Hello fellow crafters,
After a 7 week break, I am finally able to get back into my blogging. I didn't realise how much I would miss everything; contact with new friends, entering challenges, and a sense of 'belonging' to a wonderfully talented worldwide 'family'.
So much has happened since my last post, I hardly know where to begin. I guess it should be with the main reason for the break, my health. 2 ultrasounds showed that I had a large kidney stone, that would most likely require surgery. However, the CT scan (being 3D) diagnosed a large, unusual, but benign growth attached to the outer rear wall of my kidney. It will not at this stage require treatment, but will have to be monitored regularly.
The 2nd problem has been with me since childhood, and rears its ugly head now and then. I have a poorly functioning liver, requiring previous surgery, and at one stage, about 10 years ago, my Drs were mentioning the word "transplant" if my blood tests (4 per day, for 10 days) deteriorated much further. I have to have at least annual blood tests, and about 3 months ago my levels started rising again, so tests have become fortnightly. I had another test the morning after we returned home from New Zealand, last Friday, but don't know the results yet.
The 3rd problem is in the "ladies only department", and despite the fact that my Dr. marked the referral to a consultant "Semi-Urgent", I have had to wait 3 months for an appointment, on 2nd August.
Our 40th wedding anniversary party was a wonderful night to remember, and worth all the stressful preparation. I will show some photos soon, as I did not get many on my camera, but friends have taken some good ones.
New Zealand is a beautiful country, and the people were incredibly friendly and helpful. We hope to go back again next year. We only saw the North Island, but didn't have enough time to stop and relax. In 8 days of driving, we covered 2,860 kms! We may take up rally driving with that record. At least we have a better idea of what is on offer, and will be able to plan accordingly.
This is one of the most exciting experiences of my life. Just hours after arriving in NZ, I went on the Auckland Tower Skywalk. The walkway is 1 metre wide, open mesh, and about 4-5 metres from the wall of the Tower, attached by steel girders. It is 192 metres, or 629.92 feet above the ground, with NO handrails! The views are truly awesome. That white object beside the base of the multi-storey bank building is a bus.
Although John enjoys flying, he preferred to remain on ground level. I had booked my walk several months ago, and it appeared that I would be the only walker, but as I was preparing to be suited/harnessed, a lady from the UK, and an Australian family turned up & asked if they could do the walk that afternoon. The wind was bitterly cold, but it was pure magic watching the sun set on one side of the Tower, and watching the FULL moon rise on the other. I can't wait until I can repeat the experience. It was worth every cent!
We visited the famous geysers and boiling mud pools in Rotorua, and enjoyed an evening of Maori cultural entertainment with a traditional hangi feast. This is the largest geyser, in its early stage of its cycle of building up pressure. It was a spectacular sight and sound when it erupted for us about 1 hour later!
On the morning of our 40th anniversary, we enjoyed a dawn buffet breakfast cruise around beautiful Lake Rotorua, on the Lakeland Queen, an exact replica of a Mississippi paddle steamer. Watching the sunrise over the lake was glorious, even if it was bitterly cold while waiting to board. The breakfast was yummy too, and with so much to choose, I think the steamer was a little lower in the water when we finished.
Still on the subject of food, I almost fainted when I was presented with this dessert, simply called 'Chocolate and Raspberry Cake' on the menu. It should have been called Delicious Death By .......... The main meal was incredible too! A huge melt-in-the-mouth sirloin steak, with enough various, and totally delicious salads, for 2 more meals by themselves. Needless to say, I couldn't finish both main or dessert. All of this was prepared, cooked AND served by a lovely young lady, Dawn. John and I both wanted to just lie on the floor and groan when we finished. You would expect this to be in a top city restaurant, but it was a pub lunch at the Mangatera Hotel in a small town, Dannevirke, between Wellington and Napier.
On our last day, we explored the beautiful Waitomo Glowworm Caves, south of Hamilton. What a magical experience!
Cape Reinga is a very spiritual place for the Maori people. It is the northern-most tip of New Zealand. This photo clearly shows the turbulence created when 2 seas meet. On the right is the Pacific Ocean, and on the left is the Tasman Sea. The shape of the turbulence virtually mirrors the shape of the tip of the peninsular. Breathtakingly amazing!
This has been a long post, hasn't it...sorry, but it was difficult to condense a fabulous holiday into a few photos.
I am trying to catch up on all your gorgeous creations while I have been absent.
Until next time,