Thursday, July 04, 2013

Just a thought or two!

...continuing on from the last post:

Yes I am still here!

I have thought a lot about posting again and or starting up or deleting this blog.Life just seems to get in the way.I think life happens in seasons and what works well at one time may not be relevant in another.But I am still thinking, reading and thinking some more! all in the context of living! Its kind of uncomfortable most of the time but then I think there is a danger in being too sure, too certain.So that's where I am and unless you have been or are going through some similar cognitions none of this may make any sense. And so for now I will leave you with some pictures because that's all I have to say.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Down by the waterside

The Auckland foreshore has some amazing boats as these pictures only partially demonstrate.Incredible to think that the owners might only spend a few days on them a year. I think(don't quote me)they come to Auckland to be refurbished .
We spent a very pleasant day with grandma and my brother's family.Irene is the sweetest person and so beautiful with mum. 
She has a real knack for putting people at ease and  remains positive and cheerful in a very natural way making everybody laugh and have a good time.
 Her son James is a charming young man and ds thought he was great to "hang out with".

Friday, July 06, 2012

Waiatarua Reserve

Ds and I took an afternoon walk through the Waiatarua reserve.This site is a friends group which is committed to restoring the reserve.Ds remembers visiting here with grandma and spotting little grey rabbits hopping out of their burrows in the bank. Quite amazing that we spotted any given the large number of dogs and their owners walking through the park!
Some of the birds you see are:
Black Shag, Black Swan,  Black-backed Gull Blackbird,Caspian Tern,  Chaffinch,  Eastern Rosella,  Fantail,Goldfinch,  Green Finch,  Grey Teal,  Grey Warbler,Harrier,  Kingfisher Little Black Shag , Magpie, Malay Fruit Dove , Mallard/Grey Duck, Myna,Paradise Shelduck, Pheasant,  Plover, Pied Stilt,Pukeko, Red Billed Gull,  Song thrush,
Starlings,Teal, Tui, Waxeye ,Welcome Swallow, White-faced Heron

The reserve is a wetland in the course of restoration. Drains, weirs, bunds and sediment traps form part of a system to treat stormwater and remove pollutants. It provides a sanctuary for birds.

This is a place to walk, exercise your dog, jog and enjoy the landscape.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

a long way down the track

Phew, this is a long post!But then it was a long trip. And once you have viewed all the pictures you can congratulate yourself that you have traveled most of the length of the north island(because who knows about anything north of Auckland, apart from the Bay of Islands...which are not even on the beautiful west coast of northland that I am so proud of...but I digress...)

We left Wellington early in the morning.Driving up to the kapiti coast we passed through several tunnels.(tunnels do not make for good photos so you will have to take my word for these.All of that is wrapped in family memories,trips on trains to Johnsonville,Khandallah, to the city with my cousins,Mary and Joan.Sadly I haven't seen Mary for years and she was not able to make it to her mother's funeral. Well wherever you are Mary I wish you joy and happiness and some amazing views. You were an important part of my childhood and I hope that goodness follows you and surrounds you.

Back to our trip. Because the train only stopped at  six stations(including Wellington and Auckland) we were fortunate to have Duncan narrating for most of the journey. The train was in the process of refurbishment and they planned to have taped commentary happening soon. Personally I think we were lucky to have Duncan as he spoke with humor and personalized what could have ended up as "just another travel log"
The trip started cool with a promise of cooler to come!Everywhere was green and lush and familiar New zealand countryside and farm houses sped by.

 "The long train moves: we move in it along.
Like an old ballad, or an endless song,
It drones and wimbles its unwearied croon—
Croons, drones, and mumbles all the afternoon."

As well as fully air-conditioned(think heated) carriages, at the rear of the train was a wonderful surprise:the viewing coach, which was completely open to all weather experiences and great photographic opportunities.
Here is ds again in the viewing coach. He spent most of the 10 hours there, finding and making friends and coming in to sit with us only when hunger or thirst needed another response.
As I said earlier got colder!

"Faster than fairies, faster than witches, 
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches, 
And charging along like troops in a battle, 
All through the meadows the horses and cattle: 
All of the sights of the hill and the plain 
Fly as thick as driving rain; 
And ever again in the wink of an eye, 
Painted stations whistle by."
heading in to National Park, the vegetation changed

And getting closer we saw a ...

Along the way, we saw fantastic views of New Zealand farmland, rugged bush landscapes before ascending up the world famous Raurimu Spiral to the volcanic plateau passing the majestic volcanoes of Mt Tongariro, Mt Ngauruhoe and Mt Ruapehu.

"In the final push to close the gap in the North Island main trunk line, the railway had reached Taumarunui by 1904. To the south lay the imposing ascent onto the Waimarino plateau. After much difficulty, civil engineer Robert Holmes came up with a remarkable answer. He designed the Raurimu spiral, which included two tunnels, three horseshoe curves and a complete circle."

Coming into the Waikato district the scenery changes
poor photo but it shows the small volcanic hills visible in this terrain.

And so in a single day we travelled past every kind of scenery there is, from coastline to volcanoes to mountains, from lush green farmland to thick New Zealand bush. an epic 681 kilometre (423 mile) journey!