A gorgeously wonderful day

I began the day in a leisurely way but it soon turned to high season busyness.
Before I even managed to make the shower Tim came to tell me that 3 of the guys were heading out to town.
Then he suggested that they might all like to go fishing first.
What a choice!
There was no argument

As there was no time frame and as the mailboat could not be approached at sea Yui had to stay back.
The others all bustled around and headed off to the boat.
We all went down so I could get some photos of all the wwoofers together.
When we have a crowd here I like to get a gang shot!!

Dor was already on board.

As was Edan who was convinced he was going to catch a whale today.

Yui was not at all happy about walking the planks which not constitute our wharf!!
So she kept a tight grip onto Dagmar

To keep Yui from having a panic attack we rounded up all the guys and took the photo right here.
Perfect shot eh?
Dagmar – Germany, Yui – Japan, Edan & Dor – Israel, Kyle – Colorado USA, & Oskar – Sweden.

I ended up having 5 cameras all draped onto me to take photos for them all.
I was terrified I would drop them in the tide so kept a tight grip!

They all steamed off into the beautiful blue yonder.
Yui said goodbye to the kids as they were hooning off around to play with Oliver & Madeline.
George had gone fishing with the others.
Poppi had been under the garden sprinkler so was looking a tad bedraggled.

We then had a few quiet hours before the mailboat came.
Nathan had been assigned by Cat to dig another large hole for his proposed staircase.
She had muttered in passing last night something about hoping there was no water pipes in that area.
Well, sure enough, within a couple of minutes of digging Nathan found one and there was water everywhere!!
He kept digging and managed to seal it off after a while.

Then just before 1pm he took Yui up to Waterfall Bay in the dinghy to catch the mailboat.
Our wharf is not really up to mailboat use at the moment.
Then he brought Audrey from Switzerland back with him.

Everyone arrived back mid afternoon.
They had had a wonderful time.
Dagmar, Oskar & Leeann went swimming with a school of dolphins.
Oskar couldn’t understand why George caught so many fish when he had his line down right beside him and caught hardly anything!!!
Cat cooked up a big feed of fresh fish for lunch – it disappeared in a flash.

Then after a lot of laughter and craziness mainly created by Edan
he, Dor & Kyle headed off to Nelson.

Tim then recruited Nathan & Oskar to help with more beach clearance.
They towed more piles along the beach and right around the road to stash them on a point out of the way.
It was so unbareably hot that Cat gave work a miss.
I suggested that it was a perfect time for Dagmar & Audrey to defrost the small freezer.

The children had numerous swims at Bush Inn and finally arrived back home around 5pm looking like they had gotten their fair share of vitamin D
Louisa dropped in for a last chat too as they are heading off back to Christchurch tomorrow.

It was such an idyllic evening that everyone was out and about till late.
We didn’t eat dinner till after 8pm.
It was very simple.
I had stuffed and baked a large moki Cat had caught today.
We had that with rice and salad followed by Tiramisu


Cat got Dor digging a very large deep hole.
It was very rocky but he did well and soon it was deep enough to busy himself in.

In the very late afternoon I heard a commotion outside.
It was Tim arriving with the tractor towing one of the wharf piles.

It was rolled to one side so he could back out again.

Then the hole was measured to see how high it would stand.

Not big enough!
So Cat & Nathan went and got another one.

This was one heavy mama of a pole.
It was quite funny watching and listening to them trying to nut out how they were going to move it and raise it.

Another puzzlement time!

Ropes and sweat got it this far

More muscle and sweat

Don’t let go!
There was a rock in the way that had to go so it could stand upright.

More hands on deck now.

Go for it Edan!!

It’s all up guys!!

Cat packing in the support rocks and dirt to hold it in place.

Nathan trying to lassoo Kyle

And now we wait to see what Cat is going to create from this recycled wharf pile!!

Another sunny day

Thursday began like a mirror in the bay.
It was so beautiful.

Madeline had slept over so once the little people were all up and the day was underway I got them to clean out the spa.
As Cat said – ‘you lot added all that sand and grit so you can clean it’!!
Of course the easiest way was to get inside

I got Azzan cleaning the filter.
Figured that was an ideal job for a boy with a hose.
He needed to focus rather than spray it uncontrollably!!

Nearly all done

While they were hard at it I took a wander around the garden.
The seedlings we planted are looking so lovely.
It was a good buy to pop them in amongst all the established plants.
They have added so much colour.

The marigolds look so pretty.

Now Dagmar has released them from the weeds these wee plants are looking much happier.

The petunias are doing well too.

It was such a beautiful day.
Oliver came around and the 5 children played for ages in the sea.
Leeann got her river kayak out and was showing the kids how she could roll and resurface.

I caught Cat sitting for once.
She doesn’t often actually stop to survey the scenery!!
She and Leeann were having a few moments enjoying the cool and peacefulness.

It was a good day.
I spent several hours on my bed.
I actually slept for most of them.
I heard a wee person tip toe in and when she saw I was sleeping
(actually I was playing possum right then )
she very quietly closed all the doors and windows of my bedroom.
As it was so hot I had deliberately left them open so once she had gone I snuck up and opened them again and then fell asleep.

Dagmar and Yui had time to sit and chat before dinner.
The evenings are so pleasant at the moment now we are finally getting some summer weather.

The guys were busy all day clearing the beach while the tide was low so they were all pretty hot and tired by dinner time.
I made them a big self-saucing butterscotch pudding for dessert.
That made them very happy.

Tuesday 26th wharf attack – part 2

Pacifica coming in for another one.

Another beam down to get out of the way

Tim & Leeann were moving planks back as fast as they could.
As the piles were coming out they were getting less and less to stand on!

One more up and away

Tim for a rest to watch the proceedings

Cat going down to secure another chain around the pile.

Tim levering off another beam

Dumping another on the beach

Azzan lending Kyle a hand

They basically had to secure the chain and then power backwards and forwards to loosen each pile so they would pull out as they were wedged in pretty darn tight.

The beach turned into an adventure playground

The last one hits the water!

Tim will do the rest with the dozer at low tide.

Recapping the afternoon.

Seb & Tim having a final chat before the barge leaves.

It was a busy hot four hours but great to have that all done.
Makes it way easier now for Tim to continue with the rest and have it all clear for the rebuild to begin in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday 26th wharf attack – part 1

Tuesday arvo Pacifica arrived just after Tim got back fro lunch.
So the poor man hardly had time to eat let alone rest a while.
They were hard at from 12:30 until 5:40pm.
It was a very long and extremely hot afternoon.

Pacifica has a 24 tonne winching system so Tim was hoping they would be able to get the piles out fairly easily.
But it took a while for them to suss out just exactly how to do it.
And they also only had a light chain so couldn’t use total strength.

Nathan dived down and secured the chain on the first pile.
It came out reasonably quickly.

They are humungous.
Each pile is totara and measures 12″ x 12″.
They range in length from 5-7m
and they are HEAVY as!

Once each pile was pulled out then Pacific towed around and dumped it on the beach.

Cat was now diving and giving a bit of assistance to the drop off.

It was a hive of activity all afternoon.
Boats in all directions!

Kyle & Oskar were retrieving all the floating remains.

Another pile and beams up and out.

Getting the flotsam and jetsam on the beach was a major mission as once it was no longer floating it was pretty jolly heavy.

Tim was keeping just ahead of Pacifica.
He was chainsawing the beams to free up the piles.

And another one goes down with a splash.

Not too much left now!

Cat was helping to move the floating timber.

Not a lot left holding this pile together.

Cat framed!!

Three busy days

We have had several very long hot days.
Cat has had a team out grubbing weeds for the past 3 mornings.
They leave at 6am to try and beat the heat.
They work till around 10am.
They are really covering a great amount of ground and it is very encouraging to see the map being crossed off after each session.

Tim & Glen got stuck in and tried to use the boat to prise out some piles – using the rising tide and the weight of the boat.

It was a semi successful plan.

He ended up making a call to our mussel company to see if one of their large barges could come help with the job.

When the grubbing team got home Cat got them busy after lunch.
Yui, Kyle & Oskar were busy down clearing away rubbish outside the woolshed.
Dagmar was getting the path ready to line with rocks, the logs that had been there were rotting away.

Here it is now, nearly finished.
Looks much better.

The children all had an early dinner after a spa.
The girls had big plans for Madeline to stay over but Roger was leaving the next day so that wasn’t to be.
She and Oliver ate a quick dinner with my two and then headed off home.

It’s nice to be able to eat outdoors at the moment.
Makes up for the slow summer we have had.

Our two Israeli guys arrived – Edan & Dor.
They got themselves settled in at The Cottage with Kyle & Oskar and then it was finally dinner time.
Cat and Leeann battered & deep fried oysters and onion rings.
Then they decided to deep fry the grouper heads.
They certainly looked very appetizing – not!

There was great laughter and consternation when Oskar decided he would try and eat the eye.
After much gagging from Edan who was sitting right next to him, he smiled broadly and pronounced that it tasted like jelly fish.
None of us thought to ask if he had actually tasted jelly fish before

I spent most of Monday evening on the phone.
Ruth, Duncan & Sylvia and I were trying to work out how we can have someone with Mum all the time and still maintain our lives.
We all want Mum to be able to stay in her own home for as long as we can.
So the search is on to find the right people to help.
I finished up at 10:30pm having a catch up chat with Jesika.
It was a long night.

 While Cat and crew were out grubbing Tim took the Israeli guys on the boat to do float work.
After lunch he took them and Nathan up to Waterfall Bay to do the mussel ropes.
Trouble with having no wharf right now – we have had to relocate the rope conditioning.
They did well and got them all done.

My cousin Michelle and her family were staying at Bulwer.
She had popped around to visit on Sunday but I was out.
So they called in on their way out.
It was so very very cool to see her & meet her family – Wayne, Larissa & Amy.

It would have to be about 20 years since I first met her and then we really didn’t connect so it was like meeting for the first time.
We had a long catch up about who was who before they headed off out to Blenheim and spent another couple of hours with Mum.

As they were leaving their was a lot of hilarity cuz we had some visitors at the gate

They are meant to be up on the hills!!

I was supposed to be getting the gst finished but it was too fascinating watching the mussel barge pull up the wharf piles.
So I spent most of the arvo in and out of the house and down on the wharf – well what was left of it.
(Pictures coming in the next installment)

The children have been spending hours in Pine Huts.
Madeline & Mahalia cooked muffins and made smoothies to take up there for lunch.
It was rather frustrating as I was trying to cook and we kept getting tangled up in the kitchen!!
But they did well and had a great time doing so.

 Tuesday arvo school was in session on the verandah!

Miss Shanni had four very diligent pupils

After dinner Cat & Leeann went for a hunt.
Nothing was shot except for possums.

The wwoofers were all up ready to go at 6am.
But Cat slept in.
Yui had to wake her!
It was a glorious morning.

Dagmar & Kyle stayed back.
Dagmar worked a while in the garden and then spent the rest of the day helping me.
Kyle helped me with some vege prep after he had swept the back path.
Then he and Tim mustered some sheep and then got the tractor cranked up and onto the beach at low tide.
They spent several hours moving quite a few of the very large and extremely heavy wharf piles.

I got the gst finished and checked by the accountant before I had breakfast.
Good feeling to know it was done and only 2 wee coding errors.

I spent most of the day after that cooking.
I made two casseroles in the slow cooker.
One cooked all day and the 2nd is in it now to cook overnight.
A big pot of curried sausages & eggs.
A huge amount of spaghetti bolagnaise for tonights dinner.
A large carrot cake for dessert.
Butter icing for the cake.
Garlic butter.
Balsamic dressing.
I also made lunch for the hungry mob and began toasting oats for muesli.
I always feel a great sense of accomplishment when I have a mad ditch effort like this. If I have to cook everyday then it gets depressing. But if I can get ahead and it makes the next few days easier I am happy
Dagmar was a tremendous help.
She assisted and then carried on making the garlic bread and coleslaw for dinner .

I retreated back to my office and finished the gst.
Filed it online, paid all the taxes – hopefully to the right accounts this time
Did a heap of online banking and telephone calls to organise the catering for next weeks fishing party and also for the lessons my children are going to be doing this coming term.

So far it is looking good.
They will carry on with music most Thursday mornings.
Because Nick plays in a band he is sometimes away on gigs.
So the Thursdays he is away we will not have music and Shanni will stay at home.
She is very happy about that plan!!
The girls will go horse riding and Nathan will carry on with sewing – both just if and when I can slot them in during the morning.
Then in the afternoon I have managed to get a private gymnastics class for the four of them.
Then Mahalia will take a jazz class and Azzan will follow with his ballet class.
He can try fitting in jazz if he wants to.
Might be a bit much though so I will let him make the call on that one.
I am trying to sort Nathan’s next class out – that is the last thing to organise at the moment.
In between all of this I have to try and find time to do the shopping and fit in a chiropractors appointment.
Could be tricky

Louisa & the children came for dinner tonight.
The kids and I had decided we should make a surprise belated b’day party for them.
Hence the big carrot cake!
They were all completely surprised and totally delighted.

Mahalia had chosen the Sylvanian Penguin family for Madeline and Shanni had chosen books for Oliver & George.
She chose well, they loved them.

After dinner the children all tore around outside in the dimming cool of the evening like a pack of hare-brains.
Kyle & Oskar did the dishes with great enthusiasm.

While Tim, Louisa & I sat and chatted for a while.

You can see the farm map on the wall behind us.
We have to grub out tauhinau every year or else it seeds and eventually takes over the farm.
I have just discovered its proper name is Cassinia leptophylla!
I started making a map each season several years ago as it is great encouragement to all when they see how much they are getting done.
The red areas have been done

It doesn’t sound like there will be any done tomorrow.
All of Cat’s crew have mutinied!!

Visiting neighbours across the water – part 2

Joy has the most wonderful garden.
From outside you have no idea of the treasures it holds.
You can only see large trees which surround it.
Once inside you discover a haven,
a wilderness of colour,
a wonderful place for imaginations to run riot,
for children to play,
to wander and enjoy.

Joy has so many types of hydrangea.
I had no idea there were so many.
She is totally in love with them and her garden is filled with them.
All shapes, sizes and colours.

I am now also in love with them and cannot wait for autumn to come so Joy can propagate some for me and we can plant and wait in great expectation for next summer and wonderful blossoms to colour my garden

Of course she has many other beautiful plants in the garden.
This rose has the most devine perfume.

And this lantana would have to be the prettiest I have seen.

I cannot remember the name of this flower but it really reminded me of something from Dr Seuss

The children had already explored and played in the garden and it was hot so they wandered off to paddle in the sea.
We found them down here communing and enjoying the solitude and fresh air together.

We had a cuppa and cake before leaving.
Finally managing to pull away from the wharf at 7pm!

On the way home we travelled right around the top of Forsyth Island for a change. Normally go through Allan Strait.
Glen was entertaining the kids with his computer.
Or maybe he was trying to use his computer and they were entertaining him

Shanni met us at the wharf.
Tim picked up George & Oliver and the took the rest of the passengers home.
I hopped off and after a quick snack got the wee folk tucked into bed.
It was a lovely day.
Thanks Joy & Tony – it was great to catch up.
Must do it again soon.

Visiting neighbours across the water – part 1

Anson headed out fishing early in the morning with Oskar, George & Roger.
Because he had been out shearing he hadn’t caught a grouper in a few days so was hankering to go find a few.

It was a pleasant Sunday morning.
All the wwoofers get to sleep in so no one turned up except Yui who is always up early.
So it was quite a pleasantly quiet morning.
Oliver walked around to spend the day with Shoshannah in the Pine Huts.
They are having so much fun up there. Building their village and creating new places etc.
Their imagination really goes into overdrive – it’s cool to see and hear about it when they

I had suggested to Tim that it might be nice to go visiting.
So after a bit of a late start we eventually left the wharf around 11:30, steamed along to pick up Louisa & Madeline.
We then picked up David, Jenny & Glen at Waterfall and headed out of the bay.

On  the way we met up with this piratical looking crew

George had caught his first grouper 

They had also caught another seven gill shark.
It had fishing line all wrapped around and imbedded in it.
They reckoned someone must’ve caught it and freaked when they got it to the surface and cut the line!!

Roger hopped on board with us and George opted to stay fishing with Anson & Oskar.

Azzan was quite fascinated by the shark which was still kicking about a bit on deck.

Then it was the bloody process of filleting.

While Captn Tim was busy down aft ex pirate Roger skippered the helm with his bonny lass Louisa

All the while two wee lassies up top kept pleading for more food

Azzan was being rather scientific and exploring the insides of the shark

Jenny & David just enjoyed the cruise

We finally got to Joy & Tony’s for a very very late lunch.
But were forgiven when we presented Joy with fresh fish and especially the grouper!

Tim had help cleaning the fish from ‘the black cat’.

It was a very pleasant lunch.
Tim used Tony’s bbq to cook the fish.

As per usual Joy had cooked up a storm.
They have a delightful outdoor area to eat and chat and just generally enjoy life.
We wiled away several hours there before the men went off looking at bloke’s things and talk bloke talk and the ladies went for a wander through Joy’s lovely garden.
(photos coming in part 2)

I found Azzan exploring the garden before lunch.
He had caught a cicada.
I walked him in through the front door and we wandered along the long hallway admiring all the old things on the walls.
He was totally fascinated by the big stags head on the wall.
Is that a real reindeer?

Then when we got to the lounge he spotted this dried arrangement and thought it was just the most beautiful thing he had ever seen

Te Towoka Sports Day

Saturday 23 2010 was the day of our annual Te Towoka Sports day.
We got there just in time.
I fed the kids on board the boat so we didn’t have to worry about taking too much food onshore.
The kids were all very enthusiastic and went into all the races.
Shanni was in the first girls running race.
She is 2nd from leftin green t-shirt taking great strides forward!!

I missed Mahalia winning her race.
But she was delighted to win a cute soft toy donkey.

Azzan cracked me up – whenever he was getting ready to run he would stand at the starting line in a starters stance with his wee fists clenched and then off he would charge!!
He is 2nd from right in blue striped t-shirt.

And away he went at a rate of knots!!

Roni came to the day with friends for the first time ever.
We were all delighted to catch up and she of course had to say g’day to Poppi.

Azzan made friends with Solomon and they paired up for the three-legged race.
The cord tieing them togehter was rather tight and his wee face was showing the anguish all the way up the field as his mouth oohed and aahhed through the pain of it all

Relief showed as soon as the cord untied itself!!

George & Oliver won their three legged race and got these board games.

Mahalia & Madeline paired up for their race.

They didn’t win but I so love the delight on their faces as they cross the line.

Azzan made a good start in the sack race.
He certainly can leap high!

Shanni enjoying her sack race.

Cat roped Nathan into the three legged race at the last moment so they had no time to practice.

It was all a bit of a laugh really!!

The line up for the cross country race.
This is the main huge even that Te Towoka is well known for,
My three youngest were all starters.
Azzan was in the middle of the front line rearing to go.

He headed off in good form in the middle of the crowd.

I was so impressed when he came running up the field.
There hadn’t been too many older people crossing before him.
He did so well.

He crossed the line way before his older sisters.
And then he collapsed in a heap with stitch.
So proud of my 7 year old.
None of my other kids tackled it at his age!!

Then he found Solomon again to do the wheel barrow race with him.

Cat trying out partners for the adults wheel barrow race – which actually never happened!!

Mahalia with Madeline and Shanni with her new friend Shelly. 

The relay race was fun.
Tim, Roger, Bry and another guy made up a team.
Tim striding out as runner No2.

Cat made up a team with Leeann, Yui and another girl.

The weather held.
It was a tiny bit damp but not enough to dampen our spirits.
At least this year we didn’t all come home totaly sunburnt!!
We said good bye to Janice & boys, Christine & Les as they were all heading off Nelson way, and then loaded everyone on board and cruised off home.
Cat, Leeann & Nathan had driven in from Nelson so carried on home.

Great day

Friday & Saturday

I spent Friday trying to get the accounts filed and coded.
I refused to cook dinner so Anson got stuck in and made a fish casserole.
Yui watched helped so she could learn.
That was very entertaining.

Saturday morning we loaded intot he 88 South and headed off to the Te Towoka Sports Day.
It is held once a year on the 3rd Saturday of January.

There was some debate as to whether or not it would happen as the weather was not looking terribly promising.
However it was decided to give it a go.

We steamed along and picked up Christine, Roger &  the Davidson crew.

Then along to Waterfall Bay to collect Glen.

The kids were of course by this time ‘starving’!
So Louisa chucked a French breadstick up to them.

They devoured it like hungry lions.
I am most impressed that David has hung the signs up at long last.
It has only taken 4-5 years!!

We had a great day.
Next installment will relate all about the day.
Got back home and dropped off in reverse.
Glen had slept all the way home so he staggered off the boat in a bit of a dopey daze.
Then Roger rowed his crew ashore at Bush Inn.

 Yui was enjoying being up top in the fresh air.

We got back home around 7pm.
Everyone was tired.
I chucked some left overs in the oven and fed the troops.
I crashed out and watched an episode from Emily of New Moon series 2 before hopping in the spa for a few moments of blissful wallowing.