Thursday 31st January





Yet another hot day.

I was feeling really good, almost recovered.

So got up and showered and into the day quite early with resolve to actually get things done so I could get back to my art course.

I am 3 projects behind at the moment – but not stressing cuz I know it is not the end of the world if I can’t to them right now and that I will get to them sometime!


Anson came around early and got Shoshannah & Maria out of bed to go help him in the shearing shed.

He had some sheep to shear and Shoshannah was teaching Maria how to rousie.

Marah came around to bring him some refreshments.

Tim was doing stuff in the kitchen.

I went to have my shower.

I then gathered up my knitting and headed out to the kitchen to get my breakfast and planned to sit and relax and eat and knit.

But I was greeted by water pouring all over the bench and flooding across the floor.

Tim had been mixing up his bread in a large bowl and when he finished, instead of sitting the bowl inside the sink to soak it, he had sat it on the bench, swung the faucet around and begun filling the bowl.

Then he got sidetracked and went outside to do something!

Mahalia heard my yelling and ran to help.

We evacuated the furniture near the double doors and began to mop.

Tim eventually arrived back and with his normal cheeky happy smile and comments helped mop up the water.

Mahalia finished off by wiping out all the shelves.

So we know have a clean floor and shelves.

Tim said he thought the floor needed washing whatevah



Seb & Phoebe had left for town at 5:30am and we were in phone contact with Seb throughout the morning sorting out things he was picking up for us.

They had their routine scan at 11am so we were eagerly waiting for the call.

It never came.


Then at 12:30 I got a call that just broke my heart.

Their baby has died sometime in the past 2 weeks.

We were all stunned, reeling, from the news.

They were beside themselves with grief.

I made the instant decision to head back to town to be with them.

Talked to Phoebe’s Mum and suggested that she fly up instead of making the long drive.

So she arrived several hours before me!!

Wish I could’ve time traveled.


Marah, & kids have stepped up and pitched in to help Tim over the weekend because we have a catered party coming in.

I finally got myself together and left at 3pm.

I never stopped once till I got to town.

I arrived at Starbucks at 5:15pm.

Got a drink and then discovered my darlings were just up the street.

Coming to town just for the day and then finding they had to stay several days meant some shopping was required for basics.

It was absolutely heartbreaking to see their grief.

We quickly finished shopping and headed to our motel.

John & Sally graciously offered us beds here so we are chilling out, and waiting and supporting.

It’s hard.


Seb & I went off to find food for dinner.

Nathan & Ella arrived and joined us for dinner and the evening which was lovely.

I waved them goodbye as they toodled off into the darkness on Nathan’s trusty steed happy











Wednesday 30th January




Another very hot sticky day.


Everyone is drooping.

I can’t get Azzan & Mahalia motivated to do anything.

Azzan is supposed to be cleaning up his room.

He has gotten it into such a pickle.

He decided that he ‘needed’ to paint the walls a few weeks ago.

I think he got inspired by the kitchen alterations.

Needless to say – I was not inspired and had very little energy so was not at all happy with him.

So now he is banned from any square screen until he has his room back into some state of normality!

Trouble is his idea of normal and mine are vastly different so I think it will be sometime until he is allowed back on the internet etc .

Life is tough sometimes whatevah

Shoshannah & Maria keep themselves busy with animals and cooking and farm stuff and then have crashville time in their bedroom watching a movie.

Shoshannah was rapt cuz she found one of her hens had hatched 12 baby chicks.

It was a great thing cuz she wasn’t expecting this.

She had carefully monitored the previous two batches and had 5 chickens and now this hen produced 12 without her involvement!!

They went up the hill with Anson to check possum traps and then came back and made dinner.

They are being quite creative with the food which is lovely.

Maria made lammingtons for dessert – before which she actually made the sponge.

Most impressive winky

We are very capable of the same but I tend to cheat a tad these days and buy my sponges!!


I didn’t do a lot.

Knitting and keeping cool and talking with the boys as they cruised in and out on their way to and from work.

Shoshannah made lunch.

She brought me mine – delicious spinach fritters with bacon & salad.


Seb & Tim were doing more boat maintenance.

Marah popped around for a visit.

There was lots of shenanigans when Anson walked in the door!


Phoebe came back with Seb in the dingy to get the Safari.

We chatted a while and then sorted out all the food for the catered party.

Loaded that all into chilly bins and then into the vehicle.

Came back in and sat and talked for a while.

Then all of a sudden Phoebe sat up and exclaimed ‘I forgot to go!’

We just rolled about laughing laughing

That was such a Phoebe-ish statment!

Seb went home later in the dinghy.

They were heading to town next morning so had an early start.

Dinner was late again.

Just far too hot to cook and eat at the moment.

I have no photos of today but Shoshannah has promised to share some so I may add them later.






Tuesday 29th January




We are having such an amazing run of glorious weather at the moment.

This is the bay this morning.



Tim & Sebastian are doing some major maintenance on the ’88 South’ at the moment.

Anson is busy with stockwork

Later Anson helped Tim & Seb do some more work on building the wharf steps while the tide was so low.

The children have spent a lot of time in the water lately.

They are all looking like brown berries!

Maria is a real delight to have here.

She has slotted right in so that it sorta just seems normal to have her around.

She will be missed.

The girls have been choreographing some music so they showed me the part they have done so far.

I did video it but I cannot figure out how to get it onto here yet.

This is the beginning winky





Shoshannah & Maria made meat fritters & foccacia bread for dinner.

I really appreciate them taking over the kitchen.


I spent all day in my dressing gown.

It wasn’t planned.

Just got busy in the study doing office stuff.

Then phone calls.

And waiting for return phone calls.

Then Shoshannah announced there was no hot water.

So she lit the fire and I waited for the water to heat up.

I did some knitting.

Then the guys came and went and came and went.

Then all of a sudden it was 3pm.

Then it got way too hot to be in my dressing gown so I changed into some summer pjs.

Then it was 4pm and I thought why bother getting dressed now.

So I didn’t!


A good day laughing




Monday 28th January




I was up and through the shower before the rest of the household started rising.

I sat and knitted with Phillipa in the sunshine and we talked for a while until I had to leave just before 10am.

I was meeting Marah & Ella at the Kohatu Flat Rock Cafe at 10am.

I sat outside on the front deck at the bar and ate my Lemon Drizzle cake with yoghurt and drank a hot chocholate and enjoyed the scenery.

I got a message at 10:30am to say they were running a bit late so I headed back to Phillipa’s for half an hour.

They arrived about 40mins later.

There were some last moment, goodbye photos before Breyon headed back to Westport.

I love this photo pleased


The day was getting hotter and hotter.

By the time we finally arrived in Nelson we were sweltering.

I picked up stuff from Eare that she had brought out from home for me.

Then we zipped off to do a little bit of bulk shopping before finding Ella a backpackers.

Got her settled in and then we headed to Starbucks for a much needed cold frappacino – the latest flavour, Cookie Crumble Mocha, went down very well for all three of us.

We left Ella to wander and Marah & I zipped off to do some of the chores on my list.

Met up again at 2:30pm at Hangar 58 cuz Nathan was there having lunch before he started work.

We sat at the coolest table we could find and hung out for an hour.

Here’s me being a granny silly

Back to normal – if that is such a word!

Nathan sporting a black eye from an altercation with some random dude who took offense at him walking past whatevah

Ella modelling the paua necklace and earstuds I gave her to remind her of NZ and us.

Marah enjoying the deliciously cold frozen fruit smoothie that they do so well at there.


Finally, at 3:30pm, Nathan had to start work and we had to leave.

So we said our goodbyes.

It was sad for Marah & Ella cuz she is heading back to Taiwan and doesn’t know when she will be back.

But, as we say, if you don’t go you cannot come back!.

Lovely to have met you Ella – come back soon heart


Marah & I headed off to do some last minute things before grabbing some groceries.

That was a mission cuz we were shopping for her and us and the catered party next weekend.

We stacked everything in the Safari which was getting quite full – just as well we had no other passengers!

Then we grabbed a pita from Pita Pit, and raced in to say goodby to Nathan.

He sent us off with another frozen fruit smoothie to help cool us down.

Although it was 7pm it was still very hot and muggy.


We had a good trip home.

Met up with Anson & Seb – they had zipped around to Elaine Bay for fuel so we let them past and hung back so we wouldn’t be eating their dust.

Marah & I unloaded the Safari and then after dropping Seb home Anson came and picked her up.

We were all very glad to be back.


I headed out to the spa around midnight.

It was such a clear night with a very bright moon which lit up the bay.

Blissful pleased




Sunday 27th January




Well, I have to do some skiting!!

For one who has not done any knitting for years I have accomplished much – for me that is!!

I bought the wool on Friday.

And last night I finished the back.

I was so excited.

This wonderful variegated wool makes it look fantastic without too much extra effort – love it!

I called Tim up and told him I was doing my Granny training – he laughed laughing

I slept late this morning.Woke with a start just after 8am and in my waking moments remembered that Tim still has a card I need to be able to access the bulk buying I want to do on Monday.

I called him straight away and he organised a ride out to Nelson for it and the gas tank he wants filled.

So I now will be able to shop pleased

I said my goodbyes to Christine.

It has been a lovely few days catching up with old friends.

I went through the supermarket and got a few things before cruising off to The Vines again.

I bought a couple more balls of wool and then had some lunch out by the wee lake.

It was such a hot day but I found a wee table in the shade.

I wasn’t feeling wonderful so took some Panadol and just chilled quietly on my own for half an hour.


I arrived at Cynthia & Graham’s half an hour earlier than the scheduled start time so I sat inside in the relative cool and chatted with Jae & Wendy.

People began arriving so we gravitated out into the sunshine.

It was so hot that we all took refuge under the trees and umbrellas and sipped our iced drinks and talked.

It was great to catch up with some old friends and meet new folk.

Tereice was there with his new partner, Betty & Lois, local ladies I knew as a child and Dennis & Rosanne as well.

Hadn’t see them in years!

Graham & Cynthia have made their garden into a rambling haven.

It’s beautiful.

There was a lady playing harp which made it really feel like a peaceful laid back sorta Sunday.

At about 3:30pm Cynthia welcomed us all and gave her speech – her theme was how fortunate she has been throughout her 60 years of life.

The grandkids – Fern & Oakley.

Then it was time for Fern’s naming ceremony.

Jae & Wendy read out their pledge to their precious wee daughter while Oakley busily explored the world!!


Then we all moved around to the back of the garden and planted a fern in Fern’s honour.

They have already planted an Oak tree at Oakley’s naming ceremony.

Cynthia then finished up with her ‘waiata’ – a couple of songs in the children’s honour.

We were very ready to enjoy the delicious spread of food afterwards.


 A delightfully bright wee boy.

Wendy, Cynthia & me.

Graham & Cynthia – our neighbours from many years ago.

Wendy with her godparents – Natalie and Dennis


It was a delightful afternoon.

I finally left around 6pm.

Stopped in at the dairy and got an ice block and a cold bottle of water to see me up the valley.

It was still really hot.

I do not do hot!!

I had all the windows open as I sped up the Wairau Valley.

Got to Motupiko an hour and a half later.

I am now going to get my knitting needles into action again and see how much of the front I can get done.

It has been a really good day despite the heat!

There was an amazingly bright full moon out.

Photos never do it justice though.






Saturday 26th January

I woke to a glorious Blenheim day.

We had a lovely slowish start which was rather nice.

I cruised through the shower and had time to paint my nails before Pat arrived over, waving his can of CRC.

He fixed the doors on the Safari for which I am eternally grateful!

I hopped on board with Chris as she was taking Bailey to a birthday party.

We stopped off at the Stonewood show home so I could have a look at what David is building now.

It was rather lovely.

Then Chris and I went to have a cuppa at Watery Mouth cafe.

It was really nice to have time out to talk.

Had a quick catch up with Heather just as we were leaving.

I am enjoying meeting up with all these old friends happy

I picked up the Safari and headed off to Karen & Jon’s place for a bbq lunch with Jacqui, Charlotte, Gavin & baby Aiden, Paula and Ada.John cooked up the meat and Karen had prepared some other delicious food which we enjoyed outside in the shade by the pool.

After lunch Jacqui took Aiden for a walk in the park next door.

It is a gorgeous place.

McKendry Park is a beautiful place with a stream running along one end

and ducks to feed

Clouston Glade is within the McKendry Park reserve.

This contains an orchard begun in 1920 by Balfour Clouston and added to and continued through the years by his descendants.

It is so beautiful with all the old plum, walnut & quince trees.

This walnut tree is one of the oldest trees in the reserve – over 100 years old.

The orchard is available for anyone to come and pick fruit from.

Of course all the rip fruit that was reachable was all gone but we spied one plum and Jacqui was determined to get it!!

She got it and I ate it – so good!

We wandered through the park and then back to the house for some more socialising.

The afternoon melted away effortlessly.

I sat and knitted and made wonderful progress – shocking myself at how much I actually managed to do!!

Love these photos of Aiden and his Dad.

Jacqui & Ada

Aiden & his Mum

Great Grandma having a wee hold, but he is too heavy for her to Dad had to support him.

The afternoon soon came to an end and the others all made ready to leave.

We took some photos before they could escape.

Paula & Jacqui

The clan

I sat and knitted while Jac had a swim and spa.

Then Karen made another cup of tea so we talked some more and then finally I had to make tracks and Jacqui needed to start packing her bags.

One last photo till next time.

To quote Jac – ‘You would never tell that between the two of us we have 17 children.

We have weathered well’ pleased


I arrived back just in time for dinner with Chris, David, Amy & Bailey.

Chatham Island cod was on the menu – Amy has not long returned from teaching on the island.

Then Louisa, Roger & Madeline arrived and dropped off the chilly bins I had to leave behind.

We chatted a while and then they left for Christchurch.

Christine had made a delicious rhubarb dessert so we sat and enjoyed that while the others did dishes and then went out.

We had the evening to ourselves.

It was lovely happy

The girls arrived back from their drive to Picton.

Dave came back from his evening out.

Then bedtime for all!



back on the ranch

Anson took Mike, Arreyah, Shoshannah, & Maria hunting in the boat.

They got 2 pigs so were very happy.


Friday 25th January




I woke up at 6am, checked Facebook and emails on my iPhone for half an dour and then went back to sleep.
Woke with a start at 8:10am!
I was due to pick Jacqui up at 9:30am so I was up and into action.
Ironed my dresses while I chatted with Christine.
Then out the door and over to pick up Jac and we went out to Renwick for a tour down memory lane.
I drove past her old family home and then we meandered around the town trying to remember where old friends and neighbors lived and then we stopped at my parents home.

Nothing much has changed there except the foliage has increased in size so you cannot really see much of the house without being totally nosey!

This is the site of the early cemetery.

When we moved to Renwick in the mid 1960’s it was pretty run down with only 1 headstone still standing and the rest were all fallen and broken.
I went round and recorded all the names and dates and the local council made this memorial stone from that information.
Then they cleaned up the cemetery and replaced the mess with this stone.

My parents had a deal with the council that they would plant and maintain the land in exchange for the use of it as it was adjacent to their property, so because of that it is now a lovely park area.

We then drove through the town and eventually ended up at The Vines.
It is a lovely wee tourist mecca.
I especially love The Quilters Barn.
Since I was last there they have made some changes and the quilting shop is now at the back and is laid out much better.
There is also a lovely knitting section.
I got quite caught up in there and finally made a selection of some wool and a baby pattern book.
This is the person who hasn’t knitted for years getting totally inspired.
Maybe it is something to do with becoming a grandmother!

It was close to midday – I just had time to whizz into the Fudge shop and buy some delicious fudges before zooming Jacqui back to her niece’s so she could get ready to go out for lunch.

I went to Springlands to post some mail and did a wee bit of shopping.
Then I went to find Mathias and Mandy.
I spent a lovely hour or so with them and their 5 day old cute wee boy, Macey.
I am not really a clucky sort but I did enjoy having a cuddle of him.
He is such a delicious wee person.

I was thinking of going to do some shopping but as I drove through town I really couldn’t be bothered so I just drove back to Christine’s.
As I pulled up she and Bailey were about to go see some baby rabbits so I hopped in with them and went for a ride.
We drove to a friends place and Bailey fussed over the baby rabbits – they were very cute.
Then as we were saying goodbye Ken realized who I was and insisted that I came back to his house.
So we followed him and when I got to the door I saw a woman sitting in a chair.
It took me a few moments to realize who it was.

An old friend from many years ago who has been working overseas for 25 years.
I had not caught up with her in probably at least 12 years or more.
So that was a real bonus to my time out here.
Christine was very obliging and allowed us time to visit and catch up.
Finally we had to leave as it was getting close to dinner time.
As we were leaving I was talking to Ken’s wife Ann and discovered that she is best friends with another friend of ours – who’s mother we had only just visited 2 months ago in Waimate.

I started my knitting while Chris was making dinner.
Then a friend of hers arrived and while we were talking we discovered she knew my daughter-in-law’s sister very well.
It is a crazy small world around here!!

After dinner I knitted some more and then went over the street to visit with Pat & Jenny.
Jenny went out for a walk as she is training for a half marathon.
I chatted with Pat and Mike while I knitted.
Mike left as Jenny arrived back – it was lovely to chat awhile with her and Pat.
It is just a month away from their 1st wedding anniversary – that year has flown fast!

So all in all it has been a very lovely sociable day.




Thursday 24th January




I was able to get ready to go to town in a relatively stress free manner.
Seb bought the Safari over and Tim put the back seat in for me.
I had to take the Safari as it is a 7 seater and I had 5 passengers – too many for the Terrano.
Then he and Seb went off to do mussel work.

I had planned to leave around 11am but was ready to go earlier.
So piled everything and everyone in.
Said goodbye to the children and headed around to Anson’s to pick up the girls.
We pulled everything out and Anson repacked it all for me.
We were full to the top and had to leave a couple of chilly boxes behind but they weren’t too important.

I had 5 passengers and all their luggage.
Poor Luke was squished into the very back seat.
Olly came to say goodbye

Anson & Marah were being all mushy – or was that Marah being mushy and Anson rejoicing about having a girl free few days

They were packed in like sardines so after an hour I stopped above Okuri Bay to let them stretch their legs and sent Ella on ahead for a walk to settle her stomach.
Then another stop at Okiwi Bay.
As we drove down the Ronga we were hit by a torrential downpour.
It was crazy heavy rain.
Then it eased and a few minutes later another deluge.
By the time we got to Rai Valley it had thankfully blown over.
I wasn’t looking forward to unpacking the vehicle in the rain.
We had time at Rai so enjoyed their yummy pies.
Marah & I went for a look in the local craft shop.
Then I saw Gillian pull up outside and she was unloading a hitchhiker.
I told Marah to zip out and see where she was heading.
She was a lovely German woman heading to Havelock.
So Gillian loaded Marah, Ella, Lily & Luke into her car and took them over to Nelson to meet Marah’s brother.
And I loaded Tobias back in the Safari with the German woman and we headed to Havelock.
Dropped her off at the marina and we drove on to Blenheim.
I left Tobias at a backpackers and went to the library.
I had a great time choosing books for me and the children.

It was nearly 4pm by the time I arrived at Christine & Dave’s place.
Had a cuppa and then changed and got ready for a night out.
The main reason for my trip to Blenheim was to spend time with my special friend Jacqui.
She lives in Perth and hadn’t been back to Blenheim for 20 years.
We went to Raupo for dinner – it was lovely.
Food was great.

Service was good.
And the company was excellent!

After dinner we went for a wander down to the river below the restaurant.
It was a lovely evening.
Then we drove through town and stopped off at Seymour Gardens.
No matter how old we are we never tire of the fountain and clock tower.
We had to be big kids again and played with my phone.
Us with the fountain.

Us with the bottom of the clock tower

Us with the top of the clock tower!!

Then as we drove over the bridge I did a sharp left turn and took Jacqui to the river bank.
We walked over so I could show her my mother’s memorial seat.
We then walked on a bit further and across a bridge and then her daughter came running towards us.
She and her husband were staying with her grandmother not too far away.
She had seen us in the distance and knew that it had to be us cuz no one else has hair like her mother!!
We took her back to show her the seat too.

It was time to take Jacqui home so I dropped her off and came back to Christine’s.
A long lovely day.




Wednesday 23rd January




Wednesday was a greyish wet sorta day.


Not really conducive for swimming although there was some talk of it, don’t think it actually happened.

Azzan baked cookies.

He used a basic recipe and added all sorts of interesting dried fruits.

They were delicious.

He took some around to Marah & Ella.

Mahalia & Lily went to find Olly and also visited M&E.


Tim, Seb & Tobias spent most of the morning doing mussel work.

I remembered at 10:30am that the insurance guy was coming at 11am to do a big review.

I still hadn’t had breakfast!

I cracked whip and got the kids moving on dishes, washing and floors.

They actually moved and got everything done which was great.


The agent arrived at 11am and we sat and talked while I ate my breakfast and discussed what we could until Anson & Tim arrived back.

Anson got Luke & Tobias busy cutting up the muttons and porkers and cooking up guts for dog tucker.

We had a long session – our review was long overdue!

Anson was a great help and took the insurance guy around to see everything and then Tim took him in boat to suss out Waterfall Bay.


Louisa came around with Madeline to visit later in the arvo.

Madi spent the time with Mahalia & Lily.


Louisa was laughing at the variety in the female interests cuz when she went to find the girls –

Mahalia, Lily & Madi were busy painting their nails with all sorts of colours and patterns


Shoshannah & Maria were up with Anson, Luke & Tobias cutting and mincing all the meat.

According to Anson we now have meat for Africa in the freezer.


I had a casserole in the slow cooker for dinner so Shoshannah put on some brown rice and made foccacia bread.

Dinner was late again but was very tasty.


A photo session happened after dinner

Lily, Tobias & Luke are leaving tomorrow so this was the last evening to hang out with everyone.

Lily, Luke, Maria & Tobias.







Monday 21st & Tuesday 22nd January




Two gorgeous days.

Spent by most of the crew in the water and sunshine.


Tim & Seb have been doing mussel work.

Anson has been out chasing pigs and errant dogs!

In between losing his dogs he did get a couple of pigs.

Luke & Tobias have been fitting in where they can.

Chasing pigs, fishing, mustering, mussel boat work, doing mussel ropes, eating, swimming and sunbathing.


Madeline came and spent Monday with Mahalia & Lily.


Shoshannah, Luke & Maria did a harvest from the garden this morning.

Mahalia  Lily found Olly and went for a ride before their swim.

Anson was out finding his dogs for a greater part of the day so the young folk went swimming

and sunbathed

Marah in her gorgeous turban painting her nails

Not much of my cake left – Shoshannah doesn’t like outside pieces clueless


And check this out!!
Jesika & Evan’s protea is flowering – gorgeous white blooms.


Azzan went around to hang out with Marah this arvo – he needed some time away from the girls.

Anson & Seb went hunting again – taking Luke, Tobias, Shoshannah & Maria with them.

Got nothing but did find the last lost dog and arrived home for dinner at 10pm.

Crazy crew.