Friday 23rd August

Once again I was awake far too early :-/
I seriously do try to go back to sleep but end up giving up after tossing around for a while.
Had my spa while dawn was breaking this morning.
It began to gently rain while I was in there, but thankfully cleared up quite quickly.
I was on a mission to get rid of the massive piles of papers that have been accruing in the study for ages.
I have been trying to get them sorts and filed for far too long and it has been depressing me.
So I asked Shoshannah if she could direct the wwoofers when they came down for breakfast and I took my mug of hot elderflower drink and began the task.
I waded through some stuff, made some very necessary business calls that have been on my list for too long, had to wait till after 10:30am to speak to some folk.
Hate that, just when I get into a momentum and I have to put that job to one side for later.
It is so frustrating cuz I then am just paper shuffling again.
Graham arrived down around 10am and I vacated the study for a wee while so he could make some important calls.
Ella was busy baking, the kitchen was in a right state of busyness 🙂
I had found a recipe for a lemon slice so she made that and Shoshannah made it in a gluten free form.
It was delicious, but I loved Shoshannah’s the best!!
She had substituted coconut flour which really went well with the lemon.
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The kids loved the slice and it disappeared very quickly.
Azzan & Elias were in the door, grabbing a piece and gone again, several times over until I hid the plate!P1080284

YC & Shan were weeding the front rock garden today.
The gardens are all looking so much better now.

Grant made an attack on my poor old sad broken wood stove.
The wetback has been leaking for ages.
So he came down equipped with the necessary tools to try and fix it for me.P1080285
I just love the Kiwi ingenuity – the log of firewood holding up the flue 🙂
He and Graham spend ages pulling it all to pieces.
They had to turn off the water and empty the hot water cylinder.
So no water to do the dishes at lunch time – kids were very sad – not!
Poor thing looks very sad and tired.
I was wondering if it was worth fixing, but cannot afford to get another at the moment.
Grant is rebuilding the wetback so hopefully it will last a few more years yet.
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While Grant was working on the wetback up in the workshop Shoshannah got stuck in and cleaned the whole thing right out.
It is amazingly clean now so should go like lightening once it is all back together again.
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It was a lovely sunny day so everyone ate their lunch out on the deck.
Ella made some spinach & feta pinwheels to add to the soup and other munch lunch foods she had brought.
The kids were hard out playing all day.
They spent most of the arvo down leaping around the mussel bags on the wharf.
It is so good for Azzan to have a friend a similar age and stage that he can get out and do stuff with.
He and Elias almost look like twins and get along so well.
Some of the kids went fishing and Shoshannah was roped into filleting the fish for them
Seb came and went a few times in the Tardis, doing more mussel seeding.

I brought all my filing out onto he kitchen table to make it easier to sort the papers.
Finally got them all put in the appropriate places in the filing cabinet.
I had several more phone calls to make, interspersed with Graham’s calls.
Am still dealing with the police mismanagement of Tim’s recovery, have a bit of homework to do over the weekend so I can send in my/our version of the events to get them considered and put on record with the coroner.
My desk is looking somewhat clearer, although the mailboat came with more papers to sort.
It is just never ending.
I am trying to get caught up and into a better routine and am biffing stuff out to lessen the load.
The hard part is when I am going through papers and Tim’s handwriting is scribbled all over and I feel so bad putting them in the bin.
It feels like I am losing part of him, but I can’t keep it all, it is only lists and notes, nothing special apart from the fact that he wrote it and it’s like all I have left.

Dinner was easy tonight.
Shoshannah had made so much last night she just heated up what we each wanted.
I made tapioca last night and Azzan had it for dessert tonight.
I am not impressed :-/

The hot water is now heating by the mains power as the wetback is obviously not connected so the water was still cold when it came to doing the dishes.
I boiled several jugs for YC & Shan and they plowed throughout the pile.
Azzan & I played a few games of chicken foot.
He bemoaned that it was not quite as fun or challenging with only two of us playing.
I sent him off to bed after three games.
Then Ella, Grant & Miriam arrived up for some socializing.
Miriam is their new au pair from Germany.
Grant was interested in the dominoes so I called Azzan back to see if he would like to play some more games.
Dumb question 😉
So we enjoyed a few riotous games with 5 of us – much more fun than just two.
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Miriam & Azzan went off to bed and we three talked some more over a cuppa.
Jonas didn’t want to watch a movie with his older siblings so he came to visit and crashed out while he was cuddling his Mum.
It’s been a big day for a wee man.
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We talked over tomorrows first aid course and then decided that 10:30pm really was late enough for us all.
Night all.

Thursday 22nd August

I woke really early and tossed around for several hours.
Felt disgusting, couldn’t sleep.
Read my iPhone kindle for a while.
Then around 7am decided to go have a spa.
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I felt yuck most of the morning.
Sat in the study and read my book wand ate a large plate of fresh fruit salad for breakfast and tried to hydrate my headache away.
Graham came round to do some more work on the bathroom.
He has got a major problem to work through at the moment.
Just seems that no matter what you do in life, no matter how honest or how peaceful, quiet and helpful you try to be, someone will always come along and create a drama :-/

We forget today was Thursday and Azzan didn’t remember it was his 9am GO Skype session until it was 9:20am.
So he hopped on and joined in with his class for the last part of the session and then he spent some time writing a story afterwards.
t made a large pot of pumpkin soup then spent the rest of the morning painting a second coat on the bathroom vanity.
It is looking really good now.
Am so glad I decided to paint it after all.
Seb spent the day out doing mussel work.
He’s putting in some very long days at present while it is calm to try and get ahead in his work.
Shan & YC spent the day in the rock garden.
Shoshannah got the Cottage ready for Ella & Grant.
The she and YC went back down after lunch to shovel away the flood debris from the past few rain storms.
Anson called to say they were stuck in town as there was a major problem with his truck wheel and they had to wait for parts to be flown in.
Such a pain!
But very lucky they were able to get to town safely even if it was very slowly.

I was so incredibly tired that I headed off to bed for a few hours later in the arvo.
I read my book and slept and then after several phone calls I went back to bed and read for a while longer.
Shoshannah made dinner.
When I came out to the kitchen later she had made several try large pasta dishes, roast pumpkin and had some green beans ready to cook.
She had to head off to feed Anson’s dogs so I took over.
Managed to successfully burn the beans 😦
Shoshannah went down tonight the fire in the Cottage as Ella & Grant were late leaving town and didn’t arrive until nearly 7pm.
Ella got her van stuck on the road just before the house so while I waited for them to get it unstuck I made a large dish of Butterscotch Pudding which went down very well with the troops later 🙂
Our guys helped them unpack all their gear and then they came and had dinner with us.
They have their new German au pair with them.
She has only just arrived in NZ so the trip down here will be a real baptism by fire into Kiwi life!!

I went to say goodnight to the kids and found Azzan busy making his bed, and the room in a real turmoil.
I really do not know what to do with that lad!
It just seems to be a never ending battle for him to actually keep or even get his room to a state of tidiness.
Anyway, I noticed he was being a tad secretive of something so I went to investigate and discovered his portable dvd player lid was broken.
I immediately tore strips off of him because I have found it and other breakable objects laying about on the floor so many times in the past.
He retaliated angrily so I told him it was not me he should be angry at and to look at his own actions, left him to it and went to see Shoshannah.
He must have learnt from his previous days behavior because he met me at the door and was very tearful & apologetic about letting his temper get the better of him again.
We will win this battle – I am sure :-/

I am now off to read some more of my book in bed.
It is by Beverley Lewis, called ‘The Guardian.’
Love her stories.

Wednesday 21st August

I slept in till after 7:30am.
Woke feeling absolutely awful.
Shoshannah had already left to help Anson cut down the beast.
Then he took the meat over to the WB chiller and left her up the hill so she could walk over to spend some time with her Dad.
I got up and made some bread and then went back to bed.
Azzan made me a hot elderflower drink.
Anson popped in to say goodbye – they are heading to town for a couple of days.
Then saw Tardis motoring past my window.
Lovely calm day for Seb to be getting some work done.

Azzan was bright and perky and helpful all morning.
He was cleaning his room like I had asked.
We had a wee chat about his behavior.
I was interested to know if the boys had said anything to him to prompt his apology.
But they hadn’t so I commended him for thinking it through and we talked some more about learning responsibility, initiative and character development whilst at home.
And that even if the jobs he does here are not what he wants to do for the rest of his life they are still training him in important life skills.
He was very receptive and thoughtful.

I had a chat with Margaret, realized that in my busyness, my fatigued brain hadn’t remembered to update her to not meet Mahalia at the airport tonight.
Mahalia was meant to fly in tonight but I changed her tickets last week so extend her visit with Bri for a few more weeks.
Then Valerie phoned up to see how I was so we chatted a while.
Shoshannah came back from her walk and then got stuck into her maths.
Graham arrived soon after 10am and started working in the bathroom.
I finally got myself back out of bed and pulled off the sheets preventing me from falling back in!
Started the loads of washing.
Got some lunch organized and battled to get the kitchen fire lit.
Anson popped in at midday to say goodbye but then left his phone behind so I got YC to run after him.
He was really tired so I was quite concerned about him driving out.
Shoshannah has been a bit out of it today and has spent most of it resting.
I am trying really hard to avoid carbs at the mo, gotta fit into my dress for the wedding!
Been doing far too much comfort eating and my weight has just skyrocketed.
So while the others had cheese toasties and fresh bread I enjoyed a lovely big lettuce salad with salmon, feta & beetroot.
It came over a bit showery so YC & Shan cleaned the kitchen shelves for me and then swept the floors.
Made a delicious chicken casserole in the slow cooker.
It had kumara, ginger and cranberries. I added some prunes and garlic.
Had it with rice and boiled pumpkin.
Did some MathsBuddy with Azzan on the computer.
I’m still assessing as to what level he needs to be at.
He flew through about 4 lessons and then on seeing that subtraction was the next topic decided he needed to carry on cleaning his room.
I finally had my shower at 3pm.
Azzan helped Graham with the wallboards this arvo.
Graham now has a plan so will be back into it tomorrow.
I spent some time in the study doing paperwork and trying hard not to get stressed about things.
Then, before dinner I gave the vanity a quick sand and painted it while watching listening to ‘Behind the Glass Door‘.
A true story of a family with an autistic daughter.
Most insightful.
Tardis’s lights were traveling across the bay well after 7pm.
Seb’s had a long day out seeding today.
Had dinner and then headed off to bed.

 

Tuesday 21st August

Considering how tired I was I still woke early.
I was able to fit in a quick spa between people coming and going.
It was a very tumultuous day.
Shoshannah went out mustering cattle with Anson & YC.
Sebastian was out on the water making the most of the calmer day.
Shan is kept busy in the garden.
Spent the morning searching for the agitator from the washing machine.
Was extremely frustrated as there were several loads piled up to do and dirty washing is my one fetish.
While looking I occupied myself with unpacking groceries, tidying up, and moving the Regulus etc.
Graham arrived round just before 11am and we sat and talked over a cuppa then cased the joint to see what needed to be done to finish the bathroom.
My emotions were pretty shaky and I was only holding them together through sheer intent.
The musterers arrived back and I announced that I was still looking for the agitator.
YC then went on a hunt – and found it!
It was lying in the bottom of the washing machine covered in dirty clothes – duh!
I had actually looked in there but obviously not far enough down.
I was then very thankfully able to begin the washing.
YC & Shan carried on with gardening for the rest of the day.
Azzan made pizzas.
The looked pretty good.
He had gotten some bacon out of the freezer and used whole uncut slices on them 🙂
Anson & Graham were still sitting talking over another cuppa so they had lunch with us.
Then Anson went up the hill to kill a beast.
He needed help cuz Seb was still out working on the boat.
So Shoshannah went and I volunteered Azzan to go to as he needed to get outside and do some physical.
He was totally unimpressed with the idea.
What followed was extremely dramatic.
He told me that there was no point in him going because it was all totally repulsive!
So I enlightened him on the fact that we are family, and we have to work together, and he likes to eat meat so he has to do his part in the supplying of it etc.
The others were waiting up at the top sheds for him and he proceeded to reduce me to a total emotional mess by arguing over what to wear on his feet.
There were two pairs of gumboots, both fitted him, but neither were his.
One was a tad small and the other a tad big – according to him.
Stalling tactics!
In amongst all of that we also ‘agreed’ that we were both angry that Tim wasn’t here!
I completely lost it.
Every time I shut the door on him and said just to go, he would come back and argue some more.
I finally just collapsed in a heap in the living room and cried and cried, and just refused to talk to him.
He finally put on some boots and left.
Anson gave him a very abrupt tune up when he arrived and they went off quite happily.

I was in the kitchen and I looked up and saw the photo of Tim sitting holding me on the boat and I just cried some more, asking him ‘Why? Why did you leave me? I can’t do this on my own. I haven’t the excess energy to deal with a prepubescent boy who’s also hurting inside and is missing his Daddy so much.’
We both said stuff to each other that was hurtful, that we didn’t mean, but in amongst it we both were saying that we hated being here without Tim.
I was sitting in the study crying bucket loads more when Graham arrived.
I managed to pull myself together and went out to talk with him and Seb when he came ashore.
I asked them to help me with Azzan.
It is going to take our village to raise my younger ones.
They are my kids and they are still very much my responsibility, I am not ready to let them leave the nest or pass my responsibility as a parent over, but I do need help.

I finally managed to make my way through a list of phone calls I had been trying to do all day.
The septic tank at Waterfall Bay is seriously needing to be emptied.
But the company that normally does it has changed hands and they don’t know the road etc.
So there were many calls and much debating as to when and how they could come down.
Then I had to deal with the fireplace & insurance companies to sort out how and when they were going to fix the chimney at Waterfall.
There was debate as to who was paying for what and when they were actually going to do the job.
The fireplace cannot be used until the chimney is fixed and it is winter still so we need to get the job done asap as the electric heater I lent them in the meantime is costing heaps to use.
Seb had kick started off the process but we have been waiting for weeks for both things to get sorted and I was really over the mucking around so decided to boot them along to get some action.
Why is it never simple to get something done?

Graham went off and found some sandpaper and paint and the guys moved the new vanity into my bedroom.
Laid some old sheets down and it is now all ready for me to paint it.
He thinks it will be a therapeutic task for me to do 😉

I decided I had better make a real dinner so cut & skinned two pumpkins.
Boiled and mashed them.
Then put some baked potatoes and sausages in the oven.
Sliced up some coleslaw, then thought about dessert.
I have a container of Panacotta mix which I have not made yet.
Read the instructions which called for cream and milk.
I had no cream so thought I would experiment with using a can of coconut cream instead.
It was all very simple to make, I poured it into small bowls and left it on the bench expecting to be ready for tomorrow night.

We enjoyed our dinner – the baked potatoes I used were Nadine’s and were delicious.
Potato types really do matter I am finding!
Shoshannah found the panacotta was set already so we ate them.
The coconut cream mix was a great idea – worked well and tasted good.
I took mine off to the study and ate it while skyping with Jacqui in Perth.
She got the time difference a bit muddled so we didn’t get as long to talk as we had planned.
But it was really lovely to talk with my special friend – love you Jac – thanks for your support and love xxxx
Azzan came into say goodnight to me and apologized for his behavior.
He said he couldn’t promise that he wouldn’t misbehave again but he would try really hard not to.
At least he was being honest and I appreciated his ability to recognize his behavior and apologize for it.
I was so tired, wrung out emotionally that I literally fell into bed and was asleep by 9:30pm.

 

Monday 19th August

Woke early so there was not many hours between shutting the eyelids and reopening them.
I had gone to sleep late after watching some TED videos of Aimee Mullins.
A very encouraging, thought-inspiring young woman.
My favorite would have to be this one.

I woke early and tried to go back to sleep.
Gave up around 6am.
Pottered about for a while and then had breakfast and a shower before packing up.
While I was still trying to submerge John whisked my Regulus down to the garage and got the rattley  thing seen to for me.
It was an exhaust pipe cover ad part of it had rusted through so they just removed it as it is apparently not essential to the health and wellbeing of the vehicle!

I packed up and then talked with Sally for a wee while.
It was technically their day off but there was some hiccups with staff so they were working.
I went off to Hirepool to organize some stuff for the wedding.
The headed into the bcd to meet Estelle at Cafe Olive for brunch.
John & Sally managed to extract themselves and joined us there.
We had a most enjoyable time.
I am now far more politically enlightened than before – thanks John 🙂
It was close on midday so we adjourned the meeting.
S&J headed off to shop and Estelle & I met up at Starbucks for some post brunch drinks and some more chat time.
Finally had to say goodbye and go do stuff.
I had a dvd to post so walked up to the Post Office only to find it al closed up waiting for an earthquake inspection clearance.
Bother!
Found that Paper Plus could send it for me by a different company – a bit more expensive but I needed to post it and couldn’t be bothered trying to find another postal outlet.
Then I whizzed up to the Winnington’s to collect the courier parcels.
Eden’s cot had arrived sooner than I anticipated and it was in 3 quite large flat packs so I lay the back seats down and we stacked them in and then I packed groceries around them to hold them in place.
I had other shopping I was planning to do but couldn’t be bothered.
Too tired.
So shelved that plan, fueled up and then went off to see Nathan.
I called up Paula to see if she was free to meet me at Hangar 58 too.
She was so I drove straight there for a late lunch.
I was standing tracking to Nathan’s too bosses when I glimpsed him walking straight past me.
When Paula arrived we ordered from the cafe and everyone was trying to find Nathan so he could make my drink cuz I couldn’t remember what was int he last one he made me.
He is pretty inventive and I enjoy his drinks.
Found out a bit later that he had left on his break and hadn’t even seen me there!
I made do with orange juice with the vege stack I had for lunch.
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I was really tired and just couldn’t be bothered moving let alone think about driving home so I lazed back and enjoyed talking with Paula.
Nathan was off trying on suits for the wedding.
He was going to take a photo and email it to me so I could see the one he liked.
But when he arrived back at work a bit later he was wearing it.
It was a maroon colour and on sale.
It looked great on him.
Not all guys could get away with wearing it but he certainly can 🙂

 

Finally around 5pm I decided I really should make a move so I gave Natey a big hug goodbye and then zipped around to Starbucks to get a Rocky Road Frappaccino for the road.
It is a new flavor in and quite delicious 🙂
I had Leonard Cohen keeping me company all the way home.
Had a good run, roads were fine, no fog and nor rain.
I stopped at Tim’s cairn, and with our special song echoing around the hillsides through the open door I danced with him on the road in the dark.
No one there to look sideways at the crazy woman so I enjoyed my moment remembering.

I had a quick chat with Graham on the way downy he hill.
He had only just arrived a couple of hours before me.
Arranged for him to come down in the morning and do some finishing work in the bathroom that Pat ran out of time to do.
Then I stopped off at Anson & Marah’s.
I was met by the sounds of Anson out on the back deck ‘singing’ to Eden.
He was outside stripped off enjoying the cool as it was so roasting hot inside!
Their fire is rather uncontrollable at times.
I took Eden and told him to go unpack her surprise.
We took some selflies while her dad was busy.IMG_3407
Marah took this one.
She was also stripped off to very little because of the heat.
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She took off to the car to help Anson bring up the rest of the cot.
Couldn’t resist this photo 🙂
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They were very excited to get the cot sooner than they were expecting but Anson has banned Marah from trying to put it together until he gets back from mustering tomorrow!
I had another wee parcel for Eden.
These are to decorate her bedroom wall with.
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We talked for a while and then I realized it was way after 9pm so I scampered off home.
The place was in darkness, kids asleep.
I unloaded the vehicle.
Got some snacks to much on while I opened the mail.
It sure was a nice stress free break away but am now instantly back in the fray.
I had a quick spa to refresh myself before falling into bed.

Sunday 18th August

Six months ago tonight I lost the love of my life.
Tim was my strength, my reason for living.
I know I have so much to live for, my children, my grandkids, myself.
But whoever said that time will heal is wrong.
Time will never take away the pain in my soul, the break in my heart.
I know that over time I will grow stronger and bigger than the grief.
But right now it is totally absorbing and at times completely overwhelming.

I found this photo recently and even though I can’t see Tim’s face completely it actually means so much to me.
It is showing him as he always was.
Holding me, covering my back, protecting me, loving me.
Always there for me.
It is not only his beautiful life-etched face that I remember.
It is the feeling of his protective, steadying arms around me.
The feeling of his rough, work worn hands in mine, the hands that did everything for me and our kids.
The sound of his voice in my ear, encouraging me, joshing’ with me, whispering endearing words to me.
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This weekend I have had time to be alone with my thoughts and to rest and just to be.
My unit has a spa bath so I decided to spend some time soaking this morning.
The girls at Nelson Beauty had recently sold me a gorgeous recovery masque.
I have not had the chance to use it because you are supposed to leave it on for as long as you can and of course when have I had the chance to do anything for longer than 2 minutes?
So today I applied it and laid back in the bath and wallowed.
My tears were soon mixing with the masque so I’m figuring that those parts of my face will still look unrecovered 😉

I finished writing a piece I was working on while getting dressed.
Saved that to a private place to review later when I am brave enough to share it.

I hurriedly ate my breakfast as it was fast heading towards our communal morning tea time.
Goodness! There is not enough time to fit all this eating in to my day!
When I finally made it over to the Writers Lounge the others were all there talking over things.
We decided to move a post lunch workshop to a pre-lunch time so the afternoon would be clear to do whatever we wanted to do.
Louise recapped the weekend and we were given opportunity to talk about what we had learned, gained, etc.
What have I learnt?
To just write, anything, not necessarily in any chronological order, just to write my thoughts and ponderings.
That I can write for my own pleasure, that what I write can and may help others but the main purpose is for me.
And that if I want to write for any future publication that there is no particular right or wrong way to do it, once again, just to write.
It can all be edited for a particular audience later.
Then we were all given a card to write to encouragement and goals to ourselves which will be posted to us in November.
So hopefully when we receive them we will have achieved something or it will motivate us to do more.
We sat and talked a while longer and then after the clean up I took Louise, Sally & Fiona into Hangar 58 to meet up with Nathan during his break.
Mira & Thomas were already there so we found a table and enjoyed some good conversation about many random topics – as you do when you have a journalist, a writer, a German male nurse, a student, and several other very interesting women (Sally & me 😉 )around the table together.
Nathan was run off his feet and took ages to be able to have a break, so we only got to enjoy his seated company long enough for him to scoff down his meal.
Hangar 58 was booked to the max for the evening so we were informed in no uncertain terms that we better no be thinking of coming in for dinner!!
We weren’t so Nate was safe 😉
But we did have their cabinet food from the cafe.
Some of us enjoyed the custard square.
I must say, it was probably one of the best I have ever eaten.
The custard was incredibly smooth.
The only thing wrong was that they were all served with cream on the side and they definitely did not need it as it was sweet enough on it’s own.

I had been feeling really flat all day.
But the conversation soon turned to gales of laughter.
Thomas told some jokes which began the fun but then what really set me off was when we asked Nathan why the restaurant was so busy on a Sunday night.
He said that ever since they introduced their $15 lamb shanks meals on Sunday nights they were a major hit with their clientele.
My perverse mind couldn’t help wondering where on earth they got so many lamb shanks from and the thoughts of them taking just the shanks set me off hysterically laughing into my scarf and the others made it all worse by talking about poor little lambs stumbling about the paddocks minus their shanks.
It was all very locational and you really needed to be there, but I go on record to say that it was indeed hilariously funny at the time.
Mira had to go study so she and Thomas went home.
We eventually headed off and left Nathan to his busy night.

Got back to the motel and decided to order in Thai to share.
Nice way to finish the weekend.
The evening sky was all pink and fluffy, such a delightful change from the grey wet skies we have had for past days.
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We gathered around the table at 6:30pm to share our Thai meals.
Lots of fun.
I got a FB message on my phone from Jason re my blog transition.
We have a problem with the photos that were imported over from Xanga to WordPress.
Jason has been trying to figure out what went wrong.
He came back to me tonight and said he had a theory.
I asked him what his theory was.
His reply, ‘I f****d up!’
Well that’s a pretty straight forward theory 🙂
I dissolved into giggles so of course had to share the story which then in turn created round the table laughter.
Thanks Jason for entertaining us 🙂

John retired to his chair after dinner and we were entertained by the cat’s antics for the rest of the evening.
It certainly rules the roost – and it is not even their cat!
He just moves in, stretches out and makes himself comfortable.IMG_3398 IMG_3399 IMG_3401

We chatted over after dinner drinks and knitting and then I wandered off to enjoy the last night in my lovely peaceful unit.

It has been hard today missing Tim.
And also difficult to see my kids missing their Dad and not being able to take away their pain.
I can only share in it with them.
Six months ago right now I had only just heard the news.
I was in a state of shocked hysteria.
Now I am in a state of numb resignation.

Saturday 17th August

I woke at 7am.
Great sleep.
Nearly 8 hours!!

I was planning to update my blog and then get into some writing.
But instead what happened was,
I got a text from Sunni – rejoicing that she also had slept extremely well.
So cool 🙂
Magnesium is a wonderful thing!
Then we began a text conversation which resulted in me checking out a website for the product she is using.

From there I caught up on mail and the news.
Had to check out the earthquake updates, and finally began updating my blog.
I knew there was no hurry for me to be anywhere until 10:45am.
So just chilled.
Then a text came through asking how my writing was going?
C’mon John – you told me this was a much needed break away 😉
I realized the morning was disappearing quickly and I hadn’t even eaten my breakfast which had been lovingly prepared and delivered by Sally last night.
I wasn’t actually hungry so went and had a shower.
I was beginning to feel somewhat overwhelmed with an expectancy that I had to hurry up and eat and be places and do stuff.
Everything just toppled within me and I just leaned on the shower wall with the water pouring over me mixing with my tears as I sobbed and sobbed.
Finally surfaced, dressed and had some food.
Then inspiration hit so I sat and typed and ended up with some very heartrending very personal prose.

I gathered up myself and headed over to the Writers Lounge for morning tea just before 11am.
This is the first retreat so we are just a small number, but it is good.
Actually it is better than good, small is non threatening, easier to share…..
After morning tea Fiona led the first workshop.
‘Creating characters people want to read about.’
It was really interesting and we had a few little exercises to do following her introduction.
The first was to make a descriptive list of a real or fictitious person and then to use actions to allow the reader to ‘see’ the person.

My list of adjectives was very short,  I found it easier to just write the description!
But afterwards when we read aloud and discussed each piece the others actually picked up what I was trying to portray.
“The dingy cruised into the shore. He unfolded his lengthy frame, put one white gumbooted leg over the side into the wake lapping the beach, steadying himself as he slowly climbed out. In no particular hurry he took hold of the rope and pulled the small boat still complete with motor, effortlessly up the beach. Time was of no importance to the lean, craggy, old man as he carried out the necessary tasks completing his days work with practiced thoughtfulness.”

Then we had to put three characters into the same situation.
It was a really cool exercise and we all interpreted it differently which was great – shows diversity 🙂
Mine read like this,
He sauntered down the wharf carrying 6 tubes of stocking on his shoulder and effortlessly stepped down onto the boat.
She cautiously ventured out onto he wharf fearfully keeping far from the edges and then waited timidly for someone to help her clamber down onto the boat.
The children dashed out the door with carefree anticipation, ran along the wharf jumping fearlessly down onto the boat.”

As you can see from my brief exerts above I am not really good at fictional writing, I glean from my life!
I do real way better 🙂

We broke for lunch.
Fiona had provided some delicious quiches and breads.
There wasn’t a lot left afterwards – it’s a hungry job being a writer 😉
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The others went off to have their own time elsewhere.
Fiona and I sat and worked on our laptops and talked.
It was pouring with rain so wasn’t terribly conducive to outdoor activities.
And even though I was really tired I didn’t feel inclined to brave the wet to get to my room.IMG_3394

We rejoined for afternoon tea and then Louise led a workshop on ‘Spreading the Word’.
Reaching our audience, why, who, how and where.
The Karl was available to help with any IT issues that we might have in the publishing area etc.

Then it was after 5pm so we headed off into the wet cold evening and got ready for dinner.
We all loaded into the motel van and drove to Smugglers.
I convinced John & Sally to come join us so they shut up shop and followed us there.
The place was busy and our waiter was a bit lackadaisical so there was a few cockups with the meals but all in all we had a great night and really good food.
Lucy & Tristan enjoyed their bubbly sugar enriched energy buzzing Spiders 🙂
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I had the Cocky Chicken – to be precise for those who need all the details – Oven roasted chicken breast wrapped in bacon & stuffed with apple & smoked cheese topped with an apple cider herb cream sauce served with oven roasted potatoes & a medley of seasonal vegetables.
It was absolutely delectable

Then finished with the Lemon Posset dessert.
It was so delicious – an explosion of citrus!

I was so glad to find the rain had stopped when we left.
Drove back to the motel and then we all chilled out at John & Sally’s for a while over after dinner drinks.
Sally & I did some knitting while everyone chatted.
We eventually all succumbed to weariness from the days excessively strenuous activities 😉
Wandered back to our units and crashed out for the night.