Saturday 20th – Sunday 21st May – part 1

Saturday wasn’t a good day.

I was trying to juggle to much.

Trying to be a good mother to all ages and stages.

Trying to be a peacemaker.

It didn’t work.

I just ended up in the middle of it all and was an emotional mess for the rest of the day and the night.

Mahalia took Olly for a ride.

Anson took Shanni hunting.

Tim & Azzan went fishing off the rocks and caught dinner later in the arvo.

Cat & Leeann went fishing in the dinghy once they had put the yachts away.

They cooked theirs on the beach.


Cat & Leeann left just after 9am on Sunday morning.

Leeann had to get back for work.

It was a glorious day and they made very good time across the Straits.

Love the path in the water that ‘Vision’ made as it motored out the bay.

I curled up in front of the fire and read my book for most of the morning.

Shanni went around to Bush Inn to meet up with Kristina who walked around from Waterfall Bay.

She was meant to take possum traps to her but forgot them.

So Tim, Halia & Azzan drove around in the truck with them and then did the trapline with her.

When Tim got back he had to make a phone call.

There was talk of a picnic up the hill but Tim talked for so long we weren’t sure what was happening.

We all had lunch while we waited.

Finally he came out and we all got ready to go up and find the sunshine.

I boiled up some sausages from the freezer, grabbed some tomato sauce, lemonade, & matches.

It was freezing outside so we headed up the hill in the Terrano instead of the farm truck – didn’t need built in air-conditioning winky

It was lovely up there – a glorious afternoon.

It was so clear when we first arrived we could clearly see Kapiti Island to the NE.

But too cloudy to the NW to see Mt Taranaki


Tim towed the children up the airstrip on the skidder board, then Mahalia got towed around the yards.

There was a bit of indecision as to where to have the bonfire.

Had to be in the sun but out of the chilly breeze.

As Tim drove about the yards the children were skylarking.

Finally the right cormer was found.

There were lots of fantails flitting about as we lit the fire.

They are such cute wee birds but they don’t stay still long enough to photograph – I was lucky to catch this one!

Tim brought up an old tin bucket and soon had a very smokey fire burning.

Then we were cooking

and eating

Nothing like a smokey sausage with lashings of T-sauce!

Afterwards there was some skipping.

Mahalia skips well alone but Azzan needed the girls to turn the rope for him.

‘Just hold it like that Shanni!!

Now I can do it laughing

Nothing like a bit of feed and then a rest in the sun on a Sunday arvo.

Anson & Marah came up to join us.


(too many photos so will split this entry in half)




Wednesday 16th – Friday 18th May

First few days home were just filled with unpacking, coming down to earth and going through a month of mail – both physical and email.

It is much colder here than when we left so I have been enjoying starting my days in the hot spa getting the body temperature up a bit.

There is a little sun on the house still but the air is very crisp.

So much so I have put the heater on in the hallway so we don’t all freeze to death overnight!!

Home is still as beautiful as ever pleased

I was aware that I had to get on to the gst but before that I needed to spend some time with Azzan and his GO school work.

That took up a lot of time over the first few days.

He had a story to write and Skype calls with his classmates and teacher.

Leeann had been keeping him going while I was away but there was work to be scanned and uploaded etc.

I wanted to get it under control before I started the gst so I could get the study and computer to myself!


I found Mo & Jynx doing a tad of ‘time-sharing’ with Tinga happy


Cat was busy working on ‘Alibi’ during the last few days she had at home.

 Having 2 yachts on moorings in front of the house make the bay seem somewhat peaceful.

Tim still has ’88 South’ on the beach trailer.

Once he acclimatised and got his land legs back again he spent a couple of days antifouling the hull.

It is now all painted and ready to go back in the water and get back to work.


Cat & Leeann were also busy working on Cat’s hut while we were away.

 The new fence and landscaping looks really cool.

The children helped too.

Azzan had told me on the phone that he helped Cat wash her windows ‘cuz they haven’t been washed since she put them in!’

There was also some bank digging so the back deck could be extended and planting done.

I went for a wander up to see them one morning but the girls weren’t at home.

Mahalia painted the pretty blue wall.

I love the wee garden gate.


Mahalia is still grieving over Diesel.

We had a session one morning, printing out her favourite photos of him and putting them into her frames,

She is pretty good most of the time but little things will tip her emotional bucket right over.

She has had a few sobs on our shoulders.

She has been taking Olly out riding.

He is apparently doing much better now he is on his own.

Mahalia took the next four photos.

She spends a lot of time with Marah – riding Olly and helping at The Croft.

Anson is building an outdoor bath area.

 Ria was ‘helping’ laughing

Marah & Mahalia helped landscape it.

It is looking really cool.

Shoshannah & I have been enjoying cuddling up together and watching ‘Call the Midwife‘.

It is a great series and I can’t wait for the next one to come out.

In the meantime I think I will have to locate the books and have a read.

Talking about reading – I have done a bit of that this week.

Nothing like curling up with a good book by the fire or in the spa.

I bought ‘The Damascus Way‘ while in Esperance but never got to start it till I got home.

I was about half way through when I realised it was the 3rd in a series.


It was so interesting and well written that I have just ordered the first two books!


The mailboat arrived on Friday bringing yet again more mail for me to deal with.

I so love being back amongst the paper war – not!

I wasn’t coping terribly well on Friday.

I guess I had arrived home late on Tuesday after several long days of traveling, plus I had been sick and then was straight back into it.

So by Friday my emotional self was not in a good state.

I was trying to wade through stupid forms and papers which were making no sense whatsoever and felt like a complete waste of time, and I just generally started losing the plot again.

I so have to give this stuff away.

It is totally destroying any equilibrium I have in life.

As fast as I try to gain control I lose it again.

I just do not cope with wearing too many hats anymore.

Our lovely holiday together almost is beginning to feel like a lifetime ago already bummed


Friday night we had a power cut at 7:30pm.

We had just finished dinner and I was about to do some paper work inthe study and it just went off.

No flashes, nothing.

Just blackness.

Called the power company and for once got a new girl who knew nothing about our area and was following the questions to the book.

I was really not in the mood to fill all the tedious questions whatevah

When she got to the questions of ‘are your neighbours off too?‘ and ‘have you had an electrician check it out?

I was like ‘Listen sweetheart – we live in the middle of Cook Strait. We don’t have neighbours. We don’t even have an electrician. The Power Is Out – Fix It!!

Once we had gotten all her questions answered and she was happy I then called up Waterfall Bay and yes they were also out and Anson text to say they had no power either.

Unfortunately he and Marah hadn’t cooked their dinner yet so had to make do with sandwiches.

Thankfully Kristina got a different woman (one that knew what she was about) on the phone when she reported the fault and discovered it was a widespread outage and could take a while.

So we all headed off to bed.

I woke at 3:30 and turned off the forgotten lights.

Apparently it was a burning pole at French Pass that was to blame!

Good to have an early night though.



Tuesday 15th May

We were up and packed in time to leave the motor inn at 7:20am.

Once again the host was not particularly sociable.

We were quite glad to get to the airport and be rid of him.

We had time to get ourselves a fresh fruit smoothie at TANK for breakfast and wander a bit before our flight.

It was still wet outside and the flight had a few bumps but not too drastic.

We landed into a dampish Nelson but at least it was not raining.

Tim went off to find the Terrano – Bruce & Sarah had left it in a parking area when they flew to Chch earlier in the morning.

We were soon underway.

Discovered that the Terrano needed a wof so went straight to Muritai Motors and wandered to the bakery for a wee snack while they obligingly did the job.

It all passed so we were off again.

We had several appointments so spent the next few hours getting those out of the way.

Then we had to go pick up some clearlight roofing at Mitre 10 for Cat and had time to meet Sasha at the Speights Ale House nearby – I had a late lunch as my stomach was finally settling down and I was hungry.

Food was pretty good happy

We then zipped into town and grabbed groceries and headed off to see Nathan, Seb & Phoebe.

We caught up with all of their news for an hour or so and then dragged ourselves into the Terrano and drove home.

I think Tim was pretty keen to get back as the closer we got the faster he drove!!

The house was all in darkness when we arrived but it didn’t take 2 little folk long to realise we were home.

Mahalia & Azzan came out to see us and helped us unload and had heaps to tell us.

It was very good to get into our own bed after a couple of long days & nearly a month away.





Monday 14th May

I woke at 1:30am feeling very very sick.

I ended up having a massive chuck up and went back to bed feeling heaps better.

Slept through till the alarm went off at 6:30am.

I was so glad I had set it as I would’ve slept through.

We showered, finished packing, changed the bed and helped Jesika tidy up so she wouldn’t have to do anything much when she got back as she had a work dinner after work.


It was raining off and on.

We had a good drive to the airport.

When we stopped to fuel up it absolutely bucketed down – thanks Melbourne!!

We were at the airport in plenty of time to be able to check in and have a reasonably relaxed wander through security and do a wee bit of shopping.

Jesika had to get to work so unloaded us, said our last goodbyes and then headed away.

It’s always hard saying goodbye bummed


We had a good flight back to Auckland.

I was still not feeling wonderful so couldn’t eat all the meal they supplied so Tim had a bonus feed!

We arrived into Auckland at around 5:30pm.

I changed the simcard on my phone and called up the motor inn that I had booked.

After several repeats as I couldn’t understand the guy on the phone I figured out which door to wait at.

About 10 mins later we were collected by a Chinese guy driving a shuttle van.

Despite Tim trying to instigate a conversation there was only the odd grunt from the driver’s seat so we gave up.

I thought I had booked a hotel close tot he airport but we seemed to drive for ages – it was actually only about 10 mins.

It was cold, dark and raining and we seemed to arrive somewhere in the middle of nowhere.

He pulled up outside the office, let us unload our own bags as he went off into the office.

I had to sign a paper before I was given the key to our room.

He just pointed across the dark wet courtyard and said ‘your room over there’.

I asked him where we could get dinner and he gave me a photocopied menu for a place that would deliver if we phoned, and that was about it.

No other choices!

We trundled across and found our way into our room.

It was roomy, clean and tidy.

I phoned an order through, I was still not feeling great so was being a bit choosey as to what my stomach could tolerate.

When the order arrived about half an hour later I never thought to check it.

Upon opening I was upset to find that they had sent me a Ceasar Salad instead of the lightly battered fish & julienne vege entree,

I hate Ceasar Salad at the best of time but just looking at it turned my stomach over.

I phoned them to complain and he said he would see what he could do.

He phoned back a few mins later and said the driver had left for the night – as it was only 7:30pm I am sure that was only a ruse, but I was totally over it by then and told him to forget it.

Tim enjoyed the salad & his meal.

My stomach enjoyed the wedges & sour cream and 1/2 litre of tomato juice.

The other thing that annoyed me was that they advertised free wireless internet but I couldn’t access it despite phoning the office for a password.

The phone was answered by a child and as it was raining I just couldn’t be bothered going to the office to ask again.

We crashed out by 9:30pm only to be rudely awoken at 10:30pm by the slamming of a car boot and loud talking right outside our room.

I looked out to see what was happening and it was the Chinese owner guy.

You would think at that time of night the owner would at least have some thought for his own guests!!

So, if anyone reading this decides to stay a night near the Auckland airport,

Do Not stay at the Airport Travelair Motor Inn.

It is certainly not as it is advertised!!



Sunday 13th May


We were all rather dozy after the late night.

I was awake earlyish so worked away on my blog which has been getting very out of date.

Got it all caught up now!!

When Jesika woke up she started unwrapping her birthday pressie.

Evan arrived around at 10am – we were all still very sleepy.

This is her birthday juicer

being put to good use immediately.

And this is what she bought for herself.

Tim sat up in bed and watched a movie for most of the morning.

It was called ‘Warrior‘ and sounded quite violent whenever I went near the bedroom.

We managed to drag him out of bed to share in a Mother’s Day brunch that Jesika & Evan prepared for us.

It was mid arvo before we were all up and showered.

The day was wet and cold – really cold!

We hopped int he car and went to visit Robyn & Ari.

They are excitedly expecting baby No1.


I was feeling really sick most of the arvo.

When we came back I Skyped the  children.

The other 3 watched ‘One Night with The King

I caught my blog right up to date and then we had an easy Sunday night dinner.

Have to pack our bags tonight as we are flying back to NZ tomorrow.

I am so very tired.

Melbourne life is exhausting!!

Saturday 12th May

Saturday morning was beautiful so Jesika and I put on our walking shoes and headed off out the door.

Left Tim to sleep in after his late night.

The autumn colours are so lovely with the sun shining on the leaves.

We stopped to admire a garden and found feijoas on the path so of course had to pick them up.

There were heaps of them just lying there and on the edge of the garden.

As we were picking them up the lady came out and tore a strip off us but then after we talked for a while and she realised that we were also Kiwis like she was and that Jesika loved feijoas and would definitely not be wasting them she insisted we come into the garden and gather up more.

She gave us a bag to carry them in so all was good.

She also offered Jesika more later on if she wants!

Apparently she has had problems with people actually coming right into her garden and taking them and trampling her special plants, that is why she was very much on the offensive!

We carried on walking the trail.

It was very pretty.


When we got home I made a fritatta and Jesika made feijoa shortcake.

Evan helped!

Tim supervised when he finally got up.

We got Tim up and ate and then he and Evan headed off to rugby and Jesika & I went to shop at Good Guys.

I wanted to get Jesika her b’day present as she will be in Italy on the day.

We found a very helpful young man there who kept on discounting the products we were looking at.

Finally Jesika came out with not a camera, but a cake mixer, and I bought her a juicer.

Then we zipped into Gloria Jeans at Forest Hill to grab a drink before heading to watch the rugby match.

We were a tad late getting there but if Evan had been paying attention to the game he wouldn’t have noticed us arriving late laughing

Nothing like a sweaty smelly hug & kiss – yuck!

Then Tim & I took Evan’s car and went to find the health shop, which was right by Gloria Jeans, so I was a bit annoyed we hadn’t realised he wanted anything!

So we got him some colloidal silver and he was happy.

His nose has been troubling him really badly during this trip.

It is nearly 5 months since the hospital did the CAT scan and we still have heard nothing from them.

I will be making big noises when we get home!!


We just had time to quickly change before heading out the door again.

Jesika wore her dragon slaying boots!!

We whizzed into her work to meet Romina.

Jesika is going to Italy with her at the end of June for 7 weeks.

It was very slow traffic as we made our way to the Sat arvo church service so I had time to ooh and aah over the buildings some more.


We went to Bridge Church.

It was a really good service.

Of course Mother’s Day was the theme.

The senior pastor, David Doery, gave an excellent message.

I was close on breaking down when he touched on a few tender topics but managed to hold it together.

Afterwards they had some lovely things for mothers.

I had a manicure, was given some yummy treats and then a photo taken with Jesika.

It was soon time to go meet some friends at Pizza Religion.

We all ordered and feasted.

Me with Carlamia & Andrew

Nick, Jesika & Evan

Luciano & Francesca

Francesca & Angela

Betty & Bernie

We had a great night and left there after 10pm when they were cleaning up and trying to close the doors!

We came back to Jesika’s and talked until we finally went off to bed around 1am.

Friday 11th May

We had to get up earlyish to be at Jesika’s dancing lesson by 9:30am.

It was fun to watch her and Adriano going through their moves.



 We then went to the Caribbean Garden Markets for a while.

Jesika specifically wanted us to try the Poffertjes – a small Dutch fluffy pancake covered in butter, icing sugar, lemon juice and maple syrup.

I made the mistake of having 2 plate fulls!!


Evan came out to meet us as his classes finished early.

I only had the 2nd plate full because he and Jesika were in for more!



I wanted to go look at cameras so we drove to Northcote and talked to the people in Digital Warehouse.

I loved all the new bright colours, but the model that succeeds mine is in silver.

So I now have a new silver Panasonic Lumix TZ25 pleased

We had an hour to spare so Jesika battled the 5pm traffic, finally found a park, and we walked to Brunetti‘s.

It is a sugar lovers heaven!

They make Tiramisu to die for!!

Tim & Jesika had a ricotta and pear cheesecake each.

I was in heaven too with all the wonderful old architecture in the area.


We overshot the turn off to Andrew & Annette’s place in Ascot Vale so Jesika dropped us off and we walked back as she was late for her ballet class.

We had a wonderful evening with them and their two children.

Imogen took an instant liking to Tim and showered him with wee letters and pictures.


Andrew made pizzas for dinner – we chose our own toppings.

Then it was strawberries and ice cream for dessert.

Delicious dinner and wonderful company.

After the children went to bed Andrew introduced us to their pets.

Australian Spiny Leaf insects.

I had never seen anything like it before.

Strange creatures.

The female was huge and full of eggs

The young are quite small and very interactive.

When Jesika gently blew on it, it would raise it’s front legs up and dance.

The male was smaller and deeper coloured.


We talked and laughed till around 11:30pm when I made moves to go, as we had at least half an hour to drive to get home.

We really really enjoyed getting to know the cousins – a fun night all round.



Thursday 10th May – part 4

We drove to Castlemaine, parked up and walked a few blocks until Jesika located the wee cafe she was looking for.

It is owned and operated by her Italian friend Luca.

It is called Origini.

When we arrived Luca was very excited to see Jesika – they had worked together 2-3 years ago at the Veneto Club where he was a chef.

I was directed up the steps out the back of the cafe to find the bathroom.

It was a small tin shed out the back.

I was fully expecting to see a long drop but was pleasantly surprised to find a modern, clean & tidy flushing loo!

When I returned Luca had seated Tim & Jesika and was chatting to them.

The food is deliciously authentic Italian.

Of course we couldn’t leave without trying some of his wonderful deserts.

After an hour or so we had to leave.

Luca’s wife Ingrid and their youngest son arrived – t was really nice to meet them too.

Jesika & Luca promised to meet again soon.

On the road out we found this memorial to all the miners who worked the grounds around here.

I thought it especially well designed.

This really amused me.

On the front it reads

‘Post Office

Receiving Pillar’

We had to make tracks as it was getting late.

It was a long drive back to and through Melbourne.

We finally stopped in at Jesika’s work to pick up some feijoas.

Then it was back to crash, we were all so very tired.



Thursday 10th May – part 3

We carried on into the city centre to find an atm for Jesika and Gloria Jeans for general sustenance – well actually that move was sorta driven by moi but I didn’t notice the other two complaining too bitterly winky

This fountain is right in the middle of the city.

Jesika and I walked across the road and then realised Tim had gone awol.

He had found an outdoor shop so diverted off track to explore.

Without telling us!

Seriously! I am threatening to get a gps collar for him!!

He also walks so incredibly slowly when on holiday that we were talking of hiring a wheel chair too laughing

We couldn’t find either shop but talked with a lovely lady who told us where to go to find them.

A tram went past as we got back to the car.

Next time we ride!

There is a curious juxtaposition of buildings new & old side by side there.

We located Tim and headed up to the railway station and the Market Shopping Centre.

Got fuel for car and body there and were soon on the way.



Thursday 10th May – part 2

When we got to Bendigo we parked close to the cathedral and went for a walk around out.

It is the holds the central focal point in the city.

Two randoms in the cloisters!

Gorgeous clear blue sky set off the architecture wonderfully.

There was an organ lesson happening while we were there.

The acoustics were wonderful.

The organ is one of the finest Cathedral organs in Australia.

Constructed in London & Ipswich in 1904.

Erected in Bendigo in 1906

4 keyboards for the hands of 61 notes

pedal board for the feet of 30 notes

51 speaking stops and 2,800 pipes

When we came out a guy at the door told me that if I wanted to get a different angle then to walk down the block and around the corner so we did.

Nice to stretch the legs anyway!

But, yes, it was a great view of the steeples.

We carried on walking around the block and got some more views through the autumn trees.

Came across a random tour guide in the park as we walked through so asked her to take us for a look around town winky