Another early waking for me.
It was a fickle sort of day.
The weather still not making up its mind as to what it was doing.
I didn’t have a great morning.
Was feeling emotionally flat and was really struggling.
It has been nice to see the lego down and being used.
Jesika, Molly, Nicky & Shoshannah decided to walk to Waterfall Bay.
Frankie and Benji went along too.
Azzan started out but decided he was slowing them down so he returned.
They went visiting Phoebe and Seb.
The track was wet but not too slippery.
About 4pm he took Molly & Jesika up the hill so they could walk along to visit Tim’s grave.
They walked down the hill and got back before dark.
I finished the cot quilt I was making for Eden.
It was a block I bought from Spotlight a few months ago and I quilted it through a layer of dacron batting and soft lemon colored polar fleece with the fluffy side outwards as backing.
I was rapt to find the dark pink fabric in my stash that matched the block perfectly.
Started making another one, pinned it while talking with Joanna.
She popped in for a visit.
I was really tired and was planning to head off to bed but as we hadn’t had time for a good uninterrupted visit I sat and chatted for a while.
At midday Joanna went off to make lunch for her crew and after getting washing sorted etc I took the opportunity around 1:30pm to head to bed for a sleep.
We settled in for a late night session once all the kids had gone off to bed.
Molly had come equipped with Tim Tams so I made myself a mug of Caramel Latte and we three sat and chatted.
I had to laugh at the magazine underneath the chocolate biscuits 🙂
Jesika disappeared off to bed after a while but Molly and I stayed up for a midnight stint.
Got a second wind 😉
We hadn’t had much chance to talk so it was great to have peace and quiet.
It was around 1am before I turned off my light.
Woke at 4am 😦
The storm was much quieter.
I read by torchlight for a wee while and then went back to sleep for a bit longer.
Was still up before anyone else.
Put wood on fires, had a shower and sat and read my book in the living room.
Slowly the troops began surfacing and rummaging around wondering what to find for breakfast.
Mahalia made some porridge for me.
It was funny sitting back listening to them trying to work out what was easy food to make with just the wood stove.
I did quite a lot of knitting throughout the morning.
It was perfect knitting and reading weather.
Nothing like a storm and power & phone outages to create a real holiday atmosphere 🙂
Nick, Bri & Abby were packing up as they were leaving later.
The rain came in again.
Anson & Marah came around with Eden.
She was sound asleep so Anson popped her into my bed.
Azzan was at a bit of a loose end.
None of the girls wanted to play any sort of game.
So it was just him and Benji.
Mahalia & Melanie were outside sorting the horse and then doing girlie things.
Azzan ended up snuggled on the couch with Nicky and Benji entertained Molly.
Anson was cutting up a sheep so Marah took the opportunity of a sleeping babe to have some bonding time with him 😉
Eden finally woke.
Love this photo of the waking up process 🙂
Eden and Aunty Shanni looking cute in dorky hats.
Molly & kids being silly – this is what wet weather does to you!
The clock was rolling around towards 2pm so Bri, Nick & Abby said their goodbyes, loads of hugs and loves and then they were on the road southwards.
I was getting a bit concerned about the fridge and freezers as the power was still not on.
I called Marlborough Lines for an update and she said that we should be back on already.
So she lodged another fault.
I went off to bed to read my book.
Slept a while too.
Was woken by a call from faults man asking if our power was on and indeed it was – happy dance 🙂
Several more texts had come in from Vodafone putting our expected time of phone fixing out from this arvo to Tuesday evening.
I was not happy so called and told them that we are very isolated and the phone is essential here and that Tuesday was unacceptable.
So she put in an urgent call for me.
We will see what happens!!
At least the calls are now diverting through my cell phone.
There was now mountains of washing due to all the towels and rags being required to soak up the flooding during the deluge, plus the backlog of wet clothes.
So I began that job.
Seb came over to get some stuff and talk over the coming week.
Tardis is going up on the slip for survey on Monday so a few things to co-ordinate.
Seb has very poor phone cover at present so I hopped online to organize some accommodation for him.
Was delighted to find a really good winter deal at a really nice motel – it was actually better than the backpackers, and with his bad back he needs a good bed at the mo.
When he left I went out to organize dinner.
Mahalia & Melanie had been cooking pikelets/hotcakes and were just cleaning up the mess.
I forgot there was heaps of veges left over from last night so got Azzan to do some more spuds.
Then discovered the stupid washing machine was overflowing.
Water all over the floor.
So I moved all the 20L storage containers and swept the water out the door.
Thank goodness for concrete floors 🙂
Cat cleaned out the filter of me so hopefully the next load will behave.
It always seems to happen when we get heavy rain – silt blocks the filters and upsets the workings of the machine.
The storm seems to have taken a path from the West Coast over us and onto Wellington?Masterton.
Anson measured over 90mms rain in past 2 days.
That is quite a lot for us – great spring rain as it wasn’t too cold.
I was delighted to see that Mahalia & Azzan had gotten down the bin of Lego and were building with it.
It hasn’t been used in a while.
Molly & Jesika hung out together all arvo in the bedroom and caught up on the past 8 years.
Dinner was really late tonight.
I had chicken baking in the woodstove all day but the potatoes didn’t go on till late and took ages to cook.
Girls had a long spa before dinner.
Azzan was percolating well and entertaining Jesika, Molly & me at the dinner table.
He really is a total comic, he seriously doesn’t have to work at it, it just effortlessly flows from him.
I am sure his destiny is the stage or something similar!
Tonight Shoshannah is sleeping over with Nicky in the Cottage and Melanie has moved up here with Mahalia.
Jesika is helping get the washing through and folded.
Hopefully we will be all caught up tomorrow.
It’s after 9:30pm now and I am so tired that I am about to go fall into bed and leave the girls and Azzan to get themselves off to bed.
Azzan has raided the pantry and got chocolate and crackers for a midnight feast!!
I woke at 4:30am and couldn’t sleep so got up and did some blogging.
Once it was light I went out to have a spa and read my book.
Then I made a hot lemon honey drink and sat and read.
It was deliciously peacefully quiet.
No one else was awake.
Finally Shoshannah appeared and then one by one the rest of the world began surfacing.
Breakfast takes a while with so many coming and going.
Kitchen was cleaned up eventually.
I made some boysenberry, apple and chocolate chip muffins.
Did some sewing, am trying to get a quilt finished and binding the edges is taking the longest time
Marah arrived just before 11am.
Anson walked in the door a few minutes later carrying Eden with her dummy in his mouth.
Looked so funny 🙂
She’d lost it and he had spent ages walking back to find it and then returned to see it were he had been standing in the first place.
We were all gathered for a meeting.
Just after 11am Inspector Simon Feltham, Area Commander of the local Police arrived to speak with us.
He had come in response to my enquiries and complaints about their mishandling of Tim’s accident.
It was a bit like Piccadilly Circus with kids coming and going, waiting for Seb & Phoebe to arrive, Molly & Azzan heading off to watch Tim’s funeral dvd and light Bri’s barbecue etc etc.
Felt sorry for the poor guy.
He must’ve wondered what on earth he had gotten himself into!
We spent an hour or so talking with him, listening to how things unfolded and happened on the day, he owned the fact that there was major stuff ups and that it had been very badly managed.
He apologised to us for this and answered questions we put to him.
I tried really hard to keep myself steeled but I did get a bit emotional several times, as did some of the kids.
They all had the option to be there or not, but the ones who came wanted to hear, needed to hear.
It was a difficult meeting for us all, but it was good to help us all put things into perspective and now, hopefully move on.
As Bri so succinctly summarized it, ‘It was a major cock-up of immense proportions!’
Once Simon left there was a mass exodus.
Cat, Leeann & Shoshannah went off hunting.
Anson took his boat loaded up with dogs, Nick, Bri & Molly.
They went off hunting and fishing.
We had steak marinating for dinner but not a lot else done.
It was a quiet afternoon.
Jesika was reading on the sofa.
I did some more sewing and knitting.
Mahalia was had gotten the Cottage prepared and was waiting for her friends to arrive.
Got word at 2pm to say they were only just leaving Nelson so wouldn’t be arriving till 5pm.
Her response ‘Are you Serious!’
She had been waiting for hours!
I was in he study talking to Sally.
She was telling me that they were being hit by a thunder and lightening storm out in Nelson area.
I watched the grey clouds close in here whilst talking with her and then the rain began and soon after the thunder rolled across the hills towards us.
The storm got bad really fast.
We were quite worried about the hunters.
Managed to make contact with Shoshannah & Leeann but the others weren’t replying.
We were praying they would take cover and be sensible!
Actually when did my crew ever do anything sensible 😉
The rain was so heavy that it was coming in the study roof and then began flooding the bathroom.
The gutters were just not coping.
I could see there was flooding outside the backdoor so I found some gumboots and an old coat and put Tim’s Aussie sun hat on for some added protection and went to find a spade.
I cleared the blockage and allowed the water to flow into the creek which by now was beginning to build and water was soon roaring down in torrents.
Mahalia was keeping the Cottage fire going.
The Fleitus family had arrived at Graham’s.
I had called him to ask if he would hold them there until the rain eased.
Went down to check the Cottage culvert and found it blocked with branches and was beginning to flood.
I cleared that and also cleared ditches & drains around the place to allow freer flow of the flood water.
My wet weather gear wasn’t working terribly well and I had wet feet and hair and couldn’t seer much through my glasses.
It was really funny.
Quiet exhilarating being out in the rain but terrifying whenever the lightening hit as it was right overhead.
I popped into see Jesika and she thought it was an even worth recording 🙂
Graham brought the Fleitus family down in his truck and Abby & Mahalia helped them unload their gear in to the Cottage.
It was getting dark so he found a battery for us and hooked up the 12v light in the kitchen.
Abby & Jesika got stuck in to providing food for us all on the wood stoves.
Discovered on trying to crank up the bbq and gas rings that all our gas tanks were empty.
Note to self – get them all filled asap!
Seb called up on his cell to say he had been near the phone and witnessed the lightening blast it to bits!
Pretty darn scary!
We were just making phone calls to see if we could locate Anson’s crew when thankfully the little boat appeared out of the mist.
They were all absolutely soaked to the skin but were buzzing.
There is something about storms that puts everyone on a high.
We lost the phone and then we lost the power.
I called in the faults on my cell phone and was surprised to hear that the Marlborough Lines guys were out in the storm trying to fix faults already.
They are amazing!!
Nick & Bri retreated to the spa for a romantic dip for two, despite the fact that it was off they were able to make the most of the warmth still in it.
The kitchen was so busy with people everywhere.
Mel, Nicky & Benji were here too and then later Joanna & Franki came up to try and cook their dinner on our stove as it wasn’t doing so well on the Cottage fire.
It was another crazy noisy meal time.
Everyone was talking at once, lots of conversations, joshing around, and craziness.
Then Bri got the guitar cranked up and they started singing their nonsensical songs in the lounge.
It was all good though, happy, crazy kids 🙂
We were warm, dry & well fed.
Around 9pm everyone began drifting off to bed.
Thankfully I have a good supply of torches at the moment, although I will probably have to replenish batteries after this event.
I woke early-ish, lay in bed and finished watching the movie I started last night – ‘Take this Waltz’.
Drifted back to sleep.
Woke about 8:30am feeling really grotty.
Had a bit of a headache and didn’t want to get up.
But knew Angela & Cliff were leaving so thought I should go say goodbye.
Didn’t get to the shower quick enough and had to wait in the queue.
By the time I had showered and dressed everyone was up and finished breakfast and were sitting around chatting.
I got myself a grapefruit and sat and ate it while all the talk was going on around me.
Sort of felt weirdly disconnected.
Like I was not really there.
I did try and join in the conversations but every time I said something it just came out all wrong and bitchy.
Angela & Cliff took a while to say their goodbyes, but when some light precipitation began threatening rain I encouraged them to get on the road as they were only in a small 2 wheel drive rental car.
Bri was organizing some of the crew into working bees.
They got a truck load of firewood down and then some gravel.
Nick & Anson went mustering.
The meat I had put in the slow cooker yesterday was needing some attention.
I cooked up some corn, beans & capsicum from the freezer and added them to the stew.
Also cubed up some pumpkin and chucked it in.
Was a bit worried that there wasn’t a lot of meat but left it to cook some more and hoped for the best!
The kids were showing Molly some photos on the computer in the study.
Shoshannah & I had tidied the lounge and moved it in there for a while to give the kids a quieter place for doing Maths.
I wasn’t doing terribly well.
Just wasn’t in a good zone.
I had things I wanted to do but just felt empty and aimless.
Sat in a chair and ate the last of the bacon & egg pie with thoughts whirling around in my head.
Tears began and wouldn’t stop.
Retreated to the safety of my bedroom and closed the door and just lay on my bed and sobbed my heart out.
The kids were playing the Country Calendar dvd for Molly.
I could hear the commentary and Tim’s voice through the wall.
It was too painful to hear this morning.
I cried myself into a doze.
I was woken by a phone call from Phoebe.
Got up to talk through accommodation bookings.
Decided to needed to go for a walk, it was really cold so put on warm socks, scarf and jacket.
Went up to visit Cat.
She was busy doing some digging.
We talked for ages.
It was very overdue, it was good.
I have been so wrapped up in my own grief and trying to just keep myself from drowning that it has been hard to keep up with everyone.
When I got back to the house the others had all eaten lunch and were off doing other jobs.
The loaf of bread I had made earlier was finished so I cut some slices and spread them liberally with butter and apricot jam.
Took them through to my bedroom and curled up and watched ‘Mirror Mirror’.
It was really cold so I was still bundled up in my jacket and scarf and blankets.
Mahalia came and cuddled up beside me 🙂
It was a great rendition of Snow White – loved it.
When it finished I dragged myself off my bed to go get dinner sorted and found Abby was already busy at it.
She had made a Coconut Pudding recipe that I had seen and sent to her, it was tasty but didn’t look like the picture – they never do
She had put on some rice and also made a delicious pot of steamed silver beet tossed with feta and sun dried tomatoes which is a very tasty way to eat it.
Note to self – do that again often 😉
The stew turned out fine too, it was good that the meat had almost two days of cooking.
Everyone was here for dinner – 11 of us around the table.
It was really nice to have a busy table despite the noise.
The noise of everyone talking at the same time, 3 or 4 completely different conversations all at the same time competing for airspace, Azzan entertaining us with his stories of communicating with his favourite radio hosts, excruciating ear splitting Shanni laughter……
…so incredibly noisy.
I was trying to talk to Nick, he was right beside me and at times I couldn’t hear a word he was saying!
It was good to have everyone here and happy, but the noise was just too much for my head!!
It all felt normal.
But it wasn’t.
Normal is looking to the opposite end of the table and seeing Tim sitting there.
Happily surrounded by our family & friends.
With a bemused crooked smile on his face.
He was completely deaf in one ear and had very little hearing in his other so the normal noise of a dinner conversation made it almost impossible for him to hear anything.
He would just sit there enjoying his family, without trying to keep up with it all.
I would see him put his hand to his ‘bad’ ear and turn at times to the ones closest in proximity and have a one-on-one conversation.
His lip reading skills were far better than people realized – actually better than he himself realized.
It is no wonder he got so tired in social settings.
Instead, in his chair sits his namesake – Azzan Timothy.
He sits there happily as if of right.
He doesn’t seem to have a problem with using his Dad’s chair.
In fact I think for him it is quite comforting.
I find it really hard to use Tim’s chair or to see others sitting in it.
But I don’t say anything, cuz it’s ‘just a chair’.
Cat & Leeann cleaned up the dishes and everyone finally began retreating to their beds.
I did some more knitting.
It is really beginning to take shape now.
I have never knitted a garment from the neck down before so I am enjoying seeing it evolve from my needles.
I’m becoming more confident in my improvisation and am working around 4 large needles instead of leaving stitches on holders.
Not the way the pattern is written but it suits me 🙂
It has been so incredibly cold today.
Have had both fires going all day but they didn’t begin to take the chill off the house until near dinner time.
So by bedtime it was hot enough to leave the hall door open and let the heat through.
I thought I had turned on my electric blanket earlier.
So when I climbed into a cold bed it was disturbingly forlorn end to an emotionally draining day.
I wake from a sleep jumbled full of weird and disturbing dreams.
It is not 7am yet.
Struggle out of bed and find a towel.
Take my book and head to the spa.
It is the beginning of a beautiful day.
Another day without Tim.
7 months today since he left me.
It feels like another milestone along a road which is traveling further and further away from him.
I hate this.
I don’t want to face this new normality.
It is just too horrid to contemplate.
Had breakfast with Shoshannah, Brianna & Abby.
It was an interesting breakfast.
Shoshannah savagely munching on mutton bones and veges, Bri on chocolate pudding and Abby eating yoghurt.
Shoshannah loves to chew on a mutton bone and she had a great big one saved from last night.
I filled the last two croissants with tomato & feta dip and added some slices of Brie, finely chopped red onion and pineapple pieces.
I sat out in the sun a bit later and finished reading my book.
Then called up Sally for a chat.
I needed to talk with her.
It had been far too long.
I am only 5minutes into my journey alone and she is about 10!
We understand each others hearts.
It was good to encourage each other and share fears and tears.
Anson went to shear some sheep for some new neighbors this morning.
Bri, Abby & Mahalia went to The Croft to do some more work on Eden’s playhouse.
Bri also made her a mussel float swing on the decking.
All kids need an Aunty Bri – she’s amazing 🙂
Azzan & Shoshannah have been doing lots of MathsBuddy which is great.
Anson & Marah popped around with Eden.
Angela & Cliff arrived and went off walking for the afternoon.
Bri & Nick went off fishing in the kayak for a few hours.
Anson and I talked for a while outside and then they all headed off home.
Mahalia painted Abbys nails out in the sunshine on the deck.
I did some more to the quilt I started a while ago.
Decided I really need to get it completed.
I had asked Mahalia to make the bed up in the hut and vacuum out Nathan’s room but it had taken all day to get there so I was getting rather frustrated with her.
She was getting annoyed with me for reminding her too many times.
Before dinner we had a bit of a mum/daughter
Cleared the air and were able to apologize to each other later.
Shoshannah got her room all clean & tidy for Jesika’s impending arrival.
She vacuumed all through the house which was great.
Azzan was having to do his room too for Molly.
He has moved into the sewing room again.
I had to laugh later when I showed Molly into his room.
He had swept all his clothes etc into his suitcase and it was sitting to the side of the room.
The room was clean and tidy 😉
I was trying to think what to have for dinner.
The steak I had taken out of the freezer was stewing steak not frying so I needed to cook that for tomorrow.
That really stuffed up my plans.
Felt really out of it and couldn’t think what to make.
Was so tired I wasn’t functioning at all well.
Angela had brought in some bacon & eggs so I whizzed up some pastry and we made a bacon & egg pie.
Shoshannah made a quinnoa salad and Bri & Nick arrived back with fish so I fried up a couple of pans full.
Bri, Abby & Nick went over to have dinner with Seb & Phoebe.
Cat & Leeann disappeared so it was only Angela, Cliff, the kids and me for dinner.
The pie was great.
Dinner was late so the kids headed off to bed soon after we had eaten.
Cliff & Angela cleaned u the dishes for me, so I sat and knitted some more.
Am gaining more confidence at changing the pattern from circular needles to straight and it is all working out well now.
Graham dropped Jesika & Molly here around 9pm.
I gave him some pie and fish for his dinner.
The girls were starving so they ate and I knitted and heard all about Jesika & Evan’s honeymoon trip.
Now it is after 11pm and we are falling into bed.
7 months ago tonight I was reeling from the shock.
Tonight I am still numb.
I woke up to hear the Tardis leaving the wharf.
Seb came in and picked up Anson & Nick and went out to do a harvest.
I zipped out to the spa with my book for a short soak around 7am.
Azzan wanted to make breakfast for Van & Grant before they left so I woke him just after 7:30am.
He and I lit the special candle we had bought last week.
It is going to burn all day in his Dad’s memory.
Today would have been Tim’s 64th birthday.
We hugged and had a quiet moment together.
Azzan got busy and set the table and put out grapefruit and cereal.
He made us all drinks and then poached eggs on toast.
Finally it was time to say goodbye as Grant & Van had to hit the road and catch the Picton ferry this afternoon.
It has been super special to have them both here, for the wedding and to visit over the past couple of days.
Van is Tim’s cousin from the UK, so we only see each other every 3 years or so.
I got the wood stove lit and put a roast of mutton & beef in the oven.
Retreated to the study for a wee while.
Marah came round to visit.
She just knew I would need a big hug today.
The tears are surfacing all the time unbidden.
It was good to be able to have a cry on her shoulder.
The girls were planning to go up the hill to have a birthday party for Tim.
The weather was packing in so Marah decided it was too yucky to take Eden up so she walked back home.
Bri & Abby had a lovely yellow leucadendron to plant up there so they took that and chocolate and chips and drove up with the kids.
I stayed back.
Just needed time alone.
Plus my knee is really sore – it packed a wobbly on Sunday and has been paining me ever since.
The kids had a good time up the hill.
Planted the tree and made sure it was well protected from the wind.
I went to bed with my lunch – croissants and caramel latte and dark peppermint chocolate 🙂
Watched a movie called ‘Country Strong’.
Then read my book and slept.
Vaguely heard Tardis dropping off Anson and then kids returning home.
Finally rose about 4:30pm and then sat and knitted with Azzan and watched a couple of the new series of ‘Call the Midwife’.
Then it was dinner time.
Anson & Marah arrived around with Eden.
Seb & Nick came back from taking the harvest of mussels to Elaine Bay just as we were serving dinner.
Long day for them.
The candle has been burning all day.
Azzan was delighted that it hadn’t melted the sides away yet.
Eden had been showered so was fast asleep.
She was all relaxed and droopy.
Christine had sent a cake back with Anson for Tim’s birthday so we cut it for dessert.
Thank you Christine – appreciate your kind thoughtfulness.
Cake was delicious too 🙂
Had to pop a candle on it!!
Eden woke and was entertained by all her aunties.
Bri & Shoshannah played guitar and sang parodies to her.
I couldn’t help thinking of how Tim would so loved to have been here tonight, enjoying his wee granddaughter.
She was so cute singing along with the girls.
I finally got a hold just as she was getting a bit upset.
Anson has shearing tomorrow so wanted to head home not too late.
Everyone was gone soon after 9pm.
I sat and watched the movies Bri had made for Shoshannah’s birthday and of Jesika & Evan’s wedding on the hilltop.
Listening to Tim talking with obvious emotion was a bit much for me.
It has been an emotional day.