Archive for the ‘Things I like’ Category

I can’t believe I haven’t done a Tree post since July. I know it’s long overdue, but I’m going to come back to an old favourite of mine, the Ti Kouka or cabbage tree. In fact, just this morning on my lockdown walk, I whipped out my phone and snapped a cabbage tree. I might keep that one for another day, because I wanted to show you these trees, nestled away in remote Milford Sound. Mitre Peak, the mountain in this shot, is an iconic sight in New Zealand, featuring in tourism brochures, and adorning many biscuit tins and chocolate boxes in my youth! Tourists to New Zealand will recognise it too, even if their visit to Milford didn’t really show the mountain due to the high rainfall the area gets (about 6.5 metres or 252 inches per year)! I didn’t get to see it on my previous visit to the fjord* either.

It was just starting to rain (of course) when we were there, but Mitre Peak was visible right to the top. I was thrilled to see the cabbage tree on the banks of the Sound, knowing I could capture this uniquely NZ view.

Mitre Peak in Milford Sound, and ti kouka or cabbage tree in the foreground.

*Even though it is called a Sound (a river valley filled with sea water), it is actually a fjord (a glacial valley filled with sea water).

Another in the Thursday Tree Love series – find all the other bloggers doing it here.

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  • Wow, I haven’t done a Monday Miscellany for three months. It’s all I can manage today because the last five nights, I’ve been staying up watching Wimbledon tennis matches. Unfortunately, they have all started around 12.30 to 1 am. And go through until it’s almost time to get up. (The other day I didn’t get to bed until 6.45 am!!!) Fortunately, I don’t have to get up for work! But it has meant that I’ve been feeling rather jet-lagged, and I definitely need a nap after I’ve finished my Monday blogs. I do love watching the matches live though – it’s not the same watching them the next day. The other night watching the women’s Final, I had fun whatsapping with my sister-in-law who lives in Australia and was supporting Ash Barty, and my other sister-in-law in Malaysia who was supporting both. (I said that meant she would win regardless, but she said it would mean she’d feel sad for the loser no matter who it was.) I also commented that it felt very strange to be supporting an Australian, as we usually joke here that we support NZ, and anyone playing Australia!
  • I thoroughly enjoyed a recent morning out doing some errands, stopping for a coffee and Danish pastry (because I skipped breakfast), and a fossick around one new furniture shop, and another that was filled with work from local producers. It would have been lovely on a miserable day (which we had a few at the beginning of this week), but today the sky is blue, there is no wind, and although it is cold, it’s beautiful. I now have the windows open airing out the house.
  • Major routine health checks done and dusted, one for another couple of years, the other for five years. Yay. It’s always a relief.
  • My blog is a book. No, not really, don’t get excited. My blog is not a book. But I have a document filled with all my posts, and with drafts not yet written, and I’ve noticed that it is 383, 199 words, or 674 pages! That’s enough for four books! Good grief. Maybe it’s time to split the document in two. I don’t want it to get so big that it is out of control.
  • I’ve had a knitting break for the last few months. Then about a week ago, just as I was getting back into it, I dropped a stitch. Now, I’ve been knitting since I was a child (well, with a 30 year break!), so I know how to pick up stitches. But this pattern was very tight, with tiny needles and stitches, and the wool was a very dark brown, so it was hard to see and find. I couldn’t pick up the stitch. It unravelled more. Argh! And the more I tried, the fluffier the wool got, making it harder to see. I had to wait till daytime to try, and I was still struggling to find it. Finally, yesterday, I stood in the window in the sunlight, and think I managed to fix it, but I’m not 100% sure. I figure I’ll warn the recipient when it is finished, and just say that I’ve taken on the philosophy of the Middle Eastern carpet makers, who deliberately put in mistakes, because to err is human, and perfection is divine! On the plus side, the dark brown wool makes the repair almost impossible to see.
  • I had another lovely morning out just last Friday, when the weather was again perfect winter weather – cold and calm and sparkling. (As it is today, I might add.) I headed out to the south coast of Wellington, where we can both see the South Island, or south to the Antarctic, and there’s nothing in between. Better photographers go out in wild weather, and impress me with huge waves and dark clouds. But I decided this was just a scoping trip, spent a happy hour or so out there with my camera (some examples below), thinking about what photos I might try, or locations that look good, and wishing I had different lenses and my tripod.
  • And on every trip out, whether it is to the supermarket or a more interesting adventure, I pass the roadworks on the gorge from my hill suburb down to the city. We currently have a section that is only one lane, and the workers at either end of the road works keep a check on the traffic lights. Recently, two cheerful women (at either end of the single lane section) have started waving happily as we go pass. Sometimes it’s a small wave, other times it’s wild and crazy and joyful. We can’t help but smile, and wave back. They make the day better.

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Shall we go see the manu?” the young man asked the little boy as they slowly made their way down the stairs from the street to the duck-covered lawn on the edge of Queen Charlotte Sound. Seagulls flew overhead, squawking for food.

“The manu?” asked the little boy.

“Yes, let’s go and see the manu,” his dad (I presume) said.

“See the manu,” said the little boy, not sounding convinced, as he toddled down the steps and could see the manu getting closer to him.

“Yes,” said Dad, “that’s right. We’re going to see the manu.”

“See the manu see the manu see the manu seethemanuseethemanuseethemanu,” the little boy repeated, learning a new word.

I was hobbling (due to a minor injury) down the stairs beside them, and by the time I got to the bottom, I too knew the Maori word for “bird.” And now you do too.


  1. If I’m completely honest, I initially thought it was the word for “duck” although I had an inkling that manu – which sounded vaguely familiar – was more generic.
  2. Te Reo = Maori for “the language

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