Garfieldhug's Blog

This & That Including What Ails

Muffins Galore At Westfield Mall

Simply irresistible for tea!!


$7.50 for a coffee and a muffin at the Muffin Shop.

At The Brioche, they had muffins and coffees sold separately.

Lattes and Cappucinos go for $4.70 for a small up to $7 for a large.


Surprisingly Kiwi Land has scones but without cream and strawberries.

Mum enjoyed a Date Scone, which surprisingly tasted soft and sticky chewy in a flavorful sense.


Waitoki & Helensville – Macnuts & Swiss Chockies – Day 7

The weather is blithering cold this morning with strong winds greeting me as we huddled into the car.

Seriously, I am so wrapped up that if I topple over, I will not be able to get up..ha ha like an overturned turtle on its back😉

Our journey today was to Waitoki and then to Helenville where we wanted to seek out the Macadamia nut factory with a cafe where we would have lunch.

Along the way through Waitoki, we chanced upon Swiss bliss…chocolates made by a swiss lady.

We tried chilli chocolates and pralines. Not too bad after learning from her that her cocoa beans or chocolates come from Ecuador.

Not cheap as a smallish 50g bar costs $13 and to me, it was not impressive. Maybe I am fussy, being used to fine chockies from lil red dot made by the Chocolatiers there.

Still, in support of her business we bought 2 small bars for nephew and my sister.

Off we then went in search of the nutty farm.



Macadamia trees and raw nuts on the tree.

Being winter, the factory was shut and a few remnant packs were left on the shelf.

I took some interesting photos to share.

Paw paw trees or papaya trees with interesting fruits.



These hang differently from those on our local trees.

Lunch was interesting for me as I decided to have a breakfast plate at $18.50


Bro had a Thai Beef Salad at $16.50.


All cooked by Chinese.


Drury, Bombay & Hamilton – Day 6

We were greeted by a rainbow all day today as we made our way to Hamilton, going through Drury and Bombay for short breaks.

If only I could get that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow ha ha!


Drury had a touted good coffee joint and we popped in for a cuppa at $3.50 for flat white.

Called Roma and owned by Aaron who was doing the roasting personally and he was assisted by his sister and a Shanghainese barista chap who did the latte art, it seems they had won several awards for their coffee roasts.


Buckets of roasted beans to be packed by Aaron’s sister.


Next stop….Bombay! I was intrigued as the Bombay I knew was in India.

Yes, isn’t it amazing to be seeing a town called Bombay in Kiwiland!!

It seems that Bombay was where the largest olive farm in the Southern hemisphere is.

Simunovich Olive farm has 40,000 olive trees and the olives are made into cosmetic products like extra virgin olive oils, facial creams, shampoos and conditioners etc.

Unfortunately it is closed on Mondays. We were disappointed, having driven more than 50km.

Our journey today took us about 100km one way to Hamilton and another 100km for us to return to Albany, Auckland.

During our pit stop, we chanced upon a river…and the rains fell with temperatures suddenly getting very cold.

I wonder if these tiny plants will survive the wintry weather. These were growing in a patch near the river we saw.



Yes….according to my sister….the full winter is upon us.

I am keeping warm with my inanimate furball Garfield in jumper suit 😉 with the heater running!


Albany, Night Fall- Day 5 Part 3

The weather has been cold and wet.

I returned to my sister’s house with a warm fire going.


Wood chopped in summer from their property.

A game of billiards in their game room, followed by dinner at JK’s Restaurant.

Peking Duck…



Fish fried in black beans, french beans fried with mince pork, cold meats such as roast belly pork, char siew and roast chicken, meat from Peking Duck fried with bean sprouts not in photo as we were just too hungry.

Nephew enjoyed his sweet and sour and Bubble Tea.


$165 for 6 of us. Not fine dining but cafe style food was my view.

Edible and passable considering this is Kiwi Land.😉

Kiwi Land is heavily populated with Koreans, Japanese, Hong Kongers, Vietnamese, Cambodians and Indians who take over restaurants, veggie shops and expresso coffee bakeries or eateries.


Sunday Market At Takapuna – Day 5 Part 2

Sunday market is held at a parking lot in Takapuna.

I learnt a few things….

Celearic is meant to lower blood pressure…


Giant chillis…


Abalone in its natural state…unbleached in paua shell. Those I buy in a can are bleached!


Low and behold I saw a used Garfield amongst the stall holders…


I should have immediately “adopted” it or “rescued” it as the rains fell and stall holders closed for the day.

I was late in deciding as I thought I would finish the walkabout first before buying it from a Hong Kong immigrant who is an old man.


Sandspit & Orewa – Day 5 Part 1

Admittedly, I am a sucker for seascapes and these took my breath away!





I may live in a lil red dot that is an island state but we do not have these gorgeous views.


Day 4 – Natural Flowers & Vegetation In Kiwi Land Part 3

I am unsure if these are daisies but I love the cheery yellow flowers!


Lavender bushes….


Perhaps this is a different hybrid of Lavender?


Aha!! This I know….succulents!!



Day 4 – Honey Center Part 2




New Zealand is famous for its range of honey including Manuka.

The higher the UMF, the better the quality and grade of honey with natural “antibiotics” or protection of our immunity.

Ranging from $5.90 for apricot honey liquer drizzle in a squeezy tube to $195 for a small jar of 250g, this must be a prized product for New Zealand.


Day 4 – Puhoi Valley Cheese Factory Part 1


We had a quick stop over at Puhoi Valley Cheese factory that served fairly reasonable food and range of cheeses.


We tried the brie and it was pretty good tasting.


We ordered a pineapple, tomato and ham quiche and a butter chicken pie.


Mum and dad enjoyed it and it cost us $24 with a side of quinoa and bean salad.


The above board of cheeses were a sampler’s taste dish. It seems they won local awards for good cheese!


A meal will never be complete without ice cream.

We tried the Hokey Pokey flavor which was a mix of peanutty taste with hints of cocoa and a blackberry sorbet for $4.50! It was yummy!


Dr Mark Sinclair, Chiropractor

Dr Mark Simclair practises in Albany, Auckland, New Zealand.

I am one who visualises chiropractors as “cracking” this or that bone or joint!

I have seen how Mr X pays a hefty sum for each session of alternative therapy only to hear a “crack” here and there and cringe!

I immediately visualise all “them bones coming asunder” as if like Jenga toppling 😂

So when sister swore by Dr Mark as “good”, I was wary….very wary!

But by noon time, my thighs were screaming foul…pain in measurement of 9 out of my pain Richter scale of maximum 10.

Hobson’s choice, I had to go as Auckland has more chiropractors than medical specialists readily available.

Thankfully sister knows him well and he saw me as a squeezed in patient.

My trouble begins… in the pain department.

My admiration for Dr Mark went up a notch when he warned me against letting any chiropractor manipulate my bones or joints!

His technique was nerve manipulations and using the brain with zones mapped out, he treats pain through points, no accupressure but nerve manipulation.

I was “pinched” and poked or prodded with fingers but felt good relieve after.

My problem lies with no follow up on nerve injury post operation.

My chin and head postures were not aligned and my feet were walking out of sync with my hip.

I was told not to sleep with a pillow and that I needed 3 sessions or more to resolve my pain.

Admittedly, he said that I have high threshold for pain and he hoped that I could have all that removed.

Trouble is….how do I find time npw hanging around Albany area to sort self out through his treatment and forego sightseeing….my conundrum!

Ah well….we will see where I visit today… journey continues on!

P.s. Dr Mark Sinclair is located at 10 Oteha Valley Road, Albany Auckland, Ph 4780909. His charges can range $100 upwards.