So, what have we been up to?
Well, we've been spoiling ourselves rotten!
We spent two days down in Auckland. Lloyd had a dental course to go on and I just went down to keep him company and organise my summer wetsuit. Which was all good, but the highlight of our stay was "Tiffin" at The Langham. We've actually tried to book this before, but it's always so busy that this was the first time they've had space.
It was well worth the wait!
The Langham is simply stunning so we had high expectations.
You start off with savoury things - which we ate all of!
Then you move on to all the delicious wee sweet things - we almost ate all of them too! Also it's inspired me to make some more macarons. Long term readers of this will know that this is a huge step for me as I was somewhat traumatised the time I tried to make them before.
After we'd eaten our weight in food, I rolled off to the pool in an attempt to work some of it off. What a losing battle that was! But totally worth every calorie.
Lloyd then went on his course and I had a day in Auckland - I spent most of it getting my wetsuit measured and stuff. Which was fun! And a wee trip to a garden centre. Then time to get Lloyd and head back north.
But we hadn't stopped spoiling ourselves! Oh no!
A few months ago, along with four of our friends, we'd bid on and won a charity auction to go and stay at Eagles Nest. Now usually this stunning place is way out of our price range, but we've admired it for years, because when we're out on the Bay you can see it from the water. Anyway, our winning bid was a fraction of the usual cost and we did wonder if we'd get duff days to go and no choice of which house to stay in and no service! How totally and completely wrong we were. ( I would like to say that I had every faith that we'd be treated the same as "rich people!" and my faith in mankind was not ruined!!)
We were treated amazingly and they spoiled us rotten! If anyone comes into a fortune, wins the lottery, sells soul to the devil, ( wins a charity auction) that sort of thing... you must go there!
Here's the deck, with the infinity pool, a spa and amazing views over the Bay of Islands
The pool had lights that changed colour and looked totally amazing at night!
Enjoying a glass of Champagne on the deck in the afternoon sun.
Swimming off the excess in the pool!
It's a hard life!
Sunset on our last night
MMmm mmm yes... the not sensible group shot!
And after all that loveliness it was back to earth with a bump! Got home, to find that 2 of my lovely chooky girls had got under their fence and into the veggie garden! There were only skeleton chards left!! It didn't matter as I planted it for them anyway. Thankfully they didn't like garlic and I hadn't panted any of the seedlings out as the weather is so rubbish! Whew! Then I noticed that one of my bought in Araucanas has scaly mite (so does the other one but not so advanced) I was horrified as my chickens have never had anything like this before. Turns out that they would have had it when I bought them, but in such early stages I didn't see it - even when I checked their legs.
Here's what it looks like for anyone that's interested! This is earlier stages, on Consuela. You can see the scales just beginning to lift on her legs.
And here's poor Conchita - more advanced. I got a lot of invaluable advice on Lifestyle block. The legs don't look like this until the mites have been there for a wee while as it's their poo that builds up and and lifts the scales off. I should point out that this isn't bad (yet). Some photos I saw on the internet when I was researching what to do look truly awful. But my poor girls!
There are many and varied treatments. I ended up going for the flea spray ( that you get for cats), spraying their legs with it then covering their legs in vaseline. The vaseline makes the mites unable to breathe and also softens the scales so that they come off more easily when the new ones grow underneath.
I have to repeat this weekly.
I also disinfected their house ( which I didn't actually need to do as the mite spend their whole lifecycle on the chickens legs!) but it was good to get it done anyway. Then they got nice new bedding. It was a job well done but a far cry from the luxury of the weekend!