14 November 2008

Heritage Day in Helensville

Sunday morning after checking out we had breakfast in the old Helensville Railway Station that is now The Ginger Crunch Station Cafe, the traffic in and out was constant and what a delightful atmosphere. We were serenaded by two young girls singing with their guitars and the food was great.





I had the Western Line dish, french toast (with nuts) , bacon, bananas & maple syrup, yum! However, I would have put the glass of maple syrup on the plate after I sprinkled it all with icing sugar!





And to finish a mochaccino with a complimentary slice of Ginger Crunch.


Then off we went to walk around Helensville to see all the old historic buildings and to visit the museum and historic village. BTW Helensville & Parakai are synonomous with each other, Parakai being just a few kilometres down the road from Helensville, or vice versa!

Back to Weekend in Parakai

So after we left the Macadamia Farm we drove a bit further up the coast to Shelly Beach where we sat and watched a runabout with two men being rescued, I think their outboard had conked out!








Then we drove home, had pizza for tea and watched the election day results in between a few more soaks in the pool!

Wording on the monument:-

This monument was placed here in 1990 as a sequicentennial gesture. It replaces the original stone that was placed here in 1884 to commemorate the Great Meeting House erected on the foreshores of Herepiiti Aotea. We thank both the Maori & Pakeha for their combined efforts to mark this historical occasion.

Maori - indigenous people of NZ

Pakeha - originally referring to the early European settlers of NZ

13 November 2008

Happy Birthday

Yesterday was my birthday and we went to DGS Harry's place where his mum made us a lovely dinner. Harry was at his full on best, this is the photo where he was at his slowest!


This was dessert, yum, thanks Harry's mum - and dad for the BBQ.


Did you know that on this day in 1952 the first false fingernail was sold? Gosh I would have been 12 and probably didn't have a clue of such things! I do remember that at a very young age I thought the year 2000 was that far away that I probably would never see it - and here I am 8 years afterwards and still going strong, well fairly strong :).

Thank you to all my friends who sent me email, facebook and such like birthday greetings, you made my day.

12 November 2008

My New Blog

Announcing my new blog - Strangers in a Box - all about my steadily growing collection of vintage photographs, mainly of unknown people, and my attempt to restore them.
Please pop on over and have a look and if you have any of said photos you would like to share please don't hesitate to leave me a comment on either blog. I'm also prepared to purchase any unwanted vintage photos so please keep an eye out for me.

10 November 2008

Macadamia Farm

Then we wandered around the farm for an hour or so and had the whole place to ourselves.

I wasn't up for an angry beehive so out came the tele lens.

Visit to Parakai (cont)

After settling into our motel and our first soak in the pool next stop was lunch at this cafe, very cosy with lots of arty stuff for sale.

After lunch we started to drive out to the South Head of the Kaipara Harbour but were waylaid by the Macadamia Farm. We stopped to buy some macadamia nuts and found a beautiful farm to wander around. First we bought bags of nuts and a macadamia nut cracker (ever tried to crack one of those beauties?).

Then we had a macadamia coffee with a lovely nutty flavour, sitting in the sun enjoying the view and the sparrows.

It's the wrong time of the year to see the nuts on the trees but I did manage to find a few flowers to show you the life cycle of the macadamia nut. First the flowers.
Then the nuts start forming.

I found these on the ground, green nuts, one that had split open to show the nut inside and finally the nut a little shrivelled and a few broken shells.
More later.....

Visit to Parakai

On the way to Parakai we stopped at the Oratia Farmers' Market to pick up some Maori potatoes but they weren't there, too early in the season for them I guess. Picked up some lovely freshly grown strawberries and a pot of my favourite Apricot Chutney, the day was one out of the book and I really wanted to stay & browse some more but those mineral pools beckoned!

Next stop was morning tea at Kumeu at the Carriages Cafe which is a couple of old train carriages with a lovely sunny deck built between them to extend the cafe. A really beautiful spot right by a pond, great coffee too.

09 November 2008

Weekend in Parakai

We decided to pop up to Parakai for the weekend to soak away our aches & pains in the mineral pools after spending all week waterblasting around the house. We stayed in the Geothermal Motel for the night and spent a lovely two days having a look around the area which is steeped in history. I must say I recommend the motel if anyone is thinking of heading that way, we had wonderful service from Nicolette who runs the motel, the unit we were in had a covered outside private pool that you could heat at will and we definately took good advantage of it.
We were lucky to strike Heritage Day in Helensville today so that was a lovely bonus. I'll post all my photos tomorrow as I think I soaked up too many minerals and am now quite pooped! I think this one is my favourite from the weekend, taken inside the old Helensville Railway Station which is now a lovely cafe, I took this while waiting for my breakfast, the mini quilt was hanging on the back of the door.