Aged Articles

What’s the oldest item you have in your possession?  I have two different items that are relics of my Rout family.  Both were given to me by distant relatives the first time I met them, rather than being handed down through my parents.

William’s New Testament

The first is a New Testament presented to my Great-Great-Uncle William Rout when he left Tasmania for New Zealand in 1884, by the “boys of the Bible and 1st Classes attending Princes Square Congregational Sunday School”.  It was given to me by two elderly women cousins in whose home he’d lived up to his death in 1932.  William is a special uncle because he is the father of Ettie Rout.  These cousins also gave me a letter he wrote in which he mentioned Ettie.  When I first met them they immediately recognised me as family because, they said, I have the Rout nose.

The second item is a pair of Bodley teacups and saucers which once belonged to my Great Grandmother Susan Tunnecliffe Rout.  These were given to me by Joyce Tolerton, my first cousin once removed, when I visited her in Russell in 1985.

Susan’s cups and saucers

They may well have been a hundred years old then, and they are hand painted with handles attached by hand.  Joyce also gave me several postcards written to her 1907-14, by my Grandmother Mabel Rout.  In one of these she mentions Georgie aged three (my father).

All of these are important family mementoes.  With the recent wildfires near Nelson I pondered what possessions I might take if I had to evacuate hastily in an emergency, but none of these family items were immediately on my list.  While I’m fond of them I’m not sure my daughters would consider them as important as I do, or even remember they exist.

They have significance to me
these relics of my family


Delightful Lights

Regular readers know that I am fond of flamingoes.   As I’ve loved them for more than twenty years I like to take some responsibility for their current popularity.  I was pleased to be given a set of three solar flamingo lights.   These are perched outside my kitchen window and they give a friendly greeting when I come home.

Pink flamingoes

After dark their heads and tails are lit up.

Flamingoes at night

These pink flamingoes welcome me
day or night, they’re good to see

Leisure at Library

Turanga just gets better all the time.

Jigsaw, colouring in, and chess

As well as jigsaws and chess sets inside, there are games to play on the forecourt.

Draughts and blocks

Noughts and crosses

I can’t remember what this one’s called. Can you?

All this, and books too!  Lots to attract families into the central city.  Have you visited Turanga yet?

There’s many ways to pass the day
when you are round Turanga way

Pet in Pink Hat

This little girl playing on the beach was well protected with sunglasses, a pink hat, and a pink deck chair with canopy.  I couldn’t resist taking a photo.  It seemed a little intrusive to do so, but she was in a public place, and is unlikely to be identified.  There were many people and dogs on the beach this morning and we rejoiced in wading along in the shallows with a light cooling breeze.

Warm summer day, the place to be
is definitely beside the sea.

Floral Friday

A friend gave me this lovely hanging basket full of petunias (thank you, Jo).  The colours are great because they match many of my other flowers, especially the hollyhocks.    I’ve been watering the basket every morning, and though the petunias have been battered by strong winds, they quickly perk up again.

Petunias are a genus of flowers in the Solanaceae family that originated in South America.  The Solanaceae family also includes tomatoes, chili peppers, and tobacco.  It’s the petunia’s resemblance to tobacco that earned it its name which comes from the native American word petun which means “a tobacco that does not make a good smoke”.  Petunias symbolize the desire to spend time with someone because you find their company soothing and peaceful.

It’s far from being junior
the colourful petunia

By invoking Keats in the first paragraph the author gave this book a scope wider than his writing, and a personal immediacy.  While his lyrical language often creates pictures that lead the reader’s mind further, the novel did not enthrall me.  It took me ten days to read its 262 pages, because I kept falling asleep, whereas I can easily read a book in two or three days if it holds my attention.

The novel tells of a clan of Scottish Highlanders who settled in Nova Scotia in the late 18th century, and their descendants.  Parts reminded me of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series.  Links with family and the past are an important aspect of the story, but the whole was just a little too bland for my liking.  I’d be interested to know if others have read it and what they thought.

This book which won the Dublin prize
sometimes caused me to close my eyes

Tutto Bene

To celebrate Stephen’s birthday we dined at Tutto Bene in Merivale, somewhere we hadn’t been before.  Our usual Italian restaurant of choice is Venuti, but we thought we’d try somewhere different, and Tutto Bene definitely has that genuine Italian flavour.  They have some parking available behind the restaurant, but that was full, and we were pleased to find a spot on Mansfield Avenue.

Stephen enjoying Veal Parmigiana

We sat outside in their leafy courtyard, at a good-sized table.  So often a table for two is small and cramped, but not here.  We shared a dish of olives, then Stephen had Veal Parmigiana and I had fresh groper served on a cauliflower puree.  Both meals were delicious.  By coincidence a group of us had been discussing the fate of bobby calves the previous evening, and remarked that you don’t see veal for sale these days.  Perhaps it all goes to restaurants?  Stephen couldn’t quite finish his generous portion, but still managed to share some of my decadent chocolate cake dessert.  I had a bottle of limonata, which I’d last enjoyed in Rome.  The staff were pleasant and friendly and we appreciated the fact that there were several small children dining with their families.  A group at a table near us  were also celebrating a birthday, and as their cake was delivered the staff joined with them to sing “Happy Birthday” – a extra bonus for Stephen.

After we’d finished we left through the back entrance which borders onto the St Albans Stream, and found the restaurant manager feeding the local ducks.  There were also healthy eels in the stream and a friendly cat on the bridge.  All in all, a most enjoyable evening.  Many thanks to the distant daughter who shouted this birthday treat.

Stream behind Tutto Bene

We recommend this restaurant
when it’s a special meal you want.