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.

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