Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Traversing the 'Green Belt'

No, I'm not learning martial arts, I don't think my body would survive that, but you never know.

Last week I was browsing the local weekly freebie 
when I saw an article about a walk through the town belt. 

This is a ring of greenery around and through the city, 
mostly native bush but some parks
and occasionally across a busy city road.
 I decided I'd go out and walk it. 
I tried to coerce some of my family 
into coming with me but no, they weren't interested.
So on Sunday I collected my map (and bar of chocolate)
from the starting point and headed out.

We had to check in at five points and each one was at a place of interest, 
e.g. the Beverley Begg Observatory where they had a telescope
 set up for us to observe the sun,
or at  a memorial of some sort.
This was a memorial to Admiral Richard Byrd 
who sailed from Dunedin to the Antarctic on Dec. 2nd 1928.

There were some great views down the harbour and a lot of people
took advantage and snapped pics, me included.
With so many people about it was hard 
to get one without a body in it, but I managed.

Some of the tracks were paved and others were just mud trails, 
some with gravel on the steepest parts.
It was definitely up hill and down dale
and had been advertised as buggy friendly 
but I'm glad I wasn't trying to get a buggy up, 
or down, some of the places.
I felt sorry for the young mothers pushing their buggys, 
the ones who had the daddy with them were lucky. 
Most times people helped them at the worst parts.

We were up above the CBD 
and the schools were mostly below us as well. 
This is a zoomed snap of Otago Boys High School 
with the sports ground in the foreground.
I love this type of architecture and we have quite a bit of it in the city,
part of our Scottish heritage.

Eventually we arrived at the Bullock Track, 
the final part of our 8 kilometre walk.
At the bottom was the park and the very 
welcome sausage sizzle and cup of tea or coffee.

When everyone had checked in there was a tree planting ceremony
and we were able to take seedlings home to plant. 
I grabbed some for my eldest granddaughter
 who has studied horticulture, 
I thought she might like to try growing them. 
Not me, I tend to kill off things instead of growing them.

I was quite pleased with my effort, 
I walked it in 2 hours. 
Buuuut do. I. know. it. 
My hips complained all day long yesterday
but are slowly coming right 
and my calves decided to  object all day as well.
Luckily we didn't have much to do so it could have been worse.
Was it worth it? 
Yes...but I think probably more enjoyable with company.

And talking of cups of tea, I wanted to show you this tea cup.

Easter is upon us and down under 
it happens in the autumn, not the spring.
So this is my autumn tea trio to celebrate the coming season.
It's a Colclough, bone china.
I think it is quite pretty even though 
the colours are not usually my favourite.
(Bun made by my GKB)>

Joining with:

Have a blessed Easter,

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

A stroll on the beach #2

Yesterday was a beautiful autumn day
 so we decided to head into town and go to the beach.
Well the beach is not in town - just next door.

So we parked here...

mini golf
and walked up there...

until we arrived here.

St Kilda surf life saving club rooms
A short walk along the foot path and we were at the track...

down to the beach.

Which way to go? Right...

or left?

It didn't matter really,

it was just nice to walk on the beach, we haven't done that for a while.

No not a snake, seaweed, haha.
(New Zealand is snake free).
Then it was time to reverse our footsteps...

back past the footy (rugby) fields..

and the childrens' playground and head for home again.

I haven't taken you out for a walk for a while so I hope you enjoyed this one.

joining with:

Have a good week,

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Kittens, sunflowers and other stuff...

This week I've got some bits and pieces
 to share with you and not a lot of any substance. 

First of all let me show you four of the five kittens 
the next door wee stray cat has produced, only about 
a fortnight after the first litter of the season 
went to the SPCA - the little bisom.

But they are cute!

And on the other side of the house - 
 remember the hedge that was coming down a few weeks ago?
Well here it is now, or I should say, here it isn't now.
Ready to have a fence put up along the drive.
We're looking forward to that.

 Now all this chopping down of the green stuff
 must be catching because this is what has
 happened at our place in the last week.

This part of the yard was getting all overgrown 
and the bushes were taking up more room than we were.

Now it looks like this, we took out a
bush that had died in the middle, 
and had all the others cut right back.
A lot more room.
 There's still some work to do, 
like getting the rubbish to the dump, 
and fixing up the furniture again before next summer, but all's good.
Actually my youngest and her  husband 
paid for it to be done for my birthday.
Nice one.

Sunny the sunflower
I sprouted Sunny before Christmas and gave it
 to my girlfriend as a 'pay it forward' gift.
She is producing beautiful blooms 
and when I took this I think she had 11 blooms
 and about 20 more to come out.
She is just glorious and a real talking point 
in the community my friend lives in.
'She' being Sunny, not my friend!
And guess what, I never got my own seeds in! 
Ah well, there's always next year.

And just because I can I will show you another one of my teacups.
I tried to find a green one for St Patrick's Day
 but this was the nearest I had.
It looks Celtic but isn't.
It has Phoenix China, ?F&S Ltd on the bottom and is made in England.
It's not quite a full size cup but it's not a demitasse either...

May the saint protect ye-
An' sorrow neglect ye,
An' bad luck to the one
That doesn't respect ye
t' all that belong to ye,
An long life t' yer honor-
That's the end of my song t' ye!
(an Irish blessing)

joining in with:

I'd like to wish you all
a Happy St Patrick's Day,

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

A weekend to remember

This weekend I took part in the "Relay for Life".
For those who don't know it is a fundraiser for the Cancer Society. 

I've been wanting to take part in it for several years
 and when a visiting minister announced that his wife 
was putting together a team I decided now was my opportunity.
The idea is that the team walks for 24 hours in relays.
We did it in half hour slots, quite manageable.

Some slept, some walked overnight.
This was a school group next to us
who reckoned that they would be up well after
 all of us old ones were counting the zzzz's. Ha!

Anyway our team decided we would have a theme
 and it would be Noah's ark.
We would all come in animal onesies.
I don't do onesies!

Famous last words. 
I did onesies!
My granddaughter loaned me one of hers, bright red,
and I sewed black dots on the back and turned into a lady bird.
We had a good turnout of critters. 
A dog, a couple of dragons, a tiger and a giraffe and some more lady birds.
An owl. A rabbit. And one or two others I can't think of at the moment.

The event was quite emotional at times,
 particularly I thought at the beginning 
when the 'cancer survivors' did the first lap, led out by the bagpipes. 
We're in Dunedin after all, the Edinburgh of the south, 
we always have bagpipes.

There was entertainment as well, 

a Chinese Lion Dance done by 6 and 7 year olds,
it was quite something to watch.

Zumba to take part in,

at 7:30 in the morning - I watched.

Non stop music throughout.

And friends to catch up with...

...in the early hours of the morning.
We had a corner spot and the wind was blowing through
but we hadn't seen each other since I finished work
so we had a good old catchup.
Then we went to find hot tea and coffee to warm up again.

My youngest daughter and my grand daughter came to pick me up at 10:30am.
I was ready for the off by then and left the morning shift to carry on.
But did I get to go home ? Oh no.
Grand daughter had to be dropped at her boyfriends house,
then it was back across the city to pick up eldest daughter
so she could come out to our place to pick up the truffles
 she had bought as part of our fund raiser.
I didn't mind really, but I was ready for a proper cup of tea and my bed.
We had the cuppa and just as I was about to head to bed
youngest daughter says
" Mum, I don't know how much sleep you're going to get,
Dom's just arrived to do the hedge".

I went to bed anyway.
Dom did the hedge.
Then the neighbours did their hedge.
Eventually I got out of bed again and was surprised
 to see I'd actually managed 4 hours.
At least I'd rested and probably dozed though it didn't feel like it.

As a team we managed to raise $3400,
not too bad an effort really.

joining in with:

If you are still reading after that marathon, 
good on you.
Take care 'til next time,

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Knick knacks and treasures

It was quite a cool morning a few days ago 
so I decided it was time to sort out the china cabinet.
I'd been wanting to do it for quite a while 
but kept putting it off because during
 the Christchurch earthquake four years ago 
everything inside moved forward. 
By several inches.

I was a bit reluctant to open the door
 in case everything fell out onto the floor.
As you can see several things are balanced on the brink,
but it all stayed put as I finally bit the bullet and opened the door.

Centre front on the top shelf was this tiny ceramic table and chairs, 
they belonged to my grandmother, along with the salt and pepper kittens.
The kittens are about 3 inches high or 8cms.
Granma loved her wee knick knacks.
My eldest daughter has one or two of them as well.

Colclough bone china, made in England
As a slight digression, I love this teacup and saucer set 
and I see I could buy another 5 trios on TradeMe 
and make up a full teaset, but alas, I do not have the funds.
And anyway I am trying to find replacements pieces 
for a set my mother has given me,
and one project at a time is probably best.
But you know it was tempting, right?

Back to the job at hand...

Of course starting this job meant not only washing and polishing everything inside,
but cleaning all the glass on the cabinet as well.
 What a long job! Such tiny lead light panels, 
but wow, what a difference when I had finished.
I'm amazed at how dirty the glass was inside the cabinet.
This cabinet belonged to my GKB's mother and is a good old age.

Some things got thrown out,
 like ribbons that started to disintegrate when I touched them. 
I'm not sure really why I kept them
 but there was probably a perfectly logical reason at the time. 

I didn't throw out the flowers from
 the top of our wedding cake though, 
even though they are very fragile now.
I think I'll hold on to them for a while yet.

Some things were packed away, like big soup cups 
and so we were able to bring out some newer pieces
 we have been given by family in recent years 
and didn't think we had space to display them.

So that is a job well done, even if I say so myself,
and even if it did take me years to get around to it.
I'm so glad it's finished.

Have a good week, 
see you next time,