Thursday, April 17, 2008

Glamorous bridesmaids and Roasted pumpkin seeds

This was at Amy's wedding in Queenstown, a beautiful day for all of us. Carolyn and Jocelyn were the bridesmaids.

Well yesterday was suddenly pretty cold and there were threatening clouds on the horizon so on went the first of the year's pumpkin soups - yum.. I looked up what to do with the seeds and learned they should be cleaned, boiled, salted and roasted so I did all that, and have been chewing them but they taste mostly of wood (the herb salt is good though!) and are pretty fibrous.

At five am we were all awake with a monster thunder and lightning and hail storm, thoughts of horses and cattle running through fences kept me awake so I tried to watch TV - brave eh? The power finally went off at 0800 and so I spent the morning producing hot water on the gas barbecue .. a waste of time, just an excuse for no housework.. not that one could :) with no water or power.

Thomas's heifers (famous for their nightly stampedes last winter) did indeed burst through a fence, I think all other mobs behaved themselves.

It's a little ironic that winter has arrived with such a vengeance just as we have delivered our woodburner to town for a refit.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Letters from Scotland to New Zealand 1879

Letters from Scotland to New Zealand held at Waikawa Museum. A series of letters between McKenzie family members from Stornoway and Ullapool, to relations in Southland, dating from 1879 to 1915, are held at the museum.. I am transcribing to www so they may be more widely available. Here is the first:

WW97 1114F

1879 October 8 Glasgow Scotland

My Dear Uncle, Aunt and cousins

I write you these few lines in order to let you no that I am in good health hoping and wishing ______ this will find you all enjoying the same.
I had a letter from my father from Stornoway since a fortnight and there all able to go about in their Usual Health.
Dear Uncle I got your address in my father’s letter for me to write to you ___ then I am taking the Pleasure to let you no that I am your nephew I am shure you don’t no anything about me but I wish to let me knownt to you uncle and also to my cousins. I may tell you that I came to Glasgow about three years ago and I am Serving my time to be a Mason for the long Period of five years. I am now in my Fourth years at the Trade and may let you no that this city is done for. My Trade Building is almost stoped hear together in fact other Trades as well as building is slack in Glasgow at the Present time but I have to tell you that this Place was _ good for workmen when I came to it at first about 7 years ago. I wish you to let me no Dear Uncle if you would advise me to go out to that part of the country or to Australia. I don’t think I will stop here after my time is out but I would like to get your advice.
And also to give me news of the Place and let me no is there building going on in Dunedin.
Dear Uncle I may tell you that my only Brother is in America this four years. I dind hear from him but once but my father is hearing from him very often. I wish to no how is my Aunt Georgina keeping and I woud like very well to have the Pleasure of _______ (seeying?) you uncle and aunt together in health.
I also wish to see my cousins that I can’t name. I wish they will write me and give me all the news of the Place. My father and sisters wished me to remember them kindling unto you all and all my cousins at home as well and also sends there respects to you Dear uncle and aunt and cousins. I must come to an end with these lines and I now wish my best respects to you I remain yours Truly nephew Alick McKenzie
57 Carrick Street

Ps Please write soon and give my respects to Malcolm and _(David?) Watt.

Ww97 1114F

here is the second:
WW97 1114I
Tasdale Stornoway Lewis
July 7 1881

My Dear Brother
Your very Kind favour of the 13th May to hand two days ago.. by which I was very happy to hear that you and Family and My only and Dearest sister was in good Bodily health.

I am very thankful to say that Myself and Family and all other Friends here about is in the same state of health in the present time. I am glad to hear that Georgina is getting her health so well since she came to stay with you last

Our herring season here is almost over for this year and we had a visit from a good few of the mainland Friends during the time it was going on I am sorry to say that it was a very poor fishing we had but its to be hoped that it will turn out better on the east coast than here that would do good for the many poor people that depends on it as there living.

I may tell you that I have retired ___ from the fishing trade altogether and indeed it was time many’s the dreary night I had passed at it.

I may tell you that ?Kenneth? my son who was engaged by the Hudsons Bay Company for the last five years has returned home this years and he is presently engaged by Murdoch McKenzie his cousin learning to be a plasterer.

I ?hear? from my other son occasionally and I have sent your letter to him so that he could see what you stated about his trade in the Colonies. Trade here is very dull and I am sure poor Alex is like many others thinking that the Colonies is better but it seems from what you say that Mason work is not going on atall. that the Buildings are all made of Wood , __ I am glad to hear that you here from ?John? Donald ___. Indeed it’s a very great shame for him the way he has forgotten his Friends at home. He has no excuse for not writting if he had the mind to do it.

I enclose the card de visit as requested and I am sure you would not think that I had failed off so much but I must say that I suffered a great deal of sickness this year through a bad Cold indeed I am sorry that MacLeod did such a low turn for Murdo’s ?Trunk? ?Friends? but it seems there’s no much use of minding on it again.

Please give my compliments to all the Friends there and more especially to Georgina my sister. I wish you could send to your Friends a portrait of yourself and your family so that we could see your ---?sons? in case we may never have the opportunity of seeing them personally.

hopping you will return an answer by the return of post.
Concluding with Best love I am your ---?very true? Brother Alexanander McKenzie

WW97 1114I


Monday, April 14, 2008

Zamon and Jen's daughter Terina at one year old has her own website full of pictures of whanau in NZ and canada...