Wednesday, 31 December 2014

What To Do With Old NZ Telegraph Poles?

Do you remember this image of New Zealand?
All the wooden telegraph poles with the cross beams and
wires strung along and over the streets...

The beautiful old timber, usually Australian hardwood.
Although there was a lot of timber grown in New Zealand
most of it was soft native timber or semi hard so timber for
poles and railway sleepers was imported from Australia.

Today all these old poles have been replaced by underground wiring
and any poles there are, are concrete... So what happened to
all the old wooden poles?  Well they are lying around all over NZ
and if you can find some... All sorts of things can be made!

 A few were lurking in Takaka and Kris got his hands on some...
And with his great imagination and creativity... After he had finished
cooking up delectable food for the busy cafe for the day...
He started building...

 He measured, cut lengths and put what seemed like a jigsaw
puzzle lying on the ground together to make the most
amazing outdoor table and two very unique chairs.

 The last screws and stabilizing corner bits..

 And here's the finished end result...

 The chairs are giants chairs... The timber very unique...

 This one with an embellishment off an old car...

 It looks like something out of 'Alice in wonderland' you know...
Alice and the Mad Hatter and the Tea Party... It's all out of proportion
but absolutely beautiful and looks fantastic in the courtyard 
outside the cafe kitchen were we all sit during the day and
eat dinner in the evening sun..

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

I've Been Concocting... More Stuff...

It's been raining over the last couple of days so a great opportunity
to be inside doing things.  I needed to stock up on a
few things I like to make and because I have been parked
at a cafe that makes a lot of coffee I wondered what I might
be able to make with the abundance of used coffee grounds.
Usually they get tipped onto the vegetable garden but...

I found this recipe in the latest Organic NZ magazine for
'Wake me up coffee and coconut oil  exfoliant... and here it is. 
I used the little bit of coffee from my stove-top espresso
 to experiment with... The grounds are fine grind and organic. 
Mix 2 tablespoons melted organic coconut oil with
3 tablespoons fine grind used coffee grounds.
Gently rub mixture onto your skin using small circular 
motions. Rinse with warm water.
I used it all over, including very gently on my face. It
left my skin feeling smooth and wonderfully moisturised.
I didn't wash it off with any soap or body wash...
Made a bit of a mess in the shower  but that rinsed away.
If making a larger amount store excess in fridge
keeps for several weeks.

Next thing... I needed to make more soap powder... This is
cheap, easy, non-toxic to clothes and the environment and gives
me whites that are whiter than white.
Equal quantities of baking soda and washing soda crystals.
Can use soda ash which is the same thing but in powder form
(I use 2 cups of each), 1 block pure Sunlight soap grated.
Put all together in a deep bowl, blend with stick blender
till fine. Use 1-2 tablespoons in washing machine.
I presoak my white bed linen, any stained teatowels overnight
next day throw in my towels and everything will be eye
dazzling white. DO NOT use on coloured clothes.

My container of fine soap powder with a 
few flakes of soap and my little measure.

Next was my butter supply. I cut up 250gr of ordinary butter and sat 
it in the window to soften, added 150gr olive oil and blend together.

The result, creamy butter that I keep in the fridge and is never hard, 
always spreadable straight out of the fridge... And NO I don't eat margarine.

And lastly... Ages ago I found a recipe for Galens Cold Cream.
Cold Cream was used a lot in my mothers day but not so much today. 
Galen was the great Greek physician who wrote much about the virtue 
of roses and who  invented the recipe for cold cream. 

Later in the sixteenth century, the herbalist Culpepper gave many 
uses for roses. He wrote "Of the Red Roses are usually made many 
compositions, all serving to sundry good uses, vis, electuary of roses,
conserve both moist and dry, which is usually called sugar of roses,
syrup of dry roses and honey of roses; the cordial powder called
aromatic rosarum, the rose leaves dried are of very great use and effect".
All these preparation of roses were used to treat such diverse
conditions as haemorrhage of the lungs and coughs, night sweats
and other "female complaints" and ulcerated mouths...

Don't you just love the quaint language and the variety of
"female' complaints. Don't know what men did?

Anyway, here is a recipe for lovely Galens Cold Cream.
120ml oil (in small amounts ml's and grams are the same)
a 50/50 mix of almond oil and sunflower oil is best because
almond oil is good for dry skin and sunflower oil has nourishing
vitamin E in it. (I used almond and jojoba and a vit E capsule).
15gr beeswax, 60ml rosewater
2 drops essential oil of choice (I used rose/geranium)
1.      Very gently heat oil and wax in a double boiler or if
using direct heat, use lowest heat possible. 
2.      When beeswax is melted beat with whizz stick while slowly adding
 rosewater drop by drop. This must be done slowly but before the 
mixture cools. Can use a fork or whisk.
3.       Add essential oil when mixture is cool but before it hardens. 
4.      Suddenly the magic happens and the lovely white scented
cream appears. Keep beating then scrape into small pots.
This makes a light cream which can be used as both a
moisturiser or cleanser. It's very mild but if your skin is sensitive
leave out the essential oil.

I find it quite greasy and use sparingly every night.
 My face and dry skin love it... And it smells divine.


Sunday, 28 December 2014

'Heavenly'... My Handcrafted Body Creams...

Since I last talked about body creams and gave you a couple
of recipes, I have started to make them in a more serious way.
 I have an outlet to sell them in my daughter's cafe so thought
I would give it a go... I've got much more detailed and
precise about ingredients, measurements, temperature...
and everything involved. I buy most of the ingredients
from Go Native. You will also find basic recipes on their 
website. The containers I get from Arthur Holmes

All the creams are made in three phases and heated to a specific
temperature... This is the water phase... Filtered water, green 
tea, sometimes rosewater... Whatever you like really

And the oil phase. The white bits are the emulsifier... 
Sometimes Shea butter...
Measured to the exact gram on my digital scales.

Heated then combined and whipped till thick and cool...
The last phase is the essential oils and preservative.
Close by a rough draft of the recipe I am making and a 
calculator  to  work out the cost.

We brainstormed for a name and it's been a family affair
to design the label, they have improved with each trial.
At this stage I get them printed in Takaka. They are printed 
on an A4 page so I have to individually cut out each one.
I make four different creams/lotions and each has
different ingredients and the label is a different colour.
The ingredients list is on the side of the label - They don't have
any colourings, numbers or unpronounceable names. 
The preservative and emulsifier are as 'natural' 
as I can find. 60% of what you put on your skin is
absorbed into your blood stream, so I'm very fussy
about what I put in each cream.

The 220ml bottles...

Filled and with the tops on...

Labels on... 'Heavenly'-  Hemp Oil, Aloevera, Lavender
After Sun Lotion.

This is one of my earlier 'brews' and labels. The label has gone 
wrinkly because I stored them in the cafe chiller... I don't do that now!
'Heavenly' - Hemp Oil, Green Tea, Calendula, Vanilla, Body Lotion.

I made some more today and put it in lovely160ml blue 
glass bottles and small 50gr pots.

Here is a selection on the cafe counter... Each
different lotion or cream has a tester... 

So come and try... It's delicious and delovely and
good enough to eat...

My point of difference is Organic Hemp Seed Oil

Hemp seed oil, certified organic

Cannabis sativa
Certified organic, USDA
Cold pressed, virgin
100% pure

Origin: Canada

Hemp seed oil contains antioxidants, protein, carotene, phytosterols, phospholipids, as well as a number of minerals including calcium, magnesium, sulfur, potassium, iron, zinc, and phosphorus.
It is a source of complete protein and contains all 20 known amino acids, including the nine essential amino acids.
It also contains Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, D, and E.
The green color in hemp seed oil is a result of the high level of chlorophyll which is naturally present in the seeds.
Perhaps the most valued property of hemp seed oil is its percentage of essential fatty acids, which is higher than any other plant in the world. It contains both omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, in a proportion of 3:1. This proportion is the recommended balance of omega-6 to omega-3 acids.
Essential fatty acids are necessary for our health, and are responsible for the lustre in our skin, hair, eyes, transferring oxygen to every cell in our body, and even the clarity in our thought processes.

Specifically, hemp seed oil has been shown to assist with the following:
• Eczema
• Psoriasis
• Acne
• Dry skin
• Dry hair

In cosmetic and body-care products, hemp seed oil is anti-inflammatory, anti-ageing, balances dry skin, fights skin inflammations, helps heal skin lesions, has antioxidants, and contains moisture balancing properties. The oil is non-greasy, readily absorbs into the pores, is an emollient, and has rejuvenating and moisturising properties for the skin.
The vitamins and minerals present in hemp seed oil are easily absorbed through the skin, resulting in a more vitamin and mineral-enriched body-care product.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Samuel Marsden's Journal... Part 2...

In the last little while since starting to read about Samuel Marsden
and his history and the first Christmas Day service I have 
become very interested in how these early events in New Zealand
shaped its future and how these early beginnings have
shaped todays Maori/Pakeha relationships and todays
interpretation of the Treaty of Waitingi and how, in my limited opinion,
we are developing, with assistance from the present Government of 
New Zealand into a country embracing apartheid. 
I wonder how Samuel Marsden 
and the Maori of those years would think and feel and react to todays 
developments and so called 'progress'. 

You are allowed to have different opinions to mine of course!

Russell Clark's reconstruction of Samuel Marsden's Christmas Day service 
at Oihi Bay in the Bay of Islands in 1814 is how many New Zealanders
 have visualised the first Christmas service in this country.
Clark’s work commemorated the 150th anniversary of the event and 
shows Marsden at a makeshift pulpit preaching to a large group of 
Maori and Europeans. Ruatara, the Ngāpuhi leader Marsden had met in 
Port Jackson (Sydney), translated the service and can be seen to Marsden’s right.
This service marked the beginnings of the Christian mission to New Zealand.
 Part 2...
After reading the service, during which the natives stood up and sat down at the signal given by the motion of Korokoro’s switch which was regulated by the movements of the Europeans, it being Christmas Day, I preached from the Second Chapter of St. Luke’s Gospel, and tenth verse: “Behold! I bring you glad tidings of great joy.” The Natives told Duaterra [Ruatara] that they could not understand what I meant. He replied that they were not to mind that now for they would understand by and by, and that he would explain my meaning as far as he could. When I had done preaching, he informed them what I had been talking about. Duaterra [Ruatara] was very much pleased that he had been able to make all the necessary preparations for the performance of Divine service in so short a time, and we felt much obliged to him for his attention. He was extremely anxious to convince us that he would do everything for us that lay in his power and that the good of his country was his principal consideration. In this manner the Gospel has been introduced into New Zealand; and I fervently pray that the glory of it may never depart from its inhabitants, till time shall be no more.
When the service was over we returned on board, much gratified with the reception we had met with, and we could not but feel the strongest persuasion that the time was at hand when the Glory of the Lord would be revealed to these poor benighted heathens and that those who were to remain on the island had strong reason to believe that their labours would be crowned and blessed with success. In the evening I administered the Holy Sacrament on board the Active in remembrance of our Saviour’s birth and what He had done and suffered for us.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Marking New Zealand History... Marsden Cross

 Marsden Cross at Oihi Bay, Bay Of Islands... It is a large
Celtic stone... With the following inscription...

 Where the 1st Christian service in New Zealand
was preached on Christmas Day 1814...

 The people, mostly Maori... Gathered to listen...

 The cross in the wilderness... Was unveiled at Rangihoua, Oihi
in March 1907.  The cross was designed by the Rev’d Philip Walsh 
who was archdeacon of Waimate from1901 to 1912. 
Walsh was a noted amateur artist and architectural draftsman who
 designed several churches. The cross cost £223. 

Marsden Cross not only marks the area where the congregation
gathered on Christmas Day 1814 to take part in worship but
also the land where the first missionary settlement was erected.
The first missionary houses and school room were located on this site.

Marsden Cross is a significant site for the annual commemoration 
of the arrival of Marsden and the first missionaries with Ruatara 
and other Māori in December 1814 and the conduct of worship
on Christmas Day. The site is also a place of pilgrimage
throughout the year by people who are interested not only in the early
 Christian beginnings at this place but in New Zealand history. 
The setting of Marsden Cross at Oihi Bay is one of serenity and
great beauty. Historically the place is charged with memories of the
warm beginnings which took place here in the early interaction of
Māori and Pākehā. These beginnings at Oihi were the starting point
for Pākehā daily engagement with Māori and eventually led on to
the signing of Te Tiriti o Waitangi / The Treaty of Waitangi in
1840 and the birth of New Zealand as a nation.

Marsden Cross has been in the news lately as 2014 was the bi-centenary
of Samuel Marsden's first sermon with Ruatara in Oihi,
Bay of Islands...A civic ceremony was held on 21st December,
attended by the Governor-General, local kaumatua (elders)
and church leaders and the nation. On Christmas morning
a service was held round the cross.

Samuel Marsden, an amazing man... Read about his life here 

 His account of Christmas Day 1814...An excerpt from his journal...

"Duaterra (Ruatara) passed the remaining part of the day in preparing for the Sabbath. He enclosed about half an acre of land with a fence, erected a pulpit and reading-desk in the centre, and covered the whole, either with black native cloth, or some duck which he had brought with him from Port Jackson. He also procured some bottoms of old canoes and fixed them up as seats on each side of the pulpit for the Europeans to sit upon; intending to have Divine service performed there the next day.  These  preparations he made of his own accord; and in the evening informed me that everything was ready for Divine service. I was much pleased with this singular mark of his attention. The reading-desk was about three feet from the ground and the pulpit about six feet. The black cloth covered the top of the pulpit and hung over the sides. The bottom of the pulpit as well as the reading-desk was part of a canoe. The whole was becoming and had a solemn appearance. He had also erected a flag-staff on the highest hill in the village, which had a very commanding view.

On Sunday morning (December 25th) when I was upon deck I saw the English flag flying, which was a pleasing sight in New Zealand. I considered it as a signal for the dawn of civilization, liberty, and religion in that dark and benighted land. I never viewed the British colours with more gratification, and flattered myself they would never be removed till the natives of that land enjoyed all the happiness of British subjects.

About ten o'clock we prepared to go ashore to publish the glad tidings of the Gospel for the first time. I was under no apprehensions for the safety of the vessel, and therefore ordered all on board to go on shore to attend Divine service, except the master and one man. When we landed we found Korokoro, Duaterra (Ruatara), Shunghee (Hongi Hika) dressed in regimentals which Governor Macquarie had given them, with their men drawn up ready to march into the enclosure to attend Divine service. They had their swords by their sides and a switch in their hands. We entered the enclosure and were placed in the seats on each side of the pulpit. Korokoro marched his men on and placed them on my right hand in the rear of the Europeans and Duaterra (Ruatara) placed his men on the left. The inhabitants of the town, with the women and children and a number of other chiefs, formed a circle round the whole. A very solemn silence prevailed - the sight was truly impressive. I got up and began the service with the singing of the Old Hundred Psalm, and felt my very soul melt within me when I viewed my congregation and considered the state they were in"...

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Happy Christmas

It really is Christmas when I see the Pohutukawa Trees in 
bloom... Known as 'The New Zealand Christmas Tree'
as it bursts into flower sometime in December.
This tree is at Pohara, And looks beautiful.
My favourite tree... And all that to say...

Christmas... A Christian celebration to remember
the birth of Jesus that came about when Mary found
she was with child through the Holy 
spirit and an angel of the Lord said :The virgin
will be with child and will give birth to a son, and
they will call him Emmanuel" which means
"God with us." (Matthew 1: 18-23). This fulfilled
the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 spoken 100's of
years before... How can we doubt it?


Sunday, 21 December 2014

Fish Anyone?

My next visitor was another of the locals, who goes fishing a lot...
In his boat with a mate and also puts a net out. They came along
the beach on a quad to discuss the pro's and con's of fishing that day...
It was a bit windy and the sea rather choppy.
I got chatting, curious really, as to where they went
fishing and what they caught... They were equally
curious about me and my bus... And did I have any fish?
Well... No I didn't. I was thinking about fishing but
didn't know whether the fishing was good at Patons Rock
or whether I would just catch stingrays and sand sharks...
"We've got plenty of fish" was the response... "Just wait and
we'll be back". Well five minutes later... Fish! How much did I want?

 I looked in his bin...

 "I'll fillet  you some" was the offer... So of course
I didn't say no... Fresh fish, I hadn't had any for ages.
He was highly organised... The box you can see on the back
of the quad in the first photo got turned upside down and
became a filleting table... He was an expert at it...
A Kahawai?... "Want some Rig"? Why not... So it was all
filleted... Put in clean plastic bags and handed to me...
And off they went... To go fishing.

 I decided to smoke the Kahawai and eat it hot for lunch...
Bit of salt, some brown sugar... Yes I've got some Manuka sawdust.

 A good smoke up...

And fresh hot smoked Kawahai... Nothing quite like it. Yum!

A Wild Plum Tree...

 The next day... Beautiful and sunny... I wandered off for a 
walk to explore this little village... This is the street that goes
along parallel with the beach... Some lovely houses, some full 
time homes others holiday homes. Patons Rock is at the end of a
road that goes nowhere else so it's a quiet hidden away
little sanctuary. I loved it and could live here if I
wanted to put feet on solid ground.

 At the end of the road and the end of the houses looking back.
On the left is another reserve and a track to the beach.

 Half way as I meandered along I saw this strange sight... 
Why would a tree on the edge of the beach be covered with a net?

 On closer inspection I saw why... Lots of little red sweet juicy
plums... There were several trees and obviously the locals
had covered one up to protect the plums from marauders 
like me and the birds and any opossums... Needless to say I 
feasted and filled my pockets... And went back the next day!

 I continued on through the reserve and found this walk-way
between the edge of the beach and the houses... Well maintained

And a pleasure to walk along chatting to more locals
as I went, most had lived there a long time and all
knew each other... And back to my bus for lunch... Plums?

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Parked at Patons Rock...

 I had done my usual Takaka town things on Wednesday and 
Thursday... Shopping, my two yoga classes and two visits to
the physio (for those of you who remember that I broke my leg now 
13 months ago I am still needing help towards the long recovery).
I spent one night  back at Waitapu Bridge then next morning decided
to go and explore Patons Rock for the day... It's only another
10km north of Takaka town. I was greeted by this sign...

 I parked in the lovely little reserve... Green grass...

 Trees, big tree trunks... My own BBQ table... Bliss.

 And just a few steps to this gorgeous beach.

 What a pity I was only here for the day!

 I set off for a walk and had only got as far as the 'No Overnight
Parking' sign and met Fran... She is a local character... Asked me who
I was, as obviously I was a stranger... Then invited me for a
cup of tea... She knows Jo and the cafe so that gave me some
credibility in her eyes! I met her husband Pat... They are real
'old timers' and so interesting.

 This is where they live with a wonderful garden. Fran is Canadian
of long ago, Pat a NZ'er, together they have lived in Golden
Bay for 52  years so who and what they don't know about
wasn't worthy of mention! I had a lovely cup of tea and
ginger muffins and was given permission to park overnight
in the reserve... If anybody questioned me... Refer them to Fran!

 So back to my bus I went... Gathered my towel, the latest NZMCA
mag which I had just received, a glass of wine and settled on the beach.

 My bus close by and a short track to the beach.

 I watched the changing landscape... A lone fisherman...

 As it began to get dark...

 We are nearly to the longest day on 21st December, sunset is 
not till 9pm then it takes an hour after that to get dark.

 The long slow dusk is one of the lovely things I enjoy about
being in the South Island.

And it was time to think about bed... And enjoy being here for
the night...And going for a walk
tomorrow as I didn't get to it today.