Sometimes these winter days are perfect: glorious sun out of a clear blue sky. 20C, no wind. I can hear the birds. Just gorgeous.

Flaxes beside the garage trimmed back.

On the left the wall of the garage. On the right flax bushes that have been trimmed back.

Now I can try to tidy (and weedeat) the area between the garage and the fence.

Got myself out in the garden earlier to do some needed weed eating. Hauled out the weedeater, only to find that when I put it away 3 weeks ago I hadn't noticed the spool and cover had fallen off where I stopped.

I ended up cutting back some overgrown flaxes, but no, the items weren't there. Sigh.

Cold enough this morning that we had a decent frost. The snow on the top of the mountain was no surprise.

Snow-topped mountain appears through a dip in foliage.

There was even frost on the beach. A bird had made its way through one frosty patch of sand.

Bird footprints through a frosty patch of sand.

I didn't get to the beach today, as I was too busy with other things. Yesterday though there was a very cold and blowy southerly.

All up, power was only out for 20 or 30 minutes. Phew! No need to test out my new Portable Power Station.

I bought the 8 book set for less than $2, but was glad to reach the end of the first book. Some great turns of phrase but just not a terribly enjoyable story. The Miss Pink Mysteries Books 1–8 by Gwen Moffat. 📚

Book cover: Miss Pink Mysteries.
Screenshot of some moderately witty text, including: She made no rejoinder but concentrated on the walk - which anyone but a rock climber would have termed a climb.

Well, just talking to Deb who's driving home and everything was plunged into darkness.

Power outage map shows a crew has been assigned.

Three minutes later and a couple of lights came on, then everything went off again.

Oh well, at least the woodburner's keeping me warm.

Garden Bird Survey header.

Today, with a cold southerly wind, but in the sun, I took part in the New Zealand Garden Bird Survey, with poor results.

  • blackbird : 2
  • magpie : 2
  • sparrow : 1
  • spur-winged plover : 2
  • starling : 2
  • thrush : 1
  • waxeye : 2

Pathetic!

Aargh! New Zealand standardised its recycling rules – why is it still so confusing?:

On average, each New Zealander is estimated to have generated 700kg of waste that ended up in landfills in 2021, meaning that New Zealand is one of the highest waste producers in the OECD.

Second gym session today and we did some stretches and also some work with 5 Kg or 2 Kg dumbbells. That included squats and lifts.

The trainer and I have differing opinions on whether I'll be able to walk tomorrow. 🤣

I really enjoyed the movie Wicked Little Letters 🎥:

Based on a true scandal, it follows an investigation into the anonymous author of numerous crudely insulting letters sent to the residents of seaside town Littlehampton.

So clever and funny, with excellent actors.

BTW: the language is truly explicit.

Wicked Little Letters poster.

Interesting definition of 'meal', AirNZ. Not sure the knife and fork will be useful.

Flight information lists the meal as only water. An icon shows a knife and fork.

Today I took photos of Ngunguru. It's very pretty, warm and relaxing.

Sea inside the sandbar.
Sea inside the sandbar.

We visited Ngunguru (Apple Maps link) today — about 30 Km from Whangārei. Gorgeous place, but I didn't take photos …

Just off the Ngunguru coast are the Poor Knights Islands, a protected marine reserve. Ngunguru is a Māori-language word meaning "rumbling tides".

I started Murder at the Opera House (A Lady Marjorie Snellthorpe Mystery Book 1) by Dawn Brookes ages ago then stopped for long enough I'd forgotten how it started. 📚

Finished now, and it was OK but I probably won't bother with more in the series.

Book cover: Murder at the Opera House.

Mt Manaia from Ruakaka Beach.

Mt Manaia across the water  from Ruakaka Beach.

In Whangārei.

Palm trees.

Detective Chief Superintendent Fran Harman works on against a backdrop of a frustrating system. Meanwhile doggedness and persistence eventually winkle out a couple of clues in an apparently intractable case. In Harm’s Way (Detective Fran Harman Mysteries Book 3) by Judith Cutler. 📚

Book cover: In Harm’s Way.

I started out 'naming' this year Surprise. After immediately getting Covid I changed it to Spontaneity. Apparently that change didn't stick though, as various events this year could attest.

My latest surprise is that I'm about to join a gym. I had an intro session with a trainer yesterday.

Various stretches and swiss ball exercises listed on a card. .