Well, I’m certainly not silly enough to pontificate on this one! I’ll just show you some  pictures of some  art. You just fight  talk quietly among yourselves.

Driving to the Tawharanui exhibition. Several kilometres of the road is unsealed and quite winding. Far from “the world’s worst roads” but this does require a little less speed and a lot more consideration. And if I ever see that rude bit  woman in the BMW again…

Is this not a beautiful site for some stunning artwork?

“Wings” by James Wright

I though of Ronnie when I saw this!

It is, according to the catalogue, corten/rock. If I had the space I’d love to have this piece! You can’t see in this picture, but the base is a bird claw.

And I much taken by this, too…

It was much too tall to get in-frame (quite a few people in front of it) and is part of “Pacific Power Poles” by Tui Hobson, a set of three recycled telegraph poles. Again, if I had the space…

barnenome Todd Douglas.Raku,porcelain

Strange things and many times larger than real anenemones, these were placed at lagoon’s edge and attracted quite a crowd. I saw several people going back to “have another look.”  (My eye was drawn away by what I’m pretty sure was a gannet, diving into the lagoon.)

Phormium tenax –


...and bronze

Flax, one of the oldest plants in New Zealand. With more uses than I can rattle off. We used to tie bunches of plants from the market garden with strips of this. I expect  it’s still used. If you go to here you can read more about harakeke, the Maori name for this plant. For early sailors who’d lost sheets to the Roaring Forties, this stuff was a life saver.

This was, apparently, a replacement piece for a work that had been sold(!) and it’s not in the catalogue. But it is a huge representation of a grub-chewed leaf. It’s also steel and damn’ heavy, so I had to time my shot carefully or be clobbered!

Tired of looking at pictures of art that I like? OK, I’ll stop here. For now. Maybe Carol will have some different angles to post. When she gets back.

And the poor female can lay TWO of those things? Holy! !@!***!mackerel!

If you’re interested, the cats have some storm pictures.


…and back again.

I think I’ve come to the conclusion that travelling has limited appeal for me these days.

Seeing old familiar places and people is lovely. Seeing new places and meeting new people is exciting. New tastes and trends, unfamiliar tongues, all wonderful.

It’s the travelling bit that I’m getting tired of. Being herded onto enormous aeroplanes with far too many seats and no elbow room has lost any romantic appeal it might have had. Perhaps I’m just getting old?

So, did I have fun in the Land of the Long White Cloud? Yes!

This was a family-oriented trip, but I did set aside one day for playtime. I’d heard about the art exhibitions held in a woolshed, but had never timed my holidays to coincide until now.

So…off we went, in bright sunshine, heading for the wildlife sanctuary at Tawharanui.

And this time, we went through the new Orewa Tunnel. (It was being built on the last visit.)

Yes, it does look a bit like something from Hobbiton! And I think the Hobbits might have managed things a little better. A lot better, probably!

We stopped at Warkworth (see my banner, above) for coffee and The Man picked up a brochure about the Woolshed show. A very helpful woman suggested he might also like to see another show, nearby, and gave him another brochure.

Coffee-fuelled, we set off for the first exhibition, by the Mahurangi Group.

wonderful weathered barn, housing some stunning art.

Regular readers will be familiar with Barnacle Goose in my comments. Over the past year or so, Carol and I have formed a wonderful cyber-friendship and we hoped to meet at Tawharanui.

Well, sometimes Fate has other plans…

Esther and I were looking at sculptures by another friend and I glanced up to see Carol! She and her friends were also “doing both shows.”

We’re standing in front of some woven iron strips by  popular artist, Jeff Thomson.

And guess who we bumped into, a couple of hours later at the Tawharanui show?

I do have a few more pictures, but have not sorted them all yet and there’s a bit of yard work to do ahead of the cyclone.

Yes, Ului is expected to cross the coast tonight or tomorrow morning. Although  some way north of us and downgraded to Category 2, it’s still going to be pretty breezy so we’re battening hatches and restraining loose objects.

There was some “panic-buying” at the supermarket yesterday. All I can say is if one family eats ALL the cans of beans they bought it will contribute greatly to methane emissions…


As I have mentioned once or twice before, I like a little sparkle, a little spice, a little risk in my life.

When I was around 7 years old one of our fun games was bowling down a hill in a big truck tyre. The track ran down to a lake, but we were in “no danger of drowning,Dad,’cos the track’s so rough we tumble into the scrub before we get there!” That was in New Zealand, the land of wacky things and wacky people.No surprise, then, that they’ve come up with another wacky sport and I am bustin’ to try this one:

Zorb Experience For A Family Of Four

White water rafting? Huge fun. (If you use a magnifier and look carefully, you might see lil ol’ me .)

Flying in an old bi-plane? A blast. But I already told you that last week.

Tobogganing on a tea tray? Bring it on. (The tea trays we rode were not beautifully-chased silver, by the way; more yer cheap tin from Petticoat Lane but they were perfect for sliding down Primrose Hill!)

But I am a little shy of some things. Especially if there is a very long drop between me and the ground! So, thanks all the same, but I don’t think I’m up for this:

Those of you who had to leave the room for medication or a change of trousers are excused.


When you have as many miles on the clock as I have it’s comforting to know that some of your oldest friends have stayed the distance. Especially if they have retained their zest and sense of humour!

One friend in particular ALWAYS comes up trumps with the perfect card for me and this year I thought I’d share her wit with you…

And yes, I did have red ankle-straps like these!


On Saturday I saw a charming sight…

…a “very well-built” man riding a small motor scooter with his pillion passenger, a little fox terrier, in a milk crate!


Now, I must apply my multi-tasking skills to some housework before school…