles, private and commercial but especially those employed to do the sealing, that there are still the remains of 29 men waiting be brought out. Although I haven't seen them myself I believe it is quite an eerie sight (my brother's words, his photo) and quite an emotional place to be.

Just after we had been there at Easter there was a stay put on the sealing which gave the families time to breathe and regroup so
 to speak. Tonight on the news we learnt that new footage
 from inside the mine has been released and it looks like the
 area where the men were thought to have been may not have
 been affected by fire as was first thought. So now we wait and
 see what happens. Personally I think they should go in and have
 a look and maybe bring about some sort of closure for everyone, not only the families but everyone around the country. 
According to a recent poll 39% of the people agree with me.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Photos for Five on Friday

Five totally unrelated photo's just so I can join in
 Five on Friday over at FAST
and Friday Foto Friends at Breathing in Grace.

The firebox in the engine of a steam train.

A bumper crop of feijoas.

Protest manikins outside the entrance to
 the Pike River Mine, West Coast, New Zealand.

A starling's egg in the grass.

Posh fish n chips for tea.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017


On the Sunday of our reunion we decided to head up to Punakaiki and the blowholes after we had finished our lunch. All the planned stuff was finished and now it was time to relax and do some sightseeing. It was a lovely day, maybe a bit chilly but for Easter on the Coast it was magnificent - the weather really put on a good performance for us. Some of the family went out to the Pike River Mine to have a look at the memorial to the miners who lost their lives in the 2010 explosion and others joined us for an excursion up the coast road. We drove along beside the Tasman Sea.
I have put a lot of pictures up so I hope you don't get too bored, I'm going to mostly let them speak for themselves with maybe the occasional interruption from me :)

looking south and... 

...north on the Coast Road.

At Punakaiki.

The Pancake rocks.


All of the blowholes were really blowing well, 
these two pics are of the Chimney Pot 
(that's it at the bottom of the picture just off centre)...

...and although it might not look it we could
 have done with umbrellas here :)
That is nikau palm forest just behind and on
 the hill at the back is ancient beech forest.

Some family and people shots.

DIL trying to replicate the Maori weaving below.

Nikau Palms.

Refreshments before we headed to our daughters holiday
 accommodation for a pizza tea by the beach with just 
our branch of the family...

...where we were treated to a beautiful sunset over the Tasman Sea.

When I was growing up Punakaiki was not "discovered" and my uncle and aunty had a bach (crib, holiday house) on the river here. We spent wonderful summer weekends here with our cousins, in and on the river, at the beach and running around the pancake rocks. It is quite interesting to see how it has been developed and made safe for tourists where we just used to run free but that is progress and it is a great natural asset for the area.

I hope you enjoyed looking at where 
a little piece of my heart still resides.

joining Debbie today for: 
Friday Foto Friends 


Thursday, 18 May 2017

A few New Zealand birds

I thought I would share some photos taken over the years of some of our native birds. I have written the Maori name for them first followed by the English version. Usually they are known by the Maori name. If you would like to know a little about the birds just click on the name and it should take you to a link. Some of these birds have the most beautiful and colourful plumage which is not possible to see unless you get really close up or see them in flight. Some are flightless and others are beautiful songbirds. Some are pesky thieves and will strip the rubber from around the windscreen of your car before you know it. And then come back for the wipers!
 Happy bird watching :)

Weka or Wood hen

Pukeko or Swamp hen

Tui or Parson bird

If you were hoping to see a Kiwi I'm sorry. I have only ever seen one in my life and that was in captivity. I've never seen one in the wild, I don't think many people have, sightings are rare.

 Joining the gang at FAST

Friday, 12 May 2017

Reunion - part two

Saturday night found us all gathered at the Recreation Hotel for a celebration dinner. We had been able to go in earlier in the day and put Easter eggs at each place setting and although it doesn't seem so in the picture, it looked quite pretty. One sis had wrapped several eggs in cellophane bags and tied them with pretty curling ribbon, enough for a bag each for each person there. With wine and soft drinks on the table it added to the effect.

We started with an entree served at the tables followed by a buffet main course. This meant that those with special dietary requirements could have what they needed. Once again when 
it came to desserts we were served at the table. The food was delicious but it was a shame that the noise from the open kitchen made it difficult for people to hear our eldest cousin when he gave a tribute to our grandparents and then made the toasts. Luckily he had written it out and we were able to get a copy posted on our facebook page.

Immediately after dinner was over we cut the reunion cake. We would have left it a bit later as some people were still eating dessert but our Aunty was ready for home and we really wanted her to do the honours. The cake was made by my eldest grandson, very decadent, layered mud cake filled with chocolate ganache and iced with chocolate. Once again the theme was flags and daffodils, all made with chocolate - well the ones on the cake were anyway :)

Just after it was cut there was an accident with a wine glass and one end of the cake was covered with wine and broken glass. Luckily it was a big cake and we were able to salvage most of it but the waitress who caused it was very upset as she was new at the job.

A good time was had by all and not a cross word was heard. The little kids were all marvellous, and cousins of all ages caught up with each other. The four in the picture above all live in the same city but had to travel to the Coast to visit with each other :)

On Sunday lunch time we had a farewell at one of the local cafes, "The Gap". Sharon, the owner, was so obliging. When I rang her to confirm our booking it was the first she had heard about us wanting to use her cafe to say our farewells. She had bought the business since we booked and I rang her less than a week out from the event. But she reserved space and set up seating for 30 which worked really well as we arrived in groups of 10 to 20 and there was plenty of room for everyone at any one time :) The staff were very friendly and obliging as we were there on a very busy holiday weekend.

On Sunday afternoon those of us who weren't travelling did some exploring, my GKB and I went to Punakaiki to the blow holes but I'll write about that another time as it really warrants it's own post.

One thing we of the older generation find interesting is that our families enjoyed themselves so much that they all want to go back for holidays and do some more exploring. A real positive spin off as most of them have shown no interest up until now :)

Joining in Five on Friday
over at FAST