Sunday, 21 May 2017

Another 12 hour lunch, a birthday, a death and I have been acting like a tourist!

All good intentions to post weekly did not happen, so forgive me as here we go on another marathon catch up!!!

I think we are just about to say farewell to Autumn and welcome Winter as our temperatures have started to drop off.  The garden is now carpeted with leaves from my trees, the birds are furiously feasting on the berries, and this years lemons are growing in abundance.

On a sun filled but chilly day I took my little camera to another of Hamilton's fountains, and this one is at the Founders Theatre like the last one.  I remember running through this one on a hot summer day when I was a teenager with friends.  I haven't seen it going for such a long time now, and I am not completely sure why either.  It is such a sculptural fountain too.

I love that it is nestled in a park like setting of large old trees in the middle of our dear city.  

I am having to dig in my wardrobe and layer up my clothes these days as although it is cool in the morning and the evening, we sometimes get a warm middle of the day which does require some strategy when dressing.

Our big old gas heater has been cranked into life as some of the evenings have been nippy to say the least.

There is almost a race with the cats and dogs for pole position right in front of it, but they usually all retreat to higher ground once they have been rather well cooked. 

There is also a battle for my lap in the evenings between the cats, which can get interesting and a little grisly, and sometimes that is me. 

I am glad to say that Big must have learned his lesson from his street fight and he stays indoors at night now.

Look how much Toebee has grown, all stretched out in the land of nod!

Big has taken to following me in the garden these days, he clearly likes home these days.  Do you like my signs?  I found them in a Department Store on a clearance table and new they needed to go in the garden.

I had a birthday on the 9th and I turned 55!!  The spare bought me a huge Carrot cake and a surprise organised for the following Sunday, which I shall tell you about later.  I got lovely gifts from family and friends, TOF did really good with an amazing book on Street Art accompanied with other treats.  The day before Sue W took me out for an early birthday lunch, so I was rather spoiled.

That same day Toebee got delivered to our Vet to have his Neutering job done, and he wasn't HAPPY at all.  But he perked up the following day, shaved bum and all.  Take more than that to slow him down!

Also that evening was my first class at a Night class I signed up for.  Metalsmithing and Jewellery making.  Above is what I came home with after my second class.  We worked with Copper so I beat and bent some and came home with a pendant and earrings, I wanted to make something I would wear.  Next lesson is wax castings, a ring!!!

Toebee has discovered he can HUNT,
this is Mouse one.

And this is Mouse Two.

His third and fourth hunts were a Monarch Butterfly and then a Bird.  He is so lucky I love him as he bought the bird inside, then let it go in our bedroom, then leapt in the air to catch it grabbing the net curtain on his way down hence the big RIP!  Replaceable so no big deal, and they were due for that to happen.  Then I came home one day to the mess on the right in the laundry, he was obviously looking for something in the paper recycling,  maybe a Hunting & Fishing brochure??

I got together with these two gorgeous friends Vicki and Denise to have lunch last weekend on Saturday.  As always it carried on well into the evening and I finally departed for home just before midnight.  Clearly we need to spend more time together!!

Denise tried her darnedest to teach me how to hula hoop but quite frankly I am shit!!  She told me to keep trying as Power Hooping apparently is not only great fun but helps tone your body.  She made it look so bloody easy, I on the other hand made it look so complicated!!

Sunday arrived (Mothers Day) and the Spare arrived to take me on my Birthday Surprise.  He had booked us on a tour at Hobbiton.  I have been wanting to do this for so long, so I was very excited!!  Finally I got to go to Middle Earth and see something Tourists from all over the world flock to visit. For a good read click on the Hobbiton link above.  

Are you ready??

I was so blown away with the magic that unfolded before me, so much to take in and trust me my camera got a bloody good work out, I think I ended up with about 160 photos.  So this is just a sample, I hope you enjoy them.
 Letter boxes.

 Hobbit houses.

All set on the most beautiful Farm land.  Apparently it was the large old tree and the lake that made the decision for Peter Jackson when he flew over the farm.

 Me and my gorgeous son!

The tree in this photo above Bilbo Baggins house is FAKE!!  I shit you not, not that you could tell.  Every detail like the washing had me just fizzing!!

It was a glorious day and a photographers dream.  After walking around with the tour guide we were treated to this beautiful site and the promise of a cold ale.

This is The Green Dragon, the most delightful thatched building ever.  I felt like I was somewhere in England, not on a farm in Matamata.

A nice cold beer was a welcome treat after our wandering around in the sunshine.

I am rather proud to be a New Zealander as Hobbition is a world class attraction, and judging by the amount of foreigners we saw that day, it is very well received. 

I am so glad I have been, I was always put of by the cost to go, $79 per adult.  But how often do we go to the tourist attractions in our own country?  I have decided to become a tourist in my own place now, there are many other tourist attractions that this local needs to see. If you have not been to Hobbiton and you get the chance please do, you will not be disappointed. 

I always remember the old saying:

"Don't leave town until you have seen the country" my country New Zealand has treasures a plenty to see so look out, because I intend to see more of them!

The Spare bought me the long sheepskin scarf I am wearing in these pictures from the gift shop at Hobbiton for Mothers Day, SPOILED I think so!!  Toebee keeps running off with it tho.

Last week I went out to visit Dawn.  I wanted to show you some close up shots of her work so you can see the detail she does.  Above are pieces of a Totem she made covered in New Zealand Native things, like Weta's, Kiwi's, and other flora and fauna. So worth the money people pay to get the most delightful handcrafted original art work.

Oil or Wax melt Burners.

Lady Bugs and Goblets.

I love the Shadow Boxes!!

I came home with a Heart to add to my
Wall of Wimsey.

I rescued a heavily pregnant Preying Mantis from the ground, amazing insects even if they are everywhere at the moment.

Poor old Cassie passed away this week.  She was at least 9 years old so she had a very good life for a chicken.  She  hadn't been herself of late so it was not unexpected that she left us.  I found her one day standing in the rain, so I wrapped her in a towel and bought her inside.  She slept indoors in our pet cage.  Two days later she was gone.  I am so happy that I got some photos with her not long before her passing.  I didn't know chickens could live so long.

As for everyone and everything else here, life is good, it goes on as normal.  The op shops haven't seen me much, so that may need to be addressed!!

Toebee is still having adventures that result in him sleeping quite a lot.

And Big is becoming more tolerable of his little full on brother, sharing food is a good sign, maybe it is LOVE!!!!






kiwikid said...

Another visual feast from you Sue...I was a Hobbiton in Feb and just loved it...didn't see one unhappy face and came away feeling really proud to be a Kiwi. What a wonderful place. Happy belated birthday, that is one impressive birthday cake. Wonderful to see the progress of Toebee, alth I ugh maybe not the results of his search left in the laundry.

Leeanne said...

Holy heck my friend.............where to start! Such a long and detailed post! I have green boot envy, I was thinking you have the clothing sorted like a tramper/hiker....layers! Naughty Toebee, another reason I DO NOT want anymore cats no matter how cute they are! Can one loan/borrow/hire your son? I want to go to Hobbit Ville........even though I have never read the books or watched the movies, but the place looks amazing but it is so darn expensive to the son? For loan?? Call me!

sallyhicks said...

Oh Sue what a wonderful blog. I will start with those cute pink shoes - hope your toes are feeling better. Go to the middle where darling Toebee caught his fist mouse. Clever boy! End with the sadness of Cassie but what a happy life she had. All the middle is encompassed with such interest. Thank you it will take seve readings to take it all in properly.

Nancy J said...

Oh dear, wee Cassie,so loved and cared for, she will leave a big gap. The gardens, the hobbit homes, the BIRTHDAY. Best wishes and heaps of hugs... and Toebee, a little lighter after his op, but for the best, did you tell him all that before he went?? When we had our Japanese student living with us for all of 2002, our ginger boy Finn had to have the same op, and naturally no breakfast. Where was he that morning? Well, with the aid of an English to Japanese translation book, we explained. "Oh, dear, poor Finn". So the minute Mayumi arrived home from college that day " Where is Finn? Is he all right".I felt I passed the test as a host mother!!! Keep warm, perishingly cold down here, right now, 1.4 C and dropping.

Poppy Q said...

Happy birthday to you. What great treats you got and a wonderful birthday adventure with your son.

It sure is getting chilly but I am keen to get stuck into winter and get it over and done with.

Love all your furry friends fighting over the heater.

Julie and poppyq q

Goody said...

Happy Birthday!

It sounds like you've been having a wonderful time with family and friends, as it should be. I'm sorry about Cassie. She lived a pampered life most chickens can only dream of. I always say, if there's a next life I want to come back as one of your pets!

Fiona said...

So sorry to hear about Cassie, she must have been bloody well looked after to reach nine years old. Your copper jewellery is FAB! x

Julie said...

Belated Birthday Wishes Sue ... love the cake & your goodies. I have never been to Hobbiton because, like you, the cost has always put me off. I have lots of customers that have been & rave about it so I might have to put it on my list of things to do. I love the Jewellery you are making Sue. Hugs to Toebee & the furry ones xxx

chris said...

Hi Sue, omg you crack me up, your blog would be the only one I can see a cats behind on hahaha. love your earrings, do you remember doing metal work at Maeroa Intermediate, love your blog, always brings back great memories. you scored good for mothers day, I got plonk and chocolates. no fair hobbiton wasn't there when I left, it was Matamata back then. Sorry you lost Cassie, nice long life for a chicken. Happy birthday for the 9th, hey we are the same age for the time being:-) Chris xoxo

Polyester Princess said...

Happy Birthday, Sue! So many things I love in this post: the sculptural fountain, those buttoned booties you are wearing, all the cat photos (obviously), those amazing copper earrings (well done, you!), that washing line photo ... I am so sorry to hear about Cassie, though. xxx

Beth Waltz said...

This post has more milestones than a Roman road! Your birthday, Toebee's surgery, dear Cassie's passing: the seasons of life are saluted in your camera's eye, Sue. And there's a dragon fruit, a cat's bottom, and a pregnant preying mantis. I'll be coming back to this post during the coming week to see what I've missed.

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

I just enjoyed your Birthday. Hope you did as well....grin. Happy Belated Birthday. Your kitty Toebee is the same colors as my kitty Elly. Love all the photos.