Tuesday’s gone already…

It is getting so hard to function at the moment. It is supposed to be summer for goodness sake!
I have been so jolly cold these past few days – it is unbelievable.
Guess it is that much harder after coming back from the heat of Western Australia and then a southerly hitting us. Down right depressing

Anyway, I managed to get the crew up and at the table at 7am again, it is good to reinstate the family Bible readings, even if there is only 4 of us at the moment. Gotta get the pattern going again, it is just so easy to let things lapse, so determination is the key!

Tim took Leslie & Crystal out to do mussel work and then around 9:30am Nathan took Azzan and me up to the yacht. We had a lovely time on board.
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Jesika arrived with hot boysenberry muffins, we were serenaded by the hostess. They had the yacht custom built and as she is a classical pianist they built a Clavinova (electric piano) in under their bed. It just pulls out whenever she wants to play. So we had a good old singsong. Tim came to join us for a short time and then he went back to work and Jesika and Mahalia went out fishing with some other friends. Nathan bought us home at midday to find a hungry Shannie sitting on the breakwater waiting for us. She had been happily playing with the Stephen’s children and hadn’t wanted to come visiting.

Just as Tim arrived back for lunch an old school friend of Tim’s arrived so there was a lot of catching up to do. He is now a well known NZ artist – http://www.benwoollcombe.com/
He spent the afternoon up the hill painting. He does what Tim classifies as real art

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After lunch we attacked the 2 bins of sweet corn Graham had bought down. I cook it in the oven in the husks, then we shuck ’em all and slice off the kernels and freeze them. Takes up way less room in the freezer that way. Also did a big bag of beans for dinner – they were so yummy. I am not normally a fan of beans but these were so lovely and fresh and very moreish.

I tried to have a rest later this arvo because I am still really tired and head achey. Not too sure why, but never got the rest as a friend phoned and we talked for an hour about her hassles with her exemption application. Then it was dinner and much discussion about art as there were quite a lot of artists in attendance. Always a spirited topic when like minded folk get together

Well, what can I say about today?
Tuesday has gone for this week.
We met new friends and enjoyed seeing through the yacht.
The sun did decided to finally shine this afternoon.
We didn’t get to any formal schooling yet again.
The children had fun and socialised and played board games with their friends.
We were given a load of lovely fresh veggies and managed to get them all prepared for eating and freezing.
I paid some bills and made meals and did washing and swept the floor six times.
I finally gave in and took some pain killers before dinner.
And yes they worked for a short time and now I am off to bed as I can feel my head ache coming back.
Pretty good day in all, I spose.

Where did Sunday go?

I am not too sure what happened yesterday – it just got engulfed.
Nathan & Shahar went around early to help Jesika clean the Lodge. I did the Cottage laundry. Then around lunch time I was thinking I should go start the school room but as I headed down the hall I had a strong urge to divert towards my bedroom and my bed called so strongly that I had to respond. It was very easy to stay there and sleep for an hour or so. Managed to get up just before Jesika and the boys arrived back.

I decided I really had to go start the school room as time was running out. Well! you have NO idea what I found up there. Nuana and Christine had done a great job of making it look tidy but only a mother could actually SEE what needed doing. We have been working constantly since then and I have just finished – midday Monday! I have a huge woolpack full of rubbish. Shoshannah had managed to squirrel so much stuff in her corner, it was unbelievable. I got really tough and biffed heaps. Funnily enough you can’t really see that it’s all gone, she still has plenty of stuff in there, but at least it is tidy and she can find things again. I was also glad to find several library books amongst er papers, one which I had given up on and another of Catriona’s – goodness knows how they got there.

Jesika took Mahalia home with her last night so she can do some music lessons with her. She is keen so we are making the most of her enthusiasm. Not a lot from the other junior members.

I decided last night that we needed to get some sort of order back in the house and family again – it has sorta drifted over the past few years and everyone has gotten so slack in the mornings. So I had the crew up before 7am and at the table for a Bible reading to start the day. It was just as hard for me so nobody can complain And even though Nathan is definitely NOT a morning person he managed to arrive rather bleary eyed but has been doing well ever since. I have allowed him to become rather a morning sluggard as he is a night owl bookworm, but enough is enough!!

After breakfast we got back into the clean up. Nathan sorted board games and Shannie and I sorted all the pens, pencils and other bits and bobs that collect – some necessary and others not. It has taken us till lunch time to get things to where I am happy and now we are all sick of the school room so Shannie and Azzan are making cheese puffs. Azzan asked his preschool teacher about cooking so she sent him a recipe. They were such a hit yesterday they are making a double batch today.
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Shahar left this morning – he has bought Seb’s car.
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Last night Leslie & Crystal from Taiwan arrived. So this morning they have cleaned the Cottage and peeled a huge pot of spuds for dinner as we have the Stephen’s family coming to stay in the Cottage this week. Tim decided that the huge moki in the freezer would be great to feed them all on. Personally I dislike baked whole fish, can’t be bothered sorting the bones, but most folk enjoy it. So that, spuds and salad will be great. Nathan is keen to make another lemon meringue pie but I did warn him that he would have to make a huge one to feed the multitudes tonight so he’s decided to do it another night.

I went to bed for a sleep this afternoon but it didn’t really happen. I did get to lie down and read and then with phone calls etc I decided I needed to play possum for a while. So I shut my eyes and the world went away for a short time.

I eventually got up and got things moving for dinner. The Stephens family arrived while I was trying to help Azzan get a game going on the computer. It was so frustrating because he has played the game many times before but for some stupid reason it won’t go now. I finally gave up and decided I needed to get the garlic bread done for dinner. Jesika arrived with guests who were mooring up for the night in their yacht. She had met them in Tahiti so was thrilled to have them come visit.

Dinner really was quite easy tonight – Gloria made a salad, Nathan stuffed the moki and helped peel the potatoes, Shannie made butterscotch pudding and I cooked some rice for Tim & me and dinner was done.

Now Monday has passed and it is off to bed, we have been invited to visit the yacht in the morning so I guess there goes my day at school!

Dozey, blobby & buzy dayz

Wednesday I slept in and just chilled and then all of a sudden it was nearly 11:30am and I had to zip up the hill to unload the new bull and load 173 sheep onto the stock truck. It came out hot and the sheep were pretty lively. Thankfully the truckie had a dog which helped immensely to get the sheep into the yards. One of them leapt clean through the fence to freedom so that left 172 to load. Once we got them in he basically had it all under control so I was just rounding up the next few and holding the large gate closed to keep them in the race. At one stage I was standing there for a while, it was hot and I went into a bit of a dream. Then all of a sudden the sheep decided to all make a run for the gate and caught me unawares. The gate slammed back and caught my elbow and wrist between it and the wooden fence – man it hurt. But nothing broken so we just carried on. It seemed to take ages but I was back home again in an hour.

I found a new dvd had arrived while I was away so ate my lunch and watched ‘Walk the Line’. That is one good movie. Especially as I am a fan of Johnny Cash. I watered the garden, fed the pigs and chooks and had an early dinner and got myself off to bed by 8:30am.

Thursday I had a wonderfully blobby day. I knew there was a launch coming in to get water as the water at Waterfall Bay wasn’t working but as I didn’t know what time I thought I had better get myself decent at a reasonable hour. They turned up midmorning, turned out they were local Marlburians and she had done her nursing training with Tim’s sister Jenny many years ago, we had a lovely chat at the wharf in the sun. I had my lunch in the hammock and then sunbathed a while. Got too hot so went and had a sleep on my bed. I was woken by the sound of our boat at the wharf at 3pm. Bother – they were home earlier than I expected. So on went the washing machine to get another half dozen loads of dirty camping clothes through. Dinner was easy as I had made salad and rice and they cooked up some fresh fish and crayfish.

Friday morning I was up and in the shower by 5am and left home by 5:45am. It was still dark and I had a great drive to town. No sun in my face as it was early and then too cloudy. Only problem I had was trying to stay awake as I got closer to Nelson. I was still so tired after my trip away and then a rather broken night. Managed to get several things done before my dentist appointment at 9:15 which was great. This is the last appointment for these teeth – two crowns and a bridge, so I now have a full mouth of teeth and an even bite again – yippee!

I had a pretty cruisey day, did a few jobs, sorted out my computer, and camera, had lunch with Estelle and Jayden – they were enjoying their first day of home schooling, then I buzzed out to Richmond to get groceries and possum poison. Also got 2 collars with bells for the kittens. The brats had caught their first bird the day before so I am hoping this will slow them down. They look pretty anyway! I got different colours so at least I can tell them apart more easily now.

Picked up Nuana on the way back (she had driven out later that morning) and had a frappaccino at Starbucks with her before going to visit Martin & Sylvia. Martin is looking good – 4 weeks out from his surgery. Then down to the motel to get my computer – John had been flat out and hadn’t had a chance to look at it, so we”ll get it sorted in 2 weeks. There were 5 or 6 guys from Australia who had just arrived on some pretty amazing bikes. 900cc & 1000cc Ducati’s and Suzuki’s. Very impressive. They are on a South Island tour. Dropped Nuana home and grabbed a pizza from Domino’s and left town around 8pm. It’s pretty tricky trying to eat hot oozing pizza while driving, so I had a few momentary stops to clean up the spilt bits – messy kid I am

I had my ipod so Johnny Cash kept me awake all the way home. Got home around 10:30pm and all was quiet here so while I unwound I unpacked some stuff, check emails and read the mail and finally got to bed around midnight.

This morning Azzan came and snuggled in with me and I managed to keep him cuddled up for nearly an hour. Was a bit traumatic having to face daylight today! But by the time I got a few loads of washing through – amazing how the machine cannot be used when I am away-!! and cracked the whip to get the children cleaning up their play messes from yesterday I was wide awake. Azzan helped me unpack the groceries from the car and then I hosed it down too. It is so dry that it is smothered in dust from the road – I always arrive in town with a 4WD that looks real – not like these townie versions who never go off the tarseal and are always shiney!!

Jesika arrived over this arvo to talk about the course she is applying to do in Melbourne. She is hoping to get into an institute there and do a 2 year double diploma in Events and Hospitality management. It is just a bit more difficult trying to find out the financial details when it is another country. Here in NZ she would be eligible for a student allowance, boarding away from home allowance and a student loan, as New Zealanders are considered to be domestic in Australia we only pay the normal fees but we are not sure what other benefits she can obtain yet. It is all very exciting for her, and now just hinges on if there is enough students for a midyear intake.

I am feeling somewhat jaded this afternoon so I should go get a meal on and get me and the children to bed early tonight as I really need to sort out the school room tomorrow and to do that I need my brain to be in working order. Nathan is making a lemon meringue pie so dessert is taken care of – yum!

Tim

Sam is the cutest red haired freckle face 5yr old kid.

The other day he said to his mother.

Why can’t my Daddy be like Tim?
When she asked him why he replied,

“Because I like Tim.
I like his face.
It’s a really old face isn’t it Mummy?

Why doesn’t Raewyn have an old face?”

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Sam – I want you to know that I also love his face – it is craggy, and rugged and chiselled and so full of love and laughter. It is so Tim and I love him so much, even more so after nearly 30 years together.

Last days in the Land of Oz

Saturday morning Murray took the dog, Michelle, Duncan and I for a 2 minute walk to the shops. I should have known he always takes the long way! It was getting very hot by the time we returned home. I spent some time with Hamish & Donna trying to work out what was wrong with my camera. I had been having problems getting the photos off the card. Because the camera had gotten wet before Anson gave it to me I was rather suspecting something serious.

We eventually took off south to Freemantle. Wandered past the old jail. By this time it was very hot and I was not coping with the heat at all. We all ended up at an eatery on the waterfront. I was feeling sick from the heat so when they others had lunch I just had a bottle of water. Duncan had ordered a huge fisherman’s platter so I helped him out and ate his salad which he very generously allowed me to have

From there we walked to the markets and wandered around for a while then on via a didgeridoo shop where Murray tried out a few and then through another market and back to the car. Said good-bye to Hamish & Michelle – even though we had only known her a week we parted old friends. I so hope she gets her passport and comes visit sometime.

Murray diverted into the centre of Perth so I could take my camera into the shop. It was quickly diagnosed that the memory card was faulty and corrupted so I bought a new one. Hopefully the photo files can be retrieved by a shop in Nelson as I didn’t have time to allow the Perth guys to do it.

They then drove up to Kings Park and dropped me off with strict instructions on where to meet them afterwards. I went through security, found the necessary food and managed to find a good spot to park up. I had a folding chair and was very happy with my spot. The place was a natural auditorium, grassy slopes down to a small lake with the stage set up behind. Bojeme was playing when I arrived. A very talented group of 3 young Australian ladies who play strings. http://www.savannah.net.au/
Most enjoyable, I was just sorry I had arrived late so missed most of their performance. After the break Grace Knight came on. Her style is sorta swing/jazz. Not really my scene and not as enjoyable.

However, at 7:30pm on came The Ten Tenors.
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‘Here’s To The Heroes’ concert.
They subjected us to 2 hours of excellent entertainment. Fantastic singing, amazing voices and 10 very handsome young Australian dudes to watch as well-!! The sang a variety of songs from classical, opera, Bee Gees, Simon & Garfunkel and their best one from Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody. I was sorry when they finished but dutifully text Duncan and made my way up to the meeting spot by the ANZAC memorial. As it was dark and there were hundreds of people and cars all milling it was a very good thing that Murray had been so specific as to where I should wait.

They all arrived around 10pm after picking up Jasmine and we zipped down into the city to look for food. Found a place and then Murray couldn’t find a park. He refused to pay for a parking building so we circled until he found a small gap behind a car and rode the pavement to fit his Landcruiser in. 4WD’s can go anywhere you know The food was awful, I sent my first plate back to the kitchen, and then had to eat my 2nd plate in a hurry as we were running short of time. It wasn’t much better and I was feeling decidedly ill by the time we got to the airport. We said our farewells to Murray, Hamish, Donna & Jasmine – the week had flown so fast – but we had packed an awful lot in.

Our plane left Perth at 12:55am and got to Sydney at 7am. Only 4 hours flying time as we went back 2 hours in time, and not too much sleep time. We were both pretty shattered after flying the red-eye special. Got a taxi to Duncan’s in-laws house. Sylvia was staying with her sister so I just met her parents Joe & Mary. They are a delightful Maltese couple who have been out here since the early 1950’s when he was 19 and she 16.

After Duncan had several coffees and I had a very needed shower Joe took us to the rental car agency and we picked up the car and headed over to see Aunt Elvina. She didn’t know I was coming and as I had never met her I was wondering how long it would take for her to click on as to I was. Well, she gave Duncan and huge exuberant bear hug and then when he asked if she knew who I was she said ‘Yes, it’s Raewyn’. Then I was engulfed! We spent a couple of hours with her. She was delightful and chattered away non-stop not noticing the times when I nodded off and woke with a start as I nearly fell off my chair or when Duncan also had a doze in the chair next to her.

We left around midday and drove over to Sylvia’s brother’s house. Young Joseph & Marcel were having a birthday party for their wee 3 year old, Sarah. It was a typical Maltese family get together, lots of food, hugs & kisses, noise and laughter. Duncan, Sylvia & I took off for a couple of hours and went shopping at the Sydney Markets. It was huge. Most of the stalls were manned by Chinese and a predominant number of the customers were Muslim, all the cd’s and dvd’s for sale were in Arabic. I found some clothes for the children. 10 pairs of sox for $10 for the wee ones and a tee shirt for Seb which said – ‘If you love something, set it free. If it comes back, hunt it down and kill it’!! Appropriate for an avid hunter I thought – and yes, he loves it. We then drove back to the party. We were both shattered by this stage so I dozed on the sofa for a while and Duncan escaped the noise and sat out in the garden.

Around 6pm we took off in the car and drove into the centre of Sydney. It was so cool to see the Harbour Bridge and Opera House up close. I was hanging out for a Frappacino so I was dropped off at Starbucks to get one and coffee for Duncan. We parked the car and then walked all around the Opera House. It was so amazing and surreal to be there. I said to Sylvia that I just couldn’t believe that the night before I was sitting in Kings Park at a live concert of The Ten Tenors and then this night I was soaking in the architecture and of the Opera House and the Harbour night life. So cool.

But all good things have to come to an end so we drove back to the house and packed out bags. Joe and Duncan returned the rental car and we crashed out at 11pm. Up bright and early next morning as we had to be at the airport by 6:30am. I was amazed at how busy the traffic was there at 6am. Went passed an accident – car, tanked and motorbike. Didn’t look good for the biker.

Duncan & Sylvia were flying directly to Christchurch with Air Emirates and I was flying with Qantas. I did some duty free shopping – found a really cool sunhat for Shoshannah and a fantastic Aborigine shop with some brillinat books which I just had to get. We flew directly over our farm just before landing in Wellington. It was so clear, I was kicking myself that I never took any photos. I could make out the house and I could see that Tim was out in the boat as it wasn’t on the mooring. We were late getting in so only had a short time to get through customs and find the plane to Nelson. John met me at Nelson in the Mercedes and chauffeured me back to the motel. I quickly loaded my gear into the Terrano, picked up veggies and headed for home.

I had a good drive in, wasn’t too tired until about 30mins before home. Of course when I got there my body was still operating on Sydney time so at midnight I was not really feeling to tired. This morning though when two wee people came in at 7:30am to tell me they loved me it was a different story. My eyes wouldn’t open. It was a major effort to find the shower and get the day organised.

Doesn’t take 5 minutes for the holiday to disappear into the recesses of the mind. 15 loads of washing, organising people to go here and there, getting instructions as to where to put the bull and how to load the sheep on the truck tomorrow, helping get them away on their camping trip to D’Urville. Yes, that’s right. They have deserted camp and gone hunting/camping/fishing for 2 nights.

Great-!! I can have a day or so to wake up, unwind, and maybe even get some school stuff organised for the children for when they return. I think we may just start with Australian Aborigine studies this year. After all I have soime great resources now

But just for now, I am totally shot and have to find my bed.

Last days in Perth

We were up and gone Friday morning soon after 7am. Had a non eventful hours drive north to Lancelin. We drove down to the beach when we arrived. There were heaps of large cray boats anchored up – they don’t go out at full moon apparently. In the shallows were two dolphins. They were feeding along the shore so Duncan & I followed them back and forth for a while. Duncan was wading deeper than me and got very close to them. It was so cool – they were not at all fazed that we were there.

 

We then found the bakery and had breakfast. Made contact with Hamish & Michelle – they had slept in so were several hours behind us so we decided to head further north.

 

Murray took us hooning along what is supposed to be a road. It was hard rutted extremely bumpy sand which is most exciting to drive over at a rate of knots when you are back seat passengers and all the gear in the back is being thrown about and you are clinging on for dear life – not! We saw a bob tailed lizard (sometimes called a blue tongue) so Duncan hopped out to try and catch it. He was a bit tentative as he didn’t want to get bitten. Murray caught it so we could have a closer look. Then released it and on we went. Finally a sand track out onto the beach at Dide Bay.

 

The boys let a lot of air out of the tyres so we could drive in the sand along the beach. We drove for miles. It was really cool. It is almost tropical island type beaches. White sand for miles, waves breaking on the reef way out and differing shades of greens and blues in the water as it broke on the beach. Just beautiful. The tide was way out when we got to Wedge Island so we waded across the channel for a look. Found an enormous sea slug on the beach. It would have been about a foot or more long (30cm+) when we touched it, it released bright pink dye. Duncan used some seaweed to shunt it back into the water. Never quite know how poisonous things like that may be so best not to take chances. There are warnings of Tiger sharks and sea snakes but we never saw anything threatening.

 

Duncan drove as far long the beach as we could go – they reckoned about 45km each way. Then when we came to an impassable rock outcrop we had to turn back and take a sand track inland a bit. Duncan had heaps of fun zipping along narrow tracks and then they decided to head back down to the beach – the slope was too vertical for me so Donna & I slid down it and took photos from the bottom as the 4WD came down. No sweat – but it was easier for me to watch it than be in it!

 

There was a small shack settlement tucked in behind the beach dunes at Wedge Point with several huge cray boats anchored out. Everything has to be driven along the beach and some of the beach shacks have been there forever, used by generations of families. Cool holiday place, right away from anywhere. We drove up on the huge dunes behind the settlement and got a magnificent panoramo of the whole area.

 

We eventually got back to the Lancelin beach and found Hamish & Michelle practising to be beach bums, it’s a hard life for some J We headed back to the township and found the 4×4 bikes were unavailable so they took the 4WD’s and hooned around the huge sand dunes. They cover hundreds of acres and we drove right up some really huge ones, some freaky moments when you get to the top and it is a vertical drop on the other side so reversing is the best option! Got nearly to the top of one, parked up and walked up to admire the view. The sea breeze was whipping up by this time and the sand was being blown off and stinging our legs. Very dramatic landscape & scenery. When we got back down to the bottom there was a rental car and two tourists who did not know how to drive in sand and were well & truly bogged. The boys tried to heave the car out but it wouldn’t budge so Hamish towed it. The folk were very relieved and thankful.

 

By now time was getting on so we loaded up and headed south to Seabird. There is a delightful Tavern right on the edge of the cliffs with magnificent views. Best thing though is that it has effective air conditioning and fantastic food. Highly recommended meals. I hate pub food so hadn’t been really looking forward to it – but it was wonderful. Don’t think the chef was too thrilled at having to cook 6 meals at 2:30pm though!!

 

We stopped off at a mall on the way home to get some things for dinner and then they dropped me off at Jacqui’s. My phone is being totally spastic, sometimes it will send and receive and other times it won’t so I hadn’t been able to contact her. She was home so I hung out with her for a few hours. Then her friend Gian arrived so she put the wee two to bed, left Joelle to babysit and we drove back to Murray & Donna’s. Had a great evening reminiscing about the old days and folk from Renwick – most hilarious. I headed off to bed around midnight. Dinner was a bit late because the Webber oven that Murray was cooking the roast dinner in wasn’t co-operating so we didn’t eat till about 11:30pm. It was all good though. The boys apparently had a very late session and didn’t crash out till around 4am.

 

Today the plan is to head down to Freemantle to explore and have lunch and then they are dropping my off at Kings Park for the Ten Tenors concert. They will collect me after the concert and go directly to the airport as we fly out at 12:55am!! It is going to be a hot one today – heading for a high of 41’C – at the moment it is not quite 9am and I am already feeling the heat. Duncan is already warning me that Sydney’s heat will be worse as it is humid – I think I will be quite appreciative of our NZ summer when I get back  

 

Shopping with Amy

I started the day a bit more leisurely. Then Duncan diagnosed that Murray’s boat trailer was close to death and not fixable. So the mission was to go out and shop for a new one. They dropped me off at the Joondalup Mall so I could get a ticket to an open air concert on Saturday night. Yippee! I am going to see The Ten Tenors live!! None of the others around here are cultured enough to accompany me so I am going alone, but as I told them, being alone means I get to meet people cause I will be able top talk to whoever I wish and not just be stuck with them lot

 

Amy met me there and we went mall wandering. Found an amazing clothes shop and spent a long time there. Then decided to mosie on down to the Whitfords Mall for lunch. Enjoyed a leisurely lunch chatting in the food hall then had a browse around. Got a text from Duncan to say they were all at Hillary’s – a marine mall centre. So we decided to go join them. Amy and I explored the shops, there are some amazing arty shops around Perth – I could fill a container but have nowhere in my house to put them – yet!!

 

Murray dropped Duncan and me off at The Old Bailey to meet up with Mark, a mate of Duncan & Sam’s from NZ. He was very entertaining company. We eventually got back to the house, Murray and Donna had just gotten in from taking Blake, their grandson, to his swimming lesson. The rest of tonight has just been spent blobbing and planning tomorrow’s adventures. Looks like we are in for another early start.