Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Rimutaka Forest Park

Hi there

My swimming friend J, her personal paparazzo, and myself went for a hike at the Wainuiomata end of the Rimutaka Forest Park.

It was a nice day, birds were warbling, we had a pleasant hike and a yummy picnic.  Also, as an added bonus, there was no slipping or falling (remember my famous forest fall the summer before last?).




Photos by J's Personal Paparazzo




Sunday, June 18, 2017

Speed Bumps

Hi there

I was seventeen.  My brand-spanking-new driving licence had been clutched in my hand for only three weeks.

I was driving through the gates at the Shelly Bay air force base that's right on the coastline here in Wellington.  It's a through road for the public.

A sign announced something to the effect of 'Speed Bump Ahead".

I read it as "Speed.  Bump Ahead".  Notice the subtle difference?

I raced toward that bump like a Le Mans rally driver.  My father's car took to the air.  I landed with a loud crash!  Thank heavens the car was intact.  My nerves certainly weren't.

I notice, nowadays, there are signs everywhere that say "Slow down.  Speed bumps ahead". Even at Shelly Bay.   Good thing, too.  Precious young teens in a funk with so much Road Code clutter in their heads might not be able to cope.

Friday, June 16, 2017

taking surveys

Hi there

I agree to take a phone survey.  I then agree to test a spanking new mystery product.  I am quite excited to be a guinea pig.  My friends will be ever-so jealous.

Wait-!  What?  I'm to test toilet paper?

I find at this point that I am a little over my initial excitement.

When the toilet rolls arrive, I read the accompanying instructions.  I have to fill out a questionnaire:

Is the toilet tissue soft to my body?  How many squares would I tear off at a time?   Does it rip easily?   How is the paper to flush?  Are width and length pleasing ?   How often would I use it ...?

Goodness, I am so finished with phone surveys.




     


Friday, June 9, 2017

Paying Bills

Hi there

Do you remember the times when we used to get 30 days to pay a bill?  I'm not sure if that was an official rule or just a "gentlemen's handshake" thing?

Last week I received my monthly phone bill from Spark, and from the time that bill landed in my letterbox to the close-off date for payment, it was eight days.

It doesn't help that New Zealand Post now only delivers mail three days a week.  I do understand that people aren't writing letters much anymore.

I suppose the time will come when I only get a couple of days in which to pay my bills.  If I'm on holiday I may miss out completely.  If I'm between paydays, I may be financially embarrassed.  Goodness, I may have to end up with automatic payments, via the internet?

Pity, because I love being a holdout rebel.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Zealandia Nature Reserve, Wellington

Hi there

Last weekend it was gold coin entry ($1 or $2) into the zoo and into the Zealandia nature reserve.  I went to the zoo on Saturday, and Zealandia on Sunday.  I managed to escape the rain, though it did rain later on.  The days were glowering, dull, dark.

I love hiking around the bushland in Zealandia.  Zealandia is huge, and completely fenced in.  Apparently it has the longest predator-free fence in a nature reserve of its size in the world.  There are tracks that take hours to walk, with so many birds warbling.

There's a man-made lake.  It was Wellington's original reservoir.  There are free buses every hour from Visitor Information, Te Papa Museum, and from the top of the cable car in Kelburn. There is a fee to get into both Zealandia and the zoo.


below:   on one of the bridges.

below:  the cheeky kea birds have learnt to press a pedal to open the lid of a feed dish.



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Awakeri Rail Adventures, Whakatane

Hi there

While I was on holiday last week I went on an Awakeri Rail Adventure.  I drove something that looked like a golf cart along a decommissioned railway track that was in an area just before the township of Whakatane.

It was a lot of fun.  There were probably about five carts and we were led along the rails by a jigger (?), driven by an owner of the company.  Not that there was much driving involved.  There was a steering wheel, sure, but it was un-usable and it truly felt weird to just sit there, not using the thing.  We used the foot pedal to slow down, speed up, or stop.

We stopped the carts at one point to feed dozens upon dozens of geese, ducks, and hens who came running across from a farm to greedily welcome us.  Another time we stopped for  a bush walk, then we stopped for a bush afternoon tea.  We drove over a couple of narrow bridges over roads and little valleys. In total, about two and a half hours.  We travelled completely through lush greenery.

I took loads of photos but, of course, I lost my phone, so here is a photo from the Whakatane information site.


Monday, May 22, 2017

Those insurance companies

Hi there

It had been three years but finally, at last, thank goodness, I was coming to grips with the basic technological aspects of my pretty-in-pink pre-pay mobile phone.  Hooray.

But last week, in Whakatane, I lost my phone. Noooooooo...

I rang my insurance company. "It cost me $149," I told the insurance lady.

"Stop right there-"   The insurance lady sounded smug.

Turned out my insurance excess was $250.  The company would not be buying me a new phone after all.

I politely said "thank you",  in preparation for hanging up.

"No problem," said the insurance lady.

What?  Of course it was a problem!  I was going to have to pay out for a new phone.  How on earth could she say that wasn't a problem?  It was a BIG problem-!

... I'm so over insurance companies, and I'm going out tomorrow to buy myself that new (pink) phone.   It will take me a further three years to study the ins and outs of it.  I just don't have that much living time left to squeeze in learning yet another new tech contraption.

Sigh.