Ann & Peter

in New Zealand

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Our travels

Kia Ora Everyone,

The start of the month was Ann’s birthday - Peter and the girls gave her books, chocolates and wine – can’t get more perfect than that!

Peter also took Ann to an Italian restaurant in Hamilton called Cafee Centrale where we had a wonderful meal and one of the LSAs in school made Ann a flower birthday cake with mini muffins – delicious!

It's been a month of vet visits - in fact Ann is thinking of having her salary paid directly into the vets' bank account. First we had to take Maxie to the vets because she ripped her dewclaw or thumb claw off chasing a tennis ball. Then the nail bed became infected so she had to have antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. Luckily it cleared up fine as the next option was to amputate the claw.

The following week Jaz had eye surgery.

She’d developed a lump in the corner of one eye and the vet wanted to remove it.

She also removed some of Jaz’s warts which had begun to bleed when she scratched – especially a rather large one on top of her head. The good news was that the lump in her eye wasn't malignant - yay!

Peter had to book a couple of days off to take Jaz to the vets and look after her.

Poor Jaz hated her e-collar and kept knocking into things (especially the back of our legs).

Coming back from our walk on one Saturday morning Jaz was attacked by a dog running out of its garden and grabbing her on her shoulder. Fortunately the dog managed to grab the harness Jaz was wearing rather than just Jaz. Back to the vets where she had to have the wound flushed out and four staples inserted to close it up. Jaz has had the stitches from the surgery out and the e-collar removed, and next week the staples should be able to come out. She's a much happier girl now.

We had rain the first weekend of March! Not too much, didn’t wet the very dry ground much but as we collect all our water from the roof so it topped our water tank up a bit. The next lot of rain was on the 17th (still not a huge amount) - the whole of North Island and part of South Island are officially in a drought. A total of 4 days with rain over the whole month and the daytime temperatures have not dipped below 20 degrees. It's the cattle we feel most sorry for. As we drive past the fields the cows, with ribs showing under the skin, are scratching around in the dry ground looking for the smallest bit of grass.

We went to our local cinema again and saw Bruce Willis in 'A Good Day to Die Hard' – not a serious movie but good fun.

After 6 years we finally managed to do the walk along the esplanade in the village - we needn't have bothered.
Apart from a couple of hundred metres going through bush at the one end it's just a walk through a couple of fields alongside the river
- not even close enough to see the river.
We decided to clean our chest freezer out (first time in 6 years). We gave the girls the ice.
Jaz enjoyed crunching on it but Maxie was not impressed.
Maxie prefers lying down in the sun
Ann unwittingly attacked the mail box when a spider crawled down her leg whilst she was in the car checking the mail out. She lifted her foot off the brake, the car rolled forward and twisted the rabbit’s head sideways – oops!
"Eyes Right"

Peter has finished cutting up the last of the firewood logs left over from the trees that were removed from alongside the drive five years ago. All he has left is the stump he uses for splitting the wood.

Both the wood store and the shed are now full of firewood enough for the next couple of years.

The pumpkin plant we put in has done very well this year. There are still a few pumpkins left on the plant for picking later on and the Kumara plants are still growing.

From one $4 plant we have 29 pumpkins for Ann to make soup with.


Peter's been putting wooden sides to the raised vege bed where they've been growing. This should stop Maxie climbing onto the soil and rolling in it.

News from Home

Kyle ended up with more than he bargained for during a simple game of football. A badly broken leg, several surgeries and lots of relaxation and recuperation time!



Ann’s dad is up to his usual tricks. Walking through town with David (Ann’s brother) they stopped at a pelican crossing and he said loudly ‘button’ meaning for David to press the crossing button. A youth standing behind him who happened to be eating chocolate buttons immediately offered him the packet saying 'Would you like one?' 

As part of a Swanshurst School's Oral History Website, Peter's dad was interviewed by a student during Veteran's Day at the school about his life growing up in Birmingham and his experiences on HM Trawler Leicester City during the Second World War. You can see his and other interviews at

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