December 1865

Friday 1st  I finished sticking the Peas down on the flat.  In the afternoon I wrote a letter to Frederick Whittaker Esq, the Superintendent respecting the surveying of Mr Wyatts & my land up in the big bush.

Saturday 2nd I flat-hoed between the Peas in front of the house and stuck one row.
I wrote a letter to Aunt Anne in the afternoon.
All the Wyatts started off to Great Omaha first thing in the morning to buy a cow off Mr Meiklejohn, they brought a white cow home late at night with a fine little calf by its side.

Sunday 3rd  I had a bathe early in the morning with the Andersons.  Jim came over here in the morning and brought me a cabbage, a cauliflower & a few new Potatoes, he staid for dinner,  Tom Wyatt also came, after dinner we three walked to Mrs Monkhouse’s & up by Peter Cuckoo & home by the road, we called in at Mr Greenwood’s & saw great improvement, the grass is all going to seed and is looking very well.

Monday 4th It was rather showery in the morning, but it cleared up in the afternoon.
I transplanted some Scarlet Runner beans to fill up the rows in front of the house, I also began to flat-hoe between the rows of French Beans.

Tuesday 5th I went over to Mrs Kirkbrides in the afternoon to get some butter, but she could only let me have ½ lb, she will be able to let me have some more on Thursday when she will churn.
I called at the Andersons on my way home & had tea there, Jim is digging his Potatoes in the garden to take to Auckland. The cutter “Water Lily” went into Great Omaha in the morning.
I had a bathe in the morning with Joe, the water was pleasant.

Wednesday 6th It was a fine day but with a few slight showers. The wind was very strong in the morning but it went down towards evening.
I stuck the last two rows of Peas.

Thursday 7th It was a fine day. I began to make some hills in the morning to plant Water Melons. I went to Mrs Kirkbrides in the afternoon and got 1 ½ lbs of butter, I now owe her for 4 lbs   ie 6s.
I called at Mrs Andersons on my way home & she persuaded me to stay for tea, Jim came over with me after tea.

Friday 8th In the morning I finished making the hills, 17 in numbers & planted them with Water Melons. I also replanted the Nasturtions round the foul house & also up round this house mixed with Convolvolous.
In the afternoon I thinned the tops of the Potatoes out only leaving three stalks. I am going to try this plan as I think too great a number weakens the plant making it produce a great quantity of small tubers. I think in thinning out the tops of the Potatoes the number of tubers are reduced but the size increased. I also loosened the soil between the Peas & Broad Beans on the flat, the former are just coming into flower & the latter are forming pods.

Saturday 9th  In the morning John & Joe Wyatt & I went round in the boat to the Goat Island to try & shoot a goat, & Mr Wyatt and Tom went the land route.  We chased round the island several times but could not get one as they went up into the tea tree scrub and would not show themselves in the open ground.  Tom caught a nanny kid and brought it home with him.  There being such a swell round Point Rodney we were obliged to leave the boat on the beach opposite the Goat Island.  We had some driving showers of rain in the morning.

Sunday 10th   It was a fine day but the wind rather cold.  Tom & I went over to Mrs Anderson’s in the afternoon to have a look round and while we were there we saw  HMS “Curacoa” bound for Auckland from Sydney & I expect she has the mail on board as it had not arrived when the mail steamer left.   In the evening I heard the 9 oclock gun, it is quite a pleasure to have the “Curacoa” back again on that account as we always know the right time .
The “Ida Zeigler” came in harbour from Auckland early this morning.

Monday 11th   In the morning I earthed up the Potatoes that were last planted in front of the house.  I have now finished earthing up Potatoes for this season.
In the afternoon I commenced to make a fence round a part of the road that I am going to plant with melons.

Tuesday 12th  It was a very hot day.  John, Tom, Joe & I started off early in the morning to the main land opposite the Goat Island where we had left the boat, we also took Nero & Fan with us, we went on to the Island & scoured it over several times without being able to shoot any till at last we got them down on to the slaughter house rock where we shot and wounded five, but they all ran away, one old Billy received five shots one of which knocked his lower xxx to pieces, but he also ran away seeming very little the worse for his peppering, and we did not see him again until the afternoon when Nero & Fan  found him out and chased him into a cave where we found him keeping the dogs at bay with his horns, he then received another shot which he took very little notice of, we then set on him with our knives, dragged him on the ground and stuck him in the throat.  I never before saw such an invulnerable animal.
We had to be satisfied with one so we took him home in the boat, Tom walked home with the dogs.

Wednesday 13th  Mrs Anderson sent Joe over to borrow a bag of flour and she kindly sent by him a cauliflower & a cabbage.
I finished fencing in a part of the road.
Mrs Porter came over in the evening to borrow some tea.

Thursday 14th  The cutter “Isabella” went into Great Omaha in the morning, Jim Anderson came up by her, he came over here in the afternoon to return the flour they borrowed of me.    I continued to clear on the road.

Friday 15th  The little Porters came over here in the morning to bring over a letter that had been brought from Pakiri, the letter was from Aunt Anne written by Mrs Turlington.
I continued clearing on the road.

Saturday 16th  I continued clearing on the road.
Tom and I went over to the Porters in the evening and we called in at Mr Anderson’s on our way home.

Sunday 17th  All the Andersons came over here in the morning.  I staid at home all day to read  but went to the Wyatts in the evening.

Monday 18th   The wind still blows very strong from the NE in which quarter it has remained for several days, there is a great sea outside.  I continued clearing on the road.  It is Tom Wyatts’s birthday, he is 20, I went to have tea there to help them eat the plum cake.  Tom, Joe & I went over to the Anderson’s in the evening and enjoyed a very pleasant chat.

Tuesday 19th  I continued to burn off on the road and make hills to plant Water Melons.  Jim Anderson came over in the afternoon.

Wednesday 20th  Began planting Water Melons on the road.  Mrs Wyatt very kindly sent me over some Potatoes that came out of their garden & also two Snappers, John & Joe had been out fishing & had caught 20.

Thursday 21st  Mrs Wyatt kindly sent me over some French Beans that came out of their garden.  Continued making hills on the road to plant Water Melons.

Friday 22nd  Continued to make hills  & plant Water Melons on the road.  Went fishing with John Wyatt out at the Maori Point in the afternoon, but we only caught 4 fish, 2 Snapper & 2 Rock Cod.  I went to Mrs Kirkbrides in the evening to get some butter.

Saturday 23rd  Finished sticking the Scarlet Runner Beans.  Was very busy making cakes and preparing for Christmas.   Tom came for tea & Jim & Sidney Anderson came over in the evening.

Sunday 24th  Christmas Eve.  Mr Wyatt sent me over some Peas, they are the first I have had this season .  Tom & Joe Wyatt came here for dinner.  We went over to the Andersons after dinner.  Middlewood Kirkbride came there and we had a long chat.
I had tea at Mr Wyatts.

Monday 25th  Christmas Day.  It was rather showery all day.  Mrs Anderson sent me over some peas.  I dined at Mr Wyatts and a fine dinner we had.
In the afternoon we all went over to Kirkbrides including Jim and Sid Anderson to have a game of cricket.  The ground was not very clear or level but we had fine fun and it helped to pass away an otherwise dull afternoon.  I had tea at Mrs Andersons & in the evening Jim & I went over to the Wyatts where we finished the day by singing songs and making ourselves jolly.

Tuesday 26th  It was showery all day.   The rain will do a great deal of good.  I transplanted some Tomatoes in the evening.

Wednesday 27th  The “Ida Zeigler” arrived in harbour from Auckland this morning, she started away from here on Xmas day, Tom Anderson came up by her.
It was showery during the day.  I transplanted a good many  Cucumber & Tomatoe plants on to the road.  I also finished planting there with Rock & Pie Melons.

Thursday 28th  I went over to the Pa in the evening with Tom Wyatt to exchange an old pair of trousers for two bushells of Maize for the ducks.  Mr Wyatt kindly send me some Broad Beans out of his garden.

Friday 29th   I commenced to fall bush below the house next to Mr Wyatts.  All the Wyatts went to Great Omaha for the day to Mr Meiklejohns,  Mrs & Miss Wyatt remained there to stay a few days.  I went over to Mrs Kirkbrides in the evening to get some butter & I called at the Andersons on my way home.  Jim has begun reaping his wheat, it is a very good crop.

Saturday 30th  Did no work out of doors as I was fully occupied with household affairs.  I picked a good many Cape Gooseberries from the flat .

Sunday 31st  Tom Wyatt & I went with Jim, Tom & Sid Anderson up to their land in the big bush, they have got about 2 acres cleared & burned off.  It has burnt off  very well, but the ground is not so very good, it being hard clay.