Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Anzac Day

Today is Anzac Day a sacred national holiday in New Zealand and Australia. Everything is closed by law. Both countries commemorate the battle of Gallipoli in Turkey during the 1st World War.  Both countries lost so many young men that there was a generation of women who never married or were left widows with young children.  In modern times it has come to represent the futility of all wars.  Every town in New Zealand land has a dawn ceremony where the last post is played at the war memorial.  It is also a rite of passage for young New Zealanders and Australians to go to Anzac Cove in Turkey and take part in the dawn ceremony there.  I have done it and it wasn’t really until then standing in the place where so many young men were slaughtered that it hit me how wasteful war is.

The Last Post - click on image to read

So, this post is is commemorate those young men, and a generation that never happened.  In particular, my grandfather’s (he was fortunate that he was too young to go to war) four brothers and my grandmother lost all of her brothers – five.

You are never forgotten.

On a lighter note,  Gallipoli produced a national icon, Anzac biscuits! The soldiers were sent tins of these biscuits from their families during the war.

Here is the recipe:

The Story of Gallipoli

For nine months in 1915, British and French forces battled the Ottoman Empire - modern Turkey - for control of the Gallipoli peninsula, a small finger of Europe jutting into the Aegean Sea that dominates a strategic waterway, the Dardanelles. By opening the Dardanelles to their fleets, the Allies hoped to threaten the Ottoman capital, Constantinople (now Istanbul) and knock the Turks out of the war.

Among the British forces were the Anzacs - the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps - who landed on the peninsula on 25 April. The landing, like the Gallipoli campaign itself, was ambitious and ultimately unsuccessful: the peninsula remained in its defenders' hands.
The campaign was a costly failure for the Allies: 44,000 British and French soldiers died, including over 8700 Australians. Among the dead were 2721 New Zealanders nearly 5000 wounded out of a force of approx. 8500 – while that may not sound a lot compared to other nations, NZ pop was less than a million. Victory came at a high price for the Turks: 87,000 men died in the campaign which became a defining moment in Turkish history.

It was also a defining moment in New Zealand’s and Australian history, we started to draw away from Britain and become nations in our own right.  For the three nations Anzac Cove where the Anzacs landed has been made a Peace Park by the Turks and the three Nations every year send government members to the remembrance service at the cove.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017


As I mentioned in my last post I now have a mobility Scooter, I had been saving up for one when I was blessed with a windfall.  I might have mentioned that I lived in the UK for 20 years, when I applied for my NZ pension last year I was told that as I lived in the UK part of my pension would be paid by the UK govt as there was a reciprocal agreement, it is administered by the NZ govt so I thought nothing of it, but I did have to fill out lots of forms for the UK.  Well apparently the pension for UK women is 60 years and as I no idea that I qualified for it, I had a rather large amount, deferred. (5 years of back pay)  Whoo hoo!  I was a bit skeptical and was astonished when it turned up in bank account.  It has made such a difference to my life.  As well as investing some of it I have been able to buy things that I needed such as the scooter, a new fridge freezer,  new glasses and a new sewing machine, it has taken a load of my shoulders.

The scooter has blessed me so much, I have been able to make medical appointments without having to try and fit times in with the bus timetable and the biggest blessing is I have been able to shop around for bargains, and most of all go to the local market on Sundays, which is what this post is really about.
My town has two markets, an official Farmers Market on Saturdays, which really caters for the well to do and the weekend visitors that come here from Wellington, it is rather expensive and has posh stuff! Also as I observe the Sabbath it is a ‘no no’ for me. 

The other, really is a glorified Car Boot market run by the Lions organization in the council car park, locals flock to it as a number of lifestyle blockers sell their produce at reasonable prices and generally it is organic produce, there is a honey man, a free range egg lady, a lady selling mushrooms, several local nurseries two selling native plants, one lady selling perennial flowers, a couple of vegetable and flower seedling stalls, some ladies selling pickles and preserves and cakes, then there are the usual bric a brac stalls.  I love it, you get to know the people selling and they sort of become friends, it is wonderful.

This Sunday I took advantage of the good weather and set off on my Scooter, I hadn’t been to it for over a year as it was difficult for me to get to and one needs to get there early for the bargains!  And bargains I did get.

A big bag of figs for $2.50,  Ballarat (cooking) Apples, a heritage variety that makes the perfect apple pie, you cant buy these in the supermarket, But I got 5 for $1.50, a large wedge of pumpkin for $2, egg plants at 50 cents each they are at least $2.50 in the supermarkets.

A huge bunch of watercress for $2.50, I will put half in a bucket and put the bucket under the eaves and if change the water every week I will have my own watercress growing.

A large bag of button chestnut mushrooms for $2 in the supermarket probably cost me about $8.00!

Lovely bargains and it all is organic which is even more of a bonus!  I got some plants as well, a red hibiscus, a pink Japanese anemone, and a red and white ivy geranium; all for $10 at the nursery just one would have cost me at least $10.  I will shoe photos of these later as my batteries for the camera needed recharging.  I am going to have to start taking my camera with me when I am out and about as the town is looking lovely with its red and gold autumn colours.

So I think the scooter is a blessing in my life.  Another blessing is the new sewing machine,  it has made me realize how crappy my old one was, no wondered I put off sewing!  For a long time I had been wanting to change the curtains in my lounge diner, but as there were so many windows it would have cost a fortune for ready made ones and thrift shops don’t usually have curtains for three windows in the same material.  So guess what my first project was…

It has lightened up the place wonderfully, I have a feature wall in that red and having the red has balanced up the area very well.

And as you know once you start changing the colour scheme other things start to occur, like this throw I am crocheting for the lounge area…

What is marvellous I already had this wool in my stash!

Phew, I am so ready for my supper now!  I am having what I call stone soup, do you know the folk tale behind this?  If not I will tell all in the next day or so and hopefully I will have photos of my neighbourhood, as I am charging the batteries of my camera.

Sunday, 16 April 2017


I hope you all are having a peaceful Easter, I am!  Sorry, I haven’t posted for a while, life got in the way.  I have had some health issues and they are being sorted (Thyroid problems).  I just have to be patient. LOL! I have been visiting your blogs but haven’t been leaving comments as my brain has been somewhat foggy!  Over the last week I have noticed a big improvement, so fingers crossed.

 Also I have been thinking about blogging and all that it entails.  I don’t seem to be able to blog consistently and that set me thinking about why I want to blog and what sort of blog I want.  Do I want it as a daily or weekly diary, or do I want to write about my passions and interests, so I have been pondering and one thing I do know is that I like writing, I thought about the blogs I like to read and they are the ones about daily life and living in this world simply.  I think I know where I got stuck.  I have been trying to have a cohesive image to my blog, well that is not me!  I am a bit scatty and my brain leaps all over the place, I go off in tangents in conversations.  I admire people who can keep to topic, but I seem to be incapable of doing so.  They say that for a blog to be real, it has to reflect the person writing it.

So my dear friends, you will be seeing a blog that may be about cooking one day, the next day about my thoughts on the world, then again it might be about my art or crafts, my garden, or practising thrift.  I might blog every day for a while and then again I might not blog for a bit.

This weekend, I have no visitors for once and I have had time to myself to do some art which is a great joy for me as I haven’t picked up my art materials for a long time.  This piece is a pastel in which I digitally added the text.

Another bit of news is that I now have a mobility scooter and it has changed my life!  I will blog about that later on.  Also my budgeting was successful for March and ended with a big surplus, so I decided to keep the amount at $50 a week put the surpluses into a sealed pot for Christmas treats.

Have a wonderful Easter (or what is left of it)