Things That Rustle in the Night – or – No Nasties in New Zealand

No words really...

No words really…

Much as I enjoy wandering around the fascinating tropical areas of Asia, there are times when I’m pretty glad I live in New Zealand. As I sit here right now (about midnight), in my awning outside my tiny house caravan, I can hear loud rustling outside amongst the dry leaves – the rustlings of a nocturnal creature of some sort. I am remaining fairly calm about this, because I know the odds are it’s just Russell, the avocado-eating prickle-critter. Russell won’t eat me. He just eats snails, slugs, cat biscuits (stolen ones taste best) and avocados. I think that’s why he lives around my tiny house – it’s situated under a plum tree and an avocado tree, and lately it’s been raining avos down so hard that it pays to wear a helmet outside. A veritable feasting ground for a prickle-critter.

Russell the prickle-critter, saving me from nasty vicious avocados.

Russell the prickle-critter, saving me from nasty vicious avocados.

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Beautiful New Zealand – My Middle Earth and a Habitat for Hobbits

I realised a little while ago that I tend to rave on about places in Asia that I’ve been to – especially Elephant Nature Park – but not really raved very much about the beautiful little country of my birth. So here’s a little rant about my place – Aotearoa, ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’. Also know as Godzone by the denizens of the land, or Middle Earth to the world, since Peter Jackson used the exquisite scenery here as the background for The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. We may not have elephants here, but we do have hobbits. Yessss, we doesss.

The North Island of New Zealand (Middle Earth) with directions on where to find stuff.

The North Island of New Zealand (Middle Earth) with directions on where to find stuff.

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This is Why I Haven’t Been Posting on my Blog…

Life’s been mad since we arrived home from North Thailand. We’ve been to a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, Cirque du Soleil, our primary school reunion, spent time with my brother who whizzed over from Australia especially for the reunion, then caught up with an old friend, broke down in his driveway, his lady came off her scooter and smashed her elbow so we loaded her into an ambulance, then we came home in a tow truck, got the van fixed, greeted my daughter who’s been overseas studying and visiting many countries, saw her off again today to Wellington where she’s off to finish her second degree in Summer School and in between all that have planted a garden, harvested some bamboo, done several 30-hour shifts at work and have almost caught up with the washing – I think. Phew!! I am now gravely considering going for a nana nap…

You too can look like this after your holiday…

You too can look like this after your holiday…

Goldirocks and the Three Wild Pigs – it’s Out!!

It’s official! It’s out! And it’s available online!!!

A few months ago we helped a Kiwi friend of ours record a CD of  New Zealand Music for Kids that she had written. We all had heaps of fun creating it. Picture four Kiwi adults and a cello in a hatchback car, buzzing around Auckland (New Zealand), getting lost while trying to find the recording studio, then playing the ukulele really really fast and talking and snorting like wild pigs. We had a blast, and much to our delight it’s now available to the general public. Check it out – there are all sorts of music styles on it, and it’s the kind of music that adults can actually enjoy when the kids keep thrashing it.

We featured in ‘Goldirocks and the Three Wild Pigs’, a Bluesy modern version of the old story that explains why crime doesn’t pay, plus I played ukulele here and there and also did some background vocals, on a few of the other songs. That’s us on the cover. We’re rather pleased with our hairstyles…

Big congratulations to Jodi, the album’s author. From conception, this album has been fifteen years in the making. You done good girl!!

Check it out HERE

That’s us – Mama and Papa Pig!

That’s us – Mama and Papa Pig!

Bicycle Madness

Does my mohawk look big in this...?

Does my mohawk look big in this…?

Back in our lil’ home town in New Zealand, we decided to go for a bike ride to the supermarket. ‘Tis a lovely day on a long holiday weekend, and many tourists were out and about. It was amazing how many smiles we got.

Outside the supermarket, a friend did a double-take. ‘I thought you were still in Thailand’, she said. ‘I saw this person with a mohawk on her helmet and thought to myself “Rave would wear something like that”, and then I realised it WAS you!’

Lol. It would appear that my insanity lingers, even though I’m theoretically not here…

Here’s a link to a cool page about bicycle appreciation – BICYCLE LOVE

Serious about bike riding.

Serious about bike riding.

A Big Thank You for Donating to the Elephant Nature Park Projects

A Big Thank You to these business in our lil’ town in New Zealand:

Whangamata Veterinary Hospital for their kind donations of supplies for us to take to Elephant Nature Park for their animals.

Sunny’s, Whangamata, for their donations of pencils and T-shirts for us to take to the free school for Cambodian kids that ENP is developing at the Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary.

And Whangamata Library for donating books for the kids also.

Big smiles and thanks to all of you – I know this stuff is going to be really appreciated at the other end. 🙂

Mong Dee keeps bananas at the ready while Sao Yai bathes in ecstacy...

Mong Dee keeps bananas at the ready while Sao Yai bathes in ecstacy…

Lizard Queen of Navarac – (Contains Lizards).

Tiny house living has its idiosyncracys. Such as being stuck inside a small space during very bad weather. A couple of winters back I had the dubious pleasure of experiencing this while it rained for two weeks solid. After several days I got to wondering if I should tie 44 gallon drums around the outside of my wee home, while nursing visions of it lifting from the ground and gently drifting out to sea.

A bottle of wine or two combined with over a week of solitude, and three nights later, I had written a poem/saga encompassing the visions that flashed through my head. It contains lizards because I’m great fan of them and somehow a collection of lizards ornaments and doodads has grown around me over the years. Funny what happens in a 17ft-long tiny house when the rain and the wine do flow…

Never had the lizards seen a sighting like the Lizard Queen, leading from the towbar thus...

Never had the lizards seen a sighting like the Lizard Queen, leading from the towbar thus…

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The Otis Files. Otis – The Final Tail. Or Not…

Otis finally left us at the age of 16. Apparently in her last two weeks she would go and visit some people around the corner who had two huge dogs and several cats. They told us that she would walk up to the animals’ bowls and help herself to their food, then lie down in the garden, and their dogs and cats would all lie down around her. On the last day they found her in her final sleep, in the same situation.

In some of the later photos here, her physical deterioration is evident, but she was still really big on the inside… Continue reading