Last month of the year and as I have got closer to the ‘365th’ photo, I realised that somewhere along the line, I must have miscounted or missed a day because I ain’t going to get to 365! With a wee bit of awhi from Nigel, we located the missing photo, added it into the appropriate albums and I have now been through and renumbered from August! Phew! So December – what happened?
A foray up Wairere Falls with friends. Always a crowd-pleaser, steep and windy up through the bush to where the stream flows off the Kaimais and down to the Waikato plain below. You can stand right on the edge and get a stunning view.
Belf stowed away today and came to school with me! I was working with a leadership team looking at Localised Curriculum. I really enjoyed the kōrero (conversation) and the whakaaro (thinking) that went on. Challenging but stimulating.
Kua piki a Belf ki runga i te rākau i te mea ai kei pai ia te kakara o ngā putiputi mā. (Belf just climbed the tree because she likes the scent of the white flowers.) . Belf got her name because of the bell she has on her hat. This was donated to me by a friend. She climbed Mount Fuji whilst on a trip to Japan. The bell was on the walking pole that the tour company gave them.
I travelled down to Ōtautahi for our work ‘Retreat’ today. I decided to travel during the day rather than in the evening or early in the morning so I had a couple of hours after doing some work to look around. Ōtautahi really s rising from the ashes and a lot of building and development in the inner city seems to be coming together. I love the way that art has been used from immediately post-earthquake to ‘heal’ the city. This artist was painting from a photo/image on his phone. I watched mesmerised along with a couple of blokes – we were all marvelling at his talent. We talked about how the rise of street art has had an uplifting effect on the city and on the hearts and minds of the citizens.
This has got to bee the best team ever! The Connected Learning Advisory is no more, but for 3 and a half years we worked together – some left during that time and others took their place but the ethos and the spirit of the team carried on. This shows some that were there right from the start and some who only joined us for the last 6 months and there are quite a few missing who have moved on to other jobs.
We were rudely awoken at 6am by the fire alarm. I left my room, (after getting dressed first) to enter a corridor filled with acrid smoke. I held my breath and walked swiftly to the stairwell which fortunately was clear of smoke and made my way outside. As I exited the building, I heard an American woman shrieking that she didn’t know that the jug was plastic and that it didn’t go on the electric hob! Hmmm!
A dash up the Hakarimatas from Waingaro end – some steps but not as many as in the middle and no other people! Just the way I like my trailruns. Just me and my buddies! Great views of Ngaruawahia and the Waikato.
A Sunday morning walk with my wee man. Funny peculiar – the 8th December was his due date 25 years ago but he decided that he was ready for the world and came a month early! This is the Picturesque Garden, the most recent garden in Hamilton Gardens. Much less manicured than some of the others – I like it.
Kotahi te kohao o te ngira e kuhuna ai te miro ma, te miro pango me te miro whero. There is only one eye of the needle through which the white, black and red threads must pass.https://nzhistory.govt.nz/politics/the-maori-king-movement/potatau-te-wherowhero
This is Te Taio o Kirikiriroa – The Gate to Kirikiriroa. The newest sculpture to be gifted to the city which sits at Victoria on the River and overlooks the Te Awa Waikato. I went along to the opening of it. It really is stunning. www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/118055314/sculpture-of…
Memories of rosy childhood
Walks through long-grassed fields
Ice cream with my wee boy who has been on jury service this week. Not needed so far…two days to go! Duck Island Ice Cream really is worth visiting if you are in Kirikiriroa. (Now open in Ponsonby, Tamaki Makaurau too!)
I think the photo of these roses in full bloom was a photo of the day for November. I happened to look up from my desk today and noticed that they had dried out. I still think they look beautiful.
Packed and ready for adventure! We’re off on Saturday to walk the Abel Tasman and the Heaphy track over a week. Exciting!
Christmas Trees at Wellington Airport in support of Cystic Fibrosis – love the coffee theme on this one!
Beach walking on the Abel Tasman. Nearly the end of Day 1 and it’s been a long one! This is the last stretch along Onetahuti Beach. I have just been for a swim at Tinga Quarry – had top be done as the weather is due to turn to custard and I desperately wanted to submerge myself in the sea!
Amie and Paula carried on and Jo and I are now on a mission to catch them!
Just over that hill to go and then there’s beer!
Rest day! Always up for a challenge. Not strictly my photo as my friend took it for me but it is a photo of me! It reminded me of the caving challenges we used to do back in the day when we were young and stupid! Now I’m just old and stupid! We decided to take a stroll out along the Maitai river through the city centre. There are several pieces of artwork along the river trail.
Plan B – Amie’s blisters from Abel Tasman are horrific! So we made the hard decision, very reluctantly, to can the Heaphy track but we decided it was best to stay together. There is also a severe weather warning published for the rohe for the next two days. So we had a rest day yesterday, rethought our plans, hired a car, booked into the motel for another few days and decided on a trip out to Nelson Lakes today. Amie came wit us and sat in the grand lodge at St Arnaud and we climbed St Arnaud’s track. The track takes you 5km uphill to Parachute Rock with these stunning views and then 5km back down again through beautiful beech forest.
Plan B, Day 2 – a bit of an adventure up the Maitai Valley. This trail took us for 3kms or so along a really runnable, undulating trail. Then we hit the river, which we had to cross! Knee deep and about 15ft wide with freezing water! The trail from here on in, as described in the guide was very gnarly, lots of tree roots, narrow, greasy and at some points the stream flowed along it. So we sloshed our way upwards as the path climbed through beautiful woodland. After a couple of kms (less than the signs indicated) we arrived at Maitai Cave. I ventured in to explore while Jo and Paula waited outside for me. I could hear the stream from above and it sounded like there was quite a lot of water. Difficult to see initially how far down the climb was to get to it and how much of the passage it filled. I clambered down greasy, muddy boulders making tentative use of the rope that was belayed around the rock that wedged across the entrance. Landing in the ankle-deep stream at the bottom I could see that it emerged from a small opening directly ahead of me. I looked to my right first to see what was there but after a few steps saw that there was no way on. I ducked down and could see that it was possible to get into where the stream was emerging. I crawled into a short passage that only went a few metres. the water seemed to be coming from under the rock wall. On coming back out, I followed the stream (all of 2 – 3 metres!) to where it disappeared underground – a couple of tree trunks were wedged in the stream. Turning around to my right, I looked up and saw that there were more boulders with a piece of tat hanging down. Above them was an aven. I climbed up, inspecting the rope carefully as I may well need it to get down again. The floor was strewn with large boulders, mostly covered in greasy mud and knowing that Jo and Paula were waiting outside I decided not to go any further. It didn’t look like there was a way on. Shining my light upwards I could see that the aven was about 30 ft high but difficult to see if there were any stals. Apparently Maitai Cave is the home to a very rare snail but I couldn’t see any pools that it could have been in – all water I saw in the cave was flowing quite fast!
On our last morning we climbed up to the trig which is the Centre Of New Zealand. I have already done a handstand here but that is no reason not to do another since it is a very special trig! I wanted to try to line up with the trig but didn’t quite make it. Close but no cigar!
Last Saturday before Christmas – shopping to do and maybe also a last drink in Craft Hamilton before it closes for the holiday break!
Time to bake the Christmas Ham – marinaded in a mixture of honey and marmalade, rum and 72 cloves. It’ll keep us going for a few weeks!
Monday morning. No work. Time to chill and drink good coffee.
Aonghas decided he likes egg custard pies, so I set about making some for Christmas. Christmas Eve was spent in the kitchen after an early morning run out at Pukemokemoke. I did all the frilly things and Nigel did the main, important stuff!
We can’t let Christmas Day go by without a family photo. You know by now how difficult it is to get all my boys to smile or look at least halfway happy all at the same time in a photo. So this is 2019 Christmas photo – I didn’t even attempt a family selfie!
Boxing Day morning run out at Ngāroto. After a quick circuit, I walked back a km or so and tried out the #WaipaJourneys at ift.tt/37cxPFg This photo is looking across at Taurangamirumiru Pā. Fascinating stories of the rohe to listen to as you walk.
Our veggie garden is looking good. I’m determined to keep on top of the weeds this year and tame the growth of the tomatoes and beans so that we eat them while they are still fresh. It could all go to custard while we are away though!
How many trails do you know that actually go through a cave? this one does! I’m sure the sign didn’t used to be there. Department of Conservation used our photo of Aonghas in their website and brochure for this trail – it’s still there!
www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/waikato… and I have only recently found out that I have been pronouncing Kaniwhaniwha incorrectly for the last 12 years. Making an effort now to untrain my pronunciation muscles and say it correctly! The stories of Pirongia can be found here as well as the meanings of some of the places. Kaniwhaniwha means dancing stream.
I couldn’t resist this one! Fun on holiday at a wee park just outside Dargaville – a cornucopia of crap, kitsch and creativity.
Summer holiday in Northland means exploring kauri forests at Waipoua. The textures and colours in the forests are beautiful.
Just finishing the year off! Better find somewhere to start 2020 with tomorrow! On the last day of the decade – OK not really, as some people will say that the decade actually ends at the end of 2020 – a handstand at a trigpoint. This is Hauturu Highpoint in the Waima Range. A great way to end the year.