Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Scrub Fire

Last weekend there was a scrub fire near the beach between Otaki & Waikawa. The DomPost reported that the fire was 50 metres wide, and 1.5 km long. It ran along a natural gully just back from the beach. Not far from houses...

The smoke & flames were visible for miles & miles.

On our way back, we saw the first of two helicopters arrive with monsoon buckets. These photos were taken at dusk & I think they'd have been busy through much of the night.



























On the positive side, there was a great sunset that night.




Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Friday, April 18, 2008

The ugliest cat alive

It looks like a refugee from a Harry Potter movie.

Furless feline fit to be showstealer -

It's called Sphincter or something.

No wait, it's called Angel, the breed is called Sphynx.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Grow your own potatoes

Homegrown spudsAfter reading & contributing to a thread on the Public Health Bill over at Kiwiblog I thought I'd let you in on the secret of growing your own potatoes - almosty anywhere, you don't need a garden. Seeing as someone there said the country's seed potato supply went up in smoke the other day.

Kiwiblog » Blog Archive » The Public Health Bill

Get a bucket, any old bucket.

Drill 3 or 4 holes in the bottom.

Put a couple of inches of compost into the bucket.

Followed by 3 or 4 potatoes. They don't have to be seed potatoes - I do this regularly with jersey bennys bought from the supermarket.

Cover with compost, but not to the top of the bucket - just enough to cover the potatoes.

Sit in the sun somewhere & water every couple of days.

The potatoes will send up shoots & leaves. Every few days, add more compost around the shoots, until the bucket is full, by then it will be quite a lush looking plant.

Keep watering every few days.

When the leaves start to go brown, empty the bucket & you will find it full of fresh potatoes.

Plant one of these buckets every three weeks or so & you'll have home grown spuds all year round.

Cardiff City for the FA cup

In 1972 I would sometimes tag along with my uncle to Cardiff to see their football team play. And usually lose.

Cardiff City were near the bottom of the 2nd division in those days, Leeds United were the Manchester United of the day.

So I thought I'd misheard the radio when they reported Cardiff City are in this year's FA Cup Final. Amazing! I wonder if my uncle will go.

FA Cup success good for business in Welsh capital - icWales

Incontinence pants for toddlers!

I dunno, if I spotted anyone, child or adult, wearing these things I don't think I could get in the pool.

Might as well print "Stand back, I'm gonna take a dump!" on the front of them.

'Code Brown' causing a splash - New Zealand news on

Friday, April 04, 2008

For Sue

My sister Sue had a presence that belied her tiny size. And in the short time we’ve had with her, she’s given more than most people would in a 100 years.

She had an incandescent energy that nothing could suppress and she lived every moment to the full .

She had an inexhaustible capacity for love. Her generosity touched the lives of so many people from one end of the earth to the other.

Her heart was in her family. Her best friend and loving husband Murray; her two wonderful boys Rorie & Owain; the wider French & Llewellyn families; the Mitchem clan that she lived with for a few years in Wales; and the Prices in Avalon; her friends were her family and her family were her friends.

My little sister Sue was, at different times, my confidante, my counsellor, my advisor, my comforter, my friend and on occasion, my conscience - if that’s what she thought I needed. I was clearly her older brother, so she was always diplomatic and respectful, but she had no qualms about calling to suggest I consider a certain course of action. Just consider it, mind you.

I was proud of my little sister:

She was about family.

She was an organiser.

She was fiercely Welsh. A leek carrying, red dragon wearing, Max Boyce quoting, Welsh patriot. Sue gave me a Welsh flag one year for Christmas and berated me for not visiting a coalmine the last time I was in Wales.

She had a ready & infectious laugh.

She was a loving mother, enormously proud of her beloved boys. She told me about a recent assembly where Rorie & Owain both spoke. She was just bursting with pride.

She was a loving wife. And a loved wife.

She loved her mum and they enjoyed a close bond.

She was a Sci-fi geek. Sue & I regularly discussed the merits of various cult films, books & TV series over the years. Just recently, we caught Jason & the Argonauts on TV, and we both hooted with laughter.

She was not one to shy from challenges.

And she was just the bravest little sister in the world.

I’m going to miss her love, counsel, advice, respect, comfort and regular “To do” lists

Sue filled our lives with laughter, love & order. She’s left a huge hole in our hearts, but her passing has brought us all closer together.

To all of you – families and friends – we were so lucky to have had Sue in our lives. We’ll hold her in our hearts forever.