Friday 30th March

Mahalia & I left the house at 8:15am.

She had an appointment with her orthodontist – Andrew Lush.

That all went well.

She has about 6 months more to hopefully loose the last of her baby teeth and then he can begin the major work on her teeth.

He said hopefully it will take between 12 – 24 months and then, in his words, ‘Mahalia will be even more beautiful that she is now’ pleased

So I have 6 months to get her into optimum health before the braces go on!

Tim & Johannes drove out from home and picked up Shanni & Azzan and Gavin from Seb’s.

They met us after the appointment.

I ran in and got Tim some RUC’s before dropping Mahalia at her harp lesson.

I then went to my counselling appointment.

It was a really good session.

Thrashed out a lot of stuff and I left feeling somewhat stronger.

Tim picked up Mahalia so by the time I found them the children were waiting at Penguinos for me to come and get us all gelatos.

While Tim searched No1 Shoe’s for some replacement sandals Shanni took the kids and went off to get lunch at the hot potato stand.

I dropped Shanni off at Kathryn’s so she could hang out for the arvo.

We met up with Tim again in Richmond shortly after.

Azzan was booked in to the One Day School open day.

I had to leave soon after so Tim & Mahalia stayed with him.

When I left he was happily taking part in the group discussion so I am looking forward to hearing his account and reaction of his time there.

Ross took me to the airport.

I was flying on the small air2there plane from Nelson to Paraparaumu.

Thankfully it was a lovely day as my last experience on a wee plane was not a good one sad

The day was wonderful and only a few clouds marred the view – in fact they were so few and whispy they actually added to it!

Nelson port and city centre from the air

 Atawhai

 I was able to zoom in on Seb & Phoebe’s house.

It’s the grey roof sorta centre left at the end of the cul-de-sac with the white car parked outside.

 

Then the pilot veered eastwards and we flew over home.

I got some great shots giving a better perspective of where we live and the reason it takes me nearly 3 hours to drive 121kms to town!

That is part of our road you can see below.

 Home is coming closer.

It is the last bay to the north of the peninsula.

 

 Looking into Port Ligar from the east.

 There’s our farm under the cloud with our house the wee white speck in the centre at sea level.

We were very soon landing at Paraparaumu.

Hanne met me and we went back to the house.

It was lovely to spend a couple of hours with her and the girls.

Fern woke up and while giving Tahi a waking up cuddle, tried to decide just what she really wanted to do.

 

Snuggling up with big sister Nanna and watching a Richard Scarrey counting video was the best choice happy

It used to be Nanna’s favourite video when she was little and first came to NZ – she said no wonder she learned to count in English so well!!

Anja sorting the calendar pages

Tahi also sorting the surprise calendar pages for Hanne’s birthday.

 Thankfully Hanne was kept busy on her computer so she didn’t see too much of the surprise things happening!

I took this lovely photo of her and her beautiful girls before I left.

Maria, Hanne, Nanna & Anja.

 

Nanna & Anja flew back from Denmark to celebrate their Moder’s birthday.

Maria organised the whole party from Taupo.

Tahi & Tamara flew down from Auckland.

So all 5 girls were there to do the final preparations – always lovely to see them en masse!

 

Cat & Leanne arrived to take me back to the yacht.

We realised the girls had taken off in their mother’s car with my suitcase in the boot!

So we popped down the street to visit Wendy & Jae and meet their precious new bundle Fern.

She is such a cutie.

When we left the girls still had not returned so we met up with Hanne at Paekakariki and got the bag before heading to the boat.

Just had time to dump our stuff before heading across the marina to John’s yacht where we all spent the evening enjoying good food and  great company.

John cooking up a storm – a delicious chicken casserole.

Jay (also has a yacht in the marina) Cat & Leanne

 Jayne, Johnny and me on the other side of the cabin

And Skip right at home under the table!

 

We had a lovely evening and then came back to the Vision and crashed out for the night.

 

 

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Monday 26th – Thursday 29th March

This week has disappeared into a depressing black hole.

I spent 3 days buried in the study.

I had to get the gst done but I was so down and depressed that I really struggled to finish it by Wednesday.

Tim took Brad over to Waterfall Bay Monday & Tuesday to work on the breakwater repairs.

Finally the tides were right and the digger was able to come and everything teed up perfectly.

Tim was rapt with the completed job.

There are still a few small finishing touches to do but the main part is done so the engineer can finally come and sign it off!!

I think Anson, Johannes & Gavin did some mustering each day and went fishing a couple of times.

Shanni helped them mustering and helped around the house when she wasn’t doing her possum traps or reading up with her lamb which is not terribly well at the moment sad

Mahalia & Kashana kept themselves busy with the horses and Sylvania.

They swam with Azzan several times.

The weather was good and Mahalia came in one night looking very sun kissed.

Monday I started spiraling….

Tuesday I spent in tears.

I had to field a lot of phone calls relating to some very stressful things.

Plus I had a heavy weight on my mind.

My stress bucket was just overflowing all day.

As a mother, no matter how old my children are, I still struggle when I see any of them hurting and self destructing.

I love and care deeply for each of my children.

I have put so much of myself and my life into raising them throughout their formulating years.

Then once they reach maturity I try to stand back and let them go and find their own paths.

But sometimes it just breaks my heart to see the battles they put themselves through, the journeys they choose.

I can let them go, but I can’t stop caring and loving.

And this week my heart just broke so much, but I didn’t know how to deal with it.

So I did the very thing I am now trying so hard not to do – I retreated & buried myself in my pain.

One of my phone calls was with my ACC case manager.

He was very helpful & understanding as he reiterated to me that I myself am in early stages of healing and I still have a very long journey ahead of me, so I have to stop being so hard on myself.

Wednesday I managed to get the gst completed & filed on D-day – talk about 12th hour stuff!!

Tim & I had to make some decisions, and those decisions were not understood or appreciated by the ones affected.

But thems the breaks in the world of parenting bummed

Maybe, just maybe, next week will be better.

 

Today, Thursday, I was heading to town with the children.
We didn’t have to leave until 11am as our first appointments were at 3pm but I just knew it would take forever to get the kids moving and it did!

It is actually less stressful to leave at 6am and be ready the night before!

I had prewarned them last night to be organised but I still had to chase them along to get packed and into the Terrano ontime.

Mahalia & Kashana just were not at all interested in being ready, far more better things to do like horses and computers and Sylvanians winky

Azzan also was having a major problem with packing.

Then he had to liaison with his teacher for the 9am Skype chat.

Finally he managed to poke a few clothes into a wee bag and he was ready – oops! no footwear, better go hunt them out.

Thankfully his mother found his sleeping bag and music book!

Shanni wasn’t that keen on going either but she finally was ready too so we left just on 11am.

Tim was up the top of the hill with the fertilizer trucks so we zipped up to see him pon the way out the gate.

We got on the road in front of the trucks as they would be travelling a tad slower than us.

We popped into to see Phoebe but she was out.

Tilly greeted us, she had tangled her lead around the post so Azzan untangled her.

In so doing her collar slipped – she was away and bouncing into the car to see the girls with great licky excitement.

I was worried she would run away so Mahalia held her firmly while Azzan refastened her collar.

She watched us leave with a rather mournful wee face sad

We had just enough time to get the children a drink before Sally arrived.

She and I had a quick sitdown drink at Starbucks while the kids whizzed up the street and got hot potatoes for lunch.

Time was ticking so we said goodbye to Kashana and Sally.

I had scarecly 20mins to drop Shanni off at her appointment, then Halia & Azzan at the library and then get to my appointment at 3pm.

Made it just in time.

After such a busy stressful day it was nice to sit and let Hitomi cut and wash my hair – bliss happy

Then I was back to the car and picking up kids again.

We zipped into Penguinos and got outrselves a yummy gelato each and headed out to Richmond.

I dropped the children off to Andrea for their music lessons and I came back into town to an evening at Nelson Beauty Therapy.

Bedelia was raising awaremess for FITE which is being assisted by Dermalogica.

A wonderful cause to be a part of – I really enjoyed hearing more about it.

I left there just before 7pm and went back to get the children.

I spent an hour with Ross.

He is getting my technological life sussed for me.

But an hour was enough as we were all very tired.

The kids just wanted to get to bed.

We stopped off at Countdown on the way through Stoke and they all chose some food for dinner.

We heated it quickly and then they headed off to bed.

Nathan arrived back around 10pm.

He had just worked his first night at the Rata Room at NMIT.

According to Leanne who had dinner there with Anson, Marah & Gavin – he did well and was very professional.

It was really nice to chat with him tonight and hear what he is doing and to see him happy.

Now it is time to head off to bed as I have an early start in the morning.

 

 

Sunday 25th March

I was woken by a text from our new wwoofer at 7:30am.

Bit early considering the late night!

I went back to dozy land for a while longer.

It was a bit of a slowish morning until around 10 when Anson finally returned my call.

They had partied all night so he was not in a great state whatevah

David, Sasha & I headed into town for breakfast.

On the way I zipped into Countdown and got food for the guys.

I dropped it off at Marah’s.

The boys were not a pretty sight.

Anson improved slightly with the addition of this neon pink wig which he apparently wore the previous evening.

A photo of Gavin would’ve cracked my lens clueless

It was Sasha’s birthday so a big brotherly hug was ordered!

We left them the food and told them to consume and sober up.

Then we mosied off into town and decided to eat at Morrison Street Cafe.

It was our brunch but we got there around midday.

As usual the food is pretty darned great.

David had the Morrison Street’s Local Breakfast – it went down a treat!

I totally pigged out and had the Eggs Benedict on an English Muffin with 2 extra Kumara & Leek Fritters on the side just because they sounded so wonderfully tasty.

I ended up ditching the muffin and putting the fritters under my eggs – Delicious winky

Sasha ordered Kumara & Leek Fritters and then wondered if she could eat it all – she did!

When we ordered I had jokingly told the waiter that he should be adding a candle to Sasha’s breakfast as it was her birthday.

When we were leaving the waiter presented her with a wee marshmellow stackcake with a candle on top – very cute pleased

heart Happy Birthday Sasha heart

We were so incredibly full – lovely feeling for a beautiful sunny Sunday morning.

I dropped David & Sasha off at their car – they had left it at Founders the night before.

They were planning on heading off to the beach.

I had left my phone at their place so I followed them back to pick it up and on the way the skies turned black and the heavens opened – very weird!

Then soon after the sun came out in full brilliance and the rest of the arvo was really hot.

I zipped over to Alchemy Cafe to meet up with Ross & Andrea for 5 minutes.

Sally dropped Kashana off to me there, she had been home to see her Mum so was all good to come back and visit Mahalia for another week.

We called in to Marah’s and loaded some of her gear in.

Anson had already taken a lot of her surplus stuff and left just before we arrived.

Then we fueled up, got groceries and picked up the new wwoofer – a Chinese guy called Brad.

He does have a few other Chinese names but chose Brad cuz it is easy to say and he likes Brad Pitt.

Tim suggested later that Brad Thorn was a better namesake winky

We were full to the top so he had to pile his very large suitcase on his knee until we got to Seb & Phoebe’s and Nathan helped me repack the Terrano.

We had a very enjoyable drive home.

Brad was very interesting to talk to, and is English is pretty good so it wasn’t a struggle to understand him.

He had no idea where he was going though.

Just liked out profile in the wwoofer book!

Thought we had a dairy farm because it says we have cattle!!

So as we got further from civilisation he got more and more amazed.

I got to Okuri Bay in time to watch the sun setting – it is my most favourite view on the drive out.

When we got to our boundary 40 minutes later it was nearly dark but Brad could see enough and was totally gobsmacked.

He comes from a ‘small’ city in central China of only 4.7million people!!

So for us to have over 500 hectares of people-bare land was unbelievable to him.

 

Dinner was finished when we got home but there was some leftovers for Kashana & Brad to eat.

Johannes and Gavin helped Brad get his gear up to the hut and then we all called it a night.

Saturday 24th March

I slept in till after 8am.

Bri, Nick & Abby were blobbing over breakky with their laptops so I just had a shower and chilled until it was time for us to don our glad rags and head off across city to Villa Maria College where the presentation of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Gold Awards.

 

Lt Gen Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, Governor-General of New Zealand was making the presentations.

The ceremony was formal and yet friendly. I was uber impressed by Sir Jerry.

There were 4 special needs young people being presented and he was so lovely and caring with & for them.

The ceremony wasn’t too long and afterward we all enjoyed a delicious afternoon tea.

I was ravenous by this point so doubly enjoyed the very interesting mini club sandwiches and savouries.

The young folk were ready to leave before 3pm so we ducked away and drove to Riccarton Mall to do a tad of phone shopping.

Bri needed a new phone so Nick was sussing that for her.

I made tracks to the 2Degrees shop to see if they could help me sort out my new iPhone.

I discovered what should have been very obvious when you have a tech problem – find a young blond ‘child’ and they will have is sussed in moments winky

The young lass got the phone set up in literally 5mins – I had been struggling with it for a week!!

So then I was happily on my way.

Met up with the others at Gloria Jeans and got drinks.

Then it was a quick trip into Farmers and we were off to the airport.

They dropped me off and I had just a comfortable amount of time to relax for a few minutes before boarding.

The flight back to Nelson was very quick.

I left behind a gorgeous hot autumn day in Christchurch and arrived to a wet bleak coldish Nelson.

 

It took a bit of finding – after walking around the long term carpark in the rain desperately searching then some phone calls to the guys who couldn’t hear me over the noise of the bands and I couldn’t understand at my end – I eventually got to my Terrano.

They had parked it in the short term park with only enough payment for 2 hours.

Am so glad the meter wardens were not on deck as they would’ve stung me heaps or towed it if they had found it there 2-3 hours after the meter had expired!!

I hopped in and drove across town to Founders Park to join troops at the MarchFest.

I changed my town boots for sneakers and donned my hooded woolen coat as it was quite wet out, and made my way in to find everyone.

They were all milling under cover in the music tent.

We hung about and talked and then I went to find some food.

As the evening wore on it got closer to the main event that I had flown back for  – Alabama 3

Sasha grabbed my hand and pulled me through the crowds till we were right at the front.

We stayed there for the rest of the night.

It was really cool to be so close to the action.

We listened to the last half of the John Cooper Clarke performance.

We weren’t that shook up over him but there were a lot there that were obviously enjoying it.

 

Then on came the group we were all waiting for.

The crowd was pretty anxious to get the group on the stage and were excitedly loud in their welcoming laughing

Aurora Dawn came on first – she has a great voice

Then Nick Reynolds who was amazing on harmonica and jewsharp as well as vocals.

And Rob Spragg the main vocalist with the wonderfully deep gravel voice along with Mark Sams on guitar.

They also had another addition.

A young Kiwi lad that they met at Womad who so impressed them with his guitar playing that they invited him to join the group.

Man! Could he play the electric guitar!!

Rob really entertained the crowd.

“Woke Up This Morning” – was of course a favourite number with everyone.

I stayed up front until the last song and then pushed my way out the back.

It certainly was an experience.

Whenever I have been to live concerts they have been seated and reasonably civilised winky

But this was quite different!

They came on again and did 2 encores – finishing with my absolute favourite song,

Hello I’m Johnny Cash

 

I couldn’t find any of the others so I was texting them all.

Finally got a reply saying they had all gone into town.

Great whatevah
So I drove in to find them and then discovered that Sasha had been left behind.

David & I went back to get her and then decided to go back to their place, they’s had enough.

Seb, Phoebe, Nathan & Johannes had gone home by this time and Anson, Gavin & Marah had all gone clubbing but it was 11pm already so we called it a night.

We hung out in the kitchen and had a feed and talked until about 1:30am.

It was a good night.

Certainly a long day and and one of very varied experiences happy

 

Friday 23rd March

I woke up at 4:30am so was able to have a leisurely shower and get myself packed before waking Kashana at 5:30.

I decided to remove the old nail polish from my toes before leaving and couldn’t work out why it wouldn’t come off one of my toes.

Then I realised it was the toe I hurt 2 nights ago and it weas not polish but a really colourful bruise under the nail – no wonder it has been sore stunned

We were in the Terrano and out the gate before 6am.

The rain had eased back to almost nothing.

Despite the day and night of heavy rain the road was in really good nick.

But we had low pea soup fog most of the way.

My eyes were out on stalks trying to see the road.

Kashana commented to me that I might be able to see where I was going if I cleaned the windscreen – I sorta got the idea that she didn’t realise that the fog was on the outside silly

The closer we got to Nelson the brighter the day became.

By the time we arrived it was actually a really nice day and it got a lot hotter.

I did a couple of jobs and then parked up and waited for Sally to come pick up Kashana before my 10am appointment at Nelson Nails & Beauty Spa.

Tim had given me a gift voucher to use there for my birthday so I went and had a combi spa pedicure/manicure.

It was a delightfully restful hour and a half.

I loved their massaging chairs – could easily have taken one of them home pleased

Thank you Timmy for the lovely gift.

I now have pretty toes and fingers happy

From there I went to visit my counselor.

I probably won’t have time to see her again for a while but I feel like I have made heaps of progress lately.

In fact this quote below sorta sums up how I feel.

I still have my down and struggling days but she is giving me strategies so I can cope with them better.

From there I met up with my friend Charlotte, our ex district nurse, for lunch at Colombus Coffee.

We hadn’t had a decent catch up for far too long so it was a very pleasant hour.

We had to move as the parking meter was running out.

I headed over the hill to pick up the saddle for Olly plus a few other things Mahalia needs for the horses.

Then got a few groceries from the wholesaler before zipping out to Richmond to drop off the spa water for testing.

Just had time to zip back into the city centre and get a frappacino before going back to Marah’s.

I repacked my suitcase and then we headed to the airport.

Marah took the Terrano back to her place.

The flight was delayed by 10mins but we still arrived in Christchurch on time.

I had a very interesting and chatty guy sitting next to me so the flight time seemed very minimal.

Bri met me and we came straight back to her place for fish pie and salad for dinner.

Then we watched ‘Mission Impossible 4

Quite different to my normal choice of movie, and not at all like the original tv series I used to watch when I was much younger, but it was rather entertaining!

 

I chatted with Abby for a while about Azzan’s GO programme and school stuff in general before retiring to my bed.

Now it is time to sleep.

It has been a long day.

 

 

Thursday 22nd March

It rained quite heavily overnight but was so gentle that we were all surprised to wake & find we had had around 25mm.

I woke feeling absolutely rotten.

Stumbled out of bed with a very aching foot & aching head.

Soaked in the spa with my book for a while.

My middle toe seems the worst – am hoping it is just bruised!

Resorted to some panadol for my head mid morning.

Azzan had his 9am skype time with his GO teacher and classmates.

That discussion led  him onto developing his studies.

He took my camera up the hill and to find photos of weeds then we spent quite a while this arvo doing a few pages about weeds in this area and how they spread etc.

We learnt some rather interesting stuff that neither Tim nor I knew.

Like the Red Admiral Butterfly breeding on the ongaonga.

And Kupe using ongaonga to slow down the jeolous husbands when they were chasing him!

Quite cool learning with your kids winky

When I wasn’t doing studies with Azzan I was carrying on with my office work.

Haven’t finished the gst yet – just a few tail end things to code up but I just cannot get inclined to complete it at the moment.

I guess it will just have to wait until next week – that is the deadline anyway!!

 

Anson came around and while we were talking I sussed out the times for the MarchFest that he and the others are all going to on Saturday.

Discovered that ‘Alabama 3‘ were one of the main gigs.

I couldn’t believe it stunned

One of my favouritest groups and I hadn’t known they were coming and I was not going to be in town when they were here.

I did some more sussing and discovered their only South Island gig is in Nelson on Sat night and I was going to be in Christchurch.

So I got on the phone and called up Bri to see if she minded me flying back early and then changed my flights so I can come back for it.

I managed to get everything changed and book myself a ticket to the MarchFest – joy joy joy pleased


Mahalia & Kashana cooked dinner – it was Mahalia’s home birthday dinner.

The girls made a delicious meal of Butter Chicken with rice and steamed carrots and broccoli.

The girls had gone out in the pouring rain with Gavin before dinner to cover the horses so were still rather damp – hence the ringlets.

Unfortunately I never had time nor the inclination to make her a cake sad

Mahalia really wanted to make up some Instant Dessert.

So we had Butterscotch Instant Pud , Coconut Cream Custard Trifle,  peaches and ice cream.

I popped a candle into Mahalia’s ice cream laughing

Then some pressies.

Shanni had wrapped them for me.

Tim had to have a wee play with the Sylvanian toys while Mahalia unwrapped her parcel of books, dvd and stickers – all horse based of course!

Shanni was complaining that she wasn’t in any of the photos so I took one of her doing a good job of cleaning up after the ‘party’ laughing

Thanks Shanni xxx

 

The rain is coming down in torrents tonight.

I do hope I will be able to get out to town tomorrow.

Kashana has decided she needs to go home so she will be coming out with me.

I better go pack my bags as I really want to get on the road early.

Wednesday 21st March

A very strong southerly was still blowing in the bay.

It was cold but sunny.

A mussel anchor had let go so Tim & Gavin went out early to secure the line & do some mussel work.

After breakfast Anson, Gavin & Shanni went to do some tree felling.

Anson was really upset cuz his brand new chainsaw blew the clutch to bits just after they had started work.

I am taking it back to the shop when I go on Friday to get it fixed.

I carried on working in the study.

I am getting on top of the paper war but as usual as soon as I feel like I am making progress it all starts piling up again sad

 

The children spent quite a bit of time with the horses.

They are walking them way up the Bush Road – quite handy modes of transport when they get tired.

Also great to do the possum trap rounds too.

 

Mahalia & Kashana playing with their music on the computer and talking on the phone to K’s mummy.

Despite the cool air temps the children decided to go swimming surfing before dinner.

The only time we actually get waves of any consequence in here is during a southerly and then it is usually too cold.

Just as well they had the spa to hop into afterwards!

Kashana waiting for the waves to come get her!

 

 

Dinner was easy as we had left overs from the previous two nights.

Choice of fish and mutton shanks.

Funnily enough the mutton shanks went fastest!

 

Just before I was going to bed last night I went into the bathroom and stumbled over a wet bundle of towels and togs lying in the doorway.

Somehow, I kicked my foot on something really hard and sorta fell through the doorway onto the side of the bath, and sat there holding my foot crying in pain.

My foot was so so sore.

It ached and stung all night sad