Posts

Holiday in Te Aroha and Auckland

Image
A few weeks back, Martin had two weeks off.  We spent the first week staying with his Aunty and Uncle in Te Aroha.  They borrowed bikes for us to use down there and, on Martin's birthday, we rode from Waikino to Paeroa (through the Karangahake Gorge) on the Hauraki Rail Trail.  It was about 14km, broadly downhill, and we meandered through it over about 2.5 hours.












Back in Te Aroha, I made Martin a cake for his birthday (although not on his actual birthday - I wasn't up for extra activities after the long bike ride!).  A German 'black and white cake':



Mike and Elspeth have a lovely house.  This time I was particularly enjoying these succulents growing by the steps in their back garden.


Moving to Level 2

I have found the transition to Covid-19 alert level 2 surprisingly difficult.  At least, I think that's what it is!  Today and yesterday I seem to have been getting upset uncommonly easy.

I found the move to having an alert system and rapidly moving through levels 2, 3 and into 4 not too bad.  It took adjustment to have Martin and Sarah at home all the time.  I'm used to being on my own a lot and found that quite overwhelming initially.  But we have a large house where all three of us can easily be fairly separate, and after a week or so that became much less of an issue.

Survival strategies

Over the course of the last six months or so, I've put into place a number of survival strategies that have helped me cope with the big change in my life.  I wrote earlier about Sabbath-keeping and care-casting.  Since then I've added two other practises that have also been super-helpful.

Lockdown adventures

Image
Like everyone else, over the past 6 weeks or so that we've been in lockdown I've had very few face to face interactions with other people and none, other than with Martin and Sarah, at a close distance.  It's a very curious time.

I've been thinking about many things over this time - and have been coping more and less well at different points in time! - but here I want to write about  the non-work things we've been able to do even though many options have been taken away.

A lovely trip to the beach

Image
Martin and I are trying to stay within 2-3km of home (as the crow flies) at the moment due to the Covid-19 lockdown situation.  That rules out both my usual beaches - but Martin noticed there was another one!  At the base of the Pt. Chevalier peninsula is a tiny park called Eric Armishaw Park - and from there you can walk along the coast of the peninsula at low tide.

Today I biked there (3.3km) and walked 20 min along the beach, which took me as far the as the sailing club's boat ramp.

It was lovely!  Such a classic Kiwi beach :-)










The ground underfoot all the way was a bit muddy.  I'd been being super-careful, as we're supposed to be avoiding contact with emergency services right now if possible.  So I'd walked on the shells where possible and the soft mud where it wasn't (the hard muddy surfaces were by far the slippery-est).  But, after walking up the steps to the sailing club and having a wander around, I (foolishly) decided to walk down their boat ramp without …

Recent happenings

Image
A couple of weeks back, Martin and I spent a week in Whangarei. 

Kawakawa berries

Image
Ages ago, a foraging blog I used to read taught me that kawakawa plants, not only produce leaves that make yummy tea: the plants come in male and female variants, and the females produce delicious berries.

I haven't managed to find anyone who sells 'sexed' kawakawa seedlings, but a few years back I did find someone selling lots of 8 seedlings very affordably.  So I bought them, and planted four each on either side of the oak tree.  My hope was that there would end up being at least one male on one side and at least one female on the other: when they revealed themselves, I would kill the rest :-)

Unfortunately, it initially appeared they were all male.  For some years now we have had many male cones appearing on both sides of the tree.  The seedlings are also all now large plants that are thoroughly intertwined: uprooting unwanted ones (without disturbing the others) is no longer an option.

Then, maybe a month back, I noticed one 'zone' on one side of the tree was c…