Saturday 24th November





An absolutely glorious day here.
I spent some time scanning cards I had made over the past few days.
The scanner is so frustrating.
I have to scan each card on several settings and then see which one is going to be the best on the day.
It just doesn’t seem to be consistant.

I am reading ‘Call The Midwife’ at the moment.
It is very enjoyable and I am learning so much British history of the 1950’s and leading up to the times which explains how the East Enders came about and how they lived.
She finishes the book with a chapter describing Cockney language.
It is really fascinating.

I was preparing my breakfast midmorning when Azzan came asking to do some cooking.
I realized he had not had breakfast.
He is a bit like me and doesn’t like to eat too early.
He knew what he wanted to make this time so I gave him a bit of a hand.
He cut up and stir fried carrots and onion.
Added some left over chicken and stuffing.
Then tipped in some pasta sauce and added the egg noodles and some spinach.

Served it topped with a dollop of sour cream.

He and Mahalia declared it the absolute best food ever!

Shoshannah baked all morning after she had finished her maths.
She has been struggling with learning some concepts but I think she is at last getting her head around them.
So hard when maths is not your best friend.
Today she did well so it must have been a better brain day.

Lunch was had by all as we meandered through the kitchen at various stages.
Tim cooked up his offal!
Needless to say he ate it alone.
Tinga hopped off the bench and swung on the tap and drank out of the running water.
Off course he stopped as soon as I produced the camera!

Shoshannah went up to do Graham’s housework after lunch.
At 3pm Tim took Mahalia & Azzan up the hill, picked up Shoshannah and took them all up tot he top of the Ram Paddock so they could help muster it down.

I had a lovely long chat with Anson & Marah.
They are nearing the end of their stint in Bendigo and are counting down the days until they fly home at the end of this coming week.

These are a couple of the special cards I made in the past two days.

I am really really happy with them.

Unfortunately they are not able to be shown to their best advantage as they have 3D aspects to them.





Friday 23rd November




I woke up early and got myself out into the kitchen well before 6am.
Sebastian was leaving Nelson around 6 and I wanted to bake him a birthday cake.

Today is his 22nd birthday!
I was rapt that he was coming in so we could share a small portion of his day with him.

I made a Caramel Cake, using an old family recipe and it turned out the best cake I have made in absolute ages.
I usually mix large quantities of cakes in the Kenwood cake mixer but this time I was just making a small one so did it all in the food processor.
Not too sure if that was the reason but it was just perfect.

I was icing it when I got Seb’s call at 9am saying he was at the top of the hill.
He walked in the door as I was trying to fit 22 candles on the cake!!

Tim had gone out to get mussels and was just arriving into the wharf so Seb went down to help him.
Then they loaded up all Seb’s gear before coming in for a cuppa.
Azzan & Mahalia helped me light all the candles and then Seb did the big birthday blow!

I had made some photo books from his trip to 2005 North America & Mexico with Jesika & Catriona.
He thought the photos had been lost so he was pretty happy to get them and the copies of the videos he had taken.

Once we had devoured a vast portion of the cake Seb headed off to Waterfall Bay with Azzan to unload his gear.
Tim had some business matters to discuss with me and then he followed over in the truck.
Seb helped Tim unload the freezer they had gotten when in town last week.
It was very heavy but they managed to get it in place so heres hoping it goes okay and we don’t have to do that act again for a long while.

I wandered down to the wharf with Shoshannah to meet the mailboat.
It was such a beautiful day.
Skip lined up for his complimentary biscuit.

Durng the rest of the afternoon I  made a 14 cards to give to Graham for his birthday next week.
He loves to use home made cards and as with a lot of guys, he is hard to buy for, it is nice to be able to make him something he will enjoy and use.

Mahalia went off to spend time with her horse.
Tim found her and they went up the hill to kill a sheep.

Shoshannah was not having a particularly good day so I sent her off for an afternoon rest.
Graham was busy with Jeff so it was okay for her to not do his housework for a day.
She can do two hours tomorrow.

We had roast chicken for dinner – it was very tasty.
Azzan made roast huckleback potatoes and carrots with asparagus.
I am so enjoying asparagus season – there really is nothing quite like it. So good!




Thursday 22nd November




Tim is on a mission these days to get the thistles under control.
So he has been heading out onto the hills early in the morning to get a few hours grubbing done before the heat sets in.

I was up early and had some fun making some special cards.
One for a wedding we are going to soon and another for a special young lady’s birthday.
I also made several others while I was in a creative mood.

The children have been having loads of fun with their water balloons.
The latest thing has been to fill them and freeze them.
They make great ice blocks and then they smash well when thrown hard on the decking.

I had a lovely afternoon making cards.
It is lovely in my wee corner in the afternoon at the moment cuz the sun just pours in there.

I had just asked Azzan & Mahalia to do the veges for dinner when Tim sent a message asking if dinner could be earlier.
Unfortunately it couldn’t be cuz I had just okayed Azzan to make chips.
He was well into cutting them up by this stage so too late to change the menu.
If I had known we would’ve quickly cooked up mashed spuds instead.

So, anyway, Tim went off with Shoshannah and put the ’88 South’ into the water before dinner and we ate late.
Shoshannah manned the helm and took the boat away for a while  soTim could deal with the trailer and tractor.
She went off for a tiki tour around the bay and ventured into Te Kopi following some dolphins around.
Tim is very trusting to let her loose on the boat alone – but she did well and brought it back to him in one piece

She was rightly very proud of herself for managing to safely operate the boat single handedly.




Wednesday 21st November





I was up before 6am and pottered in my art corner until Tim got up.

He was really tired last night so I was glad he slept in a bit.

I was feeling a bit yuck.

It seemed more than just the headache.

Then Azzan came out looking dreadful and threatening to throw up.

Shoshannah said she hadn’t been feeling great either.

Something weird going round.

We all perked up as the day progressed which was good.


It was a gorgeous morning – the sun was streaming in the lounge at 7am.

Tim spent the day painting the hull of the boat.

Good job to have done!

I was feeling a tad nauseated still so went off to the spa with my book for a while..

I’m reading ‘Call The Midwife’ by Jennifer Worth.

It is really interesting.

I had been wanting to read it since watching the series on dvd a few months ago.

So glad I found the whole series of 4 books on special over the weekend.


I then spent the rest of the morning on the computer.

I am wading through all my files and updating and deleting and trying to clean up a big mess.

Azzan instigated it by sabotaging it a few weeks ago but it is seriously in need of a big sort out.

It is amazing how much junk gets stored that one forgets about!

I was still at it when Tim arrived back for lunch.

I took a break and had my lunch out in the sun with my book.

But the sun disappeared so I retreated back inside.


The children found some water balloons and had a big water fight with them.

It was great to see them all charging around having a good time together.

It was such a lovely hot day that they needed to cool off and even when I threw glasses of water over Azzan when he wasn’t looking he never got too upset about it.

I had to advocate parental privilege though or I would’ve worn a dousing myself!!


Mahalia & Shoshannah are having fun creating cards from their Klutz fashion books.

It is cool to see their innovativeness.


Shoshannah made some sundried tomato & feta gluten free scones.

They were very tasty.

She was also very proud of her wonderful loaf of gluten free bread.

It looks good enough to eat laughing


She went up to Graham’s to do some housework for him.

He has his son Jeff staying this week and they had gone off over the hill for the day.

Jeff is doing some wood for Graham as he still can’t do anything much.

When she came back she made smoothies.

Very yummy they were too.


Shoshannah’s pet sheep Freddy has developed a strange excema thingee on its his head.

Tim phoned the vet and found out that it could be some sort of reaction which makes it very photosensitive.

So Mahalia has taken it upon herself to look after him.

She has to put him in the darkest part of the woolshed during daylight hours and then let him out to graze at night.

I think there is some other stuff they have to do but I am unsure on what – that is their domain!

They will see how he goes for a few days with that treatment.

If it doesn’t work then he will have to be sent to sheep heaven.


After dinner I marked Shoshannah & Azzan’s maths and went over a few things with them.

Then they all did some music practise.

I helped Shoshannah tune the guitars.

She hadn’t quite sussed out how to use the new electronic tuner.

Wow! Does it make it easy.

Way better than when I used to play back in the dark ages!!

Se was quite impressed that her mother was able to remember how to do some fancy strumming winky

Then I helped Mahalia & Azzan with some of the piano pieces.

Mahalia took her harp off to her room to practice out of Azzan’s earshot.

He finds it too hard to play piano with her practicing in the living room at the same time.

They are coming along really well.

It is great to see them enjoying their music.

Mahalia needs a bigger harp now.

Graham and Mahalia are planing to build a harp for her.
So they are sussing out ideas and woods etc now.

He wants her to have the pleasure of constructing it herself.

She has all sorts of fancy ideas she would like on it but Graham is reining her in to construct a basic one for a start and then once they have got it sussed then she can spend some time carving a fancier model.







Monday 19th & Tuesday 20th November





Monday 20th

First day back home after a week away.

A mountain of washing to get through.

We had run out of washing powder so good reason not do get washing done while I was away.

No one here seems to know about improvisation!


Jude had come over to help Mahalia with Olly while I was away.

Steve brought her by boat from D’Urville Island to the back of the farm and Tim drove over and got her.

It saved Steve a long boat trip.

She had already lent Mahalia a book on Natural Horsemanship but she hadnt really gotten into it yet.

I could see that Olly has been getting out of control but Mahalia has been very defensive about it.

But on my return I found a way different attitude.

She was rapt with what Jude has taught her so far and when I asked her if she was coming back for some more lessons the response was a very positive – ‘I hope so’!


So while Tim was out grubbing thistles and then with Shoshannah moving sheep,  Mahalia was busy training Olly.

Azzan was rather weary from our busy week and late night so he just chilled in bed for a while.

I spent most of the morning catching up on my blog – I was a week behind.

Fairly taxing on the memory banks when I get one day behind let alone a week!



Tuesday 20th

I was busy all day working on the online photo book.

I got in touch with the Diamond Photo folk and got some help.

They have changed the programme to a NZ website and it has been having some hiccups.

She suggested I tried using Firefox instead of Safari.

It would’ve been rather helpful if there had been some warning about it on their site and then I wouldn’t have wasted all those hours on Sunday whatevah


Anyway, I have been spending time getting it done.

She gave me a weeks extension which has taken the pressure off.

Tim spent the day sanding the bottom of the boat.

Shoshannah made some gluten free cheese scones.

They were really good.

Mahalia spent the afternoon out training Olly.


Tim smoked up some salmon which we had with salad and rice – delicious.

I have had a headache and sore neck since I got home.

Made me feel quite out of sorts.

Have been going to bed early but not sleeping terribly well.










Sunday 18th November






It was sheer luxury to be able to wake when I wanted and shower at my own pace and not have to rush anywhere.

I packed up my gear, tidied up the house.

Hung out a load of washing – it was a gorgeously sunny day already.

Then I drove into town and got myself a peppermint mocha frappaccino.

Then out to Crusoe’s to pick up some Gluten Free ALFAJORES with Dulce de leche to take with me to John & Sally’s.

They just melt in your mouth – so incredibly moresome!

Rami had just taken some small quiches out of the oven so I got a broccoli and blue cheese quiche for my breakfast.

It was so good.


I spent the next 5 hours at John’s using the high speed internet – trying to get a photo book made.

It was so incredibly frustrating as they have changed the online programme and I just couldn’t get it working.

I then decided to try and download some of my art courses I have just bought.

I had to tear into town to pick up some books Azzan had reserved at the library.

Then back to John’s to carry on.

Had to finally ditch it all and leave as Seb was back from work.

He shot out to pick up some stuff from David & Sasha’s and then I met him at the fuel station to fill the tank.

I grabbed groceries while he went back and loaded up the trailer.

He managed to get a fair bit of his rubbish timber board.

We finally left at 7pm.

Seb drove while I made dinner.

I filled baps with hot chicken and salad.

We ate as we drove.

Got home around 10pm.

Tim met us at the parking bay.

They quickly unloaded the trailer and then hooked it up to the Safari and within half an hour Seb was on his way back to town.

He finally made it home at 2am!









Saturday 17th November





The forecast was for rain so when we woke around 7am and it was not raining we decided to pack up and head to the Saturday Market.

We were there before 8am and spent an hour wandering about.

We ate Dutch potato doughnuts which was delicious.

Then before we left we got a salmon & avocado wrap from the Wrap Shack.

I had been telling Ellie how divine they were and she had been putting off the idea of getting one for breakfast thinking she would find something else.

Finally we got one each and on the first bite she exclaimed ‘Why did I waste a whole hour to get one of these??’

The rain began just as we were deciding to leave around 9am.

I took her down to catch her bus to Kaikoura.

Then I went back into the city to do two small jobs.

I wandered into Paper Plus and met up with Grace & Elizabeth.

They told me that they were all waiting for Sophie & Katherine’s orchestra group to arrive as they were going to do a ‘flashmob’ near Farmers.

So I hung around and waited with them.

The group finally arrived and got set up.

It was not really a flashmob as it takes quite a bit to get young folks instruments set up and tuned and in position – especially in the rain!

They did really well and a large crowd gathered to listen.


It was then time to go meet up with Ross & Andrea at Crusoe’s for lunch.

I went out and picked up Ross.

Because I had gotten waylaid watching the orchestra I missed out on getting some keys cut.

So Ross ran into the Richmond Mall and got some done while I waited.

I think the whole of Nelson was as the Mall – there was no parks anywhere!

We finally got back to Crusoe’s and had a lovely time chatting with Rami & Anat.

I had their Moroccan Chicken this time.

It is Rami’s signature dish and was delicious.

It was finally time to leave so I went back to Seb’s to swap vehicles with him.

He towed the trailer and picked up some trolleys from my cousin John’s and then parked it up at his palace so I didn’t have to worry about maneuvering the trailer.

I took his Legnum and enjoyed using that – felt like a right boy racer


Then I had a birthday party to go to so drove back out to Richmond and spent a lovely evening with Becky and her friends.

Because her birthday is right on Christmas she decided to celebrate early.

I thought that was a great idea – always good to have a party

Cher and I were last to leave.

We helped clean up and then I dropped Cher back home as it was on my way.

Azzan stayed on with Seb & Phoebe.

It was really nice to have the whole house to myself.






Friday 16th November




Another beautiful Spring day.

Bri & Abby headed off after breakfast.

They were picking up a double kayak Bri had bought in Motueka.

Then they spent Fri & Sat kayaking the Able Tasman.

They had great weather so were very happy girls.

Ellie & I left at 9am.

She had gone off to milk the cow with Lydia and was so excited to have been able to hand milk!!

I felt a bit bad at having to drag her away but I had a mission to pick up Azzan and be at Andrea’s for his piano lesson by 10am.

There was road blocks due to logging along the way so we were prepared for waiting times but when we go there we only had to wait about 2 minutes.

Azzan had his lesson and then we zipped into town.

I stopped off to do some bulk shopping on the way.

Waited for Ellie to have her blood test then we got lunch and went to the Queen’s Gardens.

We wen to the Chinese garden and sat in the sun to eat and relax.

It was lovely and peaceful.

I left Ellie & Azzan to walk back into town while I went off to do some jobs.

My afternoon didn’t turn out to be as busy as I thought it would be as one person I was due to see was sick.

I arranged to meet up with Phoebe, Ellie & Phillipa for a coffee.

We decided to go to Hanger 58 and sit in the sunshine as Phillipa & Phoebe hadn’t bee there yet.

Azzan & Jacob hung out at the library.

We hadn’t realised that it was the grand official opening of the place until be saw balloons being tied to tables.

Nathan was just about to begin his shift for the day so we chatted with him for a while.

A reporter was wandering about taking photos for the social column of the Nelson newspaper.

So if you are in Nelson look out for the four of us in Tuesdays editions


We had to head off an hour later and get on with more mundane parts of our lives.

Ellie & I decided that we would get food and go back and cook dinner for Seb & Phoebe.

When we got there Seb was home and trying to wade his way through a huge pile of laundry.

Phoebe is not at all well right now so has very little energy and also cannot handle being around food.

So she rested and we got stuck in and helped Seb do a big clean up.

Azzan did all the dishes while Ellie peeled carrots and then made dinner.

I helped Seb with the washing and then we cleaned out and moved the freezer.

It was great to sit and have dinner and feel like we had achieved something

We left Azzan to stay with Seb and Ellie & I headed around the corner and found our beds for the night.






Thursday 15th November






We were up and gone soon after 7am.

Tim took Ellie & Shoshannah and did some mussel drop offs.

I took Mahalia & Azzan and dropped off mussels too and then picked up Jesse.

We all met up at Kaiteriteri at 9am.

We were amazed at how many people were there queuing up for the boat trips.

We had tickets so just had to check in.

We filed on board before 9:30am and got our seats up on top before the crowds boarded.

There were around 80 people on board – it can take 140.

This is Split Apple Rock.

And the crowds taking multitudinous photos of it!

The first two off were 2 German physicians at Apple Tree Bay – really nice couple I had been chatting too.

They had a nifty gangplank which winched in and out to let folk off at the beaches.

The rest of the photos are in random order.

Scenery was lovely.

We stopped to let people off at various places.

Some walked for a couple of hours and others kayaked and others walked the rest of the Able Tasman track.

It took the captain and crew quite a bit to keep track of everyone and make sure each was where they weremeant to be.

And this was not a busy day!!!

Lots of golden sandy beaches

This bay was quarried and the stone was taken to build many things, including the Cathedral steps in Nelson.

We saw seals, but no dolphins.

At one point we were the only two on the top deck.

The breeze was cool so the kids migrated back and forth between the inside lower deck and the upper deck.

Feeding time at the zoo

Another catamaran in the Wilson’s fleet dropping off walkers.

Our guide Simon took this photo of us all.

Jesse, Tim, Azzan, Raewyn, Shoshannah, Ellie & Mahalia

Loved the clouds.

Snow on the hills to the south

Breaker Bay – where Seb & Phoebe were married 25 November 2011.

Tim took this

while lying flat on his back on the deck

Tim being gormless

Jesse watching everything as we arrived back into Kaiteriteri

Tim went to chat with our captain Al.

He was still chatting after we had all offloaded.

The guide couldn’t load the next cruise until the last passenger was off.

And that was – Timmy!!


It was really hot when we got back.

The boys had a run around in the playground.

Then I took them in the Terrano and Tim drove the girls to Nelson.

I dropped Jesse off at a birthday party and then whizzed Azzan out to spend a night with Asher.

I then met up with Tim at Ross’s and we spent the following hour talking business.

Then I zoomed into Nelson to pick up the girls while Tim went to pick up a freezer.

It was very large and heavy to we had arranged to have Michael, Dave and Seb to come help lift it.

Alan came too so it was loaded up quite quickly.

I met up with Tim at the WoW carpark and we reloaded bags etc.

He took Shoshannah & Mahalia and headed off home.

Ellie and I went back to Ross & Andrea’s for a wee while, then picked up some groceries and headed over the hill to Pat & Phillipa’s.

We arrived there literally seconds before Bri & Abby.

They had driven up from Christchurch after work.

Good timing!!

Phillipa had a very delicious dinner ready and we were all starving hungry so were very happy to socialise over the food.

The evening disappeared very quickly.

Phillipa Pat and I talked until far too late – or too early







Wednesday 14th November






The girls were great – up at a good hour and ready to leave for a day in town by 9am.

I dropped Shoshannah off to have a foot scraping done and the laboratory.

From there she walked to Nelson Beauty.

Mahalia and I whizzed over to get the WoF done.

He did it quickly for me – in fact I only just had time to paint my nails while waiting

Then we headed back to town and went to the Rata Room.

There was a special morning tea on for the last day it would be open this year.

Nathan’s course has now finished and they were just doing end of year fun things after this day.

We had hot drinks and Tim Tams and chatted with his tutor Robyn.

She is so lovely and think Nathan is just great.

Shoshannah and Katherine were shopping.

We met up for lunch at the Wrap Shack in Fashion Island’s Farmers Market.

On the way we met Jessika and she was heading there too.

She we all bought salmon & avocado wraps – they are absolutely-deliciously-to-die-for recommended!!

We stood and chatted and ate until Jessica had to go back to work.

I then just had time to take the girls to their next appointment.

They were busy for several hours so I had time to go out to Richmond and meet up with Sally.

We had a lovely child free time at Ambrosia.

I had to be back in Nelson to meet Tim by 4pm.

It is great to be heading into the traffic at that time of day when all the the cars coming out of the city are bumper to bumper at snail speed.

I found Tim & Ellie.

He had left Azzan at the library with Shoshannah.

Mahalia had been picked up by the Winnington’s and gone to riding lessons with Sophie and RDA.

Ellie went off to start sorting out her medical for her visa.

Tim & I had an hour with Ben going over the accounts for lat year.

I bolted at 5pm and took Shoshannah & Azzan for a fast shop in Farmers and then we all met up at ‘Hanger 58’.

It was so lovely sitting in the sunshine out in their courtyard.

Nathan has full time work there now as a barman and he made us some very delicious drinks.

I had the frozen fruit slushie.

Perfect for such a hot sunny afternoon.

Nuana met us there – nice to catch up with after so many months.

Nathan made our drinks all pretty

We also demolished 6 plates of entrees – they were delicious.

All the food is prepared/cooked on the premises.

Before we left we went inside to have a look around.

The decor is really cool.

Funky seats and colour schemes.

The bosses were raving on to us about how good Nathan is at his job.

They encouraged Tim & I to go upstairs and have a look there.

The stair case is really cool – this is the view looking down into the main bar.

The kids were all waiting over by the main doors for us.

Nathan was working at the upstairs bar so we paid our bill there and then said our farewells to him.

Tim had to go deliver a motor bike somewhere so I took Ellie and the kids to the beach.

It was too lovely an evening to just go straight back to the house.

They headed for the water like caged lions!

As I was heading back to the Terrano I met up with Kathy & Brent who were just about to go for a beach walk.

While we chatted Azzan took my camera and took masses off photos.

I deleted most of them!

Then I went to gather the girls up from the playground.


We flew through the supermarket and then back to the house.

Tim had gotten back just before us.

We got ourselves all ready for our early morning start the next day.

I filled bread rolls and packed up the lunch foods.

Then we were off to bed.