One foot in the bathtub not one foot in the grave?

I have heard the term "One foot in the grave and the other on a banana skin" but this is nuts! How do we explain this one then. One foot in the bathtub, while I raid the hay I stole from under the electric fence. An entire bale of hay dragged over the house and scoffed! Just look at the little Terrorist toad. Oh soo innocent NOT! She knows I can't do a darned thing about it either. Crooked back seen to that one. Bah!

I suppose feeding the Terrorist to the Funky Fish there isn't an option either. I took this last Friday at Baylys Beach just out of Dargaville. The surf was right up and getting down to the beach wasn't really an option  that day.

In winter the sea gets very rough on what is really called Ripiro Beach. It's also the site of a 19th century French shipwreck. They've put a memorial up to the crew of the ship that was wrecked. I wrote a blog post about it some years back after I visited the Dargaville Museum. Check it out here.

And since I mentioned graves...here's a shot I took last Thursday at the historic Tokatoka Cemetery. It's an interesting cemetery to visit. Sadly it's also been very badly neglected and left to go to ruin. I was really appalled at the lack of care taken. It has several historically significant grave sites. I was given a hand drawn map by the Kaipara District Council. It turns out that effectively is the burial register.

This is the grave of a little girl named Esme Burdett. She was only 3 years old when she died in 1900. The headstone is wooden and hand carved. It's slowly rotting away and eventually it will be lost.  At least a photo will still record that it was there long after it's gone.

And this is the view you get from the Tokatoka Cemetery that lies just below the great volcanic peak of the same name. The river is the Northern Wairoa, once a highway for ships that carried away most of the Kauri forests durning the boom years of the Kauri timber trade. I read in a book called "Historical Aspects of the Northern Wairoa" that there were over 119 sawmills at the height of the trade. That's a lot of sawmills. Now all that has gone and so has the township that used to sit at the base of the mountain.

              Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19010809-7-2
The photo above was taken in 1901. Now all you see where the township used to be is paddocks and a bit of native bush. Well that's enough of my rabbiting on about having a foot in the bathtub. Til next time.


  1. Your cow cracks me up. Is she brown swiss? Do y'all milk her, or raise calves on her?
    Enjoyed the pics of the coast, too. Looks SO nice. We have such a drought here in Oklahoma, USA. 105*F here today :(

    1. Hi Danni

      She is pure New Zealand Jersey. She hasn't actually ever had a calf. We're changing that this year and will be running a miniature hereford bull with her and our other Jersey cow named River. River has had a calf before and she is quite good. Terrorist (long story how she got that name) the one in the photo was too small for a while to put safely in calf. This year she is big enough. She's halter trained which will help when she does have a calf next year. Oh heck drought? We've just got over a four month long drought here and ended up now with a terrible wet winter. Mother Nature is never predictable. I hope you do get some rain for the pastures soon.

  2. Norty terrorist lol. Cool photos though Liz. I love browsing old cemeteries, so historical.

    1. Very naughty! I really loved Tokatoka. I've already researched one grave, and going to write it up once I've photographed the headstone.

  3. Hi Liz,

    I cam across your blog doing some research for a book I ma putting together on New Zealand's old cemeteries. I wanted to ask your permission to use the photograph you took of Esme Burdett's grave in the Tokatoka Cemetery. It's a great example of the wooden headstones and enclosures used in the nineteenth century - especially in rural areas - which are fast becoming very rare.

    Your name would be fully credited in the book with the image.

    Please let me know via email: stephendeed@hotmail.com

    Best wishes,

  4. Hi Liz, My Great Grandmother, Agnes McKenzie, is buried at Tokatoka Cemetery. She died 21 Jun 1916. I went to the Cemetery a few weeks back, when I was in Auckland. She has no headstone. I would like to put one up for her. I saw somewhere that you may have a map? And that you may be looking at doing a Tokatoka Cemetery project ? I would be interested in knowing if she is on the map. I have added many names on findagrave - http://findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&GSln=McKenzie&GSiman=1&GScid=2628280&CRid=2628280&pt=Tokatoka%20Cemetery&
    Best Regards, Terry Love, Wellington