Comings and goings

I had a busy day today.
Began with a mountain of washing.
The Swiss family left so had all of their linen and then all of The Cottage linen on top of our normal family washload.
Thankfully it was a good day to get it all dry.
Nick stripped all the Cottage beds for me and Nathan remade the wwoofers beds.
I juggled hanging it all out on the line between making 3 enormous banana cakes.
Two to freeze for the catering I am doing next week and one for dessert tonight.

Shanni was wandering around with Poppi on her shoulder and he had to say goodbye to Alena & Noami.
He was so funny trying to nibble Alena’s ears.

Pat and the boys were leaving at the same time – but they had a few minutes to stop for a cuppa and cake before heading off to load up timber with Graham.

Tim & Nick retreated down to the wharf and enjoyed the peace and solitude.
Tim showed Nick how to splice ropes – once!
Then Nick was away and did real good, according to Tim.

The three children all headed off to Bush Inn, promising to be back soon – yeah right!
Shanni kayaked up and the other two walked carrying the basket of togs and towels.
They had another lovely day playing on the beach.

Don’t you love their jetty they built to secure the kayak to?

Always time to rest awhile

Then about 6pm it is homeward bound using the buggy that Dad found at the recycling centre.
It has been one of the best things – they use it to carry kids, cats and gear!

After lunch I had all sorts of plans but they went out the window once again in the name of business.
I was on and off the phone and the internet as I discussed and proofed an ad many times that is going into the Fishing Paper – of course the deadline was tonight!
Then in the midst of that Neville came to look at and discuss the 2 wharf repair and rebuilding projects.
Time is of the essence for those so I was mighty relieved to be able to pass a lot of the paper  work over to him.

Tonight Les, Christine, Louisa and the children joined us for dinner.
It was lovely.
We five adults ate out on the verandah and the children ate inside.
It suited us all
The children ate their first course and then all disappeared off to play on their dirt slide, which I have just discovered is below Cat’s hut.
We sat and chatted in the cool of the evening with our drinks and cake.
The children tore past at intervals and grabbed great hunks of banana cake and disappeared again until we caught them sometime around 8:30pm and announced that it really was time that everyone headed off towards their beds.
They all needed some serious washing before climbing between the sheets tonight!

Nick cleaned up ALL the dishes for me tonight – he is such a blessing and a joy to have here.
I don’t think we will be giving him back

Nathan has had a very painful lump growing on the side of his stomach over the past few days.
It appears to be forming into a boil.
We have been poulticing it and tonight he had a hot bath and it began to discharge.
I got Louisa to put on her nurses hat tonight and double check it for me.
She gave me all the instructions on how to deal with it from here.
So after administering some Panadol I proceeded to use the cloth covered boiling spoon onto it to try and draw it more.
Shanni was fascinated by the proceedings so I wasn’t able to get her off to bed – instead she took this photo much to Nathan’s chagrin.
He actually looks a lot more relaxed here than he was.
Nick got him a cloth to put between his teeth and then bravely let Nate squeeze his arm when I was putting pressure on the wound.
He was very manly and brave about it all and I finally dressed it and sent him off to bed.
Hopefully it will be easier tomorrow.
We are really hoping to be able to deal with it here and not have to take him to town.
At this point it is thankfully not behaving like Tim’s abcess did.

I was moaning on Phillipa’s shoulder yesterday about the GST and how no matter what I do I always botch it up somehow.
This was after a phone call to the nice IRD man to try and sort out the mistake I made last time and then to find that I had managed to botch up all three payments I made for this period on Monday.
Couldn’t believe it – Sometimes I feel like a total idiot.

She has changed my whole perspective on it now by reminding me that 

‘There will be NO GST in heaven.’

I am sure I could write a song about that!!

Another delightful day

Nathan went out early to pick up his set net.
He took George with him.
Didn’t get much but it’s the thrill of the chase rather than the ultimate catch I reckon!

Nathan and Nick spent most of the morning working on their maths.

My girls planned a sports event.
Mahalia found prizes and wrapped them up for presentation.

The Davidson trio came around in the latter stages of the morning.
Alena & Noami – the two wee Swiss girls also participated.

I packed a load of sandwiches for Mahalia and Madeline to take up.
The muesli bars were for dessert.
The boys didn’t agree with this so caused Mahalia some consternation when they tried to get them off her before the sandwiches were eaten.
These 6!!
They love each other to bits but man can they scrap too

They used the road for the events.
Running races

Then the sack races

After the sports they went up to Pine Huts to play.

Azzan got frustrated with them all so came down to the house.
He couldn’t handle the favouritism – he is smaller than the others so wasn’t winning any prizes.
But the big girls were helping the little girls.
Maybe Azzan – they are cuter than you

Mummy doesn’t think so

He bought me a flower – he was so proud of it.
Told me he had found it in his pumpkin patch.
I then had to explain that if he hadn’t picked it then it would’ve turned into a pumpkin.
So he know knows not to pick anymore.

Later in the afternoon they all gravitated back inside.
I found them in the school room playing Hungry Hippos.
I was glad they were down there – it is NOISY to the MAX!

They were all pretty weary and it had turned cold so I let them watch a movie
‘Beethoven 4’
That is one crazy movie.
They loved it.

I spent all morning making dinner and lunch.
Then in the afternoon I finally got to tidy my sewing stuff and was about to do some sewing when they watched their movie.
So I retreated to my bedroom and actually made a card!!
Amazing – first one in months.

I actually began making it last week but didn’t like it.
But now I have fiddled with it I am a bit happier with the end results.
Obviously I am totally out of practise

We managed to have dinner at 6:30pm.
Then while Tim was putting the wee darlings to bed I spent a while catching up with Cat on the phone.
Although most of the conversation was revolving around her searching on TradeMe for outboard motors.
I left her talking to Tim

I decided it was time to watch some of the movies I had hired from the library.
Put on ‘Bleak House’ – BBC version of Charles Dickens book.

I watched several sessions.
It was brilliant.

I have never read the book so was totally engrossed in it.
So much so that I kept on watching and then woke up at 11:30pm and realised I had slept through most of Session 4!!

Delightful days for children

My three were very keen to get around to Bush Inn on Monday to see the Davidson children.
They spent ALL day there.
And by the looks of Shanni’s photos they had a ball.

Most of the day was spent on the beach….

Louisa & Christine keeping an eye on the proceedings while wallowing in the sunshine.

Always plenty to do on the beach

And while they were enjoying themselves Tim & I were working.
I spent most of the day in the study.
There always seems to be business calls to make and paper wars to battle.

At dinner that night Nathan was full of innovative discussion as usual.

Azzan’s comment –

‘Nathan keeps thinking ideas.’
and then quizzically
‘But Nathan makes ideas that shouldn’t be thought.’

Te Towoka Sports weekend

Friday evening after the boat rescue Tim and the children ate a quick dinner and then headed up the hill to kill a cattle beast.
There is a lot of timing involved with doing this.
It has to be done as late int he day as possible and then hung over night and then gotten into the chiller as quickly as possible the next morning.
He also has to work around fishing parties for the availability of the chiller and also when the butcher is able to come down to cut it up.

The children LOVE to be a part of all this so even though it was late and they were all tired there was no holding them back.
They got home at 10pm.
We got them quickly to bed.
Tim however was beyond tired that once he sat down he just couldn’t gather the energy to move himself off to bed.
I finally managed to get him through the shower and into bed by 11:30pm.

Saturday was the day of the Te Towoka Sports.
Our local summer get together.

I had to wake Tim at 5:30am.
He wanted to get up early to deal with the cattle beast before the flies got busy.
He was so very very tired.
It is not like him at all to sleep in in the mornings.

While he was dealing to the beast and getting it over to the chiller at Waterfall Bay I got busy and prepared a picnic for the troops.
We were all ready by 11am.
Tim was still finishing his jobs but he zoomed through the shower and was out the door with us.
We took 2 vehicles so there would be plenty of room for everyone.

We took Christine with us.
The Mortimer’s followed and Louisa met us there with her 3 children.
There was much celebration between the children when they arrived

It was a great day.
Not as busy as it can be – but that was probably because it was a bit later in January cuz of how the calendar falls this year.
But we all had fun and all of our children won prizes.

Nathan was the first to race – he is in the yellow stripped shirt.

‘I got 3rd Mum!’

Shanni cleaned up the field in her age group and won a first.
Look at those long legs striding out in front of everyone!

Azzan looked so cute in the sack race
He’s the one 2nd from the right with the blue cap on.

Mahalia & Madeline did the wheelbarrow race together and crashed over the finishing line.
They had ‘wheeled’ up the course very closely to another couple of wee girls and were threatening to crash the whole way.
It was so funny.
They just couldn’t seem to get away from each other.

Shanni & Oliver paired up in the boys wheelbarrow race cuz they were the same age and the judges weren’t too worried about a girl being in the boys race.

They had a crashing good time

Azzan did really well in the little boys race – see him striding it out as they got to the finishing line.

Nick, Nate & Shanni went into the cross country race.
Nick did so well.
He kept up with the leader the whole way – he could’ve passed him several times but the strategy of being the leader and keeping the lead apparently was to fill up the track physically so no one could pass!
Anyway, not to matter – Nick will know next year how to deal with that.
The guy that won has won 5 years in a row now.
Nick came 2nd and by the time he got to the finish he as exhautsed.
It was such a hot day and he was very dehydrated.
As there was no one for miles behind him he just staggered walked over the line.

And then collapsed in a heap!
Water, water and more water was the plea.

Tim went into the married mens race.
What Tim lacks in speed he makes up for in enthusiasm
He is tailing behind the crowd here so is just out of the picture but our friend and local member of parliament Colin King (in the dark blue shirt) is running well here.
He did hurt his leg but managed to recover to run in the grandfathers race.

We got a Port Ligar team together to run in the relays.
They came 3rd.
Well done guys.
Not bad for a team that ranged in age from 10 to 59!!

Afterwards one of the organisers came up and told Tim there had been a complaint because he had jumped the gun.
But the organiser told the other person that as Tim was probably the oldest person in the event he deserved an early start and the complaint was dismissed – this was all told with a big grin and a chuckle (probably cuz he was about Tim’s age and knew they both needed all the help they could get when competing against the young’uns!!) 

By 4pm it was all over and we said good bye to everyone and headed off home.
Got back to find our new wwoofers from Switzerland had arrived and had spent the afternoon on the beach with their two children.

We finally got everyone fed and off to bed.

Sunday was a recovery day.

I didn’t sleep terribly well.
Maybe a combination of sunburn and a hot night.
Plus being woken by rams on the deck at 4:30am – Tim got up to chase them out of the garden.
Then Tim couldn’t sleep so he got up before 6am.
I dozed off and got woken by Azzan stroking my cheek.
Why do the wee folk have to check to see if you are awake when it is obvious you are asleep?
Then at 9am I got woken by the phone.
No-one was answering it so I staggered out of bed and tried to talk coherently.
Then afterwards found that Tim was sitting out on the verandah reading in the sun only a few feet from the other phone.
His response when I asked him why he hadn’t answered the jolly thing.
‘I didn’t know who it was.’

We had fellowship with Graham, Christine, Louisa and the children.
Then the troops grazed and took off in all various directions.
Mahalia, Madeline and Azzan play so well together.
As do Shanni, Oliver and George.
Although George is fast growing past kids stuff and preferred to sit with the adults for a while before going out fishing with the big guys later in the day.

Louisa, Tim & I spent most of the arvo chatting on the deck enjoying the beautiful day.
The children spent the afternoon playing in Pine Huts and the tree house and it wasn’t until around 5pm that they all decided they needed to go for a swim.
Hence another late dinner.
I threw together a pasta meal and we finally ate around 8pm.
Then they all excaped outside again and we didn’t get them rounded up till nearly 10pm.
Tired children.
Especially Azzan who didn’t go to bed very happily

Nothing a good nights sleep wouldn’t fix though.

Once it was all quiet and peaceful I decided to relax in front of a late night movie – haven’t watched one in a while so watched one of Anson’s – ‘Life or Something Like That’.
It was a bit of a chick flick but it did have a good message so worth a watch.

All in all it was a great weekend.
Very busy and quite tiring – but good

An very active day :-)

I left with Christine for a short walk at 7:30am.
We walked around to Te Kopi and then Christine wanted to go further.
So we headed straight up.
No other choices at that stage really apart from back tracking.

As we climbed I was so wishing I had a camera with me.
There were some amazing photo opportunities.
The hill was very steep and was covered with long grasses.
We pulled ourselves up through them, stopping for breathers every now and then.
Not really sure when we were going to actually find ourselves at the top ridge which I knew was up there somewhere above and through all the pine trees!
We climbed on up through the pine trees until we found the ridge. which looked down on the house.
Then we walked along the fence to the gate and were met by some of the llamas.
Comical creatures they are.
Gave us a good laugh.
Then it was a lovely walk down the road through the bush.
At 9:30am we got back to the sheds to find Tim loading up a trailer full of firewood to take over to Waterfall Bay.
He and Nicky set off.
I think he was impressed about our expedition but he was too intent on getting away to actually give much reaction.
I said farewell to Sandra and Sven as they were already to leave by then too.

We then walked over to The Cottage to say good morning to Neroili & Dave, admired the garden on the way back and then in to the house for a cuppa and breakfast.
And a well earned sit down.
We reckoned we had done pretty well and had thoroughly enjoyed our crazy spur of the moment jaunt

Poppi has been creating much hilarity for us all.
Shanni had a bowl of shells on the table and he just went crazy picking them up and flipping them around.
He had a wee paua shell and when he picked it up it flipped over onto his head – looked so funny!
He got so wired up he was flipping around the table so much that I finally suggested to Shanni that she calmed him down and put him to bed.

This afternoon Tim and the boys were getting another mussel line backbone rope sorted on the beach when I got a distress call from Christine.
Les was coming from Havelock in the ‘Seagull’ and the motor had run out of oil for some reason and he was stranded and it was rather choppy where he was.
So Tim dropped tools immediately and headed off in ’88 South’ with Nicky & Shanni to rescue him.
He was over in Pohuenui Bay so not too far for Tim to go.

I was actually talking to Jesika in Melbourne at the same time so I was juggling phones and messages.
Bit of an act!
Jesika got a first hand account of the drama as it was happening.

I think Les was pretty glad to see Tim come along side.

Apparently they talked on the radio all the way back – the two kids said it was really funny.

‘Seagull’ under tow.

Back to Port Ligar and getting ‘Seagull’ onto the mooring.

Nicky heading into the beach to help Christine with their dinghy.

Offloading all the provisions onto ’88 South’.
Tim then transferred them onto the wharf and then onto the truck and then delivered them to the door at Bush Inn.
Much less hassle than unloading onto the dinghy and Les & Christine lugging them up the hill to the bach.

The birthday cake Christine had ordered was delivered to the door.
A couple of days late but it made it.
I was really surprised as I had not thought it was possible to get it here and had forgotten about it.

Thanks Christine
The photo is meant to be of the cake not me – so focus on the cake please.

The mailboat arrived today.
My new camera was on board.
The auto focus on my Konica Minolta Dimage Z5 was faulty and frustrating me immensely.
I now have charged the battery of my brand new Panasonic TZ15 and this is the first picture taken through the window of my study.
I was pretty impressed at the clarity of it as the window was not that clean.

I had bought it online at PhotoWarehouse for $100 less than in the shop in Nelson.
Christian was a huge help when I was choosing which camera to get.
So thanks Christian
I am going to really enjoy my birthday present to me

A merger of days….

The last few days have been busy with mustering, preparing mussel lines and many other things that I cannot remember.

The days have been lovely.
Time has been spent on the water –
mussel working,

checking out the rays – or were the rays checking us out?

And cattle mustering one evening……

Looking down on home as they head out.

Azzan leading the way

I’ll just rest up here for a while – you can head up thata way!

These photos give a pretty good feeling of how steep our farm is.

We’ll leave these fellas behind…

The day after the picnic Nathan was quite tired.
He wanted to hole up in his room and play on his computer all day.
I wouldn’t allow him to do that ALL day and asked him to do a few things.
After all if he was tired he should actually go to bed for a sleep – not play on the computer!

I asked him to empty and clean the spa.
He did that well.
Then came the filling.
I suggested he got the wood fire cranked up so we could fill it with hot water otherwise it would take ages to warm up.
So he filled it half with cold and then put the hot tap/hose on.
He then left it and disappeared off to his room – we will not ask what he was doing there!
It overflowed and drained our hot water cylinder.
So he then put the hose back in to siphon out some of the water.
And he left it.
By the time he got back the level was too low.
So back to filling it again!
Then he had dinner and forgot it and it overflowed again.
Nathan was not a happy chappie!!
Hence the furious baling with a bucket!!!

Not the best of days for our boy.
But he got over it after an early night that night!!

Azzan came in to see me with a flower clutched to his chest.
He announced that ‘bridesmaids hold their flowers between their lungs.’ 

My Birthday :-)

My day began early.
Christine and I have been walking each morning this week and I had told her I couldn’t go this morning as Tim was going out grubbing weeds at 6am and there would be no one in the house for the children.

So she asked me and the children to come for breakfast.
I managed to pull myself out of bed at 6:10am.
Had my shower, woke Shanni at 6:50am and then asked her to wake the other two.
Unfortunately for me she was non too diplomatic and Azzan reacted very negatively to having the blankets pulled off him and being woken so abrubtly!

So I had to contend with a grumpy wee man for the first half of our walk.
That was after I had had text words with my eldest son as well.
So my morning did not get off to too great a start.
I was in tears as I walked around the track.

But after a while and a bit of discussion Azzan saw reason and changed his tune and was very bright and happy by the time we got to Bush Inn.

We had a delightful hour with Christine.
She made porridge for her and Shanni and Azzan deigned to try some cuz it was her special brew. Then we all ate pancakes. While I sat in the sun and enjoyed some hot lemon juice Christine got the children drawing cards for me – up until then they had no idea that it was Mummy’s birthday and that was the main reason for our early walk!!

I took Azzan and we walked back at 9am as I needed to get ready for our proposed picnic outing.
The girls and Christine followed later.
Tim and the guys were due back after 10am and then the decision would be made as to if and where we would go.
It was all weather dependent.
We packed up and finally left at midday.

It was rather choppy and threatening as we steamed out of the bay and once we got outside West Entry Tim decided we would head around the back of the farm to Buka Point as the southerly was drawing through on the eastern side.

The sea got calmer the more west we went.
We had a delightful day and I have returned rather sunburnt from a happy day out fishing and picnicing on the beach.

Oliver and Nathan on watch.

The fish were coming up 2 and 3 at a time.
We had a good feed of cod for lunch in no time.

Who sank the boat!!
The last load coming ashore – all the big fellas!

Our nice sheltered corner of Buka Point Beach.

The head chef.
There were a couple of caves which were great for shading the food from the sun.
And sheltering the cook!

Azzan found this oil can on the beach – he thought it was pretty cool as he ‘oiled’ us all.

The ’88 South’ on anchor.

Azzan having fresh fried fish for lunch on a comfy rock.

Shanni & Hali were busy as soon as we landed ashore building this hut from drift wood.

I love this photo.
There was something for everyone to do.
Shanni spent ages snorkling.
Mahalia & Azzan went swimming.
Gracie read her book.
The rest of us chatted and ate.

Nathan made my birthday cake yesterday.
I iced it minutes before we left – he was far too busy organising nets!
It was a delicious chocolate cake.
Thanks Natey

Nathan & Oliver spent all day in the Mortimer’s boat.
Apart from coming ashore to feed briefly.
They got some good catches.

They got a huge thresher shark in the last net.
They were struggling to hold it up here!

The shark.

Nick decided the hammock was the safest and most peaceful place to be on the way home.
He had a very busy day.
On the way out he was the chief fish-taker-off -the-hooker for everyone and as the fish were coming up thick and fast he was busy!

Everyone was determined to fish their quota.
So on the way home there was more stops to fish.
We didn’t get home till nearly 9pm.

Filleting all the fish on the way home.
Big job.
Great day