Category Archives: walking

What a Difference a Day Makes


“What a difference a day makes
Twenty-four little hours
Brought the sun and the flowers
Where there used to be rain.”
As sung by Dinah Washington

After yesterday’s miserable Moaning on Monday post, Tuesday dawned with sunshine and no rain.  And after a good night’s sleep I was back to normal, looking for the positive in all things.

After a morning sitting at the computer beavering away for my real estate friend, Lotte and I went for our usual walk this afternoon.  I have talked written before about the bush that surrounds our city and the great walks that are available to us.  So we rugged up warmly (very cold again today) and set off.

Central Park, Brooklyn, NZ

We started our walk in Central Park (named after the area of the same name in New York).  The park separates Brooklyn (where I live) from the city.  The park was established in 1913 on Town Belt land, the park features among other things, a set of wrought-iron gates at its main entrance: gifted to the city and its inhabitants in 1920 by the then  Mayor, John Pearce Luke.

It is interesting to note that during World War II, American forces established a military camp in the park between 1942 and 1944. In October 1942 building work started with an initial requirement to accommodate 416 men of the US Marine Corps. The partly built camp could accept some occupants by 22 November 1942, and by July 1943 it could accommodate 540 personnel.

And just for fun

If you live in Brooklyn, New York where is the furthest you can go from your home  yet still arrive in Brooklyn? The answer is Brooklyn, Australia, about thirty miles from Sydney.  The distance is about 10.530 miles.

And the second furthest?  Why Brooklyn in Wellington, NZ.  The distance between Brooklyn, NY and where I live is about 8,946 miles.

Now back to our walk.

It was late afternoon; the sunshine had disappeared and it was shortly before sunset.  The sun set today June 26 at 5 pm.  The trees were pretty bare and in places the fallen leaves which were damp were rather treacherous to walk on.

Lotte has to be kept on a lead in this park but in Tanera Park in Brooklyn she can roam in the designated dog area without a lead.  So we left Central Park and went into Tanera.  There Lotte saw a couple of friends and two very large strangers.  I am constantly amazed that my little dog thinks she is the same size as these Rottweilers, Dobermans (Dobbermen?) et al that inhabit our world.  But after an initial sniff, they seem to get on well.

Feeling thoroughly invigorated, but very cold, we returned home to our warm house for hot chocolate for me and water and a sleep in front of the fire for Lotte.

So yes, this has been a good day and quite a different day to yesterday.

“Every day is a new opportunity.  You can build on yesterday’s success or put its failures behind and start over again.”
Bob Feller, American Baseball Player. 1918 – 2010

Walking at Night

“Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.”
Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) American poet.

As a break from writing fiction, I decided to have another attempt at writing an Etheree, a particular form of poetry.  This form was created some twenty years ago by an Arkansas poet named Etheree Taylor Armstrong.  An Etheree, consists of ten lines of un-metered and un-rhymed verse, the first line having one syllable, each succeeding line adding a syllable, with the total syllable count being fifty-five.

Here’s my attempt

Do we
We Still walk here
Every night
Small dog and I
Together in the
Cold empty streets of town
Where nothing moves and no dogs roam
Where all is locked and barred for the night
We should both go home to our warm safe house.

Lotte and I always walk in the daytime but I have often wondered how different the world would be if we walked at night.  But I know that even here it is not safe for a woman and a small dog to be out late at night.

Note – I saw the repeated word and have now changed it.

“No matter how dark the night we know that whatever happens the sun will rise tomorrow and then all the shadows will be chased away.”
Judith Baxter, Blogger and friend. 1938 –

Oh Good, It’s Saturday

Six word Saturday button

It’s Saturday again so here we go.  If you would like to participate please either click on the picture above or click this link.


After a couple of ho hum days, we woke this morning to brilliant sunshine.  As is my usual practice, I spent a couple of hours lounging in bed reading.  I was spoiled with coffee and toast before I got up.


Then it was off to the market for vegetables.  Once again, I bought too many but I do have a good friend with whom I can share.  So we now both have vegetables in our fridges, enough for the week.

Hot chocolate

The vegetable shopping was followed by hot chocolate and Danish at a local cafe.  Then it was off to discover new parts of this city where I have lived for the last 30 plus years, but where I keep finding areas of which I know nothing.

Today we discovered Truby King House and Park.  Sir Frederic Truby King CMG generally known as Truby King, was a New Zealand health reformer and Director of Child Welfare. He is best known as the founder of the Plunket Society aimed at improving the health and well being of mothers and infants.

He and his wife Isabella lived in an absolutely idyllic spot perched high above Wellington with unobstructed views over what then would have been countryside to the ocean.  Today it looks out of busy suburbs to the airport and beyond.  But the view still included the sea and it is quite spectacular.  The Wellington City Council now owns and maintains the grounds and the house.

Truby King House

The house is tenanted today – lucky tenants to enjoy that view.

But I want to share with you our walk today.  King’s house, a quite ordinary large single story wooden villa, that sits in 10 acres of bush and parklands.  A feature of the property is the fine examples of brickwork, in paths, pillars and arches around the park.

Brick archway

These brick archways abound in the gardens of the King House.

Another example of the amazing brickwork throughout the gardens.

King Garden

More brickwork

MausaleumThere is a brick mausoleum  with the trademark brick
steps and path leading to it.

Having wandered around these gardens for about an hour this afternoon it was time to take ourselves back to the present where most of us have tiny gardens, if in fact we have a garden.  But we can enjoy King’s garden as much as he did during his lifetime.  Gardening was his passion and it is easy to see in the way in which the grounds are laid out, the thought that has gone into the planting, and although it is now 74 years since his death his legacy to this country lives on in the Plunket Society and to this city in the house and grounds he bequeathed to the people of Wellington.

I dream of hiking into my old age.
I want to be able even then to pack my load and take off slowly but steadily
along the trail.
Marlyn Doan

Happy Christmas Mrs B

Yesterday while out walking with madam I slipped on some loose gravel and now have my leg in a” back slab cast”.  Apparently, I have fractured my ankle and so have to have this on for 12 days (10 days but as Christmas comes into the counting we can make it 12 days).  No comment as to what will happen after the 12 days, was forthcoming.

Foot in plaster

My Christmas present to myself

As I think in most places, the A & E Department of the local hospital does not have a good rep, but I have to say that I was treated with total respect, care and understanding.  What is more, I was in and out complete with cast, in under two hours.  I have made a point of telling the staff how impressed I am with this.

There was really very little waiting around not like when I had to go to the private A & E.  I was there for hours and then was given a hefty account.  Yesterday’s service was FREE.

This, of course, will certainly slow me down over the next few weeks.  I can’t drive so am dependent on others and this, as you may know, is not really in my nature. I have said in the past that I am working on being gracious and so I am graciously accepting all offers of help.

Today two grandsons appeared telling me that they were here to do whatever I needed them to do.  What fantastic young boys who will most certainly grow into fantastic young men.  We had a very enjoyable day.  They wrapped all the Christmas presents and the eldest, at 14, even tried his hand at tying bows.

So I now have to learn to slow down, ask for and accept the help that is on offer and give thanks that the damage was not more serious.



















My rainbow

A Walk Around Brooklyn

“My goal in life is to be as good a person as my dog already thinks I am. ”
Author Unknown


I'm ready to go are you?

Yesterday was Halloween and I thought I would take Lotte for a  short walk around the streets of the suburb to see if we could see any witches, ghoulies or ghosties.  I remember the fun my children had on Halloween and wondered if children still had as much fun.

We started as usual walking down our steep street and immediately up this fairly steep path.  Very good for the legs.

Self sown offerings along the side of the path lifted my spirits because they survive on their own without any care from a human

We met this little sweetie with a painted face
all ready for trick or treat waiting for the time to pass

I wonder what’s at the end of this driveway

We saw children playing at the after school care centre; we saw children having fun and children who appeared to be quite upset. We saw harassed mothers and smiling mothers; we saw teenagers going about their business, some looking very bored.

We saw a Bichon Frise being walked by its owner
and we saw a very large dog out for a walk on its own

This pirate was being taken by his mother to various
friends’ houses for trick or treat.  He was very happy to
have his photo taken to use in my blog

The village was full of children of all ages dressed to make Halloween and trick or treat fun.

And then we arrived home.  Lotte fell onto her rug exhausted
after a long walk up and down the hills of this suburb.

These were the only trick or treaters who came to my door
last night.  Don’t they look good?

“When witches go riding,
and black cats are seen,
the moon laughs and whispers,
‘tis near Halloween.”
Author Unknown

Sunday …

It’s 11.15pm on Sunday night and I haven’t written today’s blog.  It has been a busy day but that’s usual so why isn’t the blog written?

I had a lazy start to the day.  The sun was shining brightly and I had been to the library yesterday so had a new clutch of books.  I decided that it would be good to sit in the sun for a short time and read The Sinner by Terri Geritsen.  This is a writer new to me and I found her book absorbing.  So much so that it was suddenly 10.30 am and I wasn’t dressed and had to be in town to help at an Open Home at 11.45am.  So rush rush.

It was such a lovely early summer day – the temperature at one stage reached 21*F such a difference from the past few grey days that I felt like singing.  Luckily common sense prevailed because I think I would have scared anybody within hearing distance.  I do like to sing but only if I am alone with only my small dog to hear me.

We had a short walk and then it was home to make dinner for friends who were prepared to chance my cooking.  Have I told you that I am no cook and in fact had to learn all over again once my husband died?

Well dinner was a success – or at least everybody was polite about it.  Stir fried chicken, mushrooms and vegetables on rice with asparagus and a side salad.  I really couldn’t go wrong.

But then, after they had gone and the kitchen was restored to order I was sitting enjoying a last cup of coffee with the one remaining friend when I remembered my blog.

So just to keep faith with myself and my commitment, this is a very short blog today.  I shall do better tomorrow when I shall tell you about the last movie I saw at the Italian Film Festival.

A man is generally better pleased when he has a good dinner upon his table than when his wife talks Greek.
Samuel Johnson, English author, poet and essayist.
1709- 1784.

The Massey Memorial

Massey Memorial

Have to go again to get the rest of the words.

The exterior is of the memorial is pale Tākaka marble, resting on a base of dark grey Coromandel granite.

Yesterday, on a beautiful early summer afternoon we took a walk up to the Massey Memorial.  It is sited on a promontory at Point Halswell in the inner harbour in Wellington and commemorates W. F. Massey, prime minister of New Zealand from 1912 to 1925.

Bush walk to Massey memorial

The lovely gentle walk upwards through dappled sunshine gave little or no hint of what was to come.

The harbour

From the site one gets this unobstructed view,  without any of the buildings that usually invade  intrude in shots of the harbour.


A little potted history now.  William Ferguson Massey, often known as Bill Massey or “Farmer Bill” (26 March 1856 – 10 May 1925) served as Prime Minister to New Zealand from 1912 – 1925.

Massey was born in Ireland into a family of tenant farmers.  The family  moved to New Zealand in 1869 but he stayed to complete his education and arrived here a year later.  After arriving in NZ he worked as a farm-hand for several years until he acquired his own farm in 1877.  Fie years later he married a neighbour’s daughter.

Massey became prominent in his local community through his involvement in civic activities.  He was invited to stand for election to Parliament i the General Election of  1893 but was unsuccessful.  But the following year he was invited to contest a by-election in the neighbouring electorate of Waitemata, and was victorious. But in the 1896 election he stood for the Franklin electorate, which he represented until he died in 1925.

In 1924 illness forced Massey to relinquish many of his official duties. He died of this illness the following year.  Shortly after Massey’s death  the Massey Burial-ground Act was passed allocating land at Point Halswell to be set aside as a burial ground for him and his widow. Public subscriptions raised funds totalling £5,000 and the government contributed £10,000. One wonders what such a memorial would cost to build today.

Here endeth today’s lesson.


C'mon - ready to go home now

“I dream of hiking into my old age.  I want to be able even then to pack my load and take off slowly but steadily along the trail.”
Marlyn Doan

A different walk today

“These boots are made for walking
and that’s just what they’re gonna do.”

It has been a beautiful day here.  Bright sunshine but unfortunately strong winds and so the temperature has never really reached any great height.  But it is most pleasant to take a walk around the shore and take in the sights.

Marine reserve

We started our walk into the brisk wind and found some very interesting houses.

We are told that the woman of this house always wanted to live in a lighthouse, so while she was away overseas on a trip the husband had one built for her.  True or not it’s a good story.

Life boat house

Immediately to the left of that house sits this one.  As you can see it has a life boat built into the facade.  No information on why it’s there or who put it there  is available but it makes another good talking point.

Two horses house

And to the left of that is this house.  Why there are two horses above the garage is anybody’s guess.

The ocean

If you look really hard you can see the South Island in the distance.

All three of these houses sit with their backs to a high cliff and the sea in front.  It would be an exciting place to live when the southerlies blow and the wind whips up the waves.  But today it was relatively calm.

Hazard warning

The road to the quarry

We then drove a little way around to the Red Rocks Scientific Reserve.  Red rocks or Pariwhero in Maori is an area steeped in myths and legends.  The rocks  are ancient pillow lava formed 200 million years ago by undersea volcanic eruptions. Small amounts of iron oxides give the rocks their distinctive red colouring.

There is always more than one story in Maori folklore and the red rocks are no exception.   In one story  Kupe – the famous Polynesian explorer – was gathering paua (abalone) here when one clamped his hand. He bled and stained the rocks red. In the other story, and the one I prefer, the daughters of Kupe, fearing for his safety on a long voyage, they gashed themselves in grief over his absence.  The red is their blood.

Red Rocks

There is an unmanned Scientific Centre that gives historical notes and information on the surroundings and the habitation of the area.  This is one such information tablet.

Another is on the fur seals. These are males who have lost  fights for territory in the breeding colonies at the top of the South Island.  As it is a bachelor colony there are no females and so you are not likely to come upon a seal pup here.

Fur seals

There is also information on early quarrying activity in the area. And I shall write about the quarry and its activities and eventual closure in another post.


“I dream of hiking into my old age.”
Marlyn Doan
, 1936 – 2005

Trials of a Rambler

Ramble definition: v amble, drift, perambulate, peregrinate, range, roam, rove, saunter, straggle etc etc

And this certainly covers the range of topics I have covered in my blog posts since I started on March 1.  Right here you need to cheer.  Yesterday was my 200th post.  Aw c’mon – that deserves at least a little recognition.


msn clipart

But back to today’s post.  Usually, well quite often anyway, when I sit down to write I have some idea of what I shall write about.  But at other times.  Well, if you read my earlier post Kiss Your Frogs you’ll know that’s not always the case.

Sometimes, I start with an idea and then this over-age mind of mine goes off on a totally different track and I am reminded of the rambles that I take with Lotte each day.

Town Belt Sign

Here in Wellington, we are very lucky that our original town fathers had the sense to proclaim an area around the city The Town Belt.   For those of you interested here is a pdf of the Townbelt  Deed

“made the twentieth day of March One thousand eight hundred and seventy-three
Superintendent of the Province of Wellington in the Colony of New Zealand
of the one part and
(who with their Successors are hereinafter termed “the Corporation’ of the other part…”

This deed specifically provides access to over 1,000 acres of walks, playing fields and leisure activity areas for the people of Wellington and it’s visitors.

central park 2

Lotte and I regularly walk in this part of the town belt as it is in our area and it has a designated dog area where she can run around off the lead.

Northern bushwalk

This is another favourite track of ours.  Khandallah to Mt Kaukau but since I have had Lotte we haven’t ventured to the top.  It is too steep for her little legs – well, that’s my excuse anyway.

Khandallah Bush walk

The bush is quite dense but is well-marked with paths and signposts.  Other people do let their dogs off the lead here but as there are so very many interesting and enticing smells she might follow them and never come back ,Lotte is kept firmly on the lead..

Khandallah Bush Walk

And so, as you can see it is not only my mind that wanders rambles but also my legs.  And I am so very grateful that I live here and that I am able to enjoy the peace and solitude (yes often we don’t see another soul on our walks).

Rugged coast

Added to the bush the sea is only a 10-minute drive away.  How lucky can you get?












What’s Around That Corner?

A bend in the road

Occasionally when I am  out walking with Lotte and I look ahead and just for a moment wonder what might lie around that bend.  Is it something wonderful or something to be scared of?

And then I think of one of my favourite poems by Rudyard Kipling :

“They shut the road through the woods
Seventy years ago.
Weather and rain have undone it again,
And now you would never know
There was once a road through the woods
Before they planted the trees.
It is underneath the coppice and heath,
And the thin anemones.
Only the keeper sees
That, where the ring-dove broods,
And the badgers roll at ease,
There was once a road through the woods.
Yet, if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools
Where the otter whistles his mate.
(They fear not men in the woods,
Because they see so few)
You will hear the beat of a horse’s feet,
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods….
But there is no road through the woods. “

This was one of the poems that we learned at school and now some 55 years later, I can still recite it.

I do know that different interpretations of any poetry are possible. This poem talks to me of plans made and discarded in favour of new plans.  We can decide to take the road through the woods or an alternative perhaps easier way, where the road is still clear and unhampered, or we can take this way strewn with brambles and humps aka problems and challenges.  Some of us choose the easy way and enjoy life to a certain extent, never knowing how great it feels to overcome the challenges.  And the rest of us…..

Well we know what it is to go out into the world without a safety net.  Sure, it’s scary and not comfortable, but oh the joy when we accomplish what we had thought was impossible.

So today I am encouraging you (but only if you feel strong and secure enough of course) to ditch the safety net and meet life head on.  Who know what you may find.

“To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily.  To not dare is to lose oneself. ”
Soren Kierkegaard
, 1813 –1855
Danish Christian philosopher, theologian and author.

And in no means meant as a postscript:

I should like to thank sincerely all 70 people who have subscribed to my blog and to the 14,000 plus visitors to this site.  Thank you, thank you.  I am honoured that you read my blogs and comment.  In fact, blown away would more accurately describe my feelings for you all.

Wind blowing cloud

via Clipart


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