Monday, October 20, 2014

Loaves and fishes....

Well, only the loaves at this point.
On Saturday I went over to Ambury Park to visit with Roy and Bernice, fellow fulltimers. Bernice had kindly offered me some of her sourdough starter. Not being one to turn down such an offer, I took my sister Valerie, who's driveway I am currently parked up in while I wait for the medical stuff to sort itself out.
I had baked some date and cranberry scones and Bernice had made some awesome lemon muffins, complete with cream cheese centres, lovely!
So we chatted and attempted to solve the problems of the world, unsuccessfully I must admit, but progress was made!
It was a bit of a rainy day on and off but after leaving there Valerie and I headed over to Roger's Plants in Mangere. What an amazing place and we walked out empty handed as we couldn't find what she wanted and the queues were just huge and the weather was very damp.
So after returning home I decided that I would start the bread making process.
So after 2 days of fun with dough, I have ended up with the following.




Two very different loaves with different tastes, considering that they started off from the same mix. I altered the rising and resting and kneading for each loaf and got an amazing result. The cob loaf is slightly under cooked, but still very edible with a lovely open crumb and a great taste. The loaf is a tighter crumb with a slightly stronger taste with a great crust and soft crumb.
I am quite chuffed with the result and look forward to making heaps more.

Update on what is going on.....
Medical issues still outstanding, waiting for a CT scan on the other ear as there seems to be an issue developing there....
Stone cold deaf in the left ear at the moment with not a good outlook for the future, suffering from awesome vertigo and dizzyness but have good drugs to cope with that.
So a bit in limbo for the next little bit while this all gets sorted out.....or not!
Not going to let this get to me, what will be, will be.

So after a couple of meetings this week I am heading up to the Heavyweights Rally in Warkworth this weekend, then heading up to see my lovely sister in Whangarei and maybe staying for my niece's Halloween weekend.
After that.....who knows!

Safe travels everyone.  

Friday, October 10, 2014

Bits and Pieces….

One of the great things about having a brother-in-law like Roger is that his mind works in wondrous and mysterious ways, and when I have a project or a problem, I tend to send it to him for perusal and thought and eventually he will come up with a wonderful solution and way to create/solve said task, project or issue. So this weekend has been a great success so far.

But before getting on to those, a quick update on Joe.

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He is doing well and tomorrow (Sunday) he and I are going to get very closely acquainted over a kneading board and hot oven.

Medical update… getting there very slowly. Dr visited on Thursday for suture removal and packing removal. I explained to him the fact that I was very unstable, suffering badly from tinnitus, vertigo and feeling of nausea. He then made another appointment to see the surgeon next week as this should not be happening apparently. So will keep you all posted.

So Task 1: I have been deliberating over some form of planter on the shelf in front of the windscreen of the bus with some flowers or edibles in and so I finally found a great planter, saucer and pot stuck together which I think will look great there.

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The issue was to lock it into position so it won’t decide to head out through said windscreen of it’s own volition and create a mess. I was exploring to possibility of using some bungee cord over the saucer when Roger appears with a couple of L shaped screw hooks. “Try these”. So the outcome with some judicious plastic tubing is ….

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SO there are two hooks at each end and they can be opened (not easily) for removal of planter, but when locked in the planter has absolutely no movement at all.

Currently planted in it is a patio tomato (miniature) and two Angel’s Wings. We will see how they all survive.

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Task 2: There has been a bit of an issue moving my Minicat when it is assembled and rather than drag it on the keel, I have been looking around for a way of supporting the boat on wheels and enabling me to drag it down to the water. After much searching I found….

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and surprisingly enough not interested at that price, but still the ideas started…..

SO I sent off a picture to Roger and said that I was looking to make something similar using the existing wheels for the kayak so that I didn’t have to store another set of wheels…

So after finding an old housewash brush…

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we removed the handle and used it to create…..

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So now with a couple of rivets, a pair of old bunge cords, a length of new bungee cord we now have….

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That works like….

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So I can now lift and pull from the front, protecting the keels under the pontoons, and when sailing…

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It sits there beautifully out of the way and I don’t have to head back to the bus to keep it safe.

The cost…..mmmm about $2.50 all up for two pieces of bungee cord and 4 rivets (we had to redo them as we ended up with the wheels too close to the pontoons first time round. . The washbrush was heading for recycling, the bungee cords were shot so we reused the ends of them and about 3 mins of drilling holes.

So two things done and I’m now set up to have a bread making session tomorrow with Joseph.

Hopefully I’ll remember to take some pics on the way tomorrow…

Safe travels everyone…

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Introducing Joseph….

One of the things that has been discussed by people I have met is the issue of being on my own. Isn’t it lonely? are you bored? and all the associated questions…

So I have decided to bite the bullet and yesterday I have begun a friendship with Joseph….

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I have for a long time been toying with the possibility of bread making in the bus and have reached the conclusion that it can be done, and have started with Joseph, a sourdough starter. So today is Day 2 and Joseph is behaving well and has been fed today and in another 3 days I should be able to make my first loaf of sourdough bread. It is quite exciting and after viewing a heap of YouTube videos about creating lovely sourdough breads it should be a lot of fun and also enable me to have lovely fresh bread as often as I want. I am going to pick up a shelf from my kiln on the way through to add to the bread making equipment and help make great loaves. I have some that will fit into the oven in the Fredrock Cafe but if necessary I can cut one to fit.

So another health update to follow the last….

It has been a slow and wobbly recovery from the anaesthetic rather that the actual surgery I think. I went and did some grocery shopping yesterday and it took nearly 45 mins to get around the supermarket and then slept most of the afternoon, so realise that I am not quite there yet…. Am due back to get stitches out tomorrow (Thursday). There is a small incision in the back of the lobe of my left ear where I believe the surgeon took a piece of it to create the start of a reconstruction to replace the bone that he took out in June last year. This I believe has created the dizziness and vertigo issues. So hopefully due to move out again this weekend.

Safe travels…

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Medical Update

Just a quick update on my health.

Had a minor operation yesterday to check on the results of my cholesteatoma surgery last June.

The surgeon went in through the ear drum to check on regrowth and this was clear and clean so he has done a minor bit of reconstruction to assist my hearing as he had to remove a small bone last year.

I am currently in the car park of the medical centre after being released today but am too wobbly to drive anywhere.This is mainly due to the packing in my ear but also the amount of morphine still in my system from the anaesthetic.

Hope to move off tomorrow, but will not rush this.

Thanks for all the kind words from my readers…

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Karioitahi, Waiuku & Flyscreens

After leaving Duder I headed through to Ambury Farm Park for the night and had a bit of a wander around the coastal walk.

I know realise I forgot to take a pic of the Fredrock Cafe insitu there. Ahh well!  It was very very windy there but not too bad a night. Quite impressed by the number of school children there both days.

From there I headed over towards Pukekohe as I had to sign some papers for the sale of one of the houses (finally!).

So after that little exercise I headed out towards Waiuku and Karioitahi Beach for a couple of hours…

It was VERY windy there with the wind howling off the Tasman Sea but still quite interesting.

I ended up contacting a lovely couple that I had met some months ago when I was up at the Awhitu Regional Park and they had said that I could drop by and park up, so I sent a text message and I was welcome to stay. Nick, Kristine and their daughter Sam are a lovely young family who are keen to eventually get on the road, but currently have a lifestyle block full of horses, cattle, sheep, chickens and a dog. So they care rather tied down at the moment. It will happen eventually for them.

After telling Kristine that she didn’t need to feed me, she told me that I had lucked out as she had a lovely lamb roast in the oven and would be welcome to join them. While peeling potatoes and helping Nick with dinner, we talked politics, business, world peace and the price of hay. A lovely evening thanks guys. I will be back!

So from there I have moved through to Ardmore Airport again for a couple of days.

So for my lovely friend and ex school mate Ursula here is the down low on the fly screens….

So I purchased a set of magnetic fly screens from the Warehouse (actually 2 sets).

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On looking at them I decided that the edging was a little flimsy as it was very similar to the last set I had.

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The object of the exercise is to velcro the screens to the door frame and then the magnets attract each other and close automatically.

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In taking them on and off, the edges get frayed quickly, so a quick trip to Spotlight, I purchased some 36mm edging tape and some good velcro.

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I (yes I) sewed the tape along the edges and tops of both pieces of the screens and as my door is not a nice square I had to shape the left hand edge to fit.

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So once I had the shape and the edging tape on I fitted it and then sewed the velcro strips to the tape.

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These attach to the other side that is stuck onto the exterior of the bus

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So they now go up easily and quickly and are effective in keeping the flying insects out. All ready for the summer onslaught!

Hope this helps.

So I am heading to Manukau for my op next Wednesday then no idea what is going to happen for the next little while……

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Duder Regional Park

After a week hiding in Auckland, via Walton, staying with sisters and having a rather interesting job interview, I am taking a few days out before my little ear operation and have ended up at the Auckland Regional Council’s Duder Regional Park. This is a 148 hectare coastal farm park that is located on the Whakakaiwhara Peninsula, which juts out into the Tamaki Strait. It sits between Clevedon and Maraetai. I believe that it has only recently been opened for camping and self contained overnighting. 

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It is a rather nice place with heaps of sheep and lambs at the moment. They are quite friendly as well.

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There are a couple of lovely walks around the peninsula and you can ride your mountain bike around one of them. So that may well be on the cards for tomorrow.

I wandered around towards the beach in the pouring rain to see how far I had to drag the kayak to get to the beach but have decided that I will need to go to Umupuia Beach to launch the kayak if the weather is nice enough over the next couple of days.

On the way as I climbed up from the beach track to the Farm Loop track, I came across a nest of what I believe are Plover eggs.

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So the weather has fined up and I am sitting here in glorious sunshine as I update this blog, with my roast defrosting for dinner tomorrow night…..  yummy! Chicken and veges tonight. Must look for smoking chicken recipes now that I have the smoker.

Tomorrow I will do a bit of an update on the fly screens for those that are interested.

Safe travels.