Local Heart, Global Soul

January 20, 2017

Mount Isobel Takes The Final Call…

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

One of the things that I miss most after my accident is being able to just go for a nice walk.

Three years ago I also missed out on a decent walk, but one a little more taxing than I have ever made in The Netherlands.

Family Kiwidutch were on holiday in New Zealand, staying in the alpine village of Hanmer Springs, and the walk was in the top of Mount Isabel.

A long time friend of mine from Christchurch was visiting with her husband and daughter, she stayed with me and Little Mr, whilst her husband and daughter joined Himself and Kiwi Daughter getting some serious exercise.

The photographs were taken mostly by my friends husband and daughter, a few were taken by Kiwi Daughter and I think, none ended up being taken by rather cameraphobe Himself.

I mentioned earlier that I am missing a lot of the photographs that I took on this trip, of course I will add them at a later date if I find them.

In the meantime these are the last of my photographs from this trip so it’s probably easier to let the pictures talk for themselves…

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

In the following photograph, Conical Hill is the one near the centre (almost covered in dark trees) it’s the walk that has become infamous in the Kiwidutch family (story yesterday) and is a very popular walk from the Hanmer village behind it.

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

A rather fuzzier close-up of Conical Hill…

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

Mountain stream, water was apparently very, very cold…

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

Mount Isobel as seen from below…

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

Very windy at the summit…

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

Kiwi Daughter (blue jacket) and my friend daughter (red jacket) images edited for family privacy (they know who they are after all!)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

Rocky decent…

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

The long grassy stuff that they are walking though is called “tussock”…

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

Considering that Kiwi Daughter grows up in The Netherlands which is as flat as a pan-cake, this hill is an accomplishment to be proud of!

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

Conical Hill with the dark trees in the centre of the photograph, Hanmer Springs behind that, and on the other side of the hills in the far background, the road back to Christchurch.

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

(photograph © Kiwidutch Friends)

January 18, 2017

Ever Wondered What Is Inside A Bungy Rope?

Filed under: Hamner Springs & Region,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,

Three years ago whilst in Hanmer Springs, I went past one of the shops where you can get tickets for various tours and activities. One of these activities was bungy jumping. It’s safe to say that I will never ever be on the end of a bungy rope, but  that’s not to say that I am not interested in what’s inside of one of those.  It turns out that a bungy cord is not one cord, but many, all elastic and packed tightly together.  If you are a braver soul than I will ever be, and are one of those daredevils who would (or has) taken the plunge, I thought it might be interesting to see what you are investing your life in.

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

(photograph © Kiwidutch )

January 17, 2017

Just In Case Things Go Down Hill…

Filed under: Canterbury & Region,Hamner Springs & Region,NEW ZEALAND,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

Three years ago we spent Christmas and the early New Year in New Zealand.

It was a fairly short trip with just over half of the time spent visiting friends and family and the rest of the time spent in our favourite little bolt hole in Hanmer Springs.

Located roughly an hour and a half’s drive from Christchurch, the largest city in New Zealand’s South Island, Hanmer Springs is famous for it’s natural hot springs in the foot hills of the Southern Alps.

A series of mountain ranges get steadily higher behind the town, but oddly enough one of the most famous walks is to a low hill, set directly at the end of the village, called “Conical Hill”.

I have taken the short but medium stiff walk to the summit of Conical Hill many times as a kid, and three years ago it was the turn of my own children. They too have done the trip several times already, one of the most infamous was when Little Mr was a toddler and it all went wrong.

Kiwi Daughter was roughly six or seven at the time, the start of the walking track is located at the end of a steep street that runs into the centre of the Hanmer village. Himself had put Little Mr into a pushchair, and checked that the brakes were on but had not calculated on the fact that our inquisitive little boy was intrigued that the ground on one side of the  pushchair was a lot higher than on the other.

Our little man learned about slopes the hard way by leaning over the side that had a biggest drop, toppling the pushchair over sideways. Since he was well strapped in, his head made contact with the pavement along with the buggy and he opened up a gash above his eyebrow. Himself, who had only left him for less than thirty seconds as he helped Kiwi Daughter out of her car seat belt and locked the car as she scrambled out, was instantly alerted by the screams of panic and tears.

Himself quickly realised that the wound was small but that the blood flow was not. Bundling both kids back into the car he abandoned the walk and headed to the local doctor’s surgery. There, the kindly GP calmed down two frightened kids, Kiwi Daughter being alarmed not only by her little brother’s crying but also by the amounts of blood running down his face and into his clothes.

Both children were impressed with the technique used to patch up Little Mr… luckily stitches were not needed, just some special glue to seal the wound closed and several tiny strips of tape to keep it shut.

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

I had been busy cooking dinner back at our accommodation and they were late getting back so I was at the point of worry where I was regularly looking out of the window, expecting them any moment.

After that stage came the more urgent ” I hope that nothing has happened to them” stage of worry, as dinner started to dry out in the oven.

Of course those initial worries were not eased by the fact that Himself let Kiwi Daughter out of the car first when they arrived home, and she came bounding inside with stories of how her bother had been gushing blood.

We were to watch him for signs of concussion, but for the rest it soon became apparent that he was fine, it just looked far worse than it was.

Of course getting the blood stains out of the clothes was another issue, because we had a limited amount of clothes packed for the trip, but eventually that came good too.

During later trips Himself and the kids made certain to make a trip to the top of Conical Hill, each time of course this story about Little Mr’s accident would be recalled.

This trip was thankfully without incident, the kids taking the pocket camera up to the lookout point at the top because this is no longer possible for me since my accident.   One point that did shock me when I dug out these photographs: how much taller Little Mr was grown in the last three years since these photographs were taken, he is almost unrecognisable now. Both children my have changed and grown, the one thing in common was that Little Mr is never in charge of navigation, … just in case it all goes down hill.

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

(photograph © Himself & Kiwidutch kids)

January 6, 2017

Heading Out To The Coast, A Trip I can Do With My Eyes Closed…

Filed under: Hamner Springs & Region,Kaikoura & Region,PHOTOGRAPHY — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: ,
(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Family Kiwidutch spent some time in New Zealand at the end of 2013.

After easing off the effects of jet-lag in the natural hot pools of Hanmer Springs, we decided to head north and see friends who live just outside of Wellington.

We booked a spot on the ferry and headed towards Kaikoura via the inland road that connects Hanmer Springs to Kaikoura via Waiau.

It’s a beautiful road that we have travelled often on during earlier trips. but this time I was feeling tired and rather car sick so instead of taking photographs I closed my eyes and slept whilst Himself drove.

I woke when our small back road  connected with State Highway One so got a few photographs of the beginning of the trip (the bridge over the gorge just as we are leaving Hamner) and then again before we pass through Kaikoura.

I never tire of the scenery, so incredibly different to where I currently live in The Netherlands. I’ve included a few more photographs from further up the coast in this post: Ward is a tiny coastal community with nothing much to stop for except for a petrol station and a café. Many people will know of Ward’s famous “Flaxbourne weather station” … for which is it probably better that the picture does the talking. Driving through Kaikoura and seeing the various local iconic signs, stirs feelings of homesickness, even though I am actually here.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

kaikoura-to-wellington-2i-small-small

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

January 5, 2017

Kiwi Daughter Wood Prove Me Wrong…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Back in mid December 2013 Family Kiwidutch were in New Zealand on holiday.

We spent a few days in Christchurch before heading up to one of our favourite places: Hanmer Springs.

We had no sooner arrived and headed off to the hot pools  when the season’s firewood delivery truck arrived, and in error, the wood dumped partly in the small shed and partly on the lawn in front of it at the back of the property instead of in the garage.

Jason who runs the Hanmer Holiday Homes rentals apologised for the mix-up, the wood should have gone into the garage and just as we were discussing what to do next, Himself and Kiwi Daughter bounded in: they wanted to be the ones to shift it.

Apparently there is nothing like shifting two and a half cord of firewood to burn off the blues of sitting in a plane for a total of twenty-four hours, they thought the exercise would be great fun. I cautioned Kiwi Daughter against the idea that the first fifteen minutes would be great and then she would want to pack things in, but no… apparently she was even keener than Himself to take on the job. She assured me that she would see it though. I told Jason that everything had been worked out, so everyone was pleased.  After long flights I always have more problems with my asthma and my foot was sore, so I headed off to some pain killers, nebulization and a nap, leaving Little Mr comfortably reading comics because he wasn’t keen to join in with the work outside.

Meanwhile Himself and Kiwi Daughter set to work and by the time I woke up they had shifted half of the enormous pile of wood from out of the shed and in front of it and stacked it against the far wall of the double garage.

(photograph © Kiwidutch) NOTE: Shed in distant back above top left of picnic table.

(photograph © Kiwidutch) NOTE: Shed in distant back above top left of picnic table.

Even at the half way stage the outside pile of wood reached as high as Kiwi Daughter’s shoulder. She was powering along with no sign or intention of stopping.

I started to take photographs of the work from that point.

Later Kiwi Daughter reluctantly stopped work for dinner, then pushed on, telling us that she aimed to finish everything in one day but it finally got too dark to work or take photographs.

When the light faded we prized her away from the last of it, it was too much to finish safely and yet little enough that it was frustrating.

Kiwi Daughter surprised us by being up bright and early the next day, out at the shed, the steady thud of lumps of wood as they landed in the wheelbarrow being my early morning wake up call.

A little over an hour later Kiwi Daughter and Himself had not only cleared up the wood from the lawn but also cleaned and swept the shed and garage. It was a very impressive feat that earned her a hot meat pie from the local shop, followed by a an extra large helping of gumdrop ice-cream in a cone.
I found out later that day from Himself that Kiwi Daughter’s motivation hadn’t come completely out of the blue. She was twelve-going-on-thirteen years old at this time, and in a strange stroppy pre-teen stage.Therefore like most kids she had been testing parental boundaries, which included months of neglecting household chores.

I had told her several times prior to our trip that she was a lazy kid(which she was at the time) but on this occasion she had said to Himself: “I am going to prove to Mama that I am not lazy!”). This “proof” turned out to be temporary mind you.. it didn’t extend to most holiday chores later, her excuse being “but Mama, I’m on holiday!” I have to say that I was seriously impressed with the work she accomplished, it may have been a one-off but it proved that she has the determination to stick to her guns and finish some seriously hard work, even if the going got tough after a while. I was proud of her… She wanted to prove me wrong, and she did!

(photograph © Kiwidutch) NOTE: The shed that was in far background of previous photo.

(photograph © Kiwidutch) NOTE: The shed that was in far background of previous photo.

The remaining half of the woodpile was up to Kiwi Daughter’s shoulder…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The distance between the shed and the house (garage on the other side of the house per second photograph)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Half of the wood stacked inside the garage whilst I slept…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

First thing the next morning this was all that was left…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

A shout out to the friendly neighbour who loaned us the wheelbarrow…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Little Mr’s contribution: play with his “plane”…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

July 31, 2009

Bran Date Muffins from Linette at Plum Tree Cottage

So where exactly is Plum Tree Cottage? .. that’s easy , it’s in Hanmer Springs.

….And where is Hanmer Springs? Well, first you need to head down under to New Zealand, once there , go to the South Island and if you are in the city of Christchurch then you take State Highway 1 North until you reach Waipara, turn left inland on State Highway 7 heading towards the Lewis Pass until you come to the Hanmer turnoff.

Once you have passed the bridge that straddles the gorge and checked out any bungy jumpers who may be about to leap off it, it’s then just a short drive into the village. So, what so Cool about Hanmer?

Well “ cool” isn’t exactly the right word for it.. “Hot” would be a far better one. This small alpine village with a permanent population of 900 souls play host to many visitors who flock to the town’s main attraction: geothermal hot pools, that occur naturally in the area.

There’s a large rectangular pool that’s a cool 25 C (77 F) and then the properly warm stuff: a multitude of smaller pools ranging in temperatures from 36 – 42 C ( 96- 107 F). That means no matter what kind of heat you can mange there will be a pool to suit your personal preference.

I can attest that these pools are simply divine in soaking away jet lag, and if you have been taking advantage of the many walking and mountain biking trails in the large forest areas that almost surround Hanmer, or the skiing in winter in the ski fields nearby,, then your tired and weary limbs will adore the respite of the soothing heat of the pools waters.

Linette , one of the permanent residents of Hanmer Springs makes the very best Bran Date Muffins…. … she and I swapped some recipes and I have made these for many a subsequent visitor to rave reviews.

If you don’t wish to make 18-20 muffins then this mix can be used to make 12 muffins and 1 small loaf. Sultanas can be mixed into the date amount if preferred. Mixture can be made up to 2 days in advance and covered, refrigerated until use. Thanks Linette!

bran muffins (Small)

(photo © kiwidutch)

2 ½ cups plain flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 cup sugar

3 ½ cups unprocessed natural bran

1 ½ cups pitted dates (chopped)

1 cup vegetable oil ( for example – light olive)

2 ½ cups low fat milk

2 eggs ( lightly beaten)

Pre-heat oven to 190 C (375 F)

Sift together the flour, baking soda and cinnamon.

Stir in the chopped dates, unprocessed bran and sugar.

Mix together the lightly beaten eggs, milk and vegetable oil, and then gently stir into the flour, dates etc mix until only just combined.

Spoon into a muffin pan and bake in a moderate to hot oven (190 C / 375 F) for about 20 minutes or until cooked.

Moi ? … I like my muffins warmly broken open and dubbed with a pat of real butter… yum!!!

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