Welcome to tales of my stitching life, home, family and friends.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Holiday Stitching

Not a great deal of stitching has been happening on this trip – just a little more on my teddy stitchery.  I’ve now added some blue flowers to the yellow daisy garland, it’s looking quite nice I think.  By doing a little stitching here and there, it all slowly adds up.

A little more done on this

We had a fun day out with Awakeri Rail Adventures the other day   on one of those dinky little  rail carts, traveling along the former Taneatua Branch Line.  Rail traffic declined over the years and the line closed in 2001.  Awakeri Rail Adventures was set up by former NZR engine driver, Paul Francis in 2014, after hard work clearing the overgrown track.   We were to travel on modified golf carts, although we weren’t going anywhere until we were given the necessary safety briefing.

Ready for our adventure

Luckily the heavy morning rain had eased before our trip started.  Robin was given instructions on how to operate the cart, and I was given responsibility of becoming the radio operator.  This notice was firmly attached to the steering wheel, which incidentally, does no steering at all!


The wheels on the cart made a delightful “Clackety Clack” railway sound as we trundled along, slowing at the Slow and pausing at the Give Way signs as the railway line passed over bridges and farm tracks.    The two way radio crackled to life instructing Robin to “Pull up here by the orange cone”.  My goodness, just look at all the birds racing to meet us, chooks, ducks and geese.  They know it must be feeding time, and we were handed a container of corn to feed them.  I’ve never had such a crowd so happy to see me!  There was some rather handsome plumage on the roosters, together with very sharp looking spurs, I noticed.

They all know it’s feeding time

Our next stop was at the 4.5 hectare  White Pine Bush Reserve, a rare example of untouched lowland kahikatea forest.  We took a bush walk into the reserve and our guide pointed out a 600 year old kahikatea tree so tall we couldn't see the top.  How wonderful that this piece of forest has been saved from the axe for all to enjoy.

Kahikatea trees and Nikau Palms

Our next stop was  in the middle of nowhere at a rather rustic shelter.  The billy was boiled, tea,  coffee, and biscuits produced, and we settled down to enjoy our afternoon tea.  Then we traveled up to the end of the line, and the rail carts were turned around on the small turntable.

Cart on the turntable

It was much quicker on the return trip with no stops on the homeward journey.  We spotted several pheasants and quail on the side of the track as we traveled along, they soon flew off when we came too close.  And look, here we are, back we we started from at Awakeri Station.  It was a wonderful trip, something we had wanted to do for a while, and we certainly enjoyed our afternoon riding the rails.  Thoroughly recommended and such good fun.

Such a fun afternoon

We are now at Island View Holiday Camp, joining in with our ICA friends for a three day rally.  At the beach we got a glimpse of the volcanic island Whakaari / White Island, which erupted on 9th December 2019.  There were 47 people on the island at the time. This tragedy left twenty-one people dead, including two who missing and declared dead, and a further twenty-six people suffered injuries, mainly severe burns.  We took a trip out to the island some years ago, it is a weird place with the smell of sulphur in the air, I remember we had to wear hard hats and gas masks.

Whakaari White Island

Previous to coming here,  we had get permission to bring our cat Gemma, so she became a “pre approved pet”.  And sign a Dog Policy when we checked in, (yes, we know she is a cat) agreeing to keep Gemma on a lead on our own site,  and not walk her around the camp.

What’s in this bag, she wonders?

This rally is the “Big 0 and 5 Rally” for those celebrating major birthdays and anniversaries this year.  We started off with a splendid roast lunch cooked on members BBQs, roast lamb, roast pork, roast veggies, oh so tasty.  Followed by celebration cake, we were certainly spoiled.  Everyone helped with cooking, preparations, or dishes.  And we were rather taken with our dining friend’s snazzy wine bottle cooler, just right for a couple of “grey nomads”.

Lunch time

Then the awards were made.  Two couples were celebrating their 60th Anniversaries, and there were five big birthdays, including me!  (I’ll be turning 75 in October).  Cathie made and presented  all the beautiful cards.

Happy Birthday

Today, Sunday, is the shortest day of the year.  And it is pouring with rain outside, so no chance of sitting outside doing a little stitching in the sunshine.  What sunshine?  Gemma is quite happy, doing what she does best, relaxing on the caravan bed.  Cat’s certainly have a great life, don’t they!

Time for another snooze


loulee said...

Your ride on the rails looks interesting.
Enjoy the rest of your trip.

ButterZ said...

Sounds like it was a great day out on the mini rail. That feast looks amazing. I'm sure you enjoyed the celebration very much. Your stitchery is very cute. Yippee for the shortest day of the year. We are on the upwards to more daylight and sunshine...

Maria said...

The teddy stitchery is looking very cute..
The mini train ride sure did look like fun with many interesting things to do and see.
What a delicious feed you all had for the 5 & 0 celebrations at the park.
Yes was very sad about the folks who lost their lives and others severely scarred at the volcano...

Gretchen Weaver said...

This sounds like such a fun enjoyable day! Happy Birthday! Your embroidery is lovely. While you experienced a day with less sunlight, I was enjoying the day with longer sunlight. After I finish with my evening barn chores, I've been spending time on the porch reading. It seems like it took forever for the warm temperatures to get here. Winter comes too fast, I need to enjoy these summer days while I can. Happy stitching!

Kim said...

How wonderful you are out and about again enjoying the gorgeous scenery of your island and meeting up with friends again. Oh, to walk through those trees and to look up and not see the top of them. The little train trip looked like a lot of fun and as for your Gemma, she certainly looks snuggly and cosy sleeping on that gorgeous quilt. Your adorable teddy embroidery is lovely; such a sweet expression on the face.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

it looks like you are having a lovely time traveling - I remember hearing about the New Zealand volcano and the poor people that were there at the time. I love that card you received for your birthday.

Quilter Kathy said...

What a fun adventure you had! Such a great idea to convert an old railway line for this purpose. Thanks for taking us along on the adventure!
Thanks for linking up to Slow Sunday Stitching!

Julierose said...

Teddy is really rejoicing in all those lovely embroidered flowers you are stitching...
sounds like a great get together on your journey...
Hugs from "still at homebase"-- Julierose

Quilter Kathy said...

I think my first comment got eaten by Blogger?
Just wanted to thank you for sharing your adventure.. sounds like a wonderful time and it's such a great idea to convert an old railway line into a tourist sight seeing opportunity!

Jocelyn is Canadian Needle Nana said...

It's a toss up for me which posts I enjoy more, those Sew Wots or your caravan travels. For the travelling I feel like I should have a map of New Zealand by my side as you venture to the most interesting places. I'm so happy you are out of quarantine and can do this and Gemma can enjoy the experiences as well. I also enjoy your photos of food, Jenny. Yes you do have a large birthday coming...I will be 69 in August so I am catching up!

linda said...

Your trip sounds so interesting, I love your Teddy stitchery it's so cute!

LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

That looks like a really fun trip! Love the rail ride in the golf cart and celebrating the birthdays with friends, too. Happy Birthday, Jenny!

CathieJ said...

That "train" ride looks like fun. The stitching on your bear is very pretty. What a wonderful way to pre-celebrate your birthday! It sounds like you had a whole lot of fun during your travels.

Jill said...

Teddy is cute! Some stitching on a trip is better than none. Looks like a great trip and glad you can travel. Yesterday was our shortest day.

Michelle Ridgway said...

Your teddy is sweet. Looks like a wonderful time. Happy birthday to you also. What a gorgeous card. Your feathered friends were very keen x

Janice said...

Your stitchery is very cute. Is it pre printed? Is this a different rail cart trip to the one you did a while ago? Are there a few of the in NZ? It does look like a fun way to travel. Funnily enough, Mick bought a framed print of that very Grey Nomad picture on the wine carrier in an op shop n Friday and it is now hanging in our caravan. What a coincidence. I can’t believe that it is nearly 5 years since your 70th! Where did that go.

Jackie said...

What a lovely trip. Glad you got to take your fur baby with you.

God bless.

Karen S said...

What a wonderful trip. There always seems so much to see and do. The railway looks fascinating. And love the photo of feeding time!

FlourishingPalms said...

Your rail ride looks like so much fun! What a great way to see the countryside, and in a way that not many people have the chance to do. So interesting to see that volcano across the way too. That had to have been an interesting earlier visit, and I'm sure you're glad you went there when you did! I appreciate being able to see other parts of the world. I admire New Zealand, and am glad I had the chance to visit when I did, in 2009.