A blissfully restful Thursday

I slept through until 7am.
Then lay in bed and watched more of the miniseries until 10am.
Got up and showered.
Fed Tinga & the rabbit.
I spent most of the day reclining on the couch, watching the miniseries while eating my breakfast, lunch. heatpacking my shoulder and just generally resting up.
I had a visitor from a yacht pop in for a few minutes – he was trying to find some water for his yacht and some mutual friends,  Eare walked around to see if I was ok and stayed for a wee chat, and Anson came to book his ferry tickets.
But apart from that I just completely blobbed out till late afternoon.
I had heaps of things I should could have been doing but I figured I needed the rest more.

At 4pm I got the washing in, fed & watered Shanni’s birds.
The Telecom cell phone network started working again around 5pm.
I got a msg from Nathan to say they would be home in about an hour.
Edward & his 3 boys walked around to say g’day.
Then soon after he left Tim, Alan and the four youngest children arrived back.
They had had a wonderful time and were all very happy.
Cat & crew are moored up in Wharaetea Bay and are returning tomorrow.
  Tim cooked up some fresh fish for dinner.
It was delicious.

I have just had a late night spa.
With the fine weather comes all the boat traffic.
Homestead Bay is lit up tonight like a small town with heaps of boats and yachts anchored/moored there.
The skies are clear and bright and filled with glorious stars.
Hard to believe that only 2 nights ago the storm was wrecking havoc.

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Wednesday – let’s go camping!

Wednesday was a glorious day.
We still had no power or phone.
Bri & Nick let me use their laptop and T-stick so I could do some catching up on the internet.
I got really sunburned o the back of my neck while I sat outside checking emails etc.
The sun was intense.

The troops decided to head off out to D’Urville Island for a camping/fishing/ diving trip.
So it was all go packing up gear and getting ready.

Azzan said he didn’t want to go.
I told him that was absolutely fine.
Then he came to me later and asked if I would be all right here by myself if he went.
I assured him I would be totally fine and that I would love to have some time to myself.
To which he replied, ‘That’s good, cuz I really want to go but I didn’t want you to be lonely.’ 

Cat left at midday with Bri, Nick, Abby, Phoebe, Shanni, Hali & Azzan.

You can see how the storm has twisted and crossed the mussel lines behind the yacht.

 

The pohutakawa trees are in full bloom at the moment.
They are referred to as the New Zealand Christmas tree.


 

 

Tim was flat out busy.
I realised just before he left that he hadn’t stopped to eat all day so by the time they were due to leave he was totally exhausted.
Leeann & I made him some cheese toasties and Nathan took him down and ice cream to eat as they left.
Anson was on his way home from Nelson and Nick’s friend Johnny was driving up from Chch.
They both arrived around 6pm.
Tim took Alan, Nathan, Leeann & Johnny and they left around 7pm and headed out to D’Urville to meet the others at the northern end in Port Hardy.
We have guests staying in The Cottage – that is their boat at the wharf.

Tim & crew got there at 10ish in the pitch black.
Tim was quite relieved that Cat spotted them coming in as there were a lot of boats moored up and he couldn’t see enough to tell which was hers.

Anson came and had dinner with me.
He showed me how to turn the generator on and off and then went home to bed.
He was pretty weary.
Then power came back on around 10pm.
I went around the house disconnecting the generator extension cords, turned off the noisy engine and went to bed and started watching a miniseries I got from the library.
‘Rich Man, Poor Man’.
It is based on Irving Shaw’s novel by the same name.
I turned off my light at 12:30am.

Tuesday – what to do on a stormy day

So when there is a storm outside and the power and phone are out what do you do?

Azzan found this dragon fly and that entertained him for a while.

David had a go at teaching Azzan to play Mexican Train.

The others played Ligretto.
Then Monopoly.

Laura hung out in The Cottage most of the day and rest and journaled.

The men relaxing & chatted while they watched the storm.

The girls played with Lego.
They are building an amazing creation at the moment.
David slept most of the arvo.
Eilidh & I talked, and talked.
I made some cards and then we checked out my stash of collaborative & altered books.
 

Tuesday – horrendous storm

We woke to a much worse storm than was forecast.
It was horrendous!

I got up and found the rabbit cage had been blown across the lawn and was only stopped from going over the bank by the washing block by the clothes line.
I was really upset to find the rabbit had escaped.
When Shanni woke up I told her, but she said the folk we got it from said it was so tame it would come back to the cage if it ever got out.
She went looking for it but couldn’t find it anywhere.
I was not looking forward to breaking the news to Azzan.
Then just before he wok up Cat & Shanni found the rabbit hopping about the road near the workshop.
I was so incredibly happy to be able to tell Azzan the good news.

The winds were exceeding 160kmph.
Tim reckoned at the worst of it the winds were gusting over 100knots.
I took four short movies of the storm.
One
Two
Three
Four


We lost part of our woolshed roof.

Heaps of trees were blown down.
The power & the phone went out around 8am.
Consequently we lost all Vodafone network as the tower near here does not appear to have the necessary 24hr back up battery system it should have

Anson decided to try and get to Nelson as he was all loaded up.
He took a chainsaw and shovel with him as he had already had to move a tree on our road.
He called me from Okiwi Bay to say there was really bad flooding at Rai Valley.
He also told me about a new concrete power pole above McLarens Bay which had been snapped by falling trees and was laying across the road.
He was just able to drive under it without touching the wires.
The wires were not live at that point though as there was a huge outage across all of Marlborough due to a fault near Spring Creek.
He was going to carry on and see if he could get through.
He called back to say he had meet Graham and others coming back.
Apparently the flooding was all the way from the main road turn off to back past the rubbish tip and it was over the tops of the fences.
Needless to say there was no point in waiting as it was horrendous and would not be going down in a hurry, so he came back home.

The Wahl’s had to can their idea of leaving too.
It is just as well they did as throughout the day we kept hearing of even worse flooding further afield.
The roads were closed on each side of Havelock and on the Rai Saddle due to huge log slips.
There was flooding in so many places that the roads were impassable.
We then rang our friend Graeme in Charlston to tell him they wouldn’t be coming and he said the Buller Gorge was shut due to slips and we heard later the roads from Murchison to Inungahua and Springs Junction were also closed.
All during the day more reports were coming through of flooding and evacuations all over the place.

We had our wood stove going to cook on.
Then later in the day Tim brought Graham’s generator down to connect to the fridges and freezers and give us some light etc.
He also went over to Waterfall Bay and brought back all the shop ice creams.
Unfortunately the majority of them are unsaleable as they had soften too much.
I called the insurance company and they are paying for replacements but now I am left with the headache of getting more in and waiting till the power is back on till that can happen.

By evening we had reports that the roads to Nelson were opening so Sebastian decided to give it a go.
He left late in the afternoon and text to say he had made it.
So Anson decided he would leave too.
Our roads out here were fine as we had not had too much rain.
The flooding at Rai had dropped enough to get through and the slips on the Rai Saddle had been cleared.

Bri, Nick, Phoebe & Abby were driving up from Christchurch.
We were in phone contact with them so they knew the roads were blocked.
They took their time hoping by the time they got up this way it would be all cleared.
They even went for a 3 hour return tramp to Sawcut Gorge!
They got to Renwick and found the roads still blocked through Havelock so they drove up the Wairau Valley- Tophouse route and back down via Nelson.
They eventually got here at 11pm.
Tim and I were in bed watching ‘Doc Martin’ on the portable dvd player when Bri bounced in to announce their arrival

Monday – a storm brewing

I really cannot remember too much about Monday.
Too much has happened since then.
If I haven’t photographed or Facebooked about it my memory cells just cannot recall things these days

I do know that I did a heap of cooking to feed all the multitudes here.
I made Tirimisu and jellies and trifle for dessert.

Anson was getting ready to leave for town the next morning so he and Tim did a late pre-dinner muster of sheep as he had to take some out with him.

At dinner we gave Leeann her birthday present.

She turned 30 last week but escaped so so she wouldn’t have to endure a party
So we got her anyway

Leeann gave Nathan an army beret.
I think he thinks he is now part of the Foreign Legion or something.
He wears it constantly!

This is what happens to relatively sane people when they get exposed to us for too long

The Wahl’s were s’posed to be leaving the next morning so there were the obligatory photos to be taken before they left.
Russ & Laura, Tim & I.

David & Eilidh with Tim & me.

Everyone headed off to bed and left Eilidh, David, Tim & me chatting.
We talked till about 12:30am.
A real good storm was blowing by this stage.
They were forecasting 45knot northerly winds.

Boxing Day

Sunday
It was a gorgeous day.

Tim & Nathan went over to Waterfall.
Tim & Glen are trying to get the roofing job finished and Nathan mowed the lawns.
Eare & Alan came to visit.
Eare was very tearful.
She needed to tell me about the accident and cried on my shoulder.
I do hope she won’t take too long to get over the shock.
I know very well how she feels.
Even after 26 years I still recall vividly when we rolled our landrover over the bank.

David & Eilidh came just in time to help me with some food prep.
We made a huge quinnoa salad, gallons of macaroni cheese, boysenberry & white choc muffins.
David peeled a mountain of potatoes!
Laura kept herself busy washing dishes – they seem endless at times!

Azzan was kind of droopy off and on throughout the day.
I have been checking him for chickenpox as he was exposed to it just over 2 weeks ago.
He had a bit of a temp and was rather soporific at times.
Then in between he was up and bouncing.

I was expecting friends to arrive for lunch.
Tim was also due back for lunch.
So at midday when there was no sign of anyone I announced that lunch would be at 1pm.
So all the guys who had been hanging about waiting for food took off to do other things.
The 3 children went swimming with David & Eilidh.
 

Shanni has allowed me to share these photos taken on her new & wonderful Panasonic Lumix waterproof camera

David & Eilidh jumping.

Azzan in full flight.

Time for a rest David?

Eilidh.

Well, I guess that’s one way to ride a surfboard Eilidh!!

Then around 1:30 our guests arrived.
Chris & Suz and their daughter Gabrielle & Simon and baby Eva.
We hadn’t seen Chris & Suz for near on 20 years so it was so good to see them again and catch up.
It was during the early 1980 years that Chris was our local minister/pastor.
God used his ministry to bring Tim into the Kingdom and to draw me back.

Tim was late getting back for lunch so by the time he arrived we had all eaten and the kids were ready to head off fishing & diving.
The eventually left around 4pm. 
Our guests had to leave soon after as Eva had had enough of visiting!

I hope it won’t be another 20 years till we catch up guys!
It was so cool to see you all again

I then found Shanni & Mahalia playing with the Lego.
Shanni didn’t know the others had gone and very bravely tried not to cry when she realised she had been left behind.
Then miracle of miracles, we saw the ’88 South’ coming back in.
I called Shanni and told her to get her stuff and move it to the wharf.
Cat had forgotten some of her dive gear which was extremely fortuitous for Shanni.
They swung by the wharf and she jumped onboard.

Azzan had wilted majorly by then so Mahalia made him a bed and they watched ‘Toy Story 3’ together.
I took my heatpack and went to bed and watched a movie.
Russ & Laura had walked around the track to Waterfall Bay but couldn’t face the return journey so TIm drove over to pick them up.

We had cooked a huge rolled roast of beef in the slow cooker.
We had that with mashed potatoes, stirfry veges and creamed corn.
Dessert was rhubarb & apple crumble.
We ate in stages.
I fed Mahalia & Azzan first and read them a story.
They love it when I have the time to read to them while they eat.
Then Laura, Russ, Tim arrived back so we ate.
It was lovely and quiet and peaceful.
Then everyone arrived back from fishing so the hoards were fed.
It was nearly 10pm by the time dinner was all cleaned up.
Eilidh & I made Tirimisu once everyone had disappeared off to bed.
It is so much easier to cook when it is quiet and peaceful!

Christmas Day

Saturday.
Christmas Day.
Shanni made pancakes for breakfast.
She makes the best pancakes.
I love mine with butter, golden syrup & fresh lemon juice.
Delicious.

Cat took the three children down to work in the Cottage garden after breakfast.
It needed lots of tlc before our guests arrived.
Tim went back to bed for a sleep.
It was good that he did because I got a call in the early arvo from the police to say someone who was driving in here had put their car over the bank.
All they knew was that it was a woman and she was uninjured.
The patched me through to the phone of the tourist who had found her.
I was mystified as to who it might be but as soon as I heard the voice I knew.
Eare
She was driving in to join Alan & Matt at the campsite.
She was obviously very upset & was very hard to understand on the phone.
I managed to get a basic idea of where she was.
She was in the Garnes/Saville Reserve.
It was going to take around an hour to drive to her.
I talked to the tourist guy who said he would stay with her until the men came to rescue her.
We sent Shanni around on her bike to get Alan.
Then Tim quickly ate some lunch while Anson & Seb got ropes etc together.
Tim got Glen to bring up the fuel drums so he could carry on around to Elaine Bay and get fuel afterwards.
The four guys headed off in their 3 noble steeds to rescue Eare.

It was a beautiful day, so while they were gone Cat took Nathan, Shani, Hali & Azzan to move ‘Alibi’ and do some sailing.

I went to bed for a rest.
My shoulder has been troubling me so I am grateful for any time I am able to get to heatpack and rest it.
I managed to get an hour or two of relatively uninterrupted time out.
David, Eilidh and his folks Laura & Russ from Montana, arrived just as I was getting dinner ready.
Seb & Anson returned & took off out in the boat to set long lines.
Tim & Shanni came in a bit later as they had gone on to get fuel at Elaine Bay and according to Shanni, ‘Dad had found lots of people to talk to’ 
Shanni had taken lots of photos so I am sure the insurance company will have undeniable evidence!
It appeared that the front drivers tyre had gone flat and in so doing, she lost control and it skidded her off the road.
She was very ‘lucky’.
The car came to rest on a tree.
If it had gone just one more car length she would have kept on rolling.
Here are a couple of Shanni’s photos.
You can see the skid marks in the first one

Our North American visitors got themselves unpacked and sorted in The Cottage and then we enjoyed dinner together.
It was a bit of a chaotic meal as their were so many comings and goings.
After they had eaten Seb & Anson went back out with a few passengers to pull in the long lines.
Tim had his first course and then left to take a drive over to the back to the farm.
The cattle were at the bottom of the Zed Block and he was worried they might have run out of water.
Russ went along for the ride.
Tim’s concerns were correct, so just as well he had gone and was able to move them into the Boundary paddock.

The fishfolk caught a lot of sharks.
Shanni took these great photos of David & Mahalia.

Everyone arrived back just on dark hungry for dessert.
I had made a butterscotch apricot pudding with custard.
It was delicious and all disappeared very quickly.