Wednesday, December 6

Looking for the Xmas Spirit...

Perhaps I will find the Spirit in this flower?? the name of which I have forgotten- is it of the Fuschia family?? Anway, it is flourishing in my nephew's garden.

This pic is of Meggie & BFJ at the Whangarei Falls. It was beautiful, & so green & peaceful... apart from the tourists, haha.

Another pic from the Falls. This is taken looking down on the greenery. There are walkways around the area, & you can go down to the bottom of the falls, but it was getting late into the afternoon, & my knee would not have made it anyway.

More of the gorgeous green bush.

This is a pic taken from my brother's house, of clouds over the Waitakere ranges. those clouds were not idle threats- they produced some very heavy rainfall that night!

This was of the sun setting under the cloud & over the ranges. This is a common pattern, over those ranges.

I should have managed to get some pics of the red Pohutukawa flowers which were just coming out. They were coming out in style down in the Bay Of Plenty, but didnt seem to be quite ready further north, which is curious. They are know as the Christmas flowers, and are said to indicate whether the summer will be a hot, long one, if they bloom early. They are very similar to Calistemon or Bottle Brush flowers, but are a richer crimson red, & look very impressive when in full bloom.
When we were young, I can remember reading books about Hutu & Kawa, who were twins, & somewhat like the Gumnut Babies in Australian childrens books.

On our travels down to Bay of Plenty, we stayed in 2 motels, in different towns. One was in the small town of my birth, & as we walked the streets- which have not changed much since I was born!- we searched the faces, trying to find someone we could recognise, but though my brother was sure he recognised one or two, I could not find any familiar faces.
It is long years since I left that small town, to go nursing in a nearby city.
We still have family living in the town, & we visited an Aunt & cousin, & met her lovely little boy, who is very bright for 2 1/2 & a lovely little chap.

Brother & I had fun rating the Motels- the one in this town is a familiar one, having stayed there often in the past. The layout & bathroom are very nice. Most New Zealand Motels, have kitchen facilities, though the more modern ones are not so equipped. Motel No 1, as I shall call it, had a stove, toaster, microwave, fridge, electric kettle etc. In the morning we made some toast & coffee.
Imagine our horror when the smoke alarm blared off, almost deafening us, it was so loud & earsplitting!!
My brother leapt onto a chair, & belted the thing until it stopped! Foolishly I turned the toaster down a notch, & tried some more toast. Same result!! Agony of eardrums!! Brother leaping about on chair clouting the bloody smoke alarm!! We couldnt understand why the damn thing kept going off- it was nowhere near the kitchen area of the room, & the toast was barely coloured.
When my brother complained about it, the proprietor laughed & said, "Sensitive, isnt it?" rendering my brother speechless.
We rated Motel No 1 a 3 after that! Prior to having our showers we had rated it about 6, but the water pressure in the shower was so feeble we had to hurl our bodies about under the thin stream to try to get wet!! I had showered first, so warned BB about the paucity of water.

Post shower the rating went down 2 notches, & post smoke alarm, it dropped a further notch.

Motel No 2 had a great water pressure in the shower- in fact it could almost rip strips out of your scalp, if care was not taken. However, it was an older establishment, & we had also previously stayed there. Once whilst attending our father's funeral, so it had some bittersweet memories.
The dreaded smoke alarm had already been tinkered with- in fact, ripped apart! no doubt by some disgruntled guest!
My brother made sure to inspect it before risking toast, & we laughed imagining the scene of it's destruction.
We had noticed a lot of truck drivers used Motel No 2- it isituated on a logging route, & so we were given a unit well away from the road.
However, we were woken by the sound a jet engine roaring into life in the early hours of the morning, followed by loud slamming doors, which sounded like gun shots, to our sleepy ears. As this town is somewhat 'troublesome' at times we wondered what the hell was going on. We never did find out what the jet engine was, & there were no police about, so the 'gunshots' cant have been real. The proprietor was a lovely woman & very friendly so the Motel got 3 points.

We left early to visit our Father's grave, which I am very glad I did, as the last time I was there was when he was buried, & it was not a pleasant memory to be left with. We then called in to see our beloved Uncle, who is almost 90, & so proud to still be alive & well, & his memory is great, & he is full of irreverant stories, & hilarious little ditties. He is going to have a party for his 90th birthday- "Assuming I am still alive!" And he says even if he drops dead tomorrow, he has had a wonderful life, & loved every minute of it. We had been there gor tea the evening before, & had a great night- he even stayed up late for us. We also got a severe lecture from our Aunt & Uncle because we hadnt landed on them, to spend the night.
Uncle told my brother he will kick his arse if he does that again!!
And, seeing he has a 'new' knee, he just might!

We sure had some fun, travelling about, visiting our rellies!


mjd said...

I love your pictures. New Zealand looks like a beautiful place; maybe like a little piece of heaven here on Earth. How great to have lived 90 years and love every minute. I have lived 60. Although my has been good, I wasted too many minutes being sad and self-consumed. I guess that I should make the most of the next 30 years.

I am visiting from the Chronicles of Molly Bawn

Anonymous said...

Well, it happened again. I guess I'm a slow learner....had a long meandering comment all written , scrolled down to publish and was prompted to log in with beta, which swallowed my comment in one gulp.Grrrr! Don't have the energy to rewrite, but did love your pics!

joyce said...

Your rellies sound pretty interesting esp the 90 year old uncle. Anyone who has a good memory at that age is sure to be interesting. Seeing your pictures, I am sure our next trip to Australia will be via NZ.

nutmeg said...

I wish we could have some of NZ's rainfall. I have visited parts of both islands - I find the place so beautiful.

I have been having a strange hankering to visit the place I grew up. I want to visit my primary school. I don't know if this is connected to the fact that daughter #1 is starting primary school next year. Visiting your past can be so bittersweet.

I'm so glad that you enjoyed your trip and visiting your family - the pic's are great :-)

Bec of the Ladies Lounge said...

Definitely a fuschia in the first pic.

Lovely stories, as ever Meggie, thanks for sharing them!

Jeanette said...

Love your Photo's
I agree definately a Fushia, and a great story. Love your pink teddy