Wednesday, January 26, 2022



I put our possum skin on the front door stool.

The dogs had shown very little interest in it, so I thought it would be fine there.


Around dinner time last night I heard the dogs have a massive fight in the garage.

Then silence.

Stew arrived home just after that and he came into the family room carrying the possum skin.

Seems the dogs were fighting over it!

So now, I don't know what to do with the bloody thing!

Any ideas?

Today Lacy is coming to stay for a little while.

So, nice to have some company I suppose.

And someone to do the vacuming!  Yeah.

Today I'm going to 'advertise' our goldfish on Facebook.  FREE to a new home.  Hopefully I get someone who wants them.

I don't think flushing them down the toilet is quite right eh?

And putting them in a stream or lake isn't right either I think. 

So... best find a new home for them.

With that in mind, I might start trying to catch them.  I can put them in the dogs paddle pool till they get a new home.

9.30 am:  Well the fish will stay in the pond until they have new homes.  Good idea Christine (Dogstars).

Stew got a phone call this morning from... THE ASPHALT COMPANY GUY!!!!!!!

After some chit chat, and bullshit about him making sure 'you guys get a win over me'... he is meeting with Stew, here, next Wednesday.
PROGRESS finally?

He still maintains all the issues with the driveway are NORMAL!  WTF planet is he on?  But then, he's not seen just how bad it is now, so it will be interesting to see how he justifies it next Wednesday.

I'm going to make sure there's PLENTY of witnesses to that conversation!

I got on the scales this morning.  I've gained another 3 kilos.  That takes me back to where I was about 2 years ago.
I know I said I am never going on a diet again... but perhaps I need to do SOMETHING to halt the gains!  
I don't feel well.  My fitness is 1000% gone.  I'm a little bit miserable about myself and my utter lack of control right now.
I don't HATE myself, but I am simply not happy.

So.  What to do? 

- Make healthier choices.
- Get some more exercise.

OK... moving on.  I am going to make a start on the back 'yard' area.  A few changes about to take place there.  Nothing major.  Just changes.

10.25 am:  And Lacy arrived.
So I got her to help me fish some goldfish out of the pond....

ABOVE:  I'm going to TRY to keep a couple alive in the 'Goldfish Bowl'.  
I killed the plants that I put in there, so I'm picking the fish won't last long either.

Lucky I managed to raise 8 kids without killing them!

ABOVE:  First up, we must do a dump run this weekend!  The backyard dump pile is huge.
After taking this lot away, we should actually have nothing left to take to the dump!
Yaaa to that.

ABOVE:  Now.  The grapevine, the 'trellis' around it and well, everything there is GOING.
We are turning it into an extension of the grassed backyard.
All the stones will be washed and put in the front door rockery.
No more weeding back here.

I have sprayed all vegetation there with Roundup, so hopefully by the weekend it will be ready to rip out.

Then we can prepare it for grass.

Well... Lacy's stay was LIKE SUPER SHORT!  Only a few hours!!!!
She's found somewhere to stay already.

Our son Steve is having some real issues with his health right now.  I hope he is going to be OK.
He's in hospital on Friday for a few procedures.  
Such a worry.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022


 What the hell is NORMAL now?

The entire country is under the Red 'Traffic Light' setting.

Sick to the back teeth of bloody Covid-19/Delta/Omicron and whatever else transpires.

How long will this go on?

The next Market I was going to attend has just been cancelled.  Far out. 

Now my next POSSIBLE market isn't until MAY!

I feel like giving up on selling my stuff at markets.  I've no idea what to do.

Stew returns to work today, and his workplace are doing a big change in who is at work, and when. It's to work around the new restrictions, and still keep their office open.

TOoooo day..... Me?  I'm gunna get the washing done.

Sort the house out, make sure everything is tickity boo, then think about a big change down the back of our yard.

Plan out what to do.... more on that later.

Anyone want some goldfish?  I'm getting rid of them.  I'm tired of trying to keep damn fish alive.

Gunna get me some lilies for the pond. 

Yesterday I tried to 'Map My Walk' while in the Ruakuri Cave.  That is an App that tracks your walk, distance, time, steps etc.

ABOVE:  We were in the cave for almost an hour and a half.  I did 5,441 steps, but according to the app, I only walked 150 metres!  😅😂😆

I'm picking that app doesn't work when you are under ground!  Well, I tried.

ABOVE:  A  photo of a lovely stream that we stopped at yesterday.  Somewhere near Piopio, pronounced Pew Pew!  Weird.

ABOVE:  This is the stream that flows into the Waitomo Cave.  It was very low at this point, but  much deeper inside the caves.  It was very muddy here.  We saw a small eel in it.  And some baby trout.

Right, that's me for now.

Catch ya later.

11.50 am:  Well my morning hasn't gone to plan.
Instead of doing housework, I went and did a very BIG grocery shop!
We shouldn't run out of the basics any time soon.

I also popped into my favourite clothing shop (TS14+) in Chartwell, and bought this:

ABOVE:  It's exactly the same as another striped top, from the same shop, that I got in Australia.  Just in a different colour way.

ABOVE:  I also got this cute little scarf holder cos it was on sale, and I can now get me scarves off the floor in me wardrobe.

Now?  Relax for a while. The washing can wait.

4.23 pm:  Yeah.  Done nothing this afternoon!  My plans just fizzled out.  Feeling really tired.
I should be going to card night, but I'm not even doing that.

I think being on the go all weekend has caught up with me.
I'll try to be a bit more interesting tomorrow, lol.

Monday, January 24, 2022


Good Morning!

Well, let's launch right into my 'review' of Black Sands Pizzeria in Oakura.

We arrived with high expectations, having been advised they were the best pizzas in New Zealand!


There was a VERY limited choice.

You could 'build' your own pizza, but were only allowed ONE meat, ONE cheese and ONE vegetable choice to go on it.

So we chose from the menu.  Which was still basic as fuck.

We got a Chicken/Brie and Cranberry sauce pizza and a Ham, Mozzarella and Mushroom pizza.  Both had a smattering of tomato sauce as a base.

And seriously, THAT'S all that was on them.

ABOVE:  They were done in a wood fired pizza oven, which made no difference to how damn tasteless they were.  The ham was clearly the shit you buy from the supermarket, sliced and in a plastic box.  The Chicken was dry and tasteless too.

So.  Clearly we will NOT be going there again.

I asked for a Diet Coke, she said they didn't have Diet Coke, but they did have Coke No Sugar.  So I got that.

ABOVE:  Another disappointment.  I hadn't checked what BRAND the 'coke' was.  That shit was awful, so I ended up drinking...

ABOVE:  Stew's Peroni Lager, which was a darn sight better than that 'Coke'.

So, there it is.  Our first real disappointment during this weekend away.

Back to today, we shall be leaving fairly early as we have booked an excursion on our way home.

On our way home, we are stopping south of  Otorohanga, and going to Waitomo Caves!  We shall be there for a few hours.  

Stew went there as a child, I have never been there at all.

So an adventure for both of us.

A little bit excited to be doing something totally new!

Right, better go.  We need to be on the road by about 8, 8.30 am.

5.30 pm.  We have been home about two hours.
Had time to unpack.
Stew's been on the phone to his work place, sorting out some issues that have come up since the entire country went into Covid Traffic Light RED.  😖

I've had some computer issues downloading my photos from today.  It's taken me well over an hour to get them edited.

But they are done now.
So here goes:

ABOVE: The Three Sisters rocks at Tongaporutu.  We would have liked to walk to them along the rocks/beach, but it was too slippery.  

ABOVE:  The biggest BOBBINS I've ever seen!
When we had to stop for roadworks, the driver jumped out to check his strops, so I took a photo.  I told him he had lovely big bobbins, and he laughed at me.

From here on in.. photos of inside the Glow Worm Caves at Waitomo:

ABOVE: The spiral walkway down into Ruakuri Cave.  You were allowed to take photos in this one.

ABOVE: The glow worms blue lights.
It looks like a starry night sky.

ABOVE: An actual glow worm and it's threads, which are to catch insects with, just like spiders do.

ABOVE: Stew inspecting the huge metal pipe that was drilled 65 metres down from the surface, to get concrete down into the caves for the paths!
Looking up you could see the sky 65 metres above.

ABOVE:  YES!  I am smiling.  I can do it!

ABOVE:  A Stalagmite.  NOT at all rude.  Nope. Not at all.

ABOVE:   Another one.  

ABOVE:  My favourite photo, of the boat we drifted along in to view the glow worms in The Glow Worm Cave.

ABOVE: We played at being tourists, and bought a shirt each.  Not of the Glow Worms.  More like crazy sheep head.  😖😊😂

And that's it for our lovely three day weekend.
We really had a most enjoyable time.

It was more about experiences this time, rather than 'shopping'.  I didn't even seek out any fabric shops!

Maybe our next trip away ?  lol

It's now nearly 6 pm, I've been sat here for well over an hour and a half getting this up for everyone!
So .... say Hi!

9.25 pm:  Well, Stew and I have had a very quiet evening.  Had some odds 'n' ends for dinner.  
Been watching TV, catching up on Facebook/YouTube/Instagram.... why the hell do we have all these social media time wasting sites?
And why do we all get sucked into them?  *sigh*

Time to sign off, and will probably go to bed early tonight.
Kinda tired.

Sunday, January 23, 2022


 Well.... after dinner last night we came back to our room.

I lay on the bed and ummm..... fell asleep!  It was only a little after 9 pm!  I woke sometime in the night and had a piddle, but basically that was me for the day!

Never done that before.  Must have been tired and a little tipsy.

DINNER.  OMG, that was the best meal/service I have ever experienced.

HANDS DOWN the best food I've ever had in a restaurant.

ABOVE:  We started with a New Zealand Sparkling White wine.  It was modestly priced, but exceptional.  Stew and I drank the entire bottle between us.  

I would have happily had more, but then Stew would have had to roll me back to our room.  Two glasses is my limit.

ABOVE:  Entree:  Caramelised Onion and Feta bread.  Delicious.

ABOVE: We both opted for Duck for our main.   I had it with a salad, Stew had it with veges.

To say that duck was amazing is an understatement!  So soft and tender, succulent and just .... OMG delicious.

As I said to Stew, it had to be a young duck, not some old hag who'd been around for 10 years and spat out dozens of ducklings!  lol

ABOVE:  Our duck....  cooked with sultanas.  SO, so delicious.

ABOVE:  Our dessert.  We both had the Chocolate Fondant with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, cream and berries, with a Salted Caramel Sauce.

A.... MAZING!  We had to wait a while for it as it was baked as we waited.  It was worth it.

Every single aspect of our dinner was PERFECT.

I cannot recommend The Plymouth's inhouse restaurant enough.

AND the service could not be faulted.  

I personally thanked the Chef and the staff for such an exceptional dinner.

I would drive down here JUST for dinner!

Right.  Back to today.

It's 8.20 am, we both slept in.

We are heading off on the SURF Highway 45 for the day.

That is the road that goes around the coastline, south of New Plymouth.

We are going to drive around the entire base of Mt Taranaki.

ABOVE:  There's a map of our intended trip today.

ABOVE:  yesterday while at the Te Rewa Rewa Bridge, we walked past a small group of people talking with an old man in a wheelchair.  He was telling them about 'THE BEST PIZZAS' in New Zealand, just south of New Plymouth.

Stew went and asked him where that was?

So, tonight we are having THE BEST PIZZAS in New Zealand, at Back Sands Restaurant in Oakura.

And... that's me for now.  Gotta get dressed, and head off for the day.

1.37 pm.  On the Dawson Falls track part way up Mt Taranaki.

ABOVE: Exhausted. Could NOT get all the way down to the base of the falls as it was too steep for my knees to cope. So we just did the Lookout.

Right.  It's 4.23 pm, we are back from another lovely day!

ABOVE:  Oakura, Black Sand Restaurant, where we are going for dinner this evening.  It's about 15 minutes south of New Plymouth.
Right on the beach too.

Next was this cute little lighthouse, a MINI version of the Cape Egmont Lighthouse.  On the coast, off State Highway 45, before Pungarehu. Middle of the wop wops.

See the rock by the car?  Yep.  Taking it home for our rockery.

ABOVE:  Then a bigger lighthouse, Cape Egmont, off State Highway 45 at Pungarehu.

ABOVE:  Small lava 'domes' formed by a massive lahar 22,000 years ago, from Mt Taranaki.
There are thousands of them scattered all around Mt Taranaki.

ABOVE:  Poor Stew, I made  him get this rock too.

ABOVE:  I think he felt very conspicuous taking it up to the car.  😂😅😆

ABOVE: Opunake.  A surf beach.  Quite a nice place.  Had a lovely chat with a man who  had just come in from fishing.  

ABOVE:  Hawera.... we only stopped for a piddle and a photo.  The water tower is gorgeous.

ABOVE:  The only 'decent' photo of Mt Taranaki today.  There was too much cloud from other areas.
ABOVE:  We decided to go to Dawson Falls, which is in the foothills of  Mt Taranaki, in the Egmont National Park.

ABOVE:  The view from the Visitors Centre, where you can embark on any number of easy, medium and hard trails.  

ABOVE: The walk to where you can view the falls from the top was enough for me!  Still quite a few steps, but not very far thankfully.  Very pretty falls I must say.

ABOVE: This is the point where you could choose to go on to the upper viewing platform, or go DOWN to the bottom of the falls.

There was a sign warning people about it being very steep and slippery.

That was enough for me to say NO WAY.
I could see people coming back up, and they were literally CLIMBING up the steps, they were that steep.

ABOVE:  our last stop was a Possum factory and shop part way between Stratford and the Mountain base.
We bought a possum pelt for our stool at the front door.

I can't wait for Marley and Coco to see/smell it.  I'm picking Marley will go ape shit at it.  Or want to eat it.

Time will tell on that one. 😊

ABOVE:  Almost forgot this!  A gorgeous, rustic fence and gate at the possum place.

We are now just killing time until we head out for dinner.

8.45 pm:  And we are home from dinner.  My 'review' of Black Sands Restaurant will be tomorrow, as I'm tired and just want to put me feet up.
Catch ya tomorrow.