Xmas this year was once again at our beach house at Waipatiki. This year, the engineer and I were joined by Louise (sadly she had to leave at 5 pm on Xmas Day to return to Wellington to work) Kate and the 3 grandchildren and Staf and his finance Sara from Auckland. We had surprising wonderful weather later on Xmas Day, after rain in the morning, so we were able to sit outside to enjoy our deliciously, simple meal of BBQ HB roast lamb, HB new potatoes and HB asparagus. Kate made her father’s favourite lemon meringue pie, NY baked cheese cake and lemon meringue icecream (recipe from the Healthy food Guide) All accompanied by delicious bubbles! We then swapped our secret santa presents and had a swim in the sea. So good, the way Xmas should be.
The engineer and I hitched up the caravan and travelled up north in the October holidays. We spent the first two days at Miranda on the firth of Thames, where the camping ground has a large, relaxing hot mineral pool. We then spent the day travelling to Kerikeri. Over the next four days, based in Kerikeri, we visited Paihia, took the ferry to Russell, where we had lunch on the deck at the Duke of Marlborough and drove to Kaitaia. We travelled back via Waipu Cove, Langs Beach and Mangawhai heads (I hadn’t been there before) and arrived in Orewa. I caught up with my younger son Staf and his fiancee Sarah before spending the last two days of our caravan holiday at Taupo at the Debrett holiday park. All in all a very relaxing time. I read 6 library books and 3 E books!
Last weekend, the engineer and I drove to Auckland to watch the All Blacks play at Eden Park. I had not gone to a game there since living in Auckland in the 1970s! My son, Staf, had bussed over from Massey Uni after attending a four day course as part of his Master’s degree in psychology. We took him back to Auckland, picking up his fiance Sarah on the way from Hamilton. We had a great catch up on his studies and life in general. After dropping them off at their flat in Albany, we joined the usual Auckland rush hour back across the bridge to our friends in Meadowbank. The journey took a while at that time of the day! On Saturday, we walked to the Meadowbank train station and caught the train into the Britomart. From here, we wandered across the road to “the cloud”, opened again for the test. I had my photo taken with the Rugby World Cup replica, having a slight accident by getting too close and just about toppling it! I got to grab it and put it back on it’s stand before it hit the ground! So I touched it! We had a delicious dinner at a nearby Vietnamese restaurant, Cafe Hanoi then we catch the train to Kingsland, a very short walk to Eden Park. Our tickets were up on level 6 in the new south stand, quite a climb up the stairs! The game was an amazing change from the previous week in Sydney, with the All Blacks very dominant. I kept waiting for the Wallabies to fight back, but they remained scoreless, something not done since the 1960s I gather. We then got both trains back to Meadowbank, walked home and watched the game all over again on TV! A great weekend all round and well worth the trip up.
This morning, on a brilliant winter’s day, the mayor officially opened the new cycle/walk way that connects Havelock North to Hastings. Building this cycleway needed a serious engineering solution, as there were two very deep and long drains. The solution was to cover them with a metal skeleton, covered with a concrete pad. It works a treat. This morning many hundred cyclists, like the engineer and I cycled to the Strawberry Patch to cycle around a 6km route via Havelock North and the Crosses Road cycle path. The ages of the cyclists ranged from small children to retirees. We all had a great time and enjoyed finally riding on the path after watching it’s construction, which began last February. Well done the Iway team and the HDC.
Last week the engineer, my daughter Kate and I flew to Melbourne to stay with my son Mike and his partner Av. We had a great time in the 5 days we were there, doing a bus trip in the Yarra Valley, visiting 4 wineries. We sampled many fine wines. We saw “Spiderman” at Imax, the third biggest screen in the world (7 stories high) saw the hangman tour at the infamous Melbourne gaol. We travelled by train, tram and car. We shopped at Chadstone, the biggest mall in the city of 3.1 million people. We finished our trip with an Italian meal at Lygon Street, a street full of restaurants, especially Italian.