Sunday 31st March – part 2





The road was really slippery but Graham negotiated it safely.

It was raining again by the time we arrived.

We ran inside and sat around talking for a while.

Pastor Mike and Kerry had come down and were staying a couple of nights with Seb & Phoebe.

We had a bit of a sing along and talked about what baptism was about.

I was able to share the word I had been given over and for Sebastian when he was born.

That he was going to be a mighty man of God.

It is a word that I have held close to my heart throughout the years.

It is a real blessing today to see him take up that mantle and begin to run with it.

The other word that Mike brought was from 1 Timothy 4:12

‘Let no one despise your youth; instead, you should be an example to the believers..’

And Mike also read Psalm 78 and shared why he felt it was personally relevant to us.

My people, hear my instruction;
listen to what I say.
2 I will declare wise sayings;
I will speak mysteries from the past—
3 things we have heard and known
and that our fathers have passed down to us.
4 We must not hide them from their children,
but must tell a future generation
the praises of the Lord,
His might, and the wonderful works
He has performed.
5 He established a testimony in Jacob
and set up a law in Israel,
which He commanded our fathers
to teach to their children
6 so that a future generation—
children yet to be born—might know.
They were to rise and tell their children
7 so that they might put their confidence in God
and not forget God’s works,
but keep His commands.
8 Then they would not be like their fathers,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was not loyal
and whose spirit was not faithful to God.




Once the skies cleared we ventured outside.

The flowers in the window box were bright and happy.

There was some joshin’ from Mike & Graham about Seb not going too far out and drowning them both – as they are quite a lot shorter than Seb!

Then it was time for his baptism.

A big step of public declaration and a move of faith for him.

Some prayer and words of encouragement on the beach.

Couldn’t help but think it was a perfect day for this.

Resurrection Sunday – the death of the old life and birth of the new.

I also shared one of Tim’s favourite verses which Bri had brought forward at his funeral.

3 John 1:4
‘I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my children are walking in the truth.’


Then it was back to the house for a late lunch.

I was heartened by some other words that Mike had re hope and heaven during the afternoon.

Mike had personally met Dean Braxton and told me of his experience with heaven and the reality of it.

It really helped me especially after the hard day I had yesterday.

When we left to head home it was close on 6pm.

Love this photo



At the top of the hill this is the sight that greeted us.

A sign from God – a window to the heavens.



Cat & Leeann were preparing dinner.

Sandy and her crew had brought food for the bbq too.

I was really tired so collapsed in the living room with Sandy.

We shared a few quiet tears.

Antonia chose the floor and sussed out how to go about learning guitar.

Me and my boy – we match!

Bri entertained

Mahalia & Sasha relaxed

and pillow fought with Leeann

After dinner Azzan retired to my art work desk and found a new journal to work in.

He is making a special memory book for his Dad.

There was quiet chat around the table

and cuddles in the lounge


It was very late by the time we all headed off to our beds.

Sandy and crew have to leave early in the morning.

Bri & Abby are also planning an early start.

It took ages to get the three children into their beds.

Mahalia was very sad so we had a big cuddle and prayer time together.

Azzan needed to sleep in my bed again.

He also needed some tlc tonight.

Shoshannah and Bri had some sister bonding time before they headed off to bed.

Now it is late again and I need to go to sleep too.

It has been a lovely day.

A really good day.

But also a very tiring day.








Sunday 31st March – part 1




Well, so much for plans to go to sleep early.

I sat and chatted online with a friend from Florida while waiting for Shoshannah to return from possum hunting.

She arrived back at around 1am, very happy that they had shot six.

One with Cat in the tree outside her bedroom and five more up the hill with Sasha, David & Glenn.

It was far far too late when I hit the pillow.

I actually heard the rain begin at 2:30am.

A lovely sound.

So good to get some Autumn rains while the temperatures are still warm enough to provoke some grass growth before winter.

I know it is Easter break and people are on holiday and they want sunshine.

But, we are their primary food source, so we get to be happy with the rain winky


I woke after 7am.

Azzan had left the curtains open last night so I could see it was still damp outdoors but not raining.

I tiptoed along the decking to get myself a morning cup of licorice tea.

Bri was up watching a documentary.

I toodled back to bed and continued sussing out the Ravelry website that I joined last night.

Azzan woke and headed off to the kitchen to see Bri after she brought me some yummy porridge and threatened joshed him about having some too.

We all know how much he loves porridge – not! laughing

Thanks Bri – it was a nice change from hash browns and eggs.

By 9am the rain had begun in earnest again.


When I got up Sandy and family were in the kitchen.

Sandy was all ready to begin cutting.

She began with Azzan.

Then there was the decision as to the colours!

Is it alright if he has permanent rather than washout colour this time??

I figure it is just hair and why shouldn’t he have some fun.

So Sandy got him mixing up the bleach after she had cut his hair.

There was plenty of audience – the new bench makes a good lean to observe and comment from laughing


So while Azzan’s bleach ‘cooked’ he was allowed to mix up the colours he wanted while Sandy cut Leeann’s hair.

I carefully washed his hair.

He really liked the bleached effect and nearly stopped at that point.

Leeann had a mohawk this time for fun.

Time to paint on the colour!

Mahalia asked if she could have pink streaks.

So she also went for permanent so Sandy put them into underneath layers.

While Mahalia ‘ccoked’ Bri had her hair cut.


And while all this beautification was underway Shoshannah was happily learning how to skin a possum in the workshop pleased

Glenn & Graham chatted in the corner.

And Leeann & Sasha made dessert – chocolate chip biscuits soaked in sherry and covered in whipped cream.

Azzan’s finished results.

I think he has a future as a lighthouse beacon laughing

Bri’s haircut was really nice too, but she resisted the idea of added colour.

Azzan is addicted to a game on my iPhone.

It keeps him happy and quiet when I allow it!

Cat’s haircut pre colour.

Then the blonde streaking

and having lunch while her hair ‘cooked’.

Lunch was served for the hairdresser.

Venison steak with salad and beetroot.

Pretty impressive feed – she struggled to finish it all in spite of working so hard all morning!

Mahalia washed her hair and then dried it.

The colour looks great fun pleased

I have been liaisoning with Jai Hall for some time re bells she has been casting for Land Girl Project – A Forgotten Story at the Otago Polytechnic Bachelor of Visual Arts, based on the Land Girls of NZ during WW2.

Tim’s mother Constance was a Land Girl so our farm was one of the 16 chosen to be custodians of these memorial bells.

Cat hung it at the back door of our house as it is where all the traffic flows.

We no longer have a cookhouse and the woolshed is not safe so at the house was the best place for now.

On this side is etched the ‘New Zealand Women’s Land Service badge’

and on the other

”We only did what was expected. We just got on with it.”


Anson and Marah arrived back from Waitaria.

The decision to not go out fishing or diving in ’88 South’ was made by both the boys as the weather was rather yuck.

It had been drizzly and gusty all day with more rain threatening.


They had enjoyed good night out.

By the time Mahalia’s hair had dried it was way past time to head over to Waterfall Bay.

We drove over in Graham’s and David’s vehicles.

While we were waiting for Bri we were discussing our downies.

I commented that I bought mine as a men’s one because I preferred the colour but I got sick of the zip jamming because it does up on the men’s side.

Shoshannah wondered why they had men’s and women’s sides.

We suggested that it was so they could be zipped to gether and you could get all romantic, just like you can do with sleeping bags.

So of course we had to try it.
And it works – as long as you use the same brand of downie!!

Very cosy laughing

It was 2:30pm before we left.




Saturday 30th March





I woke at 6am with a sleeping lad beside me.

I quietly did some blogging on my laptop until he woke.

Then checked the weather and dredged deep within for purpose and motivation, hopped out of bed and threw on some outside clothes and walking shoes.

Shoshannah knew where I was heading and was happy to hold the fort for me for a few hours.

David, Sasha & Glenn were heading over the hill with chainsaws to help Graham for the day.


I took a 15 minute drive up the hill and parked at the end of the tailing yards.

Took my drink bottle and walked up the hill for another half an hour.

It was blowing a cool breeze to begin with and I was glad I had my downie on.

But I hadn’t gone too far when the wind dropped and the sun came out and I soon was carrying my downie and very glad of my water bottle.

I know it is not terribly far, but I am not that fit so it was a bit of a mission for me.

I was soon at Tim’s grave site.

It is 5 weeks today that we held his funeral, celebrated Tim’s life.

The life that was way, way too short bummed


I stood and took in the spectacular views for a few moments.

Could see Sebastian steaming across the bay to work on the mussel lines in Maori Bay.

It must be so lonely for him to be working on the boat alone now.

I know how much he and Tim were really enjoying working together.

They had such big plans for the future.

When I look at these photos I know Tim is not here.

It is just a place for his earthly remains.

But it is a pretty darned good resting place.

I am just so incredibly sad that his 63 years is reduced to this.

I wanted to rage and yell and be angry.

But for some reason I cannot be angry.

I am just inconsolably sad and heartbroken.

I sat for a while.



Talking to Tim.

Talking to God.

Asking Him why?

Telling Him that He better be real and that there had better be a heaven.

Because I can’t do this without that hope.

I have to cling on to the hope that I will be seeing Tim again.

The words of one of our favourite songs we sang together keeps circling in my head tonight

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness seems to hide His face,
I rest on His unchanging grace.
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood,
Support me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.



I have been feeling like I have no purpose in life anymore.

Our lives were so intertwined that now he has gone I don’t know what I am to do now.

It’s like I am just going through the motions for the children.

There is this blankness around me.

Life is going on and I can’t seem to keep up.

I keep getting told to take it slow and not to rush things.

I am so not rushing, I’m trying to process.

But everyone around me seems to be moving too fast and it is making it harder.



I went over to visit Cypress’s grave before I left.

Our precious wee first grandson.

The recent rains have been enough to keep the wee plants going.

They were looking really healthy.

February 2nd and February 18th will be dates imprinted on my brain forever.

February 2013 was not a month I want to repeat.



The clouds in the north west were getting quite dark and threatening and the wind had picked up again.

I walked back and stopped for a moment at the top of the hill to see the cairn where Tim’s parent’s ashes are.

Then down the hill back towards the car.

Met up with Alan.

He was walking up to visit Tim’s grave.

We shared a hug and a few tears together.


I couldn’t help but think of Tim when I was walking.

He loved these hills.

He loved this place.

There is probably not a square inch he didn’t walk over.

He used to literally bounce down them, whereas I and most others would be carefully sidling, edging down clinging to anything we could to stop us from slipping.

He just seemed to bound effortlessly and fearlessly down hill in just a few long strides.

Back to the car and looking back up the hill where I had walked.

The gnarly, twisted old weather beaten pinetree still surviving and standing in spite of the winds and half it’s trunk dying.


The llamas were standing guard as I drove along the airstrip.

Quirky creatures that they are.

The freshly shorn sheep ran ahead of me down the airstrip.

The zig-zag road on the far hillside is where David was taking the trailer up and down many times today bringing loads of firewood back to the farm to be cut up to feed the seven fireplaces on the property


I stopped down the bottom of the airstrip to have a better look at the Safari.

I am so incredibly glad Tim did not have his seatbelt on.

If he had he would’ve been completely munted & unrecognisable.

Instead he was thrown free and even though his body got a beating, afterwards I could easily see he was still Tim.

The seatbelt debate really is not an issue here despite the police & coroners report making a thing of it.


I met up with Anson & Mahalia on the quad bike as I was driving down the bush road.

Anson was running the dogs and they were looking for Olly.

As I had not seen him Mahalia hopped in with me and I dropped her off so she could search along the Bush Inn track.

I stopped off to visit Marah.

We sat awhile.

I cried and she talked.

She is very understanding and supportive.

We checked out her paint job in the baby’s room.

Looking good so far.

Anson arrived back and we talked some more and then I left them to get ready as they were heading away in the boat for the night.

Anson is competing at the Waitaria Bay speed shear tonight.


I parked up the Terrano and walked back to the house.

Had a look at Mahalia’s new tack shed that Bri has built for her.

She cleaned out and converted the lean-too shed next to the truck/wood shed.

Olly was happily munching from his hay holder.

I love that they have used our old babies cot for a hay holder.


Bri & Cat have been very busy cleaning out the workshop – amazingly tidy now.

The stainless corner bench is installed.

The front of the Safari in place on the back wall.


Inside Tim’s workshop.

Far too tidy and quiet.

There is an empty seat….



The girls were watching ‘Sense & Sensibility’ when I returned.

Another 3 hour BBC drama to occupy them.

I call it passive education.

Studying the classics without realising winky

Shoshannah then watched the shorter 90 minute version later in the afternoon.



Then it was lunch time.

Sasha came back from Pukatea Bay saying that it really was just men’s work over there and she superfluous to requirements.

So she went kayaking with Azzan.

Abby & Bri took my kayak and fishing rods and they all paddled to Waterfall Bay.

Returning later with fresh fish.


I called Nicola back and caught up with the Wenborn family happenings and all the wedding preparations.

Nice for her that this time they are the groom’s parents and don’t have the same stress as they have had for the previous

six daughters weddings winky

I ended up falling asleep in my bed afterwards.

Then a phone call with Vonnie before Christine came to visit.

She wanted to do something to help so got the washing in off the line.

 The dahlias are so pretty – there are heaps of them growing wild naturally around the garden at present.


We had a cuppa and a chat.

Cat arrived in and it was soon busy with comings and goings of fisherfolk and kayakers and wood gatherers!

David took Sasha back to Pukatea to go diving on the reef before dark.

I threw some date loaf at her so she wouldn’t starve as it was obvious they would be very late back for dinner.


I had been waiting for my crazy Welsh friend and her family to arrive by boat since 5:30pm.

No sign of her.

Then just after dark Sandy came staggering up the path and in the door clueless

Because it was a lovely day they had gone fishing first!

Cat got their boat sorted and them all unloaded and into The Cottage.


Leeann made a steak and oyster pie for dinner which was eaten with corn cobs and fresh salad.

Bri fried up fresh blue cod.

I opted for that in preference to the venison pie.

Shoshannah had roasted up some butternut pumpkins too.

We had my Tiramisu for dessert pleased


While the dishes were being done Bri asked Mahalia to play the harp for them.

She played a wee bit.

I went over to listen and see what she was meant to be practicing.

She wasn’t very happy.

We had a cuddle and she sobbed on my shoulder.

She is missing her Daddy terribly.

And when she is not busy she has time to think about him and it is hurting her that no-one is talking.

I am hearing that from both the girls.

Everyone is grieving in their own way.

The older kids are keeping themselves busy which helps them, but the younger ones need to talk about their Dad, they need to talk about the accident.


I made another wedding card tonight.

Just need to make one more and then I am up to speed for the upcoming weddings.

Will put them on here after the weddings for obvious reasons winky


David, Sasha & Glenn arrived back around 9pm-ish

D&S had dinner and then went out possum hunting with Shoshannah.

Sasha said she was going to sleep in the truck while the other two hunted!!


Azzan came out for an extra cuddle and cried for a while.

He is missing his Daddy tonight too.

It has been a difficult day.

Not too sure why today has been harder.

Seems like we are riding a roller coaster and the grief hits us in waves.

Mostly the waves are small and constantly lapping.

But then some pound the shore constantly like southerly breakers.

And other times the waves hit hard like tsunamis.






Friday 29th March




I woke at my usual early time and sat and played on my laptop for a while.

When I wandered through the living room just after 8am I found this heap of square eyed children engrossed in ‘Pride & Prejudice’.

Judging by the discarded wrappers they had obviously found a lot of the shiny chocolately things that Bri & Abby Easter bunny had hidden the previous night.

and were sugared out as there were many still unopened on the bench winky

Azzan was more interested in the hash browns and cooking up a decent breakfast.

I went back to bed as there seemed to be no reason to get up.

I watched ‘Midsomer Murders’ and knitted.

I am on the home stretch – just knitting the hood.

I love the graduated colours.

Sasha came to give me a hullo and good morning hug.

She and David had arrived late last night.

She took my breakfast order and this is what I was presented with.

Poached eggs with grated cheese, hash browns, baby beetroot, fried tomatoes, and toast liberally spread with Leeann’s fresh pesto.

And of course a mug of liquorice tea.

It was delicious.


I was getting a tad anxious about running out of wool so I did a bit of a measure up and calculated how much more I would need to finish the wee jacket.

Oh dear, not quite enough. How can I stretch it?

Maybe I will have to contact Wendy and get the ‘on hold’ skein sent over, and that would take days and I was so close to finishing.

Then I did a dig around in my knitting bag and found one last small rolled up ball which thankfully meant I had plenty pleased

I finally rolled out to the kitchen sometime around 1pm.

Found Graham sitting talking to David and the girls still engrossed in ‘Pride & Prejudice’.

Discovered that Graham’s son had bought down several bins of corn, beans and capsicum.

We all groaned with thankfulness winky

It is great to get the vegetables but none of us felt like dealing to them.

Sasha began the process and hauled the bin of beans inside and got started.

She gave the kids a bowl each to do while they watched the dvd.

We chucked the capsicum in the sink and I went off to have a shower.

Did not feel any way inclined to do anything in the kitchen whatevah

However, after getting myself washed and dressed I tackled the job with fresh divergence.

I started putting the corn cobs through the oven and while they were cooking I began processing the capsicum.

The dvd finished – the comments were – ‘that sure was a long movie’ and ‘is that really the end?’

David came and helped with the beans.

And with the two irresponsible adults helping the job was done much faster and with loads of fun.

There was a lot of bean throwing and fighting along the way and afterwards their was some major sweeping necessary!

Leeann popped into get some steak cooking in the slow cooker for a venison & oyster pie and some more marinating for dinner.

Sasha shucked all the corn and the cut most of it off the cobs.

Se did an excellent job but munted her hands in the process so we left a large bag of corn cobs in the fridge for lunches over next few days.

By about 4pm the veges were all processed and bagged up for the freezer.

Our freezers are rather full at the moment so I had to do some maneuvering.

Abby came down later and did a major floor sweep.

Azzan had tried but hadn’t quite gotten on top of the bean war!


Seb was out doing mussel work for the day.

Anson was doing stock work.

Bri & Cat were working on buildings – repairs and maintenance and additions.

I got a phone call from a neighbour to say that a cow was stranded on rocks around the back of the farm so I called Anson to let him know.

He took David and Jeff and his mate in the boat.

Swapped boats at Waterfall Bay and took ’88 South’ out to see what the story was.

It was very blustery with the wind looking like it was going to increase, and getting late so I was urging them to be careful.

Seb had a fishing party arriving right then so he had to stay back and deal with them.


I got Azzan busy doing potatoes for dinner.

The veges were easy – fresh green beans and corn on the cob winky

I was so incredibly tired that I took my ‘lunch’ – a plate of left over fruit crumble – and went back to bed to rest.

I watched ‘Amish Grace‘ and finished knitting the jacket.

The movie had a very very good message and portrayal of forgiveness.

I am so thrilled with the wee hooded jacket.

I only started casting on the stitches last Sat evening and have now completed it on Friday.

That would have to be a miracle for me!!

I just have to get some buttons for it and it is finished.


Glenn arrived up from Christchurch for the weekend and got busy helping Cat before dinner.

Leeann fried up the steak and finally around 8pm we sat down to eat.

Anson & David arrived back around 9pm.

They had successfully and miraculously managed to rescue the cow.

She was a young heifer and somehow had fallen down the bluffs on the eastern side of Clay Point without breaking her legs or neck.

She just had some scratches.


Usually when a cattle beast falls here it is a one way trip and we only find the carcass later.

David jumped in the water and got a noose around her and they towed her out to the boat and managed to haul her up onto the backboard and then took her around to Buka Point and let her swim ashore to a beach where there was water, grass and access to get up the hill.

They caught fish for dinner on their way home too.

The wind had also died right down which made the whole venture much easier.

I think the guys were quite buzzed to have had such a successful mission pleased


After dinner Glenn, David & I sat and chatted at the table.

Bri cranked up her guitar and they had a great sing song in the corner.

Azzan was in fine fettle – he has inherited Bri’s love and ability to sing off the cuff parodies.

They are hilarious.

He also has a great singing voice so not too hard to listen too either.

It was lovely to hear them all having fun and enjoying themselves.

I was feeling slightly overwhelmed by all the noise.

I was feeling really sad too – just wanting and wishing Timmy was here to enjoy it with them.

He loved their music and they inherited their craziness from him.

I am so missing him sad


Azzan wanted to sleep with me so he was all snuggled up cuddling William when I finally got to bed.

I was falling asleep at the wheel so didn’t blog or watch movies.

Just put the light out and hit the pillow hard.






Thursday 28th March – part 2





Shoshannah has let me use some of her photos from the past few days which give a lovely account of the past couple of days of mustering and shearing.

Sky cooling off


Meeting Graham coming up the road as the sheep are heading down.

All penned up and ready for their haricuts.

Azzan helping to pen up.

The team hard at it on day 1.

Gary on stand 1, Anson on stand 2 and Matt on stand 3.

Mahalia, Anna, Shoshannah & Niamh shedhanding.

Leeann on the table.

Piling the wool into the press.

Marah taking a mo – was glad to see she did rest up!

Jack & Azzan penning up out the back.

The shorn sheep waiting to leave.

Matt took the third stand for a couple of runs which helped immensely.

The wool piing up.

Anson had to take time off his stand to help Leeann put the bales through the press.

Abby helping out at the end of the first day.

Leeann taking a turn in the back pens.

Marah doing what she does very well happy

Superfluous dogs making the most of their rest till required next.

My girls!

So glad to see Marah found a comfy place to rest up winky

Pressing more bales

The end results.

And shearing is now completed.

I know it was really hard pulling it off without Tim but you did it.

Thanks everyone.






Thursday 28th March – part 1





Shoshannah & Mahalia were up at 7am and down to rousie by 7:30am.

I got up soon after and headed out to the kitchen to start the day.

I was feeling more relaxed about the days cooking because I had some food already prepared.

I got the washing on and started getting the morning smoko ready.

I wanted to have a shower so lit the fire to ensure the water was hot enough.

Azzan was up but still not running on all cylinders.

I managed to find some dissoluble Aspro for him to gargle to try and kill his throat pain.

Abby helped him take the morning tea stuff down to the shed before 9am.

He then hopped onto Skype and spent the hour with his GO teacher.

He wasn’t really functioning enough to retain much but I checked out his scheduled lessons and he can do them another day when he is feeling up to it.

No immediate need to push him into it right now.

I got all the lunch food prepared and the table set early.

Still trying to get to the shower…..

Cat came in and began checking out the rest of Tim’s clothes and camping gear that were still piled in the living room.

She sorted them with/for me.

I kept back a few things.

Some for Nathan and Anson and other things I can’t part with just yet.

As we sorted it all began to get too much again.

Marah walked in the door with a cake she had baked to help out and I ended up sobbing on her shoulder again.

It wouldn’t matter how long I took to do this, it would still be hard.

I need to do this now, but only some of it, just his work clothes and things the boys can use.

I am keeping a few items for me.

I have to have some things left or it all feels too final.

Cat & Azzan tidied the living room and vacuumed so it is all looking more liveable now.


I finally managed to have my shower and get back to the kitchen just as the guys were arriving up for lunch.

It was nice to be able to sit and enjoy my lunch with the others.

Because of all the dramas over the past couple of days I have missed meal times.

But thankfully today the phone has been silent.


Marah washed up the lunch dishes and helped get the afternoon smoko down to the shed before she headed off home.

Her help was very appreciated.

I was really tired so went off to bed and had an afternoon rest.

Slept for a wee while and then knitted some more while I watched a ‘Midsomer Murder’.

Azzan prepared his special baked potatoes for dinner.

He also cooked up some pumpkin and made a salad.

I had thawed out some frozen stews, plus we had left over dessert from last night, so dinner was quite easy.


I managed to usher the children off towards their beds soon after 8pm.

But then Jesika called up so Azzan and Mahalia had long talks with her.

I went back out to the living room and caught Bri acting very suspiciously winky

She and Abby were hiding shiney wrapped eggey shaped chocolatey things all around the place.

The children will have fun in the morning won’t they?

And once they find everything they will be on such a sugar high that I will have to scrape them off the ceilings laughing

Finally got them all settle down and then it was my turn to talk with Jesika.

She has a good phone card deal for this month so it is nice we can talk more often now.


Azzan has been doing lots of writing this afternoon.

He has written pages and pages to his Dad.

They are very moving.

His first page reads exactly like this



Loseing a dad, is very sad.

You may start getting mad

with your dad!

But rememer that dad,

is special to you, and that

he really misses you to.

You will start to cry

and You will ask God why,

he was taken away

on that very day.

But you always remember him

as the: BEST DAD EVER!

and he will be happy,

right there in heaven!


Written by Azzan Shand

for his dad Timothy Shand

on thursday 28th March 2013








Wednesday 27th March




Shearing today.

I had a quick soak in the spa at 6:30am before the rest of the world woke.

Actually Shoshannah was up – she is also an early riser.

She would always be up early to have breakfast with her Dad.

It was their special time together.

When I see her sitting at the table quietly eating her porridge all alone in the early hours my heart breaks for her.


Anson & Gary arrived around soon after 7am to begin their days work.

Shoshannah & Leeann were shedhanding.

Matt & Jack were helping as well.


Mahalia was determined to help Anna catch her first fish before they left so she was up early and down at the wharf with the fishing rods with Anna & Niamh.

Once that feat had been achieved the girls helped in the woolshed.

Marah & Anson said Mahalia did really well.

It was her first time as a rousie.


I got stuck into the kitchen – have to be on to it to get the food ready for their scheduled breaks.

I was trying to make bread when Rowena arrived in to help me.

My head just wasn’t in a good space and I wasn’t functioning well.

It was quite a big thing for me because I haven’t had to run the kitchen since Tim died.

It is my usual domain and I have done a few things over the past month or so but never a full day.

It might not seem much but normally I am in full control and have everything completely organised.

But not now.

I just struggle to think clearly and make the smallest decisions.

I got the bread made and then began the morning tea.

I made savoury pinwheel scones.

Rowena & Kate cut up all the onions and tomatoes and grated the cheese for me.

While I finished them Rowena made gingerbread.

She flitted back and forth from kitchen to other things that needed doing, like hanging out washing etc.

She also made a large date loaf for me.

Morning tea is at 9:30am.

Marah arrived round so she helped Rowena & Kate take it down.

She also saw that we were short handed in the shed so she went home to change and came back to help.

I was quite concerned about her working in the shed as she is in her 3rd trimester of her pregnancy.


I had been able to make a phone call around 9am while it was all quiet, and very firmly and unemotionally tell the people involved in the drama from the previous day that I was not going to tolerate the nonsense and to sort themselves out and stop including me etc.

I thought that would be enough to sort things.

But I was wrong.

The phone calls just didn’t stop.

I was so completely over it, and getting quite upset.


My very dear friends Maurice & Cathy arrived in their yacht.

They had a cuppa and chatted with us and then pitched in and helped with lunch preparation.

I made a large fish dish and salads.

I also put rice on to cook and was devastated at 11:50am to find I hadn’t turned it on.

Lunch is at 12 sharp!

I ran to the safe to see what was there and found a bowl of cold potatoes so quickly fried them up.

My loaf of bread turned out beautifully so all was good.

I put all the food out on the bench, set the table, and then made a cup of liquorice tea and left.

I was exhausted.

I collapsed in a chair out in the sun with Cathy & Maurice and caught up on all their news.

They have a group of friends who go yachting and holidaying together.

As we talked their friends cruised past.

It really was lovely to see them but I was just so fragile that I was barely containing myself.

Cathy & I have known each other since we were at Polytec and we roomed at the same hostel and got into mischief together.

Cathy & I are the same age and Maurice is just a week older than Tim.

Nearly 8 years between us, yet another link & bond.

They were telling me of their travel and holiday plans for the coming year etc and everything just caved in.

I have been struggling with not ever having any more holidays with Timmy and this just bought it all too close.

Thank goodness for sunglasses sad


When they cruised off lunch was over.

I heated myself up some food but really wasn’t hungry, so didn’t get around to eating it for a while.

I got afternoon tea ready.

Abby made the cheese toasties which was a big help.

I was making some white chocolate, boysenberry & apple muffins when Phoebe phoned to say the mailboat was on it’s way.

I am so incredibly blessed with my two daughters-in-law.

They are so supportive and loving.

I just cried and cried and she listened and sent hugs over the phone heart

The on going phone calls were adding to my stress and were just tipping me over the edge.


Rowena cleaned the Cottage and packed up their car.

I was on the phone organising insurance for my new Nissan when she came to say they were all ready to leave.

While the muffins cooked I went up to say goodbye.

Matt had been such a tremendous help.

He had picked up the third handpiece and had taken the weight off Anson.

Because there were 140 sheep more than he had originally thought he and Gary would’ve really been stretched to finish the mob in 2 days, but Matt picked up the slack and got them back on target.

Here is the lovely family before they piled into their car and headed out.


Bri & Cat were working in the shed.

Clearing it out and preparing to fit in a large stainless work bench.

Had to grab a pic of Rowena with her two girls she used to bathe and help look after when she lived with us all those years ago.

Don’t think she would have much chance of getting them into the bath these days winky


I got the afternoon smoko ready and Abby took it down for me at 3pm.

She bought the mailbag back up so I sat and opened mail while I ate my lunch.

Marah asked Abby if she would be able to help in the shed because it was getting to much for her, so she did.

From all accounts it was a great experience for our primary school teacher happy


Azzan has not been doing well for the past couple of days.

He has been telling me his throat is sore and there is blood.

I haven’t paid too much attention apart from giving him cuddles and sending him off to rest.

However, I had a look tonight and found he has several large ulcers.

Poor wee fella.

I know from personal experience how painful they are.

So we began a course of mouthwashes etc to try and get on top of them.


Seb had been out doing mussel work all day.

He popped around to see me when he came to get the trailer.

He is off to town so I gave him some things to deliver for me.

It was good to talk some thing over with him.

Because of all the excess emotional pressure I have had to put up some protective boundaries.

I am not answering the phone now.

The kids are fielding my calls whenever possible.

At night I am unplugging the phone and turning off my cell.

This makes it really difficult for me because I have always been available for my children to call at any hour.

I sat with my laptop at the kitchen table surrounded by mail and paperwork.

Managed to do some online banking, and pay the gst.

Also did the change of ownership for my new Nissan.

Ant is getting the transport of it sorted so all is good happy



I had found some casseroles in the freezer so had them for dinner with minted potatoes and stirfried cabbage.

Also made a large pear & kiwifruit crumble for dessert.

We waited for Anson, Gary & Marah to come back for dinner at 7pm but at 7:30pm gave up and started serving.

They arrived soon after.

Noel arrived in the ‘Tardis’ and came up to talk with me.

We sat outside and talked through a whole lot of stuff, so am hoping things will run smoothly now.


By the time he left dinner was over and dishes cleaned up.

I found some food and ate while talking with Gary & Anson.

Then they left and it was time to head off to bed.

I was so incredibly exhausted I just fell straight onto my pillow.


My friend Roni sent me this poem today which really touched me.

Reduced me to tears again but says it all so well.


The Path…

Tim –

You leave behind such memories
That loved ones will hold dear
They’ll take them down the path of life
Though that path may seem unclear

It’s missing that bright sunny warmth
And those skies of blue
That always seemed to be there
When they walked that path with you

Today they gather together
As you watch them from above
And learn to walk a new life path
Now lit with just your love

They start out with uncertainty
It’s not the path they knew
When they walked life’s path before
Hand in Hand with you

Your light will never fade
It gets brighter every day
As you lead them down the path
And you show them the way

So guide them with a gentle hand
Down that Path Unknown
And help them through the twists and turns
As they make their way back home

Those last few steps may be quite hard
And difficult to bare
But the path ends at Heaven’s Gate
And they will find you there

So begin your journey today my friends
Keep pushing through the pain
He waits for you at Heaven’s Gates
And you will be together again









Tuesday 26th March




My day began with a very rude awakening.

A phone call at just after 4am jolted me out of a deep sleep.

It was totally unimportant and an unnecessary interruption which really upset me.

Especially after the late 11pm phone calls the previous night.

When you get a call in the night it is usually because something is wrong, so when it is due to hysteria it is more than upsetting.

It took me a while to get back to sleep and then only managed another hour.


When the children began moving I got up and made myself some breakfast and brought it back to bed to eat while I knitted and watched a ‘Midsomer Murder’.

Rowena arrived with juice, chocolates and tlc.

Her smiling face and administrations to my wellbeing are very appreciated heart

She’s a sweet, busy, loving lady who takes pleasure in caring for others.

Who knew that taking her into our home back in 1987 would result in her being such a blessing to me now?

A lot of water has passed under our bridges in all those years and despite the physical distance between us our friendship is stronger than ever.

Shoshannah came to see me.

She was not doing well so we sat and talked for a few moments.

But I was interrupted by yet another phone call.

I have enough to deal with without having to put up with other peoples dramas.

It was just way too much.

I ended up losing it and sobbing my heart out at the kitchen bench.

A phone call with Seb helped to calm things and I was able to leave it all behind and move on into the day.


It was a glorious Autumn day – hot, sunny and calm.

Bri & Abby got the girls organised to go kayaking.

Mahalia & Anna went out first in the double kayak.

Then Bri got the large Sea Bear kayak that Tim & I bought at the end of January and took it out for a test drive.

I was amused to see that she was able to fit Niamh & Kate into the extra holds.

They all headed off across the bay to catch fish.


Matt & Jack spent the morning helping Anson with stock work.

He had all the sheep in the yards to sort, drench and tag.

Two hours later the kayakers returned.

They had had a lovely time but young Kate had gotten rather bored and was quite vocal about it winky



Rowena prepared the chickens for dinner and began making truffles.

Shoshannah made spirals for lunch.

They always go down well.

Marah came round for a walk, it is always good to see her.

After lunch Anson took Cat home on his bike and Leeann & Marah walked.

The girls then borrowed Anson’s truck and went over the hill to see Graham.

Cat climbed trees to put ropes up to prepare them for felling.

Leeann loaded the truck with sawdust and milling chips.


I wasn’t feeling great, didn’t much feel like eating.

Ended up munching on a couple of peanut butter and honey sandwiches.

I left the Mahalia & Anna to do some vege prep for dinner.

Then Rowena and I went walking.

We wandered around to The Croft and visited with Marah for an hour or two.

It was lovely just to sit and chat in the cool of their back verandah.

Checked out the baby’s room, Marah has been painting it – looking good!

I deliberately left my phone at home so it was doubly good to be away from all demands for a while.

We set off towards home around 4:30pm.

Took the long route back by side tracking to the top sheds.

The sheep were in the yards.

Enjoying the late afternoon sunshine.

All waiting to be shorn.

Olly was enjoying hay from Mahalia’s birthday hay sling.

He is right into food so paid us no attention at all!

Rowena hadn’t seen some of the newer buildings and alterations so we meandered down the hill.

Stopped in to visit Bri & Abby for a mo and then down to view Cat’s latest rennos.

Looking great with the ‘new’ ranch slider and deck.


Seb & Phoebe had taken Matt & Jack out in the boat.

Seb has a lot of mussel farm maintenance to do so he incorporated that with some fishing.

The guys were rapt with their afternoon out on the water.

Chatted for a  few minutes before Seb & Phoebe headed off home.

Seb had been harvesting through the night and was rather tired.

Matt and the kids watching stingrays and fish under the wharf.


Anson was tagging sheep as we came through the shed.

It was all quiet in there and all I could hear was the click of the tagging gun.

Matt stayed to help him finish off, he had to draft them up again before shearing in the morning.


A lot of cute wee fantails are darting around at present, busily catching flies.

They arrive here in abundance in the early Autumn, they are such cheery little birds, they fly indoors and dart hither and thither catching flies.

This wee one was flitting around the rope by the shore.

It is quite hard to catch them on camera cuz they hardly stop still for a moment but I managed to get this one!!

Jesika & Evan’s protea at the bottom of the garden has two large flowers about to open.

These are the first for this bush so most exciting.

Mahalia, Anna & Jack hung out on the end of the wharf and did some fishing int he late arvo sun.

Such a beautiful evening.

Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, Rowena was demolishing the chickens and making her famous chicken pie for dinner.

It was delicious.

Graham, Anson & Marah came for dinner – 17 around the tables tonight.

Some chose to sit out on the deck and enjoy the evening air.

I made ambrosia for dessert.

Dinner went down well happy

Lots of laughter and crazy fun.

Azzan was most entertaining.


I got a phone call from Ant just before dinner.

He has been scouting for a new vehicle for me.

He called and asked me how urgently I needed it.

I told him I was in no hurry, just wanted to wait until the right one was found.

Then he said, ‘Well I have just bought one for you!!’

I was so excited.

He had been prepared to go searching int he North Island while he was up there on business and had gone to see the first one on the list and it ticked all the boxes.

So I now have a new car.

So excited laughing

For all you petrol diesel heads these are the specs

Nissan Regulus 1997

142,000km, diesel, 3200cc automatic 4WD,  5 door

ABS brakes
Air conditioning
Central locking
Driver airbag
Passenger airbag
Power steering


and it is Gold.

Not black.


I am so happy and so blessed  pleased

Just working through the logistics of getting it down here now, but that is a minor issue in comparison to ‘The Search’.




I was really really tired so glad to head off to bed around 9pm.

Everyone had left by then and the kids were just putting themselves to bed.

Rowena gave me a lovely relaxing back massage so I was able to climb between the sheets and almost fall straight to sleep.





Monday 25th March




The dawn sky this morning was beautiful.

Shoshannah & Mahalia were up and ready to leave to go mustering with Anson at 7am.

Shoshannah was much happier after a nights sleep.

Azzan was up at 7:30, ready to go help Seb with mussel work.

But because of the fishing party leaving Seb couldn’t come till around 8:30am.

Azzan was really champing at the bit by then to leave.

He was down on the wharf impatiently waiting so when Seb came swooping in on ’88 South’

Azzan was already to hop on board

and leave for work!


I put a couple of loads of washing through.

My bed was beginning to fall to bits so figured it was time to wash the sheets.

It was lovely out in the sunshine hanging the washing on the line.

While I was out there a mussel barge came in during the morning to drop some stuff off.


Had to deal with some business stuff on the phone today.

Was absolutely exhausted afterwards.

I don’t want or need hassles right now.

It is hard enough to make the decisions I have to make for the lawyers without anything else.

I am seriously going to be finding a cave to crawl into real soon!


Seb brought Phoebe over for a visit after he and Azzan had finished work.

Azzan was really tired after his morning’s work so he had a shower and then went off to rest on his bed for a while.

Seb went through Tim’s clothes.

He is the only one who actually fits his Dad’s clothes so he ended up taking a couple of large bags home with him.

Still got a lot more to sort, but they can wait.


Went for a wander up the hill to see how things were progressing.

Cat is working on the hut decking.

It is going to have to be renamed ‘The Palace’ after this makeover.

‘The Hut’ just doesn’t ring right anymore!!

Mahalia brought Olly down to do some more lawn mowing.



Rowena & Matt arrived later in the arvo with their 4 children.
Rowena slotted straight into folding the washing and  washing dishes while Matt unpacked.

Niamh and Kate went swimming with Mahalia & Azzan.

Anson came round at 6pm and took Matt and Jack mustering.

It was supposed to be a short muster, but it took them quite a while to get back for dinner.

I think there was a fair bit of farmers talk happening too winky


Dinner was really good.

Roast mutton & potatoes, chicken nibbles, beans and carrots with gravy.

The house is really busy at the moment.

14 around the table tonight.

It is lovely to have everyone home but I am looking forward to just getting back to some semblance of normality.

A new sort of normality.

The three children and I are getting back on our feet slowly.

But we are all very tired and I can see we need to just be us soon.

It is not going to be easy, but we have to just be…..


I have managed to get quite a good amount of knitting done throughout the day so the wee jacket is getting closer.

Had a quick spa tonight before hopping into bed.

The moon was very bright, the clouds were large and voluminous.

Tonight I just feel really tired, really empty……..







Sunday 24th March




I woke when Shoshannah got up to go hunting with Anson around 6am.

I started watching a series of dvds called ‘Campian’ while knitting.

They got very intriguing so I carried on watching them throughout the day.

Azzan made me breakfast in bed – poached egg on toast with parsley, cheese and tomato.

He did well and the egg was cooked to perfection

I got up and put some washing on and chatted with Abby and Mahalia.

Abby was busy cooking lunch.

Azzan baked chocolate biscuits.

Shoshannah arrived back before lunch.

She was sore and exhausted.

She had fallen and hurt her wrist so we quite tearful.

I sent her off to ice it and have lunch and then suggested she had a sleep.

Seb popped into visit.

We talked about a few business matters and then discussed sorting Tim’s clothes.

Some more tears, but he will come help me tomorrow, so that will be really helpful.


Azzan went swimming and came up lugging this bucket with something to show me.


A hefty specimen of a rather short legged octopus.



I basically stayed in bed and conducted my day from there.

Somedays it just feels like life is rushing on too fast and the only way I can slow it all down and cope with everything is not to get out of bed.

I did get heaps of knitting done – I am really delighted with how much progress on the baby jacket I have made.

I only cast on the first stitches around 4pm yesterday and I have just finished the back and two fronts.

This is the wee vest and hats I have recently completed.


Anson called up tonight asking for help tomorrow with some mustering, and shearing later in the week.

Shoshannah & Mahalia will go with him.

Azzan is planning to go help Seb do some mussel work in the morning.

Shoshannah was really tired today and very emotional tonight.

Life is very overwhelming for us all right now.

She is finding the demands on her physically just a bit much.

She enjoys helping on the farm and getting outdoors, but at the moment I think the pressure of feeling she has to do it is pressing down on her more than she can cope with.

Life is just not fair right now sad


Rowena & Matt are coming tomorrow with their children which will be a great help.


I found this lovely family photo yesterday when tidying.

It was taken on Catriona’s 21st birthday – 18 December 2003.