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.

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.

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

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?


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

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

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.
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.


All the boys are home :-)

I am not too sure what has happened to summer.
It was here but it appears to have disappeared.
Today was one of those changeable wild and windy days.
It began okay and then degenerated.
There was a bit of precipitation, lots of wind, not a lot of sunshine, and a distinct chillier temperature.

It was warmer in my study than in the living room so I spent most of my morning in here talking with Tim and getting some mail done.

The children were playing in Sylvania.
We are still cleaning.
So playing and cleaning and sorting is all sort of happening all through the day.

The tide was incredibly high today – it was almost lapping over the wharf.

Skip went down to meet the boat with Mahalia & Azzan.

Anson stayed the night with Aunty Ruth & Uncle Paul last night so didn’t get home till lunchtime today.
He drove his new baby home

He has been thinking about getting a new ute for a while now and had just popped into the dealer in Blenheim for a look.
Saw this one, was offered a really good deal, and bought it.
It all happened yesterday arvo while I was trying to rest and watch a movie.
Hence most of the interruptions!
I was up and down off my bed to answer phone calls, check bank balances etc, to help him get it all sorted.
I think by the smile on his face it was all worth it

For those of you who want the details it is a 2010 Ford Ranger 4X4 XL double cab, 3000cc, diesel.

Tim checking out the important part of the vehicle.

Of course we all had to come have a look – including all the critters.
Not sure if Cat is protecting Skip from the beak of Tinga or Tinga from Skip’s teeth!

Anson is pretty keen on Skip and is making noises about finding a bitch to breed a pup for him!
We might have a wee community of Skippys

I carried on with the de-junking this afternoon.
I went through a lot of boxes and shelves and managed to get rid of several large boxes of stuff.
I am still sorting through boxes of things I got from Mum’s house.
I just haven’t had time until now so they have been sitting in the hall waiting.
I am trying to be really hardlined.
Nathan & Cat both took an armful of books each from my shelves.
I have got several piles I want to read and then they can go.
I am also packing up all the preschool stuff that Azzan is finished with.
He sorted out the reading books he doesn’t want anymore.
It is a mixture of funny and sad to be doing this.
Sad that Azzan is our last to be needing all of these things and fun to be looking forward to new things and freedom from babies.
It’s been over 30 years since we began teaching the children.
Still got a few more to go!

The children were overjoyed when I found the 2 Saddle Club videos that had been boxed up so they watched one this arvo.
Tim went over to Waterfall Bay to help Glen.
He is fixing guttering and it has proved to be a bigger job than he originally thought.
Nathan smoked the rest of my salmon.
We had that for dinner with roast potatoes and salad.

Sebastian arrived home around 8pm.
Lovely to have him here.
The kids were all very excited.
Azzan just doesn’t leave him alone.
He really loves & enjoys his big bro.
It is neat to have all the boys home together.
Lots of joshing and tussling.

Here comes the sun!!

The sun was shining Wednesday morning.
Tim & Anson went out to muster cattle.
Now we have had some rain there is water for them.

Uri & Tal decided to pack up and move on.
The weather was looking more favourable for tramping now.

Nathan got all the National Geographics from the school room and dumped them in the sitting room.
We have inherited a huge heap from family and friends over the years.
I decided it was time to sort them out and get rid of all the duplicate copies.
Azzan is right into reading them at the moment so he was very happy to help me sort them into year order.

Once I got rid of the duplicates I was able to stack them into 4 large boxes in date order.
I plan on having just one box out at a time for reading.

We were all very hungry by lunch time so I suggested to Shanni that we had pies.
She got the pie maker heated and the pastry thawed and proceeded to make some.
We love making pies.
We just put all the different fillings on the bench and then make out own as we like.
I had salmon, avocado, onion & cheese
The guys had mussel pies.
Mahalia and Anson were last to make theirs.
There was a lot of tomfoolery in the kitchen while they were cooking.
Anson was in fine fettle

Then it was time for Anson to go inspect Shanni’s room.
She has been cleaning it out over the past few days.
She has also been hanging up more and more pictures.
Can’t honestly see how we are going to repaint her room in a hurry!!

Cat decided to give Azzan a hand in his room.

He is now void of all magazines and paper ‘rubbish’.
We can see the floor and his clothes know where they live!!
He only has a little room but man! does he know how to fill it with junk.

Today it was breezy and sunny.
Perfect drying weather.
I had not slept terribly well during the night so when Tim came in at 6:45am to announce that Anson was about to leave for town I was out cold.
It took me a few minutes to wake up.
I had a few things to send to town with him so needed to talk to him before he left.

Cat and the kids did some cleaning up after breakfast.
Then Tim & I had a meeting with a couple of mussel company men.
They arrived at 10am.
Nathan has a replacement loan computer while his burnt out one is being sorted so he spent the morning getting that set up.
Cat & Mahalia were busy on the yacht.
Shanni & Azzan were busy outside.
The kids are getting quite good at vacating when we need ‘business space’.
After quite an interesting and hopefully profitable meeting the men left just before lunch.

I was really tired after lunch so took my heatpack to bed and tried to watch a dvd and rest.
But I had so many interruptions I don’t know why I bothered.
I had multiple calls to and fro Anson.
He had a few decisions to make so needed to talk them over.
Plus Tim was wanting to talk mussel business etc etc.
Finally I said that I would not get up until my movie had finished and then I would consider making dinner!!!

Cat made mussel chowder and we made a vege stir fry for dinner.
Some broccoli needed using so I also made a vegetable quiche for tomorrow while in the kitchen.

It was such a lovely evening that everyone had dinner on the deck.
I ate mine while doing the banking as it had to be done tonight.

Now I am caught up and totally blogged out I am going to have a spa and go to bed.

And more rain

It rained Monday so the stock truck was canceled.
That was a bit of a pain as it was the last stock sale before the holidays.
Now we have to wait until early January.
Oh well! At least we should have some grass to feed them on now.
Great the drought has broken finally.
Julien & Mahalia sorted wool and dags in the woolshed during the morning.
In the afternoon Tim spent several hours clearing culverts and checking the road for flood damage.
An Israeli couple braved the weather and drove in from Picton.
They were very happy to have somewhere cosy and friendly to wait out the storm for a few days.

We had a humdinger of a storm.
It was raining & blowing around 50 knot northerly.
I woke quite early – around 3am.
Couldn’t get back to sleep so got up at 4:30am.
Got the washing underway and brought the drenched stuff in off the line so I could get it through the dryer.
(Just had a feeling we might lose the power)
Then I made a few cards while I waited for the household to wake up.

We eventually lost the power around lunch time.
The storm blew trees on the lines near Elaine Bay and the linesmen had quite a mission to get them fixed.
They ended up connecting us to a generator over night and carried on with the repairs on Wednesday.
Quite a major job.

Leeann decided to head out to town.
So Julien, who had been waiting to travel out with her, only had a few minutes warning that she was leaving right then!
He packed up quickly, said his farewells and they were out the door and gone.
They had quite an adventure getting to town though.
The met a large, fallen tree across the road near Elaine Bay and had to wait while some men got chainsaws to clear it away.
Then near Rai Valley there was flooding everywhere.
This is our road near where it meets SHW6.
We normally drive on the left of this photo!!

They had to pay a guy $20 to get towed through the flood waters here or drive 2hours back here.
Leeann figured the opportunist won that day!
The Marlborough Express had some good photos of the flooding.
All the photos of Ronga Road, Carluke and Pelorus are on our route to town.

Tim & Anson went over to Waterfall to cut up the cattle beast they had killed earlier last week.
The girls wanted to play ‘Monopoly’ so Nathan graciously played with them.
His exuberant ‘game behaviour’ didn’t thrill Mahalia too greatly though – especially when he was winning all the properties and money!

Azzan has a bin of magazines for cutting up so he decided to have a sort out.

I suggested that we could do a de-junk so Cat got in pretty quick before I could change my mind
We got stuck in and cleared through a heap of stuff.
All the ‘out’ stuff got piled in the sitting room and then Nathan brought the Terrano down and it got loaded in there.
When I am de-junking I like to get it out of the house and ready to take to the recycling places.
I hate it if it gets left in piles while it is waiting to go out.
We went through the hall and my bedroom.
I have also since then found a lot of books that I kept during the last de-junk and am now happy to part with.
I was pretty weary but it felt great.