Tuesday, 28 November 2017


I AM NOT SURE WHY THERE IS THIS RUSH  to do everything, but everything,  before Christmas.  Maybe because the start of the new year is only a week after that?

Everyone I know has projects on, including me. I decided to re-lay all my garden paths – but first I have to remove not only the stepping stones among the bark mulch, but also all the valuable soil that has been produced by the  disintegrating bark and fallen leaves.(Any soil is a luxury here), and finally I can replace the base weed-matting.

 Note: the new movable white fencing to keep the dog back from the front fence where she has learnt to bark at any movement she sees going by - only when I am not at home I heard - did not quite work ( too smart a dog) and will need a little further tweaking.

But before that the lawn that becomes a carpet of flowers in the Spring had to be returned back into lawn, hopefully before the last of the rains.  How many weeks to Christmas? 

The paths may be not quite finished by then – in fact quite a lot not done by then. 

Saturday, 11 November 2017


FINALLY IT HAPPENED! The weeks go on and on and it seems it will never get done in time and then one day it's a fact and the 5th book from  Kawau Island's Bookworms has been born and ready for Christmas readers.

Our previous four books have sold extremely well and brought in a lot of compliments and comments including, "but tell us about the Islanders themselves." So this book is just that and so here is our book for 2017,  ISLAND PEOPLE.

The publishing team thinks it is our best publication yet with its 152 pages of  colour photographs and illustrations alongside stories about some of the Islanders past and present.

For those who would like a copy contact lpardey@xtra.com  Price NZ$25 plus postage. It is also available
as a kindle ebook at Amazon.co.nz

Sunday, 22 October 2017


LAST WEEK WAS GO-WALK-ABOUT-DAY and I decided to catch the bus and go North to the city of Whangarei. I had a map and had made a list of what I wanted to go and see in the 3 hours before I had to return, but made the mistake of deciding to start at the Claphams clock museum on the foreshore of the town yacht basin. I love looking at watches, pens and jewellery so I should have known to avoid it.1,400 time pieces and one and a half hours later, I emerged ( yes, now owning a little bright pink alarm clock) and it was all a bit of a rush after that to fit in the much reduced list of other "must sees." It wasn't the best of days weather-wise and the wind was strong and cold so it wasn't a hardship to walk at a quick trot.

The dimmed lighting in the museum and the tinted glass of the bus did not help the quality of the photographs, and the wall of cuckoo clocks just wouldn't photograph for me)  but should give some idea of the day out.

My favourite had to be the water Clepsydra clock and I shall put a poem over on my poetry page (Facebook Lois E Hunter ) where I wrote about it some while ago..

I sat upstairs on the bus ( it feels a really long way up as you'll notice by looking down on one of the long haul trucks) and at first felt a bit sea-sick but I got used to it after a while. There are also a couple of quick-grab pics of typical scenery, a typical commuter and a rush past snap of a "little" on the deck overlooking a couple of the oversea's yachts in the City Basin.


Sunday, 8 October 2017


NOT ONLY DO THE FLOWERS GO tra-la-la in the Spring so do thoughts turn to love and romance - as the song says .." birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it.."  "Let's do it" by Cole Porter.

And my cat is no different and she is wanting a mate. NOW. If anyone has heard a peacock yell then they know just what a Siamese cat sounds like when she is "calling." I let her go through her first call and was waiting until her second to get her mated and I thought I had it sorted. But at the critical time that has fallen through. So where to find another suitable mate? I finally found one but in the meanwhile the timing has passed and the dog and I are trying to develop selective hearing as once again she screams at various decibels nearly continuously for 24 hours and this is her 7th day. I am just about praying she will be over it by tomorrow morning. Her breed being a Siamese Rex hybrid she is more dog-like than a cat in various ways, including responding to voice combined with hand signals, so when her voice gets too loud I have to raise my finger and say nice but firmly, 'quiet." and you can see her trying her best to swallow her voice. I can distract her somewhat with cuddles and playing fetch but not for long.

If it was a baby crying this much I would be frantic because they can't tell you what is wrong and they don't have a time limit to stopping their crying either.

It is all going to be so worthwhile when we have kittens in the house and her busy being a proud mum. If I am working out the dates right, then they will be due about New Years Day.

Saturday, 30 September 2017


WHILE I WAS BUSY these last 3 weeks with those last bits and pieces to be sorted by myself , Ruth Mac and Ruth H, to give the finishing touches to Kawau Island Bookworms latest publication, ISLAND PEOPLE ( due out at the beginning of this December - cover picture to come) the spring flowers continued to bloom.
Kawau.Island's 4 previous titles.

Not quite black tulips

This Clivia garden now 3 years old
sheltered from the wind
variety of little green orchid
this is my favourite little green orchid though

Good year for Clivia .Warkworth Village
Special Clivia - gift from sister
The bulb lawn  changing from orange to purple

Saturday, 9 September 2017


THE DREAM IS  NOW UNDERWAY for the coming summer and the search is on
for the perfect place to make that dream come true. Kawau Island homes are once again starting to appear for sale. I have just chosen 5 of them here as examples of what is available.

Each bay has different extra advantages depending on the person's needs, but one of the biggest pluses here is that we are situated close to the city of Auckland -  with a good 7 day ferry service, telephone and internet reception and prompt medical back-up also making the Island ideal to both escape to just for the weekend, or maybe even work from your Kawau home either part-time ( as many do now) or full time.

For those who are older and wish to retire full time, they may wish for a more modest home with a couple of out sheds,  prefer flat land, be able to be partly self-sufficient with some fruit trees and a decent sized vegetable garden and also will be looking for a place sheltered from seasonal extremes of weather, plus a good fireplace and be close to their boat down at the  all-tide, all-weather wharf to go fishing. See Real Estate - 1
1.  https://www.trademe.co.nz/property/residential-property-for-sale/auction-1379403120.htm

Some just want a small, comfortable but quirky real bach. ( cottage)  See Real Estate 2

For those with more money and wish to live in more luxury, right on the waterfront and look forward to regularly entertaining family and friends then see Real Estate 3
3.   https://www.trademe.co.nz/property/residential-property-for-sale/auction-1414077217.htm

Or 3a. https://www.trademe.co.nz/property/residential-property-for-sale/auction-996177316.htm

But for those who are artists? - they often like to have a more quiet and private lifestyle and they tend to choose a place tucked away amongst the birds and bush. See the video from my neighbour who is also one of New Zealand's top commercial photographers. See Real Estate 4
4.   https://youtu.be/yzhb_xmRuIM


Friday, 1 September 2017


IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE SOMETIMES that not only do I live on an Island but for months of the year I often have the  D O C park and the beach to myself  when I am out walking.

But now it is September. The Island wakes and people will be walking the paths again  for now is
the time when the ferry starts arriving with contractors and weekenders loaded up with their building materials to get the holiday homes organised for the coming summer.

The spring flowers continue to appear, most of them are small and will go unnoticed amongst all the green, or fade into being a subtle carpet of pastel, except to those who are are waiting for them to open. The Pururi  tree flowers are only seen when they fall to the ground. The exception is the flamboyant orange flowers of  the native shrub, Tecoma which can be trained into a coastal resistant hedge. Kids know to pull off each flower and suck the sweet nectar from it.

Pururi Tree Flower

They call this a weed.

Kawakawa flower

London's Pride

carpet of London's pride

Sunday, 13 August 2017


BEING EVERGREEN ANY CHANGES IN SEASONAL COLOUR  are usually textural and/or subtle with the occasional exception mostly from plants that have escaped early colonial gardens and flourished in its new climate. One such plant is the Arum lily. An elegant stately flower and a rare fortune to buy in Germany I was told by a German tourist, and then only for funerals. The Island’s early women settlers used to supplement their income by gathering armfuls, I heard, and were sent over to the Auckland flower markets. On the Island, as elsewhere in Northland, it is considered a weed and now another excuse to bring out the weed spay {{{{shudder}}}. The vase of them pictured, is mixed together with our native Kawakawa which is gathered in Northland to make a beer, or is used for various ailments including both constipation and the opposite. Then there are the colours from the gardens I pass on my walks - including someone's fish flag blown into a tree.