Saturday – an afternoon out fishing


Skadi from Germany and Adam from Alaska arrived on the mailboat on Friday.
Tim went out and did more mussel float work in the morning with Adam.
I cooked. Skadi helped me and did a few other chores.

After lunch Tim went along and picked up Andrew, Tracey, Josie & Jack and then came back to pick up the stragglers from home.
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They went out for an afternoons fishing around the back of the farm.
Cat & Leeann went diving.
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Graham finished work early so as not to miss the boat – work is always secondary to fishing

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Tim doing battle with a ginormous cod

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Azzan & Josie laying about on the bow.

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Shanni with a kina

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Nathan will always find space in the proceedings of the day for his book!

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A sure sign there is fish on board.

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I think the salt spray is affecting Seb’s brain


Not to mention the effects it is having on Adam already!!

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Skadi and Azzan enjoying each other’s company in the cabin.

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Mahalia in a pensive mood at the end of the day.

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and Leeann happily filleting the fish
Mind you there never seems to be any other facial expression on her face – her smile precedes her

random stuff from last week

Well, it is now a public fact –
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Cat is not a natural blonde!

and Nathan
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is now a golden blonde

And this is what Cat thought of Macbeth.
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On Friday Cat & I were up before the sparrows for our day in town.
I popped back into the bedroom to grab something just 5 minutes before we wer due to leave and a voice from the depths of our bed asked if I thought Cat would mind driving the truck to Elaine Bay to get fuel cuz we were right out.
Why or why do males do this – wait till the last possible moment – he had thought of it the night before but thought we would be too busy – duh!

So, I told him to get moving, that he had 10mins to get it all together as we were on a schedule.
So consequently we were about 15mins late leaving.
It was a fast trip to Elaine Bay where we left the truck and carried on out to Havelock.
I had an appointment there at 8am.
I was a few mins late but it was ok cuz the guy I had to meet with was late too.
It was a very successful meeting – we now have a new accountant

Cat carried on through to Blenheim to pick up Leeann and see Granny.
She was late getting back to pick me up, so the whole morning was really on a roll.
I am not a good passenger so by the time I got to Nelson I was glad to be released from the Terrano for my pysio appointment. I have been given several exercises to do to strengthen the inner quad muscles which will in turn make my knees stronger for hill walking.

We had a series of appointments during the day – Cat had 100% results from her dentist and optomotrist which was great. We were able to enjoy a leisurely lunch at Deville. Cat is hooked on their Roast veges and haloumi cheese dish, not to mention their delicious gluten free desserts! I spent a couple of hours at the internet cafe trying to finsih some Photomax projects only to have the site crashing and nothing I did was saved.
Most infuriating

We were outa town by 5:50pm.

I called home in the morning and got Mahalia and she said that Daddy & Nathan had gone out to do mussel floats and Seb (who had arrived home at 4am) was babysitting and they had just had waffles for breakfast.
She was playing at being the chef.
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Seb was the willing customer

Shanni caught this priceless photo of Mo & Jynx sleeping on the narrow edge of the decking
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I thought it was a real classic

Sat morning Shanni brought Sunny in to visit me – she is so happy to have the bird so tame so fast.
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These are her skinks from her skink farm – our old fish tank now has a new use.
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Happy 13th Birthday Nathan

Wonders will never cease – we actually found the school room yesterday!
We had a lovely time reading all about the life of William Shakespeare.
It must’ve been interesting cuz even Azzan stuck around to listen to most of it.
I also read them a children’s version of Macbeth.
They really enjoyed that.
We didn’t do too much more than that – can’t push things too much to begin with

Despite the rainy day Mahalia & Azzan trotted off after lunch around the track to visit Josie & Jack.
They got back just before dinner – in time to have a spa.

Today was Nathan’s official birthday – he is now 13 years old.
He celebrated by doing maths this morning and then helping his father on the musel boat this arvo.

This morning we moved the little old tv set out of Shanni’s room into the living room so we could all watch the video of Macbeth. I have managed to obtain a heap of Shakespeare’s plays from the library but they are all on video. So I think Cat and I will try and locate one in town tomorrow at the recycling centre that hopefully will give a clearer picture with a slightly bigger screen.
It was a bit painful watching it today.
Can’t have been too bad though – Mahalia & Nathan were glued to the screen for the whole movie. Azzan & Shanni found it a bit long and tedious.
I was following along as best I could from my copy of the ‘Complete Works of Shakespeare’ – I found Roman Polanski’s script had skipped around a bit and also had left out large segments of the play.

Azzan has retained some of the story as this afternoon he has been repeating – ‘Out, out damn spot.’ repeatedly!!
So maybe now that he has learned one line from the play I will begin to teach him some of Macbeth’s soliloquy – that could sound quite dramatic and impressive for a 6 year old to announce to our visitors

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.” — Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-28)

The children all wanted to write a story for the ‘Sylvanians Grand Hotel’ competition. So last night I typed as Azzan dictated, and then today Mahalia dictated her story. I had to laugh – she decided that her story was going to be about a group of little girls and their mothers having a girls weekend, no boys allowed.
I heard Mahalia comment – ‘no brothers, that would be heaven.’

Cat has been busy in the garden, Hali & Azzan were pottering around with her.
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Graham and Shanni have begun building her new aviary. Graham is great, hs is teaching Shanni as he goes and allowing her to do things for herself. Here he’s showingher how to cut and add the corner strengthening – she soon had it all sussed and was able to counter her lesser strength by cutting from both sides to get through the strips of metal.
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He shows her what to do and then lets her loose to work it out for herself. Now they have the base frame built he has left her with a project tomorrow – she has to dig out the ground under the framing and get it all level.

This afternoon I felt I needed to make a bit of an effort for Nathan’s birthday dinner. I didn’t really feel like cooking but nevertheless, it is not everyday my boy turns 13. I made a beef stir fry with sweet & sour sauce, roasted kumara wedges, and mashed carrots with parsley. Cat and Hali made one of Cat’s famous weed salads. For dessert I made a new recipe – Orange Sauce cakes. I got Shanni to help me. I needed orange juice and rind for the mixture and the sauce. She was merrily chattering as usual as she was squeezing the oranges. Then she began to grate the rind for me, – then I heard her ask me ‘Where do you want the urine?’
I was a bit startled, then I realised she was meaning the rind. When I explained what she had said she chortled away and said ‘Well, rind did sound like urine – anyway, what’s urine?.’! I am glad we got that one sorted out before it was too late! 

Cat and I had gone shopping on Monday to fulfil Nathan’s b’day wishes. Cat had successfully hidden the booty up in Anson’s hut.
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So tonight we got him to close his eyes for ages while she and Azzan carried it all in. He had asked for a pot and a grapevine for his balcony. Cat found this cluster of pots for the same price as one large pot – so being the Scotch canny person she is that is what we got
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He was totally delighted – and now has it all sussed as to what he is going to put in the 3 smaller pots. A rose in one, rosemary in another and the smallest on is still in debate!
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The orange cakes turned out well – I popped a candle in one to make Nathan feel that I hadn’t forgotten his birthday entirely! The cakes were so delicious. Cat wouldn’t stop eating them despite her efforts to stay within the boundaries of her diet!

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Everyone got engrossed in reading the papers that were wrapped around the pots – they were all written in Chinese – no prizes for the first to guess where they came from

Tim’s hip is giving him gip tonight so he has gone off to bed. My knee is not great so I am heading that way very soon too.
Cat & I are off to town early so it will be another 5am start. Yawn

A wet morning – time to have a catch up….

On Sunday night after everyone left it was sort of……………crash time.

The children and I hopped in the spa together then they hopped out to watch ‘Ratatouille’ – Julie gave it to the boys for a combined b’day pressie and Azzan just ‘had’ to watch it.
I checked the clock and decided they had enough time to watch it and still have an early night.
Shanni was very tearful – something that only happens when she is over tired, so I definitely was aiming to get her to bed earlier than usual.

Herbie phoned me while I was in the spa so we ended up solving the world’s problems till it was dark.
It was nice and relaxing a great for my knee just to wallow a while in there.
I know I should really have been icing it but the warmth and the elevation was great.


I came inside and the children were still engrossed in the movie. They were finding it extremely funny
Dinner was a non issue as they had all been grazing on whatever they felt like – we were all a bit over food by this stage of the weekend!

The children all said good bye to Julie as they would hopefully still be asleep when we left.

It took Azzan & Julie quite a long time to say au revoir as they had to have their final French lesson

The clock said it was 8:30pm so I was thinking they really should get to bed if they were going to get anything remotely like an early night.
Then somehow we realised that the clock was wrong and had been turned back to pre-daylight saving time
So the early night had not happened after all and I had several VERY tired children on my hands.
Mahalia does not do tired at all well
Tim had disappeared and we had no idea where he was.
I eventually traced him to Nathan’s room.
He had gone upstairs to say goodnight but Natey was busy on his computer so Tim had blobbed out on the sofa with a book and just wasn’t capable of moving far.
I sent Hali up to get him and Nathan frightened her
It doesn’t take much when she is tired but it took Tim forever to calm her down


Monday morning I was up before 5am and Julie & I left at 5:40am.
Had a good trip out with only a few photo shoot stops.
Julie got some great sunrise photos.
It was actually very cool and the dew on the grass at Okiwi made me feel like it was Autumn – not nearly summer!

We had breakfast at Starbucks, found Julie’s hostel and then began working out way through my list.
First stop was the hire place to organise wedding things.
Got that sorted and then it was the shop stock up.
Did what we could and then carried on out to Richmond.

Once we had done a few things there I had time to pop in and visit our friend Don who has cancer and is waiting for bureaucracy to sort itself out so he can begin treatment!
We had a lovely time entertaining him or was he entertaining us – whatever!
We enjoyed our visit. Kathy was at work so missed her smiling face.
Soon after we got there Cat arrived so it was quite a merry party.

Then we headed off to get Nathan’s b’day present and back into town to finish off the lists.
We enjoyed a leisurely lunch at Deville – Cat was able to give Julie some good tips on what to do and where to go for the rest of her South Island experience.

Cat left me at an internet cafe for an hour so I could work on my Photomax project.
We said our farewells to Julie, grabbed a drink and headed home.
Went down to Waterfall to unload the shop stuff.
I was quite tired so just wanted to get it all unpacked, priced and head home.




Tuesday was a beautiful day.
I was planning to start school.
But Cat was home!
She spent the morning with the children cleaning and de-junking.
It was great but once again no formal academia.
Shanni typed up her story on the computer.
She is working on a story for the Sylvanian competition.
I was very impressed that she stuck at typing it all by herself.

Tim wanted to get out early on the water and do mussel work as it was so calm.
He was a bit frustrated because Nathan’s leg was too sore and he couldn’t raise Richard so he ended up down on the wharf conditioning ropes until Richard was finally available to help.

Once Cat had finished the cleaning I heard the weedeater start up – it went for most of the day!
She had quite a mission on as the lawns hadn’t been mowed for months.
At midday I was feeling so bodily exhausted that I just had to go sleep.
The past few days with very little sleep had finally caught up on me.
I gave the 4 children instructions as to what to do for lunch and then told them that the only reason they were to come disturb me was if someone was dying!
I pulled the curtains and crawled under the covers and didn’t emerge for 2 hours.

When I came too, I staggered out to the living room and found Tim was home and having lunch with Alan.
Andrew, Tracey and children were also here visiting.
After several glasses of orange juice I managed to wake up.
Because of my iron levels being lower than usual at present I need to be taking the tablets 3 times a day, not just 2 like I have been. I didn’t have my glasses on and Hali had cleaned and rearranged all the containers of vitamins. I reached in and grabbed the bottle of what I though was iron pills and then after I had swallowed it realised it was Cascara (which normally is at the back so I hadn’t realised they were in similar containers) – oh well! I spose it will counter the effects of the iron pills-!!

Tim took Nathan & Alan out to do some more mussel floats after their lunch – he has quite a mission on at the moment so needs to get out and do them whenever possible.

I chatted with Andrew & Tracey for a while. When they left with Jack, Josie was not at all happy about leaving so I suggested Azzan and Hali might like to walk her home at 5pm. They were all very happy about that plan They were having such a lovely time in the tree house.

Dinner was easy.
I really didn’t feel terribly inclined towards food but I found some fish fingers that Alan had brought in so we had them with refried rice and eggs and stir fried veges and salad. There is still a a mountain of carrot cake left from Nathan’s b’day so dessert was taken care of easily too

I had fed the 2 wee ones early and read stories to them so Tim was able to tuck them in while I dished up our dinner.
I crashed out and watched the first part of ‘Mansfield Park’ – by Jane Austin. A most delightful story – so proper!

Today we have woken to rain – quite steady but no wind as yet.
So I guess Azzan won’t be walking around to see Josie too early.
Tim is heading out to do more mussel floats with Alan as crew this morning.
I am off to try and see if we can manage to discover the realms of academia today…..

Look who just popped in to visit me





Shanni is so delighted at how friendly Sonny is






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Sunday – certainly not leisurely!

After only 4 hours sleep I was wide awake.
It was only 6:30am so and everyone else was still snoring, so I crept out to the spa with my book and wallowed there for a while.

Just after 7am there was movement as people began crawling out of their respective holes.

We had leftovers for breakfast – I had Tiramisu and fruit salad
Next week I diet!

Then Tim took Pat, Phillipa & Mandy up to Waterfall in the dinghy to look at marquee sites and to let Mandy suss out the kitchen.
Verdict is – it is all go and very possible and they have it all under control

While they were up there I gave the little folk some top up fuel – left over pizza and chocolate cake and then as soon as they arrived back we loaded into the Ashton’s van and the truck and headed up to the top of the hill.

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Tim took the children skidder boarding
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and caught a lamb who had gotten onto the wrong side of the fence
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After a bit of a chat and chill and admire the scenery session at the tailing yards the rest of us headed off up to the top of Crichtons Hill.
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On the way we were met by the locals…
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they were very curious as to who these noisy invaders were.
Not in the least bit shy either!
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They didn’t really appreciate Nathan’s attempts at trying to catch one.
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See….way down over there….at the end of the airstrip…..you can just see Tim and the children skidder boarding……if you look really really hard.

When we got to the top of the hill we had another admire the scenery and view session and the llamas decided they needed to come see what we were doing.
They certainly don’t have too many shy bones in their bodies!
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Then it was the downhill stretch.
The easiest part of the trek – yes?
No!
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The crew all hooned off down the hill but when I got about half way my stupid knee began to pack a totally wobbly and just got more and more painful with each step.
Phillipa and I sat and rested for a while and then moved down hill very gingerly sideways most of the way.

Pat was waiting down the bottom of the ridge so we wandered down the road through the bush.
It was beautiful.
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Some really gorgeous young Nikau palms

This amazing tree or conglomerate of trees and vines all growing and twisting together was really cool
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Then we could see the house & all the others on the wharf already.
Tim was just coming down the hill with the children in the van.
Good timing.
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I staggered into the kitchen and found Chrissy and Tim had lunch started.
We got all the food out and eventually had lunch at 3pm-ish.

Then it was the big clean up and pack the vans session.

The four young men were caught just before they all had to go their separate ways.
Billy, Nathan, Nicholas & Yari.
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It is so quiet here now.
Tim hitched a ride up the hill to pick up the truck.
My young folk are very quiet – it will be an early night for everyone methinks.

All in all it has been a great weekend.
All involved are totally knackered – but it was GREAT

Nathan’s birthday celebrations

There were 21 of us for dinner tonight.

Nathan brought his hangi food up – it had gotten a bit burnt on the outside but everyone said it tasted pretty good.
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The little boys were really tired and and the weather had turned really cold and windy so Azzan was very happy to forgo the proposed bonfire for him and his wee friends when I said he could have one sometime this week with Josie.

It took a while to get the food sorted and round everyone up but we finally managed to gather around the table by 7ish. – Oops! Just saw the clock on the wall and it says 7:50pm – it was late wasn’t it!!
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We had a feast – an excessive amount of food – won’t have to cook for a month by the look of the left overs-!!
After the mains were devoured and cleared away we brought out the birthday cakes.
Azzan had a chocolate cake that Chrissy had made.
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Nathan’s cake was a very large carrot cake – his request
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Seems he had help to blow out all the 13 candles – his mother nearly only put 12 on!
Maybe she doesn’t really want to grow up??

Then there were some presents for Azzan
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I love the eager attentiveness from the others

Nathan had to unwrap his presents very carefully and precisely with his pocket knife so as not to damage the wrapping paper – there was many comments to the effect that dessert was waiting…..
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The box of Lego was beautifully wrapped in newspaper and was ripped off very quickly and Billy commented that next time we should wrap all Nathan’s presents in newspaper – he might open them more quickly!!!
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Julie gave the boys a dvd of Ratatouille to share – could be a goer tomorrow arvo when they need to crash out after their busy weekend.

There was a lot of loud conversation to which the noise of the wee boys was adding to much to the volume so I took them off to my study and they watched ‘Lucky Luke’ and ‘Peter Pan’. After their long day at sea and the long soak in the spa and a big meal they were just about comatose by then and were happy just to sit quietly.

The four 13 year olds all disappeared off to the woolshed to find their sleeping bags fairly early after dinner – they looked absolutely knackered!

We had a good discussion about the wedding and then the ladies took the children off to bed and the men got stuck into the mountain of dishes.
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A great time for male bonding

Nathan’s real b’day in on the 23rd – next Thursday so I told him he will get the rest of his present then.
Didn’t have time to find it last week and certainly never had room in the Safari for anything more.

Right, I am now caught up on our day.
It is raining steadily now, I think we all had the best day and Tim is now getting his requirements for the farm.
I am off to bed cuz it will soon be morning.

Pottery delivery :-)

The pottery we painted on Monday was glazed and all ready to be picked up by Wednesday so Chrissy kindly collected it and bought it down for us.

The children were so delighted to get it back so quickly.

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Don’t the colours look so cool when compared with before the glazing.

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Mahalia was thrilled with her butterfly plate.

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Azzan couldn’t wait to get dressed after his spa to get his plate

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Shanni was so delighted she had to make a cup of tea immediately.

I did take a photo of Nathan with his triangle plate but it was really dorky and he wouldn’t thank me for adding it here – so I won’t, seeing as it is his b’day week and all!!!