Monday, June 9, 2008

It's all work and no play being a scout leader ............

It's all work and no play being a scout leader ... er, except when you get to enjoy a coffee at the Cafe Paris. I hastern to add we were watching the scouts do a treasure hunt around Hokatika and the outside tables gave Roger and I a great vantage point to 'watch what was going on' while we enjoyed a much needed caffine fix.

The stonz-n-bonz Workshop

In the stonz-n-bonz workshop there were all the tools we needed to work the green stone. First of all we had to chose a design - we could either use a standard template or create our own. The design was then scribed onto a piece of green stone and cut on a diamond saw.

We then used a variety of drills and rotating sanders to work the stone. The stone had to be worked with running water to ensure the tools did not overheat.

Once the basic shape is completed, the stone is polished using wet and dry to get the required finish.

The final touch is to dip the green stone in oil and thread a string through the hole.

Hokatika - green stone carving -

On the Queen's birthday weekend, I helped take over a party of scouts over to Hokitika to do some green stone (jade) carving. Hokatika is a small town on the west coast of the south island of New Zealand. It was the centre of the gold rush that occurred in the late 19th century.

We did the green stone carving at Stonz 'n' Bonz (

We each picked out a design and we set about carving a piece of green stone. Steve, the owner, spent the day helping us to use the tools to work the stone into a pendent.

Steve was literally blown away by the effort and the quality of the work achieved by our scouts. It was a really enjoyable day - I thoroughly enjoyed myself!

This is a must do for any traveller who ventures to the west coast.

First Significant Snowfall of the Year

We experienced our first winter snow this weekend. A cold southerly front pushed its way across the south and north islands from the southern ocean on Saturday afternoon and dumped a good couple of inches of snow on the Canterbury Plains.

It only snowed for about an hour but it was still worth getting out the sledges. We intially went over to Cust cemetary but we later found an awesome place to sledge just to the north of Cust. A good time was enjoyed by all.