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.


Thursday – back on a roll again…..

I woke up around 6:30am so sat in bed quietly working on my laptop for a while.
About 7:15am Azzan rolled over, reached under his pillow, grabbed his book, sat up in bed and proceeded to open it and tried to read in the dim light.
He never spoke a word to me.
A minute later he shut the book, lay down and was fast asleep again!!
It was so incredibly funny to watch
Maybe he was ‘sleep reading’!

We had to leave the house by 8:40am.
Quite nice to get that much of a sleep in on a Thursday though.
We quietly packed up and left David & Sasha sleeping.
I dropped the kids at Edencourt for their riding lessons just before 9am.
I then popped around the corner and visited with Errilyn for an hour.
That was really lovely as we hadn’t caught up properly since their wedding last year.
She is waiting impatiently for their babe to arrive – most exciting

I picked up the kids just before 10:30am.
It was a glorious morning and they had all enjoyed their rides.
It’s been a while so they were all very happy to be there again.
Azzan had some fun playing with the dogs before we left.

Then we were on a roll.
Anson had taken Nathan to boxing so I picked him up.
Then dropped two youngest at piano and Shanni at speech.
Nathan & I checked out Farmers sale in the brief half an hour I had before going back to pick up Shanni.
Then while she was at piano Nathan and the other kids went to the library.
I zipped Nate to piano, collected Shanni, dropped her at clarinet and went back to get A&M from the library, then Nathan from piano and Shanni from clarinet.
Finally had them all together and we went on to gymnastics.
I had a quick fringe cut booked for 3:30pm so Victoria took A&M to dancing and Chrissy brought N&S.
She met me in town with kids.
I was ravenously hungry so I had a late lunch while they had drinks.
Anson arrived and took Nathan to a local retirement home to see about doing some community service their for his Young New Zealander’s Bronze Award.
A lot of the retirement homes have been filled up tot he max by folk coming up from Christchurch so they are crying out for extra help.
They were happy to have him (esp as he had a good referee – thanks Frances )so hopefully he will start next week.
I met Anson at Mahalia’s jazz class at 5pm.
He loaded all the gear on board and took Nathan, Shanni & Hali home with him.
Azzan had gone on out to his jazz class with a friend and Chrissy picked him up and took him home so he and Asher could have some time together.

I went into town and wandered.
Checked out the sale at Farmers in Richmond.
Tried heaps of things on but only came out with one thing for myself.
Got a heap of tights for the girls for $1 each.
Also got a pile of clothes in Postie’s sale.
Was very happy to pick up beach shorts for Nathan & Anson for $5 each.
It’s no wonder I don’t have the inclination or need to sew anymore when I can get clothes so cheaply.

It was nearly 8pm by the time I got back to the house.
Sasha got home from work soon after and we sat and talked while I ate my dinner.
Then David got home from work about 10pm and we chatted some more and soon it was 1am.
What happened to my earlyish night and keeping my sleep pattern more orderly
Oh well, not every night we get to hang out.
It was all good and as Azzan was not there I had the bed to myself so could actually sleep!!

A ballet full day

I was planning to leave home at 8am so Tim decided to get his crew out on the mussel lines at 8am too,
While I was getting ready I spotted him rowing out to get the ’88 South’.

The sun was just beginning to spread it’s morning glow cross the far hills.
A beautiful calm morning.
Just perfect for mussel work.

The three youngest and I were all packed and heading up the hill soon after 8am.
I had a few things to do along the way so needed to keep moving.
We got to Nelson with a little time to spare which was good.
I left Azzan & Mahalia at the Trafalgar Centre with some of their dance school friends.
They were all going to a special performance for schools of Pinnochio by the Royal NZ Ballet.
It was part of the Tutus on Tour .
While they were there Shanni went to see Kathryn.
It was funny hearing the different responses when I picked up the children.
Azzan – ‘That was amazing. I so HAVE to go tonight!
Mahalia – ‘It was ok, but Mary Poppins was better.
Can’t please ’em all

We went back to the Winnington’s to pick up Shanni.
The kids all hooned around doing whatever kids do while Margaret and I chatted.
We were then coerced by Shanni & Kathryn to take them all swimming.
We took them down to Riverside Pool to cool off.
Margaret & I hopped into one vehicle, whizzed around the supermarket and then and went and hung out at Starbucks.
It was lovely to have some child free time – she and I don’t usually have that space together.

I zipped the children out to David & Sasha’s.
Azzan & got changed.
We had a quick feed and then Azzan & I left Sasha 7 the girls to a girlie evening.
We had an important date in town.
We were off to the ballet

I was pleased we got their early as it was unallocated seating.
We waited in the line and as soon as they opened the doors Azzan was off to get the best seats.
We had discussed them while waiting.
As he had been there in the afternoon he knew the layout, I didn’t.
He headed straight to the front row and then saw they were all reserved so shot up the stands.
He went further and further.
I was trying to get him to come down a tad so we would be closer to the stage.
But he knew what he was doing!!
He got us the best seats in the house.
We were in the two right at the top in the middle above the centre staircase where no-one could block our view.
It was great.
I am still experimenting with my camera settings.
These photos are the best I could get.
There were no signs to say we couldn’t take photos but I was as discreet as poss as I know how infuriating it is when people use flashes and have their lit up screens glaring in your faces.

The first half an hour was Variations on Verdi.
It was a  great.
Tutus & tiaras, twirls, leaps, exquisite classical ballet.

The second hour was an adaptation of Pinocchio.
It was wonderful.
The costumes and sets were just great.
Azzan loved every minute of it.
Admittedly, it was late in a long day and he was a bit fidgety with tiredness.
But he was very happy to be seeing it a 2nd time.
He was able to fill me in on what was /about to happen next and kept me up with the play very nicely.

I was most impressed with their waves/sea

and the fish was amazing.
I couldn’t get a better photo as the set was quite dim for this part of the show.
But it was spectacular.
There were about 7 dancers inside of it propelling it along.

And all too soon it was over.
Azzan was absolutely starving of course so we had to drive through Burger King.
His tummy was content after that and when we got back he was happy to snuggle straight into bed.
David arrived home from work soon after we got back.
We didn’t talk long though as we were all tired.

Monday/Tuesday in our house

Anson, Tim, Romain & Carmen went out mussel working for the morning.
They actually didn’t leave till lateish so came back for a very late lunch.
After lunch the guys went out again as one of our lines had sunk.
It took them and another mussel boat about 3 hours to get it up.
While the mussel barge was working on it Tim raised another one to stop it from sinking too.
They also found some time to catch a few fish.
So all in all, despite the long day, it was a successful one.
Well, it must have been – they came home with fish didn’t they!!

I had a very fragile sorta day.
My counselor has given me a book to browse and I, of course, cannot browse, I am reading it from cover to cover.
But it is unsettling me.
I am reading it in snippets.
That is all I can take.
Something in it really put me over the edge and I spent a lot of the day in tears.
I had quite a long talk on the phone with a good friend who has lent me her shoulder, ear and support for many years now.
It is good to have friends like that

The kids were good.
Nathan was very helpful which I appreciated.
He cooked most of the dinner.
We had a roast beef in the slow cooker and Nathan made cauliflower cheese and deliciously crispy roast herbed potatoes.
The girls are cleaning up Sylvania and doing a particularly excellent job of it.
Everything is getting sorted and cleaned.
Just hope they don’t loose momentum and leave it half done.

After lunch Carmen cleaned out the attic cupboard for me.
I think we must have goblins living up there cuz it seems to get into a state without any help at all.
Well, the kids claim no responsibility & they are the main ones to be up there so go figure!!


I woke up early today and couldn’t get back to sleep.
So at 4:30am I snuck out very quietly to the living room and made cards for a couple of hours.
That felt nice and productive.
Just made half a dozen fairly basic ones but at least it was personal creative time.


I made these three a week or so ago.
This one is my favourite – I made it for a special friend.

Carmen helped me do a few small jobs before going out on the boat with the men for the day.
The guys went out in the boat around the back of the farm to do some weeding and also to fix a beach fence.
Glenn & Tik went with them.
It was really nice just having the house to myself with the kids.
I made a beef stew in the slow cooker and it bubbled along nicely all day.
Nathan did some baking for me.
Two large banana cakes that look and smell very delicious.

Mahalia kindly went swimming with Azzan later this arvo and came up shivering and looking rather blue.
I think the water is a little cooler now that when she left for Melbourne!

I have sorted out a large box of library books to go back to one library tomorrow and another bag to go to another library.
Quite  a mission keeping them all sorted and back on time to the right places.
I was hoping to get my accounts filed today but didn’t quite make it.
So they will have to wait till I get back home again.

I managed to fit in a couple of catch up phone calls today.
I have been meaning to call some elderly friends for sometime.
I realised today when I did phone them that it had been much longer than I thought.
I had last talked to them in September!!

I asked the Shanni to get the washing in before dinner.
She got side tracked playing badminton with Mahalia.
It was so funny watching Hali trying to hit the shuttle cock.
She has never been taught the art and was sitting it on her racket feathers down and flinging it up in the air until I told her how it is sposed to be hit and then she was away 

I asked Azzan to do some violin practise tonight before bed.
Next thing I heard was him teaching Mahalia how to hold the bow and how to play.
They say that the fourth step of learning is teaching it back.
He sure has it sussed

Then they played a duet.
I didn’t see who was playing which instrument but the piano and violin were making up a tune together and it sounded delightfully cacophonic!

I fed the children their dinner at 7pm.
I decided to wait for Tim to come home before eating mine.
No sign of the guys until a couple of hours later.
They had already eaten their fill of fresh fish on board and weren’t at all hungry so I ended up cooking up some fish and eating my dinner alone while Tim was busy packing and freezing fish & paua and sorting mussels.

I need to get myself off to bed now as I have a long day tomorrow.
Thankfully no need to start too early.
Just have to leave by 8am.

The Rai Show – home with lots of awards

I know I have been posting a lot of photos of clouds and sky lately but I just can’t resist taking them.
The clouds are so amazing.
This was mid morning just after the rain cleared and after I had my spa.
I indulgently wallowed with my book for a while after everyone had gone.

While they were away I had a wonderfully quiet day.
I only had Polly to feed and look after.
She was no problem cuz she sleeps so much still.
I managed to get a lot of paper work done and began coding my accounts for the gst.
I even had time for a chat to my dear friend Rob in Australia and an hours snooze in the late arvo.

Shanni text me to say they were on their way home around 5.
I had about an hours warning so I quickly got dinner ready.
I had some tortilla wraps so filled lots of bowls with all sorts of yummy fillings.
cheese, pineapple, lettuce, carrot, fried onion, gherkins, sun dried tomatoes, beans in tomato sauce, etc etc

I served them with sparkling grape juice.

We had a party to celebrate being ‘just us’, Mahalia’s home coming and their success at the show.
The children were so delighted with their dinner that they said they would have to go away more often if I was going to cook meals like that for them.
I don’t mind that at all

After dinner I got the children to display all their awards and entries.

1st for Best dressed doll 10-12 years
2nd for Decorated hard boiled egg 10-12 years
2nd for Miniature flower arrangement

3rd for Best dressed doll 7-9 years
2nd for Lego Construction 7-9 years
3rd for Miniature flower arrangement
2nd Junior Rai Challenge – beanie
His photo didn’t get placed but I think it is great.

3rd for 3 x pikelets 13-16 years
1st for 3 x shortbread open section
3rd for children’s pumpkin growing section
1st for Miniature flower arrangement
3rd Photography any subject 13-16 years – gorgeous sunset
2nd for Machine sewn article – she made a shoulder bag
1st for Lego construction 13-16 years
2nd in Senior Children’s Rai Challenge

1st in Senior Children’s Rai Challenge

Shanni won this tee shirt as part of her Challenge prize.
It is screen printed by Newman Graphics in Renwick.
I grew up there and knew them well.
Shanni loves the picture on the front.
For those non Kiwis reading this  – Wahine is Maori for Woman.

The night sky was beautiful.
A wonderful end to a brilliantly happy day for all.