Archive for the ‘Summer’ Category

Back to Shakespear

November 17, 2018

We arrived late Sunday afternoon in glorious sunshine, we were set up fairly quickly and just as well because no sooner had we finished when the skies opened and the rained poured down. But not before I managed to take a picture of us all set up.

It’s lovely to be back although it sounds as though we could be in for an interesting summer as the booking system has been completely changed. Before it was just plain terrible, now it’s diabolical! It has obviously been set up by someone who has a) never made a booking before, for anything….and b) has never been on the working end of a booking system especially from the end user perspective. It should not be so difficult or convoluted, in fact it should be very simple. We have complained about the previous system for years (along with just about every end user) and now somehow they have managed to make it even worse. I bet someone was paid a lot of money to make it such a shambles. Getting off soap box now.

This last week was a week of appointments and checkups, culminating with me (Bernice) having one of my knees replaced on Monday the 19th. Interesting wee aside though, as part of the pre Op checks and tests, I was measured and guess what? Since I had my hip replaced I am exactly one whole centimetre taller!!! Every little bit helps.

The surgery and subsequent recovery is not something I am particularly looking forward to but I am looking forward to one day being pain free and much more mobile.

Since we have been back here at Shakespear though we have been amazed at the proliferation of bird life, we have some saddlebacks here in the campground with two new chicks that are making their presence heard and kiwi can be heard most nights. In fact tonight I could have sworn that the kiwi was just outside the door it sounded so close. I went out looking with my red torchlight (red so it doesn’t hurt their eyes) but I could not see it anywhere. The Tuis are amazing not just for their call but also their flying antics. I watched them chase away a mynah and a magpie yesterday. The pukekos are everywhere, there are robins and fantails and yellow heads and whiteheads and we have a thrush that seems to particularly like us as well.

All the hard work that the rangers and volunteers put in are really paying off with the bush line extending every year, it really is a huge asset for Auckland along with the other regional parks.

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Visitors

January 28, 2016

A number of  friends and family have visited us since we have been at Shakespear, and it’s lovely to see them all.  Roy’s eldest son Simon and wife Anita came visiting one Sunday afternoon after Simons commitments with Auckland tennis were over (he’s the chair of Auckland tennis).  It was lovely to see them and catch up with their news and their busy lives.

Bernice’s brother Steve and wife Leslie have been to stay for the past few weekends, they have put up their tent behind our  van, which means that they can pop up after work on a Friday and leave Sunday afternoon as it is only a 30 minute drive from their home.  We have had lots of fun and laughter which is usual when we get together, Steve has also brought up his boat so that he and Roy can go out fishing.  The past two weekends they have also had one of their grandchildren with them.  First there was Ben, eldest son of their daughter Sarah.  Ben is 8, we had a great weekend with him keeping us well on our toes.  He really enjoyed getting up on Sunday morning to go with Uncle Roy on his walk along the beach collecting bags of rubbish and treasures along the way.  He also enjoyed getting up on top of the van to check out the view from up on high. 

   
And yes, the grass has grown around the van, note the length of the grass around the wheels!

The next weekend, Steve and Les were accompanied by their granddaughter Bea who has just celebrated her 3rd birthday.  We had a fun weekend with her, and on that particular day Sarah came up with her three boys to join in the fun for a day which included a water slide put up by some of the campers.  Ben and Finn braved the slide by themselves whilst Asher decided it was not for him as he had already had a bit of a mishap (more on that shortly),  Aunty Bernice was the only one brave enough to take Bea for a ride down the slide and I can tell you it was mighty scary!! 

 That’s Bernice and Bea flying down the slide!

Earlier that day the boys had gone off to explore the park, which included a climb up a very popular, but very steep hill.  It all went went until it came time for the descent with Ash first sliding then tumbling head over heels down the steep incline.  This is the result – warning: nudity involved in the following picture. 

 7 year old Asher’s scars!

Yesterday’s weather forecast was not looking too good with heavy rain and thunderstorms forecast, however, the day did not look too bad so Sarah and the boys decided to heck with the forecast and came up for the day.  It turned out to be a real scorcher of a day for us even if the rest of Auckland was receiving a deluge.  Most of the day was spent in the sea swimming, but we did manage to get out of the water long enough for the boys to complete their Junior Ranger Badges.  

 Aunty Bernice marking the booklets, with from front clockwise Ollie (Ben’s friend), Ben, Ash (obscured) and Finn.

PS.  We have mowed the lawns so everything looks tidy.  We had to take the van down to Silverdale to fill up with LPG as our tank is an inbuilt one, so whilst we had to move the van, we took the opportunity to mow the grass.  That should see us right until we leave here at the beginning of March.

Pool update

December 29, 2015

The fun police have been at work….we have had to remove the pool as even though it’s covered and fenced from anyone getting in with our windbreaks, someone complained to higher authorities that we had a non regulation fence and pool and a child may drown if they happen to managed to get in.  Hmmm, we are right next to the beach, and surrounded by farm with water troughs.  Enough said.  Pool emptied and dismantled and put away.  

Straight to the pool room

December 21, 2015

For some time now I have joked with the Rangers here at Shakespear that I was going to get myself a pool, install it at the back of our van in our  private bay in the park.  Just something smallish, nothing too elaborate so that when I come back from swimming at the beach, I can then chill out in freshwater!   Well, no more joking.   Today, Santa came early and delivered a nice pool……well, OK, I went to the shop and bought it myself.    

   Laying it out ready to fill.

First we had to blow up the outer rim of the pool, to do  this we used our small compressor which is charged from the car battery, of course we had left our other compressor that we use to inflate the air bed at Antony’s place.    It was taking ages to fill and the compressor was getting rather hot, so I resorted to giving it mouth to mouth!

  Time to fill with water
This necessitated  running a hose from the tap, actually we had to join a number of hoses together to reach, then it was the long wait to fill.  The pool is 10ft diameter and 30inches deep…3.05m by 760cm for those of you who work in metres, it took a while to fill.

  Nearly there.

The pool came complete with filtration system and pump so it should be good for the summer. 

  

And to make sure it is safe, we also have a cover and as well we have put up our wind breaks at either end of the van so that it is not visible to curious youngsters!  Besides, it really is a reservoir for emergency purposes isn’t it?
 

It’s that time of year

December 16, 2015

You know the signs when summer is really here; the hot sunny days,  the grass browns off, the pohutakawas are flowering….and………

   the BBQ comes out of storage, gets cleaned and reassembled!

We spent a couple of days at Antony’s earlier this week as Roy had an early morning dentist appointment in Manurewa so instead of getting up at a silly hour and fighting the Auckland early morning traffic from over the other side of the bridge, we took ourselves off to stay with Ants for a night.  The BBQ had not been reassembled since Antony had moved earlier in the year, it was time to give it a good clean and put it together.  

  Father/son bonding!!!

 It didn’t take them too long before it was all back together and fired up for its first use of the summer.  Oh, and the dead grass on the brick work is my effort with the weed killer from a couple of weeks ago – it worked!