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Posts Tagged ‘beach’

I was yearning for my brother’s place and decided to fly over in January (rather than in December when the fares are horrendous). H picked me up from the airport. For a change there was no problem. (When I say she picked me up from the airport, she actually parked down the road, avoiding overpriced parking fees.) Unfortunately, it was just before the “5 o’clock rush” (actually an hour before). I thought we’d be ok, but it took forever just to get to the centre of town. Wellington’s traffic infrastructure is ridiculous. In short, it took two hours to get to Upper Hutt. Was great to see bro, and I spent several days there.

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On the way to secluded beach

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I accidentally hit a camera setting I don’t normally use. Amazing the different effects for the same place – one looks tropical and the other looks quite ominous.

I stayed briefly in PN. I didn’t have a car so couldn’t visit people and had no real desire to visit Massey or advertise my presence. I only met a close friend for dinner one night.

For the rest of the time we travelled to Napier and surrounds and returned to my bro’s on the way back to Wellington.

I got a bit of bird-spotting in.

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Yellowhammer

Bertha, the goose, was still overseeing her flock.

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I spent some time with my grand-kitty.

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She was adorable and affectionate as a kitten but has grown into a rather aloof cat (not a lap cat at all).

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Cider tasting in Napier

A pleasant trip overall.

Back to work it was. Last I wrote, I think I mentioned going full-time at one job and ditching the other. Sadly, the place I wanted to work full-time can’t guarantee they’d have enough work. However, the good news is that the hourly rate has gone up $6. Since then, a law has passed allowing casual workers to apply to their employers to go permanent. The hourly rate would be less, however. I worked out the difference allowing for time off, paid and unpaid. I’m better off staying with what I have. In the meantime, I’ve decided to cut back on the hours worked at the other place, taking more Saturdays and weekends off, so I can actually do stuff. I just had a three-day weekend and enjoyed it tremendously, getting out on a local bird trip, going to the Escher exhibition and generally relaxing and enjoying myself.

I’ve booked a holiday in the Cook Islands for my winter getaway. It’s a difficult place to get to from Australia. Although there is a direct flight (one day a week) from Sydney, it arrives at something like 2 am. My friend in Auckland wanted us to travel together, so I’ll be travelling to Auckland both ways, which, unfortunately, involves an overnight stay as the flight times are not conducive to safely connecting to my flights to and from Australia. The Cooks being on the other side of the date line doesn’t help. Anyway, something to look forward to however brief the stay.

I’m sad that summer is coming to an end. Even though it’s often in the 30s, I enjoy the sunshine. Already it’s getting dark in the morning. Last week we had a cold snap (20 deg only) and I hated it.

That’s all, folks.

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I have packed my first box!  I listed everything, which took up half a page of foolscap-sized paper and took photos, so it took a while!  I started with little knick-knacks and my parents’ silver cutlery, and piled a few old table-cloths on the top.  It felt satisfying taping it up and setting it aside.  Hopefully the rest won’t take quite so long (except perhaps listing DVDs and CDs).  My back was up to kneeling on the floor and wrapping things, then pushing the box along the floor with a foot.  I still intend taking things easy for a week or so – there’s no way I want more pain to restrict the huge job of packing.

I also took the final move of booking my last ticket out of NZ on 11 December.  Huge sigh.  Now I have a definite date and time to work towards.  It’s all rather overwhelming.

So anyway, instead of driving to Hamilton on Saturday, which would’ve been a literal pain, I chatted with bro and drove down to his place in the afternoon, stopping briefly on the way to walk around.  I was still taking painkillers to ease the slight ache.

My bro had two French girls staying there – “Wwoofers” (their property is listed on the Wwoof website, so they get foreign travellers working their way through NZ, which is a good way to get the weeding done!).  Bro wasn’t impressed with this lot with their painted nails.

On Sunday morning I decided to do without painkillers to see how I went.  Sleeping had been ok and I got up alright.  Sis-in-law was selling her wares at a market at Riversdale.  Bro and I took the girls down to the beach and wandered along for a while before having a look at the small market.

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There were thousands of little shrimp-like creatures lying on the sand.  We wondered why and what had killed them.

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On our return, bro’s neighbour came round and asked if we wanted to join him on the boat down the river to his bach where he was going to mow the lawn.  I was a bit unsure about the state of my back but jumped at the chance.  Bro told French girls what to do while we were away.  The dogs came too.  Neighbour’s dog was brother and son to bro’s dogs.

I clambered onto the speedboat with no problems and was glad that the seat was supported.  I had envisaged holding onto the seat and hoping I’d stay upright.  Dogs piled in on top of us, but neighbour’s dog jumped onto the bow and faced the wind – he’d obviously done it many times and loved the wind in his face.

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We disturbed quite a few birds, including paradise ducks and a heron.  I can imagine that river boat trips would be great for bird photography.  Unfortunately I only had my little point-and-shoot.

Parked the boat at the river mouth (managed to jump off ok, bending ze knees) and walked along the sea front to the bach.

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Neighbour’s bach was fantastic.  He’d built it himself and towed an extra little old building, landscaped it, built a deck.  It was perfect – the good old Kiwi bach.  None of this fancy mansion stuff with all mod cons.  Bro and I loved it and could imagine a weekend staying there reading books and playing Siedler.

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There was not a another soul in sight.  Fantastic.  What a great place for a getaway.  You wouldn’t want to go back.

However, we had to, after they mowed the lawn and it looked like paradise.  Hopped back on the boat and headed back.

Sis-in-law was back home and immediately berated bro for not telling the girls to do things properly.  Neighbour quietly slipped away instead of taking up the offer of a cup of tea.

I wandered around the garden for a while before we had a late lunch.  Spotted some quail.

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There was bird song all around and it was so peaceful.  I would miss that.

Bro and I looked at Melbourne maps for our upcoming trip.  They were staying an hour’s train ride away and I showed him where H and S lived and where to go for NGV and Botanic gardens, etc.  I still had photos from my April trip on my camera, so showed him those.  He, in turn, showed me photos of their Adelaide trip last year.

Headed over to another neighbour’s place for the woman’s 66th birthday drinks.  Lovely verandahed house and beautiful ‘roomed’ gardens.  Returned, and after a quick dinner of pizza I drove back home.  Lovely moonlit night.

I’m glad I went.  It was just what I needed to get me back on track.

 

 

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To be perfectly honest, I can’t remember Saturday morning.  How exciting it must have been.

H had indicated earlier that she wanted to go the beach on Saturday.  So we went.  It was about 3pm by the time we got there.  It was a little windy and cool, but not uncomfortably so.  We walked to the waters’ edge and the water was warmer than expected.  H decided to change into her swim shorts and go deeper.  I sat on a sand dune and watched.  The swimming area was quite restricted.

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There were quite a few people on the beach, doing their thing.

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There were some cool cloud formations, which I’d noticed when driving out there.

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After H’s dip, we walked along the beach for a bit, and noticed a cool hut made of driftwood set in the dunes.

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It was very sheltered (from the sun and wind) and had a great view.

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We returned to the car and headed towards the estuary.  However, we’d only just got to the viewing platform when H said it was time to head back.  She had to pack, cook, and pick up her boyfriend from work.  I was rather disappointed but we headed home.  After organising herself for her trip to Australia on Tuesday, and cooking, she headed off to boyfriend’s.  From there she would head to a house-sitting job and be back briefly before catching the bus to Wellington.

I spent last night watching the final three episodes of season two of The Wire.

This morning I tackled the laundry.  I moved the metal shelving to the painted corner, revealing dirt and holes.  I cleaned the floor and walls and filled in yet more holes.  While waiting for the gap filler to dry, etc, I started painting the rest of the other wall next to the corner.

I had organised with a mate to meet at a bush walk on the other side of the gorge.  I did so at 2pm.  The clouds threatened rain and there were a few spots as we entered the walk but it was sheltered under the canopy and the sun came out at times.

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We were privileged to be able to photograph a bit of the short life of a tiny common copper butterfly.

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It was a very pleasant bush walk, after which we headed to the Bridge Cafe, where I’d been just the week before.  It was still very cloudy with the possibility of rain, but it held off and we sat outside with a pot of tea.  The inside of the cafe would have been just as pleasant anyway.

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We parted and I headed home to contemplate another coat of paint…

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