Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Having only lived in Australia a short time I have not yet become enamoured with snakes.  This morning a radio interview with a 'snake catcher' proved fascinating listening.  This gentleman captures snakes from homes, sheds and other places where they are not welcomed by human habitation. 
As I noticed a small snake wriggling quickly over the paddock just two days ago I pricked up my ears.  What if that snake came indoors?  I think I could bang pots and pans loud enough to frighten it outdoors again; that is if it hadn't time to hide under the furniture.
There was one glimmer of hope.  Evidently if blue tongue lizards, or bobtail lizards if you live in another State, love snake eggs.  We have blue tongue lizards!  They spend a lot of time around the house in spring.  After hearing the radio talk I am assuming [and I do know that when one assumes he, or she, makes an ass out of u and me ... but that is pushed to the back of my mind in this instance] that our friendly blue tongue lizards hang around solely to keep the snake population down in numbers.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Holiday over

For the month of February, when Australian summers are at their hottest, I journey back to my home country, New Zealand, where it seemed that their summers were cold!  I must have acclimatised more than I thought.
Flying from Perth to Auckland overnight is not too bad as NZ is 5 hours ahead of Perth, making my arrival time less daunting that it sounded.  Customs in Auckland; a mad dash to the shuttle bus to the Domestic Terminal, and an hour flight south took me to Christchuch where second eldest son was waiting.  Needless to say my first request was a coffee followed quickly by a short sleep in an effort to get into the new time zone.
Christchurch is still a mess; empty blocks of land where once tall proud buildings stood, buildings in the process of demolition, or repair if not too badly damaged, and roads that had more ups and downs than would be considered safe under normal circumstances.  My son took me for a tour of some suburbs and his driving, usually circumspect, is now 'for the circumstances'.  He swung all over the street [if no traffic was approaching], and assured me that no action is taken as driving on the correct side can result in accidents.  Needless to say I took no photos!  Poor Christchurch, one a beautiful garden city is now in a state of improving chaos.
Next a bus trip south where I spent a few days at my favourite place, Hampden, a small seaside village where life tootles along, where I read and relaxed, and wandered the beach to make a visit to the Moeraki Boulders, a natural phenonomen that attracts tourists from across the world.  I placed my shoes on top of one.
While wandering along a lane at Hampden I discovered a yellow cherry-plum tree with branches laden to almost the ground.  This brought back pleasant memories of the cherry plum jam my Mum made [last century], and the slow laborious task that picking out the stones became.
Another bus trip south, this time to my old home town where several shop fronts were only that ... shop fronts.  Empty shops ... another sign of the times for a rural town.  I caught up with my youngest son, his 'other half' and their 2-year old son, who is now a character in his own right.  I last saw him when he was about 6-weeks old! 
Then a short journey north to a cousin who lives closer to the airport gave me a few days of wandering around the area where my parents spent their youth.  We did go for a walk to a nature reserve where I managed to capture a photo of a Fernbird, a photo of which my cousin assures me, is not common. 
The trip home was uneventful, and now I am once again home ... and pottering around, which is what home offers best.