Travel Recap + WIP Wednesday

Just for Chiara! Here’s a small sampling of our photos from the long weekend.

This is a boutique hotel in Cambridge. I’m thinking it could be the perfect spot for a stitching retreat – altho it would be a pricy one!


This is B – if you’re on my FB, sorry, as you would have seen this already. From our stop in Taupo. Plus the sundial that is in the Rose Garden next to the play park, on State Highway one as you drive through town.

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Junk shops – we probably stopped at about 50% of those we saw, so Z can look for vintage Commando comics. One of my bosses collects old gramophones – this was in an ugly shop in Havelock North.


Also in Havelock – Duart House. As soon as I saw it I recognized the resemblance to the family home in Scotland. sadly it was shut when we discovered it, so it’s on the diary for the next time we visit Hawkes Bay.


Day two was in Wellington. We went to Te Papa, the museum where Z started his Lord of the Rings/Hobbit costume search. This is the Elven Lieutenant – love the detail.

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M as a pilot! He’s got his “oh grow up Dad!” face on.


B designed a plan in the AirNZ exhibit.


We had drinks then walked around with one of my brothers. We don’t spend much time together and I’m so sorry R – B & M combined can make anyone’s ears bleed! R helped Z find more costumes. Here’s Gloin – one of the dwarves. His costume was sumptuous yet sturdy. Those boots! Huge.


Day 3 was more Wellington then the drive to New Plymouth. This is one of the houses along the Wellington ocean coast. I have a thing for lighthouses!


Hawera – the water tower. Again, closed – but had we been 30 minutes earlier we could have climbed to the top. Apparently only takes 10 minutes! Yeah, right. Chiara, I’m sitting on the ground about 300m away from the base to take this. Any further away and I would have been on the road! The oaks surrounding it are planted to commemorate Armistice Day in 1918 by the local dignitaries and a VC winner.


And the War Memorial in Hawera.


We didn’t take many photos from New Plymouth to home. Unfortunately we’d done too much in too few hours and everyone was grumpy and ready for their own beds. It was fantastic to get home.

I did get quite a bit of Stargazer done, given that most of this was in the car on the long straights (don’t try to stich thru the Manawatu Gorge. It’s too windy and too beautiful to miss). All that dark yellow was the trip & I’ve pretty much made up my mind to rip the face/hands and re-do it with 2 over 1 tent, to give more detail. One more week of work then I’ll rotate to a small plus some finishing.


Reading – Monica Ferris’ Needlecraft Mysteries. Gentle (Betsy’s no Miss Marple) & I like the stitching references. I also like the way the author is experimenting with the genre. Luckily there’s a few books so far in the series! Next will be a re-read of Unbroken before I see the movie (it’s been a few years since I read an advanced copy).


We’re home!

And the unpacking begins. I have a load in the washing machine already, the dead fish has been farewelled (not the baby sitters fault I must add) and my treasures are being stashed.

I picked up a Mirabilia for a song as someone lost the photo (fairie treasures) & a New Zealand Centennial jug. The Jug has a couple of chips so again it wasn’t much; but it’s only 15 years to our bi-centenary and for something that probably got a lot of use it’s looking good.


Z has about ten more Commando comics to file away; B has some Marvels and my little M didn’t want much. He’s so sweet right now. I bet he becomes a little rotter when school goes back!

Windy as in Wellington

Actually, it’s not. I only had to use one hand to hold everything down!

We went to the AirNZ exhibition at Te Papa; funny how many of the little bits and pieces we have at home! I’ll have to add photos when we get home as the mobile app isn’t uploading photos.

Also we caught up with my brother, who helped Z find a few more of the costumes he was missing. I didn’t realize Orlando Bloom was so short, he can’t be much taller than me! 
Today is more exploring Wellington; I think we’re heading out to Miramar and hoping Weta is open, then a bit more in town, then up to New Plymouth via Wanganui. Bye!

Hawkes Bay

This is our third time coming to Napier in about 18 months;  looking ahead we think we will retire here. Only 35 years to go!
The climate is warm,  the views are beautiful and I love the history. Napier and a lot of the surrounding areas are Art Deco, due to a devastating earthquake in 1931.
We’ve done a lot of driving and a lot of walking today – my feet hurt! – but memories are being made.

Today we’re en route to Wellington. Can’t wait to see my bro!

12 Days Project Update

Si is now looking for the gifts. Only took a few days! Today’s is a photo frame with four openings. I had initially planned to have one shot of each of the kids holding up a word but put that aside as being a bit naff – plus he’d never display it! I quickly printed out four shots he liked from our recent trip to New South Wales:


Wollongong Harbour (with the old lighthouse, he made several comments about the construction as we walked around it. You can take the engineer out of the workshop but…actually, you can’t take the engineer out!)


The post office at Kiama


Nobby’s Surf Life Saving Club at Newcastle


The WWII memorial at RAAF Rathmines

I wrote a quick note on the gift tag that he should choose what he wants printed. Will be interesting to see what he does pick!

Last night I went with B & M to St Lukes mall. It was empty. As in, no queues in the food court nor in any shop except the supermarket. We rocked thru the place. Like most people in retail, I’m waiting for the Christmas rush. As with summer, it’s not yet hit us (one retailer reported a huge rise against last December in thermal clothing (!!!). What’s it like in your part of the world?

And finally – my friend M and her hubby M need your prayers. They are seeing consultants regarding recurrent miscarriages; as a mum I can’t imagine being without my children and (usually) regard them as both inevitable and a blessing. I never, EVER thought that I wouldn’t be a mum and my heart hurts so much for them. Thank you all – I pray in turn that you feel absolutely blessed as you pray for M&M.


My second thought was so absolutely true! Very sorry to anyone who wants a conversation from me today; I should be carrying a sign or wearing a T warning anyone away. No clear conversations or problem solving today. No craft either, I’d just end up frogging it all out. Blah.


Love the message. Not sure what it meant but that someone took the opportunity wins points with me! This was at Woolongong.


I’m loving this trip so far! Altho woke up at 2:30 am local time today 😦 so will be a mess later on!


The older Lighthouse at Woolongong

That’s the hotel in mid back ground.  We got lots of walking in; yesterday I hit goal around 2pm.

Plenty more to upload but I’ll do that from home on WiFi.

Today’s plan in to drive back to Sydney via the coast road; find a couple of holden wreckers and source new vents for the ute; and I have two stich spots loaded into my gps.

Where would we be without gps?!