I was up at 6am so I could get an early morning work out at the gym.
Then back for a shower and chuck all the kids into the Safari and chugged off down the road to Picton for the 10am ferry.
We had to sit in the queue for an hour and then some. For some unknown reason the ferry was late and we never loaded until 10am. So it didn’t leave Picton till 10:25am.
The children were very happy to just sit in the children’s playroom and blob in front of the video.
We arrived at 1:25 and drove straight up to meet Rick at the Te Papa Research Centre.
He is the Crustaceans expert there and spent the next couple of hours showing us around the bowels of the building. We saw all the exhibits that are stored and being used for research from the teeniest shells to the largest penguins and the hugest gigantic squid.
We even found a moa at the door – covered in kiwi feathers

The time zipped by and we had to finally drag ourselves away as we were meeting Marie at Te Papa. Cat and I did a hurried change of clothes behind car doors in the car park building and then we ran in to find Marie. The children had some afternoon tea at the cafe while we had a quick catch up chat with her. Then we left them to in her tender care while Cat and I went to the Bats Theatre to Charlotte’s book launch of her first book of poetry – The World’s Fastest Flower. Her play Burnt Coffee was beginning immediately afterwards. We wished we had made the time to attend that too but we hadn’t so we zipped back to rescue Marie from the children. They had had a great look around Te Papa and were tired and ready to leave.

It was a long drive up the coast to Paraparaumu. We picked up pizza on the way.
Lovely to finally get to my uncle and aunts place – Owen & Hanne.
We eventually found our sleeping places and got the little people tucked in.
Friday morning we pottered around and socialised for a while. I got to drive Hanne’s lovely new car to the gym before breakfast,
Maria was home from Christchurch for the weekend and the children had a great time entertaining her.

Cat & I were out in Hanne’s studio for a while and came inside to find them all creating at the table

We finally left around midday and headed down the coast to Wellington to see if Cat could find stuff she needed at the boat chandlery place. But to no avail. So we headed up to Lower Hutt and visited with Miriam for an hour and then went to the mall to get sushi for the children’s lunch – at 3pm!
That kept their wee tummy’s happy while we visited Tim, Joan & Luke. Aunty Janet & Uncle George popped down to ay hi too.
Nice to catch up with them all.

It was getting late, cold and dark so we left and drove over the hill back to Paraparaumu, stopping to get some supplies for dinner. Cat was making a pumpkin pie for dessert. While dinner was being prepared I realised the children were very quiet – I found them up on their mezzanine beds watching Uncle Owen carving – they were mesmerised.

Saturday, we left a little earlier. Met up with Bernadette and went for a wander to find some lunch. We found a great sushi place which kept Cat and the kids happy. Bernie and I had noodles – they were the best.
While we were eating Cat was making calls. She had gotten a text from a friend to ask if she wanted a job. It began to get very exciting.
She was being offered a job doing industrial abseiling in Fiji.
So on that note we then all had to head down to the Opera House to the Cats show. We were stopped for a few minutes by a street performer doing the same swallowing the sword act Shanni and I had seen in Melbourne – I think they must’ve both gone to the same street theatre school-!!

‘Cats’ was great – it was just a bit hard for the little ones to see as we were way up high in the gallery. I had Azzan on my knee most of the show and Hali was moving about to see around the adults in front who kept moving their heads – a bit frustrating but still an enjoyable show.

We then said good-bye to Bernie and headed north to Plimmerton to have dinner with Rick and Helen.
Owen & Hanne joined us and we had a lovely evening together.

Sunday we were up early and packed so we could get down to the city to do a few things before catching the ferry.
We went to Parliament and the Beehive.
Great examples of architecture that we had discussed and now they could see it in the real.
I was saying to them ‘Look at those Doric Columns’ and Shanni asked how I knew all of this information and I said because I learn it with YOU!!! Very pointedly as it was obvious she had forgotten what Doric was
The children ‘met’ up with one of our early Prime Ministers – Richard John Seddon.

We spent a lot at Arty Bees 2nd hand book shop and then met up with Joanna and had an early lunch with her at a food court – once again the children had sushi.
We said good-bye to her and then loaded ourselves back into the Safari and drove to the ferry.
This time we didn’t have to wait too long and the ferry left on time.

Cat decided to drop me at the supermarket to get the groceries while she went to Granny’s to load up the stuff we left there and get fuel.
It was late and we were tired so just wanted to get home.
It was raining off and on which was great. We desperately need the rain. We stopped in and picked up some more budgies for Shanni – so with the doves that Owen had given her we had a real car full of feathery critters-!!

It was nice to get home. The birds got released and the children put to bed.

Today Cat has been busy getting the storage area in the attic lined out.
She is on a mission!
There has been updates about the job coming in throughout the day.
Jesika is also going if it works out – it will be a great opportunity for them both.
But it will hinge on whether the locals can handle having women working there.
But no matter what happens Cat has been offered the job and can also work at it here in NZ.
So watch this space as it all unfolds…….

Seb has been getting more school work done. I also helped him make curried sausages and garlic bread to take to work.
He is leaving at 4:30am.
Bri made a delicious fruit pie and a courgette dish for dinner.
She is heading off tomorrow also as she has work on the other side of the Sounds for a few weeks.

Nathan has been helping Tim with mustering and wood gathering today.
The little ones helped unload the truck

I forgot to say also – Tim’s back is heaps better – the physio had him sorted very quickly which was great

May has escaped me!!

It is June 2nd and I am not too sure where the last couple of weeks in May went to.

We had 5 wwoofers here for the last 3 weeks.
There was a lot of work done and fun stuff too.
Chi and Winnie heading out kayaking

Alvaro helping Tim open and eat mussels

Nicholas reconditioning mussel ropes on the wharf

Nathan chatting to Tom his fairly flightless budgie

We went to Nelson for a wedding last weekend.

I had to have Cat out at 8:30am to have her finger ultra scanned.
There is definitely 3 pieces of kina spike in the joint so now we have to see what they will do about it.
Then the kids to the dental clinic and then we caught up with Tim and got him from the dentist to the physio.
He was getting new tyres put on Anson’s ute so we had a bit of transport juggling to do.
Cat headed off back home with her boss/skipper at midday and Tim & Nathan took Eden home and then went to Motueka to pick up timber and fruit.

I realised durng the day that Tim & I were actually in town together at the same time.
So I text Seb and asked him if he could baby-sit that night.
That was all cool, so I got the kids a humungous feed of fish and chips and left them to it at the motel.
I had to drag Tim away from eating their fish & chips to get him to a lovely Italian restaurant called Venice Cove.
It is run by Italians and the food was superb.
Tim had to try the Alaskan King Crab pasta – an expensive experience and not one he will repeat!
I finished up with the most divine Tiramisu.
It was a lovely evening with time and peace to sit and talk.

Saturday was a lovely day for Jessica & Matthew’s wedding.
Jessica looked delightful in her light and floaty dress and the bridesmaids wore the most glorious colours
Shanni had fun decorating Tim with the beautiful Autumn leaves that were falling all about the grounds.
It was a 10:30am service at the Holy Trinity Church in Richmond and then a late afternoon tea at the Brightwater Hall at 4pm.
So we all went to MacMillan’s pottery and had lunch at the Alchemy cafe with Ross, Lenore and boys.
It was lovely whiling away the hours with them over good food.
The time flew and we were soon out at the hall for more food, socialising and speeches with the other 240 (give or take 1 or 2!!) guests.

Bri & Shanni left at 6:30pm and picked up Joanna (a friend’s sister from UK) on the way home.
Tim & Nathan left at 7:30pm and after a lot of loading up and slow driving with a heavy trailer etc. they got home at 2am!

Chi had been experiencing her first Kiwi wedding so we stayed on longer with the 2 little ones. As we were going to say good-bye Azzan found Jessica unwrapping the presents. He had a glorious time helping her. He carefully chose the gifts with ribbons and bows and then pulled them off with great glee and stuffed them into his pockets. He loves pretty things and Jessica was most happy to let him have them all.
We finally left before 10pm – it was a very cold night so we didn’t muck about. We dropped Chi off at her hostel and then headed to the motel to warm up in our beds. Seb had gone to the movies and he arrived soon after.

Sunday we packed up and did a few jobs, got groceries for us and Seb.
I took him through to Rai Valley and then he picked up the truck and headed back to work.
He is now gainfully employed with a signed 3 month contract

We only had 3 nights back at home before we had to leave for our trip to Wellington.
So it was a busy few days getting clothes etc. unpacked, washed & dried and repacked.

Bernadette, Joanna, Winnie with Shanni just before we left for Wellington.

I had a particularly stressful morning Wednesday – mainly because I had some paperwork I needed to deal with and I tried but I couldn’t get it done so got upset and then had to just walk away from it until I returned. Unfortunately it really rattled my cage for the rest of the day. We had to be in Blenheim by 2:45pm for Shanni’s appointment with the optometrist.
I am so glad I finally made that appointment. He gave her a thorough going over and finally decided she has Keratitis.
So we now have to take her to an Ophthalmologist to get it more accurately diagnosed and prescribed for. It will need antibiotics to cure the problem. We have an appointment in 2 weeks – she thinks it is better to endure it than to endure the poking and lights in her eyes

After taking the children to the library I dropped them off at Granny’s and I went to the gym. I finally was able to calm my adrenal system down a bit during the work out. Then it was time to pick up Chinese takeaways and back for dinner at Granny’s with Duncan & Sylvie and Cat & Bernadette. Cat had made Pumpkin pie so we had a really enjoyable meal.