Monday, August 15, 2011

It is hard being an animal when it snows ...

Christmas, our pet lamb has had it hard. His mum rejected him so he has had to stand on his own four hooves from an early age. Well tonight, his mum and brother are shivering in the paddock and is staying in a nice little house made from bales of hay and corrugated iron!

The cows on the other hand are having a hard time of it. Tomorrow I will be moving the sheep into the other paddock and I will be giving the cows the shed ... at least they will use it unlike the sheep!

Once in 50 year storm

New Zealand is currently being hit by a 'once in 50 years storm'. The system that has brought the snow stretches 6000 miles from Antarctica to Papua New Guinea. The snow is expected to last until the end of the week and our pigs, cows ate sheep are already starting to complain - the poor things!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Strawberry Bags

Its July in New Zealand so it is time to prepare the poly tunnel for the early crops. I wanted to try some early strawberries this year but we have already planted potatoes, tomatoes and egg plants in the soil and this means it is no longer suitable for planting strawberries due to a virus. So, this means that planting in bags needs trying.
I have taken a feed sack, un-stitched it, and sewn across the bottom and the middle with sea fishing line. I have then attached some handles that I had to hand stitch. Each plant hole has been re-inforced with some sticky tape and a cris-cross cut made. The compost has come from my compost heap. There are some 22 strawberry plants which should produce a reasonable crop. The back wall of the poly tunnel will also be planted with strawberry bags.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

East Riding Free Tarmac Club

It would seem that after UK MP Graham Stuart was taken to task over his 'free tarmac' it is reported this morning's Hull Daily Mail that another East Riding Tory politician, Cllr Charlie Bayram, has joined the 'East Riding Free Tarmac Club'.

This whole episode confirms my belief that these politician's are not fit to hold public office.

Monday, July 25, 2011

After the Quake the Snow

After the earthquakes, Christchurch is being hit with the worst snow for 15 years. The buses have been withdrawn from town, the airport is closed and the police and advising only essential travel should be undertaken.

So, it is a fine time to give birth if you are a ewe! We found these two lambs this morning when we went to check the stock. They were both very cold and near death. One of them is perking up after being given a feed but it is too late for the other one.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

6.0 EQ Christchurch

We have survived the 6.0 EQ. After the 5.5 I drove into town to collect Jake & Kirtsy from school in Christchurch. The senior school was on the field - so I collected Jake. However, the prep school, was still in their building - I am not sure why they had not evacuated athough I have asked the Rector. I collected Kirsty from her classroom and we headed towards the car. As soon as we left the building a 6.0 stuck. I had difficulty standing. However, we all left in one piece although I suspect they will not be back for a few days.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Food Glorious Food ....

Its the time of year when my scouting friends - Ladle, Stitch & Broom make our annual pilgrimage to the west coast of the south island. This year we are planning to take a group of 10 scouts to make a knife from a piece of steel and a lump of wood. We always go over before the the camp on a 'reconnaissance mission'.

My task has been to provide some of the food. We will be eating out for the evening meals as there will be no scouts to do the washing up!

I have been out in the garden this morning and had a bit of a forage.

So, we have potatoes, cucumber, courgette, carrots, parsnips, onions, corn on the cob and some tomatoes.

Men, and women, cannot live on veggies alone so I had a rummage in the freezer. I pulled out a duck which has been roasted and the meat stripped. I also found some kuni kuni bacon - it is a little fatty but quite tasty. The chickens provided the eggs and my wife very kindly let me take our last camembert!

Everything you see above has been grown or made on our lifestyle block. The chaps (actual and honorary!) have 9 hours to let me know if I have forgotten anything.

I think we are going to be eating very well!

PS. I have not forgotten the green salad Ladle - that is scheduled for lunchtime!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Here rests the case for the Pussecution!

For more than a few months we have had a nightime visitor. He lets himself in to the house, eats the food and often falls asleep on one of the beds. Afterwhich he goes outside and beats up one of our poor defenceless cats.

We have complained to the neighbours but they don't believe us! But now we have the evidence! So who is this beneath our bed?

And who is this posing (under protest) with me?

It looks like Jimmy to me! Notice how he looks away not wanting to be recognised! Here rests the case for the pussecution!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

This never used to happen when I lived in the UK ....

When I lived in the UK I used to go sea fishing out of Bridlington with Peter Firth on the Rachel K charter boat. There were the old time when the trips were canceled due to bad weather or not enough people wanted to go out to make it financial viable.

I was due to go fishing this morning with the RSA Rangiora fishing section out of Motunau Beach. However the trip has been canceled due to threat of tsunami caused by the Japanese earthquake. It wouldn't be so bad but a trip last year was canceled due to a Chilean earthquake! It just goes to show that Kiwi's will only cancel fishing for something really significant.

My heart goes out to the Japanese nation as we all come to terms with this huge tragedy.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Office - Episode 2 - Scales House Re-visted

On Sunday 6th March 2011 we were allowed back into the office in Christchurch cbd post the M6.3. I was joined by Nick, Bart Andrae, Tian Neil & Mike to recover items of value from the office - an assortment of desktop computers, lcd monitors, keyboards, mice, routers and personal gear.

In the integration team area had taken quite a hit with one of the desks having collapsed.

The consultant area, where I sit, was a bit of a mess .

The sales area had been subject to some flooding. I can only assume this came from the rain over the weekend so the building must now leak rather badly.

The stairwells were quite badly damaged but they were too dark to take a photo. I understand it will be at least 12 months before we get to return to Scales house.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

22 February 2011 Christchurch Earthquake 6.3

I had been out in the city to get my hair cut and returned to my desk at 12:45PM At 12 50PM the 6.3 earthquake struck. It was so violent. The 5 storey office building started to sway and twist. I dived beneath my desk. My computer fell off my desk, coffee went everywhere. Ceiling panels fell out, filing cabinets toppled over. When it finally stopped, I grabbed my keys and went for the emergency exits. Bits of the concrete structure had fallen into the stairwells. Outside there was broken glass everywhere.

On the pavement outside, there was an aftershock. The land was moving like it was alive. Four men carried a young girl to the hospital - she had a blue face so I fear the worse. People were crying, being hugged, desperately trying to contact loved ones on their mobile phones. We heard stories that office buildings had collapsed - later confirmed. We saw a dust cloud rise from parts of the city - it was either a fire or buildings collapsing.

After 15 minutes I left and started walking towards my car. The pavements are all buckled, kerb stones raised. The front of buildings had collapsed. You could hear sirens and car alarms. Water was coming up from the ground due to broken water mains. I crossed Mortimer Square and people were sat around supporting each other.

I eventually got to my car and drove to Jake's school. There is liquified sand and water on the road. The school chapel is missing part of its wall and roof. The bridge over the stream is all buckled. All the pupils are on the school field. I signed my son out and drove via the side streets to Harewood in search of some diesel - I didn't have enough have get home! I found a garage that was open and I fill up a happy man.

We are all home and our house is intact. Kirsty is on a school camp near to Akaroa but she is safe. What a day! The death toll is 65 souls and set to rise.