Tag Archives: Books I'm Reading

Lakeside Weekend

 We are road trip kind of people – kind of a ‘vacational’ hazard of being  geocachers. However this past weekend we went to the lake with a bunch of people that we know from another club that we are in.  Admittedly we are somewhat pretenders to this particular group. We consider a 4-5 hour tramp (hike) a hard day’s exercise, and to them it would just be a short stroll. But never mind, we can all aspire to something!!

And we had a really fun time actually staying in one spot, for two whole days!!! We only found two caches, but we may have inspired a couple of families with young children to take up caching, so it’s all good. J

We went to a place called Hans Bay on Lake Kaniere. It was a really busy spot right on the lake front, but there was a quieter spot or two up in the camping area and some other bays & walks where it was possible to be the only people there. 

We did a reasonable amount of walking – 10 kilometres that I measured, and lots of other incidental stuff (it was quite a trek from our camping spot to the toilets in the middle of the night!!)

A really beautiful walk in this area that we did part of is the Kaniere Water Race Walkway . There’s one cache on this part of the walkway and the children we were with had fun finding it (and I’m pretty sure some of the adults had a bit of fun too!!)

Earlier in the day PB and I canoed out to this cache:  The Floating Ball of Memories.   We have no idea about the cache name, but it was a wee adventure for us to get out there! We borrowed an inflatable double canoe from one of the families, and showed our novice skills be going around & round several times before we made it out to the island.

This is the view back to the ‘mainland’ from our landing spot.

PB scouting out the way forward on top of the island.


We did do a bit better on the way back though. Not quite so many circles!

One of our new young friends & her ‘mom’ came & found it too, after they figured out who the strange people were shouting at them from the island. We could see them – but they couldn’t see us!  

We also picked up the cache: Moneydork’s Launching Pad, and hid a cache of our own: Rose Creek, at a peaceful little spot we found, on our first evening walk, just a little further around the lakeside. There is also a couple of caches near the beautiful Dorothy Falls 

We’d found these one on a previous trip, but we still drove round to look at the waterfall & the lake views. The lake was very high this weekend – usually it is possible to walk on a little white sandy beach at the lake’s edge here.








I also got in a bit of swimming (you won’t catch me putting any pictures of that on here!!)  – you didn’t notice how cold the water was once you were numb, and a bit of reading,

and provided support to the eeling party. 

Most of the rest of the group were too squeamish to tie the meat onto the string, but I have done way more gross things in biology labs, so it was no big deal. We saw two big eels – we didn’t actual ‘catch’ them as such, but they sure were attracted to the meat, and the junior scientist amongst us was delighted and would have stayed there all night trying to get them to come to the surface!! So, an awesome weekend, beautiful weather, interesting new friends of all ages, and fun activities.    

Let’s do it again next year!

Holiday Reading

So, what reading did I do on my holiday. Nothing that strained the brain – that’s for sure!!

Holiday Reading

“Cream Puff Murder” by Joanne Fluke

 I’ve read a few of these  – they were the first thing that our town librarian recommended for light entertaining reading. And she was right. It’s not the sort of thing I would have been seen reading a few years ago, but I guess there comes a time in life when reading ‘fluff’ is kind of OK!!!!  

The plot is pretty much the same in all of the books – Hannah Swensen, girl cookie chef encounters a dead body as she is going about her daily business.  By various ways and means with the help of her lovely friends and family she solves the completely improbable murder, never quite decides whether she wants to marry the cop or the dentist (I vote for the dentist because he loves her best, even though he’s not a heart throb like the cop), runs her cookie business and keeps her large ginger cat well fed.

The only thing that gets me is; how can all the people can be so darn nice – in a small town where someone gets murdered every other week!!!   I’d be moving out if it were me!!!

Entertaining Angels” by  Judy Duarte.

 Kind of vaguely Christian – inspirational. Again easy reading and light-hearted. Even though some of the characters had major problems going on in their lives, you knew that it was just going to turn out ok in the end because it was that kind of book.  I enjoyed reading it, even though it was kind of predictable.  The right sort of easy read book  that’s good for a summer holiday and on the other hand if you did want to apply a bit of thought to it, there were quite good messages about persistence and hope and giving people a  second (or third or fourth) chance.

“The Stallion” by Joyce Stranger

I read a lot of book by this author as a pre-teen and teenager (long long ago when dinosaurs roamed the Earth) – they are sort of about animals, but more about the relationship between the animal and human characters, and the different human characters.  PB and I were in some second-hand book stores a few months back looking for postcards (as you do) when he came across some books by one of his favourite authors, and I spied this.  So we came out of the book stores with piles of books, but only a few postcards. (And now we are planning a trip to the city to spend a whole day in the biggest of the stores we looked in – ‘ cause it will take a whole day to look at three storeys of books!!!)

Anyway, I remembered these books as having amazing descriptions of nature & animals, and for being very intense and almost dark in the feelings that the characters had.   The book was just as good in that regard as I remembered – even though it did seem a little old-fashioned – and I thoroughly enjoyed my little jaunt into the past.

100 Places Every Woman Should Go”    by Stephanie Elizondo Griest

Well,  this was the only one of the books I took with me that I didn’t finish, and in fact, I returned it to the library unfinished.  Trying to put 100 places in one book means that only a paragraph or two can be written about each one, and it just wasn’t enough information – or sometimes it was too much.  It was an interesting concept and what I did read certainly had a female, even feminist perspective, but with so many places mentioned it got to be brain overload after a while.  Also – it was kind of organised by ‘topics’  where as for me I think to have it arranged by countries would have been more helpful.

So that was the only book that would not score well for me out of the four.  Who knows when I’ll next get to read most of four books in a week.

From Malta

 Today’s postcard is a private swap with Leena who joined up with Postcrossing almost the same day as I did, and contacted me to do a swap.

Blue Lagoon - Comino

This amazing blue is the ‘Blue Lagoon’ of Malta. The water between  the small Maltese island of Comino and  an even smaller island – or large rock – called Cominotto,  is so clear that it is an excellent spot for snorkeling.  Comino has – apparently – a permanent population  zero, three, four  or eight people (depending what you read), but is a very popular tourist location  with one 4 star hotel, so it seems that there is usually more than four people there!  Comino is also a nature reserve and bird sanctuary  today.  The Mediterranean climate on Comino has temperatures  ranging between 30 degrees Celcius in summer and down to 15 decgrees Celcuis in winter. There is very little rain so nothing much grows  there apart from wild thyme and a few other small plants.

The most prominent building on Comino is Santa Marija or  St Mary’s Tower (the white building in the middle of this picture.) It was originally built in the 1600’s as a watch tower in case of invasion, and was used again for this purpose during WWI and WWII It has also probably been used as an isolation hospital, an outpost to send misbehaving knights to, and a farm building.  It appears to the property of the Maltese Armed forces, but is being restored by the National Trust of Malta and one of the purposes it is used for is a watchhouse to guard against illegal hunting of the birds on Comino.

The most odd thing, is that never having heard or read much about Malta before, I’d picked up a novel at the library a few weeks ago but hadn’t started reading it until last week – to find that it was set in Malta!!!  The book is ‘The Brass Dolphin’ by Joanna Trollope writing as Caroline Harvey.  It’s an ok book – probably if it wasn’t set in Malta, and I wasn’t reading it at the moment, I probably would not enjoy it as much as some of the other Joanna Trollope books that I have read though.


We went to the city this weekend. PB a conference to go to, so while he sat in a boring lecture room in the bowels of the hospital,  on Saturday morning I enjoyed the sunshine outside in the Botanic Gardens for  a bit.  I did  find a geocache but mostly I watched people.

Pose. Smile. Click. Pose.   The Asian tourists. They seemed to be mostly in groups of parents and adult children  – as far as I could tell – and by the time every possible combination of people in the group has been photographed in front of every tree, flower, and feature, that makes for an awful lot of photos, or a lot of awful photos……   but truly, they were the only ones taking photos. Well, except me.  I kept wanting to tell them this isn’t really New Zealand, that a tulip here looks the same as a tulip anywhere.

The American tourists were riding around the Gardens in the ‘caterpillar’  – which looked strangely like a slightly oversized golf cart with little wagons pulled behind it – getting the guided tour.  They were middle-aged couples on the whole. I guess there were some British folk in there too, but you wouldn’t hear them amongst the Americans.  Listening to the driver/guide repeat the facts and tales that he’s recited probably a few hundred times by now.  They probably wouldn’t know if he lost his place in his talk and was referring to completely the wrong tree.  Maybe he wouldn’t notice either.

As for the European tourists, well, they were walking. Fast. With guide books or maps literally in hand. They didn’t really stop in the Botanic gardens. They were going places. The Museum perhaps. Or the Arts Centre. Maybe the Art gallery.  Young couples, talking rapidly.   I hope they stopped long enough to have some fun.

The locals were moving slowly, languidly, drifting about in the unexpected early summer sun.  Groups of friends lazing, gossiping on the grass. One or two individuals with a book, or a coffee in hand settled on a park bench.  Or families hand in hand strolling down the paths, feeding the ducks, climbing on the statues, all in no great hurry to get anywhere. After all, it’s Saturday  morning and the whole weekend is ahead of us.  Except, in juxtaposition,  we are disturbed and interrupted from our slowness by the joggers. Racing past, checking wrists, iPods on arms, wired for sound and pulse and who-knows-what else.  Panting and sweating and spoiling the slow motion of the day.  But I expect they find us wanderers and strollers annoying, in their way, slowing them down from where-ever it is they have to get.

My book, with its different perspective on the world,  seems to make more sense here outside, watching the world.  Dogboy by Eva  Hornung – about cruelty and kindness, hope and pain,  love and abandonment, how the world isn’t always how we see it.

Anyway, here’s a photo from the Botanic Gardens.

The Peacock Fountain

The Peacock Fountain

And as for the cache: