Monday 31st December




The morning of the last day of the year was sunny but very breezy.

Cat was up and about early.

We were admiring the new kitchen bench as it lay in it’s naked splendor in the early morning sunshine.

Cat sanded off the residue of oil that had splattered from the saw.

It has come up looking great.

The framework is being prepared for it.


Shoshannah & Katherine packed up a lunch and went out kayaking for the day.


Cat’s friends Heather and David arrived last night.

The first time Cat climbed Mt Cook it was with Heather, it was great to finally meet her.

The decision was made to go out diving and fishing.

So everyone packed up and headed off out onto the rather breezy bay.

Tim, David, Azzan & I stayed back.


David & Tim went to find a slab for the end of the bench.

They came back for lunch and a chat and then David went over the hill to help Graham get some more timber for his projects.

That took them till after 6pm but they did come back with an awesome end piece for the bench.

Tim decided to get rid of the old bench completely so spent some time disconnecting the water pipes and then emptied and cleaned out the hot water cylinder at the same time.


In between hanging out washing and talking with David & Tim and eating I rested on my bed and watched movies.

Azzan was also resting on the couch and watching movies.

Sebastian brought Nicky, Beth & Mark up to visit in the dinghy.

Noel came to pick him up and he spent the arvo working on the Tardis harvesting spat.

Nicky and I visited over a cuppa and then she walked back around the track with Beth & Mark.


Everyone arrived back later in the day.

Despite them all being tired from their day out on & under the water the decision was finally made to head up to Waterfall Bay for a bonfire and bbq.


The girls walked around with Heather & David and  Halina & Geoff.

Azzan was so wanting to walk with them.

I was really concerned it would be too much for him but eventually relented and he got there fine.

The others went up in Cat’s yacht.

David & Sasha drove over.

Anson & Marah decided to have a quiet night at home.

No-one knew where Tim was so I got ready and waited for him to turn up.

The weather is so fickle at the moment.

I am alternating between wearing very little some days because of the heat to putting on jeans, jersey, jacket and shoes tonight because it has turned so chilly.

Our bed is going from having just one top sheet to piling all the blankets back on again.



Tim eventually arrived in after 8pm.

Said he was just trying to get all his jobs finished before the end of the year clueless

We trundled on over in the Terrano.

The sun was setting as we got to the top of the hill.

It was a glorious sight.


It was very windy so we didn’t dally long.

There were people everywhere when we arrived.

I guess when you unite the 33 of Phoebe’s family and 14 of ours you have a ready made party and then add 7 extras it’s all go!


After everyone socialised for a while, Tim bbq’d up some sausages for the hungry ones, and the night had gotten dark enough Bri & Abby headed off to get the bonfire and fireworks happening.

They started letting them off over on the jetty across the bay.

The moon was shining straight down the centre of the bay for the first part of the night until the sky clouded over.

The bonfire was right on the waters edge and the tide was coming in.

The wind was really gusty so as we tried to toast our marshmellows we would have to run from the smoke and sparks as they chased us about.

Bri shifted the fireworks to the other side of us.

Then the sparklers were handed out.

They were fun but didn’t last long enough for the kids though.

Up at the house the more staid members of the group were congregating around the bbq.

Cooking, eating and talking.


We said our farewells at around 11:30pm and headed off home.

The walkers crammed into ours and David’s vehicles and the rest on the yacht.

As we came through our gate we could see lights up near the airstrip.

We have had trouble with poachers so decided to drive up there and see what was going on.

We knew Seb was out hunting somewhere but Tim was a bit concerned cuz the light we could see was not shifting.

So until we got to them we didn’t really know what or who we were going to find.

The kids were funny.

It was a bit of an adventure.

‘What will you do Dad, if it’s not Seb?’

‘What if it’s real poachers Dad??’


The light was really bright and blinding so it was hard to see who the figures were but I see the number plate and was pleased to know it was Seb!!

I leapt out of the Terrano and took a photo of our happy ‘poachers’

Caught ya Seb, Mark & Paul!!

In spite of the very windy night they had actually managed to shoot some possums and they were busy plucking one.

Hence the stationary light.

The crew in the Terrano were pearing to see what was going on.


We said our Happy New Years to the guys and headed back down the hill and homeward.

Gave Marah & Anson a big toot as we drove past.

The midnight news came on the radio as we drove down the hill.

The kids and Tim were yahooing and cheering their New Years greetings so loudly I couldn’t hear the news.

They were straight off to bed as soon as they walked in the door.

Welcome to 2013 everyone pleased







Sunday 30th December




The demolition team moved into my kitchen!

Bri & Leann got rid of the main bench.

Scary Cat!

Cat jigsawing the taps off keeping the water connected just in case we need it.

The new bench top.

Marcrocarpa slab

Weighs a ton!!

Cat & Bri were doing some very heavy breathing whilst lifting it inside.

Now, where shall we install it.



or over here?

Let’s get rid of this one while we are at it shall we?

Needs to be a bit shorter so just cut through about here!

It was rather a loud sorta day stunned

Graham came down with some helpful advice as to how to cut the holes.

This is how you make the holes for the sinks when you haven’t got a jigsaw long enough!



Tim and I popped up the hill to look for a smaller slab of macrocarpa to make the other bench top from.

We went over to Waterfall Bay to pick up a wine barrel.

Cat had ideas of incorporating it into the bench but one she got it in place she could see it wasn’t going to work.

We said g’day to all the Wenborn clan who are staying with Seb & Phoebe for a couple of weeks.


The kitchen/workshop was very dusty with sawdust flying everywhere.


A perfect fit!

Abby sanding support timbers.


Now, it is time to have a big clean up

and make dinner

make your own hamburgers for dinner tonight.

Delicious pleased


It was lovely sitting outdoors in the quiet after a busy noisy day.





Saturday 29th December




I had told Azzan that I would need to know by 6am if he needed to go out to the Dr.

I had just gotten up for a shower when he came to tell me that he was still very sore and did need to go out.

So with a big sigh & enormous effort I got myself ready and we were away to town just after 7am.

We listed to the audio book ‘Tracy Beaker‘ by Jacqueline Wilson all the way out.

I have heard it before, bit it is a very compelling story, I commented to Azzan it made me think of the movie ‘Boy‘.

They are both about children in unhappy situations, both craving for loving parents, and both creating a reality of their own in their minds so they can endure the life that they have ended up in through no fault of their own.

Sorta funny sad and very poignant.

This is what we woke to.

It was a beautiful morning.

I drove straight to the Dr’s office.

Both of us were starving, but I hadn’t wanted to let Azzan eat much just in case they wanted to do tests.

As it was a holiday I went to ‘The Doctors’ – a new place which was open at 10am.

We joined the queue.

Dr Karl Hellyer was the guy we got to see.

He was really lovely.

After an examination he called up a specialist and had a chat and they both decided that Azzan has epididymo-orchitis.

He prescribed antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and pain killers and lots of rest.

From all I have read it is quite unusual for young boys to get this.

We buzzed off to get the required prescriptions filled and then headed to the market to get a wrap for brunch.

Town was crazy.

We caught up with Fumio at his bone carving stand.

He said there were masses of people going to and fro but not many actually buying.

It was really hot by this point.

We saw Becky and her girls which was cool as they were flying back to the USA the next day.

Picked up our wraps and pushed our way back through the foot traffic to get to Starbucks.

Azzan’s wrap was too spicy for him so he opted for a toasted sandwich and I got a frappaccino.

Then we headed to the library.

It was about 1pm by this time so we made out way to Richmond.

Just got on to the motorway and met traffic bumper to bumper, crawling towards Richmond!

I was thinking oh bother, not an accident, but we kept moving slowly.

I then heard on the news that there had been an ammonia leak at Wakatu which had shut off all traffic between Nelson & Richmond for several hours.

I was very very glad we had been held up in town and not gotten caught up in it.


We zipped out and did a couple of jobs and then came back into the city to meet up with Nathan at Hangar 58.

I drove via Tahunanui so I could check out some of the secondhand/recycling shops as I was looking for a piece of furniture to use as a bathroom vanity.

I didn’t know exactly what I wanted, just knew I would know it when I saw it.

However, all the places I went to were closed.

Nathan was not starting work till 4pm but he had gotten there a couple of hours early and was chatting with the Winnington family who were having a few afternoon drinks there.

We all had a lovely catch up.

Margaret gave me a couple of ideas of where to look for the bathroom furniture I was wanting.

I had 15 minutes until the shops all closed at 4pm.

I was zipping along Hardy St when I saw ‘Eclectic’ was open and there was a park outside so I crammed the Terrano inelegantly into it and ran inside.

Did a quick sight tour on the ground floor as I headed to the stairs.

I had been told there was lots more to see head upstairs.

I quickly checked everything out but couldn’t see anything that really caught my eye until I got to the very back corner room.

I found this.

That was it!
Absolutely perfect.

I ran downstairs to tell Maria what I wanted it for and she came up with me and we scouted to make sure nothing else would work.

I commented that there were two other pieces the same price which might work but I didn’t like them as much.

Then she told me that the hall stand was in the half price room!!
Yee ha!

I was over the moon.

I went and measured up the Terrano.

Moved the stuff in there and lay the back seats down.

Her guys managed to just fit it in with a few inches extending on my headrest which I did bang my head on several times, but as they say – no pain, no gain!


We went back to have some dinner with Nathan.

He had begun work by this time but was able to serve us which was nice.

Azzan was hungry but couldn’t make it through his meal so we doggy bagged it and headed home around 6:30pm.

Got home at 9am.

Tired but very happy with my wonderful find pleased





Friday 28th December





I was weary from the town day so had a relatively quiet day.

Just did what I needed to.

Cat & Leann were finishing off their bench.

Cat began making noises about doing the house kitchen bench so found a wonderful slab of macrocarpa in Graham’s stash.


Cat asked Shoshannah & Katherine to sand the bench.

They worked away on it throughout the day.

Shoshannah let me use the photos below that she and Katherine took.

They love to do photo shoots.

I just borrowed a few – they are very creative.



Azzan came back from Waterfall Bay after lunch.

He had been complaining about his appendix being sore before he went over there.

I couldn’t see any major problem so hadn’t taken him to town with me.

He had opted to stay with Seb & Phoebe and I had given him the option of coming out with Brianna later in the day if he was still in pain.

He never came so I figured all was well.

Unfortunately, all was not well.

He came to tell me that he had something wrong in his nether regions!

I have found out since that the pain could have been in his groin area as the infection began and may not have isolated to the actual area for a day or two.

He was very sore, red and swollen.

I checked him out and immediately rang the after hours Dr.

The nurse told me to give him some painkillers and if it was too bad to bring him in to the hospital over night or wait till morning and they would open at 10am.

The idea of traveling back to town was very unappealing.

Also the idea of sitting in A&E for hours was also not something I was keen on.

Azzan was happy to wait till morning so I gave him Panadol and popped him to bed.









Thursday 27th December




I was awoken at 1:45am by the phone.

Staggered out to answer it and no-one would speak to me – most annoying and totally bizarre!

My alarm clock was set for 4:50am.

I woke at 4:51 and was puzzled as to why it hadn’t gone off.

Then I discovered it was set to PM not AM – duh!

Shoshannah was already awake so we were both all ready and out the door by 5:45am.

Tim got up to see us off and to load in a few last minute things.

The day was cool and dampish to begin with but by midday it was rather warm in town.

We had time to drop off stuff for Nathan, John & Frances, fuel up the Terrano, drop off library books and meet up with Sandy to give her a crayfish.

She kindly offered to drop of some more things for me at Tahunanui on her way back home.

I left Shoshannah to browse Hunting & Fishing and I spent the next hour with Julie at Nelson Beauty Therapy.

Then it was Shoshannah’s turn there so I headed off to met up with Sally.

She is home from the UK for a couple of months.

We met up at ‘Hangar 58’.

It was lovely catching up with her for an hour.

Then it was time to head off towards Richmond.

Did a couple of quick things and then zipped in to visit Estelle.

Don’t get much time to see her so it was good to have an hour there.

Left her at 2pm and headed back to Bunnings to wade through a big list from Cat & Seb.

The staff there were all very helpful so once I had gathered up all we needed I then headed into the city.

Managed to find a microwave for the Lodge in the post Christmas Briscoes sale.

Then zipped in to get a frappaccino before doing a half hour whip through at the supermarket.

Met up with the girls there.

Bri had picked up Abby from the airport and they were shopping so I helped Shoshannah & Katherine get the ice and then I loaded up and left.

The four of them were going straight home so would get the ice into a freezer quicker than I would.

It seemed strange to be leaving town so early but I had a date at Forresters Cafe near Rai Valley.

Becky, my very dear friend was home from Seattle for a few days and was able to squeeze some time into her very busy schedule to catch up with me.

It was so lovely to see her again.

Last time I saw her was when I visited her with Nathan & Jesika 6 years ago!

She was with me at the births of Shoshannah & Mahalia (15 & 12.5 years ago) – lots of memories

Time flies, we grow and move on in our lives, but friendships last forever.

Gemma arrived to pick her up at 6:30pm so we said our farewells and I headed homeward.

Thankfully the day had cooled down so the drive home was fairly easy.

I was driving into Okiwi Bay when a sign caught my eye.

I stopped an backed up and found a BBQ for sale for $10.

The folk had a newer one and didn’t want to be bothered with taking it back to town, they had only put the dollars on it so their boys could have some pocket money.

So I said if it fitted in the Terrano I would take it home with me.

It did and I happily paid the wee boys their ice cream money.

As I drove along Admiralty Bay I was following behind some traffic along the dusty gravel road so gladly stopped in at Rocky Creek to visit my friend Denise who was camping there with her husband.

It was actually nice to just stop and chat int he cool of the evening.

Once I had rested a while I did the last half an hour home.

Thought everyone was in bed so I unloaded the Terrano myself and headed to bed only to find Tim on the phone and three girls having a slumber party in Shoshannah’s room!!

There were shrieks of laughter as they prepared to sleep!!

I bullied Tim into having a spa with me.

We sat out under the stars and recapped.

Nice way to spend the last hour of a busy day.





Wednesday 26th December




Had a nice lazyish day.

Wallowed in my bed and watched the final episodes of Grey’s Anatomy Season 7.

The day was still quite hot but not as bad as yesterday.

In fact it cooled right down in the latter stages of the day.

Mahalia went mustering with Tim and then did Graham’s housework.

I packed up a lot of the going out stuff.

Went through my wardrobe and drawers and bagged up the throwouts.

Also managed to clear away half of one of my book cases.

Decided I need to get ruthless and clear the clutter!

The Terrano is full of recycling – nice feeling happy


Tim, Azzan & Mahalia drove over to Waterfall Bay after lunch.

Cat took the others in her inflatable.

They cut up all the venison and a sheep and made mince etc.


Azzan has been complaining of a sore appendix during the day.

I explained to him that if it really was his appendix he would be in a lot more pain.

He called me up from WB wanting to know if I would take him to the Dr tomorrow.

As I was sure there was nothing major going on I told him that I couldn’t call the Dr as it was a holiday.

He was very concerned that if he stayed at home the others would not understand that he had a sore tummy and they would make him work!

So he stayed the night with Seb & Phoebe with the proviso that if his tummy is too sore tomorrow then Brianna will drive him out with her later in the morning.


Cat is getting her sink bench etc finished off up in her hut and is beginning to make plans to alter mine.

She and Tim got all the plumbing bits out to see what I would need to pick up in town tomorrow.

I am going to have two gorgeous new round sinks in a lovely large flat wooden bench pleased


Need to head to bed now.

Busy day in Nelson but looking forward to catching up with 3 special friends.

Shoshannah is coming with me but returning with Brianna.

Anson & Marah are coming home tomorrow too.

Road will be busy winky






Sunday 25th December




Today was just way too hot for everyone.

Cat was busy chainsawing at 7am.

Consequently everyone else was awake too laughing


The pohutakawa is called New Zealand’s Christmas tree and ours are blooming right on target this year.

All the trees along the waterfront in front of our house are covered in red blossom.

So gorgeous.

Tim took Cat, Leann, Bri & Nick, Shoshannah, Halina & Geoff out in the boat after breakfast.

They went diving and came home with lots of fish and Cat got these wonderful critters.

The biggest crayfish weighed in at 3.1kg.


While they were away the two kids and I sorted through all my papers and tried to make some order of my art stuff.

I would work for half and hour and then go lie on my bed and rest in the cool for an hour.

I’m enjoying the 7th season of Grey’s Anatomy at present.

The kids think it is funny cause they caught Tim lying there watching it with me this arvo!

Finally got it all under control just as they were all returning home around 2pm.

I finished by dumping stuff in boxes just to get it tidy so I now have 4 banana boxes to sort through and then it is all done.

My online art course begins at New Year so I am hoping to be all ready to go.


We invited everyone in the bay to come for a bbq dinner tonight.

There were 15 of us.

It was all very low stress.

I made cous cous and a lettuce salad.

Azzan made lots of foccacia bread.

Leann fried up the fish.

Alan barbequed chicken & scallops.

Tim & Cat served up the crayfish.

Graham boiled potatoes.

Seb & Phoebe made salad.

Halina & Geoff also brought salad.


Azzan mixed drinks and served us all.

He did a great job.

The bread was delicious and the drinks refreshing.

He also made two jellies which we had with Shoshannah’s rhubarb & coconut cake.

Leann also made a chocolate sherry log covered in whipped cream for dessert which was absolutely delicious but we were all thankful no one was driving home laughing


It was lovely sitting outside in the cool of the evening after such a hot sticky day.




Monday 24th December






So today I decided to actually get into my art corner and have a massive big tidy up.

I began by pulling everything out from the walls and the kids helped move boxes.

There was stuff everywhere!

Azzan wanted to help.

He and Mahalia both had vested interests in the helping.

They were standing right behind me waiting to scrap over the things I was going to chuck out.

Cat & Bri helped move the desk along so I could clean under it and to make more room to get into the cupboards.

I sorta ran out of steam though so it stayed like this for the rest of the day.

I cannot handle the heat we are getting at the moment.

Just way too much for me.


Tim went over to Waterfall Bay to spray weeds in the morning.

In the arvo he went up the hill with Bri & Nick to kill a sheep and then chased cattle.

Mahalia took over from Shoshannah and is now doing Graham’s housework.

She did her first day and Graham was most impressed with her initiative.

When she had finished they worked on the harp building.


Cat & Leann have been making a very large wooden bench for their hut.

Bri & Nick helped them move it down from the shed – it was not an easy lift by any means!!

Shoshannah harvested the rhubarb and baked a rhubarb & coconut cake.


I made a huge big banana cake.

Bri iced it with white chocolate and sour cream.

Leann’s birthday was on Saturday.

On the day they all arrived back from camping tired and I was too weary & hot to even think about normal food let alone anything special so nothing was done & I think she thought we had all forgotten about her bummed

So tonight we presented her with her cake.

Bri had written her own name on it so Leann got a huge surprise when Mahalia brought it over to her.

There were pressies too so I think we were forgiven winky

Cake was good!


Seb & Phoebe got back from their town trip.

They are keeping busy at Waterfall – lots to do and they are very enthusiastic which is great.

‘Tardis’ came in late so Tim went down and helped Noel move the bags of ropes on the wharf to give us room to move.







Sunday 23rd December





Anson & Patrick arrived around to get stuff and then they headed out to town.

Anson was to pick up Marah and head to Westport to spend a few days with her family.

Patrick is moving on to new adventures and another wwoofing farm.

We enjoyed having him and are hoping he will find time to return later.


Tim packed up the cot and all the shop supplies I had gotten in town and took them over to Waterfall Bay.

My baby’s cot has been stored in The Cottage but it is now going to be put to good use which is lovely.


I hopped into bed for a rest at lunch time.

When I got up Shoshannah had come up after her swim in her new swimsuit and was watering the pot plants.

Isn’t it lovely on her.

Love the style and colour.

Then around 5pm I realised Cat was taking Azzan, Nick & Bri diving so I wandered down to see them getting prepared.

Discovered Tim was taking them along the bay in the boat so I grabbed my sunnies and hopped on board too.

It was such a lovely afternoon I took heaps of photos happy

Mahalia delighted cuz she was allowed to go too.

Tim helping Azzan to do up his fins.

Getting geared up.

Despite the late hour of the day it was still really hot.

The shady side of the cabin was a good place to be.

Bri chucking Azzan in the water to cool him off!

Cat & Nick making sure Bri & Azzan were all ready.

Cat said for Azzan to stay with her and Nick would look after Bri.

I heard Bri comment – ‘My hero’ pleased


Bri & Nick are in.

Making sure Azzan’s all ready to go.

and Cat’s in

…and Azzan.

and they are away!

So we sit and wait on the boat.

Finally they all return

Azzan strips off

And it is Mahalia’s turn

Cat’s back in the water

followed by her next pupil.

We head back to the wharf

and quickly unload before Tim heads back to pick them up.

A lot of preparation for a short dive.

But it is all good learning and necessary practices.


Our pohutakawa’s are beginning to flower.

So pretty.


Shoshannah had been busy making a roast vege salad for dinner.

It is now 8pm and the crew are just arriving in to help get some meat cooked for dinner.

It has been a lovely day.







Saturday 22nd December




My day began with an early phone call giving me some rather bad news.

I was pretty upset and had a bit of a cry.

But then got up and got on with things.

Hopped into the spa for a wee while.

I fed Shoshannah’s birds.

I was planning on doing some sorting of stuff that I am trying to clean out.

But the day sorta disappeared in a few spells of laziness.

Just didn’t really feel like doing much so I didn’t.


Bri & Nick arrived at 3pm.

They had driven up from Christchurch – long hot drive.

The ’88 South’ crew arrived back soon after.

They were all very happy.

They had gotten 3 deer and loads of fish.

A successful trip.

There was a lot of unpacking to do and loads of dishes.

Everyone pitched in and got everything cleaned up.


I made a large quiche with all the leftovers – it will be good for lunches over the next few days.

Also made a large apple & kiwifruit crumble for dessert.

Dinner was fresh fish, salad and Azzan’s roastie potato chunks.

Very yummy.

Leann cooked up the two crayfish they caught.

They were soon demolished!

Azzan was very happy to discover that his canned seed Anson & Marah had bought him in Australia had finally grown while he was away.

It is very cute – it has Thank You on one side and a smiley face on the other.

Patrick had packed up all his gear before they went camping so Bri & Nick could have their room, and he went to sleep at Anson’s for the night.