Archive for February, 2017

Another week of visitors

February 25, 2017

We received a phone call on Monday from Andrene & Lyall, these are friends we met when both of us lived in Oamaru, they moved to Christchurch around 11 years ago, which was probably the last time we caught up.  They were in their motor home having a look around the north island and knew we were at Shakespear so they came to stay with us for a couple  of nights.  It was a though time had stood still with the conversation flowing freely and into the night,  besides,  we haven’t changed a bit and none of us have aged at all!! 

The afternoon started with a few drinks with some fellow motorhomers who kindly took a photo of the four of us.L-R: Roy, Bernice, Andrene, Lyall

It just so happened that we had some fresh snapper ready for our dinner, caught by Roy and Steve the previous morning, as well Lyall is a keen whitebaiter and had whitebait in their freezer which resulted in a fabulous shared dinner with Whitebait patties for entree and snapper for our main and I made some focaccia bread.  Along with a salad or two it all washed down with a suitable beverage or three, a meal to savour.


We sat outside until it bacame too dark  then continued chatting in our van until it was time for bed.  

The next morning it became eveident that Andrene and I have very good tasteSome of the more observant of you may notice that the previous day we both had a liking for blue and white stripes! 

We offered Andrene & Lyall the use of our car so that rather than taking their van off to do their shopping they could nip around in the RAV4.  Lyall had ordered an inflatable boat so they were off to pick it up.  Of course on their return we had to have a trial run at putting it all together.

Roy having a dry run!

We left them to their own devices Tuesday evening as we had arranged to rendezvous with Steve that evening for a fish off the beach with Steve’s torpedo.  Once we had set the line out to fish we sat on the beach watching the sun go down as we ate pizza accompanied by a suitable beverage. Bliss.   The haul of fish was not great, we did manage to bring in four fish but only one was a keeper but we also managed to drag in an awful lot of weed so we will not be fishing off that beach again in a hurry! 

Wednesday evening we headed into Torbay to Steve & Leslie’s place for a meal and get together with Leslie’s two sisters and all the extended family.  Leslie’s youngest sister Gill & I were best friends right through primary and secondary school so it was great to catch up again with her and her daughters who were over from Perth.  Although it was only a couple of years ago since we last met.  This time was a little more restrained however it was great to have everyone together.

Steve was heading north for a couple of days for work, so Roy went along for a ride to keep him company and they just so happened to take the fishing gear with them so that they could have a fish in the evenings.  By all accounts a few fish were caught and a good time was had by all.  

Meanwhile I stayed at the van at Shakespear, helping out a few stray travellers and in particular those who do not read the signs about how to unlock the padlocks! Some people.  I even had a visit from the Jehovah’s Witness…they got the short sharp shrift and were quickly sent on their way.  

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Last week of camp hosting

February 20, 2017

You know when it’s time for our camp hosting duties to finish when this is the view of the campgroup…..


For most people work beckons, schools and university have begun, and it’s just the odd tourist or three coming in to stay plus it’s the start of school camps coming into the park so it’s time for us to pack up and ship out.  Although most weekends are fully booked with campers, like this last weekend, although not so many have turned up.  The rain that we had prior to the weekend seems to have put a lot of people off,  apparently it rained heavily in the city Friday and Saturday whilst we were bathed in sunshine out here on the peninsular.

But there have been a few different sights this week.  What’s this I see on the horizon?


A closer look reveals a paraglider with a blue chute 


And friend with a red chute


They just so happened to pick the one day when the wind was a very gentle breeze, typical, they should have been here the day before when we had very strong winds, but perhaps they are just beginners so they may have only wanted a gentle zephyr.

We have enjoyed our Camp Hosting role, it brings with it all sorts of interesting people, most of them lovely and with only a couple of minor incidents in which we have to nicely tell people off for their inconsiderate behaviour.  But mostly it has been advising people or helping campers with everything from jump starting cars to lending them gear including cutlery and a portable gas cooker, a pump or power to pump up beds and numerous other bits and pieces.

This is the sign that I made for the entrance to the camping area this year which made for lots of positive comments.  


Usually there is a reminder of some of the rules but I thought that this year we would change tack and remind people to have fun, on the whole I think it worked…..although I’m not sure whether the kids do dishes rule worked all the time!

But we haven’t moved far, just to the Self Contained Parking area in the main part of the park, which is where we are now.

Here we shall remain at least for the next week or two whilst schools take over the camp ground.  

We have made a little money for SOSSI, Shakespear Open Sanctuary Society Incorporated, from taking donations and running the Junior Ranger Program.  

Here we are in front of our faded sign wearing our SOSSI hats (we weren’t wearing our t shirts) with our honorary Junior Ranger Badges pinned onto them and holding the booklets that the children complete to earn their badge after I have marked their booklets.

A very successful year for raising a few funds for SOSSI from the Junior Ranger program as well as from donations made for people to charge up their phones and devices by plugging into our solar generated power.  This year the funds from the power  is going to the initiative to bring Kiwi back into the park.  This will happen in April this year which will mean when we come back next year we shall be able to listen to Kiwi at night time.

Another week or two

February 13, 2017

Another week or two has slipped on by, where oh where does the time go? Apparently this is what happens when you give up the nose-to-the-grindstone life,  all perception of time moves to another dimension. 

 I spent a week with Antony post surgery and managed to keep myself very busy, filling his freezer and fridge with meals even doing a bit of housework and laundry in between, however most evenings we watched a movie together as well as some TV shows which passed the time quite quickly.  

I returned to Roy at Shakespear in time for the long Waitangi weekend when summer finally came out to play which is typical, as soon as the long school holidays are over and when kids head back to school to sit in hot classrooms does summer seem to appear.  Not that I am complaining, now everyone has returned to work/school, the campground has emptied, we have gone from being full wih 160+ people to 18  booked in this week. Of course the weekends go back to being full again but I can tell you it is nice and  quiet now and I have just about the whole beach to myself apart from the odd dotterel or oyster catcher to keep me company.

Roy did a week at Antony’s, it’s his turn to be nursemaid and help out whilst he is recovering from surgery.  However, our plans for the next couple of months have changed slightly as we had always planned to leave Shakespear at the end of February however Roy now has a couple of appointments to keep in March.    One is for some laser surgery on both eyes, the other for a hearing specialist….apparently both are what is called “age related” issues.  So now the plan is to leave here at the end of March, but then again that could well change!  Of course we asked if it was OK if we stayed on and the positive response was an invitation to stay on as long as we like.

Of course this glorious weather means that the beach beckons most days and I have been swimming two or three times a day mainly for it’s cooling down effect but also because it is just plain lovely to swim in the warm ocean.  

More visitors this week with Steve & Leslie coming on Friday to stay overnight, their granddaughter Bea aged 3 1/2 came along to keep us all amused, and that she did making us all laugh at times. I neglected  to take a single picture, we were all too busy enjoying the moment.  It was also time for Steve & Les to take down their tent, the grass had grown a little although it was mowed all around the tent, the evidence of where the tent had been was plain to see.

Can you tell where the tent was?

As well, this week the gazebo had to be handed back, so we have gone from this ;-

To this ;-


Niece Natalie was in Auckland  up from Wellington and on Sunday she came to visit.  By this time Roy had also returned so it was a great chance to catch up as we haven’t seen Natalie since last year when Natalie & I went to the netball.  We spent a lovely afternoon with her and her aunt & uncle, Carol & Alan, catching upon all their news and generally putting the worlds to rights.  We are looking forward to another catch up at around Easter time when Natalie is heading north for a family visit and as we will undoubtedly be in the north somewhere, it’s another opportunity to meet up.

This will be our last week as Camp Hosts in the camp ground, but we are not moving far, just to the Self Contained Parking Area which is about 500m from where we are now.  Thsi is the time of the year when school groups are coming into the camp ground over the next few weeks and we are not required.  Another year as Camp Hosts comes to a close, we shall return but not until next year.

Friends

February 6, 2017

As we become a little more mature, it seems to us that friends and family become even more important in our lives.  As well as rekindling old friendships, it’s also good to make new friends and of course family is also right up there in the mix.  We’ve had a few visitors since we have been here at Shakespear,  from family to friends.  Some folk we have known for a looooooong time and it’s fantastic to meet up again and pick up from where we last met.

Glennis & Robin came to visit after we caught up with them last week at Cathy & Wayne, we last saw Glennis & Robin  when they came to visit with other friends two year ago which we blogged about here

L-R Roy, Wayne, Cathy, Glennis & Robin

Now we met Glennis many years ago when Roy & I lived in Tokoroa and we had taken up playing scrabble competitively in the mid 1980’s then continued playing when we moved to Auckland a year or two later. Over the years the inevitable happened…Roy became Chairman of NZ Scrabble, and I was at varying times, treasurer or secretary.  As well, Glennis & Rob’s daughter Rachael became our regular babysitter over the next few years but more recently in 2010 we caught up with Rachael and her family who now reside in France – which you can read about here

Cathy, Roy, Glennis, Robin & Wayne discussing the problems of the world over coffee and cake.

Cathy was also a scrabble player whom we met all those years ago, but we haven’t seen Wayne & Cathy for nearly 20 years so we had a fair bit of chin wagging to do!  It’s lovely to meet up again after all that time to reminisce.

Other visitors were niece  Sarah and her three boys.  It was Asher’s 8th birthday and he came out for his his birthday treat which included  to have his favourite lunch (Bacon & Egg Pie), a surf, and of course to see his favourite great Aunty! What more could a boy ask for?

Ben, Asher and Finn in the surf.

It was also a good opportunity for the boys to enlist Uncle Roy to help them fly their pirate ship kite which they got on a recent family holiday to Bali.
Uncle Roy, Ben and Finn set the kite flying 
Roy watching the kite fly.

It was a lovely day, albeit it very windy but good for kite flying!

Our next visitors were dear friends Wade & Lindsay, whom we knew from our Tokoroa days.  Roy and Wade were friends long before Lindsay and I came onto the scene.  Subsequently we had our children at around the same time and we shared many times together in each other’s company when the children were preschoolers and before we moved to Auckland.  As well, we spent many a lovely holiday together, sharing the childcare and giving each other precious timeout on our own, so it was lovely to meet up again as it’s been four or five years since we last met up.  Their eldest daughter Caroline lives at Gulf Harbour so it was a great opportunity to spend some time together….just like old times.

They came for dinner on Saturday afternoon, and well, one thing led to another, and they ended up staying the night in the tent (thanks Steve & Les for leaving your tent up).  I took a couple of photos with my phone, but by the time I remembered to take a picture the odd bottle or two had been emptied, the light was fading and the quality of the photo & photographer is not great!


A great way to celebrate Wade & Lindsays 39th wedding anniversary – wow, have we known each other that long?  It was  fantastic to meet up again and we look forward to our next get together in a few months time.