Watching the world go by – Friday13th April 2012

We are so much better for a good night’s sleep and the kind of morning that allows a leisurely breakfast in bed and lots of reading. Wifi connections are appalling here, so we abandon our frustration at not being in touch with friends and family, and not being able to catch up with blogging.
It’s colder inside the ‘budget bungalow’ than outside. So we walk all of 10m to the river front, sit on the wooden chairs, drink coffee, and lemonade and read and talk. There are birds to watch too.
Terns dive frequently into the rising tidal river, the oyster catcher has procured an excellent patch of shellfish, which he picks over as fresh water drenches them, pelicans fly majestically overhead, three cormorants sit and idle the time with us, each on their own jetty piles.
Along with the tide comes paddle boards and canoes but by high tide all seems very still. We bask in the sunshine, peaceful and not traveling anywhere!


Only when the late afternoon shadows envelope our spot by the jetty do we finally move. Out through the town and along the sandy beach. Not quite white here! As we wander further and further from one beach to another we discuss the most apt descriptive title: buttermilk, says John, no, say I, more like white bone china clay.

Perfect! Relaxing, warm. John and I have come to enhance our relationship in so many ways through this long journey. Peace…

The butter swan – Friday 2nd March 2012

It’s the first time we have thought so far ahead in months! We have four more stops in New Zealand a ferry, a flight, some time in Melbourne and what…?Adelaide? Perth? All except the latter are in place.

We are rapidly reaching the end of our tour of New Zealand. We are both overwhelmed by the beauty of the scenery and the warmth of the people. But we are also tired of the dull, cool, damp, and often windy weather. Everyone we meet in NZ tells us it has been the worst summer for years. We know!

Our journey from Christchurch to Hanmer Springs took less than two hours, but we stretched it out with coffee in an “historic hotel” in Hurunui. This seemed to have grown to include camp ground, holiday cottage, and cafe but was very rustic and isolated with few neighbours. We should have taken coffee in the hotel itself, but we chose the cafe. Cafe? Open barn! Far too cold for my liking, but… There on the table as you enter is…

Sculpted in cooking margarine in December! A mixture of amazement and revulsion crossed my mind.

We drove past Hanmer Springs towards the Lewis Pass. Partly to kill some time, partly for the view. Awesome as ever!

Our new home in Hanmer Springs is gorgeous, a real treat to have a mezzanine floor and so go up to bed!

I’ve booked a hot stone massage at the famous Hanmer Springs spa and luxuriate in warmth and oil for over an hour. My chest is still itchy and occasionally flares up with a red rash. I not sure if the oil is good for it.

We don’t often watch tv, but tonight there is a news flash of floods in NSW which will hit NZ as a “weather bomb”! I become irritated by the focus on how Auklanders will fare because the isobars seems to be hitting much further south. (JAFFA!).
I note our area is due for 60-100mm of rain! Joy!

Melbourne -Sunday 11th December 2011

We hardly noticed the lovely parents of my friend leave the house at 7.30 a.m. although we woke about then. We luxuriate in space and comfort, in taking a leisurely breakfast in bed and no itinerary to work out.

We both need ‘me time’. We’ve been inseparable for nearly 6 weeks 24/7 We have been married for 38 years(!) but, of course always working separately. It’s amazing how well we get on.

Our new interest becomes house work! We have not done any for 6 weeks and love stacking the dishwasher, cutting the grass, doing the laundry.

In the afternoon we go to post 12 Christmas cards. I love these with Australian post card scenes and Father Christmas superimposed in cartoon with Australian animals around him.

We work out how to use Apple TV to watch our 2000 photos so far! I pick a lemon from the neighbour’s tree and make the first gin and tonic we’ve had since the beginning of our travels. It’s bliss!