Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

We’ve done it again!

August 6, 2018

One of these bright fine days, we are going to learn to stop putting our hands up and to stop volunteering to help out! But not just yet, yes, we’ve done it again.

We are at Uretiti where the camp hosts are Ray & Cindy, whom we have met on our many previous visits here as well as running into them during our stint as camp hosts at Shakespear. Chatting with them during our stay, it turned out that they had a surgery appointment in Auckland and their usual stand in host was going to be away on holiday. Well you can guess what is coming next can’t you? Yes, that is exactly right, I opened my mouth and said “we can look after the place for you”.

A quick induction on the vagaries of the computer booking-in system and a couple of half days of being thrown in the deep end and managing ok, we were set for our weekend trial.

Well, we have survived. Everyone was very patient especially when I was fumbling my way through the booking system and then the eftpos machine, then allocating unique gate codes for the automatic entry/exit gates without too many stuff ups. After a few entries I was confident with all the processes and managed it without too many hassles. Meanwhile, Roy did the early morning unlocking of the main gates and the late night lock up and other general duties. All in all, we enjoyed our weekend of being stand-in camp hosts and we can’t have done too much wrong as we have been asked to stand in again later in the week!

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Another woohoo

August 1, 2018

Yes it’s another woohoo in the Vannini vanhold bushold rvhold household.

I had my checkup with my surgeon yesterday and everything is looking good. I still have some pain, just minor stuff which is just things taking their time to heal after bones being bashed and sawn, muscles & nerves being chopped – goodness me sounds more like butchery than surgery – however we are getting back into shape and we are getting there. I see the surgeon again in 8weeks time when we make the BIG decision on which knee to do first.

Funnily enough it has always been my left knee that has caused the most pain and grief but since having the left hip replaced it is the right knee that is now causing the most angst. Apparently that is to be expected as some of the knee pain was coming from the hip and of course relying on the other knee heavily whilst recovering from surgery has put added pressure on the right knee. Anyway, we shall see what happens in a couple of months time when we make the decision to go with the left or the right. And NOT having a ‘Lieutenant Dan’ (Forest Gump reference) as my delightful son suggested!!!

Meanwhile we are still at Uretiti…..there is a story behind that but more on that later!

R&R at Uretiti

July 27, 2018

We arrived at Uretiti after all the rain to be met by a few small lakes formed throughout the camp site.

Pretty reflections in the lake with the road somewhere through the middle.

We parked up along the fence line behind all the trees as shown in the above photo as our favourite spot was already taken, however the following day our favourite site was vacated so we made a quick decision to move back to where we know and like. Besides, we were expecting visitors later in the week and there would be plenty of room for them in our favourite spot.

and here we are, Keith and Deb’s vehicle in the foreground and ours facing the camera.

Since Keith & Deb are here with us it was and opportune time for the boys to play with Keith’s “toy” and get a bit of fishing in.

Setting up the baits ready to fly out with the drone

hard at work, fishing!

Unfortunately the fish have not been playing the game, steering well clear of our baits, however no one else is having much luck either so we don’t feel too bad.

Roy took Keith & Deb into Whangārei for a quick look around all the interesting places and shops whilst I relaxed back at the van as I am not up to wandering around very far as yet. They went into the farmers market as well as a few shops for essential items, coming home with a number of shopping bags full of goodies and treats.

I am getting there with my recovery, it is definitely a slow gradual process and I have very quickly learnt that overdoing it is not a good thing to do as you pay for it the following day. But I am getting there and as I have said before I am definitely the tortoise in this race.

We haven’t done too much since we have been here, limiting ourselves to walks along the beach, fishing, relaxing and generally taking things easy and enjoying being back surrounded by nature. It is definitely warmer here than the temperatures we have been accustomed to in Auckland of late although there is still a little nip in the air in the evenings and mornings, however it is nice to be able to sit outside in the warm sunshine during the day.

We went into Waipu one evening for pizza night at the pub, we have been here before and they make very good pizzas. Keith & Deb came along as did Mark & Glynis to join us for a night out to help us celebrate Roy’s good news at being given the all clear. We had a great night with lots of chat going on however, in my usual fashion I forgot to take any photos.

Woohoo

July 24, 2018

We have some good news. Roy had an appointment yesterday with the Oncologist for a follow up after all of his treatment recently which we are delighted to say came back with all good news.

He has been given the all clear and has been discharged from their care with no more appointments or follow ups to be done, apart from the usual checks with our GP. Woohoo!

Always take the weather with you

July 16, 2018

How do you know that the Vannini’s are back at Shakespear? Look at the weather!

Our view went from this

To this

It seems as though we bring extreme weather events with us to Shakespear having been here before when the rainfall has been excessive. This time the planned public planting day had to be cancelled for the first time ever. The planting of trees was to have taken place on Sunday, in fact the area chosen to be planted was around a major slip that occurred last year to stabilise the hillside. That slip took place when we were again parked in the Motorhome parking area last year which you can read about here

Never mind, it all passed pretty quickly and we were safe and dry inside the van.

We did manage to catch up with a few of the Rangers whilst we were here as well as friends whom we have met here. We visited Skip & Mindy for a very pleasant day catching up on news and travels. And we hope we have managed to assist their daughter to convince them to head off on holiday to Europe with her later this year.

and this was our view on the way out today

On the road again

July 13, 2018

After nearly two weeks at Ardmore taking things very quietly, we decided that it was about time we got a move on. First things first though, we need a COF which is due at the end of the month but we might as well get it done whilst we are here.

On Wednesday we took a trip down to the VTNZ testing station in Takanini to see the friendly fellows that work there. We only had to wait a short time in the queue before it was our turn. Why is it that it feels like you are taking your child off to sit some important exam, you are nervous and on tenterhooks, hoping like mad that your precious baby passes all its milestones? Of course it passed its COF and with a friendly wave from the very personable staff, we were on our way again, back to Ardmore via the petrol station for a quick fill.

We wanted to stay another night at Ardmore so that Roy could again get up a silly hour to go round to Antony’s to watch the football. Thursday morning was the England vs Croatia game and we were all hoping that against all odds that England just may be able to make it through to the finals. However, it was not to be.

After Roy had returned from watching the game, we got ourselves sorted and by midday we were on the road again. This time we are not heading too far away as we are not sure how I will fair, sitting for any length of time with my hip still in recovery mode. But with padding from some cushions for the one and half hour journey north, we were soon parked up at Shakespear Regional Park.

I cannot begin to explain how nice it is to be back here, the quietness is almost deafening with just bird calls adding a lovely background noise. The sea is calm so there is almost no noise from waves lapping the shore and as it is winter there is hardly another soul around. Bliss.

We are staying here for a few days to catch up with Rangers and other volunteers whom we have become friends with over our years camp hosting here before wending our way north. Watch out snapper, here we come!

Getting back to normal

July 3, 2018

Saturday was a momentous day, as I moved back into the van! After visiting the day before to make sure I could get in and out of the RV with some semblance of ease it was time to make the big move.

Bringing with me my special raised chair as well as the over-the-toilet raised seat it wasn’t long before I had comfortably taken up my place in the van. But hello, we have a problem Houston, as the seat that goes over the toilet will not fit into our toilet space, oh no, but hang on a minute, let’s just see if I can actually use the loo without the seat. And what do you know? Yes I can. What an achievement, well, it feels like a huge accomplishment. And that raised chair to sit on? It takes up an awful lot of room, but it’s the same height as our two front captains chairs, so that’s easy, I’ll just swivel the chairs around to face the cabin and sit in one of those. So apart from a pair of crutches and a picker-upperer thingy, they are the only visible things to show that life has not quite returned to normality but we are getting there. Another accomplishment made….I can put my own knickers on! With a little help from the picker-uperer thingy. Not too bad for 12 days post op.

It’s been quite an experience, especially trying to describe how it feels. Initially it felt as though someone had injected a 20kg lump of lead inside my thigh/hip as well as a dead leg/Charlie which makes for lifting your leg up, especially when lying in bed to try and get out, almost an impossible task. It makes for interesting times and ingenuity to make life’s little tasks a little easier. Today though, the lump of lead feels as though it weighs only about 15kg and I presume that each day it will become less and less as I become more and more mobile.

We are staying here at Ardmore for a day or three to make sure I am ok with everything before planning our next move. Nothing is being done in a hurry, I am content to take my time and to be patient, somewhat of a foreign concept for me, but I know that I cannot hurry the mending process along.

Simon & granddaughter Maria came to visit last Sunday. It was lovely to spend some time with them and to enviously watch Maria clamber over everything and nimbly race up and down steps with such ease…..I’m only slightly envious of such suppleness of a 22month old! Antony called around as well so it was a catch up for us all.

Hip (h)op

June 21, 2018

The hip op is done. Monday morning we arrived at Ascot hospital bright and early ready for surgery, meeting up with both the surgeon and anesthetist very briefly before walking the long walk to the theatre. The spinal anaesthetic was quickly and painlessly administered, the sedative was adminis………and before I knew it I was waking up in recovery! Done and dusted.

Later that evening, they had me up and out of bed, walking to the loo. Next morning up and showering, which I have to admit was bliss. I won’t lie, it’s not all painfree, especially when I put weight on my leg. But after two days, I had a bit of a revelation….ask for extra pain relief! OMG why had I not thought of this before? I am on lots of slow release painkiller but didn’t think that it could be topped up before I take on some walking. Doh! My surgeon and anaesthetist both guessed that that was what my revelation was. All the staff kept asking me how was my pain, asking me to score it so I just presumed that all was under control. Well it was, sort of!

All the staff are brilliant, caring and helpful, and the food is pretty good too and it’s not often you can say that about hospital food.

morning tea one morning

lamb rack was my choice another evening

Slow and steady progress is what we are after. I get out of here on Saturday morning and will stay at Antony’s for a week or so until I feel comfortable enough to be back in the van.

I think it is going to be a long slow process, and I will have to be patient.

Trip to Kaitaia

June 16, 2018

We left Uretiti early on Friday morning as we had an unexpected trip to make to Kaitaia. It was one of those amazing blue sky days with nary a cloud in sight and with light traffic it should be a pleasant trip.

Back track a day, on Thursday my niece Natalie and nephew Stuart called in with their uncle and cousin on their way north, it was great to catch up with them all. We would be seeing them all again tomorrow. Yep, a not a photo taken, too busy gasbagging!

Back to Friday. We planned a quick, very brief stop in Kerikeri to drop off a couple of books to Roy’s cousin Stuart, books that were given to us when we were researching family connections in Mendrisio Switzerland. And it was a very quick stop, sorry Stuart, but we hope you enjoy browsing the books, until we meet up again soon.

As we passed along the coastline through Coopers Beach, we could see that the seas were flat calm and Doubtless Bay was a picture. You will have to take my word for it as I was too busy driving to take any pictures.

We arrived in Kaitaia just in time. We were here for the funeral of Beryl Lunjevich, my late sister-in-law Ann’s mother. She passed away on Wednesday 13 June reaching the ripe old age of 97 years, 9 months and 3 days!! She lived a long, fruitful and eventful life. Although a sad occasion, it was lovely to catch up with everyone in the extended family.

RIP Beryl.

Uretiti

June 13, 2018

It’s lovely being back on the road, albeit for a brief time and even better being back at Uretiti. Parked up in our favourite spot where there is no one else in sight we can hear the sea just over the sand dunes, and it’s warmer than we have been for a while with overnight temperatures dropping to 15C! A bit better than the frosts and cool weather we had been experiencing at Ardmore. And it’s so nice to be parked on grass again, I’m sure it’s probably psychological but I think it’s warmer than being parked on gravel.

parked up

Hidden behind a few bushes

And just across the road is the beach access, with a Kingfisher/Kotare sitting atop the wind indicator.

Since our last visit, the sand has built up and covered the fence line toward the beach.

with the beach end of the fence disappearing under the sand dunes.

It’s a beautiful day with hardly a soul in sight, and although the wind direction would be perfect for kite fishing neither a Roy nor I feel up to any strenuous exercise right at this moment. Never mind, there will be another time soon I’m sure.

And a panoramic shot of the beach