Far flung southern lands 2019

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  • DiL back home goes for a 5 km run each day and picks up rubbish as she goes, along the seafront she can get a huge bag full, much of it from Macca's. She posts regularly on facebook, and has started a dedicated fb page, enrolling as many like minded people as she can. She's also had a go at the council — yes, there are rubbish bins, always overflowing — and at MacD who, among other things, used to hand out their plastic straws wrapped, so you could hand them back, but now you get an unwrapped straw whether you want it or not.
    For m my part, I went to the local ratepayers' AGM this morning; it's a holiday weekend for Auckland so the place is crowded, and 52% of ratepayers are not permanent residents. A crowded hall of mostly active retirees, all people concerned for the beauty and amenity of their home or holiday place. But nobody bothered to pick up a couple of beer cans thrown down in the middle of the parking area, except one granny with a cane (me).
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Christchurch has, stupidly in my opinion, got rid of a lot of rubbish bins. The thinking (?) is that people will then take their rubbish home with them - yeah right! When there was a rubbish bin at my bus stop I would pickup any rubbish and put in in the bin, now I leave it because I am not taking it into town on the bus with me.
  • Lothlorien wrote: »
    Non venomous, but a nasty shock. Bitten on the bum by python.

    We keep track of where our Monty Python goes each day. And we keep the screen doors shut. We hope that he keeps the brown snakes out of his/her territory.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Mary Louise, how are the fires and how safe are you please?
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Huia wrote: »
    Christchurch has, stupidly in my opinion, got rid of a lot of rubbish bins. The thinking (?) is that people will then take their rubbish home with them - yeah right! When there was a rubbish bin at my bus stop I would pickup any rubbish and put in in the bin, now I leave it because I am not taking it into town on the bus with me.

    Another example of failed social engineering.
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host
    Gee D wrote: »
    Mary Louise, how are the fires and how safe are you please?

    GeeD, we had fires raging through the Overberg and in Cape Town, up Signal Hill and then Lion's Head ( for those who know Cape Town). I'm safe enough but most roads near me are closed and the smoke is really unpleasant.

    The hardest thing about these runaway coastal and mountain fynbos fires is the loss of wildlife, no escape routes, nowhere for them to be safe.

    Thanks for asking.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    edited January 28
    Yes, the loss of wildlife and thinking of their last few minutes is terrible. A couple of years ago a bushfire roared through a national park (I think from memory it was the Warrumbungles) and destroyed a large colony of koalas. But glad you're ok.
  • rhubarbrhubarb Shipmate
    The fires in Tasmania are dangerous and very frightening. Many thanks to the fire fighters from other states who have come to help and to our brave local fire fighters. Please keep Tassie in your thoughts and prayers. We desperately need some rain to help douse some of the fires, most of which are in inaccessible areas and caused by lightning.
  • Whitianga, and probably Matarangi, was promised 39°C today, and barely any breeze. We used to have a thermometer; I can find neither that nor the fan we once had but, never mind: the heat inside, even with all windows and doors open, is different but no more bearable than the heat in the sun, but a folding chair under the trees is the answer. And I do sympathise with all you neighbours over The Ditch, coping with even higher temperatures.
    One lovely thing about our house here is that two bedrooms face east, with no very high hills in that direction, so it is a treat to lie in bed with the early sun streaming in. But even more so is the view of the morning star; if you wake early Venus is huge, and the trick is to follow her path and see how close to sunrise you can still locate that faint spark from her. Currently she has a companion: Jupiter is just above her, though much less impressive.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    A couple of days ago my brother from Chicago emailed me that temperatures there hit minus 32c. I emailed back that ours was the same, but minus the minus. He is working outside too, wearing a balaklava he wore when tramping around Mt Tongariro. Youngest brother called it his "bank robbing hat."

    Today was lovely at 21c. :heart:
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    You clearly sent it to here. 30 here, and people were not happy.
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    I just said much the same to Rossweisse who said the temperature was going steadily down. Hot and humid here and hotter tomorrow and then February humidity to cope with. Autumn is my favourite season. No wonder.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Ha, it rebounded on me today. We are up to 30.4c with 32 forecast. Wish I could post it to Chicago.

    This morning I decided to take advantage of the temperature and I washed the wool underlay on my bed in the bath (I don't think my washing machine is big enough) then put it over the pipe handrail and rinsed it with the hose, spooky from along the road was hanging about and she got rinsed too. (she runs away and comes back a couple of minutes later, so it doesn't upset her.

    I let most of the water drip out of it then hung it on the clothesline - it has fluffed up like new. I'm doing the one off the spare bed and the woollen blankets on another day. Lifting a sodden overlay would make a good weight-lifting exercise.

    I'd love to air the mattress too, but it's too heavy. I need to bake some muffins and bribe the friend who mows the lawn to assist. :wink:
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    Absolute bliss today. The long awaited southerly arrived just before dinner last night. This morning it is 17 °C instead of 40°C. And drizzle to make it even better.
  • Currently 20 here, after it was 38 on our weather station at 6pm last night. We opened the windward doors and windows about 10pm last night and the southerly blew through to flush out all the oppressive heat. Looking forward to a couple of comfortable days before the temperatures begin to rise again. A little bit of that monsoon rain coming south would be a blessing.
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    Yes, we also opened windows for some cross ventilation. I think the heat had made the possums cranky. Lots of noisy quarrels last night. The front verandah onto which my windows open , has a sensor light. Sensor is at one end of long verandah but light is in middle, outside front door. It was very busy last night with a light of activity outside.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    17-20° sounds like bliss after the scorching heat you've been having!
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    It was 29c and very muggy when I stupidly carried too many groceries home. I felt awful. It's now plummeted to 11 and my energy levels have come back. Both the front and back doors have been open cooling the house down so I will sleep well tonight.
    Tomorrow 21c is forecast which will make it more pleasant for our street party.
  • It's been a blessing where I've been that the nights have been quite cool.
    Driving is something else. If you have the aircon on you use more petrol, but then if you have the windows oped it causes more drag so you can take your pick.
    The landscape everywhere is hazy. I haven't heard of fires, so is it moisture (doesn't seem to be) or heat haze (but what's. that?) Standing above the beach at Matarangi I couldn't see Cuvier Island and only barely see where Great Mercury Island was, both usually clearly conspicuous.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Something to do with the relative temperatures of land and sea? There's a fascinating article on the physics of fog on the Metservice website that I just saw half an hour ago. Go to the forecast for your area, then scroll down past all the statistics, tidal info and stuff and there are some interesting articles written by scientists about different aspects regarding weather. For example I found out there is such a thing as a fogbow shaped like a rainbow, but made of fog. It did not surprise me that many of the photos used to illustrate the article were taken in Christchurch.

    I skim read it on my tablet, with my ordinary rather than reading glasses on, but I need to go back and read it on a bigger screen as it deserves more attention. Your gifted, extension students could be interested if you are still involved with them.
  • We are sitting this morning in a fine mist, just wet enough for me to need a jacket to walk to the breakfast room. Comfortable temperature so far; maybe I'll be able to keep the windows up and listen to a CD as I drive.
    Huia, my students were basically Linguistics for Kids, but Son's scientists would be into it.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Those temperatures sound a lot more civilised than what you've been having of late!
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    It was a good day for our street picnic by the river, The tide was a bit low for those wanting to kayak though.
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    edited February 2
    [url="https://www.domain.com.au/news/plans-lodged-for-7m-new-digs-for-archbishop-glenn-davies/?utm"news/plans-lodged-for-7m-ne[ new premises for His Grace

    Sorry, will fix code later. Our kitchen ceiling has just developed a substantial leak from upstairs into kitchen. Water everywhere.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Thank you Huia for the suggestion of visiting Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre. Waitangi Day here, and off I went to learn about native NZ wildlife.

    Saw kiwis in the nocturnal exhibit, including a white one (not albino); the tuatara, a reptile from the age of the dinosaurs; eels; kākās being fed; and more. And did a walk up a hill too. A rainy and cool but very pleasant day.
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    Sounds a lovely day for you.

    Another SMS from Clive Palmer and his UAP. I cannot reply, cannot request my name be removed and cannot say there is absolutely no way I would ever vote for him.

  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    How annoying Loth. Maybe you can register your protest in a snail mail letter containing some carefully chosen words. I realise it may be quite legal, but that doesn't make it acceptable behaviour.

    Climacus I'm glad you enjoyed yourself. I thought from some of your posts about bird and animals that it would appeal to you. I know my middle brother especially enjoyed his visits there.
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    I have sent them an email from an address which is hardly ever used, demanding my details be removed. I can hope, I suppose.
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host
    That sounds infuriating, Loth.

    Potted up a small cherry-pie-scented heliotrope and silver-grey Helichrysum petiolare. Plants on sale at a nursery in the hottest month of the year, but I hope to keep them going on a shady porch until the autumn cools us down and I can plant them out in the garden.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    For various, and hopefully temporary reasons, I'm a bit weepy this morning, but your gardening post struck a note of hope MaryLouise. I hope your plants grow well.

    I am always struck by the everyday miracle of seeds. I have lavender growing down the side of my driveway and some of the seeds have self sown over the other side and I am potting them up to spread the joys of a small, dark English lavender (Fouveaux* Storm) amongst anyone I know who likes lavender.

    *Fouveaux Straits is the channel of water between the South Island of NZ and Stewart Island, the third main island of NZ and is often a very rough piece of sailing.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Not good Huia, thoughts headed eastward
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    edited February 6
    Thanks Gee D,

    It's amazing what a difference a few hours, a couple of phone calls from friends, and actually doing, things rather than looking at them despairingly, can make. Clothes washed and on the line, bathroom cleaned and kitten proofed (I hope).

    Best of all my mood has lifted. Now going to have a shower with some lovely gel as a reward. :relieved:
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    Rewards are mood lifting . I hope the rest of the day is also good,Huia.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    {{{Huia}}}
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    The day got much better. In the course of moving a small bookcase I found a $30 book token from the best independent booksellers in Christchurch. They don't date stamp their tokens so it's still valid. There was a book I had borrowed from the library that I didn't want to give back, so it is now on order at the bookshop, and it will only cost me an extra $3.

    It's kind of like one of those Victorian morality stories where virtue is duly rewarded. :wink:
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host
    Your Fouveaux Storm lavender sounds a beauty, Huia. And so good (and rare) to have housekeeping virtues rewarded!
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Good news in your later posts, we're glad the day turned out so well
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Yay! indeed. Hope today is just as wonderful.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    I misunderstood what the breeder said, she is delivering the kitten next week . :cry:

    Although I an disappointed, I'm also relieved because another week with her mother will help with maturity. And it gives me more time to splurge on Cat toys. A friend who is also a cat person has ordered a toy online for her. :smiley:
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Think positive - you have a week's holiday before you return to being a cat slave ... :smiley:
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host
    Is there any object, human digit, dangling thread or fabric surface that isn't a toy for a kitten? What Piglet said, Huia.
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    Little Abyssinian loved them all but especially a feather tied to a cord and dangled. She would kill for that and we all bore scars as she made enormous leaps to grab it.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited February 9
    Off I went to see Virelai last night, a Danish folk, mediaeval and viking band. What fun. Beautiful singing, amazing instruments (I need a hurdy gurdy!), captivating stories (we were given a summary before each one), audience participation (Danish phrases and stage dancing -- yes, I joined in!), and some of the friendliest people you'll meet: they stayed behind to talk. A great night out.

    Today I'm off to Napier via a train run by the local railway enthusiast society. 4 hours each way with 3 or so hours in Napier. Looking forward to seeing the scenery on the way, particularly going through the Manawatū Gorge -- the road has been shut for a while (landslides, I think?), and they are looking at alternate routes.

    edit: land slip -- https://amp.rnz.co.nz/article/5e899c91-7044-459c-9c8b-ac8f8f4d995b
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Thank-you for the video Climacus. In the past I drove through the Manawatu Gorge quite often as I had friends in Hastings. I also taught for a year at Wairoa, north of Napier and always drove to Wellington that way as I don't like the Remutaka Hill Rd.

    There used to be a regular train service between Wellington and Napier and before a flood demolished the bridge at Wairoa there was also a train service from Gisborne to Napier. I like travelling by train and was sorry to see the services discontinued.

    If you're interested there was a steam Museum at Tokomaru. I'm not sure it's still there as I think it was a family run venture with farm machinery and possibly a steam engine. I won't attempt to give directions, but I have a vague memory it my have been somewhere near Shannon. Someone in your local library will have information.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited February 11
    Thanks Huia, I'll look into it.

    It was a great day. Loads of art deco buildings in beautiful Napier, the black sand on the beach and a delightful train trip -- the Gorge is spectacular.
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host
    Rolling power blackouts across South Africa, no electricity for up to eight hours at a time. And the Eskom (national power provider) website has collapsed so I can't get details of the schedule for different areas. It's fine for now -- we have candles, torches, Consol solar jars, firewood, gas and so long as we don't touch the deep freeze, we can manage. But traffic lights are out so traffic is hectic and bank ATMs are shut down.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    What's the reason behind it? Industrial trouble, too much demand overloading the system?
  • GalilitGalilit Shipmate
    What kind of innocent babe in the woods are you?
  • Climacus wrote: »
    Thanks Huia, I'll look into it.

    It was a great day. Loads of art deco buildings in beautiful Napier, the black sand on the beach and a delightful train trip -- the Gorge is spectacular.

    Ah! Schooldays! The train trip through the gorge on the way to boarding school, when, uninterested in scenery, our concern was that there were all those tunnels and there was bound to be at least one carriage window that wouldn't shut, hence a choking smoke smell and danger of getting a smut in an eye.

    But those tunnels meant that the railway line, unlike the road on the other bank, wasn't in danger of slips.

    And a few years later I taught at Napier Girls' High for two years, a pleasant enough post before I set off on my OE.* And my farewell to single-sex schools.

    *Overseas Experience, a Rite of Passage for Kiwis — and other southerners?
  • Recent news item — published map of the world that actually did leave New Zealand off. Anyone remember what country it haled from? (Off to google)
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