Ann & Peter

in New Zealand

NZ Links 2008

Our travels

Haere Mai

Ann broke up for the summer holidays the week before Christmas and has been relaxing ever since.

Her staff Christmas party was good fun with some great entertainment from some of the teachers and therapists doing skits.

Peter finished work on the Tuesday and is off until 5th January (although he is on call for emergencies).

We have taken delivery of two more bench seats for the deck as we found we were moving our existing ones round - depending on the intensity of the sun we were sitting at the table or sitting in the shade.

We also have a great new swing seat. Unfortunately the local birds just love where we have put it and we have to spend 15 minutes cleaning it each time we want to use it. Ann is busy thinking of ways to foil our feathered friends.

On a trip to see the vet we managed to weigh the dogs, Jaz gained a bit of weight (probably by snaffling sausages when Mel and Darren were here) whilst Maxie managed to lose a few hundred grams.

We have a new bakery and supermarket in the village. Mountain View bakery does some VERY nice cakes and bread, and the 4 Square supermarket saves us a 30 minute trip to TA if we need anything in a hurry.

Peter has taken another exam, this time on Microsoft Server 2008. The one exam gained him 3 MCTS certifications. His next one is in January on Microsoft Vista.

Now the external garage is finished Peter has started moving stuff into it. He's also started painting the sleepout and when he's finished the painting we need to get it carpeted before Ann can move some of her school stuff (junk as Peter calls it) from the bedrooms.

Whilst walking the dogs on Christmas Eve we saw Santa driving round the village on his sleigh (ride-on mower) with 3 elves in a trailer giving out lollies (sweets) to everyone.

Peter has calculated that after two years of walking the dogs we figure we have covered in excess of 2000 kilometres of walkies!! No wonder Ann has to get her boots regularly re soled.

Maxie has had a slight eye infection which meant her having eye drops. She has been very good at having them and not complained once. Why is it that one or other of the dogs is ill every Christmas??!

Maxie and Jaz have been learning a new trick, rolling over on command. Maxie manages it quite well whilst Jaz sometimes gets so excited about doing a trick that she forgets what she is supposed to do and just leaps up into the air like a manic jack-in-the-box. In fact Ann is very proud of Jaz because we didn't actually teach Jaz the trick just Maxie, but Jaz suddenly started doing it! Possibly to get some of the treats she saw Maxie being reward with. Jaz still has learning difficulties (she frequently forgets she has to sit at road crossings - even though we've been doing it for two years now) but she obviously has hidden talents too. Peter reckons they're very well hidden!!

The dogs had new matching collars and leads for Christmas as well as squeaky toys and treats.

Maxie had great fun unwrapping her toys but Jaz was much more dignified and insisted we take the wrapping paper off for her. Ann has been trying to reclaim her bean bag (that Peter's mum made for her years ago) so she made a new bean bag for Maxie but it's much smaller and Maxie isn't very impressed with it - so back to the drawing board!

The dogs also had some new chewy treats for Christmas. Instead of the 'porky chews' as Peter calls them (pigs ears) we found some cows ears (moo chews). Both dogs love them but unfortunately they don't appear to agree with Jaz and give her the most dreadful flatulence! So we're going to have to remember not to give her any when we have guests - otherwise they'll be visiting with pegs on their noses!

Our Christmas dinner was a BBQ on the deck with a glass of Champagne (or two for Ann).

Peter got a new workbench and some beer whilst Ann had books, DVDs and a CD (as well as a flying chicken for school)

We've been working on the garden when we can (not including all the mowing and weeding) and have started to put bark around the Ake Ake in the driveway. We now need another trailer load of bark to finish the job.


Boxing Day saw us at Pirongia Races again.

This year Ann won $5 and Peter won $17

New Years Eve celebrations - Sandra (from the bonsai club) came round and we celebrated the new year in style - eating, drinking and being very merry!

News from Home

Mark has passed his dance exams - Highly Commended in Waltz, Cha Cha Cha and Rumba and a Commended in Quickstep. Well done!

One of our friends from the shooting club has told us of his latest challenge, in an email he says:

"You will like this!!  I have replied to a request in the local newspaper, for a volunteer to take over the responsibility for teaching and assisting BLIND PEOPLE to shoot air rifle, at the local Rifle and Pistol Club!  No, this is not a joke! The soon-to retire Chairman came to interview me today, and desperately wants me to accept. When I told him that I have been a member of the 49th for 18 years and said that I could suppy photos of all the holes in the Club's ceiling, he considered that that was the highest qualification anyone could have for this position!! " - Good luck Dave.



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