17 February 2013

Picking strawberries

We had a fun day, starting with the Clive River Market Day.  This market is on each year at Art Deco weekend.  There were a few children's rides, some food stalls, a raffle, white elephant, 2 streets of retailers and a car show.

One product caught my eye - the ECOplus 400lt household grey water recycling system.  Water from your washing machine and shower/bath is routed to a holding tank where it  'cleans itself' and sent to your toilet cistern to be used as flush water.  You also have the option of using the grey water on the garden with the installation of a second motor.  The 12v electric pump costs $18 per annum to run and plugs into an internal 230/240v socket or can run off solar.  It needs to be cleaned every 3 months and a couple of pool chlorine tablets added each week (dilutes to about 2 ppm).  It's not an impulse item at a price tag of $3100 plus any modifications and installation but definitely something I would be very interested in having installed.

The highlight though of the market day was the car show under the shade of the trees.  Everything from the modern MGs to a Ford GT, a Road Runner, a Cobra, classic cars, a musical truck, custom-builds and more.  40 cars by the time we left and more arriving all the time.  Vega was drooling over the (mainly American muscle) cars.  I asked her what she'd think if her dad owned one, and her reply "I think I would be wanting to get my license"!  

I find it quizzical that even though I am not a motorhead (nor a plane buff) that I can still appreciate the workmanship and beauty in the vehicles!

Not wanting to waste the day we stopped by the Pakowhai Country Park for a walk.  The pathways are predominantly wide, & lime stone covered, making for easy access.  Kita travelled in the backpack which worked well.  I don't think we would have been able to get an outdoor pram around the circuit as there are unusual gated turnstiles that would have made it impossible on the longer route we took.  On the shorter one it may have been possible.  There are no facilities here unless you count the 2 long-drops that one wonders if they are still in commission.  Both are out of the way, and one had no door, so you'd need to be desperate to chance it.  It would be a nice place to bring a picnic, read a book, or let the children play among the trees.  

The one thing that let's this park down is that dogs are walked here off their leads.  It made us think twice about entering (the park is fenced) as 2 of our own children have been bitten by dogs, with one requiring micro-surgery and the other barely missing an artery. It was sheer pig-headness (and perhaps not the 'safest' parenting decision) that we stayed to explore.  Sadly we won't be going back there because of the dogs.

Anyway after that and with imminent rumbling tummys we headed off to explore the grocers along Pakowhai and Longlands Road to see if we could pick up strawberries for lunch/afternoon tea (well don't they say that its cheaper to eat fruit 'in season'?!).  Our round trip took us up to The Strawberry Patch on Havelock Road, where we picked our own.  The children really enjoyed this, and plan to do it again asap.  You are given a bucket to pick into, told where you are allowed to be, and off you go.  Afterward your strawberries are weighed.  

At $3 per kg, they compare favourably to the $7 for 1st grade or $5 for seconds.  Our bucket was filled to the 6l mark and weighed 3kg.  We bought some tomatoes at $1/kg to make tomato sauce; and were given a couple of pottles of chocolate sauce for free (it was post-dated) and off we went to enjoy our strawberries, french vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and meringues.  Yum!  [Read about our second experience at the Strawberry Patch in 2014].

Hawke's Bay

What new food, place, event or activity could you explore in the next few days?

29 January 2013

Enjoying a wade in the river

Waipawa is a town that we frequently find ourselves in, but haven't stopped to see it through the eyes of a tourist.

Our usual itinerary takes us to the playground and the library, with sometimes a side tour of the local op shop.

Today we did both of the former then continued on to Waipukurau.

We stopped at the visitor information centre, a local grocers - where we got the largest scallopini you have ever seen and so cheaply, then we lunched in somewhat breezy and drizzly conditions at a park and playground.

Keen to check out another of the i-Site's recommendations for families, we headed off to the nature walk along the river and were the only car in the park.  The walk was easy even with Kita in the backpack, and didn't take too long to complete the loop-track.  

On the way home we stopped at the Waipawa River Park where the children went for a swoosh in the water (be careful here as the current is quite strong in places); and then visited the Clock Shop.  This was a surprisingly fascinating place where we all spent some time (pun not intended) looking around at the wide variety of hour-pieces.

A very full day indeed.

Hawke's Bay

What community resources exist where you are to better your life?

08 November 2012

So how does one start the process of considering a vagabond lifestyle with a largish family?

What we have done predominantly so far, is make lists. Ok, so it's me that's started them off!

  • What are our reasons for doing this tour? What goals might we have along the way (ie intellectually, physically, socially, spiritually etc)? Who do we want to be?
  • What would each of us take? Clothing and other possessions. What extra equipment have other family's found useful?
  • Where do we want to go? What do we want to experience?
  • What has to happen before we leave? Ie house repairs, cessation of services, insurances, business exit strategy etc
  • What was our budget for the last 12 months? What could it be for the next 12 months?
  • What could we do to earn a satisfactory living whilst location independent – immediately, short term (3-6 months) and longer term (12 months)? How will we access the internet?
  • What amenities / services / shops etc do we need to know where they are, in each place we go to in order for the family needs and our experience objectives to be met?

While all this may seem onerous to some, it helps me get things out of my head and clears the way for the next 'thought' to enter.

Lists are also a great way of others seeing what you are thinking, becoming involved and adding their perspective too.

Write out what your perfect life would be like.

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