Ann & Peter

in New Zealand

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Our travels

Kia Ora and welcome to our final news page for 2011

We've finally got our new gates. Peter can now open and close them in the rain without having to get out of the car. There is a small side gate for us to use when taking the dogs out for their walk.
The garden is doing well. We're eating strawberries - not as many as last year since we replaced all the plants this spring but they are very big and tasty. The jasmines we put along the garden fence are flowering nicely.... are the petunias in the pot in front of the garage.

We turned all the compost over in our four compost bins to try and make space. It took us most of the morning as we reckon there is about 4 tonnes of compost waiting to be used.

The weekend bonsai workshop with Nobu was another success. It just keeps getting better - as do our trees.
Peter was called into work for a couple of hours on the Saturday of the bonsai weekend but the girls didn't seem to miss him much.

Whilst we were in our monthly bonsai club meeting Jaz managed to rip the drivers seat in the Ute - pulling some of the stuffing out. It's a good job we weren't in Ann's car! Now Peter has to go look for a seat cover - if he can find a bench seat type.

Christmas day was quiet with us doing a bit of reading and pruning a few bonsai trees.


Maxie didn't need any help with unwrapping her present but Jaz wasn't quite sure about hers.
We also managed to get our annual family photo - on the 20th attempt.

Boxing day saw us at the Pirongia races with Jean and Tim before coming back to our place for a BBQ. Unlike last year we lost about $10 on the races this time.

Ann developed toothache on the Friday before Christmas. It wasn't too bad at first but by 27th December it had become an abscess and we needed to find an emergency dentist. She had two options - root canal and porcelain cap - $2,100 or pull the tooth - $210. Guess which Ann chose. She spent the next week with a hole in her mouth, swollen jaw, eating pureed food and popping extra painkillers and antibiotics. Toothache certainly helps with over-indulging and weight gain at Christmas time - but is not to be recommended really.

We appear to have a resident bird who hops up onto our windowsill most days and checks out the house. We have no trouble recognising him as he has a large bald patch on the back of his head! We've named him Baldy (very original don't you think)?

Ann's been doing more baking - this month she's managed to make some lemon curd and strawberry jam. She's also had another recipe published in the NZGardener diary. Last year it was zucchini bread and this year it was Thai pumpkin and kumara soup. The challenge is now on for her to make it a hat trick in 2012.

Great news - the horrible berberis hedge at the end of our garden (you can see it in our family photo in the background) - anyway - it's going to be ripped out - yippee! Hopefully this will all happen in the next few months. We can't wait as it means no more thorns to continuously pick out of doggie paws and gumboots.

The last few days of December were very wet - our gravel 'lake' in the middle of the garden turned into a real lake.

We celebrated the end of 2011 quietly as Ann was still on pureed foods only and not up to entertaining.

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