Follow the signs

From our travels through New Zealand  November 2019

I was very taken with the pedestrian crossing signs in New Zealand’s towns and cities.

Instruction delivered with an inclusive and light touch.

Stop and go Maori style.

NZ Red stop_

NZ green stop_

In Napier, a beautifully preserved Art Deco town ( yet another post that must be written!) What I first thought to be a nod to guide dogs, turned out to be a tribute to Sheila Williams and her dog Raven.

Miss Williams led the New Napier Week Carnival in January 1933 to celebrate the town’s recovery from the devastating earthquake in 1931.

Crossing light green dog


Crossing light red dog

Not the sharpest of photos, but trying to take them whilst crossing the road,  passed as an extreme sport in my book.

At the library

NZ wise Dr_

In Picton,  a list of warnings,

NZ picton OK fun

so it’s OK to have fun, especially if it involves, ignoring the second instruction on the list.  Just standing on the rail would be enough for me, let alone jumping!

NZ Picton Jump

Some signs warm the cockles of your heart

Support centre NZ

And some are more worrying, and makes you think that as a tourist, what do you see, or more importantly understand about the places you pass through?

NZ no gangs

Something else we noticed, a Kiwi, doesn’t go indoors in dirty boots.  It’s just not polite,  outside the bank, please note muddy footprints from utility vehicle to kerb, and discarded gum boots (or wellies as they would be known in the UK).

NZ muddy boots_

I’ll leave you with this thought.

NZ bread




Cold Feet

Cast you minds back, to November and I’ll tell you the adventure of a bold, but not very bright bird. Primrose the chicken.

Dusk arrived early, and the role call of chickens showed we had a problem.  Primrose was missing.

We called the neighbours, searched their gardens, scoured the lane by touch light, looked in the shrubs and bushes,  all to no avail.  Eventually we had to conclude she might have been picked off by a fox, who, made bold by hunger, made twilight strike, or she had gone broody and gone off somewhere to make a nest.  We called off the search.

It was bonfire night, rockets streaked across the night sky scattering glittering stars in their wake,  Spud the dog shifted uneasily in his bed.  Eventually all fell quiet, and then the rain came by the bucketful pounding on the roof in the small hours.

At first light, Mr Uphilldowndale went out to resume the search, to be honest he was expecting to find a drift of feathers somewhere nearby.

He couldn’t find anything. However, he could hear something.  Cluuuuccckaaaa, Chahhhaaa, Cluck! But where was it coming from?

As befits the start of a pantomime ‘It’s behind you!’ he turned on his heels to find…

Cold feet 2-0942

Can you see in the bulrushes, in the middle of the field pond? Oh you silly bird.

Cold feet-0939

She’d been standing, up to he knees (do chickens have knees?) in the water, all night.

Mr Uphilldowndale gallantly went in , braving chilly waters and slippery pond liner to get her*.  If you’d like to see how he got on, pop over to the video.

We took her into the kitchen to warm up. She can’t have had much sleep she kept nodding off in Mr Uphilldowndales arms.

Cold feet 3-0943

we don’t know why she was there, she will flap and fly a little, especially if startled.  She obviously didn’t have sufficient ‘runway’ to make her way back again.

* I think I’d have built a bridge, I’ve never been fond of cold water.

April 1st 2014

This advert was always going to capture Spud the dogs heart, dogs just want to have fun.



BMW announced a new system that puts the thrill back in to driving for April Fools Day 2014. It claimed that the Force Injection Booster works by “extracting kinetic energy from the car’s engine and converting it into positive g-forces”. The effect being that drivers can experience the thrill of high speed driving even at modest speeds of just 20mph.

Additional BMW ‘AirNet’ technology works to keep occupants hairdos in tiptop condition while all this is going on. In the press release Professor Mika Notbetrü, Head of BMW Innovation, described FIB technology as “Mind-blowingly unbelievable”


Read more:

Spud on Sunday part LXX

Spud the dog jumping though hoops.

Through hoops -1

Well only a hoop, but it is only a matter of time before it’s hoops: I’ll explain.

It was my birthday yesterday, a few weeks ago I’d said to Tom and Joe that I’d quite like a hula hoop for my birthday*, I thought it would be a bit of fun (I feel one should be on guard against life being too serious especially at 52 years of age). I imagined that they get one from Poundland on the way home from school, but being the Internet shoppers they are (that, or they didn’t want to be seen on the  school bus with a hula hoop!) Tom sourced and ordered one online. But due to a little communications glitch Mr Uphilldowndale also ordered a hula hoop. I shall soon be in receipt of a second hula hoop.

Joe has enhanced todays image, with special effects

Through hoops -1 With fire

‘Have you tried looking for hula hoops on the Internet?’ asked Mr Uhdd ‘It is soooo complicated’. Many things are too complicated on the Internet, that is why I haven’t yet managed to decide which camera flash gun I want, I think I may have even started the process last birthday *sigh*. Mr Uhdd shopped here, they were very helpful and efficient.

* I’d like to point out I asked for a hula hoop before Grace Jones got in on the act at the Queens Diamond Jubilee Concert: come on Grace keep up…

The Green Man Goes Cool


The Green Man with a contemporary flourish.

cool dude 3-1

A lost pair of sunglasses could not have been placed in a more prominent position.  I think he looks a little like Simon Cowell from this angle.

cool dude-1

I’m left wondering if it was just serendipity that the glasses were placed so well or if the finder was on a mission to find just the right branch to perch them on. 

There is often something to catch the eye on this part of my route to work. The trees cling on to the side of a steep gully

cool dude 1-1

with every last root at their disposal.

tree roots-1

It is where I’ve seen the brawling wrens in the past, today there were violets to admire.


I really can’t grumble about my commute to work.

Here is a Green Man blog, with some very nice photographs, very nice indeed.

Packing Some Summer Colour

As a family we lack the ability to pack light, and as ever we arrived here by different routes, Mr Uhdd went to pick up Joe from Southampton University, where he’d a high old time  on a course for year nine pupils (age 14)  in marine technology (he wants to do another course next year with the Smallpeice Trust)

So with two cars, mountain bikes (x3), boats (x3) I felt I need to bring something just for me. I brought a pot plant (no not that sort of pot plant, someone has made that joke already) I brought my pot of  mesembryanthemums


it was too pretty leave behind, and it would be past its prime by the time we get back.  I think taking a plant on holiday is something my family would describe as one of my Miranda moments (I have many, it seems).

Mrs Ogg brought her colouring pencils on holiday

Mrs Ogg brought her colouring in set-1

This is what she made

Salcombe (c) Mrs Ogg-1

And she does other stuff too

talking on the beach (c) Mrs Ogg-1

Backing a Winner

Interrupting our little jolly around Pembrookshire, I bring you breaking news that Mr Uphilldowndales début TV performance has hit the screens.

The new £3.5million campaign from Hovis featuring a TV ad in which farmers race to promote that it only uses 100% wheat has rolled out to beat this year’s Grand National.

He’s to be seen more than once in different roles, he’s easiest to find in this full length version, 90 seconds ( Frustratingly, I can’t get it to load as a video clip)

We’ve told him not to give up the day job, but he’s done that already…

I think regular readers might recognise  the landscape, especially the drystone walls ( note, no drystone wall were injured or harmed  in the making of this film).  This is the shorter youtube version, 30 sec, without my man.