Ann & Peter

in New Zealand

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Our travels

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We had a great weekend bonsai workshop with Tony Bebb from Australia. We put on a meal for him and a couple of friends on the Friday night. Peter introduced him to his favourite beer - Smokin' Bishop from the Invercargill brewery (a smoked beer that goes very well with a bacon buttie). We both worked on some of our larger trees with Tony and went out for a meal at Gengy's restaurant on the Saturday evening.

Jaz started the month by escaping – again and again and again. Peter has been repairing chicken wire until he can do it in his sleep. We think Jaz is using her head to just push against the chicken wire until it breaks – then she’s off! We’ve now resorted to using the garden netting we had covering the vege beds – so now we have to get more for the beds as both dogs do love to jump up and have a good old dig around in amongst the veggies.

We've dug up last of our spuds (we haven't bought any since last Christmas). This has been forced on us since Jaz and Maxie were doing it for us and eating the results of all their efforts! There should still be enough to last until October.

We’ve seen some novel ways to walk your dog in Pirongia village. You can do what we do – walk with your dog on a lead beside you. Or you can ride a bike with your dog running beside you. For more speed you can ride on a quad bike – again with your dog racing along beside you. We saw the ultimate last week though – use your 4 x 4 to race your dog to the end of the road! All these seem to work really well – until their dog sees ours and then all hell breaks loose with owners scrabbling to get their dog under control whilst we hang on for dear life to Jaz and Maxie’s leads to prevent them from running wild too!

We’ve discovered that Maxie doesn’t like garlic that much. She managed to raid the recycling bin the other day – and started to lick clean the empty jar of crushed garlic – but didn’t finished the job. The garage, and Maxie, stunk of garlic when we got home. No vampires here anymore!

Peter's work have replaced all their servers at the TelstraClear Data centre under the main shopping centre in Hamilton. He had good fun removing the old ones.


Ann had a two week break from school and Peter took a few days off so we had a couple of long weekends working in the garden, laying bark on the growing on beds, fence repairs, laying gravel on bonsai stands, repotting and pruning bonsai and general garden work.

One of our friends, Sandra, in the bonsai club had been given a large wisteria and she needed help in collecting it from Tauranga on the east coast so we went over to pick it up from a remarkable lady. Shirley Faull is 82, has flown aircraft for many years, took up bonsai in the early 1970's, has a large collection of bromeliads in her garden and still drives in rallys in her own Toyota rally car!

After collecting the tree we went to see Adriaan and Poppie to look at their starter bonsai trees. We were very good and managed to come back with only two each.

Three of these were potted up straight away when we got back but the alder that Ann chose (40cm circumference around the base of the trunk) had to wait another day so Peter could make a large wooden box for it (we had no ready made crates or tubs big enough).

Peter and Adriaan digging up Ann's trees.

We gave both dogs a bath one Saturday and next day Ann made the mistake of letting them run down to the gate for their daily walk on their own. Jaz ran straight through an extremely large muddy puddle! Needless to say there was much paw, leg and belly washing on our return.

Ann took Peter out to Narrows Landing for a meal to celebrate Peter's birthday.

You might have heard about the large earthquake at the bottom of South Island. There was very little actual damage as it was in a remote area but part of South Island has now moved about 30cm closer to West Island (Australia).

Because of the flooding on the driveway we have decided to improve the drainage. We've had a large ditch dug across the section. This will have stones at the bottom to take some of the water away from the driveway.
Jaz and Maxie relax in the back of the Ute.
Last week-end we pulled 10 - yes ten - berberis thorns out of Maxie's paws. She gets the thorns because she will jump right into the hedge to bark at next door's dog. This week-end, despite repeated instructions of not to get into the berberis hedge, Maxie dived right in - again! Jaz was so overcome by all the excitement that she followed Maxie (first time ever) so - time out in their kennels it was! This was the first time we'd put Jaz in her kennel and we don't think she liked it much. Maxie on the other hand regularly ends up in time out!

News from Home

JD's new band - Dastards!  They supported Squeeze and Ade Edmundson and The Bad Shepherds at Chadstock 2009 and have also done a live interview on Radio Hereford and Worcester. Their website has some pictures of him.


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