July 7, 2019

They say the older you get the quicker the time passes.  We can verify this. This September is our 40th wedding anniversary.  Forty years has passed since we sailed back to North America from Tonga on my little engine-less sailing boat.  

I started working in the Oil & Gas construction industry in 1972 in Alberta, Canada. Following which we have lived, worked, and travelled in many countries: Canada, USA, Algeria, New Caledonia, Peru, Republic of Georgia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Germany, Belgium, France, Australia and Malaysia, both in Kuala Lumpur and in Sarawak.

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1972 - Camrose, Alberta Canada

First Pipeline Construction Project

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2002, Hassi Messaoud, In Salah Gas Pipeline Project

2007 Lima Peru

2007 Lima Peru

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2008 Ayacucho, Peruvian Andes

2009 - Katalina eating Seafood in Athens Greece

2009 - Katalina eating Seafood in Athens Greece

2010 - Ostriesland, Northern Germany

2010 - Ostriesland, Northern Germany

2010 - Katalina in Nice, south of France

2010 - Katalina in Nice, south of France

Peter, Katalina and Granddaughter in Palma de Mallorca

Peter, Katalina and Granddaughter in Palma de Mallorca

2010 - Katalina and Granddaughter, Celia - Palma de Mallorca

2010 - Katalina and Granddaughter, Celia - Palma de Mallorca

2011 - Katalina at Berlin Wall

2011 - Katalina at Berlin Wall

2011 - Peter with daughter, Natasha, in Rome

2011 - Peter with daughter, Natasha, in Rome

2011 - Christmas Market in Germany

2011 - Christmas Market in Germany

2011 - Katalina in Amsterdam, Netherlands

2011 - Katalina in Amsterdam, Netherlands

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2012 - QCLNG Pipeline Project in Central Queensland, Australia

2013 - Katalina at Boracay, Phillipines

2013 - Katalina at Boracay, Phillipines

2014 - Christmas at Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2014 - Christmas at Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

 Since that first project in Western Canada 47 years have passed.  Nearly a half century! Hard to believe as in my head, I don’t feel any different than I did in my 20s or 30s. However, my joints are a little stiffer than in those early days, especial in the winter cold. During the coldest months of New Zealand, we escape to Fiji, where we are now, as I write in this blog.  Fiji is our second home, where we lived full time for about 20 years.  We have a revenue property here which keeps us busy for a couple of months performing maintenance and repairs for our tenants.  I relish the heat, having grown up in Texas and having lived in the tropics for many years.

We had a busy season over the summer. It was a hot summer which I believe broke some records.   It appears Tarltons Lodge has become the destination in the Bay of Islands  for honeymoons, wedding anniversaries and couples escaping from their busy lives  for a few days away, in order to have time out to celebrate their love.  With the private spa and privacy of each luxury room, Tarltons Lodge serve these guests well.  This season we had several couples celebrating 50 year plus, wedding anniversaries, and many honeymooners. Being married to your childhood sweetheart for half a century is a beautiful achievement.

 Additionally, our two children got married just before and after Christmas, with family flying in from Canada and the U.S. Come May, bookings dropped off,  we were afforded a little time off and  able to spend more time with our four granddaughters.

Rainbow Falls in Kerikeri - 20 minutes from Tarltons Lodge

Rainbow Falls in Kerikeri - 20 minutes from Tarltons Lodge

We put the two older granddaughters, one 16 and one 12 years old, through a PADI Scuba Diving course.  I took my Scuba certificate at 16 years of age, and wanted the girls to experience that first plunge underwater, disconnecting from the world above the surface.

Our guests continue to appreciate our generous breakfasts:

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As the bookings slowed down in April, we have been busy with routine building maintenance, and improvements in the garden.  I purchased a composting system from which the garden has subsequently benefited.  There is a steep learning curve transforming oneself from an offshore sailor to a gardener and I am enjoying it very much.

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We open up again in early August and look forward to meeting and sharing stories with our new guests, as spring approaches.  

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