Far flung southern lands 2019

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  • I now have a NZ driver's licence, complete with beaming, smiling photo.
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    Last time I had photo done at RMS Services I had to remove glasses and no smiles. Much like passport photo requirements.
  • I had an interesting time at Service NSW yesterday. I had cataract surgery last Monday and I had to have the spectacles condition removed before I was legal to drive.

    I phoned Service NSW to ask the procedure re changing the glasses status. After a few mins on hold was told no prob just come in and have eye test and they would issue a new licence. Went to the (no) Service Centre and was served by a person that was not an Aussie. "You must be having your Dr report before we can do anything." After standing my ground and telling him what I was told, no longer than 30 mins before, he ran off and spoke to another colleague who told him to turn on the eye test computer that was located above his head, which he did and promptly said 'I didn't know we tested eyes!!!! ' WTF, we have an eye test every time licences are renewed! He told me to read the third line from the bottom so being a smart ass I read the very bottom one!! Which threw him right off his seat! Then he removed the spectacles condition from my licence and said the new one will be in the mail.

    I was glad I phoned first to ascertain the procedure.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    With all the differences between Australia and NZ, it's disappointing, but not surprising to know that incompetence in licencing staff is not one of them.
  • Just a bit of excitement in our little parish this week. Following the elevation of our Shipmate DD to the pointy hat brigade, last Saturday another former rector, who came to us as his first incumbency quite some years ago, has been elected to one of our most challenging inland dioceses. Two bishops from one tiny country parish! The motherly ladies of the parish are claiming credit for the quality of their training.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Congratulations to them both
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Indeed -- wonderful news!
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Congratulations indeed! :smiley:
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Took a guided 3 or so hour walk among ferns with a group of people today, led by 3 ecologists from the local council. Absolutely wonderful. The guides were exceptionally personable, amazingly knowledgeable and happy to take all manner of questions on NZ plant life from an ignorant Aussie. And I spent some time talking to a fellow participant which was fun.
    (the stop at a winery on the way back for some wine tasting was a bonus!)

    All part of the Manawatu Walking Festival. Tomorrow I'm off on the the 11km Te Apiti – Manawatu Gorge Track walk.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited March 2
    Oh, forgot to say... As well as ferns, saw many other plants, including a few northern rātā and some others I need to look up the book Huia recommended (one tall tree with drooping leaves was stunning!)
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    I used to enjoy your travelogues in your blog years ago. Am enjoying reading about your NZ discoveries.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Thanks, Loth.

    It was an amazing experience. Practically sheltered the entire way, with lookouts and a few places where the canopy opened up. There were some hard slogs up, but it was worth it. We were guided by 3 people from a national conservation group I've joined, and I had many conversations with fellow walkers -- including an English family who had spent a year in Wagga Wagga! (they found the heat a bit much)
  • It's fascinating hearing about your explanations of New Zealand @Climacus
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    It's interesting to me as well because it's easy to take for granted things I have seen all my life.

    I am not familiar with the area, but wonder if the tall tree with the drooping leaves was a kahikatea. They are one of the tallest trees in NZ. Early settlers called them white pine. Their wood has some kind of chemical in it that means it safe around food and Dad told me when he was a child it was used to make butter boxes because it wouldn't taint the butter. I have a chopping board that was given to my Great Aunt and Uncle as a wedding present that is made from Kahikatea. They got married in the very early 1900s.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Is that a world record for a chopping board?
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    We have here what I hope is the last hurrah of summer. For the last two days we have had cicada song for most of the day. Not the raucous blast I am used to from early November on, but sibilant hiss with overtones of something on a lower note. It must be a different variety and a check showed some do make themselves heard in March. I am very much looking forward to autumn.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    I hope the cool weather comes quickly for you, Loth.

    Thanks CK and Huia, and Huia -- yes: kahikatea it was.
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host
    Echoing you in the longing for autumn, Loth. The dawns now are cooler, misty and smell of wood smoke, but we're still living with terrific heat and not enough rain.
  • Until a few days ago the cicadas were still very noisy. I have the impression that they're dropping off, and might even be silent by tomorrow.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Interesting fact about NZ #639...

    Kids start school when they are 5. As in, if their birthday is in May or August they start school then, not all together at the beginning of the year like in Oz. Not
    compulsory -- my colleague is thinking of holding her son back til next year as he has a birthday late in the calendar year. Very interesting.
  • Climacus wrote: »
    Interesting fact about NZ #639...

    Kids start school when they are 5. As in, if their birthday is in May or August they start school then, not all together at the beginning of the year like in Oz. Not
    compulsory -- my colleague is thinking of holding her son back til next year as he has a birthday late in the calendar year. Very interesting.

    Not having been involved with young kids for some time, I was interested to find that nowadays they initially go into a new entrants' classroom one by one, until, I think, the beginning of the next term, when those who are ready move together into the year one class.

    Your child can start school or kura in New Zealand between age 5 and 6. All children must be enrolled at school by their sixth birthday. From 2018, if you enrol your child in a school which has cohort entry, your child may be able to start school before their fifth birthday.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Thanks for the additional information, Galloping Granny. Very interesting.

    I spent last night and today with 4 colleagues (3 from here in Palmerston North and 1 from Wellington) in Auckland for a training course. What a busy city! I went out last night and this morning (6am) on my own exploring...some beautiful buildings. And the harbour is nice, as was Sts Patrick and Joseph Cathedral. A lot of construction going on (new underground railway).

    Had a very entertaining minibus driver; she entertained us with stories and informed us with knowledge from and to the airport. The course was wonderful, exceptionally relevant and helpful (on telling stories with data), and it was fun to spend time with colleagues outside the office. I'm lucky I have very good colleagues so while I needed some time on my own, I was very happy spending time with them.
  • KittyvilleKittyville Shipmate
    It sounds like you've had a fantastic move to Palmerston North, Climacus - so happy for you!
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    32 Glorious degrees here yesterday. Spitting this morning and I could see lightning to the northeast (not showing up on the weather rader though). Sigh. Leaves are turning. I hate it.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Zappa wrote: »
    32 Glorious degrees here yesterday ...
    I'm looking forward to the weekend, when it's due to reach 32 glorious degrees here too.

    Fahrenheit degrees, but degrees all the same ...

    Have you ever considered migration as a lifestyle option? :mrgreen:

  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    This side of town 24c is forecast for tomorrow and the next 9 days are forecast as under 20, YaY. Unhappily there is little rain forecast.

    Christchurch is now on hosing restrictions - handheld hoses only and if your house number is odd, only on odd days. I thought we were already restricted so I won't need to change anything. I only water the roses, the lawn will grow back in winter.
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    Piglet wrote: »
    Zappa wrote: »
    32 Glorious degrees here yesterday ...
    I'm looking forward to the weekend, when it's due to reach 32 glorious degrees here too.

    Fahrenheit degrees, but degrees all the same ...

    Have you ever considered migration as a lifestyle option? :mrgreen:

    :mrgreen: :sunglasses:
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    Perhaps somewhat against the spirit of Lent, but I find myself with multiple devotionals. I signed up for the Bible Society’s daily emails as I got so much out of the Advent series last year. DIL sent me a Kindle edition of Brueggemann’s Lenten series. However, I could not download it in Australia so I converted the money to my account and bought something by Tom Wright.

    At breakfast this morning, we had another go. I could download the Brueggemann by buying from my own account,so she did that. So three things. I have started with the Brueggemann. The others can wait another time.
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    Kuruman and I have spent a couple of days up at Lake Ohau, including a delightful 15 km hike (tramp) up the South Temple Valley. Sheer heaven.
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    edited March 15
    Huia, I have just seen news about shooting in Christchurch mosque. How horrible. Please stay in touch with us and stay indoors as police ask (((())))

    I have also noted this in prayer thread.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    Yes got a call from Nephew whose mother works at Police emergency. Gunman shot up 2 Mosques as well as shot fired near hospital. So glad I decided not to go into town today, but this is the day a lot of students are marching about climate change.
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    Both mosques named in SMH report. Glad to hear from you. Take care please.
  • rexoryrexory Shipmate
    Sad news out of Christchurch. Thinking of you, Huia.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Indeed. I hope you and those you know are alright. Sadly it seems there are casualties.

    A sense of disbelief mixed with anger in the office here.
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    {{{Huia, the people involved, killed and injured, and the people of Christchurch}}}
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Very glad you're alright. Such a lovely city to have come through the earthquakes and now this.
  • LothlorienLothlorien All Saints Host
    Latest news suggests forty are dead. Just horrible.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    In some ways this was worse that the quakes, because they were deliberate killings based on hatred.

    I have visited Masjid Al Noor Mosque on an open day and the people I met were friendly and welcomed questions. I could never see myself converting, but it was good to be able to find out more about what they believed.
  • JapesJapes Shipmate
    Adding my prayers from here, @Huia
  • What more can be said? The country must be in a state of appalled shock and horror.
  • MiliMili Shipmate
    Adding my prayers. So shocking and horrible.
  • SarasaSarasa Shipmate
    Prayers for @Huia and all the people of Christchurch.
  • CathscatsCathscats Shipmate
    Yes indeed, praying.
  • EvangelineEvangeline Shipmate
    So sorry New Zealand, this is just dreadful. #praying
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    Glad that you're safe Huia. Unlikely that you'd be in a mosque at the time of Friday prayers but anyone in the general vicinity would be at risk. I don't know why we were so shaken and upset (we weren't in the same manner by 9/11) but we're getting over it.
  • ZappaZappa Ecclesiantics Host
    What more can be said? The country must be in a state of appalled shock and horror.

    Yup. No words. :disappointed:
  • GalilitGalilit Shipmate
    edited March 15
    Thoughts from me too - far away now but feel it no less

    Daughter lives just round the corner from the Linwood Ave mosque (the second one) and heard all the emergency services in action (helicopters, sirens, etc0. Luckily for all both the little ones were at home today. If the 4 year old had been in his day-care he'd have been in lock-down for hours on end. And if it had been next week the baby (5 months) would have been in day care too - great for the hormones!
  • Suffering from a kind of loss of innocence. All those good people! Our friends and neighbours and the folk who were attacked are of many different skin colours, but one sick person saw people as Us and Them. The people killed were some of Us. May God's love comfort those who are grieving.
  • HuiaHuia Shipmate
    A friend offered to take me to the Mall at the other side of town for grocery shopping today. I always find it stressful as the supermarket is very cramped and busy, so I decided to shop closer to home this morning.

    This afternoon I went to Turanga, the central library and signed the condolences book. I also took out a couple of Madeleine L'Engle books for comfort reading.

    Town was quiet with many shops closed and messages of support stuck on lamp posts. The temperature was OK, but it felt very cold.

    When I got home I found that the Michaelmas daisies grown from the Botanic Gardens seed are beginning to flower.
  • MaryLouiseMaryLouise Purgatory Host
    ((Huia))
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