Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Steampunk Festival, Oamaru coming up - we are ready.

 Queen's Birthday Weekend next weekend, and Helen and I have been busy making our costumes and preparing for the long voyage to the South Island and the festivities.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Waihi beach weekend

 Once again, I find myself down at Waihi Beach, and this time with sister. We had a wonderful time, enjoying the last weekend the Bali Secret Garden was open before closing for the season. A delicious space.
 And we discovered the new restaurant attached to the Waihi Beach South hotel, which I've never been to. The food was delightful, economic and the whole experience one to be repeated.

 Waihi beach - always different but so familiar.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A new top hat

It's not every day you get a top hat. I'm making a steam punk costume, so this is a good start. Watch this space.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Jemma's 26th birthday in our front yard

 I started the chiminea at 3pm and then popped the lamb roast in half an hour later. Then I set up the garden to celebrate.
 The roast was cooked to perfection, and a good time had by all.
 Mum sat in the Moon chair the whole time thoroughly enjoying the show of her family.
 Helen's cheesecake birthday cake went down well.

 Ash brought his sister some roses.

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Stephen's 40th birthday

 We dressed up as men to add some brothers to the mix, at our celebration of Stephen's 40th. A progressive dinner starting at the Boyds, and moving (by bike) to Helen's for main course, and then cycling to our place for cheesecake dessert, and a meeting.
 Here's 'Allen'
 and here's 'Jimmy'
 Here we all are.
 Golf and a gun range part of the fun.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Chim, chiminea, chim, chiminea, chim chim anea.

 My most recent acquisition, that is taking up far too much of my time and money. . .
 but it IS great fun. So far we've enjoyed an open fire and company, then a chicken dinner that with a bit of juggling was delicious, and last night - pizzas.
 Bring on the good times!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Raspberry and Banana Muffins for morning tea

HAD to make these this morning. I'm on the 5:2 eating regime, and on the NON fasting days, something is called for with coffee! At least these had dextrose instead of sugar.

1 1/2 cups standard flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 large bananas, mashed
Half cup frozen raspberries
1 cup dextrose
1 egg
1/3 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 175°C. Coat muffin pans with non stick spray, or use paper liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Combine bananas, Dextrose, egg, frozen raspberries and melted butter in a large bowl. Fold in flour mixture, until just combined and moistened. Scoop into muffin pans.

Bake mini muffins for 10 to 15 minutes, and large muffins for 20 to 25 minutes.
Dextrose browns faster so keep an eye on the muffins – they probably need to be covered at the last.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Mum is 85, Liam is 17

 Two very different birthday cakes requested: the 85 yr old wanted a coffee cake, the 17 yr old wanted a trifle.
 I made Mum's mocha cake, with three varieties of coffee, chocolate and vanilla filling.

 Both nephews here for lunch.
 Mum blowing out candles.
 Liam about to trifle. . .

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Camping at Kai Iwi Lakes

 Just returned today from a splendid eight days at Kai Iwi Lakes in the Northland. I was there three days before being joined by Helen. We spent a lot of time reading, or swimming in the crystal clear fresh waters of the largest lake.
 It was a mecca for families with water toys and boats, but the swimming was well worth it, and I only endured a couple of difficult nights of talk and music in which I needed to squash in earplugs.
 The three lakes are like inverted sandhills, and have a definite edge where they get deep very quickly. But the waters are turquoise and delicious.
Loved the whole experience of camping again, and this last shot of me after seven days of no showers or hair washing, pretty much captures it.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014


 I went for an early morning (7am) walk this morning, almost alone on the path and the roads, around the waterfront and back. Instead of the predicted rain, it was glaringly sunny, and I take heart that perhaps the year ahead shares the same prognosis. Just before reaching my house, a flock of pigeons were resting on the overhead wires, and I couldn't resist playing with the picture they made. A tune to start a new year.