Tuesday, December 14, 2010


When Mum didn't want to go to Pauanui to the oldies Christmas Cake and Carols this morning John and I decided to go to Thames and do some Christmas shopping.

We pulled in along the coast for a quick rest stop. Holiday makers were drinking their coffee.

The Pohutakawa trees, New Zealand's Christmas Tree are just coming into flower all down the coast.

The day was damp and misty, sometimes light rain or drizzle fell, but it was too warm for jackets.

It was a stressful hour and half drive. Big trucks overflowed their side of the road, we dodged backpacking cyclists between oncoming traffic and idiot drivers who couldn't bear to go with the flow gave us near heart attacks with their risky passing. On one narrow bend we hugged the bank as a large truck came the other way having to use more than his fair share of the road. A woman runner had to leap up the bank to safety. All over in a moment but decidedly nerve wracking. It's not a suitable road for runners. We try to avoid travelling after 20th Dec. through most of January. I've now added the whole of December.

A few minutes after the short break we were at Grahamstown, the north end of Thames. Many of the buildings date back to historic times when Thames was a booming gold town, (gold was discovered in 1867), with more than 100 pubs. Today about 7,000 people live in the town which serves a farming community and thriving tourist industry.

Not many gifts were purchased but we still spent a heap of money and generally enjoyed the day except I got very cranky when I lost John. The day was saved when one of my friends called out and we chatted until John turned up.

It's been a long day. I began with a soak in the bath early. We were ready to leave home about 9am. I felt quite car sick before we were half way.

We had coffee at Chequers and I broke my gluten free run with a slice of blueberry pie. Dropped laptop off at Geeks to see if they can make the HP hard drive work. We went back about 3 pm to find it didn't so ended up buying a Phillips Personal Storage Unit so spent $145 but this laptop could give up any time and I have no way of saving my photos without this thing.

In between times we went to the Telecom shop and updated our phone, cost $120, and all because the stupid cable to the charger is dodgy and we couldn't find a replacement. This was something I didn't want to do for at least another 12 months because it's on a system that will not be replaced for at least 18 months. We are now on the XT network.

We went into Farmers and I bought a couple of gifts, then to Health 2000 where we stocked up on a few things. I bought Tea Tree shampoo, conditioner and cream as well as some probiotics and John got something with horseradish to try and beat his sinus problem. Another $120 spent.

It was 2 pm and we'd walked heaps so time for lunch at Taste Bud Cafe at the Garden Centre. I stayed gluten free but goodness knows about the sugar not to mention cream. I had an iced coffee and although it wasn't too rich I'm pretty sure it was made with icecream and topped with a load of whipped cream. I chose to have an asparagus and camembert frittata but it didn't have much flavour. The best part was the salad and we shared a bowl of strawberries and cream. I went easy on the whipped cream.

It's now 10 pm and I'm still not hungry.

From there we picked up the laptop and went to the Warehouse where John used all the birthday and Christmas coupons and we lost each other. Finally we caught up more than an hour later and dashed back into the shop to buy bedside lamps before hitting the road to come home. We left town just a few minutes to 5 pm. Thank goodness the drive home was a lot more pleasant even though it rained or should I say drizzled and there was mist.

I was bushed when we got in and glad there were no groceries to sort. I collapsed into my recliner and haven't moved. Now we are watching the Master Chef Australia Final. Now it's all over for another year and a very good finish to a series I enjoyed greatly except for some crazy scheduling.

Altogether a good day except for the bank balance which took a huge hit. Something like $600 when you count petrol and food. perhaps we should have stayed home.


heyduke50 said...

a tad expensive trip but looks as if you had a grand day...

Hippygal said...

Who cares it is only money lol.... I always love your photos you take and enjoy seeing them on your blog :-)

Merikay said...

It seems to me that every time I go out I spend money and eat. Guess I should just stay home, but what fun is that!

Stephanie said...

Your pictures are always so beautiful. If you had a good time, then I say the money spent was worth it. :)

Chris H said...

Wow that was an expensive day!
I loath that coast road...it's so twisty and narrow. I usually close my eyes when passing a truck coming the other way! It's a wonder I've never run off the road or into the freakin truck! lol

Rettakat said...

Your New Zealand Christmas Trees are absolutely gorgeous! And who needs decorations when you already have those rich red flowers blooming. Very spectacular!

Anne said...

We were on holiday earlier this year in the Coromandel and ate at the same cafe in your photos:-)

Anne H said...

At least you had a great time! One you can always cherish and remember!

Joy said...

Hi, I just found your blog and look forward to following you!!

Great pictures!!!

Phyllis said...

Sounds like you had quite an adventure and got a lot accomplished. That always feels good.

Love your Christmas trees.

Denise said...

What beautiful photos...looks like a wonderful time, aside from the scary driving and expenses! Thank you also for your sweet comments on my blog, I always appreciate them!