Ann & Peter

in New Zealand

NZ Links 2008

Our travels

At the start of the month we had a weekend in Napier at the NZ National Bonsai Conference, and of course the doggies had to come with us.

They met Billie, Kimbo and Lacey at the lodge where we stayed. There was a little bit of growling from Maxie when we arrived but that soon went away and the 5 dogs were soon running around together. Lacey, the youngest soon discovered we carried treats with us and would come rushing up and sit patiently waiting for a reward.

Following the official welcome and opening of the conference on the Friday evening we had 'Entertainment by Bertie' - a humorous talk on Napier, Art Deco, 1930's clothing and how 'Bertie' entertains visitors.
After the conference dinner on Saturday we were entertained by Harmony singers

During breaks from the conference we visited 3 new vineyards, Church Road, Matariki and Mission (where they have a concert with a star like Elton John or Eric Clapton every year), as well as visiting Ann's favourite, Esk Valley. We tried to find a brew pub which ha been recommended to Peter but it was closed on Sunday.

We came back with 15 and a half bottles of wine (Ann couldn't wait)!

On the Friday and Saturday the weather was great and we managed to get in several long walks with the hounds. Sunday got a bit damp in the afternoon and Monday was very wet - back to flooding again for the journey home.

With all the rain we had it was a time to relax indoors.

Jaz likes to snuggle under the blanket whilst Maxie chills out on the bean bag (no wonder we've nick-named her the floozie).

Work has started on the garage, the foundations have been dug, sand pad laid, concrete poured, frame erected, cladding and roof put on and drains laid. We're just waiting for the electrician, gibstopper, roller door and the window. Then Peter can do the painting inside and get the flooring laid. After that it's a case of saving up to get the concrete drive extended.
Peter managed to get some time in on the digger to move the topsoil around and clear the one big mound of soil left over from the house build.

Although Jaz looks like a Dalmatian we're sure she's a new breed of dog called a Sitzenfartzen.

Jean and John sent over a sign for Maxie and Jaz, they like it a lot although with almost 2 acres it can take them slightly longer than 2.4 seconds to get to the gate if they're at the other end of the section.

The Hamilton Bonsai Club put on its annual show and Peter managed to get another Merit certificate for one of the four trees he put in. He also did a demonstration on the Saturday afternoon.

We have finished moving all of the strawberries into a new plot. Ann has also planted carrot, radish, pumpkin, cucumber, courgette, tomato, capsicum, chilli, lettuce, spuds and spring onions. Roll on summer - home produced salads will frequent the menu along with BBQ's.

We have one piece of hedging left that hasn't yet been strengthened with chicken wire to prevent Maxie escaping. As the hedge is berberis we felt reasonably confident she wouldn't get through - wrong!!! She was barking so hard at next door's dog that she shot through the fence surprising the neighbours, their dog and herself. She came back very quiet and subdued. So we are now planning how to rip out a 50 metre berberis hedge without cutting ourselves to ribbons so we can put up a chicken wire fence and then we'll have to replant - with pittosporum probably.

We celebrated Labour day last Monday – one of the public holidays in NZ. Back in 1840 workers in New Zealand refused to work for more than 8 hours a day and eventually 60 years later, in 1900, the government made it legal.

News from Home

Mark has been had a few more acting jobs for UK and German TV. On the 21st and 22nd he was with the Birmingham Royal Ballet performing at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff.

Meet Preston, Allison and John's latest addition to their alpaca family. He's quite a boisterous a chap and had to be moved early to the adult enclosure as he wanted to roughhouse with all the other newborn alpacas. 

Sue and Ron (friends from Ann's nursing days) celebrate their birthdays with their daughters, then went on their first cruise, sailing around the Canary Islands.

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