Friday, August 29, 2014

Old Friends and Farewell to Family

It has been an interesting time this past week. I have done things that I never thought I would do, helped my sister Lorna with the funeral for her husband Gary after his very unexpected and sudden death on Tuesday August 19.

Again I found myself creating funeral programmes and videos for yet another family member. I suppose that it will get all of us eventually and I must say that having Gary at home for the couple of days was a very interesting exercise for a family that has never done that before. It was a great way to begin the farewell process and having the grandchildren write and draw messages to Grandad on the inside of the lid of his casket was just a great experience. It looked great when they had finished. It was a real eye opener to see the grandchildren interacting with Gary as he lay on the bed. We need to stop putting adult thought processes into how we think kids might behave under these sort of circumstances.

So after spending a few days helping Lorna get the paperwork and other necessities under way I flew back to Palmerston North where the Fredrock Cafe had been sitting at Pat and Peter’s. Pat and Peter are very old friends who are related to my first wife. I had dropped in to say hello before finding somewhere to park up for the week, and Pat told me that I could park up their driveway as she wasn’t able to drive due to her cataract operation not being as successful as she had hoped for and that she was going into hospital again on the 4th to get it redone, so I was welcome to park there. I made sure that I changed over to a full bottle of gas for the fridge and all was good. I used about 4.5kg out of a 9kg bottle for the 8 days I was away. Not bad I thought.

So on my return I stayed the night and caught up with them all and then headed over to Himatangi Beach for the night, staying at a POP. I did get the kayak down as the weather was gorgeous and the swell was almost non-existent. I must say that it was pretty obvious that it was whitebait season, but very little in the way of fish. Had one strike on the way out but it wasn’t that interested in being eaten. After talking to a local later, it appears that the shellfish beds have been plundered and the fish populations have disappeared. The locals have made inroads towards righting this but it will take time to replenish the stocks.


After saying thanks to my hosts this morning I headed off down towards Otaki, stopping at the farmers market in Foxton and getting some beetroot and kiwifruit. I also bought a pair of new oven cloths.


They are lovely and thick and beautifully quilted. They are nicely patterned and wont show as many marks.

So after a quick look at Foxton beach

complete with 30km sign down on the beach…I headed back to have a closer look at the windmill, but unfortunately it wasn’t open.


It is huge and I’d love to see it working.

So from there I headed through to Otaki to a POP there which is nestled in the middle of an amazing park, full of birds, animals and amazing Indonesian statuary.

Tomorrow I will be heading in to Upper Hutt to catch up with Pat and Peter’s daughter. From there I will park up at Paremata and travel by train into Wellington to catch up with friends and attend my meeting then it is back to Palmerston North for the 12th to deliver my workshop on Effective Community Education.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Heavy heart

It is with a heavy heart that I write this post from Martin as I get ready to fly back to Whangarei to support my sister Lorna Grose and her family after the unexpected and tragic death of her husband Gary early this morning.


That pic is Gary and his daughter Tracy at her wedding.

Gary has been in a wheelchair for many years after an accident involving a truck, a concrete slab and Gary. He had been in hospital for some adjustments and unfortunately had a bad turn and did not survive.

My heart goes out to my sister Lorna as this will be a very difficult time for her, even though the wider family is rallying around to support them all.

((((((((((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))))) to Lorna, Tony, David and Tracy at this time.

I will be offline for a week or so as I head up to support them at this sad time.

Please travel safely everyone.

Uncle Fredrock.

Sunday, August 17, 2014


After a glorious sunset last evening


which I really didn’t manage to get successfully, and a quite chilly night, I left Waiinu Beach and headed down to Kai Iwi for a look see…

It is very interesting coming across a second place with the same name. For me Kai Iwi will be the lakes north of Dargaville. This was an interesting beach with a couple of rivers/streams either side, making for some nice views.

Decided to move on and headed through to Whanganui. I stopped at the Bridgestone tyre place to check on new front tyres and an alignment as the CoF guy said that they would need replacing soon. The good ones will cost me $1300 each…..*sighs* but we are not going that high.

So tomorrow booked in for two new tyres and an alignment.

Just had a cuppa with a friend that I haven’t seen since intermediate school sometime in the 70’s and it was great to catch up while I’m here in Whanganui.

Nice being here even though it is a Motorhome Friendly Town, there is some interesting signage…


It depends on who you talk to as to exactly what these signs mean. I believe the ladies from the iSite who believe that it is campervans and motorhomes only parked for a max of 60 mins. But the parks have been full for most of the day with cars…  go figure!

But the beauty of Whanganui is that you can freedom camp anywhere you like around the town if you are self contained.

So safe travels and see what tomorrow brings…mmm bike ride, kayak or walk??

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Meeting Wildlife and Canadians

Not necessarily in that order….

After arriving at Waiinu Beach and setting up camp, I decided to take a walk along the reserve in a southerly direction as there was a bit of a headland that looked like it would be a great vantage point.

It was and the day was lovely so I headed back to have a bit of lunch and then head in a northerly direction as see if the rumours of a whale washed up on the beach were true.

As I was leaving there was a couple outside enjoying the view, they were leaning against their car and as I headed out they came over and asked me about the Fredrock Cafe. They have just bought a campervan and were keen to talk about the hows, whys and other things. They are a lovely couple, Noel and Suzanne


who hail from Canada, but have been out here for 12 years and are living in Palmerston  North and they have just got their ‘book’ from the NZMCA and were scoping out the places to come and stay when they took possession of their campervan. We chatted for quite a while and I gave them the grand tour of the Fredrock Cafe. They have been on the motorhome forum and have been very grateful for all the wonderful advice that is available there. If you see them out there on the road please say hi and make them feel welcome to our motor homing community as I know you all will anyway!

So after bidding Noel and Suzanne safe travels, I headed off up the beach to see if I could find a whale. On the way I came across some interesting things….

Finally after about an hour and a half I finally came across the whale unfortunately…


Not overly large but quite big enough. About 4 metres in length. Looked like it had not been there very long at all.

So after a further 15 mins walk up the beach I turned and headed back to camp.

On the way back the tide had dropped and revealed a spring bubbling up out of the sand. Quite interesting patterns on the beach.

Also met my little friend again, this time on a log…

Then I spied something that I never imagined that I would see on the beach…


Unfortunately it too was dead.


This little fellow wasn’t though and he/she was fast! I was lucky to get him/her when it paused. I believe it to be a Banded Dotterel or Tuturiwhatu.

So after about 3 1/2 hours of walking I arrived back at the bus, very grateful to be back as the temperature had started to fall quite rapidly because the sun had gone behind the clouds.

So another day over and a lovely one it was. I look forward to seeing what tomorrow brings….

Safe travels everyone