Saturday, 27 September 2014

Operation Cover Up...

I met Chris a while back... We had dinner... And I learned
about Operation Cover Up.  Read about it... But be
prepared to cry and/or start knitting...

This is Chris's spare bedroom. When it is
time for all the knitted blankets to be sent
to be packed and shipped, her bedroom is
stacked floor to ceiling with all the multi
coloured blankets that so many people
in Rotorua have knitted.

Part of her garage is stacked with bags and boxes of wool and
second hand jumpers waiting to be unpicked to the wool
can be re-used and re-knitted into blankets.

This is a snug warm little jacket that has been lovingly
knitted for a cold child who has nothing.

Here are some figures... Of how many blankets and
garments have been sent to the children
 in the orphanages...

This is Liz Clarke of Taupo... Visiting children in Pluzhne Orphanage
in the Ukraine. Read more about Liz and the children...

During the past 10 years, Liz Clarke has overseen the delivery of 67,000 
knitted blankets to orphans in Eastern Europe, many knitted by 
Presbyterians. All from placing a newspaper advertisement that requested 
‘‘67 blankets for an orphanage in Moldavia where I sponsored 
an orphan through Mission Without Borders’’.
Liz had discovered that orphans living in temperatures as low as -30°C 
had little to keep them warm. “They had a thin cotton bed cover. 
I just cried thinking about it. Then I asked God what I could do. 
A wool blanket is more than warmth; it’s comfort, God’s covering and God’s love.”

Liz started Operation Cover Up under the umbrella of 'Mission

 In addition to the beautiful, many coloured blankets, all of the children 
were given hats, gloves, scarves, winter jackets, and boots.

For our photos we dressed up two of the classes and took them 
outside into the snow. The bright colours contrasted 
starkly with the pure white snow.

Want to get involved... Get knitting... Start a group...Or give money 
for the enormous cost of shipping? Read more details here

Monday, 22 September 2014

Dolly... My New Friend...

 This is Dolly. I found her abandoned in a basket in a shop in Auckland...
Lonely... Nameless... And looking very forlorn.
She was so soft and cuddly, how could I leave her there?
I carried her round the shop for a while to see if
we could get on together, named her Dolly and
of course had to take her home.

 She now lives with me in my bus... She likes
helping me drive...

 She's fallen in love with Ted...

 She loves reading... Or doing anything really...

And time out sitting on my cushions.
We haven't tried fishing together yet!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

New Boots... For Her and Me...

 We both needed new boots. Licorice Allsorts
has had the same boots for forty-three years.
Now that's a long time for boots to last so I
couldn't begrudge her some new ones.
This is the old boot round the gear stick... A
very sorry state of affairs... Held together
with a paper clip to try and keep out the draught
when driving... Cracked, sagging... What more
can I say!

 This is even worse... A blue chux cloth
held on with rubber bands... Underneath is
the old boot more holes that anything else
as the rats took a fancy to it and saw it as
a tunneling project into the bus where
they might find?  Well who knows!
So the day had come, an auto upholsterer recommended
and an a booking made... For new boots.

 Here is the new boot round the gear stick... Specially
designed in black leather to suit the situation and
occasion and allow for plenty of movement...

 Done up round the top with state of the art Velcro.
Beautifully stitched... Screwed in for another
forty years service.

 And here's the new boot round the brake...
Again black leather and superbly stitched...

 The top detail... Hemmed with a cord and toggle
to allow for movement up and down.

 And here's the dressed up pair... Ready for the road...
Many more miles and many years of adventures...

And this is where we got the new boots. I highly recommend them
if you need new boots or any upholstery recovered or
squabs made or seats fixed. The head rest on my passenger seat was
falling apart... After the boots were made and fitted
an offer was made to fix the head rest... A five minute
job Daniel, the amazing designer and maker of boots said,
and it was done... The charges very reasonable.

Next were boots for me. My boots were only four months
old... Not forty or even four years! I wear through a pair
of boots every winter. I must say it's nice choosing
new boots but I'm beginning to wonder what I do to them...
Apart from walking of course and wearing them every day.
Four months... that's hardly any time at all. I wondered
why I kept getting one wet foot and found the sole
on the boots I bought at the end of April had cracked right
through. They weren't cheap but these new ones were...
I wanted to try out a Doc Marten style but didn't want to
pay the price so found these at the Hornby Shoe Outlet...
Not only outlet prices but also on sale. A great place
if you are passing by.

So off we go... I think Licorice Allsorts boots
will last a lot longer than mine...

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

I'm Back In Christchurch... In My Bus Again!

After a month away in The Far North and Auckland
 it was lovely to be 'home' again in my bus. It was
fantastic seeing friends and doing different things
and going different places... But I did miss 'home'.
First thing I did was light my fire!
It takes me some days to unpack and put things
away and settle in and stock up my fridge again.
I had left my bus parked at a friends farm. I was
worried about mice and rats so had 3 traps set inside
and a well stocked bait station outside but no
rodents showed their face thank goodness.

I spent a week parked at my Dad's again...
On the side of the road... Again!  

Then moved to Weedons NZMCA Park... Again! 
It's lovely to be surrounded by open space and distance. 
The only thing that's not lovely about being back in 
Christchurch is the cold, but then that's an excuse to light my fire.
My first day back at Weedons it rained and rained
and was cold. I put all my wet weather gear on and
got the bus at the gate and met a friend at
the Botanical gardens for coffee. It was pre-arranged
or the weather might have put me off. It was
actually really nice splashing in the rain and spring
has sprung in the gardens and all the beautiful old
Camellia trees are in full bloom.

 The next day started with a misty/foggy morning...

 The view from my bus...

 But the sun was coming... And I got out my deck chair and
spent the whole day sitting in the sun reading.

A few things have happened since I was last here...
A new paling fence has been erected... Part of the resource
consent as the lady who owns the farm behind the NZMCA
Park doesn't like caravans and motor homes and doesn't
want to look at them as she drives past to her place!
But makes a good wind break and shelter.

Some posts have been put in the ground to separate the long
term storage parking area. I don't think it's finished... I'm told there
are more to be put in and there is a big coil of fencing wire on
the ground... Talk is of gates at each end with a code - for 
security I guess... Wait and see!

 On this side of the park is another paddock, not fenced off,
and the pine trees in the distance seemed a likely source
of firewood... And they were...

 The pine cones and wood cut up by my sharp saw and blunt
axe filled up my firewood bucket. I have put 'get my axe sharpened'
on my 'to do' list!

This was the view out my window this morning... Fresh snow
shining and glistening in the early morning sun.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Riverhead Tavern... For Lunch

This is the Riverhead Tavern... A beautifully restored old pub.

It's an absolute 'must go there' experience.

Situated on the upper reaches of the Waitemata Harbour

This is the day we went. After a sunny morning on the
beach a tropical storm followed us here...
Lightening, deafening thunder and rain so loud
we couldn't talk...

This was our view, almost obscured by the rain as we ate lunch
The menu...  Well there is plenty to choose from. I had
Tempura Fish & Chips DF with a beer
 Janeen had 
Pure Ground Beef Burger with Iceberg lettuce, Manuka 
Smoked BBQ sauce, Melted Swiss cheese, Onion rings
and Shoestring fries with a glass of wine.
 It was such thick noisy heavy rain. Can you see the tents
on the right hand side. I'm glad I wasn't lunching there!
We finished our lunch with an Affogato sitting
by the fire. Eventually, reluctantly, we had to brave the
weather and go home.
It's top of my 'to do' list next time I'm in Auckland.
You can get to Riverhead by ferry that leaves downtown
Auckland, times depending on the tide.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

My Last Day... A Walk Along Muriwai Beach

It was my last day in Auckland... Where had the time gone?
I had walked round the suburb where I was staying, visited my
favourite shops from my last visit there. Found some new
cafes with absolutely delicious food, there are so many they have
to be above the ordinary to survive the competition!
Explored Ponsonby Road again...
I went to the Auckland City Art Gallery... And my last day came .
Janeen and I set off towards West Auckland to go shopping
but the day was far too warm and sunny...

So we changed our plans and came here... Muriwai Beach
Hard black sand and surf on the west coast

Motutara Island off the end of the mainland...

On these rocky ledges is a gannet colony... With the gannets
wheeling and diving for fish. About 1200 pairs of gannets nest
here between August and March each year. There
is a short walking track to a viewing platform just above the
main colony area.

The colours and cloud formations were stunning...

The clouds reflected in the wet sand...

Me... Paddling with my boots on!

Janeen sitting on a huge washed up log as we ate our apples.

And suddenly a huge black cloud appeared and thick rain
in the distance... We raced back along the beach to the car.
We just made it... and headed off for lunch at...

Saturday, 6 September 2014

A Week In Auckland...

 I've been staying with my friend Janeen in Auckland.
This is her garden by day... Looking north...
She has a little conservatory to enjoy the view
and the birds, especially the Tui's who love her trees
and perch and sing their hearts out. Do you know
that Tui's are the first birds up and the last to bed
so their songs echo in the garden all day. This morning
there was a flock of Starlings poking around with their
beaks and feeding on worms out of the wet grass.
 The conservatory is also fantastic place to sit  with
a glass or two of wine and enjoy the sunsets.
Brilliant colours... To the north...

 Reaching round to the west behind the trees.
Down in the valley behind the trees is the zoo...
The evening roars of the lions add sound effects
to the sunset.

 The sky darkens and the colours fade...

So quickly... The evening spectacular ends.