A Little Woofathon

Me and Daddy having a little cuddle in front of the fire.

Greeting loyal readers and fellow maremmas.  Now as you all know We three do like a good woofathon.  Just to let the neighbours and the world in general know that We are all here keeping an eye on everything happening in our ‘hood.  Every day, often more than once the neighbour walks his greyhounds.  Every day, often more than once a day We three have to let our family and anyone else within listening distance that this is event is occurring. And how do We do this might you ask.  Why We have to rush out and bark, and bark and then bark some more.

See our modus operandi.


Aren’t We the three bestest maremmas in all the land!!



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Our visitors have Gone

See Me and Nellie waiting for some tasty treats to fall from the table.

Greeting loyal readers and fellow maremmas. Over the last weekend it was Queen’s Birthday weekend, celebrating Elizabeth II’s birthday. It is a public holiday here in New Zealand, hence the arrival of our visitors.  Brother even came home for the long weekend, bringing his dirty washing home for mummy to do.

The weather was fine and lots of good food was cooked and eaten.  Mummy made two date loaves and two Feijoa chocolate cakes, however, she forgot to take photos of them to prove their existence, before they were eaten by our hungry guests.  On Saturday night, daddy cooked a slow roast pork,  it was in the oven for 7 hours. Imagine all that tantalising smell waffting through the house all day.

Any tasty treats in the offering?

Did they share anything with the three bestest maremmas in all the land?  Yes, of course, but not as much as We think we deserve.

Mummy and aunty had to go to Palmerston North to visit their uncle who is in hospital.  Travelling back, our Holden SUV started to play up and begun to lose power.  Mummy managed to get it to our local garage and daddy picked them up from there.  It would transpire that our Captiva got knocked out by a rat climbing into the engine air intake and chewing on the air filter. Resulting bits caused wild sensor readings which made the engine do all sorts of weird stuff. Rat chewed its way through the air filter cover to get out as well.  Mummy says Lord knows how much the repair bill will be, but thankfully any repairs will be covered by insurance.


A picture of our car

Love the three bestest maremmas in all the land.

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Today is the first day of Winter

See Me under a nice warm blanket.

Greetings loyal readers and fellow maremmas. Today, is the first day of Winter,here in the sunny Mangmahu Valley. However, today seems a little misty.  Mummy, of course has been too busy to attend to the bloging needs of the three bestest maremmas in all the land.  What has she been doing, you might ask? Well, she has been attending to her garden.  She was telling daddy who is no gardener that currently growing in the vegetable garden are the following: celery, broccoli, cauliflower, broad beans,  garlic, potatoes, boy choy, silverbeet, spring onions and red onions.  Not bad for beginning of winter.

Would you like to see some photos, mummy took this morning.  Of course, you would.  Before I forget, We overheard mummy and daddy talking about the guest who were supposed to be coming to visit Us at Easter are now arriving this weekend.  Hurrah.  As loyal readers know We love visitors.  All the love and tasty treats that We deserve.  Mummy is even talking of doing some baking.  Wonders never cease to happen!!.  Love the three bestest maremmas in all the land.


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Now, isn’t this the picture of innocence?

Greeting loyal readers and fellow maremmas.  Now as you all know I am the bestest maremma in all the land.  I can do no doggy wrong.  Goodness oozes from every paw. So imagine my surprise when mummy started yelling at me!!! Something about being a “bad dog”.  How can that be loyal readers?  Could it be something to do with me eating the freshly cooked beetroot that mummy was going  to prepare as a salad? Nah couldn’t be.

See the picture of perfection.

Just like Nellie, who is a good dog.

Love the three bestest maremmas in all the land.


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Winter Gardening

Greeting loyal readers and fellow maremmas.  Now as you all know it is autumn here in the sunny Mangamahu valley.  One of the many things mummy has been doing is preparing the garden to begin planting winter vegetable plants.


She planted 18 broad bean seeds and 17 germinated.  She thought that was pretty good.

The broad bean seedlings planted in the garden. The netting is to keep those pesky chickens out until the plants get bigger.

Her cauliflower plants are growing.  Just as well, because due to the bad weather we have been having in New Zealand the price of vegetables has shot up.  Cauliflowers are selling for up to NZ$10 EACH.

There are three cauliflowers growing and there are more seedlings to be planted out.

Tiny coloured silverbeet seedlings.

Today, she is going to plant garlic in an already prepared garden bed.

Would you like to see some photos of Itai, taken by sister when she was home from uni-ver-si-ty last month.  Of course, you would.

Love from the three bestest maremmas in all the land.

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Italian Maremmas

Itia checking out Nellie’s new bed.

Greeting loyal readers and fellow maremmas.  Sorry We three have not been around in Blogville lately.  It would seem that mummy has better things to do been busy lately with other activities, rather than attend to the blogging needs of the three bestest maremmas in all the land.

So,   what prompted mummy to come back online was a couple of photos a friend of hers sent to her all the way from Santo Stefano in I-ta-ly.  We three do not know of this place, mummy says it is far, far away and it the country where We maremmas come from.

See don’t these dogs look just like Me, Nellie and Itai.

Love Nellie, Jasper and Itai, and We promise to back soon.


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Sunny Days are here again

Greeting loyal readers and fellow maremmas. Well, the forecast rain and flooding thankfully did not eventuate and after a few days the rain stopped. Mummy was very busy taking advantage fo the few sunny days we were having by going outside and “hanging washing on the line” and daddy was very busy “mowing the lawns”. However, their plans are being thwarted by yet another storm that is about to hit New Zealand in the next few days.

Here are a few photos mummy took of the swollen river and damp countryside, when she went on one of her walks.

Off, we three go, for We have heard rumours that we are having guests over Easter and that brother could be coming for a visit.  As loyal readers know, We love having visitors.  All those tasty treats just waiting to be given to the three bestest maremmas in all the land.

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Rain, Rain, Go Away

Greeting loyal readers and fellow maremmas. As they say it never rains but it pours and believe Us it is pouring here in the sunny Mangamahu valley.  The storm is the tail end from a cyclone that has caused devastation in Australia.  In fact it has been raining so much and there is more rain to come that there has been a state of emergency declared this afternoon.  Evacuations of homes in Wanganui will commence tomorrow.  The mayor says the flooding could reach levels of “historical precident”.

Daddy is in Wellington and is trying to get home, hopefully tonight.  Don’t worry about the three bestest maremmas in all the land.  We are safe and warm, snoozing inside.

Here are some photos taken by aunty this afternoon at about 5 pm of the Mangawhero River, which is about 1.6 km (just under a mile)  from our place.

We are about 30 km (18 miles) from Wanganui and the weather prediction for the next few days is not good.  Due to flooding and slips we could be cut off for up to a week depending on how high the rivers get.  We will keep you posted.

Love the three bestest maremmas in all the land and their family.



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Doggy Poem

This Is Just to Say: A Mad Lib For Dogs

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Skiing in Foreign Lands

Me and Nellie have a rest in front of the fire.

Greeting loyal readers and fellow maremmas.  Now as you all know, aunty likes to go off and ski in interesting parts of the world.  Rather her than Us, for We do not like snow.  It is cold and as loyal readers know We three do not like getting our fur and paws cold.

In January this year, aunty travelled to Iraqi to go skiing.  Here is an article about her time there, from the Guardian

Iraqi Kurdistan: intrepid skiers break new ground

Three hours’ drive from Mosul, the small unspoilt pistes at ski resorts around Mount Halgurd, northern Iraq, are luring the first overseas tour groups

Iraq’s sole ski lift, at the Korek Mountain resort.
Iraq’s sole ski lift, at the Korek Mountain resort

‘For those who want to just ski a nice piste, have a beer, then go to a disco, it’s probably not so appealing.” James Willcox, co-founder of adventure travel company Untamed Borders, is talking about who might – and would definitely not – be interested in its latest offering: a ski tour of Iraq.

In January, Untamed Borders ran what was “probably the first ever commercial ski trip” to the country, taking a group of six intrepid travellers to the region around Mount Halgurd in the north-east of Iraq, three hours’ drive from Mosul and 500km north of Baghdad. Flying in to the city of Ebril (via Istanbul) they spent two weeks ski-touring this part of Iraqi Kurdistan, through landscapes rarely seen by western travellers.

Skinning near Choman.
Skiing near Choman

The ski season might be coming to a close, but if you’re looking for a trip for 2018 that’s got a little more edge to it than a week in a chalet in Chamonix, then this could be for you.

Willcox and his team have years of experience organising tours to less-travelled countries such as Uzbekistan and Somalia, and this tour was led by a guide who has previously led skiers in Afghanistan. The tour cost $2,400 for 10 days, excluding flights.

The tour group skied Choman and Mount Halgurd in January, while boarding with a local family. It also visited Penjwen, near the city of Sulaymaniyah, which has a nordic ski club, and the Korek Mountain, a “tiny” ski resort with a gondola, which was celebrating its annual Snow Festival.

Ski touring near Mount Halgurd - Iraq’s highest peak.
Ski touring near Mount Halgurd – the highest peak entirely withing Iraq.

Still, as one would expect, skiing in Iraq comes with its own unique challenges. The Foreign Office advises against all travel to much of the country, and all but essential travel to the rest. As a result, many insurance policies are void, but Untamed Borders is able to recommend companies that still offer cover.

“You have all the usual issues of skiing, but also need to avoid landmines, and unexploded ordnance from the 1980s near the Iraq-Iran border,” says Willcox. “You can’t get too close. But we work with local partners, guides in the area who know this, who know the areas you can’t ski for various reasons. We also use GPS, so if there’s a whiteout you don’t stray from where you’re meant to go.”

Not surprisingly, Mike Hinckley, 56, one of the skiers who joined January’s tour, had his reservations. Among them he listed “Islamic State, ongoing aspects of war and the perception that I, as a US citizen, might not be exactly welcome.” But he was drawn in by the opportunity to ski in a place where “virtually no one, if anyone, has ever skied before”. He admits it was frustrating at times, having to work around the “logistical, social or administrative limitations” of skiing in a country with a completely different set of safety concerns to a regular mountain zone, but it was about more than just the skiing.

“When we attended the Korek Snow Festival, we interacted with so many people (and TV personalities), and they seemed so happy to meet us, talk and take selfies with us – that was wild,” says Hinckley. “At that moment, the skiing almost became secondary.”
untamedborders.com, details of the 2018 trip will be on the website in April

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