Omar & Vivienne’s wedding weekend.

Saturday 26th March

It was lovely to have a leisurely hour or two with Dave & Nicky before we went into Rangiora to meet up with Wayne & Emma for brunch.
I get to catch up with Emma periodically but the guys don’t hardly at all, so we really appreciated their darling Jacob being happy to change his 7th birthday plans so we could get together.
We were to meet at a cafe but got side tracked at the auction house.
Emma & I left the men too it cuz they were far to involved in sussing out tools etc than we were
We went back to Artisan Cafe and chatted over drinks until the guys arrived.
Then we enjoyed our food and hung out till we had to get ready for the wedding.
We did a quick change in the cafe bathroom and then zipped around the corner to the church.

Omar & Vivienne’s wedding celebrations were all held at Rangiora Baptist Church so we didn’t need to do any traveling.

The bride looked lovely and the bridesmaids wore a gorgeous colour which was echoed in the men’s ties.

Introducing Mr & Mrs Omar Williams

Omar’s grandmother, once again, made the most glorious cake.
She is so talented.

“The heart has it’s reasons that reason knows nothing of.”

“A friend is someone who know the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words”

“Love is not singular except in syllable”

“Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own”

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also”
Luke 12:34

After the cutting of the cake there were lots of photos, then afternoon tea.
Tim & I took off for 40mins and went to visit Robin & Elizabeth.
Elizabeth’s brother & sister-in-law are living with them now as their home was damaged beyond repair in the earthquake.

We arrived back in time to be seated at 6pm.
There was a very bountiful spread put on for dinner and a delectable dessert.
There were so many friends to catch up with.
It was great.
There was also dancing later in the evening.
Many of the younger folk are very accomplished dancers, including Omar & Vivienne.
It was a joy just to sit and watch them all.
Tim & I danced a coupe and then decided it was time to go home as we were very weary.
Of course when we got back we sat and chatted with Seb & Phoebe for too long and it was after midnight before we hit the pillows.

When I woke
Tim asked me the time.
“8:24am” I told him as I staggered out to the bathroom.
I came back prepared to crash back into bed but he was up and dressed and packing.
He was ready to hit the road!!
So we packed up the car and said our goodbyes to everyone.
Tim had to stop in and visit a guy about a log splitter.
He & Wayne had jacked it up the day before.
So we found Mark & Paulette’s place and Tim & Mark headed off to look at machinery.
I chatted with Paulette and the kids and before we knew it the clock was closing in on midday.

We left and drove to Culverden.
Disappointed to find the wonderful bakery was shut so headed across the road to a nicer looking cafe.
Was rather disappointed in the food though.
Tim’s filled roll was actually devoid of much flavour and my toasted sandwich was way too cheesey and churned my stomach.
I was extremely tired, had a headache and was feeling very sick, so Tim ended up eating my lunch as well as his own.
We drove through such changeable weather that day.
It began cool and drizzly in Loburn, then it was clear and grey and cold in Sefton.
By the time we got to Culverden it was sunny, bright and hot.
Then through the Lewis Pass it was pouring with rain.
It clearer again be the time we got to Murchison.

Tim drove all the way to Maruia Springs Thermal resort while I dozed.
Then I drove to Motupiko.
He drove the rest of the way to Wakefield where he took the Safari and went to gather up the 2 girls while I loaded Azzan and gear and went to pick up Nathan.
Nathan had had a very successful weekend and an Outdoor First Aid course.
Thoroughly enjoyed himself there which was great.

I was quite worried about some strange noises which were coming from under the Terrano so I went to meet Tim at Shortbread Cottage where I knew he was picking up Spencer, our new wwoofer from USA.
He checked it out but couldn’t see anything too drastic so took off into the sunset leaving me feeling somewhat nervous about things.
We went and got groceries and then headed home – cautiously.
It had been raining and I was rather worried about the brakes and the greasey road or I would have let Nathan drive.
Instead I had to keep stopping to rest my eyes as I was so very tired and kept getting drowsy.
We arrived home and found the others were not too far in front of us as they had stopped to help a couple of guys get their ute started.
They told some tall story but they looked suspiciously like they were poaching on our property.
Tim just got them going and sent them on their way!
It was so good to crash into bed that night.

Thursday – Friday – dizzy days!

Because I knew I had to be up before 5:30am, of course I was awake at least an hour earlier.
I got up and updated here while waiting for Romain to wake.
At 5:50am we left for the airport.
All was quiet and we got there in good time.
Romain hates goodbyes so I dropped him off and didn’t dally waiting for his plane.
When I got back I spent the next hour preparing wraps for the children’s lunch.
I woke them all soon after 7:30 so we would get to riding in time.
It was too early to drop Nathan at boxing so we went straight out to Edencourt.
It was a lovely day for riding and all three were very happy campers to be there again.
I zipped Nathan back to Stoke for his hour with his trainer.
I had a little spare time left so went to Richmond Mall to do a couple of jobs.
Then it was back to get the 3 riders and swing by to collect Nathan on our way back into Nelson.
I changed the proceedings slightly to make the taxi system more simple.
Dropped Shanni at speech and then took the 2 youngest to piano.
Nathan & I went back for Shanni and then we had an hour spare to shop.
I had found socks on sale in Farmers while in Richmond but as there were so many pretty patterns decided I would let Shanni choose her own.
Glad I did.
She just wanted plain black socks!
Met up with Anson briefly, left Nathan to have his haircut.
Took Shanni to piano and picked up the 2 youngest.
Nathan walked to piano.
Victoria took Azzan to gymnastics after violin.
I took Shanni to clarinet.
We all met up at gymnastics.
Veronica took Azzan on to ballet, Mahalia missed her ride so Chrissy took her to jazz.
Shanni walked back home with Kathryn.
I zoomed Nathan over to The Wood for his hour of volunteering and I went to my counseling appointment.
Chrissy took Nathan & Azzan home with her.
I collected the girls and got some groceries before heading back to Frances & John’s place.
Tim arrived just after us.
The sun was setting as we arrived.
It is so beautiful watching it go down over Tasman Bay.

Next morning we were all packed up and ready to leave before 9am.
I shot down to my Dr’s appointment and Tim took the girls.
Shanni was staying with John & Sally and Mahalia with Sally & Nick.
I met up with him at Spring Grove and we left the Safari at the Harris’s with the boys.
Azzan was more pleased to get his card games than he was to see us!!
It is good to see him so happy to be spending time with his wee friend.

I drove all the way to Christchurch.
We had to stop for road works just north of Murchison.
I looked in the read vision mirror and thought the passenger behind me looked familiar.
It was Leonie.
Anna had a hat on so I hadn’t recognised her.
They leapt out of their car and came and chatted for a mo.
They had spent the night at a camping area not far away and had only been on the road for a few minutes.
How random was that??
We had no idea where they had gone after leaving home on Thursday.
And they thought we would be going down the East Coast.

When the lights changed we took off and met up again down the road at Murchison.
We chatted over drinks and talked about all the interesting things they could do along the way as they headed south.

We finally had to leave as the afternoon was disappearing.
We drove pretty much non-stop to Christchurch with only a short stop in Culverden.
Went to Riccarton Mall for a drink.
It was just before 6pm and we were surprised to find it so crowded.
Discovered later that with the Palms Mall, Eastgate Mall and the city centre being shut everyone now frequents Riccarton, Northlands or Hornby.

We popped in to a nearby retirement home to visit an elderly friend who has been moved out of her house because it was so badly damaged.
We chatted with her for an hour or so.
She was so pleased to see us that it was hard to drag ourselves away.
But Bri & Nick were expecting us for dinner so after an hour or so we finally had to leave.
It was the first we had seen of any earthquake damage.
Thankfully the traffic was quiet as it was after 7pm.
But there were road blocks and cordons all along the way which made it interesting driving.
Only saw 3 soldiers manning a cordon as all the Australian’s have gone back home now.

It was lovely to see Bri & Nick in their own home.
We had a pleasant time with them and enjoyed a delicious dinner.
We left after 10pm and made our way north to Loburn.
We didn’t get there till after 11.
So by the time we had socialised with Nicky & Dave, caught up with Seb who was down visiting Phoebe, it was very late.
We didn’t get to bed till around 1:30am.
Far too long a day

Wonderful Wednesday :-)

We had a few goodbyes to say before we left on Wednesday.
Romain was coming with us but the others were leaving over the next three days.
I took a few pix of everyone before we left.
Romain, Leo & Gildas

Gildas & Marie from France, Leonie & Anna from Germany, Romain from France and Leo from Belgium.
Mathilde was sleeping.

We had a non-eventful trip to Nelson.
I dropped Romain and the children at the Richmond library while I shot out to Wakefield to pick up Chrissy and her 3 boys.
I dropped them at Action Indoor Sports and went to get my lot and took them there.
We got the children sorted to play Ten Pin Bowling and Mini Golf for a couple of hours.
I had a few vouchers which made it all nice and manageable.

Then Chrissy and I went off to have some girl time at Only One Beauty with Tina van’t Slot.
It was great.
We thoroughly enjoyed Tina’s pampering.
Thoroughly recommend her.
We shot up to get Chrissy’s car from Russell’s work and then went to get the kids.
They had had a wonderful time.
From there we went to Tahunanui to let them all have a swim.
It was a gorgeous day to be at the beach.
We left Romain to be life guard while we ducked across the road to 623 on the Rocks for a cuppa and chat.
Came back and found Romain having a nice snooze in the sun and the only child in sight was Mahalia!!

We picked up all the strewn swimming gear and went looking for kids.
Found them over the sand dunes playing in the playground.

Romain had to ‘ride’em cowboy’ on the tortoise

It was getting late in the day so we said our farewells to the Harris family and headed off to shop for dinner.
Nathan & I shopped and then we zipped around to The Warehouse to look for ‘Boy‘ for Romain.
He was very pleased to find the last copy on the shelf which was priced at $19.99 but then went through the till at $16.
Much better than the $30 price tag at Countdown!

We got everyone fed and into bed reasonably early as we had a long & busy day to look forward to.

Sunday, Monday & Tuesday

Sunday was a laid back resting sorta day.
We had a family fellowship and checked out the Jewish exile to Babylon and the return of the exiles from Ezra & Nehemiah.

Mahalia & I sorted out bags of cast off clothing.
Ended up with 3 rubbish bags for the op shop plus another couple of old clothes and toys for the recycling centre.
That left Mahalia with 3 banana boxes of keepable clothes to put back into her drawers.
It is a wonderful cleansing feeling to be chucking out excess

I told the guys they could cook dinner as I was off duty.
Then Anson took them away for the arvo to help him feed the possum line.
They got back just as I was finishing the meal preparation cuz we couldn’t wait any longer for dinner.
Leo managed to stir the mushrooms and Romain set the table.
They then announced they had prepared dinner

Monday, back to work!
This week Tim and the guys have been alternating between getting the old septic tank out and the new one in and working on the mussel farms.
Anson has been taking the rest of the crew out mustering.
I have been cooking and doing the accounts.

Monday night we had a movie session.
Watched ‘Crocodile Dundee‘ as none of the wwoofers had seen it.
It is a bit of an Ausralian classic down under and we use the title to refer to a country boy hitting the city.
And as there has been some talk of Anson heading to Europe to visit these new friends we were joshing about him being Crocodile Dundee in Paris
On reading the review I have just realised that they made a second international one with most of the Aussie slang removed which is a shame as that is what makes the movie.
But I guess you lot in the northern ‘sheres wouldn’t understand the lingo!!


I was busy all day trying to get the gst finished plus organise everything we had to take and do in town.
I had got what needed done in the food department in the morning and then spent the day in the study.
Marie did all the house floors.
I had to stop around 4:30-5pm to get dinner on.
Mahalia had brought in some lemons a few days earlier and suggested they would make a nice Lemon Meringe Pie.
That tickled my tastebuds so I decided to make a last minute dessert.
I hadn’t made one in years cuz Nathan normally does them.
Because we had a large number to feed I tripled the recipe.
It turned out absolutely fantabulously delicious.

For some reason I ended up with a massive pile of pots and dishes which Leo & Romain tackled with great gusto. I normally try and get at least the pots washed and out of the way before we sit down to eat but Sunday I had better things to do!
Romain always looks at the poem on the wall when faced with our dishes – it helps to make him feel more positive about them
Thank God for dirty dishes;
They have a tale to tell.
While others may go hungry,
We’re eating very well
With home, health, and happiness,
I shouldn’t want to fuss;
By the stack of evidence,
God’s been very good to us

Tuesday evening was a farewell of sorts.
We were getting organised to leave on Wed with Romain.
Anna, Leoni & Leo are leaving Thurs and Gildas, Marie & Mathilde leave Friday.
Leonie is going to miss the puppy more than us I reckon!!

Wee Matilde is just the cutest button.
Such adorable eyes.

The birthday twins.
Mahalia & Anna – divided only by 9 years.

Leonie & Anna with Leo – trying to be handsomely photogenic for Shanni!!

After dinner was cleaned up the 4 young wwoofers all went round to Anson’s for a farewell party.
It was late when they returned!

Almost another week of catching up!

Wednesday 16th

Spent all morning cooking.
Made enough food for an army and yet it will only feed this mob for a about 3 days
Made a huge dish of curried sausages, large dish of fish pie, 2 oven dishes of macaroni in a vege & cheese sauce,
Was completely over cooking by the end of it all.

Also spent quite a long time on the phone and internet with so called experts trying to figure out why my emails were not coming in.
Finally got it sorted thankfully.
It was such a pain having to access my webmail to read my mails and because it is not set up to send it was even more of a hassle.
Mahalia was still running a temperature so she had a very quiet day.

Thursday 17th
Set off for town around 6:45am.
Anson left an hour before me and had text back to say the fog was very dense.
However by the time we got that far it wasn’t too bad.
We went expecting rain but it was clear all day.
I had a massage appointment at 10am so dropped the children at the library with what I thought were very clear and precise instructions on the pickup time.
I had a lovely relaxing and therapeutic massage on my shoulder.
However, within minutes of leaving the stress levels of my day began increasing.
I text Shanni to say I was on the way at 11:05 and waited across the road for her and Azzan.
I waited and waited, text and called, and waited.
Finally it was after 11:25 and I was about blowing my boiler.
They appeared and we just managed to get Shanni to speech right on 11:30.
Turned out that Azzan hadn’t realised the pre-ordered books had not been processed and they had set off the beeper as they left and had to go back & put them through
Dropped Shanni and whizzed Azzan to piano.
Back to get Shanni.
I had 10 mins spare to sit quietly in the sun and check emails etc on my laptop.
Took Shanni to piano and told her to send Azzan out as soon as he was finished as I was parked on a loading zone.
It is always difficult to get a park at the School of Music.
Once again I waited and text and waited to no avail.
Finally I ran in and found Azzan quietly reading on the sofa – Shanni hadn’t told him to come out to me
I had just enough time to whiz to Warehouse Stationery to change the ink cartridges for my new printer.
I had a stack of 10 unopened new cartridges for my old broken printer.
Well, I thought I had time.
The young fella in there was having a ‘duh’ day!
By 12:55 I was getting pretty agitated and told him I really was in a hurry and could he please move it.
He said it would take him far longer than 5 mins and could I come back.
I tore back to SoM and dropped Azzan at violin and picked up Shanni.
While I zipped back to WS to finish sorting out the ink cartridges Shanni sat in the car and ate her lunch.
I got back to the car at 1:20 and all of a sudden realised I had muddled the times in my head again.
She was due at clarinet at 1:15 not 1:45!
Normally I back around in the carpark and drive out frontwards but I wasn’t able to this time so I backed out onto the street and the next thing I heard was a crunch as I hit another Terrano
He was double parked on the other side of the street – I think it was because there was a fire engine blocking the way.
I hit him, no matter the reason he was there.
I did a fast turn around, fished in my wallet for my business card.
Passed it to the wounded party, apologised profusely and said for him to call me as I had to run.
No sense in standing around comiserating over a small dent when I had places to go and people to see!
I managed to get Shanni up to the Girls College for her clarinet lesson without any further glitches.
Went back and collected the boys from SoM.
Nathan had walked up from the library so had missed all the dramas.
We then collected Shanni from clarinet and went to gymnastics.
I was dropping mussels off left right and centre to anyone who wanted some.
Managed to get rid of 2 chilly bins full and made a lot of people happy

After gymnastics Victoria took Azzan to ballet and then Adrienne took him on to jazz.
Shanni went home with the Winnington girls.
Nathan was due at The Wood Retirement Village at 3:30 for his first volunteering session and I had to be around the corner at 3:40 for my next appointment.
He was waiting for me an hour later when I had finished.
All went well which is great – he will be working with the Diversional Therapist and basically just had an introductory session and lots of red tape paperwork to do – confidentiality stuff etc.
We got ourselves a frappacino and headed out to get Azzan from jazz at Annesbrook.
Anson picked up Shanni after loading Seb’s furniture on board,
Once we got Azzan we called into see Sally and leave her & John some mussels before getting last minute groceries and dinner a la Burger King.
Our final stop was at Frances & John’s to leave the last of the mussels.
The sun was setting when we arrived, it was glorious.

We hit torrential rain on the way over the Wangamoa’s.
Could barely see at times.
Thankfully it all eased before we left the main road and the rest of the trip home went well.
We listened to a story CD on the way in and back, which reminds me, I never got to hear the last few chapters!!

Friday 18th
The day of the Christchurch Memorial Service.
I was able to watch most of it live stream on the computer.
Here it is in 2 parts.
The singing of our national anthem that begins the 2nd half is so moving.
In fact as I sit here and watch it again and see parts I missed before tears are running down my face. Especially during the part when Hayley sings an impromptu  Pokarekare Ana while the scenes of the devastated city are shown.

The singing was wonderful.
Here is an edited video of all the music performers
Azzan was keen to see Hayley as she is a cousin of ours on Tim’s mother’s side of the family and he follows her closely.
I was very taken with a wonderful Maori soprano (8mins in on the video) whom I had never heard of before, but have since discovered is Timua Brennan.
She sang ‘Whakaaria mai‘  – it was so gloriously beautiful.
The quote from the service which I feel said it all for me and others is from Prince William’s speech when he quotes his grandmother.
‘Grief is the price we pay for Love.

I was barely functioning during the morning in the kitchen.
My mind was just not a happening thing.
I managed to get all the cooking done with the help of Marie who did most of the vege prep for me while I compiled everything into the various dishes.
I commented to Azzan that I was trying to get 6 things done at once and therefore couldn’t read to him right away.
To which he replied ‘Well, you should only do one thing at a time.’

Tim took a team up the hill fencing after lunch and Anson took the girls mustering.
Glenn came around mid arvo & found no-one home excetp me.
I was so very very tired that I finally had to apologise after we had talked for a wee while and headed to bed around 4pm.

Couldn’t believe it when Mahalia tapped on the door to tell me it was teatime that I slept till 7pm.
Thankfully I had most of the dinner prepared and Nathan finished it off & served it.
I had a late dinner on my own in the peace & quiet of the vacated evening kitchen.

Saturday 19th
The girls tackled Azzan’s bedroom.
He was trying to get it sorted but just needed a bit of extra help to get on top of things – again!
Once they had finished that I gave them another challenge.
Defrosting the freezers.

Azzan hopped in to help too.
He was singing at the top of his voice.
It was a very happy occupation

Marie helped me on another cooking binge.
We made a humungous mince and vege stew, 2 large fish pies. and a large pot of corn & potato soup.
Tim decided that he really wanted sausages for lunch so the soup got put to one side and I cooked up sausages which we had with Persian Couscous, Red Salad, and lettuce salad.
Marie & Mathilde went parsley hunting for me.

Tim & the guys spent the morning digging out the old septic tank in preparation for the new one.

Mahalia had brought a packet of Blueberry hair colour back from Australia.
She and Anson decided it really should be used.
So Mahalia got the gloves on and did Anson’s hair.
Then Romain got talked into adding a spot of colour to his,

It took quite a bit of convincing but he finally gave in and allowed her to put in a small purple streak.

Mahalia put some in her fringe, Shanni coloured the end tips of her hair.
Anna gave in more easily and had a long streak added.

Leonie ran a mile but eventually came back and added one to hers too.

We wrapped tinfoil around the coloured parts to stop them from tinting the faces.
They weren’t the most elegant foils I have seen but they did the trick!

After lunch they all went out fishing except me, Mahalia and Nathan.
Hali & I sorted through a massive pile of clothing.
I now have several rubbish bags full to pass on.
Then I left her to unpack all the clothes she was keeping back into her drawers.
I curled up with my cup of herb tea and date loaf and watched Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman part 2.

Nathan came in and took over cooking dinner.
The crew had had a wonderful time out fishing.
Shanni, Azzan, Glen, Anna & Leonie had gone diving for paua.
They had also swum with a large pod of dolphins.
Azzan was terribly excited because he had touched a dolphin as it swam by him
Tim was cooked up some of the fish & paua they caught to add to our meal.
I retreated to the end of the dvd with my delicious dinner of fresh paua and salad.
It was so good.

Happy Birthday Mahalia and Anna

Shoshannah & Leonie secretly made a banner for the two birthday girls.
They hung it up just before dinner.

Then they helped Azzan blow up balloons.
There was great hilarity when Azzan proudly announced that he had burped into his balloon

Mahalia managed to perk up a wee bit for dinner.
She actually looks quite bright in this photo but it was very momentary.
She really wanted to eat but it was a struggle so I saved her a large portion of lasagna & garlic bread for hopefully tomorrow.
There was 17 of us for dinner so some disappeared out to the verandah where it was quieter and cooler.

I made her a lamington tower for her cake.
I stuffed the lamingtons with cream and then poured mixed berry sauce over them.
It had a pony candles on top which delighted her immensely.

You can tell here that her eyes are very heavy.
She is wearing the gorgeous top that Sebastian bought for her birthday.
I was most impressed with his choice & the fact that he went to the trouble of getting her something special..
He knew what colour she loves and Phoebe tried it on to get the right size.

Then we managed to extract Anna from her phone call from her German family to come see her b’day cake.

We sang happy birthday to both of the girls.

Then it was present time.
Poor Mahalia had so many presents to open but so little energy.
I did suggest she might like to do it tomorrow but you cannot put off something like that!!

In amongst all of this Polly needed her dinner so Leonie got it ready for her.
She is so funny when she gets her food.
She goes completely demented.
It disappears so fast as she chases it around her bowl with both feet and head just fair going for it.
You would think she hadn’t been fed for days.

She is growing so fast – very cute wee girl.

The present opening was still happening.
Mahalia got lots of horse books, a beautiful journal type book about Alyce in Wonderland, Sylvanians, and a Belville Lego with a horse and princess.

Shanni had made some crazy joke presents.

and a tahinau crown for the Queen of the Tahinau Grubbers.

I was glad we had begun dinner relatively early so I was able to get the children off to bed not too late.
Mahalia was very glad to be back in her bed.
With her permission tonight I have called and canceled her piano lesson on Thursday as I don’t think she will be well enough to go to town.

The rain is falling quite steadily now.
A lovely sound to sleep to
The penguins have come ashore and are creating a major din right outside our bedroom.
Not a great noise to sleep to

Tuesday 15th March

I woke up early again.
Got up at 4:45am cuz I couldn’t sleep.
Spent a couple of hours making cards.
It is really the only time at [resent when I get to be creative so I am making the most of it.

I wanted to make 2 birthday cards.

I made this one for Mahalia.
She is 11 today
I am going to have to retake the photo of it though.
The background card is actually a pretty red and it hasn’t come out at all like the real thing.

Anna is 20 today.
She came back especially to celebrate her b’day with us.
I wanted to make her a special Kiwi card.
And as she and Leonie went to a big rugby match in Nelson last week I thought this was appropriate.

I had time to make a few more cards so tiddled around using up more bits and pieces I had lying about on my desk and created these cards.

Tim took a large crew out grubbing this morning.
It was the last day so it was all hands on deck.
Shanni, Nathan, Anson and 5 wwoofers went out.

Once they had gone I had a soak in the spa with my book.
Mahalia was still not feeling at all well.
Her temperature was up and she was very lethargic.
She tried to eat a little breakfast.
Managed to get half a mashed banana down and then went back to bed.
She perked up a bit when Sophie called to wish her a happy birthday.
Jesika skyped her too – she was very happy to hear from her but didn’t have a lot of energy to talk so I had to interpret

Azzan was rather quiet to begin with.
I was a bit concerned he might be coming down with the bug.
But he perked up when I suggested he cleaned out his rabbit’s cage.
He wanted me to hold his rabbit while he emptied all the stuff out.
I had just taken all the bins and boxes and rubbish away from the backdoor and suggested he put her in one of the deep green bins.
I went out a few minutes later and he was hosing down the cage and I caught sight of the rabbit hopping about the lawn.
I have a feeling he might have put her in a bin which was half full of stuff and she just jumped straight out!!
Anyway, that was the beginning of about half an hour or Azzan & me chasing a very quick wee bunny back and forth around the back lawn.
She was intent on eating grass and doubly intent on not being caught.
I finally barricaded up a corner beside the puppy’s cage and then got the hose and hosed it each time it tried to go the other way and eventually Azzan caught it – just in the nick of time too cuz Mo got wind of her and thought rabbit for lunch would be a good idea.
I wrapped her in a towel and Mahalia cuddled her dry inside until Azzan finished cleaning out the cage.

After that bit of morning exercise we sat and played a few hands of Monopoly Deal while I ate my breakfast.
Marie & Mathilde spent the day weeding the flower beds and paths.
It was a lovely warm sunny day.
A great day to be outdoors.
I made mock cream and filled the chocolate cake I had made for Anna’s birthday.
I knew she was keen on chocolate so I made a very large chocolate cake, filled it with mock cream and iced it with kirsch flavoured chocolate icing and decorated it with white chocolate buttons.

The weeding team all arrived back at midday.
I had lunch all ready so they were pretty happy.
I had made a batch of instant ginger beer to help cool them down too.

After lunch most of them went to have a siesta.
Tim & Shanni went down to the wharf later and spent the rest of the day conditioning mussel ropes.
Nathan & Romain helped Tim do the last lot.
I had a rest for an hour too as I was getting rather tired.

Sebastian & Phoebe arrived just after I woke up.
Seb is moving his base back home so they had brought his two cars in and some of his gear.

I chucked a lettuce salad together. and got the lasagna & garlic bread in the oven.
Anna & Leonie helped me make a red salad and ambrosia.
I created Mahalia’s b’day cake, made the pink lemonade, and then it was dinner time.

Monday monday

Gorgeous beginning to our day.
Maybe it ties in with the screeching of the wekas last night – rain is on it’s way!

Anson was around at 7am to take Leonie, Anna & Romain out grubbing weeds.
Tim sent Leo off in the kayak to work at Waterfall Bay.
He then took Nathan & Gildas out in the boat to do mussel work.
Marie helped me.
She peeled and sliced up 2 large pots of pears while I worked in the office.
I made a pear crumble for dessert.
There was quite a lot of casserole left – it was more gravy than meat though so I cooked up some more meat and added it to the slow cooker.
Turned left over boiled potatoes into a very delicious dish.
Cubed them, sprinkled chopped onion & curry powder over and poured coconut cream over the top.
Then baked it.
It was delicious.
Marie cut up the broccoli & red onion for the salad.
They had never eaten raw broccoli before – this recipe has sold them

Mahalia was still unwell today.
She is running a temperature.
I kept her in bed for as much as possible.
She did attempt to eat a small amount tonight.

The troops arrived in for lunch.
After lunch and Matilde’s nap Marie washed the windows.

Mathilde helped.

Now we can see out again.

Anna & Leonie helped me to get some food ready for the birthday party tomorrow.
Shanni dragged Leonie off to do secret stuff in the school room.
I daresay we will see the results of their endeavours tomorrow.
Tim made mince in our new mincing machine so I was able to fulfil Mahalia’s request for lasagna for her birthday dinner.
Anna & I made a huge beef lasagna and a vegetarian lasagna.
I also made Tiramisu and a large chocolate cake.
It is Anna’s 20th b’day too so it is a double celebration.

The puppy has been moved out of the house now.
She has a play pen on the lawn and at night sleeps in her box int he back of the aviary.

Shanni has wrapped all Mahalia’s presents so all I need to do is make a card tomorrow.
It is way past time for me to have my spa and head to bed.
It’s been a long day without any rests and I am weary tonight but not quite knackerated

An exhausting weekend


I was woken around 7am by Noy & Moriya back again with their families panicking them even more about the tsunami.
As it was forecasted to be hitting us around 6:20am I was able to reassure them that it was really going to be a non-event for us.

Graham had arrived back just before me the previous night with a ‘small’ load of veges that needed to be dealt with immediately.
A bin of beans, a bin of capsicum and corn, apples, pears and a bin of tomatoes.
So I had to get straight into work mode early on Sat morning.
Tim took Romain & Anson out to do mussel work.
Gildas, Marie & Leo stayed back to help process veges.
Marie took Mathilde (2) and a bowl of beans out onto the deck.
Gildas & Leo sat at the kitchen table and cut beans there.
I was working in the kitchen directly behind them.
I was quite tired and also very busy making up several batches of relish, getting lunch & dinner ready and making muffins etc.
They chatted incessantly in French the whole morning.
It was a constant noise going on in the background that wouldn’t stop and was totally non-understandable.
It really grated on my nerves so much.
My brain was really struggling to cope with even reading the recipes let alone anything else.

We have a wwoofers ‘rule’ here that English is to be spoken as much as possible.
For several reasons.
Firstly – most come to NZ to learn to speak English and about our culture.
If there is more than one person from a language group it is easy. But when there is two or more it is harder and they want and need the instruction to speak English.
Secondly – it is very exclusive.
Nathan & Azzan did some beans to help.
The only time the guys spoke English to me all morning was to ask for instructions and they totally ignored the boys.
So I was quite understanding when the boys drifted off to do other stuff.
Nathan shucked all the corn we ate for lunch.
When we stopped for lunch I spoke to the guys about it and they apologised and have been fine since.

I had a rather ‘interesting’ day with children too which didn’t make it any easier.
Shanni’s major problem was that she was tired too but wasn’t dealing with it well.
Instead of communicating to me verbally that she was very tired and going to have a rest she was just moping about and being seemingly uncooperative.
I might be a mother but I am not a mind reader.
In fact mind reading takes more energy than I can possibly spare these days.
I finally flipped my lid when I asked her to help me make muffins and she was being vague and unhelpful.
Sent her off to bed for a rest.
Shanni & Azzan were also not being very accommodating towards each other.
I ended up taking them aside later in the day and having a darn good talk about attitudes.
Hopefully it made them think.

The men came back and had lunch and then Anson took Romain & Leo and drove out to his cousin Ruby’s 17th b’day.
They stayed the night – reckoned they were the honorary bouncers

It was delightfully quiet at dinner time.
Only the French family here with us.

By night time I was so incredibly tired.
My body just ached.
As my darling friend Wendy expressed it – I was Knackerated
I had not been able to get a rest at all.
And the one time I sat down for a few minutes, when I stood up I seriously couldn’t unbend myself
I fell into the spa for a few minutes and then crashed out.

Mahalia woke sick.
I didn’t actually realise how sick for a few hours as Shanni was taking care of her.
When I finally had time to catch up with her I found her running quite a high temperature and feeling very nauseated.
She stayed in bed most of the day.
She did try to eat an apple but that made her feel worse.
She came out to the lounge and laid on the sofa.
Azzan fussed around her like an old mother chook.
He made her a bed and brought her out blankets and made sure she was comfy and had anything she might need.
He came to me and quietly suggested that he knew exactly what would make her feel better.
Calling Jesika!
Sweet boy
However that was not possible at that time.
She wanted to eat later and tried some sweet corn but that made her vomit.
So she stayed fluids only till I tucked her into bed.

The Israeli girls came up to say goodbye before lunch.
They had buses and ferrys to catch.
They were such a fun bunch.
Shame they couldn’t stay longer.
Moriya, Yifat, Noga, Noy, Azzan, Shoshannah & Noy out front before they left.
Azzan looks very happy to be surrounded by all the pretty girls.

Yifat is keen to come back wwoofing so we will look forward to her pending return.

Graham popped down just before lunch so we had a fellowship meeting.
Then as I was drooping off to sleep I went off to bed and left the others to organise their own lunch.
I read and slept for a couple of hours.
I got up at 4pm and made myself some lunch.
Sat out on the deck in the late afternoon sun.
It was still really hot.
Ate my lunch and finished my book.

I had already made dinner on Saturday so cooked up some pasta and made a salad to add to the vegetable goulash.
Just as I was about to serve all the party goers arrived back.
Anna & Leonie returned as well.
They had only managed to be away from here for a week!
I am not too sure if they wanted to see us or the puppy
It was nice to see them again.

I manged to get everyone out of the house and off to bed by 9ish.
I am so needing these early nights.

Friday in town

I spent a leisurely hour or so chatting with Sasha & David before having to leave around 9:30am.
I had to go exploring Richmond to find an address to drop off a b’day pressie then whiz back down to Bin Inn to get a few bits and pieces for the pantry.
Then it was into the city to get to my appointment.
I had some time up my sleeve so was able to enjoy a breakfast frappuccino before my counseling session.
After that I met up with Seb & Phoebe.
We sat in the sun and relaxed over lunch & iced teas at Columbus Coffee in Fashion Island.
Then we wandered and found ourselves in Barkers menswear where Seb saw a jacket in the window that appealed to him.
Unfortunately it was neither slim enough or long enough for him but he did find a cool pair of jeans and a shirt that fitted well.

While he was trying on half the shop I zipped away to meet up with some Israeli girls who were heading down our way.
They were very excited to be coming to Port Ligar and I was able to help them with more definite directions as they needed to get there in good time to cook their Shabbat meal before sunset.

I said good bye to Seb & Phoebe and went to find Azzan.
Chrissy had brought him into town for his violin lesson.
I collected his gear and left them all to the wonderfully cacophonic sounds of a beginners violin lesson.
I had a remedial shoulder massage booked at 3pm.
Victoria dropped Azzan off their after his lesson.
So when I was finished and feeling a lot better I found him in the waiting room quietly reading.

We had some groceries to get in preparation for Mahalia’s b’day.
After that we left town and headed home.
Azzan had a pile of library books so was reading them as we drove over the hills.
He commented to me that sometimes he realises what he has read doesn’t make sense so he has to go back and then find he has missed out something.
He was pointing to a full stop.
So we had a chat about what it is called in other countries – period.
He said, ‘I thought a period was a space in time.’
Then while we were on a roll I revised the other speech marks with him.
He knew question marks & exclamation marks.
We then talked about the comma and quotation marks.
After a few minutes of this he said,
‘Okay! Can I just get on with reading my book now please?’

We stopped at Okiwi Bay to stretch our legs.
Azzan found stretching on top of the adventure playground was quite fun.
He will do the splits anywhere!

We finally had to make a move towards home as I was getting quite tired.
We got home around 8:30pm and were greeted with absolute bedlam.
The 5 Israeli girls, a French family with a 2yr old daughter, a Belgium wwoofer and Romain were all in the kitchen with Shanni & Mahalia.
It was so incredibly noisy and chaotic.
After the relative quiet of the past few days in town and the drive home the noise just drove me nuts
Romain & Nathan helped me unload the Terrano.
I eventually found Tim in bed.
He was so tired that he had escaped

Finally everyone went off to their respective beds and I was left in peace to quietly unwind

I was in the study checking out all the news about the earthquake in Japan around 10:30pm when two of the Israeli girls were tapping on our door.
Their families back home were texting and calling them and really upsetting them about the tsunami that was going to hit us.
I had to get the maps out and show them where we were in relation to the rest of NZ and Japan and assure them that if we got any effects it would be very minor.
They finally went off to bed slightly reassured.