Tuesday 30th April




I woke at 5am-ish and spent some time replying to emails.

Then got up to say goodbye to Diane.

When I was in the shower I was hit with memories and thoughts and dissolved into tears.

I remembered Wilf saying at Tim’s funeral how much he and Diane had been looking forward to getting to know Tim & I better and spending time with us.

As mutual in-laws, future grandparents, plus as friends with lots in common.

We were looking forward to those times too.

It was also the thoughts of Tim not being here to share the grandchildren which he was so looking forward to.

He had been waiting for so long for the appearance of them.

The children all have been busy creating lives and taking their own time to produce their own families so we haven’t had the pleasure of the prospect of grandkids until this year.

And now they are beginning to fill our lives he is gone – just totally not fair sad



Wilf had left me the train timetable and card so I thought I would head down and catch the 9:17am to Britomart.

Got there and found there was an earlier one not listed in the schedule.

So when it arrived I hopped on board.

Must say it was rather interesting.

As a white female I was very much in the minority in my carriage.


It was quite good not to be in a hurry to be anywhere so I meandered.

The crowds ascended the escalators quickly and by the time I got to them I sailed up to ground level alone.

I was able to get my bearings as soon as I saw this building.

It is at the bottom of Queen St and I have been up into it with Sunni to visit one of her apartments.

Wandering up Queen St at 9:30am is actually quite good.

The office workers are already off the streets and at their desks, the main body of shoppers hadn’t begun yet.

Just a few stragglers, street sleepers finding some place to go for the day and me!


I passed by a BNZ so popped in to see about banking some $US a friend had sent me to help pay for Tim’s helicopter ride home.

Had a very interesting chat with the bank teller guy after I discovered the exchange rate was very definitely not in my favour at the moment!

Decided against the exchange for now – will ride it a while and see how the rates move in next weeks.

But got me realising how far out of touch I have been.

Tim always monitored the exchange rates because it affects the prices we get for the sale of our mussels.

Although the US$ has been sitting high against the NZ$ it is definitely the highest I have seen in a very long time.


Walked further along and spotted the old BNZ building across the road.

I am loving the beautiful old architecture around the city.

Could happily spend all day just wandering and taking photos of all the wonderful shapes & designs.

They were so incredibly creative back then, unlike the glass box structures that over power the city today.


I got myself a frappaccino before walking up to meet Sunni.

I was sitting at the bus stop across the road from her apartment people watching while waiting for her.

It was so funny.

A bus pulled up, a lady hopped on and then proceeded to scramble through her handbag, the driver was sitting waiting patiently while she was dithering with her money.

At last success and she handed him a $5 note – he resignedly gave her some change.

Last time I was on the buses I am sure there were signs asking for correct change to be at the ready!

Then another lady rocked up, stood several metres back from the bus door and called across the gap asking where he was going.

She then yelled loudly down the street to her friend, who then came running staggering up the footpath and consulted with her.

Then it was another yelling session and from down the hill further half a dozen more people came ‘running’!

As they were all rather overweight Island folk dressed to the nines in city attire and footwear, I hesitate to use the verb ‘running’, but they did come as fast as they could manage.

All the while the bus driver is sitting there exuding as much nonplussed patience as he could muster.

Sunni arrived and dragged me away from my entertainment laughing

We walked over to the mission and finally managed to find the keys to the vehicle and were off and away out to St Lukes.

I dropped her off at her appointment and then went down to the St Luke’s Mall to hang out for an hour.

I wandered the mall, shopped a weeny bit, not major cuz I don’t have much luggage allowance and also most fo the shops I can find at home anyway.

Watched a clown entertaining the kids.

Then just as I had collapsed on a couch in exhaustion wondering whether to get some food or wait, Sunni text to say she was ready to be picked up.

Zipped back and got her and we went in search of lunch.

She took me to a cute wee place – ‘little bird unbakery‘ in New North Road.

It is all raw food.

Not one cooked thing on the premises!

Sunni got the passionfruit cheesecake and I had a fettucine which was amazing.

The ‘fettucine’ was made from shredded courgettes mixed with other veges and a dressing.

The cheesecake was also delicious – it was made using the flesh of coconut, and the base was so good.

I am not much of a cheesecake fan but I did enjoy the tastes I had of this one.

These flowers were on some of the tables.

Have no idea what they are but they were so beautiful I have to find out!!

Anyone know??


Then we drove to Sabato.

It is a food heaven.

We spent ages trying all the various oils and sauces etc.

Was sooooo full when we left.

I bought a couple of very tasty things – Capsicum Chilli Jam and Avocado Oil Dressing which has pomegranate molasses in it.

It is absolutely to die for delicious


Then it was over to New Market Mall and we spent the next hour having some pampering.

Both of us had a pedicure and I also had the manicure.

Nearly drifted off to sleep on the massaging chairs.


After we were all dry we cruised off down the street and did some ‘window’ shopping.

Did find some boots I liked while Sunni tried on some others – but as they were $960 I decided to leave them there for someone else to enjoy silly


We detoured on the way home and Sunni finally got her Bannoffie Pie from Frasers Cafe in Mt Eden.

I got an original baked cheesecake just to keep her company – can’t have a girl eating alone winky


We were both really tired so headed back to the Mission.

Parked up and headed to the apartment.

I detoured off to get a Tank drink – have become rather partial to the Pomegranate Purifier.

Sat and knitted and rested with Sunni while watching a movie.

Then Wilf called to say they were heading home soon, so I packed my bag and left Sunni to rest some more and headed over to the Mission.

Drove home with Diane through slow 5pm traffic.

I was nearly asleep.

Crashed out at the house while Wilf made dinner.

It was so good to have a home cooked deliciously wholesome meal – steak and veges with a wonderful cheese sauce.

I was just about to fall into bed when Murray Skyped me for a chat.

Nice to catch up briefly but I had to get to bed.

It had been a good day, but I am not used to walking the streets so much and I was exhausted.

Fell asleep with tears on my pillow as I’m really missing Tim so very much tonight.

I have been told many times lately that I am looking good.

But it feels almost like because I am that people think I am okay.

But I am not.

It is sort of a double whammy when I get told that.

For myself and for Tim I have taken care of me in the past couple of years, physically and emotionally and I can’t let that go now he is not here.

For him I am still trying to look after myself.

So if you see me looking good and smiling please just know that on the inside I am so miserably lonely.








Monday 29th April




My last morning in Wellington.
I was awake early so had plenty of time to shower and pack and tidy my room.
I had heard Mel awake with young Toby around 6:30am.
They had gone back to sleep so I was hoping they would wake in plenty of time to take me to the airport.

They were
I had sorted out the books and had decided to post several of them as they are quite heavy and would’ve tipped the luggage scales against me despite me packing light.

I lugged my 20kgs of suitcase out and stashed it in Mel’s car.
Then went up to help her get ready.
While she dressed herself and Toby I was given instructions on what to do re bottles and formula and where to find the baby food.
This is all so incredibly foreign to me.
No 1 – I never used baby formula or bottles.
No 2 – I never used prepared shop bought baby foods.
No 3 – it is 10 years since I had my last baby.

But I overcame all those odds and successfully managed to help Mel get ready

We went via a Post Shop and I packaged up several of the books and posted them all.
Whew! That literally took a huge weight from me.

Then we carried on to the airport.
I had to check in by 10:30am and we made it with plenty of time to spare so no stressing.

I had time to grab a smoothie on the way through to my departure gate.


Flight was good – I was preoccupied with reading the book of Shand history that I had brought up for Sunni so the time literally flew!

Plane was a tad late leaving as the connecting flight in was delayed due to weather, but they made up the time and we only arrived about 10mins late.

Wilf met me and we drove into the city.
The temperatures were way warmer and my jacket was very superfluous to requirements.
Was thinking longingly also of my jandals back at home which I had left and packed boots instead whatevah

Had a quick catch up with Diane at the City Mission and then I walked over to see Sunni.

I hadn’t seen their new apartment so while she heated me some delicious Cauliflower & bacon soup that Mat had made I explored their pad.

She wasn’t feeling at all well so we just sat and talked for a while.

Then she had the urge to go find dessert.

Of course who could resist that!

So off we went for a walk down the street.

There was no one obviously selling Banoffie Pies – which is her flavour of need right now!

So found a Gloria Jeans – introduced Sunni to their Cream Brulee frappes.

The verdict was – not as good as the Starbucks frappacinos – Sunni is into the creamy stuff right now and apparently the cream at Starbucks is better.
As I don’t ‘do’ cream fullstop I will have to bow to her opinion there winky

It was really nice just to sit and relax and chat without any need to go anywhere or do anything.

We eventually walked down to Queen street as I wanted to get a new charger cord for my iPhone at Noel Leemings.

On the way Sunni showed me some really funky gift shops which I will just have to return to later in the week.


It was weird to think that only 7 months ago Tim and I were walking along Queen St with the kids after Sunni & Mat’s wedding.
I kept on seeing places we’d been and remembering things we had done.

Just small things but poignant remembrances all the same.


We walked back to meet up with Diane and as I really had had nothing much to eat except for the soup I was getting rather hungry, so we detoured into ‘Tank’ and got a Pomegranate Purifier smoothie.
It was really really good.

Thoroughly recommend it pleased


Said goodbye to Sunni as she went off to met Mat and I walked up to Diane.

We drove home and had a good catch up chat along the way.

The sun was setting as we left and I was trying to get a photo on my iPhone but Diane wouldn’t stop the car in the middle of the intersection at rush hour for me laughing

So I had to take it on the move as she turned the corner – promise it was actually far prettier than this, but you get the idea!!


Wilf was working late so after while Diane walked the dog I tried to connect to the internet via their cable.

Diane had showed me which cable to use so I plugged it in and had all kinds of problems trying to get it to connect.

When she returned we were trying to nut out why it wouldn’t go and why it kept asking for passwords etc that weren’t required and then all of a sudden she had a ‘lights on’ moment and unplugged the cable and replugged it into her computer and then unplugged the other end of it and plugged that into my laptop.

We were using the wrong end – no wonder nothing was happening clueless

Away laughing then!


Because she is recovering from some major surgeries she is not cooking at the moment so we hopped into the car and went round the corner to ‘Portofino‘.

It was a lovely Italian restaurant with a delightfully attentive host.

We enjoyed a really delicious meal.
I had Pollo Camembert chicken and Diane had Filleto Al Vino Rosso steak.

She couldn’t eat all hers so I finished it for her.

I was ravenous!

Then just as we finished dessert Wilf arrived and joined us for after dinner drinks.


On the way home we stopped and went through the instructions on how to use train etc for next day.

This is a country girl talking here, who hasn’t used trains a heck of a lot.

We came home and got sorted for bed.

It was close on midnight before lights went out.







Sunday 28th April







I found this very large painting on the wall of the Civic Chambers yesterday.

I really liked it.

It entitled ‘Fisher Boy’ and was painted by Eleanor Kate Mair in 1889.



Tracie came to pick me up just before 9am.

We drove to her old flat in Miramar to pick up the last few things and then delivered them to her new flat in Kingston.

Then she took me to a really neat place for breakfast – Floriditas.

The food was really good – thoroughly recommend it.

We had a hour to eat, talk and catch up before Tracie had to drop me back to the house.


I then got ready to go pick up Cat from the train.

I had a little time up my sleeve so did a tiki tour around the city centre.

Mahalia was missing her Daddy so I called her up while I was waiting.

Cat arrived at midday.

I was still talking to Mahalia on the phone so she carried on talking to Cat while I drove us to Karori.

We arrived at cousin Carol’s house and joined the family throng.

It was really good to catch up with Cousin Tim Wallis.

Lat time Tim and I saw him was at the previous reunion in 2000.

Cat & Jesika had met up with him at a ‘Warbirds over Wanaka’ not long after his last accident.

It was great that all of the Wallis family branch of the Shand’s had come.

Cat & I were the only representatives of the Philip Shand branch.


Cousin Ann was launching her book ‘Virtue Leads, Fortune Follows’.

It is a 340 page book on the NZ Shand family history following John Shand who came here in 1850 from Liverpool on one of the first 5 ships into Canterbury and who was one of the first 20 settlers to purchase land there.

We al gathered in Carol’s lounge and listened to Ann give an account of how the book came into being.

It was fascinating and I can;t wait to start reading it.

Before we finished the more formal part of the occasion Diana presented Ann with a bouquet and kudos for her achievement.


Then the food was put out and we all milled around, talking and eating and enjoying the afternoon together.


There was a lovely number of cousins there.

Some I knew from years ago and others I met for the first time.

It was a really good afternoon.

I had planned to post some of the books to the kids not nearby.

But discovered a cousin who was flying back to Melbourne who was more than happy to take Jesika’s book with him.

So expect a call from Adrian Jesika!

And then some more rellies were heading to Christhchurch so took Bri’s book.

Cat took her’s with her.

Which just left me with 10 more to deal with – and they weigh 2kgs each!

I am thinking I will post a few tomorrow so I don’t have to carry them.


Cat and I were among the last to leave.

She told me she was glad she had come with me.

I was glad to have her there too.


We drove back to the house.

Sorted out all the books I had bought to distribute among my family and then after some socialising with Mel and her wee man, I took Cat back top the train.

She was tired and has work tomorrow.


I picked up some Burger Fuel burgers for dinner for me and Mel.

She went off to bed soon after and I watched the end of X Factor NZ.


Now it is time to settle into my pillows.

Am rather weary tonight.










Saturday 27th April




I was awake at 5:30am so caught up on some banking and blogging.

Once the girls were awake I zipped through the shower and then sorted my bags.

I didn’t want to carry excess luggage with me on the plane so bagged up what I didn’t need and left it in the Terrano.

Probably still took too much with me whatevah


While the girls got dressed I zoomed into the city to fuel up the Terrano and get a frappaccino.

As it was only 8:30 the traffic was very light and I was back well within the half hour.

In time to say goodbye to John & Sally and the troops as they headed off to Blenheim for the day.


I had time to have a quick goodbye with Shoshannah & Maria and then it was time for me to head to the airport.

John’s friend dropped me off.

The girls wandered up to the Tahunanui shops and got themselves some breakfast.

Several hours later they were taken to the airport and flew to Christchurch.

Shoshannah is doing her normal CEF camp down there.

She will be totally camped out when she gets back home!


It was a bit of a bumpy flight over the Straits, had my camera ready in case we flew over home but we didn’t.

Mel met me at the airport and took me back to the house.

Had a cuppa and chilled for half an hour and then got ready to go downtown.

Bobbi was away but had left her car for me to use.

It is a zippy wee bright yellow shopping basket – very cute.

I drove down to their carparking building and parked up there for the arvo.

Walked to meet Jerome, our Country Calender director, and his wife for coffee at Felix cafe.

I was starving so had brunch while we talked.

His wife was lovely, so good to meet her.

We had a lovely time but eventually had to leave.

I walked to meet Clare at Scopa.

Clare was battling a headcold so didn’t want too much food.

She just had chips, but I had to try the Tiramisu – I am always a sucker for it but am usually disappointed.

This time I wasn’t – it was very good pleased

We hung out together for the rest of the day/evening.


We walked down to the Reading Centre to see what was on at the movies.

Identity Thief‘ was about to start so we got tickets.

It had it’s funny parts and some feel good bits but I wouldn’t be rushing off to buy the dvd.


We then decided we had better move the car from the carparking building so it didn’t get shut in overnight!

I was telling Clare how I was finding it hard to judge/asses the dimensions of the wee car when driving it which seems really dumb when I am used to driving 4WD’s!

So she offered to drive – I was happy to accept.

She circled the streets trying to find a park but it was pretty busy already.

So we finally found another parking building which stayed open later.

Then we walked to one palce to eat but it was packed and had a waiting list of about 45minutes.

Decided to try somewhere else.

Went to Sweet Mother’s Kitchen.

A really funky wee place, also very busy but only a 20 minute wait list.

There were spare bar stools at the counter so we sat there.

It was cosy and the staff very friendly.

They were also happy to charge my phone for me.

We soon had our dinner.

The menu was very New Orleans in flavour and the decor was a busy cluttered sort of frenzy, but comfortable at the same time.


We sat and talked and ate and enjoyed the evening.

When we left we wandered down to Starbucks and had a drink for dessert/supper.

Then it was back to the car and Clare drove to her place.

Thanks for a lovely evening Clare – it was nice to hang out with you – I will be back pleased

It was easy to find my way back to Bobbi & John’s place, but not so easy to navigate the steep tight turn into the garage.

Bet if I was in the Terrano I would’ve handled it so much easier winky


Had a really relaxed day.

Sort of a social food crawl.











Friday 26th April





The alarm woke me at 5:30am.

I needed every minute of the hour and a half I had given myself to get ready.

The wwoofers were all up around 6am.

The French guys were going with Anson to check his possum line and the German’s were packing to come with me.

We were gone by 7am.

We had a quick stop at Okiwi Bay and then straight on to Nelson.

I took Aylin & Nils directly to the Paradiso Backpackers, drove up and parked in the NP zone by the front door as I was going to quickly drop them and leave.

Because they seemed to be having problems undoing the back hatch of the Terrano I turned off the ignition and got out to help them.

When I went to restart it was dead.

Nobody at home!

Nothing sad

I couldn’t understand what had happened.

I flew into the reception area to tell them I was parked and had broken down but they seemed totally unconcerned.

I was really worried because I was blocking all the parked cars from leaving.

I found my AA card and called for urgent assistance.

It seemed to take forever to get through and then get all the information to her.

She was very sympathetic and lovely, so much so that the tears began threatening.

I tried really hard to hold it all together.

Nils & Aylin came out to help.

While I waited I popped the lid to have a look and discovered the weld on on of the battery terminals had broken and there was no contact.

So after some deliberation I sandwiched it together and managed to restart the engine.

Said goodby to N&A and backed out of the drive.

I just wanted to get out of the main thoroughfare!

I parked on the street and tried to call the AA back and cancel the callout but the truck arrived soon after.

He had a good look and play with it and got it fixed enough for me to get to our garage.

I called them and told them I was on my way.

Went straight to Muritai Motors, parked up in the workshop and walked through to the office and immediately had a meltdown on Pauline’s shoulder sad

We sat and talked while the guy replaced the fitting.

I was soon on my way again – the whole drama took about an hour out of my morning so I was very glad I had left earlier than I really needed to.

I was also counting blessings – mainly that it hadn’t happened when I stopped in Okiwi Bay!

I was on the right side of the city to start working my way through my list.

I dropped mussels off to Sally & John, then up to the vet to pick up stuff for Anson.

Talk about random happenings!!
As I stood at the counter waiting to pay I turned and looked behind me.

And there stood my neighbour Sue from across the bay  – she must’ve literally been traveling out behind me.

Was so lovely to see her as we hadn’t had a chance to catch up since the funeral.

On promises to catch up on my return I drove up the street to see Anat & Rami .

Dropped off more mussels and picked up the most delicious broccoli and blue cheese savoury pie which I munched on as I drove on my way.

Then it was a quick stop to give Fumio some mussels too.

He & Sayuri were so pleased to see me, I felt really bad I couldn’t stop, but have a proper visit scheduled real soon.

From there I headed back into the city.

I was beginning to get on top of the tears by now thankfully.

I was happy to be working my way through my list.


When I went to find a park I discovered that town was crazy busy already.

It was like a manic mid summers day with people just in cruise mode everywhere.

It was a case of cruising the carparks and watching to see someone about to leave.

I finally found a park, posted my mail and then finally got myself a very much needed by then frappacino pleased

Went up to see the lawyer and sign more papers – they assure me that the process is nearly completed!

Then sipped into Glassons to get some tops.

Actually only went to get one but they had a heap of cool colours on special so I got a few more than one winky

From there I zipped up to see Leeanne – she is making me some tops from fabric I have had stashed for quite a few years.

Tried them on and then got a baked potato for lunch and had time to eat it quickly before my counseling appointment.

Had a good session there and then went back to see Leeanne.

Picked up some more hot potatoes and went to meet Graham & Mahalia & Azzan at the beginning of the motorway.

They were on their way home.

Much later than anticipated as Graham was chasing his tail getting jobs done along the way.

Aylin & Nils came to say goodbye to the kids too.

Azzan was so so incredibly tired.

He had had a very successful camp.

Sounds like he put his heart and soul and all his energy into enjoying himself.

He came third in the talent quest singing ‘Impossible’
His vampire costume had also earned him heaps of brownie points .

When I asked Shoshannah if Mahalia had helped him get it ready like they planned, she laughed and said he had all the girls swarming around him helping!!

So proud of him heart

Mahalia had missed out on the costume parade because she had an accident and got taken to A&E with a suspected broken arm, but thankfully it was only bruised.

Shoshannah took some photos and is happy for me to share them here.


Kashana putting on Azzan’s makeup after his hair had been spray painted.

My dramatic son the vampire.

I seriously think this boy has a future on the stage!

Mahalia & Kashana – BFF’s & crazy campers laughing


Shoshannah & Maria got a ride to Tahunaui with one of the camp mothers so they both chilled out at the motel while I was in the CBD.


And this very random photo which I found on Shoshannah’s card of her pumpkin crop.

Quite an impressive array of shape and sizes.



I went to see Nathan, then Phillip joined me there just after 5pm.

We had a quiet drink and time out to chat – both of us had had busy days so it was good to just stop.


It was drizzly, cold and dark when we left around 6pm.

I came back to Arrow Motels and unpacked the Terrano, loaded up the girls and headed to Smugglers for dinner.

We all enjoyed the salmon salad and some delicious desserts.

We were sitting at the large centre table and a guy with his young son were just across from us.

After a while he started chatting to us and asked us if we were from a farm?

Then he asked a couple more questions before saying you were on Country Calendar weren’t you?
So Shoshannah replied with ‘would you like my autograph?’ laughing

He was very complimentary and had really enjoyed the show.

I chatted with John & Sally for half an hour or so while the girls got their beds ready.

It was very cosy and comfortable and I was soon sound asleep.




Thursday 25th April




Anson took all the wwoofers out mustering at 7am.

I spent time loading more photos and then prised myself out of bed and got busy in the kitchen.

Made bread, then made some date scones for morning tea.

The crew arrived home just as they were coming out of the oven.

I had time to quickly throw some clothes on and wash my face before they walked in the door.

They devoured the scones very quickly.

I made dessert while I had the mixer out and the oven hot.


After they had eaten Anson took the guys out to do some more work.

His dogs always wait so patiently for him to return.

Aylin helped me with some vege prep, then she swept and hosed down the back path and back door concrete areas.

Looks really good now – nice and clean and tidy.


Anson and the guys had been cleaning up around the sheds and getting firewood cut and stacked.

He cleaned out the old oil shed and had a burn up today.

Yes, he did have a permit!

It is rather sad seeing it go up in flames.

It has been a favourite photographic subject of mine.

I have heaps of pix of it so it’s memory will live on.

But it was falling down and its demise is so the area will be clear to build a bigger under cover area for more firewood etc.


After they had lunch I took mine to bed and rested.

Watched a Miss Marple dvd and I think I might have dozed a tad.


Aylin & Nils went up the hill for a walk.

Anson and the other two went out to set a possum poison line.


I have been trying to pack for my holiday but just haven’t had my brain functioning.

Phoebe came in this arvo and sat and untangled my knitting wool while helping me decide what to take and just generally was a lovely encouragement while I tidied my room a tad.

Seb was out getting mussels with Janis.

After he had gotten them loaded into the Terrano for me he came and immediately began sorting my room so he could set up my new TV and dvd player.

I have had them stashed in the corner for several weeks because I haven’t had the energy to think what to do with them.

I now have it all set up and functioning.

Just hope I can control the mechanics of it all!!

We haven’t had a TV in years so I get a bit freaked by having all the remotes to deal with.

We had everyone here for dinner tonight which was nice.


I finished sewing on the buttons of Marah & Anson’s wee baby jacket so gave it to them to take home.

They are cute wee green and gold ladybugs.


Finished sewing up the vest tonight after dinner.

Haven’t got a home for this one yet but Marah is coveting it so the bargain is, if they have a boy then she can have it otherwise……


I walked Seb & Phoebe through their travel arrangements and ticketing.

So exciting.

Only one more week to go and then they pack their bikini and boardies and head off to Fiji pleased


We had fun looking at Anson & Sebastian’s baby photos tonight – well we girls had fun – not sure how excited the boys were about it all  winky

I got all my packing pretty much finished and now it is time to shut off the light.

Heading to town tomorrow and want to be away by 7am.






Wednesday 24th April




Woke feeling much better this morning.

No headache and had a good sleep.

I did get pretty upset when I received a couple of emails from our lawyers.

So fed up in fact that I sent a steaming email to them all telling them that I was totally fed up with the mucking about and that I was sick of seeing all my/our money disappearing into the black hole of legalities!
I have been reassured today that they are nearly at the end of the whole process.

So here’s hoping!


Anson took all the wwoofers up the hill.

They spent the morning planting pine trees and fixing fences.

Anson took a major portion of the over baked cake for their morning tea which was good as it seriously needs to be eaten while it is still fairly fresh.

Am so glad it is not being wasted.


I have spent most of today sorting through hundreds of old photos I have on dvds and loading them onto Tim’s FB page.

It has been fun going through all the children’s baby stages.

I am so glad that they are in a sequence because some are very hard to distinguish from the others.

I guess it has something to do with the fact that they all come from the same gene pool and the similarities are very strong winky


I was still in bed when I heard a visitor in the kitchen.

It was my Marah-Cheer-Germ pleased

She was in fine form and happy to be modeling the height of farm fashion.

She had come to pick up some tools for Anson.

He needed them up the hill and it was saving him work time if she took them up rather than him having to come all the way down.

She did that job and then came back to hang out with me.

I zipped through the shower while she was away.

It was nearing midday so I made us a yummy healthy lunch.

It was nice to sit and chat with her.

Then we had a cuppa and I did a big sort through of my clothes.

With her to help me decide what to keep and what to biff I got really ruthless and made a huge hole in my drawers.
Can actually close them now winky

Still have the wardrobe to do – have already had a minor sort in there so wont be too stressful to do that job.

We were both exhausted from expelling all that energy!

Tough work making such crucial decisions like what to keep and what to throw and how to wear this and that to extend the self life of various garments laughing

It was a huge help having Marah to assist in the decision making.

I now have two large boxes of clothes to take to the op shop.


They guys all came in for lunch.

I had it heated and ready so Anson served it all up.

Seb & Janis were there too so there was quite a crowd around the table.

I stayed well clear until they had all eaten and cleaned up.


After lunch Aylin did the dishes and then cleaned the fridge and shelves under the kitchen bench.

That took her all afternoon!

Seb and some of the guys sorted and moved mussel ropes from the corner near The Croft and Anson and the others worked on his dog kennel that he is building.

Meet Seb’s wwoofer – Janis from Germany.

Because he has been busy helping Seb we haven’t seen a lot of him.

Pierre & Etienne waiting to head off to work.

Marah all loaded up and heading homeward.

Funky lady – love you loads heart


Sebastian came in for a chat before he headed off home.

It has been very windy in here today so no boat work.

They had guests arriving in Lodge today so Phoebe has been busy getting it ready.


Before dinner I was sorting photos so multi tasked and made a phone call at the same time.

I do all my toll calls on my cell phone and it has a loudspeaker so I can talk and do stuff which is really good..

I have a list of folk who have called over past weeks so am trying to make replies.

Just haven’t had enough energy to make the calls.

I really do appreciate everyone who has phoned but the energy needed to return calls is difficult to muster right now.

It is far far more than just dialing the number, it is having the emotional energy to know what to say and how to initiate a conversation.
It is easier to answer a phone call and then talk than the other way around.

Anyway, I began with Christine and I was pleased I had, because I discovered that Tim’s cousin Van & Grant are coming over to NZ from the UK very soon.

I was so excited.

It will be super cool to see them again pleased


I made a coconut cream fish dish for dinner.

Had that with potatoes, pumpkin and the aubergine dish I made yesterday so all very easy.

While they ate I sewed on the buttons to the wee hoodie.

Then I called Phillipa to find out where to buy barley for the chooks.

Tim used to buy it from a private person on the outskirts of Nelson and I don’t know who it was.

But I have just realised that in the 2hours we talked – we actually talked about everything except the barley so I still don’t know where to get it from – duh!







Tuesday 23rd April




I woke at 5am and decided I needed to stay in bed.

Thankfully I was able to sleep for an extra 2 hours.

Seb came up in the boat soon after 7:30am and took Anson and the wwoofers out fishing for the morning.

I had a headache and was feeling absolutely rubbish.

Decided to have a soak in the bath with my book.

Haven’t had a bath in ages – took me a while to find my special Japanese bath salts, finally got right down on my benders and found were hidden right at the very back of the cupboard.

I love them, lavender fragrence and of course the colour is divinely relaxing.

Once I was out and dressed I spent some time answering emails.

They were mostly the lawyer requiring me to find information which took ages.

I was not feeling that great and the whole deal just tipped me over the edge.

I was getting really upset with it all so decided I needed to go for a walk.

I sat down to put on my walking shoes when I just felt so completely overwhelmed and just cried and cried.

Haven’t cried like that is a while.

I walked around to see Marah with tears pouring down my face.

Going past the boat trailer was just another reminder that Tim is gone.

Dirt tumbled down the bank past me and I looked up to see I was being observed from above.

The road is drying out but still very boggy in places.
Anson has put some gravel and stones on this patch but they just sink in.

Marah was pleased I had come to visit.

We sat and talked.

I couldn’t stop crying.

I had a look at her baby room.

She is painting a really cool mural in there, bright and colourful and fun.

She got out all her photos so we had a look through them and she popped some on a memory stick for me.

Anson arrived back at midday.

They had caught some fish and had a cook up on the boat.

He left the wwoofers to have some soup while he came home.

I hitched a ride back with him.

He loaded up Tim’s set of drawers and took them back to Marah.

Then he took Pierre & Etienne up the hill to grub weeds.

Nils & Aylin peeled carrots and onions for the stirfry.

Then the swept the deck and hosed down and swept out the washhouse and back entrance concrete.

Shoshannah’s chickens insist on coming down to visit and leave their calling cards everywhere.

It is driving me nuts!

N&A then went up and carried on stacking timber.


I got dinner ready.

Went up to the garden to find some silverbeet as I had seen there is an abundance at present.

Chopped it up for the stirfry along with some broccoli.

Made a small pear crumble for dessert.

Made an aubergine, onion & tomato dish for dinner tomorrow night.

Made a smaller one and cooked it for my lunch.

Fried up some fresh blue cod to eat with it.

It was delicious.

Ate it while I read my book.



While the wwoofers ate their dinner I sat and read my book.

Then I sorted through old photos.

They were all gone from the house by 8:30pm so I brought my dessert to bed and carried on sorting photos for a while.

It has been a really low day.













Monday 22 April




I had been knitting in my bed last night and around 10:45ish decided I was hungry.

I have been rather erratic with my eating lately and hadn’t had my lunch until quite late in the arvo.

I went out to the kitchen to find some food, and to my great displeasure found all four wwoofers still sitting at the table.

To give us a small amount of privacy the house curfew here is 9am so I was not happy.

I told them I was turning off the lights so they slowly left the house.

I finally got my dinner around midnight.

Didn’t sleep well and woke at 5am.

Discovered there had been some terrible flooding in Richmond & Stoke.

Hadn’t seen any news the night before so was totally oblivious to the distress of some of my friends.


Got myself up and began sorting out papers in the study.

Made a good impression in there and filled up the rubbish bin a lot more.

That is always a happy feeling.


After breakfast Nis & Aylin chose to go sort dags in the woolshed.

Pierre & Etienne went with Anson and spent the morning splitting and stacking wood.

They have had a huge clean up behind the old shed.

Anson is planning to get this corner all cleaned up and build a leanto shed to keep more wood under cover.

It is a perfect spot for it.

The poor old oil shed is almost done for.


I spent the rest of the morning in the kitchen.

I cleaned out the fridges.

Resulting in the baking of a large quiche and a very large banana & choc chip cake.

The cake only needed another 5-10mins cooking.

I was really tired so asked Anson if he could please take it out as he was having lunch with the wwoofers.

I lay on my bed for a while and watched a dvd and dozed.

When I finally got up the guys had all gone.

But the cake was still in the oven.

It was only about 2 hours overcooked.

I was so gutted that I just cried.

It had taken all my energy to make it – it was a very large cake, 4 times the normal recipe, and was to feed the troops for several days.

When the guys came in they ate some and pronounced it really good.

The outside is very crusty but the inside is quite moist, so hopefully some of it will get eaten.


I did some carrots and cabbage for dinner to go with the fish pie and rice.

For dessert I gave the cake winky





Sunday 21st April




Woke to a very very wet morning.

The rain was pouring down heavily.

Shoshannah was up at 6am so she could shower and have breakfast.

She is taking her new dietary regime very seriously for which I am thankful for.

I haven’t any extra energy to ensure she is maintaining it and all the recordings necessary for the ongoing health sessions with Helen Loveday.

I woke the others at 6:45am.

I repacked Azzan’s bags to try and condense things down a tad to make traveling a lot easier.

Anson arrived at 7:15am and loaded them into his truck.

Transported them and the pig up to the top pf the hill and transferred them all into Graham’s truck.

I am very grateful that Graham offered to transport the kids for me as I have spent far too long on the road over the past few weeks.

I was rather concerned about them traveling out as we have had a lot of rain, but Shoshannah text me several times along the way and said the road was all good.


Graham and the kids collected Maria from the airport and then they went for lunch at Crusoe’s.
Anat sent me this lovely photo of my troops enjoying their food with Graham before he took them to camp.

I wanted them well fed before he dropped them off and I knew Rami would do that for me pleased

Maria & Shoshannah are leaders at Teapot Valley camp for the first time and they had to start this afternoon.

The two youngest went to stay with Sally and they will go with Kashana to camp tomorrow.



Last night I had taken the large pot of soup and sat it down on the cold floor so it would cool down over night.

I was gutted this morning to find that it had fermented overnight and it was bubbling merrily.

Damn! I should’ve made room in the fridge for it!

I wonder if soup wine is such a thing???

Well, looks like Archie is going to be well fed today bummed

I was so annoyed as I thought after all the hard work in the kitchen yesterday I wouldn’t have to cook for the troops today.

So it was back to the drawing board and make another batch of soup for lunch instead of going back to bed.


Anson came around and took the two French guys down to the woolshed to work for the morning.

Nils joined them later and help to sort dags.

Good wet day job winky

Anson has a new toy – an chainsaw sharpener so he spent the morning in the workshop sharpening up all his chains.

Aylin fed all the birds, chooks and pigs then did the dishes.

Anson then took her around to help Marah with some gardening.


I had a mutton and pork stew in the slow cooker which they enjoyed for their dinner.

I spent most of the day on my bed watching ‘Downton Abby’ and knitting.

It is most pleasing to see the progress on the wee hooded jacket I am knitting.

It was a good day for doing nothing much.

The rain eased in the late afternoon.

We had well over 50mm in the past 24 hours.

Great for the farm after the long dry period we have just had.

But it is getting frustrating for the boys – they are wanting to get their wwoofers working!!

Hopefully tomorrow will be dryer.