December 1898

Thursday 1st   The wind was blowing strong from the NE.   We finished digging the piece of ground near the grape vines and Ernest then planted it with Maize.  I picked some Peas from the E.R. they are the first we have had from there, they were sown on 16th July.
It looked very threatening for rain in the evening .
Ernest went down to the Hall to decorate in preparation for the bachelors ball tomorrow night.

Friday 2nd   It threatened very much for rain in the morning.  We cut the Oats under the bay window, and commenced digging for punpkins.  Ernest went down to the Hall in the afternoon to prepare for the dance this evening.  It came on to rain and rained steadily all evening & night so the dance did not come off, but is postponed to Monday evening.
We killed a Sheep in the afternoon.

Saturday 3rd   It rained nearly all morning.  I did not take the mutton out until the afternoon.  I was trimming the vines at old Mr Wyatts place.  It cleared up a bit in the afternoon, but came on to rain again in the evening.

Sunday 4th   It was very showery in the morning, but it cleared up a little in the afternoon.  There was no service in the afternoon
J.  T.  was here for tea.

Monday 5th   Ernest came today to work.  We finished digging the piece of ground under the dining room window and then we commenced to dig the piece of ground near the front gate.
In the evening the bachelors gave a ball in this Hall, we all went to it, after we got there there was a heavy shower of rain.  We enjoyed ourselves very much.

Tuesday 6th   I packed the Eggs in the morning and went down to Charlies to get some to make up a box, hauled it down to the Steamer in the afternoon and brought up 100 lbs Flour that came from Dumpers, I also got a bag of B & B manure, afterwards hauled a load of firewood.  Ernest finished digging the piece of ground near the front gate, we sowed Oats & B&B in the orchard where I had grubbed 4 Apple trees, and dug them in.  Ernest went down to the Hall in the evening to clear up.

Wednesday 7th   It was a very hot day, but it thundered in the afternoon and came over very black and there was slight rain about 5.30 pm.
We were splitting posts behind old Mr Wyatts house.
I picked a lot of Peas in the E.R. in the evening.

Thursday 8th   It was a fine day, but there was a shower in the middle of the day.  We finished splitting the posts and then we hauled them on to the line, we commenced putting the posts in in the afternoon.
Ernest & Jane went to Mrs Gravatts in the evening to rehearsal.

Friday 9th   It was a fine day.  We got the Sheep up in the morning and fastened a wether up to kill, but afterwards we found a two tooth ewe with its leg broke so we killed it in the evening and let the wether go.  Ernest & I were fencing all day in front of old Mr Wyatts house.

Saturday 10th   It was dull in the morning and there were a few showers, but it cleared up.  I took the mutton out and we continued putting in posts.  We had dinner early as the young people wanted to go to Dacres Claim to the Cricket match between the ladies and young men, the latter beat by 8 runs, there was a heavy shower in the afternoon which made it very unpleasant.
I had an invitation to go to a concert at Pakiri in the evening, and I should have gone, only the threatening state of the weather prevented me.  J. T. and Ernest came here for tea, and Ernest & Jane went to the rehearsal, and Ernest returned here & staid all night.

Sunday 11th   It was a very showery day.  There was no service in the afternoon.  I wrote a long letter to my brother John which I intend to post next Tuesday.

Monday 12th   It was showery all day.  Ernest did not come to work today.  I was making fencing rollers in the shed.

Tuesday 13th   Ernest came to work here to day.  We continued putting in posts in front of the Cottage.
I took the bullocks down to the wharf in the morning and hauled up 1 Coil Plain & ½ Coil Barf Wire which came from Cruikshank & Miller and 2 Boxes Groceries from Dumper.
Ernest & Jane went to Mrs Gravatts in the evening.

Wednesday 14th   It was a fine day.  We finished putting in all the Posts, put in the strut, fixed the guy, and commenced putting on the wire.  I went to a School Committee meeting in the evening, Jane went to an Orchestra practice and Ernest went to Hadwicks.

Thursday 15th   It was a fine day, but it threatened for rain in the evening.  We finished putting the wire on the fence in front of the Cottage.  We made some rollers and then put in a new straining post at the slip rails on the top of the hill in the horse paddock.

Friday 16th   It poured with rain after daylight this morning and then there was a heavy shower about noon.  We fixed the slip rails on the top of the hill and tightened up the wires round the horse paddock.  We got all the Sheep in from the front, put 19 Wethers & 2 Rams into the horse paddock, fastened up 1 Wether for Killing and put the remainder of the Sheep out on to the farm.
In the afternoon we sawed off a small Kauri log and split it into pickets, and afterwards Killed a Sheep.
Ernest Wyatt finished working here this evening, he has been here 6 weeks & 2 days.
There was a concert in the Hall in the evening as a benefit for Mrs C. E. Gravatt, we all went and enjoyed it very much.

Saturday 17th   It was fine in the morning, but showery in the pm.
Ernest came in the morning & I paid him  £6 . 6 . 8  for his work.  There was a School Picnic on the beach in the afternoon, the young people went.  I stuck a row of Stratagem Peas in the E.R. in the afternoon.   Dan Kempt who had been shooting rabbits on the sand spit, gave us a pair.

Sunday 18th   It thundered & lightened very heavy last night, the loudest thunder I have heard for years.  It also rained heavily.  It was fine weather to day.  Revd R. McKinney preached in the Hall in the morning and Revd Canon Calder in the afternoon.  Joseph Greenwood was here for dinner, and he had a look round the orchards.  Minnie & Joe went to spend the day at Mauds.  Joe returned here for tea.

Monday 19th   It was a fine day.  I packed the Eggs in the morning and was making a gate in the pm.  Ernest Wyatt came and took his horse out of the farm.  I took the box of eggs down to the  Steamer in the evening.  Minnie went to sew at Williams at Big Omaha

Tuesday 20th   It was a fine day.  Miss Niccol & Miss Mitchell & Ernie came her for dinner, they went away in the “Orewa” in the afternoon for the Xmas holidays.
I rode up to see Maud who is very ill, they have removed her into Toms house to attend to her.  Mr Lane went to Warkworth for the Doctor, but he was Knocked up and could not come.
I staid all night and sat up part of the night with Maud.

Wednesday 21st   It was a fine day.  Mr Pratt started early this morning to Warkworth to get the Doctor, as Maud is worse.
I started for home at 6 am,  on my way I met Willie, George & Fred Pratt  & H. Raynor who had just been put ashore in the harbour by the “Falcon” from Cabbage Bay.  I was fixing the gate between the flower & vegetable garden.
Minnie returned from Willliams in the evening.

Thursday 22nd   George Pratt came here and told us that Maud was much worse and would like to see us, so Minnie, Jane & I went with back with George, the Doctor  (Dr Cairns) arrived soon after we got there, and after examining Maud said there was no hope, but would stay that night to watch the case.  Jane came down with a Telegram for the Doctor  and Minnie & I staid with Maud.

Friday 23rd   Jane came up first thing in the morning, and Minnie went home.  The Doctor saw Maud this morning and said she could not last long, we watched her all day, and she passed quietly away at 11.20 pm.  It was a great blow to us all and it seems strange that we have lost poor dear Maud.

Saturday 24th   Jane & I came home.  I went to make arrangements for Mauds funeral,  Alec Haskell and C. Gravatt dug the grave in the pm.   John Salt hauled the coffin over in the evening and put it into Walter Wyatts house for the night.  Willie & Fred Pratt came down & staid here the night.

Sunday 25th   Christmas Day.   It was a beautiful day.  But such a sad Xmas for us.   Dear Maud was buried this pm, the funeral leaving Walters house at 3 pm, there were a great many present which showed how highly esteemed Maud was.
Mr Greenwood read the funeral service & Hymn 264 was sung “Thy Will be done”,  all the Pratts came here for tea, and went home in the cool of the evening.

Monday 26th   It was a blowey day and in the evening it rained.  I was digging the piece of ground between the Peas and Kumeras.  Minnie rode up to Pratts, returning in the evening.

Tuesday 27th   It rained heavily last night, but was very fine to day.
I was mending the fence round the pigs paddock in the morning.
Willie Pratt came here in the afternoon and staid all night.
Walter Wyatt bought all his Sheep here in the afternoon, we picked out 27 Wethers which I bought of him reckoning them at 25 at 6/- each  =  £7 . 10 . 0.   I did not pay him for them.
Minnie went fishing to Ti Point and brought home a few fish.  I wrote a long letter to the boys.  Also sent  £6 on account to the D.S.C. in a Registered letter.

Wednesday 28th   It was a fine day.  Walter Wyatt took his Sheep away early this morning and started with them to Takatea Point.
I took the bullocks down to the Wharf before breakfast and hauled up a box of Groceries.
Miss Harding came home with Jane late last night having come up from Auckland yesterday in the “Kapanui”.
Willie went with us down to the E.R. to pick Peas & Onions.  I stuck the row of skinless Peas.  Jane & Miss Harding went for a ride in the afternoon and staid tea at Mrs C. Gravatts.
There was a shower in the evening.

Thursday 29th   It was a fine day.   Willie Pratt cut the tops of the pine trees off on the far side of the orchard  as they shut out the view.  I was tying up the Tomato plants to stakes.  Willie Pratt went home in the evening.

Friday 30th   It was a fine day.  Willie & I went down to the E.R. in the morning to dig some Potatoes, we thinned out some Onions and weeded and dug round some Water Melons.
I sowed 2 rows Canadian Wonder Beans where the water melons were eaten off by slugs in this garden.  We got the Sheep in from the horse paddock, fastened up one for killing, put 16 Wethers and the Ram back in the horse paddock, and the remainder out on the farm.
We killed a Sheep in the pm.

Saturday 31st   Willie & Fred Pratt came over first thing in the morning and they brought Horace with them.  Miss Harding and all the young people went fishing to the Maori Point.  They caught a good many fish they brought 2 large ones home, the remainder Fred Pratt took home with him.  Willie & Horace staid here.

The Fowls laid 372 Eggs   =  31 Doz  during the month of December valued at  18/1.