Friday 18 January 2013

And finally the ute has arrived

One Ford Ranger XLT 4x4 Super Cab 3.2l Utility with our name on it has finally arrived on the Ford Dealership's yard after six months of waiting.  Due to the popularity of the automatic gearbox NZ only get a few vehicles in each shipment; one of the negatives about being a small consumer country.

We were keen to see the super cab configuration as we'd only been able to look at the double cab when we placed the order. Our ute has the "suicide" doors; no door pillar which is great for access to the back, and with a bigger well side for the hitch and also with enough room to have a lockable storage box across the back behind the cab. As we won't be carrying passengers that often we felt we didn't need the comfort & room of the double cab seats in the back. We may remove the small "dicky" seats and build a solid floor in so we can store more gear behind the front seats.

The colour is " Sparkling Gold" and while we know it's not quite the same as the van we're hoping it will tone in nicely.

The ute is now having the hitch & electirical wiring fitted before it will be deliver to us late next week.
The Ford Ranger is so popular & in short supply (it was the best selling vehicle in the Ford range, even ahead of cars, for a number of months last year) that our dealer has already been approached  to see if we'd be prepared to wait so others could jump the queue. Not likely!!

Tuesday 15 January 2013

World Famous in Greenmeadows

A small(or should I say rather large) spanner was thrown in the works last Friday.

Initially there were two major negative issues that I had to come to terms with when we made the decision to go travelling. One was selling my dream home & while it took a while eventually I could see that we really needed to do that to fufil our dream. So the house was sold & we've moved on & it wasn't quite as bad as I thought it would be. I think because I had 3 months before settlement to get used to the idea I was prepared for it.

The second & bigger issue that I had to come to terms with was about what we were going to do with my two "babies", my 10 year old British Shorthair cats who I'd had from kittens and were very much a part of our family. I know people say they're "just cats" & you can't let pets rule your life but this was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. I would have loved to have taken them with us travelling & we probably could have but it would have been no life for them on the road & we would have found it very restrictive in places we may visit or things we might want to do.

My parents who live in Napier, a 4 hour drive away, had indicated that they might be able to take them both in but sadly well before the house sold & decisions had to be made, my beloved boy Clay picked up a fatal viral infection and passed away within 2 months.

Clay- short for Cassius Clay
This then just left Lily.  Mum & Dad have also recently lost their lovely old dog Tess and after talking to them again now that things were moving along, they decided they could take Lily in. I knew she would be going to best home possible & that they'd end up loving her as much as we did. Even with her quirky personality traits, she would get under their skin just as much as she had with us.


We took Lily to Napier over Christmas & stayed two weeks to settle her in. She is not a good traveller & meowed for the whole 4 hour drive but once there settled in quickly within a couple of days. Every day though, I wanted to bundle her back into her cage & take her home, but I managed to resist the urge knowing that this was the right thing to do. It was a sad goodbye when it was time for us to return home.

Which brings me back to that "spanner" After a week by herself with Mum & Dad & with positive reports of how she was settling in she decided to go "walkabout" one night. Lily can't climb & is scared of heights(she damaged a leg when she was kitten) but she managed to squeeze out under a gate and then didn't come home. She's a timid cat & wouldn't come to just anybody. Mum & Dad were frantic and after 6 hours of searching called to give me the bad news.

We were hoping she had just tucked herself up somewhere cool(it's been 30-35c) nearly every day & would find her way home in the early evening. But no, still no sign of her Saturday evening. By then I had already thrown a few things in the car and headed off to Napier, again. I got there around 10pm and hit the streets calling & searching. Back at the house I also made up a couple of missing ads for two internet sites and a flyer that we could deliver in the morning. We all didn't have much sleep that night.

I was up again at 5am out calling & searching in the quite of the morning. I did "find" plenty of other cats & Dad searching as well but no Lily. We then delivered over 400 flyers around the immediate neighbourhood hence the "World Famous in Greenmeadows" tag. It was very hot I got sunburnt & have blisters on my feet. All the time we were delivering we were calling her, checking under bushes & asking anybody we saw if they'd seen her. We also stuck flyers on the notice boards at the local supermarket & shops. I phoned the local Vets, radio stations, SPCA & sent texts to the local paper; still no sign of her. We were all getting tired & desperate. Where could she be! As Sunday afternoon drew on it got hotter & hotter & we decided to give it a break until the early evening.

A large creek and native planting runs along the road across from the house & while we had walked it many times during our search I thought I'd do it once again but on the otherside of the creek. I had to park the car down the other end of the street to get access around a fence to then be able to walk up the length & back along the far side of it. I parked my car about 5 houses from the end under a tree and away from the corner.

I did the walk up & back, about 2kms with no luck but as I was diagonally crossing the road back to my car I happened to glance up a narrow back path behind the house next door to where I was parked. And that was when I spotted my "baby" in the gloom of dusk. She was just sitting there looking all around as if she didn't know quite what to do. I called her & she was a bit nervous even though she knew my voice. She wouldn't come to me so I had to quickly climb the fence & walked down to where she was. I grabbed her & held her tight until I got her inside the car then I can honestly say the emotions took over & tears of joy came, what an incredible feeling of relief. I was so relived as were Mum & Dad when I got home. I don't think they quite believed me at first, we had very nearly given up hope.

We'll never know what she got up to or where she went but I think she just walked off down the road exploring and got too far away to know her way back home. She ate quite a bit and drank heaps but didn't seem too worse for wear after being missing for 48 hours but she certainly slept a heck of a lot. She now wears her collar & name tag at all times & has a microchip. And I'm now back home after a very stressful 3 days.

Lily sleeping off her ordeal

Thursday 3 January 2013

We should have been here...

for New Year, although after looking at the access track I don't think we would have made it over quite a dip in the gravel track at the entrance to the river.

This is the Tuki Tuki River in Hawkes Bay, a great trout fishing river although the water is very low over summer. This is classic Kiwi camping and what we're looking forward to with a few more mod-cons than the family has! All good fun.