Back home again

Thursday I left home at 10am in Anson’s truck.
It was really good having a heater that functions and and radio that gets channels with ease.
I made it to town in just over 2 hours and went straight to the Ford shop to get a quote on the truck cuz Anson is wanting to trade up when he gets home.

I then posted a pile of mail and went to meet the Israeli family who were coming here to wwoof for us. They were lovely and were very happy to find out more of where they were going etc. Then it was off to the gym and a few other things and back to the motel to wait for Kerri.
She arrived about 6:30pm so we headed off around the corner and had dinner at ‘Smugglers’.
I had not had red meat for quite a while so decided to order a steak.
The waitress asked how I liked it and I said ‘Dead!’
And explained that I DO NOT like to see any blood at all and not even much pink.

When the meals arrived (with another waitress) you could see the blood on the plate.
So I called her back and got her to take it back to the kitchen.
When it came back it was cooked just right – for me!
The first waitress was lovely and kept on coming over to find out if it was alright and reassuring me that their chef doesn’t like to overcook steak but it was me that was eating it – she was a sweetie.

We sat and ate and chatted and then two guys at the table next to us were leaving and came over and commended me for complaining. They reckon us Kiwis just take what we are given – warm coffee, etc and never do anything pro-active and they thought I did well. So that was a nice end to the meal

Friday Kerri had to go out to visit some apprentices at a woolshed in the afternoon so we spent the morning looking at Photomax and teaching me how to do some of the things on the website. We went off to the Beach Cafe for a quick lunch and she dropped me back on her way to the woolshed.
I lay down and read my book for a while, played on the computer and then drove into the city for a while. It was Friday and getting rather busy so I returned fairly quickly!

When Kerri came back she went off for a walk and after a quick shower we went to ‘Venice Cove’ for dinner. The menu had changed from when Tim & went two weeks ago, so I was disappointed as the new selections weren’t quite what I was wanting. It was still good though – so no complaints. Came back and spent the evening working on making some movies and photo books. I got totally into it and was so loving having broadband to do it all with that I stayed up till 2am.

Next morning I woke at 8am – Totally unheard of for me to sleep so late.
So we scurried about, packed up and headed off in our separate directions. Kerri went back home to Christchurch and drove through sleet and snow to 3’C
I stayed in Nelson and it was sunny and mild all day. I went in to the gym and then out to the Educational resource day that my friend Erena was running. Her business Learnex is such a great help to the home educators here in NZ. I had a lovely time catching up with some of the other home schoolers before having to leave to pick Christian up at the airport. Got their 10mins late and found his plane was delayed 45mins. So I sat in the car park and read my book.

We then went into town and had a light lunch at Morrison St Cafe – at 3pm that is all you get. Then off to do a few jobs, met up with Seb briefly and then home. The weather got worse as we drove. It was a bit wet and rather windy. The Israeli’s – Misha, Inna, Garrick & Asya arrived only an hour or so before me. As it was raining quite hard when they arrived Tim had sat them down for dinner with the rest of the family to await a break in the weather. It cleared long enough for us to unpack both vehicles and get them settled in The Cottage.

Today it has been really cold. I stayed pretty close to the fires all day. After fellowship and lunch Tim took everyone else out fishing. Azzan stayed with me and Graham’s daughter Anne-marie came around to have a cuppa with me. They got home just before dark, cooked up a lovely yummy feed of fish and now everyone is either in bed or close to heading there. I am ready to find my book – it is too darn cold sitting here…..

Sorry for the lack of photos – my camera is away – hopefully getting fixed.
I will have a look and see what Shanni has on her camera tomorrow.

Video of home

Hey there
I am having a great time this morning.
I am sequestered in a motel in Nelson with my friend Kerri AND I have access to broadband

So she is tutoring me in the use of Photomax and all it’s bells and whistles.
If any of you are interested in finding out more or joining for free then let me know privately.

I am having so much fun.
Can’t do this on dial-up

I have just edited a movie that was taken of us back about 3 years ago by a German TV group who were doing a documentary of lives involving water in New Zealand.

Here is the link to the clip I have just made of the portion about Port Ligar

Go have a look and then book in for your next holiday at our scenic wonderland

A couple of days at home, and then….

Yet another week when I am home between trips away.
I am home this week for 3 days.
They have been rather cold days at that.

It has been really lovely having just us here.
Tim, me and the 4 young’uns.
The equilibrium is so different – more laid back and cruisy – just lovely.
Don’t get me wrong – I do enjoy having others to stay, but as it doesn’t happen too often it makes us really appreciate the times we are just us

Bri headed off yesterday morning to get her windscreen sorted before going over to the other side of the Sounds to grub tahinau for a few weeks.
She had her windscreen replaced under insurance about 18 months ago and on her way home this time it was nearly falling out.
Totally dangerous and not a good look!
So they are going to redo it for her.

Cat has been off to work before we are awake and getting back at dinner time.
She then is right into building and stuff that is on her ‘to-do-before-I-leave’ list.
She broke the news to her skipper that she was leaving and he is cool – of the opinion that she should get out there and ‘do it’ while she is young. Our opinion exactly

Bri had a huge clean out in the attic while we were away so the children have been having fun up there with their toys again.
Amazing how they can make such a mess and loose everything in a trash like heap and then not want to play cuz it is too messy and totally out of control – which they made in the first place
And then once it is all clean and tidy they are back up there again – happy wee campers

I have finally managed to get my paperwork done and dealt with so that is a huge load off my mind.
I have spent this morning helping Nuana sorting some legal stuff (she got ripped off buying a vehicle lately – bummer of a learning curve. One that we all have to go through at times ) and also getting books priced to sell at a home educating book fair in a few weeks time. Also been talking school stuff with Nathan – he is loving the History book I got for him. He is learning all about Marco Polo at the moment, before this it was Prester John. He has also just bought Bri’s laptop off her so now has a PC to play his games on. He is a very happy chappie. Our iMac’s won’t play a couple of the games we have and he has also just been given a Spanish newer version of Age of Empires – so now he really wants to learn Spanish – these games really are educational aren’t they – without any effort at all from Mum

The little ones are doing a lot of free play and cooking – they are basically having to fend for themselves for daytime food – and they do it very well too. They will never starve I have been feeling really cold and headachey over the past two days. And also am giving the Curves high Protein food plan a try. It is pretty good – am not at all hungry but it just gets a bit tricky finding substitutes for turkey and the packaged meals they keep referring to. I am getting really good at working out kJ’s etc from packaging.

I curled up in a blanket yesterday afternoon and watched ‘Bill Eliot’. It was a really good movie. So many people have recommended it to me so when I found it in Wellington on sale I grabbed it. I was just so cold and achey it was good to do nothing for a while. The children had been very quietly playing elsewhere but decided to come and play very loudly with play clay during the movie

Azzan came to me very sadly yesterday and said to me –
‘I’m sorry Mummy but I can’t be a ballet dancer anymore.’
I asked him why not?
He replied ‘Cuz I can’t do the splits, and I can’t leap high enough, and I can’t bend my leg up to the back of my head.’
That is so sad
However I assured him that those things didn’t matter and he could learn them along the way. He then went happily away and I found him dancing beautifully to Enya – he just loves to dance

Anson called from Sardinia last night – he has been calling quite regularly which is nice.
He was so thrilled as he had just shorn his first 400.
He’s been having fun with one of the other guys.
He is very competitive and loves nothing better than to get a race on with another shearer – it really helps to motivate him to raise his tallies. The guy he went over with has hurt his back so is unable to shear – a bummer for him.
But Anson is now the driver which is good. Says he is now having to stay sober and can call the shots as to when he wants to go home, so they are getting home a little earlier in the evenings!!

I had gotten ‘Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’ dvd from the library last week. I went to put it on for the children today and was going to cuddle up and watch it with them as it is years since I last saw it, when it came up on the screen I thought to myself ‘that doesn’t look too much like what it is sposed to’ so I ejected the disk and found it was all about ‘Router Jigs and Techniques’ – most exciting I must say – not! I must have had a dyslexic librarian I think – the dvd I should have got was No 399 and he gave me No 339. Anyway, they are going to post it out to me so we will get to see it next week instead.

I have to go finish labelling all this curricula I am selling – just discovered I have to have them all physically priced with my initials on each book so they can track them more easily. Just another job to do before I leave tomorrow.
Not too sure what time I will be heading away tomorrow yet, but I will be home again on Saturday night – bringing home with me our friend Christian (originally from Germany but recently from Bermuda and now studying in Auckland). It’s a while since he has been to visit – 4.5 years to be precise – so it will be great to have him stay for next week.


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.