Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Great Grand Daughter's 1st Birthday

Two otters entertained us, while we partied with Katie-May.

Katie-May's first birthday party was held at the Zoo in Nelson, beside the otters enclosure. (Otters are the favourite animal of everyone in our family, strange I know, but they are so cute.)
A Picnic party.

Erle and I drove over from our new home in Picton, it took nearly 2 hours to get there, its the first time we have driven over from Picton. Pretty drive around the Queen Charlotte Sounds drive, but very windy and narrow.
Little Katie- May arrived in her pushchair with her Daddy Josh, looking so cute and happy to see everyone gathered to meet her.

All the family from both sides were there to join in the celebration.
Teagan, her Mummy was busy laying out all the food and goodies for littlies, like homemade stars baked on sticks and iced with pebble lollies and hundreds and thousands, and tiny baby muffins.

There was heaps of food for adults too and we all made a big hole in them, we descended on the food like a flock of locusts as it was all so fresh and lovely.

Katie-May liked all her presents and spent a long time making as much noise with them as she could, while doting Grand parents looked on.

After we had all eaten and had a walk around the otters enclosure and talked to the monkeys, it was time to cut the pretty birthday cake, and it was so nice, fattning ofcause but who cares when its a birthday party!
Katie_May was such a good wee girl, not a single cry all day long, a perfect Great-Grand-Daughter!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Wedding grotto

The hundred steps up the hill on the way to Monkey Bay.

This is the grotto in Monkey Bay, where Kirstie and Wayne were married, looking down from the top of the hill-walkway.
Bride and Groom are having photos taken against the stormy sea behind them.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The day after the Wedding

Sitting on the deck in the sun Kirstie is in the far left photo.

Rarangi Beach a natural garden made from windblown seeds in the sand.

The After match function!

On Sunday morning we woke in our caravan to a beautiful Rarangi day, perfect in every way, sun shining brightly, all the pretty flowers on the beach glowing jewel colours in the sun. We walked down to the sea, breathed in the fresh salty air, kicked a few stones, talked to a dog being walked along then went back up to my brother Bob and Jans house to have breakfast on the deck with the family rather than alone in the caravan.

After that fun time we headed off, to try and find that lost camera and to assist with the clearing up at the club rooms where the dance was held.

My camera was as pleased as I was to be reunited. Then it was on to Rowena's house for 'Elevensie' a Rarangi tradition after most big celebrations, its nice to spread them over two days.

Quite a lot of the family joined us in trying to drink up all the left overs and nibble our way through all the excess delicious food, most of us sat on the deck and the board walk around the deck in the sunshine, and got sun burnt, but it was lovely. Some of the young ones had a good game of cricket going and others hit a ball over a volley ball net now and again, Erle and I walked around Rowenas huge one acre garden, everything was looking immaculate not a blade of grass out of place, a new stone wall had been built with a seat overlooking the stone garden (a special feature of her garden,) it was very nice and very beachy, the trees are all growing well even though the conditions are not favourable to growing at all, as strong salt laden winds sweep over the land often during the winter storms, and summer conditions are very hot and dry. The gardens are a real credit to Rowena, a hard working lady.

Everyone enjoyed relaxing peacifully in the sunshine, with family and freinds and Kirstie and Wayne too, their honeymoon starts from tomorrow.

Kirstie's Wedding

Erle and I all dressed at the cave at Monkey Bay.

Bride and groom with the proud Mother.

Nyle and Shane, Nyle was the only one with a stylish hat.

The senior ladies of the family, Rowena, mother of the bride, Mother the Matriarch of the family, Nyle, my daughter and me. Only one missing is Jan my sister-in-law.

The groom waits with the chief bridesmaid Poppy

The bride walked down the steep path looking beautiful.

Kirstie and Kiera step down the beach aisle to the altar.
The Newly weds now greet their guest and start their lives together.
Kirstie and Wayne's Wedding.

My youngest niece Kirstie got married on Saturday to Wayne at Rarangi Beach where they both live. Kirstie has lived all her life by the sea and Wayne who was brought up in Nelson is also a man of the sea, so where else would they chose to be married, but on the beach at Rarangi. The ceremony was held at Monkey Bay, a tiny little cove at the end of Rarangi Beach, accessed by climbing up a hundred steps then walking over the hill and down into the small hidden beach with several big caves that have been gouged out of the rocks by pounding seas over the years. It was just inside the largest cave that the family set up an altar of totem poles with paua shells and ribbons, greenery and flowers, all very natural. The guests all stood around in the shelter of the rocks while the rough sea pounded into the shore, as we awaited the arrival of the bride.
While waiting I took a photo of the groom and the marriage celebrant and photographer and what I thought was a big stuffed toy. This turned out to be Kirstie’s dog, Poppy who was one of the bridesmaids!
The other bridesmaid Keira, Kirstie’s tiny 2 year old daughter appeared at the top of the cliff in her lovely white gown, and was led down the steep path by her Aunty Rochelle, then the bride made her appearance a vision of white as she carefully stepped down the track to her beach wedding with her gown wafting in the wind. She looked radiant, together Mother and Daughter walked up to the altar, the other bridesmaid Poppy who was dressed in Purple and white, had to be restrained from leaping up in welcome!
It was quite hard to hear the vows spoken because of the roar of the sea but we all heard enough to know they are now married, the ring bearers carried the gold rings each on a piece of driftwood, decorated with pretty white agates (a semi precious gem that can be found on the beach, if you search real hard) and small shells. Guest had all been given small bottles in the shape of a wedding cake which we thought was a popper that would spray confetti over the couple, but it turned out to be a bubble mixture, everyone blew millions of pretty gleaming opalesant bubbles towards the bride and groom and they quickly drifted skywards til the air was filled with the bubbles, it made a wonderland! Truly it was a special occasion, very beachy, just as she wished it to be, even if the weather did not co-operate as much as it could. The wind was gale force strong and freezing and the sea was rough sending spray into the air, rather mystical.
I had a pretty outfit that was light and filmy so I looked in our caravan, in which we will be sleeping tonight, for a jacket to wear for warmth as I walked over the hill, the only suitable thing was Erle’s new Dressing gown made of warm, soft silky black material. So, much to everyone’s amusement, I went to my nieces wedding wearing Erle’s black dressing gown! I took it off for the actual ceremony and the photos. That will be a first and last, but at least I was cosy warm.
Many photographs were taken in Monkey bay while all us guests left for the Community Centre at Rarangi for the Wedding Breakfast, though firstly we all had a great time with lots of nibbles and dips with grapes and mussels as we sampled the Marlborough Wine and the spirits that Kirstie makes. She is very good at brewing homemade spirits, rum, bourbon, vodka, whisky, black Sambuka and my downfall, Malibu a delicious coconut flavoured liquor. There was also a very nice punch. I decided to have a small amount of the nice punch topped up with lots of Malibu, emmm it tasted so good! So I had another. Later when I thanked Kirstie for making the Malibu, she told me it was 40 percent proof and the punch had masses of alcohol too so I was drinking almost pure alcohol, me who hardly drinks at all, who would have believed it, this drink was tasty and I started having fun fun fun. It was so nice to spend some time with my daughter and her husband and all the nieces and nephews and cousins, while sipping my Malibu, I was a happy girl by the time the main food came out, I didn’t really want a lot to eat, but I did enjoy the spit roasted wild pork, it was very tender. I socialize around rather noisily, taking lots of photos of the family looking so well dressed, for a while before Erle thought he should take me back to the caravan! I arrived with a lovely roast pork sandwich clutched in my hand, but no camera, I managed to forget that completely! (Fortunately, it was found the next day, safe on a high shelf, I obviously, wasn’t too stupid.)
We both collapsed fully clothed on the caravan beds, and slept for several hours. I awoke feeling good again but Erle did didn’t feel well at all, so got into bed for the night, but I brushed my hair, freshened my perfume and headed off to the wedding dance in the Rarangi Golf Clubrooms!
Everyone was surprised but pleased to see me, I quickly was up dancing and having fun, and unfortunately I decided I should have another glass of punch with lots of Malibu in it. Feeling the lack of my camera, I picked up disposable cameras from several tables and went around the room like a professional photographer swooping in on total strangers and friends and family alike taking what will almost certainly, be great photos, I can hardly wait to see the results of this, no one much had taken any pics on these disposables left for guests to take candid snaps so I had plenty of them to play with!
I managed to stay dancing wildly, for about 3 hours before I felt the need to depart for the caravan; don’t tell anybody, but I drove my car the 500 yards along the road, it’s a wonder I could even see the road!
Its been a great wedding.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Planting our new garden at picton.

Porsche beside the new orange tree.

We have always had a good garden,
filled with many wondeful fruiting trees so when we moved to this tiny

propertry we knew we would have to buy at least a couple of citrus trees. After much thought, we decided on a Lemon and an Orange tree, both are dwarf so will not grow huge, so can be slotted in among our shrubs. Our beautiful Silver blue Burmese cat Porsche, got into the photo too, both our cats love to assist in the garden. The orange was simply smothered in flowers, the lady at the nursery made us promise to remove at least half of them, and we did but there are still masses, we hope for a couple of fruits this year. The lemon already has 2 nice lemons on it, and flowers are appearing among the leaves.
Then we dug ourselves a tiny long narrow vegetable garden, it is only about 18 inches wide but its quite long. We have planted 13 tomatoe plants (3 different varieties) 2 lettuce a brocolli plant, a whole long row of red onions, a row of carrots which are not up yet and right at the end a small number of scarlet runner climbing beans, that will climb up the trellis. When we are able to buy them we shall also put some capsicum plants in between the tomatoes. Now thats comprehensive planting!
Much later when everything is growing well I shall put another photo in, if it does grow!
I also have 2 big plastic containers full of lettuce and silver beet plants, and some green peas that will climb up another trellis around the side of the house! We like our fresh vegies.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Tory Channel, New Zealand

Bluebridge ferry just leaving Wellington on route to Picton via the Tory Channel.

Interislander going past the Heads, into Tory Channel, from Cook Strait.

Tory Channel is the sea way from Wellinton to Picton. The trip takes approx 3 hours.
From 1911 to 1964 The Perano family ran a Whaling Staion from Tory Channel, one of the few shore based whaling stations in the world. Whales were hunted and harpooned, in Cook strait from quite small boats, not a very safe profession. There has been Whalers stationed in Tory Channel for much longer, some of the first white settlers to NZ came to live in this area and chase the huge marine mammals that were worth such a lot of money, not only for the blubber with its oil, but also for the whale meat and bones, and many other parts of the whale that were used for phamacuticals and medication.
It was a sad day for these Sounds residents when the whaling staion with all its history closed, but a day of celebration for the whales and all the people traveling past on the ferry, as there was an awful stink from that bay, of old rotten whale oil and bones.
Now days there is almost nothing to see but old sheds, but, sometimes there is the magnificent sight to behold when a small pod of whales cruising magesticly past, shooting spray high in the air through their blow holes. These wonderful marine mammals are now fully protected within New Zealands territorial waters, so they swim freely and safely, enjoyed by all who see them, but unfortunately many other Nations still hunt these creatures, from huge Whaling ships, for the cash crop from the meat and oil. Hopefully one day everyone will recognise that all Gods creatures have a right to be here, just as we do, and if one link in the chain of life is removed we will all be the losers in the long run.

The Interislander Ferry cruises past Te Pangu Bay, Tory Channel, Erle isfilleting blue cod we have caught in Te Pangu Bay, while staying at the local guest house.

Sabina sailing boat in pretty Hitua Bay Tory Channel, where we moored up for the night.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Beautiful Marlborough Sounds

The Interislands backing into the ferry terminal at Picton, we live on the side of the hill to the left.

The ferry in the distance down the Queen Charlotte Sound, it is just turning into Tory Channel.

Peeping through the ferns at the beautiful Schoolhouse Bay.
an aerial view showing some of the inlets off the main Sound.

The clear clean glassy waters of the sea on a good day, looking at Allports Island.

The Beautiful Marlborough Sounds.

I have added a interesting slide show of the Marlborough Sounds, but although these are very good photos, they are not mainly mine, so I though I would put some of my pictures on the site. These will all be of the Queen Charlotte Sounds; there are several other parts ie Kenepouru Sounds, Makau Sounds, Tennison Inlet, Port Underwood Sounds, Fresh Pass, Endeavour Inlet, Tory Channel, Pelorus Sounds and Grove Arm to name most of them. The Queen Charlotte Sound is the longest and is the Sound that the ferry from the North Island cruises down after entering Tory Channel. The ferry sails between Wellington and Picton several times a day, there are actually two different companys with two big ships each. The Interislander and the Bluebridge, both are roll-on-roll-off car ferries, but they also carry trucks and also train carriages.

Picton is a major tourist destination, a cute little town and it is where we are lucky enough to live.