Toadies@Toad Hall Backpackers, Napier accommodation 

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Life in the pond - blog

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ANZAC Day - Dawn service and breakfast

Posted on 14 April, 2016 at 22:20

ANZAC Day is commemorated on 25 April each year. A time in which New Zealanders and Australians reflect on the nature of war. The losses, the sacrifices, the victories and the freedom we now enjoy. 

From an early age it has been a tradition within my family, as it is for many Kiwi and Aussie families, to wake early and attend the Dawn Service. I have memories of my grandfather marching in the parade, his medals polished and proudly displayed across his chest. Marching straight and true amoungst his piers.  Even as children, not fully understanding the meaning behind the ceremony, we felt the surge of pride at watching our returned soilders march,seeing our grandmothers wave hankys and shuss the child that spoke out of turn.

After the ceremony, it was home for a hot breakfast and the baking of ANZAC biscuits. A crisp or chewy cookie - depending how you liked them - made with oats and coconut, held together with golden syrup. 

My grandfather has long since passed away but I am proud to say, I have never missed a Dawn Service - though I was rather late for one, once!  My husband and I wake our son. We silently but quickly, pile on our coats and woolly hats, rushing out the door to join the stream of folk walking along the street to the cenetaph or other significant meeting point. On more organised mornings we even have coffee in mugs to warm our hands. 

The crowd gathers and waits, almost silently, for the ceremony to begin. I love it! The marching soliders and cadets. The pipe band. The gun salute! But most of all, the sunrise. Always beautiful and always a fond reminder of my grandfather.

Then, it's home for a hot breakfast and to bake ANZAC cookies. Two batches, one crisp and one chewy.

I love it! 

Summer has begun

Posted on 17 November, 2015 at 15:50

Welcome to sunny Hawkes Bay. Yippee!! 

The events calendar is filling up as venue's open their doors to host fabulous events in our wonderful climate.

The first of these the Summer Pipi Truck parking up at Zeelandt Brewery on 27 November.

Next up is a fabulous local performer hosting a Jingle Babes Burlesque Show at The Cabana.  This will be a fun evening and is also a fundraiser to help Cheery Boomb, who holds the titile of Miss Burlesque NZ, 2015, get to London to perform with really famous folk!

The night market will start for the first time in Napier on Friday - just a short stroll from Toadies. Good food and music from 5pm at the sound shell.

Fundraising event - 12 November

Posted on 5 November, 2015 at 18:30

We are the lucky ones. We are, hangover days excluded, fit and healthy and able to travel the world. Some of us may live with minor disabilities, some are simply socially challenged, but for the most part - we are free to move and go and do what we want.

So, here's a chance to give back....We're fundraising for a wee boy that was born healthy but at age 2.5 was struck by a disease that left him unable to walk, talk or swallow. We can help him. Details of Euwan's story are below.

Fundraisier at Toad Hall, 7pm, 12 November - silent auction, a chance to purchase donated items, entertainment, refreshments. Come join in the fun.

Euwan needs your help, please.

Euwan was born healthy, and progressed to the age of 2.5 years as an ordinary happy bright boy.

Then our world was totally devastated by a rare and complex illness called ADEM.


ADEM stands for Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis. Euwan also acquired a genetic disease called Mitochondrial disease.

This affected Euwan's whole body. His brain, spinal cord and primary nerve bundles were all ruined by the ADEM.


Usually ADEM will affect a patch of the brain, and the child is left with mild to moderate lifelong disabilities. For Euwan, he can no longer walk, talk, eat or swallow. Before the illness he could walk, run, jump, climb, ride a bike, he loved his dog and was his big sister's little shadow.

Now Euwan suffers daily seizures. He is feed through a tube into his stomach.

Due to the disease processes within Euwan’s body, his spine is twisting. This reduces his ability to breath, which reduces his respiratory reserve and drives further brain damage.

Euwan enjoys swimming and horse riding. He attends Fair Haven School. In all areas he continues to surprise those around him as he ‘pulls through’ again and again. Euwan can continue to do this with help from a DMO suit. (Dynamic Movement Orthotics)

The suit needs to be custom made to fit Euwan’s unique needs. It looks a little like a burn victim’s pressure suit and costs $2500

We’re asking you to help raise the funds so a DMO suit can be purchased for Euwan. This will help him breath, relieve pain and enable him to be with his family longer with more quality of life. His little sister will have longer to make memories with her big brother.

You are invited to attend a fundraising event for Euwan to raise money for a special suit which will improve his quality of life.

You will be entertained by a local silk artist. She will show just how strong and flexible a well body can be.

Happy 8th Birthday Euwan

12 November – Thursday – 7pm

Toad Hall Backpackers – The Orange Room

Drinks, nibbles

BYO – donation to support Euwan’s suit purchase