happy birthday Smudge

Let me introduce you to another member of our house…………….Smudge.

It is her birthday this month.



Smudge has reached the ripe old age of 19 human years. In cat years she is 92-96 she
has moved from elderly into the geriatric age group.

She now requires us to brush her, and trim her claws. She is deaf and literally cannot hear
herself speak……we of course can  hear her miaow from one end of the house to another.
You can vacumn right beside and she does not flinch.

She was always a favourite with cottage guests going to sunbathe on the decks at the cottage
just waiting for a kind guest to invite her in, she never needed a second invitation. But now she
eats, sleeps, migrates from one warm place to another ……..her world has shrunk.


We acquired Smudge and a miniature schnauzer Harry, at the same time. They were
the best of mates, but cats are always the boss in any relationship and this was no
exception. She had him so well trained if he was asleep on a chair she would only need
to sit beside the chair and he would vacate for her to jump up and assume his lace.
He died some time ago and it was painful to watch her mourn and call to him for some days.

We have a new dog now, another schnauzer , Smudge tolerates Baxter. It is not a true
friendship, he would like to be more friendly, but Smudge can not really be bothered.



She has used up some of her nine lives, she had cancer of the nose and had a nosectomy.
She has kidney disease and we administer her kidney tablets and pain relief for arthritis, she
seems happy still. Purrs when cuddled and butts you with her head to be scratched. We know
the time will come when we have to make a difficult decision……………the vet tells us we will know
when that is. But for now she is the boss of the house, she has become autocratic and demanding
………….an advantage of considerable age. Requires feeding when she is ready and not one second
later. If someone is sitting in her favourite place on the couch her no mess with me stare has, no
matter who it is moving pronto.


Just like a favourite elderly family member she is indulged and the household moves according to her whims.


Happy birthday Smudge.



You may like to read:
Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On PinterestCheck Our Feed


Bird nests and roses

 It has been  an industrious week.  We have been hedge trimming. Trying to tame the  growth
that had kept going in the  mild and wet conditions of this years  spring. It was becoming difficult to
squeeze through to the clothesline……………………. so could not be put off any longer.


Whenever we hedge trim I can always be assured that I will be able to add to my collection of bird nests.
They fall to the ground, or become visible when growth is trimmed back. My family does not share my bird
nest enthusiasm, ’not another birds nest’ is often muttered …………… but I am fascinated by the craftsmanship
and the artistry of them.


The different materials that are gathered and used. Why do some birds favour a smooth dirt floor and others
choose a textured twiggy bed? I can understand why they use wool gathered from the fence wires and sheep
yards further down the road, those nests look and feel soft and cosy to cocoon young chicks. Some of the nests
are vacated leaving eggs behind, does the female know those eggs are not going to hatch? or, has she had enough
of sitting cooped up in a nest? I guess I will never know.


It is also the best time of year to enjoy the roses.

PicMonkey Collage

I hope you enjoy looking at the spoils of our week,  complete with early strawberries from kind friends
who live down the road,  who manage to grow strawberries in vast quantities like no one else.

Summer is definitely closer.




You may like to read:
Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On PinterestCheck Our Feed



We took a roadtrip with friends to see the seals at Ohau on the Kaikoura coast. A trip that has been
on the must do list for some time, and it really is a must see.

Coast 1

coast 2

coast 3rd

The sun was shining, it was the perfect day for travelling, past the North Canterbury vines and farmland,
up the spectacular coastline to Kaikoura.  First stop was  Cheviot, as we wanted to check out the treasure
trove filled White Cat Emporium.


Old farm tools. French antiques, vintage memorabilia, and mannequins reclining in artful poses sporting
the odd piece of armour.
Quirky and full of interesting finds it is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am.

As lunch was beckoning our next port of call was the Seafood Barbecue in Kaikoura, situated on the road
to the Seal colony. A local family business providing tourists and kiwi’s with local seafood caught fresh from
the deep pristine waters off Kaikoura’s coast.


Barbecued on the waters edge you can dine at the outdoor tables looking out over the sea.
Spoilt for choice, we dithered between garlic scallops or prawns, barbecued mussels, blue cod, salmon,
whitebait,t paua or crayfish fritters.  We decided on the crayfish fritters, then dined under the opportunistic
eyes of the seagulls, and watched a school group having a kayak lesson before launching into the sea.

But the seals awaited and we drove further up the coast to Ohau. Once it was only the locals who had
the inside word on how special this was, but you cannot keep good things to yourself for long, and the
word is definitely out now. There is carparking on both sides of SH1 and the 10 minute walk to the
waterfall is on a well formed track to cater for the number of visitors.

 seals 1

Between May and October the baby seals swim up the stream to frolic and play at the base of the
waterfall.  It is a kindergarten seal style, they learn to socialise and you can watch them rolling and
cavorting through the water  with their peers. Every second day they go back to the sea to feed from
their mothers and then they return.  There is constant seal traffic from sea to waterfall. It was
quite magical, and you had the feeling you were watching something special. To be able to get so close
to them is a privilege.  The bush is cool and green, Punga ferns provide  lacey glimpses of the sky through
their fronds.

seals 2

Back onto the coast we stop, as you do, to walk and beachcomb and be mesmerised by the constant
motion of the waves. It  has been a perfect day.

seaside 1st

best 2nd








You may like to read:
Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On PinterestCheck Our Feed