Conducted touring

Isn’t it wonderful when a friend or relative visits and thus gives you permission to do the tour guide thing?

I’m in that lucky position right now, with my second cousin visiting from the UK. When I collected Kirsty from the Interisland Ferry on Sunday, she was my excuse to have coffee at an Oriental Bay cafe, drive to the top of Mount Victoria, cruise through central Wellington and to visit my own personal food Mecca, La Bella Italia, in Petone.

Today my sister joined us to ride the Rimutaka Incline bike trail. We were a bit dubious about (a) hangovers and (b) the wind (which was blowing rather fiercely) but the whole thing was an inspired choice for a New Year’s day excursion. The wind provided very useful assistance in blowing us up the hill (so glad it was behind us), and for dispersing the cobwebs and tiredness. We had a wonderful time!

Richard met us on the other side, and we later took in views of Wairarapa from the Mt Dick Lookout before heading home.

All in all a great start to 2013. Happy New Year!

Feed the hungry

Harvesting the olives is once again underway – we had a three-week pause while we waited for the olives to further recover from the hard frost of mid-May, and to ripen a bit more.

Each weekend day the grove is a hive of activity, with olives being shaken, combed and picked from the branches; nets being dragged along the ground, laden with fruit; and the fruit gathered from the nets into trays ready to be taken away on the tractor. The kitchen is a hive of activity too. Here’s what was on the menu last Saturday:

Leek and potato soup

Freshly baked bread rolls

Home baking – oaty choc-chip cookies, prune loaf and Jenny’s brownie

…and fruit to finish off with.

Here’s a photo of the table before the hungry hordes descended:

Unfortunately I never remember to take an “after” shot to go with the “before” one! However I do have this photo of some of the hungry hordes!

Gathering up the net ready to drag it along to the next trees.

Crafty Weekend

What a wonderful weekend we’ve just had. Five of my scrapbooking friends came over to visit and spend some time creating together.

We had a yummy lunch (they provided all the ingredients, I had only to provide the plates and cutlery)!

We worked in the loft of our garage (where we lived while our house was renovated), which – by dint of relocating tables from elsewhere – became a crafting heaven for six.

I’d posed a couple of Challenges – here are three of the pages produced in response to Challenge #1 (use a pocket on a layout). Aren’t we clever! Unfortunately I am not clever enough to have remembered to take a photo of the results of Challenge #2, but there were lots of other pages and projects completed over the weekend.

In the afternoon a couple of the girls who had not visited before joined a tour and tasting I ran for visiting tourists. I was so pleased when they told me how much they had enjoyed the experience, and that they’d learned a lot – so affirming to have this feedback.

We went out for dinner on Saturday night to Goodness of Food Cafe in the neighbouring town of Carterton. All the dishes are gluten-free – honestly, you’d never know – totally delicious!

It was sad to say goodbye on Sunday – I hope we can do it all again soon!