Saturday, 9 September 2017

NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

THE DREAM IS  NOW UNDERWAY for the coming summer and the search is on
for the perfect place to make that dream come true. Kawau Island homes are once again starting to appear for sale. I have just chosen 5 of them here as examples of what is available.

Each bay has different extra advantages depending on the person's needs, but one of the biggest pluses here is that we are situated close to the city of Auckland -  with a good 7 day ferry service, telephone and internet reception and prompt medical back-up also making the Island ideal to both escape to just for the weekend, or maybe even work from your Kawau home either part-time ( as many do now) or full time.

For those who are older and wish to retire full time, they may wish for a more modest home with a couple of out sheds,  prefer flat land, be able to be partly self-sufficient with some fruit trees and a decent sized vegetable garden and also will be looking for a place sheltered from seasonal extremes of weather, plus a good fireplace and be close to their boat down at the  all-tide, all-weather wharf to go fishing. See Real Estate - 1
1.  https://www.trademe.co.nz/property/residential-property-for-sale/auction-1379403120.htm



Some just want a small, comfortable but quirky real bach. ( cottage)  See Real Estate 2





For those with more money and wish to live in more luxury, right on the waterfront and look forward to regularly entertaining family and friends then see Real Estate 3
3.   https://www.trademe.co.nz/property/residential-property-for-sale/auction-1414077217.htm


Or 3a. https://www.trademe.co.nz/property/residential-property-for-sale/auction-996177316.htm



But for those who are artists? - they often like to have a more quiet and private lifestyle and they tend to choose a place tucked away amongst the birds and bush. See the video from my neighbour who is also one of New Zealand's top commercial photographers. See Real Estate 4
4.   https://youtu.be/yzhb_xmRuIM

..

Friday, 1 September 2017

NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE SOMETIMES that not only do I live on an Island but for months of the year I often have the  D O C park and the beach to myself  when I am out walking.













But now it is September. The Island wakes and people will be walking the paths again  for now is
the time when the ferry starts arriving with contractors and weekenders loaded up with their building materials to get the holiday homes organised for the coming summer.



The spring flowers continue to appear, most of them are small and will go unnoticed amongst all the green, or fade into being a subtle carpet of pastel, except to those who are are waiting for them to open. The Pururi  tree flowers are only seen when they fall to the ground. The exception is the flamboyant orange flowers of  the native shrub, Tecoma which can be trained into a coastal resistant hedge. Kids know to pull off each flower and suck the sweet nectar from it.

Pururi Tree Flower


They call this a weed.

Kawakawa flower


London's Pride

carpet of London's pride
Tecoma



Sunday, 13 August 2017

NEWS FROM THE ISLAND


BEING EVERGREEN ANY CHANGES IN SEASONAL COLOUR  are usually textural and/or subtle with the occasional exception mostly from plants that have escaped early colonial gardens and flourished in its new climate. One such plant is the Arum lily. An elegant stately flower and a rare fortune to buy in Germany I was told by a German tourist, and then only for funerals. The Island’s early women settlers used to supplement their income by gathering armfuls, I heard, and were sent over to the Auckland flower markets. On the Island, as elsewhere in Northland, it is considered a weed and now another excuse to bring out the weed spay {{{{shudder}}}. The vase of them pictured, is mixed together with our native Kawakawa which is gathered in Northland to make a beer, or is used for various ailments including both constipation and the opposite. Then there are the colours from the gardens I pass on my walks - including someone's fish flag blown into a tree. 







.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

THIS WEEK, LET'S TALK ABOUT CATS. For quite a few months now  there has been a strong activist movement in New Zealand for local councils to make a law that people have to keep their pet cats inside at night so they won’t kill our native birds. What amazes me is how little they know, or even care to know, about the behaviour and roles of cats.  

When it comes to anything harming birds it seems to raise an obsessive rage in some people’s breasts. People like Gareth Morgan, who started up the original onslaught against cats. I would have thought they would have done some study of their actual facts beforehand. Passionate emotion is good,  but surely it would be preferable if they actually connected these emotions together with their thinking brain.

Anyone who has owned a cat knows: - Cat’s only chase to catch moving things – a twist of paper on a string, a leaf blowing across a deck, a bird hopping across a lawn or fluttering in a tree.  

Birds go to sleep at night. They don’t move.

But rats, mice and stoats move. They move at night and they are out running around and climbing trees to eat the eggs of native birds, baby chicks and anything else edible they can find to eat. Only our native owl, the Morepork, and the cats can see them moving and they are out to stalk and kill these vermin. Unfortunately they can’t also kill the opossums and hedgehogs which are also out to dine on our native birds.

Cat’s tend to bring home their kill to show off to their owners and it will be mice and rats that is found on the doorstep in the mornings, never a bird.

Not enough credit is being given either, to the high intelligence of birds. They soon learn how to avoid a cat and only their weak, old and the runts are caught by a cat, which, by the way,  ensures only the strongest and healthiest of birds breed and multiply.

I apologise though because I do keep my cat in at night. Just to ensure she won’t be hit by a car or have the possibility of being killed if investigating a set opossum trap.

See the poem over on FACEBOOK - Lois E Hunter about just one of the the roles a cat plays in our lives



Saturday, 29 July 2017

NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

YAY, IT'S THE 4TH THURSDAY OF THE MONTH AGAIN - which means it is the Kawau Island's Bookworms day.

This is the day we get together in one of our member's homes to share the books we have been reading, share some food and maybe wine, swap philosophies and talk about what has been going on in our life since we last got together. Because it is mid-winter now, some of our members are away holidaying overseas but there were still enough of us here to celebrate Ruth's birthday ( centre front)
which had been a couple of day's earlier.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

ANOTHER RAINY DAY but not unexpected for this time of the year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDRbF80NKDU  - a bit of  Brook Benton for you



Here is a photograph of one our native wood pigeons hunched up trying to ignore it.

















Having a micro-climate here, our longest season is Spring. It starts in early winter. The paper whites and snowflakes are now past their best, then it is the turn of the jonquils and in the last 3 days here come the King Alfred daffodils - in the morning there were a couple out but by late afternoon more suddenly appeared and I brought them inside before the rain broke them down. I am putting up with sneezing because their perfume is so full of promise.

Friday, 14 July 2017

NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

IT IS EASY to get into habits, both good and not so good, living on an Island.






One good habit is walking and I try to make sure I fit in a walk sometime during the day, even if it is winter and knowing there is a gale blowing outside of the shelter of my section.













video
On Thursday while lower New Zealand was under severe weather conditions, further north it was more like a decent winter gale instead. To take the video clip shown here I had one arm wrapped around a sign to try and steady both myself and the phone while I was pointing toward Auckland. I was hoping to record the huge roaring of the wind in the trees around me that was so loud it was making it hard to think - but the wind blowing over the microphone has drowned it out




Still talking of walking - the, not so good habit, is always wearing bare feet, sneakers or gumboots and when there is an invitation due from the Mainland and you wish to dress up for it, you realise your feet are not used to shoes. So now to each day is being added more and more time learning to walk in shoes again. It's taking a bit longer than I thought.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

IT IS NOT ALWAYS EASY living on the Island in winter. Though, this is the time I reserve for doing a lot of my poetry writing when the bay is empty and the weekenders won't be back for two or three months, some days I can feel very shut in. It's the old story of one being quite comfortable in a room with the door shut, but as soon as its locked, feeling trapped.



Usually its problems with the car not going, but since I barged it over to the mechanic to fix, it's been great. This time its the road confining me - our local councillor has now come back to me with assurances it will be fixed in the near future, so I am still walking the hill - which seems to get steeper as the days get more wintry.

These are the days that I bless my reliable granny-trolley to bring up my groceries.  Sometimes I am tempted to hang brightly coloured ribbons and bells off it, like some people do with bicycles, to show how much I value its work. But then, I wouldn't want to appear eccentric would I?

Monday, 3 July 2017

MEANDERINGS free copy result

This is to advise all those who entered into the draw for a free copy of my poetry book MEANDERINGS, that the winner was Liz of Christchurch, New Zealand Thank you for your entries.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

THERE IS NO ESCAPING THE FACT IT IS NOW WINTER and one has to look hard to find any colour other than variations of green or mud in my daily bush walks.
The  toadstools and the arum lilies are yet to arrive but the bright red-orange fungi are starting to appear on the felled pine trees. 




It is still a while to go also for the bulbs to start their orchestrated display but the green is brightened in the meanwhile with the bromeliads   




And the occasional chilled looking flower which hasn't caught on that it is winter yet.







Friday, 23 June 2017

NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

TIME TO DO an update on the progress of MEANDERINGS, my latest book of poetry.

It's a strange life being a poet. It's not something I can talk about in general conversation, like gardening, or a day at the office, or the difficulty of researching information towards a novel. The closest analogy I can find, is that it's a bit like cooking. Only you can create the outcome. You can feel and see what you want the end result to be, in your head, but having to keep on tasting, adjusting the ingredients, getting the balance right and you'd hope to have something to show for your efforts by the end of the day to be appreciated by your guests. Also, with cooking, your creating is being transferred directly into the movement of your hands. Creating a book is all done in the head, the writing down of it is incidental and may be days or even months later months later.


A novel is telling one continuous story, with various twists and turns along the way.
A book of poems is a collection of separate stories, stories in miniature. Both types of book can take years to write. Go to facebook.com/Lois-E-Hunter  for my poetry page.    

My previous book, "When We Were Old," was about going through the process of accepting retirement. MEANDERINGS carries on from there; the poet being out and about questioning where to go now in these last chapters of life.


And you never know whether all those years of living in your head was worth it. I am delighted that MEANDERINGS has been selling so well. Here are some excerpts taken from the reviews posted on Amazon.com


Roger Horrocks:   “…poems which are clear, colourful and emotionally rich, with a distinctive feel for language… allowing us to share the experiences and landscapes of her life (‘I know the sounds of each place / I know the smell of it’).”

Diana Holt:   “…Each one [poem] stirs the mind and you feel you are part of these events which brings up your own memories of maybe similar times and places. Maybe, you think " I should slow down and see the beauties of nature right before my eyes"

Vicki:  “ My husband was very impressed, he said it was the first poetry book he found easy to read and he is now working his way through the book

Diane Gray:  “..A great read. Our favourites goodbye Colin and the lessons of three.


Anita:  “… A quiet and thoughtful meander with a gentle soul


MEANDERINGS is available as a hardback and paperback from Barnes and Noble. Hardback and paperback from Xlibris.co.nz .  Hardback, paperback and Kindle from amazon.com

And for Aucklanders, the paperback of MEANDERINGS is available from Matakana Village Bookshop.

All the copies I had and was offering at a special discounted price have been sold, except for one - and seeing sales have gone so well, let's give it away FREE. Send me an email by close off date, 3rd July  and I'll put you in the draw to win it. No, I won't pass on your email address to anyone else.

My email is: lois.e.hunter2@gmail.com

UPDATE:  30th  June. For Kookaburra members. I have more copies arriving at the end of next week. If you wish for a copy then please contact me at the above email. Many thanks for the recent enquiries.



Saturday, 17 June 2017

NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

I WAS JUST ONE OF THE THOUSANDS  who set their alarm clocks for before 6.30 a.m this morning just so as to be sitting in their lounge, wrapped in dressing gown and  cuddly blankey with a coffee by their side, to watch the yachts racing for the America's Cup.

Kawau Island is all about boats, in one way or another and I am one among many of us was brought up on, at the very least. the subject of boats from early childhood. The boating stories stay the same with adaptions. All that has changed is how the shape, construction and speed of the modern boats are so very different in such a short space of time.

I have borrowed the photo of the magnificent yacht off Paul C Gilbert's Facebook page of a photo from Edouard Ollivier to contrast it with a recent photograph of a contestant for the America's Cup. By the way did others notice that the wake from these foiled boats looks like parallel rows of equal marks?

It is going to be days now of thinking boats, boats, boats, so I'll be posting a boat poem over on my poetry page under Facebook Lois E Hunter.
photograph from yachtingworld.com 

Friday, 9 June 2017

NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

BELOW IS A HALF HOUR VIDEO  ALL ABOUT KAWAU ISLAND FILMED FOR NEW ZEALAND TELEVISION . The Islanders are so rapt

with it we all wan't to live here all over again.

But before that, here is what is going to happen to our wharf for the next 3 months. The barge is loaded with gear and ready to start.




They told me that they lift each piles, water blast it, put a plastic sleeve around it, replace pile, then pump concrete down between plastic and wooden pile . Fortunately because it is one of the only two public wharves on the Island the bay does not have to pay for the repairs. Yay!!




I have also been restricted to walking lately because one narrow section of the road has so deeply rutted on one side of the road my car would bottom out on it if I tried to pass - see umbrella indicating depth - but I was assured that it is going to be fixed early next week - Yay again !!!



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONPlqKU_bdM&feature=youtu.be


Friday, 2 June 2017

NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

EVEN ON RAINY DAYS I TRY TO MOTIVATE MYSELF  into taking a walk because  by the nature of being a poet I spend a lot of time sitting. Though, as an aside, I would like the choice of using the car when I want to go down to the wharf, which I shall be doing on daybreak tomorrow morning and then return again in the dark when I go and visit with the children in Auckland, Most of the road, though muddy is passable but in one very narrow part the road has become so deeply rutted, and getting more so with the influx of 4 wheel drives in my bay, which means my car will bottom out if I try to pass through. On the plus side, because of walking slower because of  the mud, I become more observant (and nosy) of something I may otherwise glance over because it is so familiar .

Out yesterday in the rain I took more notice of a boat that was stranded/abandoned and just visible in the scrub and I slid through the mud to have a closer look - the rain was quite heavy so the photographs are not as clear as they could be. My first reaction on getting close was thinking how it's so sad to see any boat come to the end of its days, the second being this would make a great "tiny home" and I wished I had the skills to salvage and restore it. The biggest surprise though was to  make my way around to the bow and see it's name - "Hummingbird." another take on the poem I recently wrote  with the same name. -  - - see the poem on my poetry page  under my  Facebook writing name   of lois e hunter




Friday, 26 May 2017

NEWS FROM THE ISLAND

WISH YOU WERE HERE we say. Last weekend two of the "bookabach" bookings in our bay cancelled because of the Mainland weather reports, not realising that we have a micro-climate out here on the Island. Yes, maybe we had a few mornings down to 3*C on the waterfront, but the days warmed up quickly to a comfortable 17*C - 18*C once the sun was up.

So this week I thought I would share a couple of photographs of what is looking particularly pretty in the gardens and a brief video clip of what sort of days we were having here, in the beginning of winter (though the Mainland at the time was having wind and rain) when I walked down to enjoy Mansion House Bay and the gardens.



The Hibiscus are still flowering
Clivia Gardenii

Clivia Gardenii have been planted en mass under
native Titoki tree in the front garden.
( Note: the Clivia Society of South Africa have
been advised these plants, originally brought in by
Sir George Grey, from South Africa are here and
they come to the Island to especially see them.
video



This octopus looking tangle are of the
flower skeleton left after the seeds have
fallen off the native Nikau palm