Guess who’s back, back again……

Azzan and I were all ready to leave home on Friday morning at 5:55am and were saying good-bye to Tim when he hopped in the drivers seat and told me to get in the back. I began protesting that I was quite capable of driving and opening the gate.
However he persisted so I got in.
I soon discovered why he was insistant on driving me up!
I had no idea that he had half graded the road on Wednesday before the rains and it was quite a stickly slippery bumpy mess.
I out my head down and hung on tight.
Once we were at the top Tim opened the gate and we said our last farewells and Azzan and I headed off to town.
It was a good trip out.
Road was good all the way.
Azzan commented to me that he and I hadn’t been to town on our own for ages.
He was very happy to be just us

We met up with Gaynor & Art at Starbucks and enjoyed a half hour coffee/chat together.
Then it was on with the chores.
Oh No
I had left my list at home.
 All of a sudden I realised I had forgotten the Nurse’s appointment for Azzan.
I tore off around the corner and parked all askew and then sat and waited…..
she was running late already!
So we had a few moments to calm the bodies before seeing her.
I tried to remember everything on my list and used those few minutes to scribble them down.

Then we headed off to do everyhting we could.
I called up Nathan to see if he could find the list. He did and read it to me.
I had remembered everything!!

We arrived out at Debbie’s for our annual Sound’s Womens luncheon.
There was a good turn out and we all ate well, chatted heaps and generally had a wonderful catch up time.
I did take my camera but forgot to take photos

At 2:30pm we took our leave and headed off out to Brifghtwater to drop some of Shanni’s shortbread off to Jacqui.
She is not feeling good due to morning sickness and I knew shortbread would make her smile

From there we zipped back intot he city to do a few last minute jobs and then it was on the road again – over the hill towards Blenheim.

I was terrorised by a very large and pushy truck as we drove.
Normally the freight trucks are really well mannered but this guy was driving very dangerously.
I have been talking to Art & Gaynor since as they were following me and they were also shcoked at how dangerous this guy was so I am glad I made a note of his truck number.

It was wet and cold and after 6pm when we got to Rai Valley so we carried on to Havelock.
We stopped for dinner at The Slip Inn as I was absolutely starving.
Azzan didn’t want anything much but decided to have the chicken nuggets.
Azzan shocked and delighted the waitress by asking for a salad.
He got served this huge salad which was a bit much for him so I helped him out by taking the red onions.
Half the nuggets and chips came home in a doggy bag!!

We called in quickly to the supermarket and then arrived at Granny’s just in time to watch the tribute to Sir Howard Morrison – ‘To Sir With Love‘.
Azzan was quite happy to hop into bed soon after – it had been a long day and he was quite weary.

Sat morning I took off and did some b’day shopping alone.
It was my last chance before Azzan’s 7th birthday on the 8th October!!

I zipped back to pick him up around 10am and we went to the library.
Met up with 3 guys who want to come wwoofing here soon and then chose books for everyone.
I was sposed to be meeting up with my new wwoofer at the airport at 12:30pm.
But she called up to say her flight was coming in at 4pm.
So as I had time to spare I called in to say hullo to my friend Christine.
Had lunch with her and Azzan enjoyed playing in the trampoline.

Then we met up with the 3 guys again and tried to sort their travel etc.
Got that as sussed as we could and zipped back to Granny’s to pick up our gear.
Got to the airport just after 4pm.
Chie from Japan was waiting for us.
She had made a mistake when booking and had booked her ticket for 26 November and not September!
A very, very costly mistake as they charged her an extra $188 to rebook

We got home around 8pm.
The road had dried out so wasn’t too much of an issue.
Daniel from Texas had arrived on the mailboat as was very much at home already.
Cat & Leeann had sailed over from Mana in Alibi, so the house was quite busy.

I discovered that the phone was out of order.
Dead as a dodo!
But no one had reported it cuz they didn’t know what to do – nice to know I am useful for something round here
So I called up Telecom and spent quite a long time glued to my cell phone in one position against the window so I didn’t loose the connection and finally lodged the fault.

I was totally out of it.
The left side of my face and body felt like a bull dozer had hit it.
My cheek was swollen, sinuses, head & throat were aching, plus my hip was incredibly sore.
I spent a lot of the day in bed but nothing really helped.

Found out later in the day that the telephone fault was big.
About 30 of us off, so at least this time I knew it was way out of our hands and not caused by our stock etc.
Got calls diverting through my cell phone.

Bri arrived home after dinner. She managed to put her wheel off the road about an hour from here.
So I called a nearby friend and they went up to rescue her but were beaten to it by someone else.
Nice to know that despite being very remote with not too much traffic that there are folk there when you need them
She finally made it here after 9pm I think.
It was nice to see her smiling face.

It was pouring down.
We had over 50mm just overnight.
So docking was postponed.
Chie helped me in the morning – I was still feeling yuck.
I had woken early with a headache which Panadol hadn’t helped at all.
The children did a bit of school work.
After lunch Tim took Daniel, Nathan & Chie out to do some mussel work.

Cat & Bri spent time putting down new carpet in Anson’s hut and fixing the leaks so it won’t get wet again.
Bri had the kids up in the hut helping her and partying up!
They do so love it when the older ones come home.
I was going to go to bed but then discovered the gst was due so called up the accountant and arranged for him to file and pay for us as I had no internet access still.
But first I had to get it finished, so no nanna nap for me

Peter and James from England arrived mid afternoon and helped Tim until dinner time.
I was about to send out a search party by then as I hadn’t heard them arrive.

It was not raining at 6am so Tim took Nathan, Daniel, Chie, James & Peter up to muster the sheep in for docking.
Pat took Shanni, Hali & Azzan up at 9am with his boys.
Ony about 15mins after they had gone it absolutely bucketed down.

I began my Ultimate Cleanse today.
I have not done one in a while and have been wanting to for ages now but have just been to busy.
I normally do it in 10 days but just can’t find 10 days at home to do it so am doing htis one in 5 days.
It just means I have 40 capsules to swallow down twice a day.
I took my time and spread the swallowing out over an hour while I got dinner ready.
Then I made carrot & beetroot juice.

By this time the guys had all arrived home like drenched ducks!
So they sat around and had morning tea.
I took pity on them and made hot muffins.
After that I made myself a yoghurt, boysenberry and pear smoothie.
I was feeling quite full by this time.

Cat, Leeann & Bri decided to sail off motor into the sunset cloudy drizzly bay and go see if they could find some wind over the next few days in the D’Urville area.

It is still raining off and on.
After lunch Chie did some vege prep for me, folded the washing and swept the floor.
Tim took the guys out to do more mussel work in the rain.
Lots of harvesting & reseeding happening so it is keeping Tim busy dealing with floats and ropes.
I discovered that the phone had been reconnected so I hopped online and have been dealing to over 200 emails ever since!

The children are waiting to watch a movie on my computer – I still have no remote for the dvd player and the movie they were watching has episodes so cannot be played in it’s entirety – most frustrating.

So I am away not to finish dinner and make myself a nice fresh salad

It was lovely traveling with Azzan on his own.
He is such a wee philosopher and chats away all the time.
Here are some of his thoughts I managed to record.

‘You know the scientists who believe that we were created by the big bang?
I’ve tried doing a big bang with all my might and nothing was created.
So they are wrong’!

‘You know, pictures of Christmas are all wrong.
It wasn’t calm and peaceful.
It was a very borastic birth.’
‘What do you mean?’ I asked.
‘Well, Mary didn’t have the baby all calm and peaceful.
It didn’t just magically appear.
They had to work hard at it’!

‘If they had cell phones in Bible times Moses wouldn’t have had to go to Egypt’

Today has been horridly cold and wet.
What happened to Spring?
What happened to Summer – it was peaking around the corner last week?
The bay was grey and windy with strong south easterly white caps rolling in the bay.
I stayed in bed till after 8am today.
Not a lot to get out for really.
It was warmer under the duvet and I was engrossed in my book.
I finished it.
Yes, Jesika. I can understand you not liking the end.
It is quite sudden.
Not at all what I had envisioned – but it does really finalise the story in a way that no other ending could’ve.

The mussel harvester came in several times to unload ropes.
Poor guys were out working in this.

Tim was down on the wharf in the freezing cold this afternoon conditioning ropes.
 Shanni eventually went down and helped him for a while.
They both came up to the house totally frozed!

We got our school work done this morning.
Azzan was doing his science book.
He flicked over to the back and found a dot-to-dot picture of a butterfly.
He quickly lined up all the numbers and then asked my if he could colour it in.
He hates colouring – that is the last thing he ever wants to do.
I was sitting waiting for him as I had a few other things to do with him
But he was intent on colouring this butterfly.
And he did it beautifully!!!

Shanni is itching to get moving on some more unit studies.
But I am waiting for the others to get their travel journals completed and then we will all kick off together in the new term.
I have introduced some spelling and handwriting work books. They seem to be getting done without complaint.

Hali & Zani dressed the Flat Stanley that we are hosting at the moment.
He has come all the way from Texas.
He arrived wearing a tie
My children were horrified and had to dress him accordingly for the adventures he will be having here with us
We made him a warm hat and gumboots with matching gloves.
Hai is about to tie a scarf around his neck.

I have been feeling achey and cold most of the day.
I do not like cold and today the wind has been trying it’s level best to sneak in through all the cracks and crevices of the house.
I was about to go hop into bed after lunch to warm up with a book when I made the mistake of checking my emails.
Oh dear!
The accountant is asking very nicely for our end of year accoutns to be sent through by the weekend so they can begin them on Monday.
Well that put paid to any ideas of a rest
So I got the hall heater and put it in the study to warm up the icey room.
And I spent the rest of the arvo in here getting the accounts coded and sent off.
I did have to get them done by middle of next week anyway so I spose it was good to have a butt kick.

Shanni came in and grabbed my camera this arvo.
I never did ask why but found out a few moments ago when I loaded my photos on to the computer.
I found these.

Nathan & Tim were at it again.
Azzan must be growing bigger cuz he now joins in reasonably happily and manages to not get hurt along the way – most of the time!!

Nathan roasted a chicken for dinner in the slow cooker – it was delicious.
He made the stuffing just right and it was all oozie & loaded with garlic – so much so it sorta acted like a gravy – so I didn’t have to make one!!

Well, Azzan & I are off to Nelson tomorrow and then to Blenheim for a night to see Mum.
So I had better get myself off to bed as I have an early start.

Looks like I am going to have to dig out my winter woolies as the forecast is for cold wet weather for days and days more




I am thinking I am almost recovered from our big weekend.
We have begun school again.
Yesterday was not too good.
Shanni and Hali got on with their school work and I helped Azzan choose photos for his travel journal.
He is the last one I have to do this for and he has kept being put ot the back of the line of importance due to time constraints.
So that occupied all my morning.
Then I discovered Nathan hadn’t actually done a heck of a lot – I was totally unimpressed.
Two pages of maths for one days school work is not my idea of productivity and responsibility and initiative and reliability and any other similar words you could possibly think of 

Tim has been working away up the hill on his fencing project whenever he can and then doing maintenance on vehicles etc in between times.

I found Tim sound asleep in bed after lunch (all this socialising has exhausted him!!) and as I was feeling in need of a rest too I got my book and made myself a comfy spot on the floor in the living room where I could lie in the sunshine and read my book.
It was delicious.
I read myself to sleep.
Not that comfortable but deliciously warm and giving me my necessary daily injection of Vit D!

I left cooking dinner to quite late.
Smoked salmon with a vege stir fry in a cream sauce on rice with garlic bread.
It was very yummy.
I am getting good at using up party leftovers in creative ways.
The only thing was that the cream had been whipped up with sugar and vanilla so when I folded it into the veges it foamed up and tasted way too sweet.
So tip in some red wine vinegar, toss in some garam masala, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper etc and…
I have just invented a new dish

After dinner my frustrations got the better of me and I roasted one son.
Then did my nana to one husband.
Like typical males they then proceeded to go off hunting possums.
So I blobbed out in front of a movie with a packet of Tim Tams

The movie was really good.
‘Anna’s Dream’

This morning this wonderful sky welcomed me to the spa at 6am.
I watched the weather vane blow from side to side as it tried to make up it’s mind which way the wind was going to blow today.

Tim joined me and we chatted a while.
Then I unloaded all my frustrations re trying to teach a son who wasn’t co-operating with anything.
I left him with it and spent the next 3 hours in the study working and doing more photos for Azzan before school began.

After they had all finished breakfast I was aware of father and son going to the school room and then father leaving for work.
I carried on and then got my own breakfast and check up on what the 3 young ones were doing.
By 9:30am I herded them all down to the school room where I found Nathan working away at his lessons.

I just went on supervising Shanni and getting Hali and Azzan into their work.
Azzan did so well and just wants to do so much.
He was great.
I so need to work with him first if I can to get him while he is fresh and willing.
Then once he has his fill he can go do stuff while I work on with the others.
Best plan – just gotta remember that’s how it works best!!

Shanni did really well and was finished way before the others so I got her to hang out the washing and help get some food ready for lunch.
She made cheese toasties to go with sausages and eggs.
I finished up with Hali and then checked through Natha’s work. He was working way better which was good.

After lunch Shanni made shortbread.
It is so good

The children also have been doing their piano practise throughout the day.
I spent a long time chatting with Jacqui on the phone – I was multi-tasking the whole time as I was able to keep working on Azzan’s photos while talking so have got most of them done now.

Tonight I made crayfish mornay for dinner with brown rice and salad and stirfry carrots and onions.
I used up some left over creamy tomato & gherkin dip in the mornay – it tasted really good.
The 3 young ones did not want crayfish so they had reheated sausages.
Not that we were complaining!!
All the more for us

I also made a new recipe for dessert.
It was a ‘magical chocolate mud souffle’.
Wow! Was it rich and strong – but so good

Tonight I watched ‘Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood’
while eating a piece of Shanni’s delicious shortbread.
I was chocolated out from dessert.

Recovery Day and an evening at Sparrowdise.

I was up and at’em at the normal Monday morning hour.
I was feeling fine and had plenty of energy despite the weekend’s activities.
Spent quite some time doing accounts and banking online.
Got the kids sussed for school and chores.

Tim and Nathan went out to do mussel work.
Shanni got on with her school work but then mid morning asked if she could go back to bed.
Most unlike her, but she had been hugging the fire and was looking flushed and was probably feeling the effects of a tiring weekend. So I sent her off with her hottie to have a sleep.

I am not too sure what Mahalia & Azzan accomplished during the morning except Mahalia did do the breakfast dishes!
They surely never got too far in the school work realms.

By lunch time I was beginning to flag.
So once Tim & Nathan arrived back and everyone had eaten I headed for my bed.
The guys left to go fencing up the hill for the afternoon.

I read my book and then drifted off to sleep.
Only to be rudely awoken by very very noisy kids yahooing in the hallway.
I was totally unimpressed
I called them in and told them what I thought about them waking me up.
Azzan first reaction was to try and kiss me to make me happy
He soon found out that that wasn’t going to work this time!!
I dealt with them – gave them the choice of outside or on their beds.
Hali chose outside.
Azzan chose his bed.

Tried to rest again but then the phone began.
After I had gotten up the 2nd or 3rd time I gave up.
Went out and got a few things done and then crashed in front of the fire with my book.

Last week I got myself totally engrossed in Conn Iggulden’s ‘Wolf of the Plains’.
I have had it sitting by my bed waiting to read for about 18months – ever since Nathan & Cat & Seb etc had read and raved about it.
They were right, it is a gripping story about the young Genghis Khan.
I couldn’t put it down!
I have the 2nd one to read now.
But in between I am readingHandle with Care by Jodi Picoult which I have just gotten from the library.
Jesika read it and said she didn’t like the ending.
That intrigued me, so….
I am right into it now and am curious to see how it ends as it is twisting all over the place at the moment.

While I read my book and continued to field phone calls the children watch ‘Hoot‘.

Afterwards Mahalia asked me ‘Is there any movies that don’t have happy endings?
I want to watch one just to see what they are like.
She then commented that ‘“Hoot” was cool – and they was no kissy kissing in it

We had arranged to go to Bush Inn and have dinner with the Sparrow clan.
I gathered some food together and when Tim & Nathan arrived home at 6pm we headed around there.
The road was very muddy and slippery just before the bach.
I was freaking out.
Nathan told me to stop stressing.
He got that one shoved back at him big time!
He is too young to know or remember that we rolled the landrover off the road there 25 years ago and were flown out to hospital by helicopter.
The accident resulted in Tim’s loss of mobility for a while, Cat having concussion, me loosing a baby, several other consequences affecting the girls and Sunnni & I having ongoing nightmares whenever we travelled.
Some memories do not dimminish easily

We were welcomed by Dave & Olivia and Les. Charlotte was bathing Arabella in a wee basin in front of the fire and Christine was getting Matilda into her pjs.
It was lovely and cosy with the fire going.
We feasted on chips and carrot sticks and dips and fruit punch.

It was a friendly relaxing evening.

Dinner was fresh scallops caught by Tim, bbq’d grouper caught & cooked by Dave and some pan fried fish I presume caught by Les & Olivia.

The children found Christine’s stash of toys.
Azzan loved the antique top – he wants one just the same.
Isn’t it funny that nothing today really beats the old fashioned solid toys.
The train tracks were put together and pulled apart over and over.
They had more fun making shapes out of them than actually running trains on them!!

Christine enjoyed chatting with Nathan about his Aust holiday and what his future plans are.

Azzan found some old books and had deep and meaningful discussions with Les as to how to fix them.

Much to his Charlotte & Olivis’s amusement

As Les couldn’t fix them properly he asigned the job to Dave who was not impressed by that thought so Olivia got the job!

Then Azzan found some more and he and Les had more discussions about those ones

The children all ended up sprawled around the place with the books.
Wonderful old storybooks which Christine has saved for the grandchildren.
Always holding universal timeless appeal.

By 9:30pm everyone was beginning to yawn so I made moves to head home.
By 10pm we had said our farewells and we walked out into the darkness, following Les’s torch light across the muddy patch to the truck.
Tim had moved the truck back further along the track so we wouldn’t get stuck or scared when we left.
It did do a bit of a skid right where we had gone over the bank those many years before as we left but the rest of the way was okay.

As we drove through the gate and around past the overhanging banks Nathan spotted the glowworms.
So Tim turned off all the lights.
They were so delicatley beautiful.
The little ones were in awe as they had not seen them before.

As we drove the rest of the way home Azzan chatted about how he would like to catch one and do a study about them.
Then he chatted on…
‘Could we do a study on invetebrates. You know, we could study arachnids & bugs & glowworms and invertebrates.’

Looks like we are gong to be busy cuz he already wants to study so many things
He has a mind which soaks up so much and wants to know so much more.

Sunday – the day after the party!!

We woke to the most glorious of days.
The wind had totally dropped and it was clear and sunny.
The atmosphere was still a bit crisp so I decided to hop into the spa to warm up before getting dressed.
Alas it was rather cool.
On checking the controls I found an error message and the temp was down to 32’C
Not a good start to my day.
I got dressed and rumaged around in my filing drawers and found the instructions.
Push this this and this all at the same time to reset.
Wonderful!! It worked.
What a relief.
I think maybe some wee people may have pushed too many buttons for too long last night.

Tim took Wayne, Emma & Dave out in the boat to get mussels.
I was so glad it was clam enough and the tide was high so Emma could get on the boat and enjoy the experience

It was so inviting to just sit on the deck and chat.

But once again it was time for folk to pack up and leave.
Wayne & Emma had a long drive ahead so they said their farewells and headed off first.

Shanni spent time with Ella’s kids on the wharf – Eden & Eli had a ball catching fish.

Jillian & Colin came to say goodbye.
Jillian picked up the stool and placed it by Tim.
Climbed up and gave him a big hug announcing that she was now as tall as him

Graham took a photo of us 4 couples before they all left.

Emma & Wayne, Pat & Phillipa, Jillian & Colin, Me & Tim.
Between us we have 37 children – doing well aren’t we

I got back inside and found Nathan & Tommy having a bit of a kick boxing sorta fight.
Nathan brandished this chair just as I took the photo.
Apparently there had been a bit of joshing around.
Tommy had sprayed Nathan’s toastie with spray paint and then the joshing got physical!!

It was all rather funny

We finally had fellowship.
Alan’s guitar livened things up a bit.
As well as Azzan running rings around Alan with his question and answer session!!
Duncan & Sylvia left just as we were finishing up.
She was looking a lot better.
Ella made toasties for lunch and then she packed up her kids and headed home.
Alan & Eare and Dave & Michelle all left as well.

Tim took the remaining guys all out fishing fr the rest of the arvo.
So the 3 little’uns and I watched a movie and then I made them poached eggs on cheese buns for dinner.
Got them settled just before the fishermen arrived back after 7pm.
They had a good haul of blue cod and scallops so everyone was happy.

Tim cooked up some for them to snack on before they all left.
So with Alan, Tommy & Zane and David, Sasha & Christian leaving it means we are back to our small family of just 6 for a few days.

It has been a fantastic weekend.
Thanks so much to everyone who came down.
I was thrilled that so many of our friends think so much of Tim to made the effort to be here.

And now it is time to sleep cuz tomorrow is the beginning of the last week of term.
And I have so much to do!!

Tim’s party – part 4

Our evening was pretty chilled.
We had dinner – eventually
Tommy, Zane & Alan were acting the fool normally

Mahalia had a great chat with Emma – telling her all about her riding and what she was learning.
Emma being the mother of many riders was an enthusiastic audience!

Before dinner the children decided Tim should open his presents.
Azzan & Eden had a great time ‘helping’.
Michelle wrote names onto cards so we could remember who gave what in the morning!!
There was a LOT of chocolate being unwrapped which was very tantalizing to the wee ones.

Ava was almost on Tim’s lap with enthusiasm throughout the proceedings

After we had eaten Alan, Zane & Tommy left with Seb, Alan T, Christian and Nathan.
The All Blacks were playing the last of the Tri Nations against The Wallabies so the guys wanted to watch it at Waterfall Bay.
The three musketeers stayed the night over there as we had run out of beds on this side of the bay.

David & Sasha were up in Cat’s hut.
Sasha slept right through dinner.
David made it down for dessert.
Duncan & Sylvie slept in Anson’s hut – Sylvie slept most of the day away as she wasn’t well.
Great place for her to come to relax eh?
Ella & the kids were in the hut so they all snuggled down straight after dinner.


Pat got himself very comfortable in Tim’s big armchair.

  Nathan restarted the chocolate fountain.
I had banned the kids from it as they had pigged out during the afternoon and we hadn’t had a look in.
I encouraged Emma & Phillipa to join me in a chocolate session.

It was GOOD

I noticed Michelle playing with my camera and later found this photo of the 3 of us communing around the fountain.
Colin & Jillian left for The Croft and got first choice of the beds.
The 6 of us chatted on into the middle of the night hours.
Tim lent Pat & Phillipa MY Safari to drive to The Croft in
I armed Wayne & Emma up with hotties and they staggered along the back path to The Cottage which they were sharing with Alan & Eare and Michelle & Dave.

And just as I was heading off to bed at midnight Seb & Nathan arrived back with the news of the All Blacks win against the Wallabies – 33-6

A good note to go to sleep on

Tim’s party – part 3

We all had a wonderful time.
So many people have commented to me that they so enjoyed the day.
The food was great.
The atmosphere was so friendly and happy.
We all had a ball.
People met old friends and made new friends.

But soon it was time for some of the guests to make the return journey down our windy road back home.
I managed to get photos of a lot but not all the guests.
This is Sue & Rob.
Sue lived in the Sounds about 18 years ago and we haven’t seen her for such a long time.
It was the first time we had met Rob so it was a special catching up time.
And now they live in Nelson we hope to see more of them

Then Joan, Bruce & Simesi had to head away.
As Simesi is returning as chief of his village on his island in Fiji soon, and unless we take a holiday over to see him, we probably won’t get to see him this side of heaven – so it was a poignant goodbye.

Tim’s old mate Lloyd hasn’t been down in years so we thoroughly enjoyed his company and meeting his new wife Eileen.
Come back soon you two!!

Josh and his au pair arrived by boat after lunch and they took off around 5pm.
He ferried Tony out to his boat – then there was a lot of fun as Joy was ferried out by dinghy.
The waves were washing over the side and making it quite precarious.
Tim was trying to get out the same way but the dinghy was threatening to sink so Tony nosed in and he clambered aboard.

Then it was time to load the passengers aboard the flaot plane for their return to Picton.
The wind had calmed a lot so it was much easier.
Duncan still had to hold it from being blown towards the wharf though.

Lloyd piggy-backed Mum out to the plane so she didn’t get her feet wet.

There was quite an audience.

The had ring side seats so to speak!!

Tommy and Azzan were born just a week apart so it was fun to see them together again as nearly 7 year olds.

Sheila, Mark, Melissa Goldthorpe and the younger crew.
It was great to see you all – after so many years.

Saying goodbye to b-i-l Paul, mu sis Ruth and niece Ruby.

Then there were the lovely ladies.
Shoshannah, Grace, Sophiem Katherine & Mahalia.
I was trying to get a nice photo of all 5 of them when big bro Tommy decided to add his smiling face to the group

Graham & Rose headed off with Tania leaving the boys to chaperone Uncle Herbie and Errilyn

By 6:30pm our numbers were beginning to thin out so we began to think about dinner.
We uncovered the leftovers and heated up some food and began eating all over again!!

Tim’s party – part 2


We gathered everyone out on the decking.
By now there was getting to be quite a large crowd of us.
At the end of the day I did a tally and we had 96 people altogether.

Nathan chose to watch the proceedings from his roof top.

The Bruce came around the side of the house playing his bagpipes.
He played several songs.
It was so lovely to hear the music resounding across the bay.

I made a short welcome speech and then asked Pat to say grace.
(this photo was taken by Catherine McLean)

From there we all made our way inside to fill our plates with food.
Everyone thoroughly enjoyed all the salads.
I had so much fun making them.
I LOVE my Moosewood Cookbook which I have owned for 30 years.
I made several salads from there which I have drooled over but never gotten around to making.
I will certainly be doing them again soon – they were all delicious.

I was concerned that I had made too much food and we would be eating it for weeks,
 but it disappeared very quickly.
I think I made just the right amount

People spread out on the decking and the living room to eat and chat.

You can see the weather vane now.
(photo by Catherine McLean)

It has sea terns on it.
Perfect place for it too.

Peter & Bruce found a comfy seat on the spa.

The float plane finally arrived just as we were finishing the first course.
Duncan piggy-backed Mum to shore.
(photo by Catherine McLean)

Granny, my uncle Lloyd & Val with grand kids Emma & Ben came up with Alistair the pilot and managed to find some food left.

My darling friend Emma and Wayne finally made it in from Oxford.
It was a very very hard trip for Emma as her back is really really bad at the moment.
By the time she got here she was in a lot of pain.
But after some drugs and a cuppa tea she began to perk up and she and Phillipa constructed the birthday cake.

Isn’t this wonderful??
When Emma suggested a meringue tower to me I asked the kids and they said ‘Yes, let’s do it’!!

Meanwhile the children had discovered the chocolate fountain
There was chocolate everywhere!!

I had made three huge cakes.
A banana, carrot and a sultana cake.
Joy brought over a huge cheesecake and others brought various sweets.
The ladies helped cut them all up and we loaded the table but before I could turn around half the carrot cake had disappeared!!

I hurridly called Tim in so we could sing Happy Birthday and everyone could officially begin dessert.

The candle blowing didn’t take too much effort as there was only 2 wicks!!

Then it was all demolished at a rate of knots!!

It was lovely to see all the guests chatting away throughout the day in various corners.
Phillipa & Ella lean on the bench to catch up while Seb gets a lean on the door whilst talking with Peter and Zane, Tommy & Christian chat together in Sylvania.
We had moved all the Sylvanians back into the corner so we could open the side doors as it was too windy to have the main ranch sliders open.

Lloyd had turned a macrocarpa plate for Tim and Val had written him a poem which he read out.

Happy 60th Tim Shand
by Val Mapp

From a tiny minute seed
Timothy Shand, so skinny & lean
Grew into a mighty tall tree
With branches for arms, he can always be seen.

Life in the Sounds was pretty free
Tim was out fishing when he was three
Off to school when he was eight
Was never happy, and found the gate.

Tim missed his boat that he built himself
Nothing or nobody at college could help
Hunting and fishing became his life
Off up those hills with his long legs and knife.

He’d sneak over to Pohenui, to learn how to shear
Then he met Reginald, teaching over there

He soon needed love, and the fish weren’t enough
Then he found Raewyn who thought him soft but tough
He took her to live with him by the sea
Ever since he’s been happy, producing ten fruits from the tree
Surrounded by nappies, and cooking the tea.

Now you have sixty candles on your cake
We all totally agree, we think you are great.
So we’ll all make a wish
That you retire and fish.

Finally, there’s one last thing
we would all like to do
We shall all sing
Happy Birthday, to you!

Tim’s party – part 1

Tim knew Alan & Eare were booked in for the weekend and he knew Joan & Bruce were coming down so he wasn’t phased when they arrived.
I was called from the study around 7am cuz we had a visitor.
Imagine my surprise when I found Simesi in the kitchen.
He is a Fijian friend who had hitched a ride down with Bruce & Joan.
It was so lovely to see him again.

The morning ticked by.
The kids helped me get things cleaned up and prepared as best we could.
Seb arrived home at midday with Christian.
I think Tim began to realise things were happening.
Seb had a sleep on the couch and Nathan was engrossed in his book.
Tavia left on the mailboat.
Christian was a brilliant help.
He worked with me all afternoon getting all the food prepared.
My body was so weary by dinner time – but could not have done it all without his help.
Thanks so much Christian

Les & Christine, Charlotte, Arabella & Matilda arrived in their boat later in the afternoon.
I had the boys primed to go get their dinghy down for them and to chainsaw the tree which was blocking the road.
So Tim went too.
Apparently he asked Nathan how many more were coming.
Nathan replied that he had no idea.
Tim said ‘You lying dog!’
He was cottoning on that things were developing around him

We had tacos for dinner – a fun meal which the children all enjoyed.
Then while Tim was putting the little folk to bed my bro Duncan & Sylvie arrived.
Tim waked into the living room and never batted an eyelid when he saw them there.
David & Sasha arrived half an hour later – still no reaction.
He just chatted as if nothing untoward was happening.

We all headed off to bed around 10 as everyone was very tired.
I didn’t sleep terribly well.
Was able to enjoy a spa in the early morning which was a good way to begin my day.
Then a shower and into the day.

Tim was dressed in his old work clothes.
I told him that whatever he had to do had to be done and he HAD to be changed into tidy clothes by 10am.
The Winnington family had arrived late Fri night and had slept in The Croft.
Shanni walked around after breakfast so it wasn’t too long till she and Katherine and Mahalia & Sophie were running around together.

The rest of the family appeared before lunch.
The float plane from Picton was sposed to bearriving at 10:30am with my mother and her bro and his wife and their 2 g’kids.
But the southerly had increased and it was gusting too strongly for thm to leave.
So the pilot was calling me up each hour for weather reports, postponing departure until the wind dropped a bit.

We were all busy getting things laid out and tables set up.
Graham and the boys were organising the bbqs.
Tim was wandering around a bit aimlessly – he had nothing to do and didn’t know what to do with himself
Then as folk began arriving and he was chatting to some of them the phone went and he ended u[p chatting to my bro in Perth for half an hour.

David and Seb got the bbq up and running around midday.
Graham & Nathan were putting up the weather vane we had bought for Tim.

On the verandah there were bowls of dips and chips and vege sticks to nibble on and huge quantities of fruit punch to quench the thirst through out the day.
I also had an electric urn so people could make their own teas and coffees as they wished.

I had glued pages from my blog and facebook about Tim’s birthday into our visitor’s book and asked folk to write comments and sign names all around the pages.
Phillipa & Margaret were pretty intent on catching up so the book stayed with them for quite a while

I put out all the salads Christian & I had prepared.
They looked fantastic.
People also brought food with them so the table was weighing heavy by the time we came to eat.

Art & Gaynor from Okiwi enjoyed meeting Jillian from Motueka.

Sandra with her g’daughter Emma loved catching up with Sue after all the years since Sue left the Sounds.

Syth & Clarrie came from Cissy Bay and brought Herb & Sandra from Hurutini and Rossi & Doug from Canoe Bay.
Tim’s bro Martin & Sylvia from Nelson arrived with Sandra & Phil from Bulwer
Joy & Tony braved the weather and zoomed across in their fizz boat with their nephew Tim.

Once the weather vane was up Graham was on bbq duties.
Martin was catching up with David and Graham out the back while they were frying up the onions.

Tania & her 3 boys from Motueka, Herbie and Erelyn and Rose & Graham all arrived from Nelson together.
Ella drove in from mapua with her 4 youngest.
We hardly saw the kids as they were all so busy playing in the tree house.
Shanni also organised them into playing games down in the woolshed.

Tim brought some mussels back to give away but I snaffled them and Eare made many trays of half shells.
They looked delicious.
I don’t eat them myself but everyone was devouring them so they must have been good

The table was so full of the salads so we put all the meats out onto the bench.
We had copious amounts of sausages and meat patties, onion, mussels, and salmon – fried and bbq’d.

Bruce & Sarah Riddell from Nelson arrived with their 6 children.
Tim hasn’t seen them in years so it was a wonderful surprise.

Lloyd & Eileen arrived from Blenheim.
Ray came from Wakamarina.
Dave & Michelle who we caught up with in Echuca, Australia arrived in from Nelson.
The three musketeers, Alan, Zane & Tommy came together from Nelson minus the two wives.
Peter Robin drove over the hill.
Mark & Sheila Arrived with their family and swelled the ranks even more.

Finally the Sparrow clan representatives arrived.
Les & Christine, Andrew with Josie, Catherine with Tommy, Charlotte with Arabella & Matilda.

I don’t think Tim knew who would be walking through the doors next

September 17th in our house

I must regress slightly on today.
Mainly because I found this photo from yesterday which reminded me.

Mahalia & Azzan were playing up in the tree house when I became aware of some anguished crying.
I ran out to see what had happened.
I ran out one door as Azzan ran in the other so he was calling for me to come help – I was already up there with Nathan.
Mahalia had fallen off the rope swing and landed on some rocks.
She grazed her jolted and lower back and both elbows.
So Nathan carried her in and popped her on the couch for me to check her out.

We laid her on ice packs.
Azzan had caught up with us by this time and was fussing around her like an old mother hen.
He was very cute.
Wanting to get things for her to make her better.
So he covered her with quilts and then decided to keep her company

She has been rather quiet most of today – I think there will be a few bruises show up over the next wee while.

This morning I got up at 6:30am and hopped into the spa.
I had an audience.
Sooky the calf has found his way back into the house section and despite all of Tim’s efforts to keep him out he keeps on returning.
When they herd him out, as soon as he sees a gate he does an about turn and makes a run for it.
Crafty critter!

So each morning lately Shanni has been out with her bucket and spade scooping up calf pats for her compost and then the deck gets hosed off.
So that was Tims first job on his birthday today.
Then he took him away and hopefully has managed to find him a spot he cannot get through.

Tim wanted to get out on the mussel lines early today and was taking Nathan with him.
However he had forgotten to undo a battery lead last time and the batteries were dead flat.
So he had to pull the boat into the wharf and put the batteries on the charger for the whole day.
Most frustrating

Wendy and Jae came around to say goodbye.
They were certainly way more refreshed than when they arrived.
Glad they enjoyed their rest.
Come again guys!!

Shanni was tidying up Sylvania a bit and made this egg crate sled.
I thought it was really cool

We had been wanting to have a birthday brunch for Tim but the morning sorta disappeared so we ate it at midday.

We cooked bacon, eggs and cheese topped grilled tomatoes.
It was very delicious.
We also had some sparkling grape juice.

Then we pigged out on pancakes.
Smothered in butter, golden syrup and lemon juice – so good.

After lunch I made a couple of big cakes for Saturday and tried to get as much sorted as I could.
I seemed to be forever on the phone organising the party.
Tim still hasn’t twigged to what is going on.
He must be getting a tad curious though – but he’s not asking anything -yet!!

Graham took Nathan over to Waterfall Bay to tidy up, mow the lawns, and get some large platters etc for me.
Tim took Shanni & Tavia and delivered a load of firewood over there.

Some boats came to the wharf this morning and one of them swapped Tim a crayfish for some suntan lotion.
He thought that was a pretty good swap.
So tonight he devoured the cray insides for an entrée.
A perfect birthday treat for him – he LOVES crayfish.

Graham came for dinner tonight.
I had made all of Tim’s favourite foods.
Cauliflour cheese, carrots, beans with roast chicken.
Then we had apple and kiwifruit crumble with ice cream for dessert.
Azzan popped a candle in but the crumble was so hot the candle melted.
So I put a thicker one in and Tim and the kids had fun blowing it out – several times!

Graham gave Tim a cool torch – it is rechargeable so we don’t have to be running about looking for batteries!!

So Tim has had a lovely laid back no fuss day – just as he likes.
Little does he know what’s coming!!