Saturday, December 08, 2012

Dangerous Shuttle driving incident.

I was out working driving my Shuttle/taxi last evening, I was called to pick-up a man from his own Stag Night party. He had a heavy chain attached to his ankle with as a ball, the heavy centre part of a car wheel. He was quite intoxicated ofcause, I drove him to his home which was right at the top of Otago Street,  one of Picton's Steepest streets up the side of a steep hill.
I stopped in his driveway and he paid his fare then opened the shuttle van door and holding on to his heavy ball and chain he stepped out on to the drive, I heard the ball and chain crash into the concrete and turned to see if he was ok and he had vanished;  just gone. I leaned right over and looked out the passenger door and could just see a pair of boots peeking up over the side of the driveway in the sparse shrubby garden. He had nose dived over the side of the hillside pulled by the weight of the heavy ball and chain. I hastily rushed around the Shuttle to assist him and found him hanging on to the concrete  by one hand and the ball and chain caught on the concrete edging, dangling downwards down a steep slope! I quickly tried to drag his feet by the chain and could hardly move him at all, next I tried to pull his legs, then finally I tried to reach down and get my arm around his waist to drag him but couldn't actually reach far enough, so I grabbed hold of his belt and just hoped that I would not drag his trousers off by pulling him by it; and
 pulled and dragged as hard as I could with all of my strength just managed to raise him enough for him to get his knee up over the concrete edge, after that a few pulls and he was able to help himself up on to the top. If he had fallen he would of been dead or seriously damaged as there is a big drop down the hill. 
He had injured himself on his hand and maybe other places, blood was pouring from his hand, when he used his hand to support himself along my shuttle he left a trail of blood. I had to help him over to his door steps, where he said thanks he would be ok now, so I turned to go and heard the ball and chain and him go crashing into the stairs but I did not turn back to him, I consider I had done far and away more than I needed to, so I just grove back to work and left him to sleep it off where he was. But I do hope that he manages to make it to his wedding on Wednesday.
Great excitement on a Friday night shift.
As a foot note, I have since heard that this man's 'mates' hide his door key so he could not get inside his home, so he must of slept on his stairs. he also ended up spending the next day and night in hospital. Such stupid things men do to their mates on their Stag Party night.

Thursday, November 01, 2012


Erle has come around from the operation and is recovering, not sure if he will remember me being there with him though. He has tubes coming from every possible place and has been given a couple of lots of blood and lots of pain relief, I think he looks awful but they say he is doing fine and will be ok. I am so glad it has gone well.

People ask me how I am coping.... with Erle being in hospital after a huge operation, I say I am ok. Maybe not..... I just fed our poor little cat Porsche my muesli for breakfast, I caught myself before I got into the cat biscuits! haha. This was after I rang the hospital and was unable to get any news of him.

I have just been able to speak to Erle. he sounded amazingly good, helped a lot by the morphine drip ofcause, he says he is not too bad at moment though it hurts to breathe as his cut is from right up under the ribs down to pubic area. It was so lovely to be able to speak with, and no he didn't remember me being there last night. I shall go visit this afternoon.

My Husband Erle has some serious health issues that have recently come to light. So serious that he has been fast tracked through our hospital system in only a couple of short weeks. Tomorrow he will have major surgery, your prayers and good wishes would be very appreciated, he will need them. His Daughter Leigh has returned from Australia ( not for this reason) and her presence will help to soften the blow, I hope. He will be in hospital about 10 days it is thought if all goes well.
There is big family wedding to be held in Christchurch Daniel Erle's Grandson is marrying Amanda, on Saturday, we had been so looking forward to this exciting happy occasion, sadly it was not meant to be for us to be there, we will send all our very best wishes for their wonderful happy future.

Today, before his major surgery for Bowel cancer and Gall bladder removal, we are going out for a happy dating day together, for a lovely walk along a beach then out for lunch in a nice waterfront cafe at Havelock, then for dinner it will be his favourite Bacon and egg pie, ( that Leigh has bought him) and strawberrys and
whipped cream, a treat we used to make for ourselves on our honeymoon, then we had to shake the cream with a teaspoon in it, til it whipped, we might be able to refine the process tonight.
Going to be such a great day.

We had a platter of mussels with seven different flavoured toppings which tasted sensational, served with homemade bread to mop up all the juices, then we each ordered a different gourmet pizza and shared. I had a couple of glasses of lovely wine and Erle settled for orange juice. We topped it off with a delicious choc caramel biscuit. Quite a feast for lunch time. 


Friday, October 05, 2012

Robert Louis Stevenson House,Villa Vailima, Samoa.

Welcome to my visitor from Samoa, I hope I am making a reasonable job of writing about your country.

We took a trip up into the cooler hills not very far from Apia to visit one of the things you just have go see while in Samoa, The Robert Louis Stevenson house.
called Villa Vailima. a very elegant gracious house.

 It is set in a huge area of beautiful garden and native bush with little streams and lots of birds.

There were lots of pretty flowers to enjoy.

The old house has been completely renovated and redecorated and is looking magnificent, it is cared for by a team of workers. We were taken on a tour of the two story building, the rooms were few but really huge.filled with furniture of the era and the many items of memorabilia were very interesting. An enjoyable visit.

We found these unusual statues at the back in the restaurant area used for conferences and weddings.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Millenia Hotel.

We only stayed the one night at Outrigger before moving on the the Millenia Hotel on the waterfront at Apia. We were offered a waterfront room but the receptionist was sure we would not want it because it was right beside the restaurant, but that didn't worry us at all, we loved out waterfront room so close to the restaurant, we quickly made freinds with the waitresses and got the best service.

 We had our own private balcony in front of the unit and on busy evenings diners came and ate their meals on our balcony, we liked that.
Were fascinated by the way patrons drank their beer from tower with a huge iceblock in the centre to keep it cold.  This was our new friend Notta and the singer from the band that entertained us one evening. And another waitress with some ladies out for a few drinks.
We however drank a cocktail each evening and some wine with our meal, no beer towers for us.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Old Outrigger Hotel, Apia.

We called back into Agggies and inquired about the cost of rebooking in there and were quoted a very reasonable price...... until after several questions we realised that it was quoted in US$! is this even legal to quote in the currency of another country? I was very unimpressed and told them so as we were leaving fast. Maybe another day it might be in Japanese yen or South African rand who knows. Too confusing and that ofcause was why they spoke in foreign money rather than Samoan Tala.
We had spoken with someone who was staying at the Old Outrigger hotel so we set out to find it, after some losing of way we did find the Outrigger, it turned out to be a backpackers, but that was not a problem, we booked in and the receptionist took one look at us and put us in the best suite in the house, with en-suite and all, a huge great room at the front of the house, very nice too, except for no air con except a big fan which we used continuously to keep cool.
There was a good swimming pool, not as great as Aggies pool  but still very nice and we enjoyed a couple of quick dips.
 Later, we walked down the road  to just the best Pizza place we have ever had the pleasure of eating, it was fantastic and didn't take long considering how very busy they were. We ate it around the pool like all the back packers were. The other mainly young people  were all staying in the outside fales, these ones had quite solid matting sides and were large and spacious except for the fact that so many backpackers piled in, it was lying down room only. They were happy.

A small ground bird; a Crake I think came to the swimming pool for a drink, it was obviously very thirsty. The little bird perched on the smooth rounded edge of the swimming pool and reached right out to get a sip of pool water, got one tiny sip so stretched a little bit more ...... and ....... plop head first into the pool for a swim! I was in the pool at the time and could see the poor bird would never be able to get back out again on its own, so a got the pool scoop for leaves and followed it round the pool til I managed to scoop it out where it promptly flew away into the bushes and safety. My good deed for the date.

I suddenly had a brilliant brainwave, as we had a communal kitchen here, why not get up early, go to the fish market and buy some fresh  lobsters. We could cook them up while we ate the lovely tropical breakfast that we were provided with. This worked very well, much to the jealousy of all the others who could smell the lobsters cooking. So we had our lunch for the day when they cooled down. Yummy.

Across Upolu Island to where the tsunami hit.

We only booked into Aggie Greys Hotel for 7 of our 14 day stay on Upolu  in Samoa, after that we intended to stay on the other side of the island, where there are nice sandy beaches and also where the tsunami hit a couple of years ago causing much destruction.
So, we checked out of Aggies and headed off on the Across Island highway to find accommodation for the next few days. Another lovely day in Paradise it was sunny and calm, rather too hot in fact, as Samoa is!

Pleasant drive it was too, over the other side is very nice, the beaches are great but the tsunami really did do a great deal of damage to the villages and the resorts, we found a lovely nice new resort called Sea Spray where we stopped for a coffee in the new cafe, but there accommodation which looked great was completely full, so we drove on, called into a couple of small villages but there were conferences being held and they also were booked out.
This fat pig was wandering around at one of the villages we called into, it was very tame.

We were not as all sure we really waned to stay in a village in an open Fale - a small raised building with a roof but no walls except for the poles that hold up the roof, so no privacy at all and also no bed, though we were told they would bring us a mattress, and no where to secure to put our luggage and belongings, we are too old for that kind of lark. I believe, that in bad weather a screen of matting is put along the sides to keep our some of the wind and rain, but very little protection.

Eventually we got to Tautua Beach, a great spot lovely beach and sparkling water, very inviting, and so it had been to many others too, they also were completely full.  A bit sad because the  bungalows were brand new and lovely we liked them

. So we stopped for lunch in their nice new cafe. I watch 2 ladies arranging beautiful tropical flowers, and then asked to have a swim on their beach, no problem as we had bought a meal it was free to us, but fist they had to give us a long lecture about the nasty Crown of Thorns starfish that the tsunami had brought in from outside the protective reef around the island, very nasty poisonous things.

We got a bit frightened about them so only swam in the shallows where we could see where we were putting our feet, a nice swim but not as nice as it would of been before that dreadful tsunami.
We looked at the big rocky cliff faces that the poor survives had to climb to escape the raging waters that just kept coming in at them destroying houses and trees and everything in it s path including people, I seriously doubt if I could have climbed those cliffs and how very dangerous for those that did.  We saw lots of houses with roofs ripped off and all windows blown out and many concrete pads where other homes were, empty villages, some folk had moved their whole village up on to the top of the  of the cliffs for safety in the event of another disaster a long way from the lagoon that they get food from.
Very pretty area with small islands around this part of the island, we had a nice drive.

So, unable to find a bed for the night we had no choice but to head back to Apia and look out another place to stay.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Samoan countryside

 Our renal car, it went well, but we managed to get a puncture and then we found the spare tyre had been padlocked in to stop theft, not very handy for us, we couldn't change the tyre so had to drive back to Funway rentals to have it repaired. They were so good to us. Repaired the tyre gave us a drink and some banana chips and a cool shady place to wait while the repairs were done. Nice people. No charge for this service.

We hired a car, a huge great Rav 4 as it was the only one available at the small car rental firm  near Aggie Greys Hotel. Took it for a quick run around the marina area and managed to get lost, kind of, and ended up driving for many miles around the coast and the countryside, past a lovely waterfall right up to a huge dam and the big lake behind it. Finally we decided to turn around and drive back on the same road. Mostly there were no nice sandy  beaches just rocky coastal beach.

Stopped and bought some bananas from a family along  the way Mother and 3 kids helped us chose a good bunch and it was only 2 talla very cheap we thought. They lived in this home in the trees.
Tthe Lemafa scenic site was a nice veiw of the countryside back towards the ocean. This young man was carrying coconuts in baskets on the nd of a pole, he didn't mind us taking his photo..

We came back to the Marina area and stopped for a drink and a snack in one of the nice cafes at the port. very colourful area.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Apia Samoa

Across the road from Aggie greys hotel, looking toward the Marina.

Canon collection at the Rental car firm. Well guarded.

 Memorial to the first missionary's who converted them all.
Colourful cafes at the Marina. pleasantly cool for a glass of wine in the evening, watching boats come and go.There are no pretty beaches in the Apia area..

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Samoan buses and Fish Market.

The Samoan people are very deeply religious, many of the colourful buses had religious slogans on the side. There were many many Churches around the island, seemed to us that there were more Churches than people but on Sunday they were all full of beautifully dressed people..... all in snowy white clothes.

We just loved the open air buses with no glass in the windows, cost is very cheap, service is good and the other passengers are so respectful and curtious every time I got on the bus someone who was sitting at the front would immediately stand and give me their seat if there were no other seat someone would jump onto another Samoan's knee so iIcould sit down...... amazing.

 We caught on of these colourful buses into city centre each day to buy fruit and chicken buns from the market, chicken buns are an ordinary bun with chicken cooked inside them, really yummy.

 The large rounds of fish are steaks of big game fish, like Albacore Tuna and Yellow fin tuna, very cheap.Cost was $12 Tala island money so about $8 NZ money, would be more like $80 at home! If you could buy it.
We enjoyed visits to the fish market, seeing the selection of different colour size and shape of fish plus lobster and crab and other things too; the man at the top is holding a sea snake!.
Our friend Lena from the market cooked us up a good feed of fish and chips. This dear lady whom we visited every day, presented me with a hand made lava lava on our last day, she tied it on me. Such an honour to be given this, she was a delight..