Ann & Peter

in New Zealand

NZ Links 2011

Our travels

Kia Ora,

After a cold snap mid month when we had snow on the top of Mount Pirongia for three mornings running, we've had a very mild and sunny end to the month with almost 2 weeks of sun. It's also the end of winter - Spring starts on the first of September.

The part for the old washing machine finally arrived - 8 weeks after ordering it. So now we have two washing machines (the height of luxury?). We've had a sink unit installed in the garage and the spare washing machine plumbed in next to it. The dogs can now do their own bedding and towels - ha ha!

Peter had an afternoon's fun karting with his work colleagues. They spent an hour on the track learning how to 'drift' the karts round the corners. Some managed to keep their karts pointing the right way round the track better than others.

When Ann used a bendy drinking straw the other day Maxie went nuts. The noise as Ann bent the straw was new to Maxie and she kept putting her head right over onto the side to listen. She was very happy when given her own bendy straw to play with!

We’re used to seeing sheep, horses and calves in gardens as we walk around the village these days but last week we saw a pig grazing happily whilst the pet dog played by its' side – there’s always something new to see! And with the annual Ag Day (Agricultural day) coming up there are an increasing number of children taking their lambs, kids and calves for walks around the village as they train them up ready to show. It's a very serious business with the best looking and trained animals gaining trophies and certificates.

We had a couple of visitors staying with us in the middle of the month. Peter and Kate Adams came over to run some bonsai workshops for the club. Peter has been working with bonsai for over 50 years and has written 11 books on the subject. Kate is a bonsai artist in her own right and has also published a book on bonsai. Peter collected them from the airport and took them sightseeing in Rotorua, Otorohanga and Waitomo. The workshops were run over three days and some very nice trees were produced.

The two Peters study a cedar

Ann watches nervously as Peter goes to work with the power tools on her Chinese Hackberry


We went to the annual Red Cross book fair and came away with one of our best hauls so far - 14 books for Ann and 12 for Peter. Unfortunately we've been told of a few more authors to try so our list of books/authors to look for has actually grown.

Walking round the village we've seen more than 3 dozen trees - varieties of maple - being planted on the grass verges alongside the main roads. With the recent warm weather we've noticed buds breaking on some of the maples and chinese elms in our garden and bonsai collection.

One of the local pet stores has been holding a competition to find pictures for next years calendar. Ann submitted these two photos and has asked everyone to vote for them.

You too can vote at


but only until September 9th.

We're slowly working our way through the compost in the trailer. Ann's been refilling all the tubs on the deck, Peter has been digging up trees from the growing on beds, we've both been repotting bonsai and we can see the floor of the trailer now (just)!

Maxie likes one of our neighbours - they have so much to offer her (for lunch). Goat, guinea pig, rabbit and cat have been on the menu for some time but now they have a lamb and Maxie has spent quite a bit of time sitting and watching it through the fence.

The burglar alarm woke us up at 5 am with a quiet (but annoying) beeping every minute, we eventually figured how to silence it for a while before we got the battery replaced.

Yet another member of the rabbit clan arrived! This is Hannah, the latest addition to arrive at Harvey's Hideaway (Wednesday 31st August was our 20th wedding anniversary).

Neighbours have a three bedroom house and six kids (five are fostered) so they desperately need more room (especially bedrooms). Kiwi ingenuity - transport a home in (in two halves), put it back together then attach it to the main house and - voila - a six bedroom home with extra living space and two bathrooms!

News from Home

Ann's god-daughter, Imogen, is about to start her nursing degree. She is going to make an awesome nurse. Good luck Imogen!





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