Follow by Email

Sunday, 28 May 2017


Today we visited the little coastal village of Ngunguru (pronounced Noong uru), to check out their new little market in their community hall, and go for a walk.

Ngunguru is on the Tutukaka Coast, about 25mins drive from Whangarei, the nearest city. It's becoming a popular place to live, with young families and retirees making it a lovely community.
There is a definite arty element among the residents there.

Ngunguru Bach

The market was thriving - lots of knitted toys and handmade soaps, food stalls, a vege stall, handcrafts, pickles.
Ngunguru market

One of the things that I love about the Tutukaka Coast is that they have embraced plastic-bag free, and the shops there will provide alternatives. It is an environmentally conscious area, even so, I was impressed by brunch being served on a biodegradable palm leaf plate, with bamboo cutlery at the market.

There is a sandspit that protects the area from the open ocean, which after lots of protest by locals, was saved from developers and protected by the government as a wildlife sanctuary.
The local school children use the estuary as their swimming pool in summer for school swimming lessons.

Ngunguru Estuary, Sandspit in the background

Thanks to Derek for some of the photos - his are usually better than mine!

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

A New Project

Monday mornings are to be celebrated by those who have jumped off the mainstream workforce in my opinion. So happy to have my man along on those good times now.

This is Frogtown beach, a short drive and a 2km walk from home. We had it all to ourselves and enjoyed a glorious late Autumn morning there. We picked up a shopping bag of plastic and such, which makes it a walk with result.

I'm excited to say we have a new project on the boil for Plastic Bag Free Northland. We've had approval from the Countdown Regent supermarket manager to have a stall at the supermarket entrance to promote reusable bags and to promote their soft plastic recycling bin that is in-store.

My newly painted signs. The background mountains are the view from Whangarei Harbour

We have a month's trial starting June, and it will be very interesting to see what kind of response we get. At present there are very few reusable bag users at that supermarket - we want to change the trend.
We are not using nice handmade bags, as we just can't supply enough, but have sourced a supply of the ones made from recycled plastic, that should save at least 100 plastic bags each in their life, if used consistently. We do have calico ones too, but they are $2.50 each. 
I'll let you know how it goes.


Ah well, it's feijoa season again and I'm off to do something with all these...I have recipes for low sugar feijoa loaf, no churn feijoa icecream, and some will go into the freezer for later in the year. 
I'm delighted that my guava moth traps seem to have worked, we've had no bugs in any of our fruit this year.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Refreshed post Travel

After 3 weeks in Tasmania and Melbourne, home's still a great place. I'm so grateful to have a home, having seen how many homeless people are out there. It's not really something we see in my local city.

My first discovery was on the plane. I wasn't fully prepared to deal with the disposables on the plane, but had taken my own water bottle, which can be filled pre flight once checked through security, and my reusable cup. Both of these were useful on the flight, with the flight attendants cheerfully filling my own cup for a hot drink. Next time I will be taking the plastic cutlery we were given as I would have been able to refuse these on the Qantas Flight, they didn't come automatically with the meal.

Tasmania has banned single use lightweight plastic bags since Nov 2013 and it was such a delight to see so little plastic in use. Why can't every country do this? I traveled with home made carrier bags, and used them every day.

Op-shops in Australia are fabulous! It is hard to tell them from an actual retail shop - beautiful, colour coordinated window displays and no op-shop odour. Lots of designer clothes. Good prices too.

My $5 leather bag

I learned to use the macro setting on my camera while I was away. This shot is from Nelson Falls in Tasmania, also the video..

Moss, macro shot

We visited the Van Gogh exhibition in Melbourne. We were able to get up so close to the masterpieces. I found it thrilling to be able to stand in front of each piece, not only admiring the work, but knowing that van Gogh himself had stood in front of each of those works all those years ago. He would never have imagined their impact on the world. 

Derek has the best shots ever

I loved this quote of his...