Niel and I were talking early in the week about where I want to go, and what I want to do, when his Global race is over, and it's my turn for some adventure. Well aside from what I'd like to do, I realised I'd have no money to go anywhere. My reduced hours to spend more time in the garden, was all very well and good,but there would be not even coins left over for a holiday anywhere. So I asked my boss for my old hours again, and apart from saying "I told you so", he graciously gave me them back. He really is the best boss around. However the shop was understaffed this week and I've gone from reduced hours to 6 days in a row without a day off. Needless to say the garden is very neglected - right when I can't leave it, being spring / early summer.
Actually it decided all of a sudden to be summer. Just like that. We've suddenly gone from using a hot water bottle at night, to sitting around in the evening in shorts and a t-shirt. In a perverse way, I know why it's happened, Niel left to cycle to Lake Taupo this morning and after his drenching a few weeks ago, he put waterproof covers on his pannier bags, and that bought the sun out and the summer on with a vengeance.
It's been hot all week, but a gale force wind has kept the temp down until now. This gale force wind with the hot sun, has dried up the ground and there is a lot of dust in the air. This dust gave me chronic hay fever, combined with worrying about the garden and getting quite exhausted working so much I ended up with a migraine headache as well - not a good combination - I think I was a bit grumpy at work.
Anyway enough gloomy stuff- some really great things happened this week. Getting my old hours at work was only one of them, the other was - that we have some more friends that want to sponsor Niel. Markus and Kerstin [and family] are from Germany. They are a truly lovely couple that I met about 20 years ago cycle touring the west coast of the south island of New Zealand. They have been friends ever since, and we always try to met up every time we go to Europe. They now have 2 great kids. Their English language skills are good, but limited, our German language skills are non existent, so they have the tough job trying to translate and understand our letters, emails, and conversations. Top points to them for this effort. I don't know if they realise how grateful we are for them not giving up on us. Markus informed us this week that he and Kerstin would like to sponsor Niel. Thank you so much, you two are awesome. It's people like you that reassure me that there are some good people in the world. Even in a global recession, these two lovely people have reached out to help. Fantastic.
|The new position of the raised bed.|
On the home front, the raised bed has been relocated and ready to replant. We've been doing a bit of road side harvesting. There is a very big loquat tree [not sure if that is how it's spelt - I can't find it in the dictionary] just down the road - covered in ripe fruit. I didn't know what a loquat was until a few years ago, working as a parks and reserves gardener. My work colleague was obsessed with them, and was trying to grow one from a cutting. I introduced Niel to them, he also had never heard of them before. For those of you who don't know about them. They are a tree of about 5 meters by 5 meters when mature, they have big leaves a bit like a Rhododendron - possibly tropical - I'm not sure. The fruit is yellow, the size of a plum, and it tastes like a peach or nectarine.
I thought the bantam / chicken was going to give us eggs under the dining room table. Talk about 'fast food'!! She likes to go to sleep there after eating the cats biscuits. Her bottom was going up and down and pushing in and out, and I was sure there would be eggs before you could say 'chicken noodle soup', but no, she managed to do it outside - 18 eggs this time. the silly thing laid them on a sloping bank this time and they kept rolling down in to my waiting hands.
Just before Niel left to cycle to Taupo, I got him to start the lawn mower. I can't start it to save myself, every time I try, I end up spraining something. Anyway no sooner had he left down the road and out of sight, when one of the wheels falls off the mower. Half and acre is a lot of grass to mow with 3 wheels around beds and shrubs. Move 2 meter, push the wheel back on, move 2 meters, push the wheel back on. Talk about making a job unnecessarily difficult. I got there in the end, and there's another little job for Niel when he gets home.