Tag Archives: Holiday

A New Day Dawns

Our peace and quiet in the bay was disturbed early this morning by a cyclone of helicopters swooping low over the beach, landing and scooping up sand.  We have no answer to the question of why they were taking sand nor where.  Perhaps the local paper will enlighten us later in the week.  By the way does one describe a group of helicopters as a cyclone?  That is certainly what it sounded like; but it is probably something humdrum like a flight.  Anyway I’m sticking with cyclone.

The weather has changed somewhat and the temperature has dropped to 25 degrees; this in contrast to parts of the South Island where the temperature plummeted and they had snow at 600 metres.  Summer in New Zealand!

As I have said often before as you travel the length of this country you can go from cold, cold weather to subtropical in the upper north.  Makes for interesting viewing on the nightly weather reports.

The beach is practically deserted now that all schools have gone back to start the new school year.  But today, the local intermediate school has brought two mini buses filled with children to learn to surf.  The shrieks of delight (?) and laughter could be heard by those of us sitting and reading.

Breakfast this morning was at our favourite restaurant in Whakatane – L’Epicerie.  It’s owned by our French friends and today we both had French toast (yes this is how it was written on the blackboard) which consisted of two slices of sourdough bread, streaky bacon, maple syrup, bananas, whipped cream and raspberry coulis.  Needless to say, I couldn’t finish mine but my favourite man ate all on the plate.  Again, needless to say, there will be no more food consumed here until dinner this evening.

At the weekend I purchased a new Apple iPad Air 2.  Having been given a new 27-inch iMac with “Retina 5K display” for Christmas, I decided to leave my trustee Samsung tablet and purchase an iPad.  We are now having great fun setting it up and finding our way around it,  Watch this space.

And for no good reason, here is one of my favourite quotes.  I love Piglet…

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude.”
A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

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Happy Holidays to all

Pohutakawa tree

Our own New Zealand Christmas tree. Image via Wikipedia

It’s Christmas Eve as I write this blog and even though I have been absent from the blogosphere for several weeks again, I have been reading some of your interesting posts and keeping up with my blogging friends times and travels.

Presents are wrapped ready to be delivered and as my daughter and I are going out to a hotel for lunch tomorrow there is no last-minute cooking and preparations going on.

It is supposedly summer here but today has been dull and rainy and decidedly chilly.  We thought summer had arrived this weekend.  We had a roof shout on Friday – do you know about roof shouts?  These are held with all the builders and contractors and other trades people once the roof is on the house.  It was a glorious day and we enjoyed a fantastic barbecue with 20+ others in the new house.  As well as the roof being complete, the front door and garage door are in and able to be closed, and the glazing is in place.  So once the builders return from their summer holiday work will begin again and soon the house should be habitable.

On this day last year I posted the New Zealand version of the Twelve Days of Christmas and I thought it worth repeating.  So here goes, you know the tune – enjoy our version.

On the first day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
A pukeko in a ponga tree

Pukeko

via Wikipedia

On the second day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Two kumera
And a pukeko in a ponga tree

On the third day of Christmas
Three flax kits
and so on, until…

On the twelfth day of Christmas
My true love gave to me
Twelve piupius swinging
Eleven haka lessons
Ten juicy fish heads
Nine sacks of pipis
Eight plants of puha
Seven eels a swimming
Six pois a twirling
Five – big – fat – pigs!
Four huhu grubs
Three flax kits
Two kumera
And a pukeko in a ponga tree!
Eight plants of puha
Seven eels a swimming

pois dancing

Picture via Wikipedia

Definitions

Pukeko = type of bird found in NZ
Ponga Tree = a fern tree that grows in NZ
Kumera = a yellow sweet potato with a purple inside core
Piuspius = a skirt made from strips of flax. They look like hula skirts. They’re worn by the Maori (indigenous people of NZ) during certain dances and special celebrations.
Haka = war chant/dance
Pipis = small shellfish
Puha = a type of sow thistle that is eaten as a vegetable in NZ
Pois = Maori word for ball – they’re two balls on the end of two ropes and they’re twirled around making patterns during some Maori dances
Huhu = a small edible grub or beetle found in NZ.

So now for all my friends out there may I wish you a safe and happy holiday period whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Eid, Yule or any other.   If you are in the northern hemisphere keep warm and everybody take care when driving.  We all know that there are plenty of crazies out there behind the wheels of cars.

Happy Holidays

Happy Easter

Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
One ha’ penny, two ha’ penny,
Hot cross buns!
If you have no daughters, Give them to your sons
One ha’ penny, Two ha’ penny,
Hot Cross Buns!

This is an old English language nursery rhyme and street cry referring to the lovely spicy buns we enjoy at Easter.  Well if you are English you will enjoy them and maybe other cultures eat them too.

Hot Cross Buns

Here’s the link to the recipe.  Do try them – they are delicious.

Colorful Easter Eggs

And will you be eating Easter eggs?

Celebrating Easter with eggs has long been a tradition in Western Christianity.  According to Wikipedia:

The Easter egg tradition may also have merged into the celebration of the end of the privations of Lent in the West. Historically, it was traditional to use up all of the household’s eggs before Lent began. Eggs were originally forbidden during Lent as well as on other traditional fast days in Western Christianity.

When we were growing up after the Second World War there was no chocolate to be had and eggs were in very short supply.  So no Easter eggs for us.

When my children were little we used to paint hard boiled eggs for Easter.  They were pretty awful attempts when the children were small and certainly improved as they got older and became more adept with paint and brushes.

And now I suppose my grandchildren will have chocolate Easter eggs.  When they were small (all four are now teenagers) I used to buy them each a book instead of an Easter egg.  And one year when they were all just toddlers, they each got an Easter bunny from Granma (oh not a real one; a stuffed animal).  I know that at least one of them (the eldest) still has his.

Easter Bunny Postcard

Postcard c1907 via Wikipedia

So how will you celebrate Easter?  Do you recognise this as a religious festival with all its meaning or is it a time of rest and recreation for you?  Although I suppose it could be both because the religious symbolism of new life and rejuvenation could also come into being if treating this as a holiday.

And now I am reminded of my Mother’s love of the movies and in particular anything that starred Judy Garland.  One of her favourites was Easter Parade.  We saw this several times as we were growing up.

In any event, and however you celebrate this weekend, have a good Easter and may it be a happy one filled with laughter, friendship and family.

‘Twas Easter-Sunday. The full-blossomed trees
Filled all the air with fragrance and with joy.”
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
from the Spanish Student