Wednesday 29th February

I woke early and then went back to sleep.

Woke up again to hear a proposal on the radio just before 7am – a Leap Year proposal – which thankfully turned out well for both parties!!

Decided I needed to get myself up and going.

We had a busy morning.

The guys went up the hill to work on the fences.

Shanni went for a long bike ride and did her possum traps.

She took these photos while she was up there.


Alice did the Cottage – again!

Then folded all the washing – there were mountains of it today!

We got food ready.

I was being stretched betweent he study and the kitchen again.

Azzan was chatting with his teacher and she gave him a new unit to do following hteir chat.

So we updated his portfolio and did some research on Louis Braille.

I left him to do that while I sorted food.

I made a huge pot of black bean stew for dinner.

I had been creating it over the past three days and it turned out really well.

Very delicious.


The guys went out mussel working after lunch.

They came back with this lovely big kingfish.

Most impressive – they were very excited.


We cooked up the cod fillets and had them for dinner with the bean stew and rice.

I made bread & butter pudding for desert.


Anson arrived home with a huge load of fruit and veges which will need processing tomorrow.

There is rain forecast for the whole day so the guys can help with that job!

He was very tired so just ate some dinner and headed off home.


It is raining steadily now and quite cold.

Feels like winter has arrived – again!



Tuesday 28th February

Because I had the whole place to myself and I could do what I wanted, of course I was wide awake soon after 6am!

So I had a leisurely spa with my book and then started my day.

I had quite a lot to do in the study so I worked away in here for a while.

Then I went out and released Skip from the wash house and did Tinga’s morning feed etc.

I scattered coffee grounds in the garden and put the sprinkler into the rhubarb patch and the hose onto the rock garden.

The folk from the Cottage left around 10am so I had a wee chat with them.

It was rather nice just doing what I felt like for the next few hours.

I didn’t do anything really exciting.

Got the fire going – I knew there would be a great demand for hot showers later in the day!

Then I lay on the sofa with my lunch and watched ‘Coco‘.

It was a really good movie about Coco Chanel’s early life.

They campers arrived home before I finished watching it so I said my hullos and then finished it.

Dinner was easy as I had some stew left over and just put on some rice and fresh bread.

They were all happy with that.

They were too tired to want too much.

After the kids went off to bed Tim and I sat and chatted in the spa for a while.





D’Urville Island trip

Shanni shared these photos of their trip to D’Urville.

They had a good time except for the mosquitoes  censored

They didn’t leave home till after 3pm so were quite late getting out there.

They caught their dinner on the way.

Well, by the looks of it, the men did…

while the girls just hung about looking pretty!

Captain Gavin at the helm with Alice assisting.

Anson & Johannes cleaning the fish

Then getting camp set up int he old big empty shed.

Not realising that there were multitudes of mosquitoes reading for attack!

They spent all night fending them off so not a lot of sleep was had.

There was a lot of hilarity at the dinner table when they returned home and retold about their nights sleep, or lack of!!


Marah & Alice stayed with Hali & Azzan at the camp site and went on some adventures.

The guys went hunting but got nothing.

Tim & Johannes saw some deer which made Johannes’ day happy

But the Anson, Gavin & Shanni didnt see anything.

The had to wait on the beach for ages to be picked up so they made themselves a shelter and lit a fire as it was quite damp breezy cold day.


They were finally picked up by the boat.

The trip home must have been very quiet from the following photos.

They were catching on on some much needed sleep!

 Just as well Capt Gavin was at the helm to keep the boat heading in the right direction!

They arrived back around 4pm.

All tired and covered in mosquito bites.

But I guess they will be fast forgotten when the siren calls for the next trip out there!!

All the gear had to be unpacked and put away.

Anson & Marah decided to head to town at 4am the next morning rather than that night so they headed straight to The Croft to get some sleep.

The others all showered and I started the large pile of washing whatevah


Monday 27th February

Anson was around at 7am to take Gavin & Johannes mustering.

I cracked up when I saw the dogs all lined up in the truck.

No show without Skip!!


Garry & Lyn came up for breakfast early and were on the road around 8:30am.

They had to get back to Picton to catch the ferry.


Alice cleaned The Cottage and then did some gardening.

I was rather glad I had gotten her to do the cleaning straight away as I got a last minute phone booking for tonight – pays to be prepared!

There was a tad of confusion this morning as to what Anson’s plans were.

I had heard him say he had no outside work this week but Tim thought he had work tomorrow.

So he had canceled thoughts of going to D’Urville Island today.

But when he found out differently we checked the forecast and then it was all hands on deck to get everything organised so they could leave.

Marah had to organise her work and the guys had some stuff to finish doing.

I made a large quiche and some scones for them and loaded up 3 large chilly bins with food.

The kids got all the bed rolls and sleeping bags etc sussed.

It was a lovely day.

Blue skies, a bit cool as the southerly was still breezing in the bay, but the forecast was giving them a window of good weather it they left now.

It always seems to be a lot of preparation just for one night.

But they enjoy it so that’s what counts.

And away they went at about 3pm.


I made myself some lunch and collapsed with a huge sigh on the sofa with my feet up and watched a dvd of ‘Miss Marple’

I was so weary but the phone  started.

I dealt with all of that and then lay back in the sun in my rocking s=chair and watched the end of the dvd.

Then I retreated to the study and have been working on getting my blog up to date for the rest of the day.

The Cottage guests arrived and then another visitor came for a chat.


It was Nathan’s first day at NMIT today.

So I called him tonight to hear all about it.

He said it was a bit boring but as it is induction week I guess it takes time to get everyone sorted.

He seems happy though and has been out looking for work.

He has got some leads so all is good.

Now it is time to head off to bed.

But as I haven’t had dinner yet i am going to go boil some eggs and take a salad to bed with me and watch another ‘Miss Marple’ happy

Sunday 26th February

The guys said they wanted to leve at 9am.

They arrived up after 10 and left about 10:30am.

So I guess they were running to time winky

Here’s their fishing and cooking tutor with them all just before they left.

Shir, Nadav, Amir, Shoshannah, Matan, Matan and Or.

 Then they had to go find their young friend Azzan.

He was immediately hoisted aloft and carried over and dumped on the trampoline laughing

They headed off to enjoy the views on the way out that they hadn’t seen coming in due to the dark and rain.

We settled down to some quiet and had fellowship.

It was fun cuz we had chipped the guys up about not singing so they tried much harder and we had a great sing song time.


I got a phone call from Anson’s boss from Victoria, Australia.

He and his wife were in Picton and wanted to pop in for a quick visit.

So they arrived while we were organising lunch.

Anson & Marah came around then too.

It was great to meet them.

Anson took them out in the ’88 SOuth’ to catch a few fish and show them around.

As they come from the very flat farming lands around Bendigo this country was completely foreign to them.

They had listened to Anson talk of home but couldn’t imagine it.

We were so pleased they had made the effort to drive all the way in when they had such a short time available.


The rest fo the troops walekd around to Waterfall Bay.

Jenny had baked specially so they had a wonderful visit.

Alice was very pleased to get a lift back on the boat with Anson as she found the track quite difficult.

The others all arrived back at dinner time.

I was busy working int he study while it was quiet and Tim was sleeing and hadn’t noticed the time.

And nothing down for dinner yet.

I got the veges underway and got the kids moving with chores that needed to be done.

Gavin cranked up the bbq and started cooking fish.

Anson & Marah went back to The Croft to shower and change and came back with a large bowl of marinated steak which was added to the bbq.

Manhandling the cook!!

Marah hanging with her hommies!


Tim & Garry disappeared.

We had no idea where they had gone.

Found out on their return that Tim had taken Garry for a ride in the farm truck right around the farm.

Needless to say Garry was hanging on very tight!!

He is not used to the hills, let alone hills steep as ours.

They returned around 9pm and we were finally all ready to eat dinner.

I know we have late dinners bt this time it really took the cake!

I was glad I had plenty of dessert leftover from last nights.

It was a great night talking and getting to know Lyn & Garry.

Really enjoyed them and look forward to hopefully visiting them on their farm soon.


Saturday 25th February – part 3

We were all rather amused at the callisthenics class on the wharf.

Three of the guys were doing their gym work out while they others earned their muscles working on the boat and in the garden winky

Anson took Azzan biscuiting and then all most of the Israeli guys had a go too.

They LOVED it and I could hear them asking for him to go faster every time he flipped them off!

Shanni & Alice went down for a swim.

The ray cruised by and gave Alice a wee buzz.

But the water was too cold for her so she only went up to her knees while Shanni went out for a deeper swim.

Azzan had one last turn before the boat got put away again.

Then Azzan went off kayaking with a couple of the guys.

He loves to have willing companions so makes the most of it!

The guys all came up for dessert again.

It was their last night so we wanted to make the most of their company.

I made Coconut Butterscotch Dessert.

They proclaimed it the best dessert ever happy

Matan, Or and Amir at back

Nadav, Matan & Shir in front.

Anson took the 3 children and Marah out possum hunting.

They got back home at midnight and had had lots of fun.

Got 5 possums to add to Shanni’s possum fur bag so she was happy.

Saturday 25th February – part 2

One of the guys tried to show Azzan how to do a fancy dive.

Azzan copied him but freaked in mid air and changed his fall and landed flat on his back!

It was very dramatic and Shanni totally caught the moment here!!

Anson had the dogs at the beach.

Jack loves to play with Skip.

They are both so incredibly crazy when they get together.

Jack could eat Skip in one mouthful but he never hurts him.

Azzan collecting treasures while out snorkeling.





Saturday 25th February – part 1

It was a glorious day here on Saturday.

Anson was a bit slow in arriving for work so Gavin got the weedeater going and cut all the grass in the vege garden for Shanni.

It looked heaps better and made it far easier for Shir and Alice to weed the beds.

 Alice tidied up the path and steps while the guys pruned around the back creek area for Shanni.

Looking down the garden steps towards the workshop and aviaries.

Looking up the garden steps.

Shanni’s prize strawberries.

They are absolutely huge and very delicious.

Anson and Gavin got the crutching done.

Marah came around to hang with the kids so I got her to help Mahalia & Azzan do some baking.

They were so funny.

It took them so long to get any production happening.

They tidied Azzan’s room and did a few other things as well.

The gluten free Ginger Crunch as delectable.

They also made some savoury scone pinwheels to go with the soup I made for lunch.

But they didn’t get them cooked until after the guys had eaten and gone back to work!!


Shanni was a bit tuckered so she rested for a while after lunch.




Friday 24th February

It was a lovely sunny but windy day.

Tim & Johannes did mussel ropes until it was time to go up and load the stock truck.

Everyone went to help.

Bill was there waiting and was in no particular hurry so he and Tim had a bit of a yarn.

As they do!


The kids played in the wind.

Alice enjoying Skip’s company.



Anson, Gavin & Marah arrived home around 3pm.

They had really enjoyed the concert and plan to take all the kids next year.

I was really sorry we hadn’t gone but as we had never been before we didn’t know what to expect.

Gavin commented that it was extremely well run and everyone was very well behaved.

Anson reckoned there were more kids there than adults!!

They were all tired so headed off for an early night.


Bri called for a chat.

I made self saucing chocolate fudge pudding for dessert.

The Israeli guys enjoyed that too.



Thursday 23rd February

Shanni decided to clean her room today.

She has gone all out and has removed all the myriad of pictures of her walls and has decided to repaint it.

So now her clothes are in a massive pile on the floor and all her excess stuff is stacked out in the hall waiting for some paint to be bought!


Azzan decided to sort out ALL the cds.

It was a massive job but Alice helped him.

I am still waiting for  a few piles to be put away!!


Mahalia did some harp practise.

It is realy lovely to listen to.

She is loving it.


Gavin & Anson drove out to Blenheim to go to  The Winery Tour 2012.

Johannes went around to help Anson do some work beforehand and discovered the van stuck in the middle of the road.

So Gavin & Tim went to pull it out so Anson could get the trailer.


The Israeli boys came up looking for some fishing help so Shanni went down to sort them out.

She spent the day helping them fish and then she filleted the fish and cooked it for them.

Azzan got a couple of them to go snorkling with him and afterwards they came up and enjoyed a spa with him.

Amir, Shir and Azzan.

Enjoying the scenery.


They are a really nice bunch of guys and we had a lot of fun.

I made a large pear crumble and invited them all up for dessert.

Matan showed Azzan some new dance moves and Azzan put on a dance show for us all.

There was great discussion as to whether shark is kosher.

Tim got the encyclopedia out and showed them that Yes, indeed, sharks do have scales.

 However, I did a quick Google search and found that ‘The scales are also supposed to be easy to remove, without significant tearing of the skin. If the scales are hard to remove they are not considered scales, but part of the fish.’

So that solved that question very easily!