May 1st – I heard a tūī today, and I thought it seemed closer than usual. I looked out of my window and there he was right outside my office. I rongo au te waiata ātaahua o te Tūī.

123/366 2nd May 2020

It’s so good to get a bit further afield than our back yard. Much as I love Hamilton Gardens and the Waikato River and walking along it has been my saviour over the last few weeks, it lifts my heart to get up high! Back up the puke (Kakepuku) today… it’s a while since we’ve been and the landscape is a bit greener than last time!

124/366 3rd May 2020

Praying Mantis on faded blooms.

125/366 4th May 2020

I think I mentioned last month that the country has gone into baking fever – now it’s time to use up the gluts of home grown produce! Spent an afternoon preserving feijoa, chilli and limes all from the garden. This is a great pickle recipe and really easy to make.

126/366 5th May 2020

Moonrise over the Waikato River.

127/366 6th May 2020

Work has started again on the new road.

128/366 7th May 2020

Glass … I am taking part in a collaborative photo book at the moment and today’s theme was glass… this wee vase was my Mum’s and I’ve always loved it.

129/366 8th May 2020

Kātahi anō aukaha ka rātou te ara i te taha o te awa
Finally they are repairing/strengthening the path by the river

130/366 9th May 2020

Tonks found the sunny spot. I sat with her for a while and warmed my cold fingers on her fur. I have Raynauds and even in warm weather my fingers go dead so this is a luxury not many will appreciate!

131/366 10th May 2020

First time seeing my big son after 6 weeks in lockdown. so good to hug!

132/366 11th May 2020

Another view of Turtle Lake. It’s been fascinating seeing all the different views and colours of the sky, the trees and the lake over the last month.

133/366 12th May 2020

I’ve finally succumbed…a training programme! What have I done? Only gone and said I would enter an 85km race – persuaded by my friend Jo as it falls on her 60th Birthday! Now got to get a place in the race!

134/366 13th May 2020

Just peeking…my co-worker!

135/366 14th May 2020

Dusk – the Waikato river – longest river in NZ, flows through the Waikato region and Kirikiriroa. We decided to walk the other way this evening #bubblewalk

136/366 15th May 2020

It’s that river again! The Mighty Waikato. taken from the bridge in the previous photo looking to the next bridge!

137/366 16th May 2020

We escaped! Back on the trails as we move into Level 2… so it had to be time to bust out a handstand! A new trig on the Western Okataina Walkway. A two day virtual trailrunning event Squadfest – pick your own challenge and commit to completing it over two days. We decided to do a marathon. This is day 1 – a hilly half marathon.

138/366 17th May 2020

I don’t think I’ve seen the Waikato river as still as this before! like glass! Day 2 of our Squadrun challenge – back to back half marathons. I much preferred yesterday’s terrain… hills mean I have an excuse to walk! This was all flat but enough elevation (50m) to make our total 1000m over the two days! My 2nd fastest half marathon – so not bad especially after the hills yesterday.

139/366 18th May 2020

One of the by-products of the rāhui seems to have been a proliferation of graffiti. Some of it is quite clever, a social commentary of the time, some is clearly kids just bored. This one just seems destructive and disrespectful. Obliterating someone else’s artwork… maybe I’m wrong… maybe it’s just as much a social commentary as the rest?

140/366 19th May 2020

The Waikato River…again!!! The evening sky was just stunning today!

141/366 20th May 2020

The rāhui seems to have brought the birds into the garden. This Tūī has been around a fair bit. I just missed getting a very cool photo of him!! Yeah, right! Must be a Tūī ad!
I got the caption corrected……

I /ka rere te Tūī i mua i taku tango i te whakaahua.

142/366 21st May 2020

Coprinellus – I spotted heaps of them on a tree trunk in our garden as I was hanging out the washing today. I loved how the daisy contrasted against them.

143/366 22nd May 2020

Work is continuing apace up at my trig trail. The big trees were cut down on the first day of Level 3 and the diggers and tractors are busy transforming the landscape and preparing for the road and the bridge that will cross the Waikato River. #progress #manatwork
E hanga rātou te huarahi hou. Ka hanga rātou hoki tētahi arawhiti ākuanei nā whai anõ i tope rātou ngā rākau nui i tērā wiki.

144/366 23rd May 2020

Olga da Polga was a favourite book when the boys were little and they got guinea pigs. They called one of them Olga da Polga. Can’t remember what the other one was called! I came across the book in a box as I was sorting the garage out. Memories!

145/366 24th May 2020

This is a kiwi feather. A DoC ranger brought it into the Maungatautari visitor centre while we were having coffee. It is amazingly soft and almost like wool. Apparently, it is illegal to keep feathers from endangered birds like kiwis unless you have permission.

146/366 25th May 2020

Playing with leaves and photos and drawings… creating art from art. It’s amazing what you can do in online meetings…..!

147/366 26th May 2020

Autumn colours. I love these trees on the bank of the Waikato and the way they have a carpet of rich auburn leaves at this time of the year. The light of the evening sky provides a beautiful contrast.

148/366 27th May 2020

Don’t ask!

149/366 28th May 2020

Flying today! Exciting to be travelling again now we’re well into Level 2. Off to Wellie for a few days away. Physical distancing on the plane meant people all sitting at window seats except for couples. (the ATR only has 2 seats on either side of the aisle).

150/366 29th May 2020

Signs of the times! Most people seemed to be complying at least during the day – later on Saturday night not quite the same!

151/366 30th May 2020

It was a lazy sort of a day but eventually got my a into gear and went out for a run. Hard to believe that this is just 5 minutes from the house!

152/366 31st May 2020

An oldie selfie! So many photos today as we saw heaps of birds as we went round Zealandia… especially the Kākā and Tieke. Thought I’d end the month with this one of the two of us!


92/366 1st April 2020

Lockdown Birthday! My birthday tea. Gus insisting on looking louche…had to explain to him what louche meant!

93/366 2nd April 2020

Dandelion Clock – childhood memories.

94/366 3rd April 2020

“Bubble” walks have become part of our daily routine – one of the bright spots in all of this strangeness. We take a football with us and have a good kick around.

95/366 4th April 2020

Breakfast – pinwheel scones. Baking, it seems, is what everyone is doing. No flour, yeast or baking powder in the shops. I felt the urge to bake this morning but then I do reasonably frequently anyway – it’s not a lockdown thing! But maybe because everyone is doing it, it prompted me!

96/366 5th April 2020Ventured out ... #shoppingexperience #covid19nz # #rāhui

#covid19nz shopping. physical distancing. a surreal experience
Our first venture out since Nigel stocked up before the lockdown. It is quite weird. Strangely pleasant as the place is quite calm, it’s quiet, people keep out of each other’s way and there aren’t many people anyway. Could get used to it!

97/366 6th April 2020

Sunset…autumn sky in Hamilton Gardens. As we’re both still working albeit from home and can’t get out until after 5pm, we are really noticing the days getting shorter.

98/366 7th April 2020

He marama tino ātaahua tēnēi po. #fullmoon🌕 E tiaho ana te atarau ki runga ki te taone. Ko ahoroa, ko māhina, ko atarau ētahi atu ingoa mō te marama #learningtereo It’s a beautiful moon tonight. The moon is shining over the town. Ahoroa and māhina are other names for the moon.

99/366  8th April 2020

Flight formation – migrating geese? Looked up because I could hear the honking of geese and there they were…. heading somewhere on a mission. Love the way birds fly together to protect the vulnerable.

100/366  9th April 2020

This guy was running/walking along the river path, we overtook him and then he overtook us as we were looking at the chestnuts and mushrooms. He was an older gentleman, with a limp and he stopped every now and then for a breather. As we came round the corner there he was just venturing into the river. He spotted me taking a photo and turned around and struck a hero pose – unluckily, I wasn’t fast enough to get that photo. Such a character.

101/366 10th April 2020

So good to see so many families out and about in their bubbles. It was a beautiful autumn afternoon for walking and cycling. Let’s hope the weather holds…. Can’t imagine what it’ll be like for families if they end up cooped up inside.

102/366 11th April 2020

2nd time success -the first attempt was a dismal failure! Hot Cross Buns for Easter.

103/366 12th April 2020

Holiday weekend – #day 3 it’s lovely to have a slower pace to the day and be creative.

104/366 13th April 2020

After the rain…. mushroom hunting.

105/366 14th April 2020

Being adventurous and trying something different. A present for a friend. This is a konae rather than a kono.

106/366 15th April 2020

Day 20 #rāhui bubble walk with a football.

107/366 16th April 2020

Another 24 hours with some rain and the mushrooms are starting to emerge. Nigel harvested some field mushrooms that we had for tea. Not these fairy toadstools though!

108/366 17th April 2020

Heard a Tūī, turned around and there he was outside my window. I rongo au i te waiata o te Tūī, kātahi ka i huri au, i kite au hoki i te manu ātaahua i roto i te rākau. #nature #brightspots #listen

109/366 18th April 2020

Whakatū Wahine Garden in Hamilton Gardens. It was created and planted to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of women going suffrage in Aotearoa. Women’s lives are represented through the healing plants, the woven patterns and the blue of the shelter.

110/366 19th April 2020

We went mushrooming today…. found all sorts of mushrooms out there. Nigel was most surprised by this one (and there were plenty of them) which appears to be a lacterious but he hasn’t seen any in NZ so far.

111/366 20th April 2020Pink sky at night...#turtlelake @hamiltongardens #bubblewalk #hauora #covid19nz

Our ‘bubble walks’ which we manage to do most days are not getting later but the nights are drawing in. It does mean we get to see some stunning sunsets.

112/366 21st April 2020

Looking up to the trig – trying to get there before the pink sky disappears but it’s a sharp wee climb so thought I’d better take the photo on the way up in case I’m too late!

113/366 22nd April 2020

Cats always find the warm spots. #fire #winteriscoming #autumn

114/366 23rd April 2020

A very late walk this evening and not enough time to get up to the trig, so went the other way along the river and back along Grey Street. Spotted these on the way.

115/366 24th April 2020

Escaped between ‘zui’ for a bubble walk today so we got some sunshine and light! Lovely to see families petting by the river and kids paddling.

116/366 25th April 2020

25th April: It’s Anzac Day here in NZ – equivalent of Nov 11th in UK. This year there is no Dawn Parade or public services, but many of us stood at our gates at 6am to pay our respects. I had the radio playing the service and the son of our neighbour played The Last Post. There were probably 7 or 8 households at their gates. It was strange, a story of togetherness of purpose but disconnected too.
This photo is of the Whakatū Wahine or tye Women’s Shelter. It was designed and put in place for the centennial celebrations of Women’s Suffrage in NZ. This year, a focus for Anzac Day is the many women who contributed to the war effort by taking on the farms, the jobs, and keeping the economy going while their menfolk were away fighting. And, I suppose for coping and nurturing them if they came home or bringing up their families singlehandedly if they didn’t.
It seemed like a good place to stop for a few minutes just to think as I was on my run today.

117/366 26th April 2020

Turtle Lake at Hamilton Gardens. another evening view on another bubble walk during the rāhui.

118/366 27th April 2020

Social commentary – there has been a burgeoning of graffiti during the rāhui – most of it seems to be kids who are bored and feel the need to make their mark but some of it is more of a commentary on the times.

119/366 28th April 2020

One day into Level 3 and they’ve been to chop our trees down! Essential business?! Making space for a new road bridge over the river. Progress!?

120/366 29th April 2020

Another day in rāhui, another trip to the trig, another view of Pirongia. I’ve lost count of the days but progress is being made by our “team of 5 million“.

121/366 30th April 2020

Break out! Finally made it to a trail again… my happy place… can you tell?!


32/366 1st February 2020

Don’t you just love the meanings of place names? The stories they tell? This is from a book a friend sent me for Christmas about Yorkshire.

33/366 2nd February

My Dad’s birthday today. He would have been 88. Said a wee hello to him at the top of Kakepuku. Looking out at a parched Waikato landscape. My Dad loved a good landscape!

34/366 3rd February 2020

A Twitter contact who is Principal of a small rural Waikato secondary school put a plea out for scientific calculators today – I found 4 in our house! I will be driving past next week so have arranged to call in and drop them off.

35/366 4th February 2020

In this hot weather, it’s important to find shady places to run that have delicious water we can jump in to cool off afterwards! Kaniwhaniwha means dancing stream. I always used to think it was pronounced Kani-whani-wha, but found out recently that it is Ka-niwha-niwha…

36/366 5th February 2020

Another trail run, another hill or two, more parched Waikato landscape.

37/366 6th February 2020

180 years since Te Tiriti o Waitangi was signed – it’s what allows us to be here in Aotearoa, but it’s been the cause of much pain, poverty and inequality. I read and listened to lots of news reports, speeches, interviews and articles this morning. Sort of wished we had been able to head to Waitangi, learn more and be a part of it all. Maybe next year. This afternoon we painted the fence! A job long overdue!

38/366 7th February 2020

Just look at those ears!

39/366 8th February 2020

We got to the newest garden in Hamilton Gardens today – the Surrealist Garden. We have seen its gestation over the last months and it is a fascinating concept. Gigantic elements juxtaposed against weird angles and moving giant plants….

40/366 9th February 2020

Super moon – my phone doesn’t really cut it to get a good photo so decided to take a photo of Nigel taking. a photo of the moon!

41/366 10th February 2020

I just couldn’t be so close to the beach and not go and put my feet in. Should’ve taken my togs! Work-life balance!

42/366 11th February 2020

Playing with Snapseed to turn photos into art…

43/366 12th February 2020

The big dry… The Waikato region was officially declared to be in drought today. Water use is severely restricted, the fields are tinder dry, farmers are looking to dry off cattle within 2 weeks if we don’t have any significant rain soon.

44/366 13th February 2020

Rotopiko – a wee pest free island reserve on the way to Te Awamutu. It was a cool place to be in the afternoon heat. Stopped off on my way home from work

45/366 14th February 2020

Variation on a theme… cat.

46/366 15th February 2020

Cuisenaire Rods are used for learning maths but also for language learning. Te Ataarangi method was developed in the 1980s to support the regeneration of Te Reo Mā

47/366 16th February 2020

Late summer blackberries – a wee treat on a trailrun at Maunga Kakaramea – Rainbow Mountain.

49/366 18th February 2020

I won a keep cup today – thanks Davy Engravers! #lovethetron

50/366 19th February 2020

Canterbury from the air – drought.

51/366 20th February 2020

Mural trail in Ōtautahi – murals come alive with augmented reality – #plainsight. The art in Christchurch is one of the features of the rebuild after the earthquakes. Now the murals have taken on a new twist with a collaboration with digital technology. Such a cool idea.

52/366 21st February 2020

Partnership, Bi-culturalism, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, respect.

53/366 22nd February 2020

Early Saturday morning. No commuters today. Silence. Heading off to meet with friends for a trailrun. I love railway stations – must be something to do with my Dad…so when I come to Wellington it’s a treat to get the train.

54/366 23rd February 2020

A tuatara basking in the sun. Chris and I visited Zealandia today and saw a whole heap of amazing NZ wildlife. Couldn’t decide which was the best to show you. The Takahē was pretty close but it took us a while to spot this wee beastie – good camouflage!

55/366 24th February 2020

Would have been my Mum’s 91st birthday today… She would have enjoyed this wee beauty from the garden – better than Dad’s green leaves! (long story!) It’s been a good year for aubergines.

56/366 25th February 2020

Auē! Kua pakaru ahau tāku waea pūkoro tēnēi ahiahi. #broken #pakaru
My Mum died 37 years ago today. Shame I haven’t got a happier photo to share. I thought going for a run would be a good way of honouring her but I tripped and fell. Broken phone and munted leg! 37 years and I still miss her.

57/366 26th February 2020

This is how I take notes…

58/366 27th February 2020

Me and the old boy out at the movies in the park. Summer festival in the Hamilton Gardens. What’s not to like about good food, good enough beer and some music – David Byrne and Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense.

59/366 28th February 2020

Another night out in the Gardens. Nadia Reid played in the Henry Harkness Emporium and then we ate, drank and chilled in the summer evening listening to local bands by the lake.

60/366 29th February 2020

These sorts of days only come around one year in four. In 2000 I took advantage of my prerogative to ask Nigel to marry me. Like “the man from Delmonte” he said yes! He’s an old souk! But this album has just been released today! So special… Ria Hall.

Kohitātea 2020

A new year begins. Ngā mih o te tau hau – Happy New Year. Although strictly speaking. it isn’t the new year in the southern hemisphere, it is halfway through the seasonal year. However, we are governed by the calendar that the British and Europeans brought with them when they colonised the country. This article talks about the seven stages of summer and this one talks of how many indigenous cultures live by the maramataka – the phases of the moon.

01/365 1st January 2020
Handstand amongst giants

We found this beautiful ngahere on our travels. You get to it as you climb up past Waiotemarama Waterfall. It’s the other end of the track we did earlier in the week. The kauri trees are just majestic. Plenty of. young ones growing and some giants too. This will be a splendid ngahere in the future if these trees don’t succumb to Kauri Die Back disease. It seemed an appropriate place to start the New Year off with a handstand! Some of the photos here have more detail written about them in our family blog if you want to read more.

02/366 2nd January 2020
Salt crystals on a Mānawa leaf

Mangrove trees – or Manawa in te reo Māori – are incredible. They survive in salty and often dry conditions by expelling the salt from the glossy tops of their leaves and holding water using the soft hairy undersides of their leaves. You can see the salt crystals on this leaf. It is worth doing this short walk at Rawene. The mangroves are gradually recovering after the damage done to them from the timber trade in the 19th & 20th centuries.

03/366 3rd January 2020
Handstand at Magic Rock

We drove on to Wairere Boulders which is a must-do if you like geology, clambering through, on and around rocks and you want to be amazed!

04/366 4th January 2020
Oysters growing on Mānawa pneumatophores

More from the mangroves but this time at Waitangi on the Haruru Falls walk. Did you know that ‘haruru’ means ‘big noise’? This is a pneumatophore and it has a type of oyster growing on it. These are the ‘breathing tubes’ of the mangrove trees.

05/366 5th January 2020
Orange light from Australian Bushfires at Cape Brett

Our big adventure was a two-day walk from Rāwhiti to Cape Brett Lighthouse and back. This is Cape Brett Lighthouse bathed in a strange orange glow – skies all over NZ have been experiencing this as the smoke from the Australian Bushfires filters in front of the sun. You can read more about it here.

06/366 6th January 2020
Handstand at Cape Brett Rakaumangamanga

Day 2 of our adventure and the weather closed in a bit – mist and wind accompanied us for the first part of the day. Makes for an impressive handstand spot!

07/366 7th January 2020
Orca in Bay of Islands off Urupukapuka Island

So privileged to have been in the company of these amazing creatures today. Orca.

08/366 8th January 2020
Nigel at the Flagstaff at Kororareka

Nigel’s Birthday today! Standing atop the famous flagstaff hill in Kororāreka (Russell) where Hone Heke repeatedly cut down the flagstaff.

09/366 9th January 2020
Remnants of trenches at Ruapekapeka

Ruapekapeka – site of the last battle between the British forces and Māori in Northland – an incredible place – full of mauri but the engineering and planning that went into these defences is amazing. Apparently the trenches from WWI were based on the way that Māori defended their Pā.

10/366 10th January 2020
Glow worms in Waipū Cave

Glow Worms –
They are pretty special – Māori call them Titiwae but they are also considered by some to be patupaiarehe or fairy-like creatures. Whatever, when you turn your lights off in a cave and wait for a few moments in the quiet, they just multiply until there is a starry sky above you.

11/366 11th January 2020
Number 11

The Scottish door. #eleven #roadtrip #campervanlife #summerholidays #exploringnz

12/366 12th January 2020

Just playing with Snapseed – editing photos of flowers! I think I’d like a dress with this material design.

13/366 13th January 2020
A Room with a View

Off on another adventure! This was our room in Whakapapa with a floor too ceiling view of Ngauruhoe except that the clag was down and it was raining!

14/366 14th January 202020200114_151724-01
Tama Lake

Fortunately, the cloud lifted by the next day and we had some stunning views from above Tama Lakes.

15/366 15th January 2020
Handstand on Blyth Hut track

Oh! Another great handstand spot! This was on the Blyth Hut Track which carries on from the Waitonga Falls track. Well worth a trip.

16/366 16th January 2020

Back home in Kirikiriroa – summer evenings at CraftHamilton.

17/366 17th January 2020
Reading on the LOO

Roadtrip continues – off to Hawkes Bay. Time for a loo stop!

18/366 18th January 2020

Fantastic organic coffee at a wee cafe called Pikirangi Palace in Waipawa, Hawkes Bay.

19/366 19th January 2020
Trouble on tour!

On our way home. Cup of tea and a leg stretch in Taupō.

20/366 20th January 2020

Trying to keep that holiday feeling going by having an evening walk in the sun exploring a new place in Kirikiriroa – Waiwhakareka Reserve.

21/366 21st January 2020
kua raranga ahau tēnēi kete

So privileged to have been able to make this kete today at a Wahakura workshop which I sort of gatecrashed because I misunderstood the information on the FB page but the wāhine were so lovely and welcoming.

22/366 22nd January 2020
My boys – 12 years in NZ

12 years in NZ. Still can’t get the boys to all smile at once!

23/366 23rd January 2020
Summer Office

Back to work but still keeping that summer feeling going – my summer office in the garden.

24/366 24th January 2020

She always finds the comfy spots. She will miss Gus when he heads off to uni.

25/366 25th January 2020
Reflections on Lake Waikaremoana

Off we go again! Waikaremoana – another big adventure. Te weather keeps on being kind to us. Day 1.

26/366 26th January 2020

Day 2 Waikaremoana. The views of the lake are just incredible but the ngahere are also beautiful and the sun shines through the trees and sheds its light on the forest floor revealing its taonga.

27/366 27th January 2020
sunlight through the ngahere

Day 3 I just can’t get enough of these trees and this light and the beauty of it all!

28/366 28th January 2020
the ‘disaster’ kete!

So, I bought a raffle ticket ion the day that I made my wee kete and I won! I went to meet the wahine who made it and she told me it was a her ‘diaster kete’ because she had run out of blue-dyed harakeke and so the pattern has gaps in it. I reminded her of the kōrero we had had while I was weaving with her about how the ladies in Arran always used to leave a small mistake in their knitting to make every piece unique.

29/366 29th January 2020
a rare photo of Nigel and me that isn’t a selfie!

So this wasn’t taken today – work took over but this evening I spent some time editing photos from our trip to Waikaremoana. I love this one and Nigel and me.

31/366 31st January 2020
Dustbin lid

Editing with Snapseed – part of a workshop with teachers.

Rā 154 Rātapu 4 o Pipiri

So I could post a photo of me running  the 3D Rotorua half marathon but I’ve already posted photos of me running and they’re all the same!  After the run we treated ourselves to the most amazing mudwrap at the Polynesian Spa, no photo of that either! So, my glass of wine on the coaster that was the finishing medal for the half marathon!

a glass of red wine on a glass coaster that says 3d Rotorua on it.